Category: homeschool

It’s only four weeks until Christmas break! So far this school year, I’ve been planning one or two weeks of lessons at a time. (That was usually how I did things when I taught public school, too. Planning bigger blocks of time inevitably led to frustration when we’d miss an activity here or there… I’d have to cross it out or rewrite it… and I’d feel angsty about my now-messy planbook.) This weekend, however, I’m sitting down to plan out the next four weeks.

I’m going to plan out our math, science, handwriting, phonics, and writing lessons, as well as holiday activities, in detail. We are ahead of the curve in math, so by looking ahead over the month, I’ve spaced out some of the curriculum lessons and will interject a few review days so that we’ll complete the unit “on time.”

Our Tapesty of Grace materials are the most time-intensive, so “lesson planning” in that area actually involves a lot of reading on my part, then picking and choosing from the smorgasbord of suggested activities and books, and arranging them in an order that flows with our weekly schedule. So I’ll plan this upcoming week TOG in detail, and *if* I have time I’ll plan ahead. If not, I’ll continue to plan TOG lessons each weekend. The next four weeks will take us back to the Promised Land, in the time of Joshua, the judges, and King Saul and David. I’m personally excited about seeing new connections I’ve probably missed, even after growing up hearing some of these Bible stories my whole life!

Mainly, though, I want to make sure I have holiday crafts and activities for Tuesdays and Thursdays this month (when we are all together). I’ll be moving my collection of Christmas books into the family room when I put away the Thanksgiving books – but I set aside a few titles so that we can read them together with special focus. The Littlest Christmas Tree: A tale of growing and becoming by Janie Jasin, The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell, The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado, and How Many Miles to Bethlehem? by Kevin Crossley Holland will each coordinate with a craft for the kids. In some cases, I’m planning two separate crafts for Jonas & Susannah’s differing abilities.In addition to the “school” things I’m planning, we’ll bake plenty of Christmas goodies and watch all the favorite shows and movies. I’ve got my iTunes Christmas playlist fired up, and we have a CD in the car to help us learn all the music for the church play (Susannah is going to be a lamb; Jonas refuses to get on stage and plans to watch from the pew). We’re going to have a Thanksmas celebration on December 8th with my Dad and Barbara, our Sunday School party on December 9th, and another Thanksmas on December 15th with Chris’ mom and sisters, so we get to spread out the cheer the whole month long.

Share with a friend!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email
I don’t know about you, but we’re heading into one of my favorite times of the year. Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back at Starbucks, long sleeves and boots are back in my closet, and apples are ready to pick! 
We missed the UCHS field trip to Reid’s Orchard last year (what with having a few-days-old baby in the house!) so I was especially excited to go this time around. We arrived at their store area to pay for our admission and meet up with our group; of course mom couldn’t resist a cute photo opportunity by the bins of pumpkins.

When everyone was present and accounted for, we took off into the orchard in search of the big sign marking the “Rome” apples. One homeschool dad remarked as we trudged, “Are you sure we’re not walking all the way to Rome?”

We finally found the rows of apple trees where we were supposed to pick. Each student picked two apples, which our group coordinator gathered in a big sack.
Abigail didn’t pick apples today, but she enjoyed the view.
After all the kids had climbed trees or clambered underneath for their pair of apples, we took another little hike through the orchards, past some old barns, to the wishing well. 

Can you spot the concrete where the farm’s founders carved the date? Reid’s Orchard is one year older than the Kentucky Derby!

 Group picture!
We hiked back through the orchard to take a tour of the Apple House. We saw the cold storage area that keeps the apples crisp and fresh until Christmas, and then we saw one of the small machines which cleans the apples.
Then we went around the

Share with a friend!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email
This week, our studies of ancient Egypt continued. That salt dough map we started last week was finally dry and ready to paint. Did you know the ancient word Egyptians used to describe their land was Kemet? It meant “black land” – a reference to the thick, black, fertile soil that was deposited each year when the Nile flooded.
While Jonas painted his map, Susannah painted at the easel. 
And Abigail played with Tupperware. 
We also made a “mummy” (by wrapping linen strips around my old Cabbage Patch doll) and a pyramid (by cutting, carving, and baking Sculpy).

One of our last hands-on projects for this week was a replica of Pharaoh’s double crown. The inner, white crown (with white feathers and a “gold” disk) represented southern Upper Egypt; the outer, red crown (with royal cobra) represented northern Lower Egypt. Pharaoh wore a unified crown to symbolize his role as ruler of both regions.

