Friday, December 23, 2016

Books and Art Leading Up to Break

This was a beautiful back at the books week! I decided after last week's break that we should get back on our routine for the week leading up to Christmas. We will take off next week between Christmas and New Years. I don't know about your family but mine gets along better when we are in our routines.

We've done our usual math, reading, scriptures, book club reading (Little Women), writing, and so on. I realized this week that Geometry has been a much better experience with Makayla than Algebra 1, which I'm grateful for. She still doesn't love math, but she doesn't loathe it quite so much.

Homeschool Mom Tip: Little Women is a long book, especially when the listeners are ages 1-15. It's also not quite as adventure filled as some of my children prefer. It takes a bit to get to know the characters and really sort them out in your mind and begin to want to follow their stories. Because of that I added in some help to our listening time. Each day we listen for about 30-40 minutes. Halfway through our listening I pull down an old ice cream bucket from a nearby shelf that has been labeled "Read Aloud". Inside are chocolates. The bucket is passed around and 1 or 2 pieces are pulled out by each person. Because they know chocolate is coming they sit and listen to the story. By the time we pass our bucket around they are into the story and willing to sit and keep listening without much prompting.

The 6th grade and under crowd are pretty antsy about January's arrival because we will begin this year's science curriculum (up to now we've focused more on nature study). I have the experiment kit and book, Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics, sitting out where they can be seen. We got to do an experiment with Makayla this week in Biology and several kids watched in fascination. Then they wanted to do their own experiments. Nope, not happening kids. Experiments are special and we'll do tons of them in science this winter.

Wednesday brought art class with our friends. We went with a Christmas tree theme and did two projects. The construction paper trees were a 'Trim a Tree' project from Cutting Tiny Bites. It was interesting to see the different ways kids chose to layer and create trees. The biggest difference between the original project and ours is that I gave each child a full sheet of construction paper for their background, so they could make more than one tree at a time.

Fingerprint Trees was our other project. I found the basic idea for exploring positive and negative space in this way on Rhythms of Play. The original project made cards and used paint. We chose to use ink pads because they make so much less mess when fingerpainting with a crowd of kids, and they dry quickly. We also just cut our cardstock paper in two instead of making cards. The only unusual need to do this project is painter's tape. I had it on hand because we have plans to do some Piet Mondrian inspired tape resist paintings this winter.

Tobias had a milestone this week: he learned to pull out chairs, climb on them, and then climb on top of the table. Yes, we've reached that stage. You would think that after 8 other 13 month olds I would be ready for it but I never am. He is so proud of his physical prowess but has little concept of just how far down he will fall. I prefer when my babies wait until they are solidly into toddler years before discovering this particular skill. We're working on learning to safely back off the table onto a chair, with the reminder that 'we don't climb on the table'. He's pretty sure we should climb on the table though.

Other posts on the blog this week in case you missed them:
It is Friday morning and we have plans to make potato candy and play dominoes with Grandma. Hooray for family time!  I pray that your family will have a peaceful Christmas celebrating the birth of our Savior.

                                                        Merry Christmas - Jesus is born!
(Linking here and here.)


  1. Oh, you have my sympathy about the toddlers on tables stage! My 2 have been loving it for a full year now, even though the rest of us are quite tired of it. :)

    You have such a gift for making your school adventures sound so fun and so exciting. I want to come to school at your house! Your kids are really blessed to have you for their mom.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!!

    1. I keep trying to tell myself that Tobias is just making sure his mommy gets lots of exercise by making sure I have to get up and go to the dining room a hundred times a day to help him down. I've almost convinced myself... ha!

      I wish we could meet up some time! It would be fun to get the kids together and let the chaos commence.

      Homeschooling has been something I've loved and wanted to do since I was a teen and wanted to be homeschooled. I feel as if the time is flying quickly and I will never get to half the fun I thought we would, but I'm trying to slow down and just enjoy each day.

      Merry Christmas!

  2. The Read Aloud box is such a great idea! The fingerprint trees look like fun. Merry Christmas!

  3. Great idea for keeping everyone's attention during read-aloud. I laughed at Tobias's climbing and was reminded of my youngest son as a toddler. His favoured trick was to drag the chair to the fridge and climb up to help himself from the biscuit tin that was supposedly out of reach. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  4. O M G! I cannot say enough how much I love your library shelf! I'm envious and completely thrilled by it! It's been years now since I had one in the toddler stage but boy do I remember table climbing well. I should try your read aloud box myself since sometimes we have children who absolutely will not sit still through a book they don't really enjoy, my eldest even won my sympathy and got me to cancel Little Women as required reading this year when he was half way through it and I just assigned him the next book in line (one that I'd originally got for the younger girls but was too intense about the human body, it's a science book but they're not ready for the reproductive system just yet to my mind). Merry Christmas!

  5. Merry Christmas! I ran into a little man (about 4 yrs. old) racing around in his awesome (sean-something) wheelchair at Target, and he reminded me of Mason. Turns out, his family is new in the area and they are from Utah (LDS family, too), and followed Mason's blog since her son with SB was born just after Mason. Funny how small the world really is.

    1. It always amazes me the connections we find!


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