Friday, December 9, 2011

Weekly Homeschool Journal Dec. 2-9

In Our Homeschool This Week:We were really "off schedule" this week because of a 3 day weekend trip we took. We didn't get all of our schoolwork finished, but that's okay because our co-op has a month-long Christmas break (YAY!!!), so we'll have time to catch up. I assigned the boys plenty of time on Time4Learning, etc. while I did laundry, etc. Dash practiced piano a lot. Tornado is always 100% engaged in some writing or art project. We've also spent more time celebrating the holidays at home this week, which is a nice thing.

They also enjoyed several episodes of Liberty's Kids. I got the idea of watching it on Netflix Streaming from another blogger. (And they have a website with games and info, as well.) I had forgotten about that show (years ago, I always thought it would be great for when they got older), and the kids had never watched it. They love it now, though, and it goes along perfectly with what the boys are both studying in history right now. (Tornado does Abeka American History.) These are two of their journal entries at home this week.

I can't, for the life of me, get my 11 year old to write small with lower case letters when applicable (or in straight lines, for that matter). I have to constantly refocus him to do it. (His teachers during his 2 years at public school - and his occupational therapists for the past 8 years - have had no more luck with this than I do.) This type of stop/go writing paper seems to work well for him - at least for the size issue. It actually causes my 6 year old to write worse, though, I discovered. We purchased a notebook from Office Depot, but here are pages you can print off.

I, myself, learned something on the Liberty's Kids episode today. Paul Revere didn't say, "The British are coming!" The phrase that many people called out from horseback that night was actually, "The Regulars are coming!" Where have I been? We looked online to read more about the real facts surrounding Paul Revere.

Places We're Going and People We're Seeing:
my kids, along with Cousin K

We spent a 3-day weekend in Branson. My husband's family met up to celebrate Christmas together. We were meeting early this year because I might not be able to travel much longer as I near my due date. We stayed in four different condo/cabin type accomodations near one another. The kids (above) were running around Branson Landing, a waterfront shopping/dining, etc. area in downtown Branson on Lake Taneycomo.

It started sprinkling on us at the Landing, and it rained on us most of our time at Silver Dollar City. SDC is such a fun place to visit at Christmastime. The lights are pretty and magical. We carried our umbrellas, though, and got out of the rain occasionally, walking through shops and a singing show. You would think it would have been desserted in the rainy weather, but I've never seen the place more crowded in all of my 36 years.

The kids enjoyed the weekend, though, with their grandparents, 2 uncles, 2 aunts, and 2 cousins. And they found plenty of ways to entertain themselves, as Tornado is doing above. If you look closely, you can make out my "fun-sized" figure in the t.v.

This weekend, we also went to see my grandparents in the nursing home. This was our first time to visit them there, as they have only recently moved out of their house. I was happy that Sissy loved on Grandpa a lot.

Our next stop was my niece's 10th birthday party. Tornado always buddies up very well with his little cousins. He and Cousin P had a good time finding ways to entertain themselves.

I hate that I didn't get any more pictures of the birthday girl herself. She is growing into such a special young lady, so smart and so talented. I say this all of the time, but I adore my nieces and nephews!

There was a lot of love going on between these two, as well. I'm glad that Sissy's love spreading didn't also spread the germs she unknowingly was harboring at the time. She threw up a couple of times on the way home (and JUST HAPPENED to have my favorite bed pillow in her lap, sigh...) and continued to be sick all night and the next morning. Fortunately, she was the only one who got it at our house.

Speaking of vomit...I forgot to post this picture last month. The kids (each on a different day that week) got a bout of 24 hour vomiting. But I liked this picture because my 6 year old son brought her everything in the picture - books, the little cars, water, a coloring book, and crayons. He was really taking care of her. Hopefully, they are getting stomach bug now and NOT later when the baby comes.

What We're Cleaning and What We're Playing:
What we're cleaning lately is everything. I'm so desperate to have a clean home before the baby gets here, and I seem to be spinning my wheels. I'll get one room almost clean, it apparently becomes so exciting then for the kids, I turn my back, and before I know it they've pulled out a bunch of stuff again.

Anyway, we did spend a day recently cleaning up outside, organizing the outdoor toybin, and getting rid of some stuff - all of which made me feel much better. The kids seem to breathe easier when the yard it clean, too. Just like inside, they play outside even better when it's cleaned up.

Advent Fun This Week:
Gingerbread House pancakes! I wrote more about these on my food blog.

hot chocolate, made with almond milk, Mimic Creme, and crushed organic candy canes

They drank this after playing in the snow. Yes, it snowed in Arkansas already! Most of it was melted off by noon, but still! The bad thing was that it took my husband 2 1/2 hours to drive 30 minutes to work, and it took me an 1 hour 15 minutes to drive the same to my doctor.

We got a lot of great ideas from Family Fun magazine this month. We made these ornaments with broken toothpicks and glitter glue.

