Review - after 1st, after 2nd, when finished early?

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Review - after 1st, after 2nd, when finished early?

Unread post by kellybell »

I have a son (9 in Nov.) who went to the local Christian School through 1st grade, seemed to be reading well, and enjoyed reading. Last year was our first yr homeschooling (his 2nd grade yr). We didn't do a lot of reading over this summer, and now that we have started school (2 wks ago), his reading skills seem to be regressing.

My question I guess is when are kids expected to read fluently? Not just fluently, but he will skip over words, add words that aren't there, not even notice punctuation, etc. Should I be doing something extra to work on these skills? I appreciate any advice I can get.
Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 1:40 pm
One thing I think would help a lot is to read to him A LOT. Using MFW, you have daily book basket time. Let him do some alone and some with you. In addition, have a good couple of chapter books that YOU read to him. Have him sit with (or nearby) when you read picture books to the younger kids.

Make sure he knows that you enjoy reading. Discuss the book you are reading after he goes to bed. Have him see you read the paper or a magazine. Read cereal boxes!
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Unread post by Nancy »

Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 10:46 pm

My ds also needed a little review for 2G. I simply used the 1st grade materials that I had to continue reading review. This kept the stuff he learned in 1st grade fresh in his mind.

We took turns reading the Box Car Children series. I stressed reading with great expression when he read aloud, and by you taking turns reading with him, he can "hear" the punctuation before he really understands it.

Soon, he was off and running on his own, telling me about things he was reading during book basket time.
Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN »

Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 12:24 pm

Well, I've not taught my own kids to read so I'm not the first person you should listen to. But I am working as after-school reading tutor right now.

First of all, I agree 8 is not an age to worry about perfect reading. There are many success stories of homeschoolers who didn't learn until 10 or later, and went on to excel.

However, if you do want to work on it this year, I wanted to say that when I watch the types of students you describe, I see their little brains racing around, taking in so much information -- letters, words that look important, pictures, punctuation -- and randomly guessing at what to focus on first.

I listen to my students read every week, and I focus on sentences. I think conquering the sentence is conquering reading. A sentence is a complete thought. The punctuation tells you to stop, and at that point your brain (or your listener if you are reading aloud) knows the thought should have made sense or it will not be smooth going forward in the passage.

Sometimes if students are reading longer sentences, I put parentheses around all the extra phrases, so they can drop their voice when reading those bits of extra info, and keep their emphasis on the main part of the sentence (subject & verb).

One other thing is we do have them read accurately. I know there are varying opinions on this. Some of the public school teachers my kids had did not mind if they read every word accurately. But there really is a particular meaning in even the smallest words. And once students start reading longer passages, I can see them stumble when their brain is trying to figure out whether it was "a book" or "THE book" (one that has been mentioned in the story before)!

Well, that was probably more than you wanted to know :o) I just think all this stuff is so interesting!
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A phonics program after 1st?

Unread post by mamaofredheads »

klhcom wrote:I will finish up the MFW 1st grade reading program with my dd and I was wondering if anyone has a suggestion for a phonics program to use for the rest of the year. I just want to drive home the phonics rules. At the suggest of a teacher friend I did not do any 2nd grade phonics with my oldest daughter and I think her reading suffered even though she was reading lots of books.
Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:13 pm
We will be finishing MFW 1st in a couple of months too. I am planning to go ahead & begin the MFW recommendations for 2nd in the middle of the year. (I'm actually finishing it with a 7 yo). My thoughts were to use R&S spelling and PLL along with picture books/easy readers to go along with CTG or use books we already have at home. Would something similar work for you? I think that when they finish MFW1 they have an excellent foundations in phonics, so reading easy books (I have them read aloud to me) will reinforce what they've learned.

Just my .02 :)
Sue in MN
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Unread post by Sue in MN »

Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:15 am

I did not use MFW 1st grade as we didn't know about it back then. However, I think that they get enough phonics review by switching to Spelling once they can read. Spelling goes over the rules from a new angle.

I haven't used the recommended Rod & Staff Spelling for 2nd grade, but it probably covers the rules because most Spelling programs do so. I have just found it better to switch to spelling once they are reading because the point of teaching phonics is to learn to read so once they can read you can reinforce things with spelling without being redundant.

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:59 am

Another option for phonics review after MFW 1st and before you are ready to do a spelling program is to go with dictation exercises that are (ahem) spelled out (sorry, couldn't resist that) on page 194 in the first grade manual. I think that's the right page number. It is the page right before day 126.

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What could I use between 1st-2nd gr?

