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Showing posts from November, 2010

Week 2 ~ Christmas Book and Activity a Day

Here are next week's books and supplies needed for Shannon's Christmas Book and Activity a Day challenge.


Monday, December 6th ~ The Snow Angel by Angela McAllister (supplies needed: white construction paper, cotton balls)



Tuesday, December 7th ~ The Snowy Path by Lark Carrier (supplies needed: watercolors, salt, construction paper)



Wednesday, December 8th ~ Mortimer's Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson (no extra supplies needed)



Thursday, December 9th ~ What's Coming for Christmas by Kate Banks (supplies needed: construction paper, glue, crayons, markers and glitter)



Friday, December 10th ~ My First Nutcracker by Stephanie True Peters (supplies needed: Nutcracker music, clothespins, paint, pinecone and glitter)



Extra book to read: Arthur's Christmas by Marc Brown


The first week has been fun! I can't wait to see what's in store for the second week!

This is the Stable

Today's book in Shannon's Christmas Book and Activity a Day challenge was This is the Stable written by Cynthia Cotten and illustrated by Delana Bettoli.


A gorgeous, poetic new version of the Nativity story Wondrous things are happening in this humble little stable. The animals are gathering round. Shepherds and wise men and angels are coming from afar. All of them are flocking to see the Christ child, born this night in Bethlehem.Illustrated in the gorgeous tropical hues of the region and told in lyrical verses perfect for reading aloud, this is a retelling of the Nativity that will be treasured for many Christmases to come.

The activity for this book was a Nativity scene made out of free blank printables for coloring found at Catholic Icing and toilet paper tubes.



I have always loved my 30+ Nativity sets I have been collecting for the past 20 years. But I think this one might be the only one I put out this year.  Brynne played with it most of the afternoon.

(Just a reminder ...…

The First Christmas Stocking

First of all, it feels great to be back to school after having a week off!

For the month of December Dawson will be reading passages out of the Books of Luke and Isaiah and studying Handel's Messiah. We are starting his unit on Ancient Rome.

Brynne will continue with her 3 R's, reading about Colonial Williamsburg with the American Girl doll Felicity and will be doing some Christmas studies. We are joining Shannon at Welcome to our Wonderland in her Christmas Book and Activity a Day program.


Today we read The First Christmas Stocking written by Elizabeth Winthrop and illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline.


"Dream your dreams, my child, and knit them into the wool." A long time ago a girl named Claire learned to knit by her mother's side. As the mother knit mittens, scarves and all sorts of clothing for the wealthy people of the town, Claire set about knitting stockings to keep her toes warm. Claire, her mother and father, you see, were poor. They lived in a stone hut, w…

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Yummy Food and Fun Fall Crafts!

The highlight of our week last week was definitely related to food! On Tuesday night Dawson {finally} cooked us the Greek meal he had been planning. Oh. My. Gosh. It was delicious! This kid can cook!

He made Greek salad, Feta stuffed chicken and Lemon custard cakes. And we had grapes and cheese for an appetizer.



Dawson ~ 8th Grade
We are finishing up our unit on Ancient Greece and the Human Body Systems for science. He spent a great deal of the week studying for a vocabulary test and for his upcoming tests on Ancient Greece and the body systems. We finished Classic Myths to Read Aloud by William F. Russell. It was an excellent study of the myths. Dawson took a vocabulary test over 61 words used throughout the book and made a 90%. That was a great grade! But I was more impressed when he came down Thursday afternoon with his book The Last Olympian from the Percy Jackson series and pointed out two of his vocabulary words that were in one sentence in the book. Isn't that the purpose o…

Thanksgiving Unit: Courtesy of Scholastic

Our homeschool coop notified us of a live Webcast that was taking place on November 16th. We registered just in time and Brynne and I watched it, Live. It took place at the Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts. There were period indians and colonists that were in character and answered questions of the moderator. Very neat. You can watch the Recast here.

While on the website I noticed lesson plans for several age groups.

Brynne and I will be doing the Pre-K to 1st Grade lesson plan next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

There are many printables available, here, as well.

Scholastic is a great resource.

Christmas Books and Activities

Starting the Monday after Thanksgiving, Brynne and I will be joining my friend Shannon at Welcome to our Wonderland in a daily Christmas book and activity curriculum.


