Saturday, November 29, 2008

Preparing for Advent.

Today I spent the day preparing for Advent. But so different from previous years, where I was always rushing to have the house decorated, this year I began getting ready by preparing our favorite Advent traditions. It's exciting that every year we are able to participate more and more as a family. The kids get older and their understanding is deeper than what I anticipate...and it's a glorious thing!

Since our first year of marriage, DH and I have celebrated Advent with the Jesse Tree. I had never heard of it before and a good friend of mine introduced me to this beautiful tradition. Ever since then, it has become one of my favorite things to do this time of year. It's not only a way to bring your family together every day in Holy Scripture, but it makes waiting for our Savior's birth something to celebrate every day. In all, I really like that there is a biblical basis to this tradition and that it focuses on God's story from the beginning of time.

Every year we have made paper ornaments for our Jesse tree. Sometimes using a Jesse Tree kit, other times printing out the symbols and coloring them in. The one thing that has stayed the same is our tree. A miniature Christmas tree that I purchased 10 years ago at our local Hobby Lobby. Some day, maybe we'll graduate to making real ornaments that can be reused again and again. We might even go so far as to purchase a bigger tree. But for now, I'm happy with our miniature, table-top tree. Looking at that tree sitting on our table always reminds me about the real meaning of Advent. It's not the presents under the tree, it's not the decorations...it's the patient waiting for the birth of Jesus. It's the celebration that begins on December 25th and lasts until the Epiphany.

There are many great resources to help anyone get the tradition of the Jesse Tree started in their own home. I love being able to print out the symbols and having the kids color them and place them on the tree each evening after dinner. If you have young kids, this is perfect! If you kids are older, you can create your own ornaments or purchase kits that they can put together. Either way, here are some sites that you might find helpful in getting you started.

Jesse Tree from the Domestic Church
Jesse Tree Kit from Illuminated Ink
The Glorious Coming E-book: A Jesse Tree Advent Celebration (This is what we are using this year!)
Jesse Tree, with printable ornaments
Jesse Tree coloring pages

Another more common tradition is that of the Advent Wreath. This year, I'm planning on changing things up a bit and having the whole family work on making an Advent wreath together. This will probably take place tomorrow on the first Sunday of Advent. I'm sure the kids will be happy about it and it will be a perfect way to introduce the season.

In all, I'm glad that I've decided to concentrate more on the traditions that make our Advent special and bring us together as a family. This is definitely one of my favorite times of the year. I'll keep you updated with our family crafts!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today we celebrate with family and friends. I pray that everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving Day!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Making a List. Centers.

Today I've been thinking on expanding on our independent learning centers. We currently have centers hanging on a wall and they are much like file folder games. Today I began researching different centers I can create for not only Marco and Isabella, but for Anthony and Christian too. Homeschooling with littles is always a challenge and I'm always trying to come up with inventive ways to keep the little ones busy while I do one on one with the older kids.

A very neat blog I came across has some great ideas for creating Toddler Activity Bags. Melissa at Chasing Cheerios has some simple, yet inventive ideas for keeping little ones entertained. Be sure to check out her blog! I plan on recreating some of her toddler bags as well as using the ideas as a starting point for creating some of my own.

Claire over at Kiddley also has some great ideas for activity bags. She breaks down ideas by age group, starting as young as infants!! A wonderful resource! And if you haven't checked out the book "Preschool Activities in a Bag," you really should. I purchased the e-book version of this last year and just took it out this past weekend. Once you make the activity bags, you can file them away in a cabinet, box, or crate. I'll be changing it up a bit and probably start using shoe boxes. Which leads me to shoe box centers.

I want to change my centers up a bit from the current file folders and bags. I think adding shoe boxes will allow me to create centers with manipulatives, art supplies, etc. I have some great ideas so far, but I also found these great looking books at Amazon.com. Shoe Box Learning Centers from Scholastic looks promising and fun. I'll also be hunting the Teacherfilebox.com website for more shoe box center ideas.

So my mission for the next week will be to create a list of materials for my new shoe box centers and activity bags. I'm not sure how many, if any, of the centers I'll be able to get done; but I completely plan on trying to add 5-10 new activities by January.

Until then, I'll probably be visiting our local Kaplan warehouse in order to scope out any deals on items I can make an activity bag or shoe box out of. Once I finish any centers, I'll post about them!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Winter/Spring Art Lessons.

This upcoming January will be the start of our new co-op. I am excited to have begun this new group and the women forming our group are awesome! We are in the process of ironing out the details, but most of the planning is set.

