Sunday, November 9, 2008

and so we begin

I'm trying to decide whether or not to blog from here or from Facebook. I am not sure how private this blog is and honestly not sure who I want to be able to read what I put here.

Right now we are in a hotel "in town" for about two weeks while we wait for our flight. While it is nice to be done with all the packing and such, I still can't believe we are moving. I have always wanted to live out of the country, but never thought I would. Now that I am, well, I'm just amazed by it all.

The title of this blog is the Welsh word for friend. I know, it makes for a hard to remember title, but I like the idea of that.

I think now that I have space for anything not move related I can begin again to think about homeschooling. So that is what this post will be about.

I have, in the past, tried to cram too many things into our school day. I'm going to change that this time around. Since we will be just settling into our new home, I'm going to keep it light and fun for December and honestly I'm going to work to make things more fun in general.

I bought this book of monthly ideas for December from this educational supply store. It is full of little coloring sheet activity things involving the December holidays. I'm thinking for each week of December (yes even Christmas week), I will have a different holiday to focus on. Now, please realize I don't have the book in front of me, so there is a good chance I will change all of this. For the first week of December, we will do St. Nicholas day. We'll learn a little bit about the history of St. Nicholas and a little about Holland. For the second week, Santa Lucia day with a little bit about Sweden. I forgot what the rest of the weeks were, (don't have the book in front of me), but I do think I will cover Hannukah, Kwanza, Winter Solstice, and Las Posadas. Italy and the story of Befana (I'm unsure if I'm spelling this all correctly) will be touched on the first week of January.

I would like the kids to learn a few carols, too. I'll probably start this with them this week. Basically I will just start singing them a lot. I think we'll do The Holly and the Ivy (we kind of know this one already) and then I don't know what else. Wonder if there is a Welsh carol we can learn?

What we will be doing each week is just a simple little bit of reading about the holiday, find the country on the map, and maybe make some kind of goodie. We'll also do math and reading and writing. I found this and I'm going to use some ideas from there for writing prompts for the Artist. I'm not going to buy the book, I'm going to just use the ideas and have him write it in his journal. I also found some ideas here and here. I'm going to use the time between us getting settled in and when our homeschool books come in to work really hard with the Artist on basic multiplication facts.

The Explorer will continue with his therapy work and with Max and Lewis alphabet stories. Max and Lewis are these two brothers. Max is the same age as the Artist, Lewis the same age as the Explorer. Max and Lewis have two younger sisters named Lily and Poppy (and they are the same age as the Tiny Goddess and the baby aka Miss Mousie). Lewis is of course the main character of these stories when I tell them to the Explorer. Turns out, their family is also planning a big move except instead of moving to a new country they are moving to a new planet! Lewis learned A while watching his dad fly off in a rocket to visit the new planet (his dad was a little bit scared and so he screamed out, "Aaaaaaaaa!" Also the rocket was shaped like an A.) Lewis learned about Bb when Lily got ahold of Poppy's bear and smushed him into a ball and hit him with a stick. (Poor little Poppy!) Lily has more mischief in store when she takes a big bite out of Lewis's cookie to make it into a C shape. (I was going to have a story about cats, but since we just gave away our cats, it is too fresh to make them into our story.) I'm just going to have fun with the stories and take as long as it takes to get through the alphabet.

I'm also going to start up doing "reading lessons" with the Explorer. The lessons are based on ideas from the book Teach a Child to Read with Children's Literature

I'm post phoning science, history, and Latin until after the first of the year. I think I will do some light spelling work, but just based on words the Artist misspells. He has been asking about copywork, believe it or not, so we will do some of that, too. After the first of the year, I would like to introduce some dictation but we will see.

I have this grammar lesson series based on A Cricket in Times Square. I started it back in the fall but dropped it. I may or may not do it in December. Probably I won't do it until after the first of the year, though.

So there you have it. I also have decided what to do about this blog. For now, I'm keeping it public. I like having the option of just babbling on about homeschool stuff and on my facebook blog I think it may not interest other folks. Plus I like the idea of being able to revise my ideas out loud so to speak.


Sara said...

My favorite part of the Christmas season is song, so a couple of years ago I decided we would do a different carol every night leading up to Christmas. My kids love it. --There are also some sweet songs to go with St. Nicholas and St. Lucia days.

Your plan sounds really nice. :-)

Happily Ever After said...

Oh, we absolutely plan on stealing your idea, too. I forgot about that. Thanks for the reminder. With the move and all, I want to make this Christmas very special.

aksunshinedaydream said...

Your geography plan sounds just like the geography class I am teaching with one of our homeschool groups. :) The first week seemed to go over well. (We are doing a different country each week and learning about a "winter holiday" from that country.) For the first class we learned about Mexico and the posadas and three kings day and such, we had three kings bread and wedding cookies for a snack and the kids made pinatas. It was fun!