Unread post by Poohbee »

RachelT wrote:Hello! We are well into our 1st grade New Testament section and are on Day 148 (but we need to do about another month of school). I feel like along with our Bible reader, we need to somehow review phonics rules that we already learned this year in our blue workbook. Have some of you found ways of doing that? Having my ds begin to read "real" easy reader books from the library has been fun, but I'm trying to figure out which sounds/phonemes he needs extra practice with. I feel like we've made great progress this year with reading, but earlier in the year there were times when I felt like he was overwhelmed with all of the new phonics rules and I think we need some definite review and reinforcement. Any ideas would be appreciated!

Hi Rachel!
We, too, are in the New Testament section, and like you, I felt my daughter needed some additional phonics practice. Several years ago, I bought The Complete Book of Phonics. It is for grades K-2, and it is divided into K, 1st, and 2nd, so you can kind of target which pages to use. We've been using that book for my dd's phonics review. We've been working on the long vowel sounds, and the review has been good for my dd. I am planning to start out next year with a phonics review, too, using The Complete Book of Phonics, since for the first month of Adventures, there is just handwriting review and practice during the English time slot, and it is recommended to wait for a month before starting PLL. (Whew! What a run-on sentence! Sorry about that). So, I'm thinking that I will pair the handwriting practice with some phonics review, as well.

The Complete Book of Phonics may not be the best program out there for a phonics review...I don't know. I just know that I had the book on my shelf, so I pulled it out and used it. It has served my purpose well, for the time being.

I'm sure whatever program you choose will be great, but I just wanted to share that I decided to do extra phonics practice with my dd, as you are thinking of doing with your son, and it has been a good thing for her.
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Jenn in NC
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Unread post by Jenn in NC »

Hi :)

Just wanted to mention that on another thread recently Lucy mentioned that the book Spelling by Sound and Structure, that is recommended by MFW for 2nd graders, is not only for spelling but is strong on phonics review. Those concepts go hand in hand anyway of course.

I liked the book a lot. Each lesson has a Part A and Part B, which you can divide up into two days each for the child. In other words, he will only need to do a half-page each day. It is a pretty painless way to go about early spelling practice and get a good phonics review at the same time. And very inexpensive to boot.

Just a thought. :)
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Unread post by Mommyto2 »

Phonics videos...Our library has a large section of phonics videos for children from different companies. I plan on checking them out over the summer for phonics review.

They would be just another resource for cementing something they already knew (hopefully) and something to fill our 100 degree days in the summer.

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Unread post by AES »

Hi Rachel,
I haven't started 1st yet :(
With my daughter, I am currently using some phonics worksheets from: schoolexpress (dot) com
The worksheets remind me of K, in that there is some cutting and pasting, (er, 'gluing'), coloring (color the teddy bear with the long /i/ sound), draw a picture with a long /o/ sound, and put the correct digraph in front of the letters (a picture is shown), just to name a few.
And, there are worksheet for additional subjects as well.
Just thought this might help some.
Amy E.
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Unread post by Lucy »

Just a quick thought about reviewing phonics. Make sure it includes reading short stories not just individual words. This is very important to help them read with fluency. Many kids at this point need lots of practice using the phonics so have them read, read, read. :) Also as you have them read to you mark down phonics that you see them struggling with. You can use some of the games in the back of the MFW1 T.M. to practice those that you see him needing practice in.

Be careful not to make reading time a drudgery by adding too much workbook/writing activities. Balance with the actual reading and games. Sometimes all they need is just a little more time for it to click.

wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.
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Resources/strategies for 3rd grader?

Unread post by AES »

NewHomeSchoolMarm wrote:My precious 8 yo dd in 3rd grade struggles with reading. Can anyone recommend some reading resources/strategies to build my dd reading skills?
Posted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:06 am
One thing I've done is to get reading books below her grade level. That has been helping to build her confidence. I also have her 'review' phonics. We made a language arts notebook which she decorated, so she just does a couple of pages writing the words with the markings (we were using Abeka prior to MFW) and she gets to draw/color a picture from the book (she's a fine arts child).

This might sound silly, but we also play a game where I will read from a book and purposely make a mistake in which dd is expected to correct me. For example, I'll say,"Frog and Toad went up a swill." And dd will say, "Hill!" She seems to get a big kick out of that! Maybe she is maturing, but her fluency is much better!

Amy E.

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:22 am

Like Amy, we use "below" grade level reading books to practice out loud fluency. The kids will practice reading to stuffed animals. And we've even been known to read out loud to pets.

