Search Results for Ten Commandments

Long Story Short: The 10 Commandments

We just finished up a great week (plus a few extra days!) on the Ten Commandments.  Even Elijah (3 1/2) worked diligently toward memorizing them, and both boys enjoyed the various activities we did throughout the week in addition to our nightly Bible Time with Long Story Short by Marty Machowski.  We broke out our flannel board set for the first time since our move, and all three kids enjoyed playing with it throughout the week.  I’ve put it on a low table in our schoolroom where they can all reach it, and pretty much every day I caught a glimpse of at least one of them acting out the story with the little felt figures.  (Okay, so Arianna just liked collecting the people and carrying them around, but she’ll get there.)

I really considered buying a 10 Commandments Project Pack from CurrClick, but since I only planned on spending a week on the topic I decided to just stick with activities I could find for free online. has a lot of fun ideas to print (and in our case laminate so I can reuse them with the younger children).  I pretty much stuck with printables from their site so that the wording would be the same on all our activities.  I used the bookmarks as a reading tool.  They print four on a page, so I printed out one set and laminated them.  Every day at lunch time, each of us got one (even Arianna) and we read through them together.  We worked on memorizing two commandments each day.

I also printed out the sequencing cards and number cards for a matching activity.  (There’s a typo on “adultery,” but I just used a black marker to fix it.) The boys really liked using our pocket chart to have the cards all out in front of them.  We just worked on putting them in order and matching the pictures with the written commandments, but they’d also be great for playing a memory matching game.

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The last thing I printed out was the file folder game.  The game board has typos on “misuse” and “adultery”, but it was pretty simple to fix them by opening the image in Paint, cutting and pasting the letters into the correct places, then copying the corrected image into Word.  (I also found a second game  from The Catholic Toolbox, but I’m saving that one for when my kids are a bit older.)  Next time maybe I’ll plan ahead more and use some of the activities from Oriental Trading Company related to the ten commandments.

After several months’ hiatus, we finally added a page to the boys’ Bible notebooks.  I looked for a new idea, but I just couldn’t find anything I liked as much as the one I did with Ian two years ago (see my post “Train Up a Child (10 Commandments pt.2)) so we just did it again.  I forgot Elijah’s not a big fan of finger painting, however, so we barely got this one out of him.  He does really like numbers and putting things in order, so after the first day he enjoyed pasting on the commandments.

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Each day we watched one of the episodes from the Kids’ Ten Commandments DVDs.  (There are five episodes, each covering two commandments, so it worked perfectly with our schedule.)  The boys REALLY liked these videos.  They do a wonderful job illustrating each of the commandments through a story about a young Israelite boy living in the desert.  Highly recommended!

Our “Listening Lesson”

Train up a Child (10 Commandments Pt.2)

This week we did ABC Jesus Loves Me Week 10 on the Ten Commandments.  (We skipped Week 9, which was a review, since we’re really just focusing on the Bible part of the curriculum.)  It seems like we had more discipline issues than normal this week, so we found lots of opportunities for talking about various commandments.  I decided not to do a specific “memory verse” this week because I cared more about Ian becoming familiar with all the commandments, but “Honor your father and your mother,” (which was the suggested verse) did come up a lot over the last few days!

In keeping with my objective of building familiarity with all the commandments, our Bible Notebook work centered around short summaries of each one.  I really like the website (and its sister sites).  Momma C from ABC Jesus Loves Me sent us there to find a few different ideas for activities.  I had trouble making up my mind, so I ended up choosing two (a little reinforcement never hurt anyone!)

First we did this 10 Commandments train craft.  I wanted to put them all on one page, so I shrank the images down.  Ian’s not very into coloring, but he paid close attention as I talked about each commandment and added it to the train.  (In case the “Thomas” jammies didn’t give it away, he LOVES trains!)  The engine has Proverbs 22:6 on it: “Train up a child in the way he should go.  And when he is old he will not depart from it.”  I loved this idea!

For some reason I don’t think we’ve ever talked about the fact that we have ten fingers.  (How did I miss this???)  So I thought I’d work on associating 10 fingers with 10 commandments.  I got out Ian’s fingerpaint set and just let him have fun.  Once his hands were covered, I helped him make handprints.We’ve been trying to work on numerals and counting, so I printed up these 10 commandments cards.  The cards were meant to be full page images to use on a bulletin board, but like the train cars, I shrank them down so we could put them all on one page.  Again, we talked through each commandment (and number) as we glued the cards on.  (Ian and I both liked the little pictures that went along with each one.  He spent a long time looking at each one and wanted to read through the whole page several times.)