I will be teaching Catholic arts & crafts and as well as rotating with the preschool class. I am especially excited to be doing my arts and crafts class with the K-2 class. It is a perfect size class with not too many kids, so I won't feel so overwhelmed trying to help kids in their work. Although I am not very artsy on my own, I did get to do some research and gather some projects through books of my own and the Internet.

Following is my weekly schedule. I have put links to projects if they are available. Many of my projects will all be altered to go along with our Catholic faith and perhaps the Liturgical Calendar. But you can use the links as a starting point for your own ideas.

WeekActivity
January 5
Holy Water Fonts to celebrate the Baptism of Our Lord

January 12

Prayer Pockets

January 19

Stitchery using saintly images

January 26

Shoebox Altar

February 2

Beeswax Candles in celebration of the Presentation of Our Lord and Candlemas

February 9
Heart Stitched Cards and Card Making for Saint Valentines Day

February 16

Woven Felt Wall Hanging

February 23

Carnival Scratch Masks and Lenten Alms Jar for Mardi Gras and Preparation for Ash Wednesday and Lent

March 2

Scapular and Sacrifice Beads

March 9
Watercolor and Wax Resist

March 16
Retablos. Stations of the Cross

March 23
Activity TBD

March 30
Rainsticks

April 6
No Class

April 13
Tissue Paper Collage Cross

April 20
Acrylic Mosaics

April 27
Painting with Tempera

May 4
Rosary Box with Rosary

May 11
Marian Lanterns to celebrate May Crowning



I hope that this list inspires someone to go out and get crafty! I'll be sure to post pictures once my class begins and once the kids start crafting. One thing is for sure...my kids are so excited to begin!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Back on Track.

We did get to finish our Harvest lapbook this week. Although the kids did not decorate the front or back of the lapbook, they had a great time doing the activities and helping with the pasting and taping of the lapbook. Here is a picture.

The Harvest lapbooks look plain, but the activities were fun!!

We also have started reading our Thanksgiving books and they are all a big hit around here. Anthony is loving his BFIAR selection of The Little Rabbit. Color matching is always fun for him and he is getting faster at naming colors. This week we did color matching using Lauri's Sorting Set. Unfortunately, I didn't get to take him to the pet store today to look at the rabbits, but maybe over the weekend we can take a quick trip. As for tomorrow, Anthony will be finishing the week with animal classification.

Anthony loves Lauri's Sorting Set.

Since I did have some catching up to do with Marco, Isabella enjoyed some extra time with our centers today. She worked on two reading centers: word families and matching words. Sometimes I forget that I have these really cool centers to use for crunch time. I'm glad that I didn't forget today!


Matching letters and words.


Working with word families.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Not Even the Best Plans.

This week has been a whirlwind of activities and appointments. Even my lovely made out weekly lesson plans could not withstand this week. Doctor appointments, picture appointments, co-op, swimming, faith formation, dentist visits, and a mom with an allergic reaction...all the things that threw my plans for a loop! The bad side of all these things is that we have fallen behind on history, math, religion, and our Thanksgiving lapbook unit. The good side is that we homeschool and we don't have to worry about meeting anyone else's deadlines but our own!

So tomorrow we are starting our Thanksgiving lapbook...a few days later than I wanted, but still well ahead of Thanksgiving. We also get to double up on history and just stick to the reading, maps, and coloring. History projects can always get down over weekends and holidays...they are just that fun! As for math and religion? No problem! Adding a couple lessons to the week will not make a huge difference. A little adjusting here and there and we are back on track! The down side is that we won't be able to do such light work on Thanksgiving week. The up side is that I will have family babysitters on hand to watch the little kids while I get some good one on one with the older kids!

So it all works out!! As for my kids...they had a great week nonetheless. We finally had their holiday pictures taken, as well as the individuals that I had been meaning to get done these past months. With that, I leave you with my awesome bunch of kids!!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Planning for the Week.

We are still working on putting together our Harvest Festival lapbook. The components are all done, it's just a matter of gluing and taping them into the actual folder. We'll probably tackle the project first thing in the morning, take a snap shot, and post the finish product here!

This week we'll continue as scheduled with our Turkey Time lapbook. We'll also be hopping back on with BFIAR with Anthony (scroll down to see activities we have planned). Since we have family coming in next week for Thanksgiving, we are going to try to do as much of our lessons as possible. Even with the best intentions, we always slack off when we have visitors.

Turkey Time can be purchased through Hands of a Child. We will be using the following books to accompany the Thanksgiving theme activities, as well as taking us into next week with fun reading.


