If you look at my pictures, you wouldn’t think that we did much this week, but you would be wrong. Weather week was fun and we actually did a lot, but we also dealt with some sickness this week and an ear infection so I didn’t take as many pictures. This was the second week in a row that I felt an epiphany about organizing next year in a different way, so I spent a lot of time during rest time this week planning what I want to do next year when both Aria and Skylar will be starting school. I’m excited to tell you guys about it at the end of the year and show you the awesome outline for next year I’ve been working on!
Skylar has also decided that she wants to do school with us, so that has added a whole new element of complication. Skylar knows her colors really well and so we were able to finish a whole color workbook and are working on a shapes and color workbook this week (thank you, Dollar Store!) She’s still too young to really be able to follow the dotted line well, but she really wants to be like her sister so I want to help her start school if that’s what she wants. I don’t talk about Skylar much on here, but she is my talker and is very smart, so I am actually excited to start school with her next year. Aria, however, is not. She is taking it really hard that my attention is more divided now, so I am doing my best to give her my undivided help when Skylar gets distracted with her toys.
Weather week was great this week. There are loads of hands on activities out there for weather week and I bought an awesome Green science weather in a bottle kit that really helped us to learn about temperature, wind, rain amounts, etc. It even acts as a greenhouse, so we planted seeds and will see what happens! Even though Groundhog Day probably aligns better with a winter unit, I always like to do winter around Christmas time. So we usually do a weather unit in conjunction with groundhog day. I found a bunch of great literacy and craft activities for Groundhog Day which were fun to do, though we kept Groundhog Day simply to one day and spent most of the week doing weather.
I divided the remaining days of the week into “weather as a whole,” “clouds and rain,” “Co-op: weather crafts,” and “severe weather.” The biggest hits of the week were the weather movement game where the kids had to follow the instructions of the dice to go to the right weather. I think we may have played it every day of the week, which I was fine with since it got out energy. I also love so many of the science activities that have to do with weather, and even my husband got into those, doing some that we hadn’t had time to get to in the morning with the girls while I went to the gym one day.
Aria hasn’t been as excited about art as she has about science each week, so we have started saving a lot of the thematic art activities for co-op day, since the friend we do it with just loves crafts which gets Aria more excited about doing them. To replace thematic art on days I want her doing art, instead we have been working in our Famous Artists book (see year plan for more details). That way we are still doing art most days, but I don’t have to put in loads of work setting up crafts she complains about doing. Just trying to figure it out week by week right now!
Learning about the weather is a necessity for any kid, but next year we may just learn about it for a “science club day,” since Aria has specifically requested a weekly science club next year versus a whole week focused on weather. Not sure how I’m going to set them up yet, but I have some thoughts that I’m sure ill have organized enough to share by May! Happy Groundhog Day and hope you all enjoy an early spring!
Be a superhero week was as fun as always, and I actually found loads of literacy activities for this unit that allowed it to be even more educational of a unit than years before. However, this was the first unit that I did this year with Aria that I felt like we were finally aging out of. We had a blast but everything we did would be far too easy to do again next year, so while we enjoyed the week, it is time to say goodbye to the superheroes and simply leave them for play now.
The best activities of the week were definitely the literacy and science activities, as I think Aria got a lot out of both. The sensory activities were fun and Skylar enjoyed being able to take part in them, but they were definitely easy and more for fun than learning. For this unit, many of the activities we used were from a massive superhero packet we found at firstgradewow.com, who did an amazing job coming up with all sorts of literacy, math, science, and art activities. Her unit is a must to check out. I also loved the sight word snappers activity and this year made sure to save some Dollar Store popper fireworks from the 4th of July so that we could really enjoy this activity. The girls absolutely loved the activity!
One of my best suggestions for any unit, but one we really benefitted from when it came to this unit is trying to consistently check out consignment sales and stores for school gems. I’ve found loads of good stuff over the years, but science kits are one of the best things Ive been able to find, and I found a really amazing and unused “Top Secret” science kit that was perfect for this week. We pretended we worked for SHIELD and were trying to figure out how to stop a bad guy who used science to create evil in the world. What a blast and a great learning opportunity. So I highly suggest loading up on science kits when you find them and storing them away for the perfect moment.
