We have been enjoying Amy Blevin's Advent ebook, Celebrate Jesus: Light of the World-An Advent Journey for Families, during our Bible time this year. It is very important to my husband and myself that we focus on Jesus and the reason for Christmas during this time of year and that is what this book does. This book started as Amy's attempt to make an Advent schedule that would work for her family. They have been using and tweaking it for the past 10 years and she has made it available for other families to enhance their Advent celebrations. This book is available with either ESV or KJV Bible verses.
She has included Bible readings along with Bible Study Preparation questions for the parents and older children. Each day we light our candle(s) and pray, then we sing the song J-O-Y, which is not a part of this plan, but it is something we have done in the past and the children were anticipating it so we have included it. We then gather in the living room so I can read the Bible verses and we can listen to/sing the chosen song. Amy has included clickable links, one of which is to a site that shares most of the songs. We actually have been using YouTube for the songs, mainly because I forgot about the link, but we also enjoy finding a version of the song and watching the video.
Now, the above is what we do during our Bible time, but Amy has also included craft ideas for each day, plus some recipes and copy work at the back of the book. There is also a master supply list so you can know in advance what materials you will need for the activities. The copy work is selected from the Bible readings for each day, so there are 24 copywork pages, 1 for each day in December leading up to Christmas.
She has selected one or two verses from the day's reading for the children to focus on. The entire verse is printed on top of the lined and bordered page and it also includes a relevant picture to color.
I was a little concerned at first that the lines would be too small for Tabitha as she had been writing a bit bigger. Then I remembered she had been using the smaller lines in her cursive workbook, so I decided to let her give it a shot. Even though this first page was only one verse it was a bit long for her age so I allowed her to write in in two sittings (thus the different colored pencils). She did get a bit frustrated the first day, but the second day I decided to set a timer for 10 minutes. Not only did she work until the timer went off, she teased me by saying she was trying to finish one word after the timer went off, but then brought me the finished work you see pictured above.
Amelia also wanted to try out the copy work, but I do believe it is a little too advanced for her.
I believe what caused her to struggle the most was the fact that it is in paragraph form. If she could see one line, write it, then move on to the next I think she might do better. She is also still working on spacing between words and remembering to use lowercase letters. I thought it would be helpful to have the same verse with picture available in dotted letters so younger children could just trace. I was thrilled when Amy said dotted pages may be available for next year! For now I took part of the verse (because it was a bit long for her as well) and generated a worksheet on a site I use so she could work on the verse while Tabitha does. However, I still print out the page for her because she enjoys coloring the picture.
I have plans to finish all the verses and staple them together into a book. I figured that would make a nice keepsake for the girls. We may finish the pages after Christmas as they are taking longer to do them, but we will finish them.
Here is the great part. If you already have an Advent book you use, or if you don't really observe Advent, you could still use the copy work with your child(ren). Copy work is a great way to help children internalize what they are learning, what could be better than copying from God's word. In addition to the Celebrate Jesus: Light of the World Advent Book, Amy has created books of just the copy work. You can purchase the ESV or the KJV in manuscript and the ESV in cursive. She is currently working on the KJV in cursive.
Comparing Manuscript and Cursive
You can purchase the Christmas Copywork For Children over at Homeschool Encouragement for $1.99. While there I would encourage you to check out Amy's other ebooks:
- Listening to Learn-$5.99
- Thanksgiving Copywork in both manuscript and cursive-$1.99
- Christmas Copywork for children in manuscript and cursive (ESV) and manuscript (KJV)-$1.99
- Celebrate Jesus: Light of the World-An Advent Resource for Families (ESV and KJV)- $4.99
Disclosure: I received a copy of the books to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. This post contains my affiliate link.