Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Santa Claus....

Today at ice skating a mom brought up Santa Claus wondering if we did it. Here are my thoughts on Santa Claus. I love the magic of Santa Claus.  I love the wonder in my child's eyes when she believes something special in the crazy world we live in. I find that same wonder for Jesus in her eyes.  I find no reason for not doing Santa for our family.  I did it with my boys and they enjoyed the years of believing.  They were never mad that I "lied" to them.  In reality I never once told them Santa was real.  If the question was asked I turned it back to them.

Here is the thing..... if you can keep the true meaning of Christmas alive in your house.  If you can keep Santa where he belongs a very small part of Christmas.  If you can teach your children to love Jesus and celebrate his birth. Then there is nothing wrong with Santa.

Now I know for each family the answer is different.  What is right for my family is not always right for yours.
I do have a couple of friends who don't do Santa and their children don't care they still believe.  Against it all they want to hang on to the wonder of it all.  These are very Christian homes.  So far one mom has embraced it and allows it all and the other is on the fence.  It was funny last year as Samantha's friends from one family were excited to give Samantha Santa.  One got a number for us to call Santa, they come up with ideas for the fun.

For our family its always been a celebration of Christ.  That is the true meaning of the season. Santa is second.  We have Santa bring 3 gifts to represent the 3 gifts Jesus received   We also give her a couple of gifts from us.  We keep it simple.  We are doing a curriculum for this Christmas season called the Truth is in the Tinsel.  I will do its own post another day. But here is what we do. I read a passage from the bible, we discuss it, she then makes an ornament for our tree that is based on that passage.  Its been so much fun.  We have made Mary, Joseph, decorated a cd to represent the song Mary sang worshiping God, a Star for Jesus the son and a few more so far.

We also learned what Hanukkah is about.  She made a menorah with her handprints and each day she adds the flame to the next candle with her fingerprint.

Travel the world for the holidays...

is a fun curriculum that I got off the internet.   So today we boarded our "plane" and visited Sweden... the plane took as all around the world until we landed in Sweden (the school room)

 Its really interesting learning about how other countries celebrate the Christmas Season.  On Dec 13 the youngest daughter is supposed to serve the family breakfast in bed.  Its a meal of coffee and buns. The girl will wear a crown of holly leaves and 7 yellow candles.  She also wears a white gown.  The boys of the family wear a big hat with stars on it and a white gown also.  Other girls in the family will dress in a white gown.  Samantha loved this idea.  So on Dec 13 she will put on her crown and gown and serve Steve and I in bed.  This is the Saint Lucia ceremony. 
Here she is making her crown...

 Then we made some other Sweden crafts the woven heart ornament and a red candle that they place in the window to let Jultomte (Santa Claus) know a child lives in the house.  He also resembles a gnome and not our American Santa. Which I love as my youngest son is afraid of gnomes... you might find a few around my house this Christmas Season.  Ha ha ha. I will let you in on a little secret... I have bought a super strong magnet the size of a bottle cap to stick on Nicks car when he is home on leave.  Since he was a teen we have this game going on where I leave gnomes around his room.  Ha ha ha Ok back to homeschooling. The children leave him porridge instead of cookies.

For people in Sweden they celebrate more on Dec 24 since they spend the day at church on Christmas day. The majority of the people belong the the Lutheran faith.

So Samantha earned her first stamp in her passport. I plan on doing a different country each day.  

I know its been a while

but I really haven't had much to post about.  We have been crazy busy lately with so many activities going on.  We went to Maryland for Thanksgiving. We did many crafts before the holiday.  Funny I can't seem to find where the pictures are on my computer.  We have dived into slime for science. We made goop and our own bouncy ball.  Here are some pictures if any are a repeat I am sorry.  
Christmas party at CD Rec... we took a hay ride in a parking lot.
 building our failure of a ginger bread house
 it was kind of funny when it fell apart
 Meet Lilly our newest member of the family She is such a cutie.
 and she puts up with Samantha
 our cute Santa strawberries...
 Racking leaves after the hurricane was lots of fun when she could jump in the piles

 making a melt wax picture
 bowling with the American Heritage Girls

 relaxing during free time
 A snow princess came to class this day....
 learning her cursive

 Her fish fishy died that day so in honor of him we made some paper fishes
 swim class learning to dive

 crazy fall weather before the storm

 snuggling up 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Five in a Row... Storm in the Night.

I love how I can tie in the Five in a Row lessons to our life.  With Hurricane Sandy making her way up the east coast I decided we needed to read a book on storms.  Storm in the Night was perfect.  We talked about so many things. How to be ready for a big storm/hurricane. Not to be afriad to depend on God. But its ok to be afraid.  What makes a hurricane, storms, clouds and rain.

Here is some of what we did with this book....
Here she is learning to use acrylic paints and how you can paint over what you already painted.  This is her cover page for our FIAR binder.  She learned about how the brush strokes show in acrylic paintings.  She tried using the brush strokes to make the night sky look like a storm.

 paint time turned into fun with shaving cream.  

Here are some of the books we used to learn about the weather and water cycle. 
  We talked about sources of light.  Natural and man made.
 she tried her hand at facial expressions and using the eyes to show the direction a person is looking
 She learned about different type of clouds.
She went on brain pop jr and learned about the water cycle and what she could do to help protect our environment. 
Today She worked on all the cursive letters she has learned then I had her make up words with the letters she already knows.  Funny how cats always make their way into what she does.  The fish is in honor of fishy her fish that died during the night.  
 our paper fish in honor of her fishy.  