To help a child hear fluent reading, we use children's picture books on audio. Our library is filled with them. It helps them to hear how it can sound and they can practice along too.

MJ in IL
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Unread post by MJ in IL »

Posted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:59 am

Similar ideas that were fun for my kids were:
- During their "sister time," the boys have read simple books to my younger dd.
- My mom (who lives in a different state) made books-on-tape with many of the books she gave the kids. She even used a spoon and glass to signal page turns!
- My children found less frustration in reading aloud when I read the R page/they read the L...
- Does she have a topic that interests her? My youngest son just took off in reading independently when he found some books about space at the library. He is now determined to become an astronaut and is making a little notebook of drawings and interesting things he finds in the books. He also made it through another book on caring for his hamster that I thought would be "too hard." (but I didn't tell him :))
- My children have enjoyed reading Pathway readers...I like having a set of graded readers available. Each one has worked through several with me, in addition to reading "real" books.
- The boys loved re-reading their 1st grade Bible notebook that they wrote. This is a favorite to read to little sister.

All that said, neither of my boys really "took off" with reading until 9 or 10. They could blend sounds to make it through a selection but were not fluent until much later. My older son, in particular, went from blending sounds to reading 100+ page books in less than a year.

Lastly, if this reading area seems at odds with her other skills, I would definitely look into a vision exam. I know I had stopped reading for enjoyment recently and found my perscription had dramatically changed. My optometrist mentioned I probably enjoyed reading less as it physically took more to focus on the printed word...even though I had not realized it.
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Unread post by Mommyto2 »

Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:29 pm

My ds improved his reading skills when we bought the pink plastic film that covers the page. He reads through the pink or red plastic.

Apparently the letters were wiggling and moving slightly for him on the page. He didn't know that it wasn't this way for everyone when they read so he didn't know to tell me that for him the letters moved. When you put the colored film on the paper they tend to stand still.

All that to say, is she struggling reading for other reasons? I found the plastic film thing for $2 at the teacher store.

Good luck.
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Review games

Unread post by tiffany »

There is a phonics games program called Happy Phonics sold by Love to Learn online that could be good for brushing up on phonics if needed. I know Cathy Duffy reviews Happy Phonics. I own it as a supplement to K & 1st so that I have some premade phonics games. I also occasionally use my old Sing, Spell, Read and Write games.

I think another phonics program would be too heavy a workload if you are moving on to Adventures. Spelling by Sound and Structure also offers phonics review. Lots of reading practice of course is helpful. I also might try calling the MFW office to see if there is something they recommend at the Adventures age for a struggling reader. They might have some suggestions as well.
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Summer school ideas

Unread post by Pylegang »

FreshKid wrote:We are almost done with MFW-1st. I want to go ahead and order for Adventures. (Our used curriculum sale is coming soon, a I thought I could get some books to go with ADV) I just printed off the Singapore math placement tests, but haven't done them yet. DS likes doing the math worksheets from CBOM. He'd do them all day, if I let him. He has progessed well since the first part of 1st grade, but still stumbles on some things.

My thought for the summer is to slowly get started in the math and review/practice reading. Is it o.k. to go ahead with the math? (My thought is that I can just get the next level if he does really well with it.) Would it be o.k. to do the PLL too, or should I wait? He reads well when he pays attention (Did I mention that he is a 6-year-old boy? 8[] ) Some of the phonics rules still take a while to get. Usually it is just a wrong choice of a letter combo that makes two sounds. We'll take the month of May off for farm activities. We'll go light for summer school and officially start ADV in August. Are there other things we should do for summer school/summer review?

Thanks for you help,
Doing some light math during the summer can be a good thing. During those elementary years, I think one of the most important things in math is to attain automation with math facts. If there are things that ds is having a difficult time with, maybe you should back up to secure your foundation in those few things, rather than advancing on. Drill math facts, play math games, maybe do a couple of math pages a week and call it a summer. More difficult math will come. Enjoy the basics and master them. It makes higher math MUCH easier!

It probably won't throw off your MFW lesson plans to go ahead with grammar, but you probably shouldn't feel rushed to get going on it. :) It sounds like you're just eager to get started! Is that right? Six yr. olds can spend their time learning many things because they have the WHOLE world to learn about. They probably don't care very much about grammar. ;) We love summer because it allows us to spend time exploring new and different things in a little more relaxed manner.

IMHO, one of the very best (and most enjoyable things) you can do educationally is to READ. Read books of all kinds together. Get lost in books. Your MFW guide will have a terrific list for your upcoming year of study.

Homeschooling classically since 2000--DS grade 6 and DS grade 4.

