Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Advent Wrap Up

Our Advent family fun continued throughout the month of December.

We learned about the Shepherds and how they went to see Jesus.
We made little sheep out of our hand prints and colored sheets.

Daddy and the boys making their sheep crafts

We also talked about the Wise men and that they brought Jesus' gifts.
We did do a coloring sheet to go with this lesson, but some how that sheet turned into a drawing of one of Charlie's famous "city scapes"

When our cousins were here for our Christmas dinner (a few days early) we colored our Jesus pictures.

Brandon colored this one for me.

It is easy to get lost in all the hub bub of the holiday season. It is so easy to allow making commercial magic for our children become the priority on Christmas morning. I confess, I LOVE everything about the Christmas season. I love shopping for gifts for the ones that I love, arranging presents under the tree, baking cookies, twinkling lights, Christmas music, decorating the house with fir trees and sparkling glass balls, and the visit to see Santa is high on the list. And even though we will always put cookies out for the jolly ole elf, we have also made greater strides to teach our children the true meaning of Christmas.

I feel so blessed that our family decided to take even a few short moments during this past month to talk about, read and create all around learning about our Lord and Savior. It was a great experience and something I hope that we will continue to do throughout the year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Preparing for Christmas: Angel Gabriel and Mary

This year we started a new family tradition that I hope will last for years to come.

Each week, or every few days as it turned out, we came together as a family and worked on a project based on the happenings around the birth of Christ.

In Part l we focused on the Angel coming to speak with Mary. We read Luke 1:26-38
"Greetings, most favored one and do not be afraid. God has chosen you out of all women. Very soon you will have a baby. You must call him Jesus."

We sat down and colored a sheet and talked about why the angel came to Mary.Our coloring sheets

Then we made an angel craft.
Daddy and the boys making their angels

It was nice to be together as a family, talking about Jesus, and having fun. It was also nice to see the boys working with their Daddy. Since we primarily do most of our school and projects during the day, Daddy misses out on a lot of those moments. It was a really special moment for all of us.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Preparing for Christmas

wreath made by Charlie last Christmas 08
We have taken the month of December off of "school" to prepare for Christmas. Charlie is at a great age and I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to really teach the kids about what Christmas is all about. Sure we love the jolly ole elf, and enthusiastically await his arrival, but that is not what Christmas is really about. Jesus is the reason for the season!

Everyday we have an Advent activity planned. Some days it is as simple as decorating a Christmas tree or drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies. Other days it may be preparing our Good Samaritan boxes with toys and candy for little boys in third world countries or taking food to the food pantry at church. Playdates with friends to exchange gifts or making presents for family far away. Thanks to my dear friend Sharon for the inspiration!

Each week we will come together as a family and do a specific project preparing for the birth of our Christ. This will give us the opportunity to learn about Jesus together as a family and have fun doing it. Such a simple idea really, but one I picked up from Carissa

For me there is an excitement in the air when Christmas approaches. The lights, the food, the presents. The biggest present is Jesus! May we always remember the true meaning of Christmas. And may we plant on our children's hearts the importance of this lovely holiday.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving: My First Thanksgiving

We had a nice week, still figuring out this whole "home schooling" thing. We did A LOT of fun things this week and spent a good amount of time training Sir Thomas. Wow, is it difficult to teach and have a little one under foot! However, I really tried to turn those training moments into positives and with each day those moments became fewer and far between! Thank goodness for small miracles!!

This week we read My First Thanksgiving by Tomie dePaola
An easy read for both the boys, yet enough information to expand on for Charlie and simple enough for Tom.
We colored pictures of turkeys

We made our annual Indian Corn. This year Tommy was artistically inspired and painted more then the corn :) And big brother followed suite.

For Tommy time, we worked on grouping our counting frogs (that I purchased at the Dollar Store) together to practice our colors and counting

We made our Thanksgiving Fact Book, put up our Tepee
dressed up as Cowboys and rode our horse(swiffer) around the house.

The boys used our new dry erase board. Tommy practiced drawing circles and line, Charlie wanted to write our address and Daddy's cell phone number.

The boys made Native American Headdresses using feathers, construction paper and tape. Our first go with tape and they both did really well!!

So cute!