There is so much more that she learned with this story.. We made a list of what we did to get ready for hurricane Sandy. She learned new vocabulary words. Worked on more Onomatopoeia's. It was great that I happened to pick up my kindle and realized a month or so ago I downloaded a free book on Onomatopoeia for kids. We spent time reading them and had her say some of her own.  Did some math.  Practice her memory verse... Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am they God Isaiah 41:10a.  talked about the meaning of the verse and how it applies to our life. Did her story Elements for this book.  I have her do this for all the books we row.

Election time......

I think most will agree with me that we are all thankful the election is all over!  Even if your not happy with the results I am so glad normal life will go forward once again.

At the Mathias Homeschool we did our own election to learn about the process of voting and electing something.  Yes I said something.  

First we watched a great video on the whole process. 

Then we talked about what you look for in a candidate.  

I took her to vote with me on Tuesday.  She watched carefully as I filled out my form and fed it into the machine.  Asking many many questions along the way.

I stressed how important it is to vote.  How women fought for our right to vote. I have to say explaining all this to Samantha had me a little teary eyed.  I have voted for all the presidential elections since I turned 18. But for some reason sharing this experience with Samantha was special.  I voted with Mike before and it was fun but different.  

Now onto our election.....

We both picked our favorite candy...  Made up a name of the party. Made campaign poster.  Wrote our reasons for people to pick ours...

The parties to vote for were the Rock Candy Party and The Party of Snickers.

(Samantha) Party of Rock Candy--I think Rock Candy should win because it is cool and has great flavors. It looks like crystals. They come in all different colors. Rock Candy tastes very heavenly. You should try it. Rock Candy is so yummy. It comes in so many different flavors like watermelon and bubble gum. You can even make it yourself. Rock Candy is the best.

(Jen) The Snickers Party-- Vote for Snickers, The taste will make your mouth think its in heaven. From gooey caramel to crunchy peanuts and smooth chocolate. Snickers has it all. 

I posted this to facebook and let the voting take place.  Samantha excitedly waited to see who voted and for what party.  We had a few write in candidates   One person wanted twix and her brother Nick wrote in skittles.  Mike well Mike wanted vegetables .. We didn't include him in the write ins..  

We waited a day for everyone to vote.  Can you believe it we had a tie!  A real tie.  So off to the internet to learn what happens if that ever happened in a Presidential election.  For your knowledge if that happens the house of representatives will each get a vote and the first candidate to reach 26 votes is the winner.  So we called a non facebook person Grandpa.  He broke the tie.... The Party of Rock Candy was the winner!  Samantha was so excited.

I like to thank the blogger of Dandelions Picked for this cool idea.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Museum of Natural History Homeschool Adventures

 Once a month we have been going to the Museum of Natural History in Providence.  Samantha and her 2 friends participate in a program called Homeschool Adventures.  

Last month they learned about Animal Communications.  This month was a class on forces and motion.  

The class starts off with the teacher talking about the subject.  Then she demonstrates it.  This month she used Children to demonstrate how arches work.  SO here are 2 cute children arches. Samantha and Bristel.

They then were challenged to make a structure using the techniques she taught them using  marshmallows and spaghetti   It had to stand 36 inches tall and stay standing.  

We then walked around the museum doing the scavenger hunt.  They all looked so cute trying to find the answers.  Plus we did the activities set up around the museum.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Crazy week...

This week has been a crazy week with Hurricane Sandy blowing by... We were extremely lucky we only got wind and rain.  Not much damage up here in MA.  Some lost power, some trees were down, some flooding but nothing compared to our friends in New Jersey. We were very blessed.  We only lost power for 30 seconds.

With Hurricane Sandy coming we decided to change what was planned for Five in a Row and do the book Storm in the Night.  I will save this for another post when we completed the lessons.

She loves to read. Her favorite books are the American Girl Books, Bad Kitty Series, Baby Mouse Series and any book that has to do with cats fiction and non-fiction.  Here she is reading today not sure why she found the need to read under her desk but if she is reading who and I to complain.
 In this picture she was saying... this better not end up on facebook.

Samantha has been struggling with subtraction. I think its because she hasn't got the addition facts memorized.  So we are taking a break from her math curriculum and reviewing addition and subtraction until she is more comfortable with it. So along with some worksheets from the Math Mammoth blue series and math games we worked on addition this week.

Math game addition bump.

Then we had some fun with phonics practice...
before she could go on to the next foot print she had to tell me a word for the ending on the foot.  She had some interesting words that were not really words.  The end she received a prize of pop rocks.

Brain Pop has been free this week so along with her normal work I have had her go on it each day and do something different. Today was addition and  yesterday was health and science. Its a great site to use to add to what your doing already.  She loves the jokes and comic strip for each subject she has done.  I am going to check out how much it costs and maybe purchase a membership for her.

On facebook I have started today saying what I am thankful for. I am going to come here each day and blog what I am thankful for.  As my friend Tammy said why only say what your thankful for on thanksgiving....  Today I am thankful for my boys. I am thankful that they are great brothers to each other.  I am thankful that they are my wonderful son's.  I couldn't be more prouder of the men they have become.