Posted in Spirited Blessings

Home School On a Dime: Monday’s Ten Black Dots and Thankful Turkey

Week 12 of the ABC Jesus Loves Me Curriculum was supposed to involve The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carl as the book of the week. I love the many options I found online for this book and all of the printable materials that are available for free online. I was very excited to start on this unit until I saw that The Very Hungry Caterpillar was cancelled from my last book order online. I will definitely have to make up for this classic book at a later date, but for this week’s lesson I decided to do a book we already owned.
Blueberry Ball is on the number ten already this week, so I decided to choose a book I remember well from my childhood. He already had Ten Black Dots on his bookshelf, and I figured dots would be easy enough to find or to fudge. I also wanted to use this week to review a little bit. I don’t hold our review weeks on a  schedule like ABCJLM. We usually have reviews when I feel that I need a new assessment of Blue’s retention of concepts. Well, it feels like about that time! And I’d love to get an assessment before we take our Thanksgiving break. It will give me more time to plan.

I do, however, like the ABCJLM Curriculum’s Objective Pre/Post Checklist. It is designed to be a pre and post year objective checklist, but I like to use it every few months to give myself a visual reminder of Blue’s needs. I mark it front and back to add anything that is in our personal goal list as well, and to cover material such as memory verses that aren’t applied to the Original Checklist. I will show you more on this and how to make the checklist fun later into the week.

We started Monday off as usual. Introduction to new ideas first. So, what was in this Monday‘s Backpack?

We started our morning with a Bible line-up on the coffee table. This line up included: the Bible along with his new memory verse, Compassionate Characters, an “I am thankful turkey”, and his “God Chooses Gideon” coloring sheet from this week’s lesson.


He refused to read his Bible with me, so I had him color his “God Chooses Gideon”picture while I retold the story of Gideon and his wool in my own words. We actually read the story from the Bible before bed that night. I turned the coloring page into a color-by-number. I do these occasionally for several reasons:

  • It helps at times when Blue seems bored with coloring. His pictures would be scribbled with no distinction between lines in the drawing and usually he would resort to using one color with big, random strokes. When this starts to happen, the color-by-numbers encourage him to be more purposed with his markers and color certain objects in the picture certain colors.
  • It helps with number and/or letter recognition and visual perception. I’ve turned his coloring sheets into color-by-numbers and color-by-letters. I’ve placed letters with similar formations together (such as N,M,W,V,Y or  S ,8, and 5), I’ve done the letters in his name for recognition practice, I’ve even picked letters I know he hasn’t covered so far in the letters of the week for easy assessments; the possibilities are endless. You could even do shapes or color samples for children who still need work in those areas.
  • It works Blue’s logic and reasoning skills.” The grass is green, the sky is blue, the jacket can be orange, how many fives are there?, how many blue items should there be? What’s the visual difference between S and 8? ” These are all things I have witnessed him reasoning out from the details of the worksheet all on his own!

Sometimes Blue colors the whole shape, and sometimes he colors only the numbers, so I place lots of numbers per area. Either way he chooses is fine. They both hone in on very important skills.

Then we read the new Memory Verse Card together. He liked the way the card looked this week. He thought the knight in shining armor looked funny. I read the verse in small sections and he copied what I said.

Then, we did his “I am thankful turkey”. I don’t know who’s idea this was originally, but I’ve seen numerous versions of these on the web. The idea is that each day he puts at least one feather on with whatever he is thankful for written on it. I printed the head, feet, and feathers from a free printable Toilet Paper Tube Turkey Craft and used these as a template to make bigger ones out of construction paper. I then cut a big round shape from a brown paper grocery sack for the turkey’s body. I glued on the head and feet and wrote the words: “Blue Is Thankful” across the bottom of the turkey. I should have done, “Blue is thankful for”, but I ran out of room down there so the “fors” are going on the feathers themselves.


I loved his ‘thankful fors’ today! He said that he was thankful for kids coming to play (his friends), for God, and for when grown ups come and stay over (grown-up visitors). I probably should have written something like extended family, because he was really talking about his grandma and aunts and uncle. Aaaaaw. A child’s heart to mouth translations can stick out in your mind for a while.

I intend on doing our “thankful turkey” each school day until Thanksgiving. He should be pretty fanned out at this rate!

Then Blue did the Tactile number “10” with the chant. I started adding the chants to the front of the cards so that I could keep them straight. It’s pretty convenient this way.


We followed this with his Number Poster while I read Ten Black Dots. The dot stickers he likes so much were the perfect item to go with our ten black dots theme.



Then he did his Tactile “H” letters with his chants. and the Letter of the Week craft. “H is for hole”. I liked this idea! He got to try out a hand-held hole-punch for the very first time and he enjoyed it. It seemed too hard for him at first, but he was persistent and made it happen. I could tell it was really working his hand muscles! I added a dot sticker to his start and stop points so that he could have fun doing his “red light, green light” at the same time. I found this idea and many more fun ideas for the letter “H” at ABCJLM.


Then Blue did dot to dots.This was the first time he really understood how to do a dot to dot. It was pretty lucky that they were being introduced at ABCJLM the same week we happened to be reading Ten Black Dots! I showed him how with the diamond shape first and he did the star all on his own. Not bad, huh?


Last, was his name activity. I think it was his favorite thing to do today. I know I did the same activity last week, but his grandma just made it ten times more fun! She just got back from visiting the mainland and brought gifts with her. One of them was a Giant Melissa and Dough alphabet sticker set. He was very excited about the set, so I did the same thing this Monday as last week. I wrote his name on a sheet of paper and had him copy them with stickers. It was a lot more time consuming with all of those stickers to choose from, but he liked the activity so much that he wanted to do it again, so I turned the paper over and wrote his name on the back for a round two!


After our school day was over, I introduced Blue to his new lacing cards! More fun on that to come! 🙂

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My family and I have made a decision to dedicate our lives to serve the Lord. We've started a seaborne, nonprofit Mission organization that is aimed at bringing the gospel and disaster relief to otherwise hard to reach areas. Follow us as we grow together in Him through our average day to day experiences. See how we make a family of five work aboard a small sailboat, follow us in the travels, projects, and experiences of day to day life as we share our calling with those we love.

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