I put together an iPod playlist for the first time in a couple weeks, and it was really nice to have something to listen to that went along with our story.  Here’s what we played throughout the week:

Once again, I intended to do a Before Five in a Row book, but I just didn’t get to it other than one read through.  I’m trying to give myself grace.  After all, I’m battling the nausea and fatigue of the first trimester, so my life is all about priorities right now.  Ian’s only three.  As long as we do our Bible lesson, I’ll consider myself on top of things!  🙂

A little treasure (10 Commandments, part 1)

Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.  Proverbs 119:11 (NASB)

My number one goal in raising my children is to “make disciples.”  To accomplish this, I think the most important thing I can do while they’re little (aside from letting them see my own walk with God) is to build a foundation of knowing God’s Word, both stories and memory verses.  Hence the beginning of our homeschool journey.  Ian’s been enjoying our Bible story time each week, and he seems to be remembering the verses we’ve done, but I wasn’t sure until this morning. We had a sweet moment that showed me he really is understanding what I’m trying to share with him.

This week we’re learning about the Ten Commandments.  Yesterday at church I came across a little board book called The Story of the Ten Commandments that provided a good introduction for us.  (I’ve read a couple of books in this series.  For the most part I like them, but many of them talk about “school.”  Since I’m not planning to send my kids to school, I don’t want to confuse them or create an image in their minds of this wonderful place they won’t get to see.  So I edited the book a little as we read it, since following rules at school isn’t really an essential part of understanding the 10 Commandments).  Anyway…

This morning I got our flannel board set and let Ian and Elijah play with the pieces for the week as I reviewed the story we talked about yesterday.  When I got to the part about God meeting the people at Mt. Sinai, I told them the Israelites were very scared. (“So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.” Exodus 19:16)  Ian made all the people hide under the mountain and told me, “Sing ‘Keep me safe, my God…’,” which had been our memory verse during the week we talked about Noah’s ark.  I had chosen that verse, Psalm 16:1 “Keep me safe my God, for in you I take refuge,” because I figured a three-year old could relate to being scared, as Noah and his family must surely have felt.  I wanted him to have a verse in his heart that would comfort him in such moments.  I LOVE that he thought of it when I talked about the people being scared.

Okay, so the Israelites didn’t really hide under the mountain.  We’ll work on the details of the story throughout the week.  What’s important to me right now is that he’s applying what he’s already learned.  I loved those moments as a teacher, and it’s one of the main reasons I looked forward to homeschooling my own children.  I just love it when they “get” it!

Index of Bible lessons

Here’s a list of posts about the Bible lessons we’ve done.  The titles in the first column from our first time through the Bible, when Ian was three, turning four.  The indented bold ones are from our second time through (what we’re currently doing using Long Story Short by Marty Machowski), starting when he was four and a half and Elijah was two and a half:

Once Ian started Kindergarten, we needed a routine that fit well into our school schedule.  I described what a week of Bible lessons looked like in my post “One Year Into Long Story Short.”  At that point I stopped posting regularly about our Bible lessons because we pretty much just followed that plan every week.  Unless that changes, I’ll probably only be posting when I come across something really helpful that I want to remember with regards to a particular Bible story.

A Pair of Red Clogs

We had a fun week of learning as we rowed A Pair of Red Clogs by Masaka Matsuno.  I chose it because we’ve been reading The Japanese Twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins, which Ian has really enjoyed, though I’ve had some reservations. (See my notes at the end of this post.)*

In keeping with one of the themes in the book, we spent quite a bit of time discussing honesty.  We read The Value of Honesty: The Story of Confucius by Spencer Johnson, as well as a poem called “The Boy Who Never Told a Lie” from The Book of Virtues (p.601) by William J. Bennett.  Our Bible memory verse for the week was Proverbs 12:22.  “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.”


We discussed several of the lessons in the Five in a Row manual Vol. 1 throughout the week, and for the first time, we attempted the art lesson.  Art has not been one of Ian’s strengths, and I’ve held off on even attempting any of the lessons because he struggled even with basic coloring and drawing.  However, I have intentionally made art instruction a part of our Kindergarten “curriculum” this year, and on the weeks that we include a FIAR book, I want to try to do the art lessons.  The one for A Pair of Red Clogs was pretty simple, and Ian and I were both quite pleased with the way his picture turned out.


We spent a lot of time this week learning about Japan.  Both boys enjoyed playing a memory matching game using the continent cards  I made from part of the Grandfather’s Journey lapbook on HomeSchoolShare.  (Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say, also set in Japan, is another book used in FIAR Vol. 1P1010595but Ian was really resistant to the story for some reason, and I didn’t want to push a book he wasn’t interested in.  He did, however, enjoy reading Tree of Cranes, also by Allen Say.  I made an origami crane and all three kids were fascinated by it.)  The boys also put together our GeoPuzzle of Asia. (I bought the complete set last year when they were on sale at, but it’s the first time we’ve gotten one out.) We watched Big Bird in Japan on YouTube, and then later in the week we watched two episodes of 19 Kids and Counting: Duggars Do Asia.  Both boys really enjoyed watching the Duggars explore Tokyo (available free on iTunes under Volume 8) and Kyoto.  These shows provided a fascinating look at some of the unique aspects of Japanese culture.