We didn’t just focus on superheroes this week but also on how to be a superhero to people around us in the community or our homes. We colored and wrote a book about how we are all superheroes, we talked about how to be superheroes to each other and Aria wrote about how Skylar was a superhero to her because she is a sweet sister (which was just the cutest). Aria also read a book to her sister and we went through their toys and picked out items to donate in the process of moving Skylar into Aria’s room and actually making a schoolroom. We’ve continued doing our Fruits of the Spirit rocks from earlier in the year and this week luckily overlapped with filling our jar the second time. So we also talked about how showing the fruits of the spirit in our lives and to others makes us superheroes!
If you’ve never done this unit with your child but they love superheroes, I can’t recommend it enough. My girls are obsessed with anything superhero and play with our box of superheroes almost every day, so it was great to set them up to look at their box of superheroes now and think about how they can also be superheroes. While I of course am glad we had a chance to so thoroughly review our letters and sight words, if there is one lesson I hope is most effective this year, it is how to be good human beings in their community and in our home. I can’t wait to see what sort of superheroes my children become someday and hope they always take every opportunity to help those around them.
Though we are still getting back into the groove of things post Christmas, this week was far better organized and definitely more successful than our South America week. My girls love dinosaurs, so on almost any given day they can be found playing in one of the two large boxes of dinosaurs we have in our house. Even Skylar really got into this unit since so many of the activities were hands on and involved playing with dinosaurs! I think it was really well placed in timing because we needed a fun unit to ease us back into school, though you could easily study dinosaurs at any point during the year. Though there are a lot of fun materials I have for the unit, the best activities were the science based ones, the dinosaur sight words game, and the dinosaur addition worksheets…and I’ll tell you why!
First of all, I found an amazing deal through Facebook one day for a dinosaur craft kit (BOGO), so I have had this craft kit for the longest time and was so excited to actually pull it out. It wasn’t as big of a hit as I would’ve hoped, but a lot was reusable and I could save for next year. I found a bunch of dinosaur egg hatching kits this year (one at the dollar store, one from a consignment sale, and one from our Sing, Spell, Read, and Write prize box. So, it was a blast to line up several glasses and watch dinosaurs hatch and grow from eggs and guess what types of dinosaurs they could be. Another big hit buy was a dinosaur card matching and lacing kit I bought from the Target dollar section (and I loved the dinosaur workbook I found at Target to practice copy work). We played with the cards in multiple ways during the week!
I can’t recommend enough the dinosaur sight word game that I used this week. Now that we are in the middle of the year, it was a great way to do a checkup and see where Aria is at in her sight word knowledge. My husband was super excited to see that she knew 63 of the sight words in the game (and I love being able to show him that we really are using our time wisely at home)! The math addition game was a great way to take a break from Math U See and do the same concepts we are learning but in a more fun way. Even if you have never done addition with your child before, I think it is a great first introduction to addition.
But by far the thing Aria loved most this unit was the science activities. Aria has recently decided her favorite thing in the world is to make up her own science experiments (you can see her working on some below). She could spend hours outside mixing different common kitchen ingredients and water to see what will happen. She is already asking for me to make a science club each week at home next year. I LOVE this, so I am all about adding more science when the unit permits. We had a blast making lava “explode” when talking about hypotheses for why dinosaurs went extinct. Aria loved digging dinosaurs out of hardened cornstarch in water like a paleontologist and making our own dinosaur bones out of salt dough to bury and dig out later. Dinosaur ice eggs are always a blast to melt, and coffee fossils are just far too easy not to try!
Needless to say, we had a busy but overall effective week. Perhaps she still doesn’t know as many dinosaur names as I would like, but we really got hands on this week and covering so much math, writing and reading in addition to our normal math and writing was really great for Aria and a really good gauge of where she is out right now. Plus, it was fun to see Skylar get really into the unit and it got me thinking some good ideas of what to do with her next year to make her first year super fun! Trust me, dinosaur unit doesn’t just have to be a silly, throw away unit- it is always one of my favorites each year and so worth a shot in your own home!
p.s. The tooth fairy made her first visit to our home this week, which was a huge surprise and completely unexpected! Can't believe Aria is already one tooth down (and she pulled it out herself)!
It is never easy getting back into the groove of things when you’ve taken a break from school, and even though we did our daily Elf on the Shelf activities all December long, we had so much fun that it felt like a massive break from school. Not just that, but we took a break during the month from doing much of our Math U See or Sing, Spell, Read, and Write curriculum, so needless to say, Aria wasn’t super excited about getting back on track. Choosing to do the continent of South America the week we got back from break was a big gamble, and I can’t say I would do it over again. I definitely enjoyed learning about South America along with Aria, as I don’t know as much about South America as I do other continents, but the whole week felt rushed and forced in a way other weeks haven’t been. Jungle was a success, but I definitely need to spend more time preparing and more than one week on South America in the future so that we actually have a chance of learning the information.
