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Weekly Wrap-up ~ Activities Galore!

Thoughts about the Week ... 

With such a great week of homeschooling to end with such tragedy in Connecticut, it makes it really hard to carry on about how great things are here. However, the possibility of these types of tragedies, among other things, is one of the reasons why we homeschool in the first place. After my husband and I discussed the shooting, he sent me a text that said, "Thank you for homeschooling." There are so many arguments for and against, but I know that I cannot depend on others to protect and care for my children. It's my job, and I am grateful that I have the opportunity to do that on a daily basis. My prayers are most certainly with the families of those precious babies.

I think this is going to be one of those weeks that when I get done typing this wrap-up, I will say, "Wow! We really did do a lot!" We have cut a couple of things out here and there because of some life events, like my grandma going back into the hospital and today's tragedy that made me just want to concentrate on cuddling up on the couch with my kids. But, it was a full week of learning, so I am pleased.

Advent Activities ...

This year I made an Advent Activity Countdown Chain. Each day we have torn off the chain and done a fun activity. They have included seeing Santa, going to see a huge light display, decorating a gingerbread house, watching some movies, making pinecone birdfeeders for our feathered friends, making paper snowflakes, making reindeer food, and several other things. We have made some special memories this week, for sure! Here are some picture highlights.

The Basics ...

 As far as real school goes? It's been pretty steady despite all of the holiday excitement! We completed our Stick Figuring of the life of Joseph, worked on writing rhyming five sentence paragraphs, built some sentences, identified sentence parts, finished Stuart Little, and did some reading comprehension and personal reading.

Math Fun ...

We have taken a Living Math approach to measurements this week by using several of the Math Monsters books and Study Jams. It's been fun!

A Science Unit Study ...

We will be reviewing a product by Susan Kilbride soon on Electricity, so I followed her advice from that unit study and did the unit on Atoms and Molecules from her Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers. (You should go read my review on this fabulous product. It was our Favorite Resource this week!) We had a great week learning about atoms and molecules with lots of hands on activities! I think I even understand what they are after all these years! We built models out of marshmallows and toothpicks, learned about how to determine how many elements of each atom certain molecules have, and made both salt and sugar crystals. I also thought it was great to be able to explain to the kids, while we were making paper snowflakes, that snowflakes are crystals! I even heard my children use spontaneous words and phrases in our studies such as "evaporation" and "breaking down the molecule". Astounding!

After molecule building was completed, Brynne spent the better part of two days (and all of my marshmallows and toothpicks) making creations. The robot was just one of them.

Our Friday Out and About ...

The weather warmed up so we were able to get outside and get some exercise. We made a trip to the library and checked out tons of books. Each of the kids has about 15 books to read to meet their mid-year goals of 50 books (these are picture books, of course.) While we were there they took some time playing geography games on the computer and chose a chapter book to read over Christmas break.

Our Friday also consisted of a trip to the park for some nature study. By the time we went the weather was turning colder, so we just sat on the bank of the pond and observed. We listened to the leaves rustling in the trees, watched the waves coming in, and listened to the water bubbling under the rocks.

All-in-all it was a fabulous week of school. We are going to put in one more hard and heavy week, and then we are taking two weeks off. We need a break!

BTW ... I have noticed that no one is really following our Rediscovering Christmas unit, so I have decided it is something that we will just do privately. Don't forget to spend some time with your family remembering why we celebrate Christmas.

Linking up ...


  1. Wow! Some great Advent activities there! We're supposed to make some Reindeer Food (i.e. popcorn, cashews, caramel and chocolate) yesterday, but never did get to it. Maybe today? LOL

    Love the marshmallow models! I have plans to do that with the kids when we do Chemistry January-April-ish. We're using an on-line resource and a Chem kit I've had on the schooling shelves for a while. (And maybe Science in a Bag. Did you review that?)

    Your rock candy came out better than ours did the last time!

    Merry Christmas!

  2. It does look like a fabulous week! We love building marshmallow molecules, too.

  3. we love rock candy experiments don't do them in the summer unless later you want to investgate ants :)

    looks like you had a lot of fun this week.

    I know what you mean about the Rediscovering Christmas, mine have lots of views, and pins but not sure anyone really cares, oh well. I'd love to see them though :) send a picture!

    I know what you mean about scary news, your kinda torn since you have some in school and some at home. Didn't you just want to run and grab the school kids. I did even though the girls school is like fort knox I just wanted to see them and know they were ok!

    have a great weekend

  4. Hi Nicole!!!
    I had that same thought after all that happened yesterday. I even said to the hubby yet another reason why I would like to home school. There are already so many outside influences that you have to think about along with their safety as well. Not that something like what happened yesterday is common but if definitely makes you think.

    Looks like a fun filled week at your house! So neat that you get to take your children to a nature trail as part of their curriculum! Love that!

    Kendra :o)

  5. What a wonderful week, Nicole! I am impressed with how much schoolwork you accomplished along with fun Advent activities.

    The atoms and molecules study looks great, I'm going to check out her units.

    Wishing you another great week and a very merry Christmas.

  6. I love all the great hands on activities you do with your kids. I always look forward to seeing what you guys did!

  7. Yes, I think you need a break, too! You did do a lot this week.... I always admire your enthusiasm and all of the hands on activities you do. Good job, mom!

  8. What a wonderful week! I love all of your activities.

    It is tough to wrap my mind around the Connecticut tragedy- it doesn't seem real. My friend decided to homeschool after the young people she worked with told her tales of the drills they had for just such a situation. Although, I do think that it is important to discuss what they would do in any emergency- especially a situation where they hear gunfire. :( I'd rather not though.

    I hope the rest of your advent and Christmas are full of blessings. I am always inspire by your sharing.

  9. What fun projects! Brings back lots of wonderful memories.

    Thanks for stopping by. Oh, I'm following you now. Merry Christmas!

  10. I love it when kids can take what they've learned in one area and apply it to the next!

    I am thankful for homeschooling, too. Things like what happened this past week are terrifying to contemplate, and heartbreaking to hear about.

    Merry Christmas!


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