Thanksgiving Is...by Louise Borden. This is a Hello Reader Level 3 book and a simple way to introduce what Thanksgiving is. It's a great book to get your child to practice new words, but it isn't complicated so that they get frustrated.


Thanksgiving is Here, by Diane Goode.

The Thanksgiving Door by Debby Atwell. I love that this book is about an immigrant family and how they celebrate Thanksgiving.


Thanksgiving Day at Our House, by Nancy White Carlstrom. This is a book with Thanksgiving poems and cute illustrations. Isabella loves poetry and this book was perfect for her! Although Marco and Anthony aren't the best at reciting, they enjoy the illustrations and making up stories to go along with them.



Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks, by Margaret Sutherland. Such a simple way to introduce the concept of being thankful and for all the things we can be thankful for. Great for little kids.

Round the Turkey, A Grateful Thanksgiving, by Leslie Kimmelman. This is a really sweet book set in rhyme, which the kids love. As a family gathers, they all take turns saying what they are grateful for.


Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation, by Diane Stanley. This is like a children's history book for Thanksgiving. It can be a little long for the younger crowd, but Marco really enjoyed it.

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie. We'll be revisiting this funny book. It's been a favorite read aloud around here this past week.


Praise and Thanksgiving Coloring Book. This Saint Joseph coloring book is a perfect reminder that in the center of all gatherings and holidays, is our Lord.


Anthony will be joining us for some of the Turkey Time lapbook activities, but he'll also keep busy with his own BFIAR work. We'll be reading The Little Rabbit this week. Our activities will include our animal classification, color matching, and visiting the pet shop down the road to look at the rabbits. Although it doesn't seem like much, I don't want to overwhelm him with things to do since there will be plenty of activities to do with the older kids. If anything, I might print out some rabbit coloring pages for him.





Friday, November 14, 2008

Planning for a New Semester!

Starting in January, we'll be starting our new co-op! It has been a journey for me in creating something new and I am excited to have on board a group of wonderful moms and their families. I have learned so much from our current Catholic co-op and am so thankful that they were there for me when I started my kindergarten homeschool year. Lucky for me, they are a supportive group of women and they are rooting for us as we start a whole new group!

The new semester will include some really great classes including Catholic arts & crafts, Latin, science, and geography. If you want to check out the classes and such, just go to www.holyfamilyhomeschoolenrichment.com.

My mission for the next week or so, is to plan my class (Catholic arts & crafts) and come up with a supply list. I have many ideas and I'm brimming with excitement! I will make sure to post my finished schedule here once I am done with it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Struggling with Holiness.

I was baking bread and having the kids sit at the kitchen table doing some school work when I couldn't help myself any longer. The thoughts racing through my head are so many and I have been thinking lately about what God wants me to do. I have begun opening my eyes lately to Him and the more open they become, the harder things seem to get. It's like being blind is so much easier. I wonder if many have this same struggle.

I don't think that what I do on a daily basis is any holier than what any other mom does. But at the same time I keep thinking that God calls all of us to be saints. We may fall short, but it we try we can make it closer than we ever thought. As the day to day of my life unfolds, I keep finding opportunities to become closer to Him. But I also find more and more obstacles, temptations, and ways to get farther away from Him. Is this common? I don't think I noticed this as much before.

Perhaps it is noticing the wrong that we do and how hard it is to change it. Or how much of a fight we actually have to put in order win the most simple battles taking place in our secular society. Prayer is so simple, but sometimes I find myself "squeezing it in" at the end of the day. And as I grapple with these thoughts, I feel like I keep getting more and more signs that my spiritual life should be the most important thing. I should emulate God in every way that I can, even through the most simple acts. Having children and being part of this family should only motivate me more as I am constantly setting examples for them. But being close to God, as easy as it is...can seem so hard to do. Maybe I'm thinking too hard.

The struggle with holiness is something I never in a million dreams would think I would encounter in my life. I am so far from holiness and have so far to travel to even touch the brink of it. But the thought that I can one day be what God wants me to be, is exciting and far better than anything else!

Busy Times!

This week has been a blur so far! With swimming, co-op, faith formation, and co-op planning...I've been too busy to even let myself rest. But I suppose that's just how life is for most moms.

We are currently finishing up our Harvest Festival lapbook. It has been a fun unit and I think the kids enjoyed all the activities. As for Anthony, we kind of took a week off of BFIAR mostly because he was also doing the lapbook activities along with the other kids. But I'm starting to plan for next week.

