Sunday, December 2, 2012

Homeschool Mother's Journal: In Which We Enjoy Christmas Music and Crafts

In our homeschool... I had fond hopes of getting four full days of school in this week, and I think we managed it quite well.  Unfortunately, I'm still struggling to keep up grading.  We really should have been working harder on some things recently and up till the Christmas break, while we have a break from review products.   I'd like to think that if all goes well, we can get quite a bit done in December, and take a well-deserved break for Christmas and New Years!

Landon and Kennady worked on some History this week.  We discussed Reconstruction after the Civil War, Yellowstone National Park, and the completion of the Trans-Continental Railroad.  After doing the lesson in the Notgrass book about the railroad, we also looked through the Union Pacific 150th anniversary education kit I'd requested some time ago.

And we kept working on our other subjects.  We didn't have new study materials to work on for astronomy, but the kids have been observing the moon as it moves through its phases pretty faithfully.  They are supposed to observe and sketch it each night at about the same time.  We are having a tough time sticking to the same time each night, but other than that, we're doing okay.  Sometimes it was too cloudy to see much (during first quarter) and sometimes we got busy doing something in the evening and it just got too late.

Friday's school consisted of the annual Christmas Craft Breakfast.  This year my kids made a wooden farm-style bench, a t-shirt scarf, a cookie sheet memo board, and tealight lampshades.

In other news... Monday and Tuesday evening I sang in the choral Christmas concerts.  Then regular church activities on Wednesday, a rehearsal on Thursday night, some shopping on Friday night, and the final concert of the season on Saturday night made for a busy week!

We finally applied for new passports for the kids.  We were going to get just passport cards, but found out we couldn't expedite those and we need these in time for Christmas.  So... way more money than we'd planned on spending, but we should be able to get back into the country after spending the holiday in Canada.  Let that be a lesson to all of us, but to me in particular, about the high cost of procrastination. *sigh*

Helpful homeschooling tips/advice to share... If you can take advantage of the knowledge, skills, creativity, etc of other homeschool parents in a regular co-op or an occasional activity like our Craft Breakfast, try to do it!  Many of the crafts offered at this year's Craft Breakfast were either things I wouldn't have wanted to buy the supplies to do (like embossing the tealight lampshades), things I don't have the patience or interest to do even though they're not difficult (like putting together cookie mixes or flavored hot chocolate mixes to give as gifts), or things that I was thinking of doing but never got around to it (like the cookie sheet memo board - I even Pinned that! LOL).  But with the Craft Breakfast, a bunch of homeschoolers can get together and make these things happen in a fun environment - because homeschool kids do love to socialize!

What's working/not working for us... For me, it has not been working to post my HMJ on Friday afternoon like I want to!  I've decided this will be one of my New Year's Resolutions - to write my HMJ as I go during the week so I can post on Friday more regularly, instead of leaving it to Sunday night.

Thoughts/questions I have... I am eagerly awaiting the new Schoolhouse Crew Review year! The list of upcoming vendors that will have products for the Crew to review in 2013 looks amazing!!

One of my favorite things this week... The Christmas concerts.  It is so much fun to put together those concerts, and I enjoy the rehearsals and the performances.  There's a growing group of folks that I know from church that come out to the concert and we go out to Olive Garden for coffee and dessert after the performance they attend.  Always a good time!

A photo/video/quote or link to share...
Source: via Kym on Pinterest

Union Pacific Railroad is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, and has some special features on the website linked above, and has also been offering a history educational toolkit (free!) at this link: Union Pacific Railroad Offers Free Educational History Toolkit  The kit has a poster, some reproduction stereocard pictures and viewer, and some information about the completion of the transcontinental railroad.

On the bookshelf...
  • King Alfred's English by Laurie J White
  • The Crystal Scepter by C.S. Lakin
I read A Christmas Beginning by Anne Perry.  I didn't have much time to read this week!

A parting shot...

This post is linked up at iHomeschoolNetwork - see what music, crafts, and other activities homeschoolers have enjoyed this week!


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