Friday, December 14, 2012

Homeschool mother's journal: December 14, 2012


In my life this week...

In our homeschool this week...we had a pretty awesome week this week!  I know I've said we were taking it lightly this month, but this week we didn't have much going on for Christmas activities so I felt like we should really have a good full week in at least before we get to Christmas vacation time.  Anyway, I tried some new strategies (more on that later) that have really helped my kids to focus.  I'm looking forward to coming back from Christmas vacation and really fine tuning it.  So, it made for a great week, and I think we all learned a lot.  Here are some highlights of our school week in pictures because I like pictures :-)

Christmas stuff:

I found this fun Christmas lights project on Pinterest, so that was a fun art project one day.  It was a big hit. (all ages)

We started out every morning putting their daily lego advent creation together. (all ages)

Aaron completed the gingerbread boy draw write now page.  That lovely printable (which helps him with writing) is from 1+1+1=1
(1st grade)

I played a Christmas cookie battleship type game with Aaron.  He loved that.  Found that game at Walking by the way.
(1st grade)

We also started the 12 days of Christmas lapbook at Homeschool share.  I was excited to find religious ties to the song!   (all ages, but the lapbook was worked on by the 6th grader)
Christmas pattern block pictures (preschool)

Oh Christmas tree Bauble counting.  The number on the star matches the number of ornaments on the tree.  This is a game that I printed and laminated last year (sorry, can't remember where I got it), so glad when I can re-use things like this. (Pre-K)
Christmas puzzle.  (Pre-K)

Everything else:

I started the you can read sight word printables with Aric just to see if he was ready.  I think he is.  He got these words down pretty good.  I think it will help him on his way to reading.
He glittered them today.  (Pre-K)

April's historical American girl story of the week was Felicity learns a lesson.  She did a lot of things that revolve around this book, and that time in history. (6th grade)

 Since Felicity is from Virginia, and the state bird is a Cardinal April learned about Cardinals this week, and here she did awesome filling out the whole page about Cardinals.  (6th grade)
 I did a science experiment with the boys while April was at art class on Tuesday.  We made crystals!  It was supposed to be a Christmas tree shape, but they didn't work (or we weren't patient enough) so we switched to toilet paper rolls.  The boys were pretty excited to see the crystals growing by the next morning. (Pre-K and 1st grade)

Some other things we did not pictured:
  • read lots of Christmas stories
  • nature walk
  • watched a pbs special DVD called Legendary Lighthouses (yep, we are still finding bits and pieces of lighthouse stuff)
  •  3 lessons of life of Fred for April and Aaron
  • Daily science 1st grade book--he completed 1 week
  • 2 reading lessons from All about reading level 1
Helpful homeschoolin tips or advice to share...when you lose all hope that you're homeschool is failing, just pray.  Enough said.

I am inspired by...the photo-a-day challenge that I am doing this month on facebook.  I like how it has inspired me to take some creative pictures of our memories this month.

Places we're going and people we're seeing...we had the usual art class on Tuesday, and afterwards April's BFF came over as well as her sister.  It was so nice to have both come over, and I was glad that she was so happy to play with the boys.  Definitely more peaceful when there is more than 1 friend to go around :-)  Horse lessons for April was on Thursday, and I took the boys to get enchiladas.  Wednesday we went to Krispy Kreme and had some donuts for 12-12-12, that was a super fun day.

My favorite thing this week was...getting so much done in school.  It truly was a great week for learning.

What's working/not working for I mentioned earlier that I changed some things to help us get through our school day better, and focus.  The 3 things that worked so totally awesome this week were 1. a timer, 2.  a schedule written out each day for April, and 3.  all their books and work in 1 big workbox (their curriculum box, a white plastic IKEA box that I used to hold all their curriculum in).  No more individual workboxes!  This is so much easier.  My good friend Becca gave me the timer idea.  At first I wasn't so sure we could pull it off.  But, I decided on Monday morning to just give it a whirl.  We set the timer for 15 minutes of school work, then 5 minutes off.  And, we just repeated it over and over.  I also scheduled a few other things in there that really helped too, like snack time from 10-10:30.  That was our longest break.  They responded well to this, but it took a lot of reminders.  The schedule for April helps me and her to see exactly what she is doing each day, and she really needs that.  She said she really likes our new homeschool.

Things I'm working on...I finally started our chicken feed bags, so currently working on those.

I'm reading (to my children)...
The Light at Tern Rock by Julia L Sauer

We just finished reading this today.  It was a great link from lighthouses to Christmas, and what a lovely gem of a book!  I enjoyed reading this to my children, and the message about Christmas is absolutely wonderful.  I just have to share a part of it that struck me too, here is the quote:

"The short afternoon drew to a close; the feeling of breathless expectancy that comes before every Christmas Eve began to exert itself.  The comfortable, shining common room with its sparse dignity, the gray-walled tower with its soaring grace, quieted themselves to wait.  Something was to be born anew into the world.  This night the ageless Christmas miracle would repeat itself."

What a great way to describe the anticipation of Christmas eve that doesn't involve gifts.

I'm cooking...homemade "Wendy's chili" was my big meal for this week.  We also made Christmas cupcakes yesterday.

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

Someone has been reading a lot of Harry Potter.  I came into the bathroom after April had taken a shower to find this...

In case you can't see it it says:  "The chamber of secrets has been opened enemies of the heir beware"


That gave me a chuckle.

To see other homeschool mother's journal posts visit iHomeschool Network.  I am linking this up there.




  2. I'm impressed with April's report and awesome crystals!


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