In the pipeline for next week is Turkey Time lapbook for the older kids and The Little Rabbit for Anthony. I'm even starting to plan what I'll be doing next year for him. I'm deciding between re-doing BFIAR, moving onto FIAR, or switching over to Catholic Mosaic. It's the kind of thing I like to prepare for since I like to have all the books ready and they can take a little bit of time to find!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Today I decided to take a little break from the usual routine and take the kids to the library. They absolutely love going and I enjoy it too. After hunting for books, playing on the computer, and visiting all through the children's section, we always get a snack in the vending area. It's like a huge treat for the kids and we do it every time we go.

Once we got home and had lunch, we got started on our Harvest Time lapbook activities. We took a little walk outside to catch falling leaves, made leaf people, and read lots of books. It was a good afternoon. Here are some books that I think go really well if you are doing an autumn or harvest unit.Exploring Nature Around the Year: Fall, by David Webster. This book has activities, projects, and science facts all having to do with the Autumn season. Offers great ideas if you are running low on stuff to do.

Our Seasons, by Grace Lin and Ranida T. McKneally. A great book that explores all the seasons and explains simple questions like "why do the leaves change color?" The explanations can get a little complicated for young readers, so you might need to simplify it a bit. We only read the autumn section.


I Know and Old lady Who Swallowed a Pie, by Alison Jackson. My kids thought this book was hilarious! It follows the same format as There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, but with a Thanksgiving theme.


Let's Look at Fall, by Sarah L. Schuette. Super simple book with great pictures. Perfect for little kids. This was a great opening book for our Autumn unit and although it is simple and short, we spent a lot of time looking and commenting on the pictures.


We Gather Together, by Wendy Pfeffer. A great book that's all about fall. Great illustrations and shows the fall season around the world and through different points in time. Marco really enjoyed it, but it was a little too complicated for Anthony and Isabella.


Creating leaf people was a big hit today. After the kids finished their creations, I laminated their leaf people. I'm hoping the leaves will maintain their color.


Marco and Isabella have fun making leaf people.

Anthony refused to be in the picture, but you can see his work on the left side on the orange paper.

Library days always lead to hours of looking through books and reading together. So much fun!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Finishing the Week.

It is Saturday and the end of our week. I'm glad that we were able to accomplish most of what I had planned. For today, we'll be tying up some loose ends and I'll start planning for the new week.

Marco: We didn't get to fully review all the history chapters that I wanted to cover. I'm planning on continuing our review informally through today and Monday. As for everything else, we were right on task.

Isabella: Although doing phonics lessons are usually a snap, this week Isabella was struggling with her work. Mostly due to the fact that Anthony was busy with activities she wanted to join in on, but we muddled through the lessons and I'm beginning to think that I'll have to switch the time in which we do phonics with her.

Anthony: Although he loves doing all our BFIAR activities, he isn't enjoying My Blue Boat as much as I hoped he would; he continually asks to read Yellow Ball instead. He has learned quite a bit this week, however. Learning about whales and dolphins has been fun and he even got to enjoy making this cute motion ocean craft. I'll have to take a picture and post it. One thing we plan on doing today, is our animal classification. I created a fun board for Anthony to put his animal classification cards into. By the way, you can print out your own cards through Homeschool Share. I decided to make my own, however, and they are pretty much the same as the ones from Homeschool Share.



One thing we did get to start a little early, was our lapbook unit Harvest Festival. I introduced the unit with talking about Thanksgiving and the autumn season. Discovery Streaming has some wonderful video segments and we watched one explaining the characteristics of autumn and another telling a story about Squanto and the First Thanksgiving. The kids really enjoyed it.

There is still so much left to do today! We usually don't school too much on Saturdays, but since we had a very laid back Friday, I think we'll be ok if we tackle some projects today!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Award!

Juli from "Brooks Academy Catholic Homeschool" gave me this lovely I Love Your Blog award. Wow!! Thanks for reading my blog! I am absolutely flattered!!

1. Where is your cell phone? In my van.

2. Where is dh? Busy working at the hospital.

3. What is your hair color? Dark brown with caramel highlights.

4. Your mother? In Dallas.

5. Your father? In Dallas.

6. Your favorite thing? Spending time with the kids and dh.

7. Your dream last night? That I woke up with a 101 temperature. But I'm not sick.

8. Your dream/goal? Happiness and being closer to God.

9. The room you are in? School room.

10. Your hobby? Homemaking, reading, anything nature.

11. Your fear? Losing a loved one.

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Living in a forever house with lots of trees and with lots of babies!