We used this idea from Family Fun, as well. (Top two: Dash, "B is for Bean" would be from my silly Tornado, the next one is mine, and the last one is Sissy's.) We cut out circles from cereal boxes, covered pieces of cereal box with foil for the top and taped paper clips on the back.

The boys also wanted to make extra large ornaments. The one on the left is Dash's, and Tornado made the one on the right. I started out trying to convince him to please make it look like a Christmas ornament, but...I don't know why I even wanted to do that. THIS ornament is way more him than anything with gemstones and ribbon.

Sissy had to decorate the red paper ornament to take back to school for hanging on the tree in their lobby. It is also very "Sissy" (pink and shiny). She went on to make this "purse" on her own.

She remarked, "I'm getting into this project cuz I'm making a lot of stuff."

We hung their ornaments on their "homemade ornament tree," where they also have hung the wooden ornaments my mom got them to color.

The kids are loving the Advent Garland. As soon as they wake up, they rush downstairs. One day, the boys unclipped the next number and read it without Sissy. She let 'em have it! She told me to "get them in trouble" and made it clear that was not to happen again. They are so easily impressed, too. One day, there were two clues - one was about watching Olive the Other Reindeer (so I just wrote the words of the Rudolph song highlighting "all of the other reindeers"), which I had recorded, and the other was about watching the Elf on a Shelf cartoon. That one said, "Rhymes with 'telf on a melf.' " (I couldn't think of anything else!) It was as if it was the funniest thing they've ever heard.

At Our Homeschool Co-Op This Week:
As did most classes, we took a break from our regular curriculum (I teach My Father's World K-4.) and focused on holiday fun. I had printed off several crafts and themed worksheets for the kids, and we read Christmas stories. This was one of them.

They also put colored, cut out, and put together this snowman. I also offered cotton balls, and I liked how one kid rolled up pieces into little balls...

and others left them large."

More Christmas Fun This Week:
Friday, the kids' Advent Garland card promised a trip to Bethlehem Revisited held every year at a church in Arkansas. It's really cool. Groups are led (by a Roman soldier) on a little walk where different period-dressed speakers narrate part of the Christmas story in first person. Then the soldier leads you into the walled city where you experience life in the days of Jesus. You are also given shekkels to spend in the market. They especially enjoyed spending some at the "toy" store.

They stopped at the Story Telling booth to hear about Noah's ark.

They also got their names written in Greek. (There was also a Hebrew option.) There were open fires and farm animals, bread and olives, etc. for sale, and all different sorts of experiences at Bethlehem Revisited. The finale is exiting the walls of the city and listening to the final part of the "story," in front of "Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus." "Baby Jesus" was really cute and cooing, so the kids enjoyed that.

candle making

These are the candles they dipped. And apparently now I will be off to wipe all of the fingerprints off our door. This picture really brought 'em out for you to see.

Linkin' Up:

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weekly wrap-up
Have a good week, everyone!


Phyllis said...

What a lovely week! We have been watching Liberty's Kids, too. We have writing troubles here as well.

Lora @ my blessed life said...

You've had a great week! And, yes, I can't believe AR has already had snow. We just moved from there this summer to KY and my family keeps telling me about snow there when we haven't had any here:) We're looking forward to a local live nativity, too, those are always fun!

Drop by if you can, I'm giving away a membership to Math Blaster this week.

MissMOE said...

Wonderful week! I love reading everything your family is doing. We moved away from the snow, and I can't say I miss it! Though having an excuse to drink hot chocolate might be nice! ;)

Katie said...

OK, i nearly flipped when i saw the lyrics to The Wood Song. I love that song (and the indigo girls in general!) I enjoyed reading about the week but especially the gingerbread house pancakes! i want to invite you to stop by our best of 2011 link up and post your fave post from here from the past year or from your food blog (or both!). stopping by from the HMJ.

PrairieJenn said...

What a fun, busy week! Looks like a wonderful time spent with family. We love to go to Branson during Christmas to see the lights at SDC. I can't believe we got snow already either...I'm hoping for a white Christmas! Thanks for sharing all your crafts- I got some great ideas:)

PrairieJenn said...

Hi, Jenny:) Sorry for posting double in your comments but just wanted to pass on the Liebster Award to you! It is typically given to dear or favorite small blogs as a way to recognize and encourage one another. Your blog is fairly new to me, but is a great source of fun, hands-on ideas:) Here are the rules for the award, if you should choose to share the joy: Thank the blogger that nominated you by linking back to them; share your top 5 choices for the award and leave a comment on each blog; and post the award on your blog. Have a great day! Jennifer

Lisa said...

What an awesome week! :-) I just love the Bethlehem Revisted! What incredible experiences for your children.

I loved all of your photos and how important family obviously is to you and your children. Wonderful!

Hope you had a good weekend!
Many blessings,