They also reminded me of our international coin collection, and P1010569I went digging through the coins to see if I could find some Japanese yen (which I identified with help from Wikipedia).  All three kids LOVE playing with coins, and we were able to look at how the numbers are the same as our numbers whereas the characters are very different from our letters.  I used that as an opportunity to go to a website that translates your name into Japanese katakana characters.  Ian thought it was so interesting, we ended up looking up the names of everyone in our family, our cousins, and the neighbors.

The one thing we didn’t do that I had wanted to was a science activity about making rain that I found on another blog.  Maybe someday we’ll get around to this one, because I think it’s a great way of teaching about the water cycle.  Still, we had a pretty full week, and everyone learned a lot and had fun doing it, so I’d say it was a successful row!

The Japanese Twins depicts the traditional Japanese view of women and girls.  I was pretty uncomfortable reading the chapter where the father tells the little girl she must obey her baby brother and tells her to bow down while he puts the baby’s foot on her neck to show his authority over her.  It gave us an opportunity for discussion, I suppose, as did the chapter where they went to the temple and worshiped a goddess.  When I started to ask Ian about that one, he pretty much led the discussion.  Having just studied the 10 Commandments, he had a frame of reference, so it wasn’t a big deal.

To see what other FIAR books we’ve rowed, see my “Index of FIAR Posts.”  Also, a great place to see what other people have done with FIAR books is the FIAR Blog Roll at Delightful Learning.

Long Story Short: Abram and God’s Promise

In my women’s Bible study group at church this week we were talking about how the early church had to wrestle with the concept of including Gentiles into the people of God after so many years years of following the commandments of God’s Law which kept Israel so different from the other nations.  I immediately flashed back to what we had read the night before with our family in Long Story Short by Marty Machowski.  God told Abraham, “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).  That promise was made about two thousand years before the early church.  Throughout those two millenia, God had been laying the foundation through his interaction with Abraham’s descendants, preparing the way for the Christ who would open the way for all of us to return to the blessing of relationship with God.  The 1st century Jews knew the promise; they’d heard God’s reminders through the years about making them a light to the nations, yet when the time of fulfillment came, many struggled with knowing what exactly that should look like.  How hard it can be for us in our finite little minds to grasp where our situation falls in the big picture of God’s plan.

That’s one of my favorite things about using this devotional.  It helps me remember that the story of God promising to make Abram a great nation is about so much more than the life of a man who lived four thousand years ago.  It is part of MY story.  I’m not even part of Abraham’s family line, and yet I am blessed because of God’s promise and Abraham’s faith.  What seems like such a long story as you read through the Bible really is quite short when you get right down to it.

As far as lessons, we didn’t do a whole lot this week aside from reading the five devotions and the corresponding story from The Gospel Story Bible.  For one thing, we’re still settling into our fall activities and I haven’t yet found my “groove.”  For another thing, we’re going to be spending more than a month on Abraham, and most of the extra activities I’ve seen go long with other parts of the story. (We also were enjoying diving into our October composer study, starting a math program, and “rowing” and our Five in a Row book, so we kept plenty busy!) We did work on a memory verse (By faith he went to live in the land of promise.” Hebrews 11:9), but other than that we took it easy and may continue to do so for another week, just doing Bible time each night and our “listening lesson” during the day.  Here’s what was on our playlist this past week:

The Good Samaritan

Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37 is such a beautiful (and rather convicting) picture of compassion.  It was also our Bible story for the ABC Jesus Loves Me 3-Year Old Curriculum Week 27.  Once again, I chose a different memory verse (mostly because we just did the suggested verse with a different story).  So we memorized, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  I didn’t include a reference because this phrase is found several times throughout the Bible (in Leviticus, 3 gospels, and even a few of the epistles).  In other words, this is a really important concept for us to grasp!

To be honest, I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water this week.  Our calendar suddenly got crazy last week, and between multiple birthday celebrations, multiple doctors’ and dentists’ appointments, a marriage seminar this weekend, and a few other “extras” this week, I’m surprised we did anything at all!  (And I’m considering taking next week off, since I’m writing this Sunday night and haven’t even started getting things ready for the next lesson.)

Here’s what we did manage to do this week.  We read the story from Ian’s ESV Seek and Find Bible and acted it out with our flannel board set.  I printed out a hidden picture puzzle and maze for Ian’s “workbook.”  We watched two videos: The Good Samaritan from Nest Family Entertainment and Veggie Tales: Are You My Neighbor? (available streaming on Netflix).  And we listened to our playlist quite a bit as we drove around town: