Saturday, December 1, 2012

Collage Friday - Snow, Ornaments, and Christmas Books

We enjoyed our five day Thanksgiving break and my goal for these weeks leading up to Christmas is to focus and work hard during our scheduled school days. Of course there will be lots of fun Christmas activities added to our routine and we will enjoy decorating, baking, crafting, caroling, reading, performing, and partying. 

On Tuesday the weathermen were predicting 2-4 inches of snow for our area and my husband and children were beyond excited. However, we only ended up with a light dusting, but the girls went out and made the most of it and enjoyed a solid hour of running, playing, and snowball fighting. 

I shared in my last Collage Friday post that we are taking a break from our history studies and switching to  science for a few weeks. We have never used a block schedule like this before and I am looking forward to testing it out. We are using Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day for our science studies and have been learning about migration. On Tuesday afternoon, after the girls were done playing in the snow, we watched a movie on Netflix called "Birds of Paradise" and it was fun to watch and the children learned a lot about the beautiful birds of New Guinea. I should share that this video is about studying the mating habits of these birds, so if you haven't  had the whole "birds and bees" conversation with your children, you might have some explaining to do. You can see the kids all snug under blankets in the bottom photo drinking warm hot chocolate while we watched the movie together. I love the comfort of learning at home. In photo #1, Lauren is working through her All About Spelling lessons and she is almost done with level 1. In picture #2, Kaitlyn is working while listening to music on her iPod  I see her doing this a lot and it reminds me how fast she is growing up. Lauren is working on a math lesson in photo #3. We are using a math curriculum from Christian Light Publications and I love the daily drills, review, and how new concepts are taught. This curriculum helps me truly see the areas Lauren is doing well in and the areas she needs a little extra help. I honestly wish I had known about this company when my older two children were younger.  However, we started using Teaching Textbooks with them this year and it is working very well.

We went to a local gift shop this week so the children could pick out an ornament. The children each get a new ornament each year and one day when they move out on their own they will take their ornaments with them. We just finished decorating our tree today (Saturday) and it is so fun pulling out all the ornaments because there are so many memories tied to each one. For our read aloud this week, we started and finished "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" if you have never read this book, you should. I think every person who works with children needs to read this book. It makes you stop and think about how well you are loving the children who are not the easiest to love.

Due to my husband's schedule, we hung out with him at home a couple mornings and then did the bulk of our school work in the afternoon. I am thankful for the flexibility homeschooling provides. I often think about how little the children would see their dad if they weren't educated at home. 

How was your week? Are you reading any fun holiday read alouds or special Advent readings? I'd love to hear any ideas or suggestions.

I am linking up once again with Collage Friday, hosted by Homegrown Learners. Be sure and click over and check it out. 


Karyn Tripp said...

I started a brand new blog linky today and would love to have you stop by and share some of your ideas! Thanks so much!

Phyllis said...

Yes...we love the Best Christmas Pageant...I noticed that we use a lot of the same materials. Look at all that snow! Sounds like it was a great week.

Mary Prather said...

Nikki -- we are reading Bartholomew's Passage each evening during Advent. During the week we are reading The Nutcracker (i have a unit study I'll be putting on the blog Tuesday) and all of the other books in our holiday book basket.

Yes, I love the flexibility homeschool allows, too - I'm glad you got to have some good family time during the week!

Thanks, as always, for linking with Collage Friday!

Diane said...

A couple of years ago when we read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever we also thought it was wonderful.

I so agree with you on the homeschooling front. Being able to be flexible and spend time with family is one of the best things about being at home.