“We absolutely love the Uncle Rick audios! My three youngest listen to them at bedtime many nights a week. I love his gentle reading voice as well as explanations along the way. What a terrific way for my children to hide God’s Word in their hearts!” Happy Listeners
Rick and Marilyn Boyer are true pioneers of the home education movement. They began teaching the eldest of their fourteen children at home in 1980 and are still actively home schooling their three youngest children today.
Rick and Marilyn have authored several books on home education and Christian parenthood and have spoken at conferences all across America and in several foreign countries. Their books have been translated into a number of foreign languages and have circulated around the world. Their ministry, Character Concepts, encourages parents through the resources they publish, their speaking ministry, this website, regular newsletters, and their articles, which have been published in several leading homeschooling magazines.
Marilyn is always appreciated for her keen and warmhearted insights into parenting while Rick, with his humorous, folksy style has been called “the Will Rogers of the homeschooling movement.”
CharacterConcepts.com grew out of the day-to-day life of Rick and Marilyn Boyer. The Boyers wanted their fourteen children to have fun-to-use, Bible-based character training materials but couldn’t find an organized character curriculum. So they designed fun projects to teach character lessons from Scripture. As time went on, they began to combine their ideas into an age-appropriate curriculum so that other parents could have the benefit of their experience. Now, the Character Concepts Curriculum and the Boyers’ large selection of parenting and home schooling books and recordings give parents the hands-on tools to train up “kids of character!”
Looking for some fun activities to do in autumn with your kids? I had a couple of the grandkids over last week and here’s what we did. These are perfect for even preschoolers- short enough to hold their attention and easy enough that they can handle the skills.
Lion pictures with autumn leaves
First of all, we made lion pictures with autumn leaves. Here is the link we used to download the lion’s face. Instead of using real leaves, I used color copies of leaves we had collected. They are easier for little people to handle than the real thing and oh so pretty!
Directions are easy peasy. First, the kids colored the lion faces while I cut the leaves out. Then I got out glue sticks and showed the kids how to turn leaves upside down and cover with glue. I glued the lion face to the middle of the paper but at first just placed glue in the middle of the face so we could tuck the colored leaves under his face to create a mane. The kiddos learned to glue each leaf and tuck under the face to create his mane.
2. Acorn cookies
This was a fun, simple, and yummy project. Here is a picture of the ingredients needed:
I had the kids unwrap the Hershey kisses while I melted some chocolate chips in the microwave. Then I showed them how to dip each kiss in the melted chocolate and attach to one of the nutter butter cookies. That’s it! If desired you can dip a mini chip in the melted chocolate and attach it to the top of the cookie. I chose not to, because of the skill level of the preschoolers, but older kids could manage.
3. Painting Pumpkins
Then we took a trip to the neighborhood fruit stand and the kids each picked out a pumpkin. They got a ride in the little wagon with their pumpkins
Then we brought the pumpkins home and I let the kids paint them with washable paints.
4. Rice Krispie Pumpkins
Our last project for the day was making Rice Krispie pumpkins. I had picked up some orange food coloring.
3 tbsp butter
10 oz package mini marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispie cereal
In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and orange food coloring and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
Add RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.
Form into round pumpkin shapes and place them on a cookie sheet. I let the kids unwrap tootsie rolls and I cut them in half. Push the tootsie roll (stem) into the top of the pumpkin and voila, there you have it. The kids took all their treasures home to share with their brothers and sisters. It was a fun day. Hope it makes your fall more pleasurable too!Enjoy these fun activities to do in autumn with your family!
When my kids were young, I liked to try to do some fun things that weren’t a part of our normal school year- to make summer days more fun. These are simple, inexpensive or free ideas that really just let kids be kids. There’s no need to get fancy or expensive. Kids’ imaginations are the best toy, when encouraged to be used, and simple fun is usually the most fun!
So- before summer bids farewell for another year, here are some simple, yet fun ideas you can enjoy with your kids.
In raising our 14 kids I can’t say we’ve always been consistent in family devotion times with the kids. It actually got much harder as the kids got older and had so many out of the home commitments. But before we got to that stage, we had fairly consistent family Bible times.
