Friday, November 30, 2012

The Homeschool Mother's Journal: getting ready for Christmas

In my life this week (and last)...I celebrated my birthday last Saturday.  I had a nice lunch out with the Hubby at a really delicious Mexican restaurant.  I love Mexican food.  He knows what I like, that's so awesome.  I am enjoying my birthday present too.  I waited in line at Target for 1.5 hours to get an iPad, but it was well worth the wait.  I love my new iPad, and I'm happy to know that I saved a little even though it was a long 1.5 hours, and I'm not always a fan of going out in those black Friday (or Black Thursday night in this case) sales.  I'm glad I stuck it out.  April waited with me in line, and we had some fun conversation, and looked at some books while we were stuck in the book section.

In our homeschool this week...  Some pictures of the fun things we did...

We got out some of our Christmas stories
For littles I made a sticky wall Christmas tree mural.  They had fun sticking all kinds of things to it.
April copied an apple butter recipe from her Felicity's cookbook for copywork, and to try out for her American girl history.
She also made a craft from Felicity's craft book.  It's called the Game of Graces.  We discovered this game on our recent trip to Yaquina head lighthouse, and she really wanted to buy it at the gift shop for an exorbitant amount.  We had to leave it behind, but I figured I'd make it for her for Christmas. Well, it goes right along with her American girl studies and she wanted to make it.  She loved this craft!  It's super simple to make and play.
The finished ring.
The girls and boys used to play this game to learn how to become more graceful.  It takes a certain amount of grace and skill to toss the ring just right!  Pretty fun!
We also made some flubber.  It's been a while since we've made that too!

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice...keep the balance.  I know, easier said than done.  I realized this week that we had not done any field trips.  We were doing only our usual lessons, and not much more than that.  We haven't even made it to the art museum yet that I promised April we'd do back in August. 

I am inspired by...all the advent calendars around the blog-o-sphere.  I am really excited to get into our advent activities, and start counting down to Christmas.

Places we're going, and people we're seeing...we had a good visit with Grandma and Grandpa over Thanksgiving, and came back Sunday.  On Wednesday we went to the library in Wilsonville, and happened to get there at story time.  I just love their story time.  They always act out the stories, and the kids just love it.  This time it was a "Gingerbread boy" puppet show.  They also read The doorbell, and a Frog and Toad story I think.  On Thursday we went to the local pool because I realized we hadn't done any field trips or fun stuff for a while.  That was our "field trip" this week.  Then April had horse lessons that same afternoon.  While she was at horse lessons I took the boys to the Silverton park.  We go there every week, and it's so fun to still be going even though it's cold.  The rain stopped, and it was just beautiful.  Friday morning we went to our homeschool group at the library where we made cards for army servicemen.  It was such a fun service project. 

My favorite thing this week was...getting our front room moved around so that we could take the TV off the mantle, and clearing the mantle for Christmas decorations.  I'm so excited to have the mantle to decorate on!  Oh, and watching The Polar Express with my family for movie night on Sunday night while drinking hot chocolate was another favorite. 

What's working/not working for us...taking a more relaxed approach to school during the month of December.  I have plans to do a lot of fun Christmas things, and relax about everything else.  This has eased the pressure for me with all the things coming up that I need to do.  That really works for me!

Questions/thoughts I have...

Things I'm working on...scheduling.  I'm trying to add things in to my day in a more scheduled kind of way.  There are some things that are not happening most days that need to be, and I've realized I need to put them first if I'm going to get to them.  I'm not good at keeping schedules.  So, I've started by adding in a few things for now.  One of the first things is laundry folding time at 6:30 every morning because I know that is when I can do it.  It has worked amazingly!  I'm sitting on the couch anyway while the boys watch their morning show, so why not pick that as my "folding time."  I have loved not having a mountain of laundry to fold.  I'm trying to find a time that works for personal scripture and prayer time.  This is one of those things that I miss all too often if I don't make a plan for it.  I would love to do mornings, but I have a really hard time getting up and keeping my eyes open any earlier than 6.  My kids get up at 6.  So, I'm still figuring this one out.  I've also added in mandatory bedtime reading for the kids from 7-7:30pm (this is mostly for the little boys, April does fine reading before bed).  Some nights I have found it's easier to just skip it, and send them on their way to bed.  But, I love bedtime story time, and they need it too.  So, those are a few of the things I'm making sure happen at those times each day.  I want to build on this.  It's not like we don't do these things, we do, but I want a more structured time for each thing to happen so I don't forget to do it.

I'm reading...
Rise of the Evening Star (Fablehaven, Book 2)
I picked up book 2 of Fablehaven again this week.  It sits on my nook waiting to be read, I just need the time to read.  I really enjoy this series.

Little House on the Prairie
I am also reading Little house on the Prairie.  Although, I think I'm just reading it again, but for some reason I didn't think I finished it.  I'm probably going to move on to the next book soon.  I want to get through this series.

I'm cooking...I made several dishes with leftover ham this week...farmer's casserole, easy ham and noodles (super kid friendly), and Hubby made a fried rice with ham dish too.  All were very good.    That's how we used most of our leftover Thanksgiving ham.  We also made Oreo balls for a family night treat.  April enjoyed helping me with those.

I'm grateful new iPad.  That thing is amazing.  A warm home, and plenty of food.  My family, my beautiful children and to have them home with me each day. 

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...

I found this while searching for fun Christmas things to do this month.  It's a fun version of 12 days of Christmas.  I would love to see these guys in person.  A capella is one of my favorite things to listen to.

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  1. I love that April made the game she wanted herself. How totally cool

  2. the game looks awesome! I'm in love with all your books


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