Monday, December 19, 2016

December Homeschool Antics

Friends are always welcome at our home, especially those who are far away and we were more than happy to host the Bush family for a one night stop over on their way to Disneyland.   We saved making gingerbread houses just for this special time and the older kiddos had a massive sugar high.

In the meantime the adults alternated getting out for some much needed quiet time.  A good chat heart to heart with a friend that understands feeds the soul!  

Our latest homeschool antics involved some other. Families in our area that homeschool as well.  We pulled together a small Christmas party complete with potluck lunch, cookie decorating and even a white elephant exchange.

I must say I was rather worried about the white elephant exchange since it does feel as if you're breaking all those kindergarten rules of not taking toys from other.  For the first while it looked like they were only going to choose gifts from the center. But something came up that was too good to pass on and the fun started.   For the most part everyone was a good sport about it but they all loved the anticipation of seeing what was next to be unwrapped.  I loved seeing the indecision - take what I see and know I want or risk the unknown which might be better!  Oh the pressure of everyone watching, waiting for your decision and what might affect you - the pain, joy and anxiety written all over their faces!

Don't know how we would have done the party without Ms. Kera there to help us, she's such a blessing and everyone adores her!!

We had planned a craft for the party but we ran low on time so my kiddos did them at home and decorated their walls and door happily.

We also did a 3D paper craft of snowflakes to adorn our living room entryway.

As for academics, Bug-love has nearly finished her Math-u-See primer book.  It's been great for her, with manipulative a to help solidify her understanding.  They have the same concepts introduced in different ways laying a foundation for things like multiplication, division and algebra even at this young age.  To help her with skip counting we doing a little Math-ercise before her book work by dancing to Jack Hartmann songs.  He's pretty entertaining and the melodies are catchy enough that Bubby comes out to dance along and Pumpkin can be heard repeating many of the words as she swings her little hips to the rhythm.

Monkey see, monkey do!

The kids and I saw 2 plays in a week time.  The first was a shortened version  of Shakespeare's The Tempest put on by a homeschool group and featured a few of our friends.  Prior to it we read a simplified version and learned a little about Shakespeare himself.  The play was a struggle to understand, but Bug LOVED it and I was amazed how much she could comprehend and enjoy when the language far exceeds her age.  The second was The Nutcracker put on by a youth ballet group for the greater Phoenix area.  It was quite well done and so fun to see all the ranges in ages and the growing talent ability of some of the youth.  It was also a cheaper alternative to introducing our kids to a new art form

We also found this chubby guy outside on our honeysuckle bush.  Bug-love was to moon and back with delight.  I can totally undersantd why gardeners can't stand this guy because he stripped entire branches each day as we feed him.

We did some research and decided he was a to become a Sphyix Moth which actually spend the winter as pupa in the ground.  Once he stopped eating we place him in a container with about 2 inches of dirt.  Our research said he'd dig tunnels for a bit, shrink in size considerably and then shed his last skin .  He was pretty active digging tunnels and such but at some point he slowed down and simply shrunk.   He never shed the last skin and as there was no m.ovement for many days I had to break the news to the kiddos.  They greatly mourned the loss of 'Caterpie' because he had become a rather big part of their day as they carted him around to show him their latest project in the backyard.  Even Pumpkin always spent the first part of her morning petting him

We got this little fellow as a nice alternative to Caterpie

With the holidays the attendance has been poor at Bubby's music therapy, so it was just our family and the therapist which afforded us an opportunity to play around with some unique instruments.  Bubby watched with curiousity but was reluctant to try out the new items, but the others had so much fun doing something other than drums of bells.  The one below has a rather unique sound and our therapist Ms. Caroline got it in Seattle.  It's made from a recycled propane tank and each tone is created by the size of the cut. 

Ms. Caroline told them how each instrument worked, how it was tuned and they each tried it out several times.  I love it when someone else willing steps in to help homeschool my munchkins!

The kids have done some sewing of a quilt but this girl wanted to help with something special for her cousin Elsa, so while the gift may be late being sent she can know it was done with much love

We've done a ton of baking these last few weeks, something that is rather unprecedented in our house since I avoid sugar like the plague for it's after effects.  It is great sensory play for a Bubby which has much more appeal than playdough since there is always the joy of eating that comes after.

He's addicted to gingerbread!

Pumpkin is growing by leaps and bounds with all the schooling around us.  She loves playing with the math manipulatives, doing her ABCs and colors.  She's gotten so good that Ms. Kera tested her the other day.  Sometimes she's not sure but as soon as you sign the letter she knows it and can call it out.

Pok√©mon Go has become a big thing in our house because it gets Bud running 3-5km in the morning.  She knows when we're hitting a 'Po-T-top?' and giggles as she sees the characters moving on the screen.  Now she's even got the figurines to play with!
Lots of fun an adventure with this crew.  I love them bunches!!!

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