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The Genial Hearth
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Archive for November, 2007

Advent Preparation

Advent approaches. I’m already one step ahead of last year in that I remembered that Advent Calendars start at the start of the month!

This year, I’ve actually gone through my boxes of picture books to pull out all the Christmas themed ones—and have found the ones that I lost last year! This means I’ve had a chance to read them before choosing which books to include, so they won’t be longer than Puggle’s attention span—a definite improvement!

I’m still not certain what all the activities will be. There are a couple of extra days (we’re not making stars again this year—although, I wouldn’t mind doing some other ‘major’ decoration), but I now have all the Christmas books in one place, so there are more of them… and I’ve even got organised enough to request some from the library—and some of them are in already! So we’ll have a plethora of books to choose from. Really, I’m figuring that as long as the first week is sorted, I’ll have time to sort out the rest of the month after that (and depending on what Dawn talks about doing, I may change my mind in any case!)

Then, as long as I make sure to check the future week’s plans before I finish the shopping list (and the pantry—making sure that there’s stuff in the bottles!), we’ll be okay.

Advent Chain

Advent ChainWe have an Advent calendar. Puggle really enjoys using it, but because the pockets are always there, it’s not always a great way to see how much time is left until Christmas. So this year, we’ve made a paper chain. There’s one link for each day in December. Each evening, Puggle tears off one of the rings so the chain gets shorter each day and he can see just how many days until Christmas:-)

I used red links to identify Sundays and other special days, green for all the rest.

I’ve seen this idea a few times, but Dawn had a good description recently that reminded me.

Update

Bilby has spent the last couple of days playing on the couch (obviously when we’re there!) She stands herself up using the arm and then plops down onto her bottom and grins. If she’s feeling particularly enthusiastic, she then flop onto her back and grin some more:-)

She’s such a cheery girl:-)

Communication

Bilby now appears to be saying ‘Thank you’! She is still resisting signs for the most part (although, today she did appear to lick her hand at Puggle when saying good-night to him—like blowing him a kiss), but when she is given something she certainly speaks, with an intonation that is very similar to thank you…

The rest of the time she burbles… a lot… I guess there’ll be no worry about her not being heard:-)

Sugaring

Twice Bloomed Wisteria posted today about processing sugar cane. I thought there’d be at least one person reading here who’d be interested in the details (I don’t know that it’s necessarily explained sufficiently to allow you to go and do it, but it certainly gives you the gist…)

Carnivals Again

CM carnival logoCarnival of Homeschooling
Cindy is hosting the Charlotte Mason Carnival. Get some pointers on establishing the habit of listening to Classical music, Charlotte Mason beginnings and handwriting, just for starters.

Mom is Teaching is hosting the Centennial edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling. You can find information on running a smoother household in one minute a day and 20 ways to save on homeschooling, as well as many others.

Santa

Danny has written another fabulous post on being Santa. If you don’t know him, you may not have come across it. It’s well worth the read! Two years ago he had a great series of posts on a similar theme—I’m hoping there might be more this time around as well:-) (If you don’t know Danny, many of his other posts may be somewhat unexpected, so poke around his LJ very carefully! But he does have some lovely photos he’s taken… although, once again, some of them may be unexpected!)

Plans

Week 1, Christmas Block
Block City from A Child’s Garden of Verses Robert L. Stevenson
East of Sun, West of Moon from The Blue Fairy Book Andrew Lang
Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit Beatrix Potter
Latin: Tinniat (Jingle Bells)
Folksongs: Click Go the Shears
Carols: Little Drummer Boy
Composer: Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun (Doin’ What Comes Naturally)
Artist: Animalia by Graeme Base
Activity: Advent Chain

(And I need to get myself organised for Advent! I have the gold coins and dried blueberries… but I really need to look at books, and look out the Advent Calendar…)

Progress

Week 5, Block 9 (Break Week)
We had a week of recovery in a lot of ways. We sang, and read a bit (and Puggle played with Plasticene a lot).

Advent Preparation

I’ve started thinking in a loose way about this year (even though really I should wait until I’ve got the block starting next week sorted!) I came across a useful Christmas Curriculum, that I wanted to note as a reminder not to take on too much:-)

A Taste of Pie

Cindy at Kelly’s Klassroom Korner is hosting the Loveliness of Pies Fair. (This is one of those ‘carnivals by any other name’.)

I have a couple of entries, but there are a couple of others that look quite tasty!

Alphabet

I wanted to make sure I noted what I actually did with Puggle and the alphabet this year, as it’s not quite as I’d planned.

We did use a very laid-back approach. I had planned on a week per letter, with two weeks for the vowels. We did keep this pace. I chose to stick to just lower case letters as these are the most commonly found. I had intended to tie the craft activity to the letter—that only lasted about a month! I also planned to draw attention to that letter throughout the week.

Each week, I printed out a couple of pages of the weeks letter in outline. I had planned on using one of these (A5) sheets for the craft, and then the rest were for Puggle to draw on (A5 because at the start of the year he was basically only drawing a single line on any page… and I didn’t want a whole pile of full sheets with just one line:-) ). He has other paper as well, but I thought that if some of his pages had the letter in the background it would help him become familiar with the letters. I had thought that he’d just draw over it, but instead he would only trace the letter. As a result, I figured that I should probably show him how they were meant to be drawn so that he wouldn’t get into any bad habits.

In the end, I have been printing out one A4 page with two copies of the letter on it, and three or four A4 pages with four copies of the letter (see each week in the plans catagory for the letters). I had still intended on doing the craft, so that was one of the large copies. With the second, Puggle and I would chat about what words we knew that started with the letter, and I would draw them (well, the easy-to-draw concrete nouns… I can’t draw!) I would use one of the little pages to demonstrate how to write the letter, colouring in a bit at the bottom of the page to show which way around the letter goes, and putting a green and red dot to show where to begin and end writing the letter.

Last week we finished the alphabet.  This week he is typing his own YouTube search terms (when we spell them for him! Although for some simple words he can sound out at least the beginning of them if prompted…) He seems to mostly be able to handle both sound and letter name, although I try to be reasonably consistent with just the sound. He doesn’t really write the letters, aside from tracing them on the pages (and aside from his own initials:-) ). But I wasn’t intending for writing to be a focus at the moment. He certainly does recognise all the lowercase letters, and most of the uppercase letters. Probably he would have done even if I hadn’t done anything particularly—it’s been this year that he’s started paying attention to various alphabet books.

Carnival Time

Carnival of Homeschooling Homeschool Buzz.com is hosting the latest Homeschool Carnival this week.

There’s a good overview of a Charlotte Mason education, a post from a dad teaching his daughter the piano—when he doesn’t play himself (the pre-curser post is here) and a pile of others.

Go check it out:-)

Seedlings!

I was ill on Saturday, so really paid no attention to anything. Sunday I went outside to do all those things i hadn’t done the day before, and noticed…
seedlings

It’s been about two weeks since we planted them. All tomatoes at this stage. We’re very excited:-)

This Week

Our plans for
Week 5, Block 9 Break week
Folksong: Soldier, Soldier, Will You Marry Me?
Art Activity: Make a paperchain to count down to Christmas
Cooking: Gingerbread

My preparation: Finalise details for Picture book study (illustrator?) and Musical study.

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