It feels like it’s been longer than 2 1/2 weeks since I’ve last posted. Usually when I’m at the computer I’m holding a baby, which makes it difficult to type (but easy enough to check my email!).
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We have finished up our Thanksgiving and American Indian studies and are now focusing on Christmas. We’re doing the Jesse Tree again (see last year’s post about it here) and a lapbook on the Twelve Days of Christmas. I have free copies of 12 Days lapbooks from Homeschool Share and Hands of a Child. Even though it’s probably not true that the song has Christian symbolism in it, it’s a great way to learn some of these things. So, we’ve been talking about the 4 gospels, 6 days of creation, 8 beatitudes, 10 commandments, etc. We have also been singing lots of Christmas songs with dad playing the guitar in the evenings. The kids have been singing together and doing solos, too! Next week I’ll teach them the sign language for "Silent Night" and "Joy to the World." For copywork, they’ve written "O Come, O Come Immanuel", Luke 2:11 (in English and Latin), and our memory verse of the week Isaiah 11:1, which gives the reason for the Jesse Tree. We got a lot of "classic" Christmas books at the library like "The Grinch That Stole Christmas", "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and "Polar Express." We will start reading "A Bethlehem Christmas" by Swindoll on Monday. Next week we will make our homemade Christmas gifts (I’ll tell about those later!), listen to Handel’s Messiah and The Nutcracker music, and maybe make some wassail and Christmas cookies!
We are also doing a mini-study on dinosaurs and have been reading "Dinosaurs of Eden" by Ham. It’s a great book! Next week we’ll watch the DVD from Ken Ham about dinosaurs. For math we’ve worked on temperature and clock. The kids are also playing lots of games. And they have gone outside every day this week! This is big for me as getting all their snow gear on is quite a hassle. But I’ve been re-reading some Charlotte Mason writings and am persuaded once again about the importance of outdoor play, which is also exploration to a child. I really want to get better at nature study! I need to read "A Handful of Pinecones" by Andreola again. We’ve been reading about current events from God’s World News and listening to the new Jonathan Park CDs about zoo animals in the car. I also got "Little Women" on CD from the library (20 hours!), so we’ll try to start listening to that soon. Finally, we are finishing up the first part of the Mystery of History (volume 2) with Jerome, St. Patrick, Attilla the Hun, and the Fall of the Western Roman Empire. In January we’ll start up with Knights and Castles–that will be fun!