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Re: Summer school ideas

Unread post by tabby »

Pylegang wrote:IMHO, one of the very best (and most enjoyable things) you can do educationally is to READ. Read books of all kinds together. Get lost in books. Your MFW guide will have a terrific list for your upcoming year of study.
I totally agree with this, especially during the summer! A helpful resource that you may or may not have is Honey for a Child's Heart. It is in the MFW1 deluxe package and would be a great way to get ideas of what to read together/independently.

I am hoping to do some "light summer school," too. It will probably consist of math fact review a couple times a week, some science/nature fun outdoor projects, and, of course, trips to the library! Who knows what else might pop up as a learning opportunity while we are on our "break." :)

Tabatha :)
2011-2012: RTR - dd 10, ds 7
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LA in Baltimore
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Re: Summer school ideas

Unread post by LA in Baltimore »

When mine were young like yours, we took the summers off. My husband started to notice how hard it was for them to start back in again when the next school year started up. That is when we started "Summer Seatwork".

We do Bible (read one chapter and journal/write out one verse in their notebook), Math (a drill sheet of some sort), and a Language Arts lesson. One important aspect is that we NEVER introduce something new with Summer Seatwork. It is strictly review and reinforcement. It only takes them about 1/2 an hour to complete, but keeps them current. We do this about 3-4 days a week. We skip it all together if it is a VBS week, Camp week, or vacation. Then we take about 2 weeks off completely before we start up school again. It has worked very well for our family.

Also, on a side note, I have found that they seem to play better together the rest of the day when they have had something structured to do.

Art, Music, and Nature Notebook activities are also helpful afternoon diversions.
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LA in Baltimore
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Re: Summer school ideas

Unread post by TriciaMR »

We do "school light" in the summer. We continue on in Math (some drill, some actual work), Spelling and Reading (my dd needs most help in those). I also try to do some kind of Bible. We may also go back and try any science experiments or art projects we didn't do.

For my boys, we will probably keep reinforcing phonics over the summer, and math, so they'll be ready for 1st this fall.

I try to make sure this only takes us about 1 hour. I also insist for my oldest that she spend some time with typing on the computer.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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Done with first grade but still hesitant about reading..

Unread post by Dusenkids »

Staceyliza wrote:My 7yo is almost done with 1st grade but she' still a hesitant reader at best. Is there anything I can do this summer to boost her confidence? We're getting a lot of the readers from the library but I need something else. Where do we go from here? I'd love advice!
Well, there are several things to try depending on what she needs... Keep in mind, some kids don’t really take off until second or even third grade so don’t panic yet, just practice.

If she seems hesitant about the individual words, try some word games. Write 20 sight words on cards. See if she can read them all in a minute. Try again to beat your score. You may need to add to your deck through the summer. Or create a folder game. Laminate it so you can use a wet erase marker on it. Make a path for her to “hop” along and say the words written in each square. Or use a dice/coin for you to both move around the board and get points for each word she gets right. Sidewalk chalk and hopscotch words instead of numbers.

If it’s fluency she needs work on, use the same ideas but with common phrases. “Who’s there? Come in. What is that? Can I? Ran away. etc…” Look through some of her books to see which phrases are used a lot. Try recording her reading the same book several times. Use a microphone if you have one. Take turns reading the pages. “I read a page, you read a page and next time let’s flip-flop.” Pick up some books that are interesting but pretty easy for her. Are there younger siblings or cousins she could read to? Practice narration with the easier books. If she spends all her time decoding, she won’t remember content. Try turning a book into a play for her to perform for daddy or grandma. Think about characters. Something like Danny and the Dinosaur would be good with only one character. (Stuffed animal for the dino.) Continue playing the phonics/word games you have been playing through the year. Great practice and she is familiar with them.

And of course lots of read-a-louds. You can read one of her books and makes mistakes for her to catch. (Don't try that one if she hears something once and that is the way it is forever) I’m sure I could think of more but my boys are about to die of hunger (they ate an hour ago….) HTH
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Missy OH
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Re: Done with first grade but still hesitant about reading..

Unread post by Missy OH »

I sometimes like to use Explode the Code for a bit w/ some of kids and I let them practice reading easy readers everyday.
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What about reading?

