Monday, December 19, 2011

The Before Christmas Wrap-Up

So I skipped a week of "wrapping up".... forgive me;) With the extras of preparing for Christmas and my classes, schooling the kids and just being with my family... the blogging got pushed to the side for a bit.

We've done very well with keeping up with the Jesse Tree devotional these last two weeks;) I love the continual pull back to Christ with each verses, story, devotional... I am just soo thankful that we have been working through these devotion each day and I feel like it's really helped to bring our focus back to Christ!

I confessed that I had slacked on being prepared with everything.... so finally Monday we got to work changing the pictures into ornaments... coloring (the final few), gluing on construction paper, laminating, hole punching and then a ribbon:)

And I am just putting them on our Christmas tree:( I really wanted a separate place for our Jesse Tree ornaments... but they fit... our tree is a collection of Christmas ornaments, faith-based, crafts, memories, shiny balls:) Anyway, I am pleased and reminded that sometimes simplicity IS best.

We've been listening to Luke 2 a couple of days/nights a week, but I don't think any of us can totally recite the passage... but I bet Anna is getting close:)

Language Arts
The last two weeks I have been faithfully having the kids reading from Ordinary Parents Guide (for the younger two) or library books. Our library started a Winter Reading program in December, so the kids have been trying to earn their 1st prize:) I"m always thankful to see my kids snuggled on the couch with a book!! This week Anna read Mr Popper's Penguins in ONE day... she's a reader;)

Chris had a fun activity with one of his review lessons. He had to "cross the river" only stepping on words with the long "u" sound.IMG_8224

Of course laying blankets on the floor and jumping from card to card means total involvement with lots of giggles and lots of movement... no quiet school days here;)

I eased up on the spelling with Lydia and Chris the last two weeks... they've been writing the Days of the Week each day and really focusing on reading and getting in some copywork and free writing:) They have been doing 3 Grammar lessons a week though;)

Anna's been working on prepositions for weeks now... LOL!!... at least it seems like it;) Thankfully she memorized the required prepositions during 2nd grade, so it has been "review". One day we worked on dictionary skills just to break it up:)

A couple letters were composed this week... but the majority of the writing has been making Christmas "wish lists"... funny that they are finally starting to think about gifts. But with Christmas just a week away most of shopping is done!

I've taught everything from fractions to the numbers on a clock face, from odd ball subtraction facts to making graphs with how many linking cubes are in a bag. Our math highlight this week was Anna using fractions to measure out amounts for fun using rice (although she is often my little baker!).


The first week we read about the Persia (and briefly highlighted all the countries that controlled that area) and the Ottoman Empire. SInce it was a lot of really crazy names (like 10+)... we did our reading and then I had the kids do copywork instead of narration! We did discuss the questions for the chapter. We also read through books that talked about Iran and Turkey.

The map was the coolest... tissue paper circles representing the different countries (the kids wrote the names of the people) glued onto of one another;) The point was MANY different groups/people fought over Persia for a LOT time!! It's no wonder there is still soo much "unrest" in that area!


Last week we studied the Thirty Years' War. There were a lot of details again... so the younger two just did copywork and Anna did copywork and wrote out answers to these two questions "why did the war start?" and "who were some of the important figures?" For some reason this was less stressful for her than having to narrate the chapter, probably because it caused her to focus on the most important stuff and not get all caught up in the details.

Maps though are the kids favorite part of history:)


Since Germany was the main country in The Thirty Years' War we read about Germany and a handful of Grimm tales (carefully chosen, of course)!


Anna did 2 simple experiments this week... one with water, again! I stress simple! And she got caught up with the Science terms from past experiments.


I feel like we do a lot if "informal" Science around here. Answering "Why?" questions and such!! But our formal Science study is really going to have to pick up more when we start back in January (in other words this Momma needs to get herself better organized!!).


IMG_8189Last week we went to a party with our homeschooling group... one mom opened up her HOME!! She was a brave soul:) Most of the activities were outside.... but still, they ate snack and played outside in between activities.

The kids had a great time playing with their friends, doing a Christmas present exchange, having snacks and more playing!! It just makes me soo thankful for this group and the sweet friendships the kids and I have been able to make!

I know I have written this before, but if you are  homeschooling.... find friends;) It is WORTH the drive (we drive over 45 minutes to meet up with our group)!!!

The friendships for the kids and the fellowship and encouragements from the other moms is priceless!!

Looking ahead....
This week we are slacking a bit ... LOL!! Ok, we're slacking a LOT!!
On Sunday night, I made a packet of worksheets for the kids... Christmas word searches, math problems, crossword puzzles, etc! SO the kids will work on those in between Chris finishing his LAST 1st Grade math lesson;) and reading library books, some last minute Christmas projects, some Christmas tasks, cleaning the house, Jesse Tree devotions! We have a program at our library one night this week, too!

We have an exciting field trip planned for later in the week... but we're seeing rain on the forecast:( So that might not happen :( 

And starting Wednesday, Brian will be with us until Jan 2nd. He has mandatory vacation time:) So we'll take every minute we have with him at home.... although I think he's planning to start packing his church office. Not that we have a moving date yet (still waiting on that loan to be processed), but it's something that has to get done!!!

LOL... you made it to the end;) 


Jenny said...

You still managed to have a great week, even if you did some slacking. LOL! We started with our 3 week break on Monday and it's been great. We've been so busy that I don't know how I would have fit in school anyway.

WooHoo for Brian being home!

Persia said...

Hi. I have a 2 year-old daughter and am pregnant with my 2nd. I'm thinking about school and really don't like the prospect of putting my children in the public school system. I've been growing curious about home schooling and after reading your blog was curious if you could help me with advice on how to get started. For example, where do you get all of your curriculum material?

Happy Holidays,