Next week: a deeper look at the polytheistic culture of ancient Egypt, and how the plagues that preceded the Exodus demonstrated that the Hebrew God is the only God!

Share with a friend!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

We had a short week, since we spent Friday traveling to South Carolina for my dad’s wedding. But even with just four days, we were able to read several resources about ancient Egypt.

Funniest line of the week: I was reading aloud about daily life, including what people would have had available to eat and drink. They grew a lot of wheat & barley, so there was plenty of bread and beer. Even the children drank beer. Jonas got bug-eyed. “The kids could drink the beer?! Man… I wish I was an Egyptian!”

Projects: We had a lot of geography to work on this week – a world map with labels for the continents and oceans… a fold-out flip book of geography terms, definitions, and pictoral examples…  and a salt map of Egypt!

It turns out that salt maps take a l-o-o-o-n-g time to dry, so we’ll finish the salt map with paint and labels next week.

We also made an Egyptian paddle doll. Children in Egypt would have fashioned these out of wood… ahh, how cuddly. Ours is cardboard, and our beads are plastic while children long ago would have used clay or wood beads.

We didn’t plan to take Labor Day off (especially since we took Friday the 31st off) but when Mama wakes up with laryngitis, school plans go a bit off the rails. We muddled through math and called it a day. The rest of this week will be chock-full… Stay tuned. 😉

Share with a friend!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email
The last two weeks of homeschool have been awesome. In fact, in Jonas’ words, “it was the bomb!” (I think he picked up that phrase from a movie, haha.) Our second week of school covered the events of the Tower of Babel and we became familiar with the geography of ancient Mesopotamia.
The kids each made a model ziggurat. After a first layer of brown paint, we mixed salt into a second batch of paint and coated the ziggurats with that mixture to add “realistic” texture.
I read a great tip about map work with kids this age – especially boys. Often, their handwriting is still on the large-and-laborious side at this age, so using preprinted sticky labels is a great way to allow them to demonstrate that they know the locations of the map features without becoming frustrated at trying to print all those words in those small spaces.

In our research of the ancient Sumerians, we learned about cuneiform tablets and cylinder seals. We made our own “cylinder seals” out of cardboard tubes and yarn. Once they were dry, we dipped them in paint and rolled them down a long sheet of paper. Jonas was SO EXCITED to see that “it worked!” — the images we’d formed from yard really imprinted!

Susannah was home with us on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and she participated in making the ziggurats and cylinder seals. I also had some “new to her” activities, like printing letters in our cornmeal box. She was in tactile child heaven! I am consistently impressed by how much Susannah already knows about letters and numbers. She has absorbed so much information just through play and by being nearby her older brother’s work. 

  On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, she was off to “Parents’ Day Out” at Settle. Once again this year, she loves it! On Friday, she picked a couple of dandelions from our yard to take to her teacher. It was so cute; brought back memories of many a sweaty fistful of weeds flowers I received in my school-teaching days.

On Tuesday the 21st, we had our first get-together for a new “preschool & primary playgroup” for our homeschool group. It started out really well, with seven families coming to Chautauqua Park to play and fellowship. It ended early for

Share with a friend!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

Okay, not really. The presses weren’t actually running while we were visiting the newspaper building.

Six families from our homeschool group attended the tour. We saw cubicles where the advertising department and reporters work; we met one the photographers and a few of the people who are responsible for the paper’s layout. We learned about how the editors meet each day to decide what stories and photos need to go into the next morning’s edition.

The paper uses an offset press. The paper is (burned? set? I forget the exact term they used) onto aluminum lithograph plates. Then the plates go onto huge rollers, transferring the words and images; the rollers transfer the image onto the newsprint.
From the lithograph area, we headed across to the distribution area where the papers are cut, folded, stacked, and readied for delivery.

Then it was down a narrow flight of stairs into the basement of the Messenger-Inquirer building where they store these enormous rolls of newsprint which weigh 500 pounds each!

When we were done, Mr. Rocco from the Newspapers In Education department handed out a “Messenger-Inquirer” coloring book to each student. It was a really fun field trip!

Share with a friend!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

Meet the author

MICHELLE NEBEL

I write uplifting women’s fiction woven with threads of faith, grace, and Southern hospitality. My blog is where I share a glimpse of my life, and I hope you’ll find the thoughts here encouraging!

subscribe

Categories

Categories

Archives

Archives

Latest tweets