Unread post by Poohbee »

Tabrett16 wrote:I am spying out curriculum for next year when my dc will be k, 2nd and 3rd. ADV looks like it would be a very good fit for my dc. But what about reading? I see that there is a box on the grid in the sample for reading, but nothing is scheduled??? At present, my oldest is working her way through the R&S 2 readers, but she has a very hard time reading "real" books. She has struggled in reading since she started learning to read and I am guessing the reason she is able to read the R&S reader is because the vocabulary is very controlled and slowly introduces new words giving her time to absorb the new words. How does reading work in ADV?
My eldest dd learned to read using MFW K and MFW 1st grade. The foundation she received through MFW is strong, but still, she struggled with reading throughout 2nd and 3rd grade. So, in both 2nd and 3rd grade, we used reading time for her to read aloud to me. We used many leveled readers (you know, those Step 1, Step 2, etc. books). I looked through the "Reader" books at our library and checked out books that I knew would be at an appropriate level for her. I also collected quite a number of leveled readers in my own collection, knowing that she would read them multiple times, and her younger siblings would read them, too. During her 2nd grade year, reading time consisted of her reading aloud to me from those leveled readers. Repeat readings of a book are good. Sometimes the child will find a book he or she really likes and will want to read it again. That is great! Kids build confidence and fluency by reading over again books with which they are familiar.

For 3rd grade, my dd started with leveled readers, and slowly began to work her way into early chapter books, such as Nate the Great, Flat Stanley, and other short chapter books. It wasn't until 4th grade that she seemed to finally "catch up" and read at grade level. Now, she handles chapter books at her grade/age level with no problem. She is a 5th grader, and she recently finished reading Island of the Blue Dolphins. Currently, she is reading a Betsy-Tacy book. She sometimes reads books that are at her level and sometimes books that are a bit below her reading level, but that's okay.

That whole experience with my eldest dd just showed me that, truly, a child will read when he or she is ready. They all learn and are ready at their own pace. Now, with my 2nd dd, we have used MFW K and we are several weeks into MFW 1st. She reads much better at this age than my older dd did. Her fluency is better, and she catches on to new sounds and words quickly. Each child is different.

During that "learning to read" stage, as others have said, just have your child read, read, read, and read some more to get practice and increase fluency. Ask questions about the book to check for comprehension. But, a "reading" program isn't really needed at this stage of the game. The best thing is just practice in reading.
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Reading practice between K & 1st

Unread post by MelissaB »

Smoakhouse wrote:We are working on lesson 17 in kindergarten right now and really enjoying the animal studies. My son is doing well with the phonics program and reading most CVC words easily. We are working on fluency. I just ordered our first grade program to beat the price increase. Yea! :D Reading about the first program has me thinking about the reading speed in 1st. I want to be sure he is ready to handle it.

-What should I be sure he knows before we start 1st grade?

-Should I purposely be introducing CC blends with short vowel words?

-Should I work on a particular list of sight words?

-Explode the Code I with CVC words has gone with the program very well so far. hould we work on book 2 with CC blends in between?

Thanks for your insights. You are all great!
Hi, Cheri -

We are just finishing up MFW 1st. It does a really great job of reviewing what was learned over the K year, so he shouldn't have any problem "keeping up." By Lesson 17, when long vowel sounds are utilized, he will be much farther along in reading, and developmentally. He should do great. :-)

Like any skill, practice can help maintain and improve reading skills, so you may want to look at the reading list in the back of the MFW K Teacher's Manual to see if there are any books you might enjoy reading together over break. The "E" (Easy reader) section in our library has hundreds of choices. (Our dd really likes the Biscuit books about a puppy dog named Biscuit and his friends. Very quality character books, and fun.)

K was an exciting year in our family, and 1st has been a year of great growth. A really fun time to be teaching! :-)

Hope you have a wonderful rest of the year! -
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4
Cyndi (AZ)
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Finishing 1st grade -- but have weeks more to fill

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

magnet252829 wrote:We are finishing up First Grade next week, but need to keep going until June for various reasons. I integrated SWR into our day when we completed the Blue Notebook, and that works very well for our family (it's my second time around with the SWR program). Just wondering if anyone has had to fill out their year after 1st is over. Basically, since the "history/Bible" component is over at the end of 1st, that's the hole I'm looking to fill. We will DEFINITELY be doing Adventures, but want to start that in the the Fall, not now.

Thanks for your help.
Wow. Interesting question!

I'm just thinking out loud here, even though I should be making chamomile tea for my dd. Can you do a study of Acts? Pick and choose stories to cover and continue with the Bible notebook idea? Go through the early churches and Paul's missionary journeys and his letters? I'm wondering if there's not a kids resource for that out there? It seems like I saw a kids' devotional built around the book of Acts . . .

Now, I do seem to recall an older child in the cycle -- could the 1st grader sit in on enough of that for you to call it "history?"
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