13. Where were you last night? Teaching 2nd grade Faith Formation.

14. What you're not? I'm not good at sewing, although I would love to be.

15. One of your wish list items? A Canon SLR camera.

16. Where you grew up? Texas and Illinois.

17. The last thing you did? Change a diaper.

18. What are you wearing? V-neck shirt, blue pants.

19. Your TV? Plays Heroes on Mondays and PBS.

20. Your pet? Mr. Patches, our rescue cat. And I'm not a cat person!

21. Your computer? HP.

22. Your mood? Optimistic, energetic.

23. Missing someone? My family in Dallas...mom, dad, sisters, niece, nephew.

24. Your car? Mini-van.

25. Something you're not wearing? Shoes.

26. Favorite store? Costco for stuff, Gap for boys, Hanna Anderson for girls, Belk for dh, and Macy's for me.

27. Your summer? Wonderful!

28. Love someone? Yes!! So many people!

29. Your favorite color? Blues.

30. When is the last time you laughed? Last night with dh.

31. Last time you cried? I don't remember. Maybe a month ago? I try to stay happy.

Now for my three favorite blogs:
Ten Kids and a Dog
My Homeschool 101
Starry Sky Ranch

And in turn,
For the recipients of this award...here's the deal:
*Display your award
*Link back to the person who gave you the award
*Nominate at least 3 other blogs
*Put links to those blogs on yours
*Leave a message on the blogs you nominated
*Enjoy your award!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Planning November.

November is like a stepping stone to Christmas. It's the time of year that everyone starts to rev their engines and get ready for Advent. There are a million things to do before, during, and after the Christmas season. For now, I decided to focus on this month. The beautiful autumn leaves, the changes in weather, and Thanksgiving. November really is a wonderful month and one of my favorites!

I took out some fun activities that I wasn't able to do last year. Turkey Time by Hands of a Child is a fun lapbooking activity that I've been waiting to do for the past couple of months. It is meant to be finished over the course of a week and provides some fun activities and crafts for not only Isabella and Marco, but for Anthony as well. Another lapbook project I have by Hands of a Child is Harvest Festival. It is along the same lines as Turkey Time, but has more of an autumn theme to it. I'll be starting on Harvest Festival next week and doing Turkey Time the week after that (which is the week before Thanksgiving).

Not only that, but I have taken out all our Thanksgiving and autumn books for the kids to read and look through. I also have printed out some fun November-themed crafts and activities for the kids to do on their down time. It seems like we have very little down time lately, but doing crafty projects is something that is always welcome around here. I really want to make use of some of my fun educational memberships. Here are my favorites that have turned out to be well worth the small fee.

ABC Teach : This website has loads of free worksheets. With a paid subscription, however, you get so much more!
Teacher File Box: If you have ever used any Evan-Moor books or materials, you will love this website!! Absolutely my favorite and has paid for itself time and time again!
Discovery Education Streaming : This is on the pricier side, but so worth it! Great videos to go with everything and every grade!! You can even sign up for a 30 day free trial!

I'm planning on posting pictures of what we accomplish as we go.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today has been another busy day. Besides heading out the door with four kids to go vote, we also had school to do, swimming lessons to go to, and work to do around the house. But at least everything got done! The kids were especially excited about our trip to the voting booth. They weren't sure who they would vote for if they could. I tried to explain the voting process, what the president does, and why it's important to vote.

School lessons were short and quick. Since the kids are in swimming at different times, we have to be especially efficient on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This means we usually start earlier in the morning and finish later in the day. It actually has been working out quite well and the kids know that there is something to look forward to.

Today, we continued with our planned lessons. Marco and Isabella are on schedule and Anthony is also doing well with My Blue Boat. He misses reading Yellow Ball and is constantly asking for me to take it out for him. I do think that the transition from one book to the other is going well, as both books deal with something going out into the ocean.

For our BFIAR activities, we managed to squeeze in a couple of crafts today. Anthony worked on color matching and some whale activities. I printed out a whale worksheet from Evan-Moor and then the kids all did a collage of a whale and a sailboat. It was funny to see Marco try to zoom through his math worksheets so that he could join in on the coloring, cutting, and pasting.


Marco trying to finish math so that he can do a craft.


Anthony working on a visual discrimintation worksheet.


Isabella working on a whale craft.


Marco and Anthony show off their whale and sailboat art.

Monday, November 3, 2008

All Souls Day.

