Our Christmas shopping is done. That’s reason to celebrate, right?
Also, I finished A Storm of Swords. Whew, what a ride. I, am already over 100 pages into A Feast for Crows. Little Sis, is a quarter of the way through Divergent. So, between the shopping, and reading, I find myself behind on writing. I really don’t like getting behind, it always takes twice as long to catch up. And, we have been busy.
The theme for Christmas school this year, is holiday celebrations around the world. We are counting down to Christmas with an on-line Advent calendar, learning how different countries celebrate Christmas.
Sometimes, it is hard for me to remember that I am homeschooling a 4th grader. She is so mature for her age, it is easy to forget. It is a little too easy for me to put the cart before the horse.
Sometimes, it is nice for a 9th grader to be able to take a breather. Sometimes, I need to remember to breathe. Sometimes, I need to remember to enjoy life. (Sometimes, a margarita, or two, can be helpful. 🙂 ) I mean, the whole point of Christmas school, was to feel less stressed about doing school during the holidays.
We read and listened to The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum.
We read Child Rhymes by James Whitcomb Riley.
We are also reading, listening, and discussing Christmas short stories, including The Gift of the Magi, by American author O. Henry, and Christmas Storms and Sunshine, by British author Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell. Both, are wonderful examples on how to write the perfect short story. We also learned how to identify point of view, and mood.
Speaking of Christmas stories, I thought I would list the girls’ favorites, since they are a bit older, and our stories have grown a little longer.
Little Sis’s favorite Christmas story is Little Women, she lists The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann as a close second (She is such a romantic). Sky’s is The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Neil Gaiman and Dickens are her favorite authors. My fingers are crossed that Gaiman will write a Christmas story (please, please) , until then we’ll read Stardust.
My favorite stories are The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson, and The 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith.
The girls are copying the poem Christmas Carol, by Henry W.Longfellow in cursive.
I like to have the girls write out Christmas lists too. I keep them in their binders, so we can look back on them. It’s fun to see what the girls’ interests are year to year. For instance, last year was all about My Little Pony. This year, is all about Game of Thrones, and The Hunger Games. Boy, what a change. 🙂
Warm up at XtraMath.
Continuing our study from the book Math, A Book You Can Count on, the girls plotted coordinates, and plotted a line graph.
They have an assignment to keep track of how much snow we get during the winter. So far, with temperatures being in the 60’s, a white Christmas looks doubtful.
They continued working in their Kumon workbooks.
We took a tour inside of the home where James Whitcomb Riley lived as a man.
The home is furnished exactly the way it was during the late 1800’s (some serious eye candy), including the original cobblestone road.
It was interesting to see how updated the house was with the latest technology. He had electric and gas combined fixtures. In case of power outages, he could switch back to gas.
We learned how Europe celebrates Christmas by watching Rick Steves’ European Christmas Story(YouTube).
We also watched The Coolest Stuff on the Planet, Oh, Christmas Tree.
We learned about Hanukkah. We watched Mysteries of the Bible – The Maccabees: Revolution and Redemption (YouTube).
We read an interactive scrapbook on how Hanukkah is celebrated.
We also made Latkes.
We watched Dolly Parton’s inspiring true story based on her life, Coat of Many Colors. I have to say, first I love Dolly Parton. She is extremely talented. There has not been any other songwriter, that could bring tears to my eyes the way she does. Second, I love the family programming NBC has been airing lately.
We seldom watch commercial television. Our television channel is always left on PBS, with the exception of Papa watching football on Sunday. Thank goodness, the Colts played during Sunday Night Football, or we would have missed some great programs.
Theater/ The Arts:
Which brings me to The Wiz live, the girls and I loved it.
We also learned about the history behind British Pantomime.
We listened to Dick Whittington and His Cat (A pantomime audio play).
We listened to the story from Storynory, and learned about the myth behind the story.
Then, we watched IVT’s panto of Dick Whittington.
The girls, myself included, found it hilarious. We can’t wait to watch more shows.
Then, of course we watched a few of our favorite Christmas movies, including The World Of Peter Rabbit & Friends – The Tailor of Gloucester (YouTube), and The Year Without a Santa Claus (Prime).
There is a special on stop motion animation that plays after The Year Without a Santa. This inspired the girls to make their own stop motion videos, using their POP vinyls and DS, and Sky is still creating her own creatures.
The girls had homeschool gym, and skating.
I think that about wraps it all up. I mean, Papa and I celebrated our anniversary, there was a dentist appointment, and driving around looking at all the decorations.
The usually business of life.
Peace for the journey.