In the next couple of posts I plan to share some of the things we did that proved successful but not overwhelming to accomplish, as well as some of the resources we developed that can be picked up and used without prep time on Dad or Mom’s part. Rick was a dad who had a physically intensive job so he would come home very tired and not at his creative best, so something that did not require a lot of preparation was important for that reason. Perhaps you find yourself in a similar situation.
Family Devotions don’t have to be in-depth, or extremely time-consuming. They don’t have to follow a particular formula, and you don’t have to have visuals and activities planned out to accompany your time together in order to “make it work”. What is important, really, is that you try to set aside some time to simply lead your family in listening to God’s word and discussing it together. If you want to do more, great! But, if you cannot- don’t lose heart! Do what you can. Little is MUCH when God is in it!
Here are Easy Ideas and Resources for Family Devotions:
How can you instill the practice of studying God’s Word into your children? Well, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. But, let me share with you what we did with our own children….
From the time our children were babes in the bassinet, we played Bible audios for them at sleep times. It would be a comfort to them and help them to settle down to turn on their Bible CD’s. Pretty early on, Rick recorded audios for them and explained difficult words and meanings to them which was actually teaching them how to meditate on God’s Word. This also served to show the kids that God’s Word was practical and interesting to listen to.
We read Bible stories to our little people and had a Friday night Bible quiz each week asking questions from our reading during the week. We would reward them for answering questions, and it encouraged them to be attentive during reading times- to want to “pay attention on purpose.”
Preschool is one of my favorite ages to teach. The love of learning is so strong. Everything is so exciting and fun for this age. With my own preschoolers, my goal was to be sure not to squelch but enhance that God-given love of learning. These tips for teaching preschoolers is from personal experience.
I do believe a schedule benefits children by building in them a sense of security. For this reason, I scheduled times to work with my preschoolers so they knew what to expect and what was expected of them.
Tips for Teaching Preschoolers:
1. Keeping Preschoolers Occupied
I found early on that to a large degree, my success in home schooling many ages at one time was dependent on how I managed my preschoolers. Preschool children have the potential of being a major distraction to the learning environment and must be handled wisely.
Family devotion time doesn’t need to be complicated. I remember little Matt when he was about 3 or 4; he would get his pillow and stretch out on his back underneath the coffee table every night with his feet up in the air touching the bottom of the tabletop. We never let our kids disrupt family time by running around being loud, but expected them to listen quietly. Matt, listening quietly, would fall asleep every time! Sweet memories. It’s okay. They’ll pick up a whole lot more than you think even if it appears that they aren’t being really attentive.
So, continuing with suggestions for easy Family Bible Times, let me share with you several more ways we spent time together as a family learning about God. (Miss Part 1? Read it here)
I LOVE summer! I love having more time to do fun things with the kids- used to be my own home-schooled kids, now it’s my homeschooled grandkids!
Here’s a super fun project I just did with my son Nate’s kids this week. I bought a pack of fabric paints and some tee-shirts at Michael’s craft store. To assure that the paint wouldn’t bleed through to the back side of the shirts, I inserted a big book into each tee shirt.
*Book/magazine/cardboard to go in between the shirts
Hand Print Art Is A Perfect Activity
The kids chose which colors they wanted to use and how to decorate their own shirt. With Ella and Lynn, I painted their hands with white fabric paint. You pretty much have to cover their hand with a thick coat. Then carefully, hold their hand and place it on the shirt. Wash that hand up and repeat with the other hand.
Then I let each child write their name with color of their choice and add decorations like flowers, hearts, whatever they chose to make. Using Fabric Paint pens for their name is a very special way to make the shirts unique to each child.
When my kids were little sometimes I added the meaning of their name as well.
The finished projects looked so cute and the kids were really proud of what they had accomplished.
(BTW, a great idea for Father’s Day is to get a tee shirt for Dad, paint each child’s hand or foot and make a print on Dad’s shirt. Using a tube of fabric paint, write the child’s name and date below their print. Rick wore his shirt for years! It’s a fun personalized gift! )