Friday, December 6, 2013

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Groove


In our regular life this week…

We had a great Thanksgiving break! Really, I mostly cleaned house during the week. It had gotten out of hand. I got caught up on laundry, and even got it all put away. That's a huge feat for our family of big people.

This week we have enjoyed some milder weather. We even got out for a couple of bike rides. The cold weather arrived yesterday, and it's going to be in the teens for several days in a row. I am praying that our heaters can keep up.


In our homeschool this week…

We have had a dream week of school, and the changes I implemented have definitely helped us get our groove back! We have done some fun things this week and have learned a lot. The changes were much-needed.


Spelling - This was another week of homonyms. I also changed our Monday "Pre-test" to a Monday "Best Guess". Just knowing that it is a "test" gets Eli so anxious that he has trouble concentrating for fear that he is going to miss a word. I explained to him, again, that the purpose of this assessment is just to see what words he already knows so that he can work on the ones he doesn't. So on Mondays we now take a Best Guess at all the new words. Hopefully this will decrease his anxiety.

Grammar - Grammar has involved learning about action verbs, subject verb agreement, and complete sentences versus fragments. We have gotten up out of our seats several times and acted out our action verbs. That gets the wiggles out!

Reading - We are reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. The kids are fascinated each day with what stunts the Herdmanns are going to pull. It's also fun for me to read because I am in the midst of directing our church Christmas Pageant, so I can empathize with the stress Mother is feeling!

Writing - We are learning the 5W's in writing a news story. It has also been an assignment in our Paddle to the Sea studies. I love when subjects criss-cross each other and the kids can see how things work in different scenarios.

Math - We completed Lesson 17 in Math U See. I am loving all of the word problems the kids are doing. And, they do a lot of conversion which I had so much trouble with as a kid (and still do today as an adult). I love to see their little brains working out the problems.

Handwriting - The kids completed five more lessons in Handwriting Without Tears Cursive Success

Geography - We watched an episode of Liberty's Kids every day. We completed Episode 32 of 40. I don't know what we are going to do when this is over! Anyone have any suggestions for another fun history series?

And, we learned about Illinois!! (Finally!) I am going to have a Study America Saturday post this week because we did something fun!

Literature - We are finally reading Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling and doing all of the related activities. We are LOVING this! It reinforces to me how we just have to have a literature study going at all times. This study is fabulous!



So far this week we have built a canoe, learned geography of the Great Lakes and the states and cities surrounding them, traced our waterways from our town to the Atlantic Ocean, and talked about the 5W's of the first chapter.


Extra - We have started some science notebooking. For the time being I am using some suggested topics from Kindergarten Kindergarten. We started with the Rainbow activity. It was overly simplistic, but that was the point. We are going to ease into this concept and do an activity every Monday.


The kids are in the middle of their Holiday Minecraft class. They learned about the eskimos of the 1960's last week and are learning about The Forbidden City of China this week.


Homeschool Tricks and Tips ...

Exchange writing for riding. Tuesday was a beautiful day .. the last in a while, I believe. We had ridden our bikes to the library and done a photo activity on Main Street. On the way home the kids said they really wanted to ride their bikes to the park. We came home and finished up some topics. All we had left to do was writing. We ditched it for riding our bikes, instead. It was a good choice!


Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

My church circle all met together to go Christmas shopping for 25 kids as part of the W. Childrens Christmas Fund. That was quite a feat but such a blessing!


A favorite thing this week was…

our Advent activities! I posted about an Advent calendar we are using from Focus on the Family. It has been so great! The simple illustrations are amazing and have opened up some awesome morning conversations about Christ. It is not too late to start. You can go HERE to download your free copy. I highly recommend it!



What's in the kitchen this week ...

We had some yummy chili this past weekend that I have eaten all week. We ate the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers at my mom's for lunch on Monday. The rest of the week has consisted of quick meals because everybody's schedules are so varied. I have got to get a handle on our schedules so I can do a better job of planning meals so everybody can eat. I think I am going to have a family meeting each Sunday to coordinate calendars and talk about meals. I need to get better at the planning phase.

I am going to be making some applesauce. I bought 44 apples from a young man in FFA. Dawson loves homemade applesauce, so I am going to use a friend's recipe (and her corer/peeler) and make as much made as I can for him for Christmas.


What we're reading ...

Mom:  First Sight by Danielle Steel. I haven't read a Danielle Steel book in years!

Eli: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney.

Brynne: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney.

Read-aloud: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson.


Things we're working on…

Putting out our Christmas decorations. I had intended to do a little bit all week, but the tubs sat in the back entry until today. It's all merry and bright now!



I’m grateful for …

online shopping! I have done the majority of my shopping online this year. Not only has it been much easier, but I have found some great deals without even having to leave home.


What's coming up this week ...

Eli's birthday party is tomorrow. His birthday is not until December 22nd, but we always try to have his birthday party in early December to give some distance between it and Christmas. He is so excited and on sensory overload!! I am now in party planning and cake making mode. He is having a bowling party with a Pitfall: The Lost Expedition theme. I've had to get creative … think Indiana Jones.


A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…








3 comments:

  1. HI Nicole! Your home looks so cozy and inviting! We loved The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and also Paddle to the Sea. Have you seen the video that's online for Paddle to the Sea? We enjoyed that a lot.

    I'm glad you had a productive Thanksgiving week... thanks (as always!) for linking with Collage Friday!

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  2. What a wonderful week. I love the bike riding instead of writing now and again. We are doing Paddle to the Sea soon.
    Blessings, Dawn

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  3. Nolan gets stressed about the Pre-test too - I like the Best Guess idea! We loved Best Christmas Pageant Ever (we read it last year) and Nolan recently finished, The Best Halloween Ever, all about the same kids. He enjoyed the Christmas book more, but it was still cute.

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