I’m flabbergasted by how freely generous God is to me! So I’m excited to post a few things here and there to hopefully help you love well in engaging, creative ways. Have at it.
I ask you to respect my copyright–and if you would, please link back to my blog when you share these with others.
First, if you’re interested in my FREE EBOOK, Where Have I Come From and Where am I Going? Discussion Questions to Better Understand Your Family’s Subculture, simply subscribe to A Generous Grace using this form:
And below are the rest of the free downloads. Enjoy!
First, the latest: I’ve written a lot lately about spiritual disciplines for real families (check out the series here for lots of practical ideas).
Because I want this in my own family, I spent a bit of last Saturday scouring Pinterest for some Scripture memory cards (they’re great for wallets and pockets, but great scotch-taped inside the medicine cabinet and the cupboard, too, or even dropped in a lunchbox). It’s harder for me to find Scripture memory cards where you don’t have to subscribe to a site. So today, a few pretty watercolor Scripture memory cards for you from Colossians 3:1-6, 12-17.
Speaking of a generous grace, I owe these lovely free watercolor graphics to Angie Makes. Her work is incredible!
Then, from my post on Spiritual Disciplines for Real Families: Fun Ways to Study God’s Word. Completely free for personal, church, and other use: printable sermon notetaking pages for kids—“My Personal Treasure Map for Today’s Sermon.” They’re divided roughly by age:
- Sermon notetaking pages for kids 11-12
- Sermon notetaking pages for kids 8-10
- Sermon notetaking pages for kids 5-7
Also, from my post on Spiritual Disciplines for Real Families: Fun Ways to Study God’s Word—FREE printable prayer and Bible journaling pages for kids (perhaps ages 8-14)! (Feel free to share these! If you would, please link back to my blog, and respect my copyright. Thanks!)
This quotable (from this post) is from Frank Laubach (1884-1970), missionary to the Philippines. Laubach is estimated to have been responsible for teaching half of the 90,000 people in his area to read and write, and to have reached out to the Mohammedan Moros, who regarded the Christian Filipinos as enemies. Laubach wrote in the new year of 1930,
It is exactly that “moment by moment” every waking moment, surrender, responsiveness, obedience, sensitiveness, pliability, “lost in His love,” that I now have the mind-bent to explore with all my might. It means two burning passions: First, to be like Jesus. Second, to respond to God as a violin responds to the bow of the Master.* (emphasis added)
I’m including a free chalkboard printable of this last portion, in hopes that our lives will reflect that sort of staggering beauty from His hand.
From my post on 11+ Low-prep Ideas to occupy kids on Christmas break: For younger kids, here’s a simple printable thank-you note (help them circle the adjectives they want)! Print it FREE here.
Next, from Deeper: 12 (Printable) Journaling Ideas for a Christmas of the Soul, I’ve made it printable for you to stuff in the cover of your journal, or to distribute in small groups and churches.
Then, from my recent post on 10 Prayer Tools and Printables for Families. I’ll just place the new printables here; scroll down or click on the post for earlier prayer-related tools.
- The Prayer of Examen. This printable poster makes it easy for kids to learn to pray through their day with God. (If you’re new to this prayer, don’t let the name intimidate you! Here’s an introduction to this ancient, traditional, contemplative prayer.)13 Easy-peasy Breath Prayers. If you’re not familiar with breath prayers—as this poster mentions, these are prayers you can pray in a single breath, repeating if you like as you inhale and exhale. I love how this communicates to kids the ease and constancy of prayer. (You can even make your own!)A printable feelings wheel. Stay with me here—as we come to God…sometimes a tool like this is helpful to narrow down where we’re at, and how we’re coming to God from our day. It helps us to bring our day to God, rather than pray around the elephant in the room (whether its head is bowed or not).
Then, from Spiritual Disciplines for Real Families: 10 Practical Ways to Teach Prayer, Try the five-finger prayer method. Each finger can remind even little kids about how Jesus taught us to pray (print this poster for FREE here!).
Make your own deck of prayer prompts to pass out at dinner, after breakfast, or at bedtime; think of it as “prayer roulette.” If you’d like, print this three-page FREE PRINTABLE PRAYER DECK (try paper that’s a bit jazzy on the other side) and laminate them for longer use.
Next, this free, printable 5-page “Cheat Sheet” to the 5 Love Languages: Twenty practical, innovative ideas per love language: words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, physical touch, and quality time. (If you’re not sure which of the love languages your spouse, kids, and friends “speak”, try this quiz.) Print them all, or only the love languages you need.
A free chalkboard printable of this anchoring truth:
The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.
6 ways to pray for your kids (and yourself) when you actually want to tear your hair out (with FREE printable!)
Then–so many of you resonated with my struggle with anger and the ideas I’d collected for this post. In an effort to keep pressing in to the destruction I cause in my lack of control, I put together this “fridge art”-style poster of “angry” reminders–to hang up inside a cupboard, perhaps, or tape beside the bathroom mirror. (I hope to put mine where my kids can see it–so they can learn, too, but also hold me accountable.) Enjoy–and if you like it, please share it!