We also played with a bunch of our favorite learning toys that we checked out from the library's toy loaning program. LOVE the library!! We played ringtoss
Tommy and I worked with the clock on shapes, numbers and putting the puzzle pieces in the correct spot. Charlie and I did the same thing and then used the clock portion to introduce him to telling time. I would call out different times, like what time we go to bed, have lunch etc and he would position the hands in the appropriate position. He did great and really enjoyed this! We might need to get this for Christmas!!
Charlie also did the math puzzle and matched up the numbers with the corresponding picture.

We played a lot of games this week, some of our favorite were Feed the Turkeys. Charlie fed them , and himself some candy corn.
And a Harvest Pattern Game I would make a pattern and then he would copy it, then he made me one and I did the same. It was fun working together.

Meanwhile, my good little helper was hard at it!

We also covered our daily work, devotions, calendar, weather, Kumon workbook, Explode the Code workbook and read a lot of books about Thanksgiving!! Charlie also enjoyed doing several lessons on resource!
Turkey Poem:
The Turkey is a silly bird
His head goes wobble, wobble
The only word he really knows is,
gobble, gobble

Thanks for the ideas!!
Native American Headdress
Harvest Pattern Game, Feed the Turkey Game and coloring sheets from

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bear Snores On, getting ready for winter

We had a fun, productive week during our learning time! The boys, and I were more then thrilled to be back on track after our bit with the flu!!

We based our week around the book Bear Snores On

We read the book each day and even watched a video of it on youtube. Within reading a few pages, Charlie was chanting along with me "But the Bear snores on..." This is a great book that illustrates nicely how bear hibernates in the winter and how friends can help each other.

Tommy used the alphabet magnets on the cookie sheet
and played the bear emotion puzzle with S while Charlie worked on his Bear Facts book.

Some of the bear facts that he included in his book were that bears live in caves/dens, that they eat berries and fish, have thick fur etc. He glued pictures in his book of bears doing these different things.

Having this book was great because we pulled it out through the week and and used it as a visual aid to remind us of what we had learned about bears. We also glued in our helping loving hands bear wheel that had different pictures of kids doing things like helping put away their clothes, wash the table, hugging each other, reading books together etc. This was to go with the theme of how the animals in Bear Snores On, helped one another and shared their snacks together.

We did our basic work, Kumon

and Code books for some math and phonics work. Even little brother wants to do "school"

I even tried to have their lunch be something fun and "beary", so made their PBJ sandwich look like a bear (kind of!) cut it with a heart cookie cutter, used PB to glue down the popcorn eyes and M&M was a BIG hit

For our science portion of the week we continued to work on our body from our Amazing Me book. We learned about skin and colored some "skin" on our body. Charlie also added his hair since we had forgotten to do that the last time.

We also did a touch and feel bag. I put several items that were different textures in the bag and Charlie had to close his eyes and use his "skin" to feel the items and try and identify them.

In preparation for the cold weather, we made a treat for our outdoor friends by placing our Halloween pumpkin filled with Indian corn and stale bread out on patio table.

We also made several bear "dens" during the week. The boys had a lot of fun getting all their stuffed animals or friends of Bear, like in the book, and placing them in the den too. We also ate popcorn and hot chocolate like Bear and his friends did.

Charie in his bear den, looking at his Bear Fact book and eating an orange in preparation for his long sleep, hibernation. He did this all on his own, so cute

Tommy and Charlie making a bear den for their stuffed bear. I placed plastic food around the house and they walked like a bear to gather it and brought it to the den.

The boys dressed up in different clothes

that they would wear when the weather gets cold, hats, gloves, snow pants and we talked about winter. Even Sammie enjoyed the fun!

We played lots of games, did some dishes, and cleaned up the place.

This is a little song that I sang to the kids as they were snuggling down for a long winters nap in their bear den.

Little Bear

(to the tune of frere jacques)

Are you sleepy, Are you sleepy
Little bear, little bear?
Wintertime is coming,
Wintertime is coming,
Very soon, very soon.

Find a cave, Find a cave,
Little bear, little bear
Wintertime is here,
Wintertime is here,
Go to sleep, go to sleep.

Are you sleepy, Are you sleepy
Little bear, little bear?
You will wake in springtime
In the warm, warm springtime
Little bear, little bear

Time to wake up, Time to wake up
Little bear, little bear
Springtime is here, springtime is here
Wake up now, wake up now!

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