The Feast of All Souls is celebrated on the 2nd day of November. I write this today mainly because of my failure to celebrate the day yesterday (2 sick kids with fevers means we stay home!). Growing up, Dia de los Muertos was something that I remember many families celebrating. There were phone calls with "feliz dia de los muertos," special foods, and trips to the cemetary to visit departed loved ones. In the past, I have celebrated merely by praying for all the deceased.

This year is no different, although I would have liked to make Pan de Muertos (Bread of the Dead) and sugar skulls with the kids. I'm posting a link to recipes that you can make in commemoration of the deceased. If the day passed you by, much like it did in our family; perhaps next year will be a perfect time to try it out! In the mean time, I'll be taking the kids to the Museum of Anthropology later this week in order to check out their "Dia de los Muertos (Days of the Dead)" exhibit.

Check out these informational links. All have links to recipes.
*Catholic Culture
*Catholic Cuisine
*Fish Eaters (includes recipes)



Sunday, November 2, 2008

Weekly Plans.

I decided to blog about our plans for the week with each child's school lessons. Since I'm planning more and more preschool activities into our days, I thought it was a good idea for everyone to have a look at what we'll be doing here at Holy Family Classical Academy!

Marco
Math: Continue with Saxon 2, with two lessons on Friday. We are still in the review phase of the book and many of the lessons are fairly easy with no new concepts.

Phonics: Continue with SSRW lesson 16. We are reviewing letter clusters and working on fluency. We will also be including week 3 & 4 words into our Word Wall.

History: SOTW. We took this week off with history and will be starting up again. I plan on doing a review of Chapters 8-11 and finishing off some projects.

Religion: Continue with Faith & Life, Chapter 8. We have been taking it easy with the lessons, mostly because I want them to correlate to the liturgical year and we were a little ahead. But this has been a great thing because we've been able to concentrate on the lives of the saints.

Cartography: This is, by far, one of the shortest and easiest lesson I give every week. This is done one a week and takes about 15 minutes. We will be working on Activity 8, using a map key and following directions.

Literature: Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling.

Handwriting: 2 pages in the Zaner Bloser workbook, plus writing out new sight words.

Isabella
Math: Continue with Saxon 1 lessons, with two lessons on Friday.

Phonics: SSRW Kindergarten Steps 12 & 13. This will include a new reader, comprehension worksheets, matching, and vocabulary.

Religion: Sit in with Marco's lesson. Read Catholic Treasure Box stories and any other requests from our Lovasik book collection.

Handwriting: Begin Zaner Bloser Kindergarten workbook. We just got this on Thursday and are excited to switch from Seton. Seton was a little dry and Isabella needs a little more color. We'll be doing 2 pages daily.

Literature: Sit in with Marco's reading. *Isabella will also be doing BFIAR activities with Anthony.

Anthony
BFIAR: My Blue Boat. We will be doing color matching, making a boat craft, working on our animal classification, as well as possibly creating another lapbook.

Preschool Activities
Wooden beads have been extremely popular lately and I'll be taking them out again. I basically set out a mini muffin tin, wooden beads, and pipe cleaners. Anthony sorts the beads into the muffin tin and then laces the beads. This keeps him busy for about 30 minutes, sometimes more.

Anthony working with beads.

Leaf crafts. We have been collecting fall leaves and I plan on using them this week for our preschool activities. Anthony and Isabella will be doing leaf rubbings, creating a leaf collage, and a leaf wreath.

Felt Fun. I have a big felt board with felt story pieces, numbers, shapes, etc. This is a great activity to get the imagination going! I just set out the materials and the kids create their own story scenes, work on number sequence, etc.


I might take out some other of our preschool activities, depending on how our week goes. I always have our file folder games and centers handy, however, and those seem to keep the kids busy.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

All Saints Day!


Today we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints. It is a an especially good day to remind our children that we are all called to be saints. We have been preparing for today by doing daily readings about the lives of the saints and then adding coloring pages to the kids' bedroom doors. We have also taken out all our Holy Cards and looked at them, read the prayers, and looked up the saints depicted on the card on the Internet.

We have also been celebrating by praying the Litany of the Saints every morning. It has been a challenge to get all the kids to be still while praying, but I find that Marco and Isabella do an exceptional job setting an example for Anthony. I plan to continue doing this through the Octave of All Saint's Day (November 1 until November 8).


Our Litany wall.

Other good ways to celebrate can be to visit a cemetery and pray for the dead. This will actually gain a plenary indulgence for the souls in purgatory. And of course, you can have your children dress up as saints and play saint games.