One of my faves: a free printable of 31 Scriptures to Pray for Your Kids!
I’m excited to share this free printable for educators: A printable speech/oral presentation evaluation for self, peers, and even teachers! It’s roughly appropriate for grades 2-6, complete with Lego minifigure clip art. There are two per page. I laminate these for reuse with dry- or wet-erase markers.
Printables to help gain control of screen time: screen time bucks and editable good job charts!
For parents, teachers, and libraries, I’ve got a free printable with 32 different ideas to make the most of reading with children!
For parents, Bible study groups, and even churches, click here for a free printable list of 12 Ways to Pray for Your Child’s Teachers.
Then, enjoy this free 39-page book of famous quotes (with lots of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien), prayers, and Scriptures for later elementary-level cursive handwriting copywork (via Google Docs, or use Scribd by clicking below).
Next: remember Book It! from elementary school? I created an uber-basic document–a “reading race”–after which my kids get a small bonus for every five books at their level (confession: It’s candy. Hey, less calories than pizza…) and a small prize after forty books (like a $5 Amazon card, a small Lego set, or a movie night with Dad). DOWNLOAD IT FREE HERE: THE GREAT READING RACE .
And for homeschoolers:
10 Ways to Save on Homeschooling This Year
It would be nice if “Pomp and Circumstance” had time to die down before planning for next year…but I know some of you are already paging through catalogs and websites to find just the right materials for next year. Maybe these ideas can save you a little chunk o’ change without adding a lot of effort.
- Purchase used books on sites like betterworldbooks.com (my new favorite! They donate a book for every one you buy, and they ship around the world for free!), abebooks.com, Amazon, Book Depository, and ebay. This is particularly true for photocopiable books. Your kids won’t know the difference—and by purchasing used, I at times pay an amazingly small fraction of the price. Though I personally haven’t found success yet on homeschooling classified ad sites, friends of mine have found great deals. I’ve also found great deals on new resources at rainbowresource.com and deepershopping.com.
- Use reading lists from Sonlight.com or Justin Taylor’s classical reading lists on thegospelcoalition.org to create your own literature-based reading. Check them out from your library—and don’t forget your library’s website for ebooks. Sites like this, this, and this provide graphic organizers to show what your kids are learning, and books like Better Than Book Reports and The Creative Teacher provide fun, alternative methods to book reports. Some widely-read books even have free worksheets created by teachers available online, which you can find by Googling the book title and “activities” or “worksheets”.
- Go in with a friend to purchase materials you share. You might also be able to qualify for free shipping or quantity discounts on purchases together. I’ve gone in with friends to purchase a membership to Reading A-Z, which offers a tremendously motivating online reading program that covers the breadth of common core topics, with leveled reading that met every one of my kids’ reading comprehension needs last year. Between the five of us, it cost $20 each! The kids loved building their individual online rockets with the rewards gained from the quizzes and books.
- Develop a low-maintenance co-op with a friend. Is there a high-prep subject you could swap talents on? One of my favorite co-ops was on Friday afternoons: She did the science experiment, I taught the art project, and then our kids played together and we could look forward to a cup of coffee on my back porch. We lightened our prep, lightened our costs (less curriculum, less materials), and looked forward to the end of the week.
- Check out sites that offer inexpensive or free alternatives to the skills you’re learning. We like BBC’s free, fun Dance Mat Typing. IXL offers great math practice and test prep. We’re also trying out Ouino Spanish this year (also available in French and Italian), which is cheaper and better rated than Rosetta Stone! Spelling City offers spelling practice where you can enter your own lists to play fun online games. Check out other great online games here.
- For handwriting, consider laminating your book’s pages for repeated use. (And don’t miss the FREE, 39-page cursive handwriting book for middle grades here!) My kids love this series.
- Swap board games, file folder games, centers, manipulatives, etc. with a friend. Your kids will maintain interest as well as mastering new skills—for free.
- To pump up your curriculum—and maintain recall and enthusiasm—with games, get a lot for a little! Consider laminating the single- or double-paged board games from books like this and this, and Mailbox’s Mix & Match games—and using the math card games found in this free book and this free book.
- There are so many free resources online to beef up your history curriculum. Since we’ve chosen Story of the World—which I can’t recommend highly enough, particularly with its Activity Book (which includes Student pages)—I like these printable timeline figures, which we string out on a clothesline on our school room wall year after year. The author, Tending Our Lord’s Garden, also graciously includes notebooking pages. And for those of you who can’t get enough lapbooking or notebooking, make sure you check out Homeschool Share, which carries free lapbooks on Animals, Character, Literature—you name it.
- Are any of your textbooks available as audiobooks? Apologia and Susan Wise Bauer are only two of the companies with some of their titles on Audible.com, which means—after the awesome free trial!—you can subscribe for $14.95 per month and get a new title each month, then cancel your subscription when you’ve got the books you need. Because I already spend plenty of time reading to my kids, this means I get to simply press “play” on this one, and go attack that monster pile of laundry or drink my coffee while it’s lukewarm rather than cold. So it’s a timesaver, too.