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Free Holy Week Study: Walking With Jesus His Final Days

As Easter approaches, I am starting to get ready to celebrate the most significant holdiay on the Christian calendar with my children. The final days of Jesus leading from the triumphal entry to the crucifixion tell us so much about the God we serve and how it is we come to salvation. I think it is too important to just slip somewhere in between the other activities of the season. I like to slow it down a little and focus on what each step of what that week looked like. My favorite way to do this is with a little “walk” alongside Jesus his final days. We set up a small garden on the table and add the elements each day as we talk about Jesus’ last days. The hands on activities draw even my youngest children in and the ability to continue to play with the pieces throughout the week help reinforce what we have talked about.

Free unit for holy week

Unfortunately, the planter we have used in the past broke. We are going to set another one up, but we are a hopelessly last minute family. The first time I shared this study, I shared it the day after Palm Sunday which doesn’t give anyone any time to prepare. The number of people arriving here looking for that post, however, tells me that there are some people in the world that prepare things like this BEFORE the holiday starts.

In case that describes you, as well, I thought I better share this now rather than waiting until we have our garden put together! If you want to see how ours progresses, you can peek over at my facebook page. It’s all about lambing at the moment, but I suppose that is rather relevant to the coming Passover season as well. I’ll share pictures of our planter as the children build it and I’d love to see yours if you decide to do this along with us!

I hope you enjoy Walking With Jesus His Final Days. If you find it helpful, please share this link! The more successful these kinds of projects are, the more often I will put them together! This one does not require subscribing to my newsletter, but if you would like to make sure you don’t miss any other offers, you can subscribe to my newsletter or to just be notified of offers when they are available.

I hope you enjoy this little walk through Jesus’ final days!

Free Poetry Unit for Elementary Students

Blow bubbles, eat gummy bears and write poetry. What better way to introduce young children to this often underappreciated art form?

free homeschool poetry


I have been teaching my own children about poetry with these lessons for several years and have even taught it at our homeschool co-op. I enjoy it because the lessons are engaging and active and only require students to sit still in short bursts. It introduces poetry from several well-known authors like Emily Dickenson, Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Frost. Children go outside, blow bubbles and imagine themselves as a stegosaurus. In other words, they simply play with a litte bit of purpose. Then they come back to share their discoveries while you write down their ideas, help them organize it and add a line yourself to help tie their masterpiece together.

And what poetry unit is complete without a poetry journal? I make these beautiful journals with scraps of scrapbooking paper for all of my poetry students, whether or not they are related to me. In class, I print off the definitions and previous week’s poem for them to glue in while they provide illustrations. For my own children, I just take the dictation directly into their journal unless they are old enough to copy it themselves (or write their own poetry while the younger ones work with me!) The book drill she is using is tres cool (Grace is the reason I bought one myself and love it) but you can also use a simple hole punch and a wider yarn or ribbon.

You can see most of a sample lesson I shared earlier this year in my post, Bringing Beauty Into Your Home Through Poetry. And if you would like all twelve lessons, simply subscribe to our mailing list! You can choose to receive our weekly newsletter or to only be notified when special offers like these are available.

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Bringing Beauty Into Your Homeschool Through Poetry

What is poetry but life condensed? This week, the Virtual Curriculum Fair’s topic is Seeking Beauty. And, as Edgar Allen Poe said, “Poetry is the rhythmic creation of beauty in words.

teaching poetry

It’s like a juice machine, squeezing out the essence of an idea, an emotion, an experience and then ejecting the pulp. In this condensed form, every word is significant.

In this form, literary devices become more obvious and more meaningful. And easier to teach.

I have taught two semesters of poetry in a co-op setting now. That’s two semesters of children, not yet able to read, who can discuss and create examples of such literary devices as allliteration, onomatopoeia, metaphor and imagery.. But we never open a textbook. We never fill out a worksheet. Because the trick to teaching poetry to children is to keep it playful.

So for onomatopoeia (always the favorite), I might introduce a poem like The Bells, by Edgar Allan Poe.

Hear the sledges with the bells –
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells –
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

For added effect, you could even ring a small jingle bell along with every example (in bold) of onomatopoeia. Then I have the children come up with their own examples. Sometimes they need a little help to get started (suggesting an animal noise or two starts a flood of ideas) and then we begin research for our own sound poem. At home, we go outside. At co-op, we just go out in the hall. We then sit quietly, eyes shut, concentrating on all the sounds we hear.

After we are back to our seats, we talk about the sounds we heard and come up with our own “sound words” for our “sound poem.” Each child adds their sound word to the poem and I usually come up with some concluding line to tie it together.

And the continued practice to retain these new concepts is not a worksheet or a drill, but the continued reading of great books. Because literary devices are all around us, in poetry, in song and in prose. Whether it is the “jingle” of Jingle Bells or the “click, clack” of the typewriter in Click Clack, Moo, oppotunities to notice them and what they add to a text abound.

Interested in more lessons? You can choose to receive our weekly newsletter (which includes links to special offers) or ONLY special offers when they are available.

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Now I invite you to visit my fellow homeschool bloggers who are talking about seeking beauty in their homeschools:

Links will all be live by Monday at 12 noon EST.

Living & Loving Art by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Putting the Fun in School by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays

Art Fun In Our Homeschool by Amanda @Hopkins Homeschool

Fine Arts Is The Fun Part by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

Washing Dust Off Our Souls by Lisa @ Golden Grasses

Bringing Beauty Into Your Homeschool Through Poetry by Dana @ Roscommon Acres

Seeking out the beauty… by Kim @ Good Sweet Love

Joy in Home Education by Sarah @ Delivering Grace

Teaching Drawing (When You Can’t Draw) by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home

Homeschool Art for the Artistically Challenged by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart

Jesus, Peace, Freedom & Our Homeshool by Meghan W @ Quiet In The Chaos

Fine Arts Options in High School by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

Reluctant Artist? What do you do? by Annette @ A Net in Time

Making Fine Arts a Priority by Lisa @ McClanahan 7

Creative Pursuits by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

Arts and Crafts in Our Homeschool by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed

Where Do You Find Beauty? by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens

Looping our Beauty Topics Saved our Homeschool by HillaryM @ Walking Fruitfully


Free Garden Unit Study Download

Today, I am offering all my readers a free e-book: Developing Christian Character Through Gardening.   Just click to open, and feel free to share the link to this free resource with your friends!  I only ask that you link to this entry rather than directly to the download so I can get “paid” through the small amount of traffic that might generate!  Thanks! And while you are planning your garden, consider learning a little about the honeybee with Share the Buzz: A free lesson guide about honeybees!

Developing Christian Character Through(1)-min

When Jesus taught, he often used object lessons drawn from the everyday experiences of His audience: drawing water from a well, making bread, a wedding celebration, the harvest, etc. These experiences were an integral part of the culture of Jesus’ day, giving His listeners practical examples of the spiritual principles He was teaching. Today, however, even such simple tasks as making bread or sowing seeds can be as foreign to children as the spiritual lessons they were intended to illustrate.

This unit focuses on how Christian character is developed through studying the parable of the sower. Children are given an opportunity to help plant a garden and tend it through the harvest, while the parent takes time to draw spiritual applications from the work being done, “here a little, there a little.” (Isaiah 28:10) Although the foundation of this lesson rests on the parable of the sower found in Mark chapter 4, take some time before each session in the garden to reflect on what you will be doing and an appropriate verse to guide your children toward a more spiritual discussion.

Let me know what you think, and enjoy gardening with your children!