All about Winter-Books, Activities and Animals

Briggs' illustration of the snowman.

Briggs’ illustration of the snowman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The month of December is always festive, hectic and full of events! Knowing this, I planned to have an easy breezy December homeschool schedule this year. (Not to mention a full 40 hours of work each week, being in retail) Most days we just did some quick math sheets with either a winter or Christmas theme, copywork of multiplication facts, LOF and patterns and shape matching with Luke- the rest looking back just fell into place! In covering the topic of Winter, we read many books on Hibernation, Snowflakes, The Arctic and Antarctica, The History on Christmas and Christmas traditions around the world, baking in the kitchen, and several winter outings as well.

As we wrapped things up this week before the Holiday ahead, my oldest put together this Arctic/Hibernation poster on the highlights of his studies over the month.

winter 009

winter 010

Luke has been working on his patterns and using scissors as well as the what seems like…the never ending potty training! ;p His favorite book this month was  Pooch on the Loose by Steven Kroll. A story about a dog who wants to explore New York City at Christmas time. He loved it mostly because it had a map on the inside front and back cover of the book. He just loves, loves maps lately!winter 005

His other favorite is the story Jingle, both boys now have the story and the dog and have sat together a few times to read together. Love those kind of moments!

I wanted to share the books we read this month for anyone who is interested in a Unit type study on Winter, Hibernation, Snow etc.

Have a wonderful Holiday Season and hold those memories in your heart! This year in wake of the recent Sandy Hook event, I will be extra thankful I get to spend mine with my family and friends (near and far)  Enjoy and I’ll share again real soon as I already see a break in work hours for January, so I’ll be planning to get more accomplished with some activities!

Cover of "Welcome to the Ice House"

Cover of Welcome to the Ice House

 

Book List:

Snowballs by Lois Ehlert

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

Come Look with me Animals in Art by Gladys Blizzard ( great picture study book)

The Story of Snow The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino

Ice Bear and Little Fox by Johnathan London

Welcome to the Ice House by Jane Yolen

Over in the Arctic Where the Cold Wind Blows by Marianne Berkes

Going Home: The Mystery of Animal Migration by Marianne Berkes

How do you know it’s winter? by Ruth Owen

Is it Friday?! Yeah Library!

Apparently I forgot it was Friday and went straight to the grocery store this morning then later on headed out to the library, as we were walking in… yikes it ‘s Friday! We never sat down and did school work today!  I got a yessss!!! from Liam as I said it out loud.  As we drove home he read me the entire book Nacho Nacho and other rhyming riddles. Then we did two cooking/baking projects and settled down to watch the movie Stellalunawe borrowed from the library. We watched the movie, then viewed the bonus material on bat facts and learned a few more things. He then took out his sketch pad and followed the step by step instructions on how to draw Stellaluna! He did his first sketch, then tried it again after giving it a critique, and colored it in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luke worked on patterns with snowflakes I bought at the dollar store and some games on sprout and pbs. He’s very quick and loves puzzles!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am planning to take a break this upcoming week for Thanksgiving, but wanted to share the book I selected at the library for the following week.

History; as we continue the westward expansion we are going to read/discuss The Oregon Trail by Mel Freidman

Wild West Days Fun projects, Games, Activities and Recipes by David King

Animals on the Trail with Lewis and Clark by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

Reading; Continuing The Enormous Egg,  and starting Reindeer DO WEar Striped Underwear (The Bailey School Kids series) as well as poetry Ploka-Bats and Octopus Slacks by Calef Brown

Science; Continuing the Arctic studies Ice Bear and Little Fox by Jonathan London ( waiting on the other books from the library)

 

 

 

 

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

We have been enjoying the summer, but I felt it was time to get back into the groove this week.  Although we inserted as much education into our outings and the weekly trips to the library served us well in not totally abandoning all things educational for the past few weeks, it’s time to officially begin our “school year.”

This years topics: Middle Ages, Colonial Times, the 50 States, various genres of literature/poetry, Intro to Spanish, various Science topics, Singapore and Life of Fred mathematics. Follow along as I will always share quality books I find to go along with the different topics we are studying!

First Book:

“When Knights Were Bold”by Eva March Tappan

Squires Castle in the Fall

Squires Castle in the Fall (Photo credit: Tim_Arai)

This is the first book we are starting on the Middle Ages. Before I began to read aloud the first few pages, I asked him what he knew about this time period already. Apparently at boyscout camp a few weeks ago, this topic came up, as part of the camp was named “The Sherwood Forest” and his favorite activity of the week was archery! (I love it when one thing unexpectedly leads to the next!) So, he knew of a few things as we started.

Before jumping into the first chapter, I asked him if he knew the difference between a Page, Squire and Knight. I have to say I liked the explanation (8yrs): ” Well a Knight he’s like the ultimate guy, the Squire is his right hand man and I’m not sure what a Page is.”  By the end of the first chapter he had comprehended that a  Page was a boy close to his same age and found that scary and intriguing all at once! He said that it sounded like it was pretty hard to live back then, but fun too if you can become a Knight, hmmm?!
As we finished he said “I like this year better already, all the new books, even the math is better!”  ….SCORE!

Next highlight of today:

‘Wonder Struck”by Brian Selznick – JFiction

This book was recommended by a fellow home school parent at our “Happy Homeschool Hikers” group meeting last week. We’ve only just begun the first chapter on this one as well, but AMAZING! It is “A Novel in Words and Pictures.”  The basis is two children 50 years apart in time,  each tell a story, Ben’s in words, Rose’s in pictures and they begin to weave back and forth and unfold the symmetry. This quote in the first chapter that appeared more than once  “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars”  had us both thinking and wondering what it might mean as we see the two characters coming together, a little foreshadowing perhaps! This was a great opportunity to teach him about foreshadowing and what it means as well as great grounds for narrative speaking on his part.

Once again, I love the Charlotte Mason approach of using living books for learning it is so effective and enjoyable!