Although our library did not have all of the exact books Shannon is using, I chose ones as similar as possible so we can play along. Here's what we will be reading:

Monday, November 29th ~ The First Christmas Stocking by Elizabeth Winthrop (supplies needed: paper stocking, glitter, Christmas foam stickers)



Tuesday, November 30th ~ This is the Stable by Cynthia Cotten (supplies needed: crayons, toilet paper tube, shoebox)



Wednesday, December 1st ~ The Spirit of Christmas by Nancy Tillman (supplies needed: pudding or jello box, construction paper)



Thursday, December 2nd ~ The 12 Days of Christmas: a carol-and-count flap book by Tad Hills (supplies needed: construction paper, Christmas foam stickers)



Friday, December 3rd ~ Jingle Bells by Maryann Kovalski (supplies needed: pipe cleaners, jingle bells)


You can go to Shan…

How I Build A Unit {virtually for free}

As I'm preparing for Dawson's next unit on Ancient Rome, I thought I would provide the steps I take to build the unit for free (or mostly free).

We are using A World of Adventure by Dorian Holt. It is a unit study based loosely on Charlotte Mason's philosophies of using Living Books. (I don't know if that's what Ms. Holt intended, but it is certainly the way it worked out.)

So to start each new unit I go through the entire 30 days and jot down notes about the topics we will cover, the science experiments she has provided and the Fine Arts projects she suggests. Some we use and some we don't.

Then I do this ...

1.    DVR. The very first thing I do (and I actually do this about weekly) is a DirectTV search on the topic. I just put in "Ancient Rome", for example, and set our DVR to record every show or movie on the topic. I usually end up with about 5 or 6 things for us to watch.

2.    Library. Then I hit our library website. We are part of the Tulsa Publ…

The Outdoor Hour ~ Lesson #3 {Nature Journal Drawings}

We have fallen a couple of weeks behind in our Nature Study and I have missed it. But I realized yesterday that a nature study can take place at any time. As I sat in my living room, I looked out onto my back porch and saw a bird (that, darnit, I didn't have time to investigate as to its kind) that was pecking at some wood on our porch. I don't know if it was looking for bugs or getting some splinters for a nest. In any event, I was in awe watching it.

Lesson #3 of The Outdoor Hour was this:

Outdoor Hour Challenge #3 Now is the Time to Draw
1. Read pages 16-17 of the Handbook of Nature Study. Highlight or underline those parts that will help you understand better the connection between nature study, language arts, and drawing.

2. This week take your 10-15 minute nature walk.
If you have tired of your own backyard, venture down your street, around your block, or to a near-by park. Remember Anna Comstock’s words, “Nature study is for the comprehension of the individual life of the…

Your Backyard

Recently Kimberly at Adventures in Mothering was hosting a giveaway for Your Backyard, a dvd presented by Crowe's Newst MEDIA. And I won!!


I had read about this dvd on other blogs and was really hoping to get my hands on one. Brynne and I are in the very beginning stages of a weekly nature study so this dvd would be a perfect addition.

It is "a young beginner's guide to identifying 18 common feeder birds by sight and sound" and features birds of Eastern and Central United States. "Join siblings Taylor, Samuel and Grace, along with special guest, Professor Solomon, on a delightful fun-filled, creation-based journey of learning to identify common feeder birds by sight and sound. All the while, enjoy vivid, close-up images of some of the Creator God's most beautiful feeder birds, combined with rich bird vocalization recordings."

We live on a one-acre plot of land and our backyard borders a bluff. We have lots of trees and lots of birds. We have a nest on o…

Weekly Wrap-Up {America, Greece and First Aid)

We really have just gotten so busy, it seems, during the week that I feel like I am giving Dawson an hour or so of my time and then going over what he is to do on his own only to leave him for the day. Then Brynne and I have lots of activities to attend to, like: library, coop, grocery shopping. And this week we added additional errands, a physical therapy appointment for my older daughter, picking daddy up from the airport and going to my younger son's Veteran's Day program. I enjoyed all of the learning that went on at these various events, but I felt like Dawson was left behind and on his own more than I would like. Part of what I enjoy about homeschooling is the time I get to spend with my kids. So, not spending time with him really bugs me. Wish that was going to get better in the next few weeks, but with the holidays it's not likely.

Here's what we did:

 Brynne~ 1st Grade
Math can be done anywhere at anytime. I walked by Brynne on Monday and she had our Wii games a…

A Veteran's Day Mini-Unit

It occured to me last night when going to bed that today was Veteran's Day (actually I was fully aware of this because two of my children are involved in programs today.) I felt that a mini-unit would be a great thing to do for Brynne.

This is why it's kind of great that I have no real curriculum for Brynne right now. We just do what we want everyday, so doing this unit didn't disrupt any plans.

This morning my husband returned from a two-week business trip. We went to greet him at the airport. And then this afternoon we had a Veteran's Day program to go to at my 1st grader's school. So I thought making a small notebook of Veteran's Day activities would be great for her to take along on all of our activities today.

I just printed off some things: a couple of coloring sheets, a "veteran" tracer page, a word search and a math page (that decodes into a Veteran's Day message). I also printed off an In Flander's Fields mini-book for her to read wit…