A few years ago, Easter time snuck up on me and I had only a few days to prepare how and what I would do to make the season special and reflective for my children. I tried to throw some things together, but the season came and went and we barely brushed on the topic of Jesus’ death and resurrection. I realized that just a couple months before that I had spent weeks preparing and celebrating Jesus’ birth at Christmas, but what about the most important part of the story? I decided from that year on I would spend just as much energy preparing our hearts for Easter as I do for Christmas.
My desire is to mark their hearts with traditions and give them warm memories of togetherness in our home during the season leading up to Easter. I want to make it memorable, fun, and most of all, draw them to their Savior as we seek to share and live out the Gospel story. Out of these desires, I decided to create a guide to follow in our home and I am so honored to share it with you.
About An Expectant Easter
An Expectant Easter is a Bible-based, Charlotte Mason-inspired curriculum designed with your whole family in mind. It’s an invitation to gather your family to center their hearts on what Easter is all about. Through Bible stories, hymns, poetry, art studies, picture books, projects, baking, tea time, and nature studies, your family will spend three weeks connecting together and focusing on the newness of Spring, the sacrifice that Jesus made, and the power of his resurrection.
The foundation of your lesson time will include reading a passage of scripture to your children. These passages will be studied in chronological order to complete the crucifixion and resurrection story by the end of the curriculum. Children will love opening a Bible Story Easter Egg each day that a new story is read, which holds a clue to the day’s story.
To practice sequencing and retention of the stories, they will enjoy putting the clues in order as you progress through the passages. Children will orally narrate each Bible story and complete a written narration in their "Easter Story Narration Notebook." They will then illustrate the day's passage, completing a 12-page keepsake by the end of the season.
If you have younger children, they can narrate the story to you and you can write what they say. Then they can draw the pictures. Another fun way to narrate in the early years is by acting out the story with toys and props. Here are some great tips on getting started with narration in those young years!
Each week your family will also memorize a passage of scripture, worship together with a hymn, enjoy a poem, and study a biblically-themed piece of artwork. Here’s why we love including art study in our homeschool! Along with that, each day you will snuggle together and read an Easter-themed picture book and then enjoy a coordinating handcraft or baking project that reiterates a theme in the story.
On Fridays, you will have a sweet time together over tea and a treat and reflect on all you have learned. You will also complete a gentle and engaging Spring-themed nature study.
What You Get With An Expectant Easter:
This 3-week curriculum includes the following:
- Weekly grids with an overview of lessons
- Daily plans that are detailed and easy-to-follow
- Materials list broken down by week (and linked here in my Amazon storefront for easy ordering!)
- Booklist including Read-Alouds and Art/Nature Study (click here to download the full booklist!)
- Bible Story Egg Hunt Guide
- Scripture memory display sheets & copywork
- Poetry display sheets & copywork
- Picture study sheets in high-resolution, full color
- 12-Page Narration Notebook
- Kid-friendly, classic Easter recipes
- Handcrafts with detailed instructions and step-by-step photos
- 1 spiral-bound Teacher Guide with daily lesson plans and hands-on connections
- 1 spiral-bound Narration Notebook (make sure to order an extra one for each child!)
- 1 set of Student Sheets including display sheets for the memory verse, art, hymns, poems, copy work, and menu inserts
If you are short on time (or printer ink!) I suggest the hard copy! But if you’re able to print at home (or somewhere local!) the digital option might be a better fit for your family.
What a Week of An Expectant Easter Looks Like
This curriculum was designed as a sweet invitation to family-style learning that creates warm memories of togetherness while reading living books, making hands-on connections, and writing scripture on their hearts. Here is a glimpse of what An Expectant Easter looked like in our home for Week One of the study.
All throughout the week, the kids memorized John 3:16-17 through recitation and copywork.
They enjoyed the poem "To The First Born" by Louisa May Alcott. One of the days they studied Alcott's life and another day they illustrated a picture of what the poem spoke to them. Here’s why we love to include poetry in our homeschool!
The first week's hymn was "In Christ Alone." It brought many to tears as they sang the powerful truths alongside their children. We enjoyed discussing the meanings of phrases in the hymn and listening to it throughout each day.
For art study, each day we observed and discussed Leonardo Da Vinci's peice, "The Last Supper." One of the days we did a deeper study into the artist's life and another day the children replicated the piece.
We also studied four portions of scripture this week, and the children responded to the reading through narrations and drawings. Each day, the children hunted for a clue to the day’s scripture using the Bible Story Easter Egg Hunt. We began with Jesus' journey into Jerusalem. Then we learned about Judas' plan to betray Jesus and when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. We ended the week with the Last Supper.
After reading, we did a fun project that connected our hearts to the story. This week we made palm branches and role-played the story, made salt dough egg ornaments, made an egg tree, and no-sew sock bunnies!
Friday was set apart to have a time of reflection on all we had learned throughout the week and a special Spring nature study.
The recipe for tea time was Easter Egg Fruit Pizza. While we munched, we each recited what we had memorized this week and discussed what God has been teaching us through the lessons.
For the nature study, we used Signs of Spring Scavenger Hunt and Spring with My Senses worksheets on a nature walk and then recorded our experiences in our nature journals.
If you’re interested in how other homeschool families were able to add this to their curriculum, read this blog post by my friend Hanna from The Whispering Glen who completed all three weeks with her family!
Preparing for An Expectant Easter
If you own or already ordered your copy of An Expectant Easter, I’m honored you’ve chosen us to walk alongside you and your family in this season. I would love for you to join our Facebook group, where you can connect with me (and other families!) as we unwrap this Gospel story together.
Once you either receive your hard copies of the curriculum or you finish printing off the digital version, make sure to print off (or order!) extra copies for each additional family member! After you organize your curriculum, head over to my Amazon Storefront where you can find all the books and materials I recommend for this curriculum. Don’t forget to place your books on hold at your local library! If you’re having trouble finding all the read aloud books at your local library or bookstore, the read aloud YouTube links are included in the booklist!
In THIS VIDEO, I invite you into my home and workspace as I prepare for my own family’s time in An Expectant Easter. I share plenty of tips and tricks for printing, organizing, and preparing for a beautiful and life-giving time this season.
How to Use An Expectant Easter in Your Co-Op or Sunday School
As a previous Children’s Ministry Director, I know how special Easter can be in a church classroom and children’s church setting. An Expectant Easter would be a great way to bring some intentionality to your small group this Spring.
Although this guide was originally designed for in-home use, many churches and small groups have adapted An Expectant Easter for their ministries by combining days or picking their favorite pieces from it to be used in the weeks leading up to Easter. You can purchase a small group license to bring meaningful learning to your small group, homeschool co-op, or children’s ministry.