I planned to focus the week on learning just a few things: the continent and its shape, the names of several countries, some of the popular traditions and food, and the Amazon jungle. Our first day, we studied the shape of the continent and the countries, and we played several games that I felt were effective in learning a few names. We then spent the next two days learning about Brazil and the Amazon (since most of the Amazon is actually located in Brazil). We had a blast making a jungle on our kitchen table for co-op along with playing with jungle animals and jungle stamps, and making it with a friend was all the more fun! For Brazil we also made Brasiliero, which the kids loved and I thought was far too sweet and we also made a jungle jello kit. You can see that we had far too much sugar this week! We also did our activities from our Little Passports Brazil kit that arrived a few months ago (I collect and wait for the right unit to use them). We studied basic things like the flag and several of the traditions like carnival, but I just felt like we ran out of time on both Brazil and the jungle.
We also studied the country of Peru, and I really lucked out in finding a free, large packet of information and activities on Peru. I highly recommend you download it if you do this unit. I was so overwhelmed in trying to pick through South America activities that it saved me loads of time and energy! I think she actually learned a lot about Peru through the packet, so ill definitely do the activities we didn’t get to next year.
Doing this unit for the first time this year gave me lots of ideas for how to grow and do it better next year. It made me think about what direction I want to go in for next year, especially with Skylar starting Pre-K 3 in the fall. Do I want to divide the entire year up into different continents so that we can get a deeper study and start doing World History? Do I want to focus on America and American history for a year? Even though the unit wasn’t as effective as I would have wished, I’m glad to get ideas for next year and the push to start mentally organizing for K/1!
For New Year’s Eve this year, we decided to try Jessica’s New Year’s Eve countdown from a few years ago. I did hourly bags that started at 4 in the afternoon until we finished at 9 and rang in the New Year a little early so the kiddos could go to bed. Definitely worth the effort, though I recommend doing what I did and making the bags before Christmas, especially if you plan to travel and think you might come home exhausted (as we did). It was really wonderful to have it all set ahead of time so that my husband and I could really just focus on celebrating with the girls. I think that ordering food was a really smart idea, because we didn’t have a lot of extra time for me to cook in between activities, but you could easily do an “around the world” meal, especially if you had friends over to help divvy up the work! We will definitely make these bags a new tradition (laminating is key if you want to be able to reuse as much as possible the following year) and cant wait to see how the girls’ interviews and answers change for the questionnaires as they get older! Hopefully this fun start to the year really sets the tone for 2019!
Dinner: Chinese and we have fortune cookies for dessert to see what 2019 might hold for us
Countdown to “New Year’s” (9:00 in our house) bags. Clocks on each bag and Aria has to tell me the time before we open it (https://www.madewithhappy.com/new-years-countdown-clock/)
Rip off 2018/19 sign that we change at midnight
Netflix kids countdown of choice (do the countdown at 9:00)- there are about 10 different options if you just search “New Year’s Eve countdown”
Fun fizz countdown each hour (http://inspiredbyfamilymag.com/2012/12/27/new-years-eve-countdown-activity-for-kids/)
Make our own balloon drop with a sheet and tape on ceiling fan
Make kids dress in something white, something polka dots, and pick out colorful underwear (for cultural hour, see below)
4:00- Turn the Christmas tree into a wishing tree with our wishes for the coming year
AND New year’s treasure hunt (http://www.sohosonnet.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Picture-190.png) AND fun new year mad libs (https://lalymom.com/new-years-eve-ideas-kids-3-printable-activities/)
5:00- Paper plate hour- make a New Year’s eve paper plate countdown ball (http://jdaniel4smom.com/2014/12/new-years-eve-countdown-activity-kids.html)
AND Paper plate new year’s hat (http://www.busybeekidscrafts.com/Paper-Plate-Party-Hat.html)
6:00- Cultural bag (and dinner hour): https://takelessons.com/blog/new-years-eve-traditions-z03 and read out the different traditions, then do some
7:00: Sparklers and salt art fireworks (https://www.muminthemadhouse.com/salt-art-fireworks/)
New year’s eve sound maker (http://domesticcharm.blogspot.com/2011/12/new-years-eve-sound-makers.html)
8:00: Do a video interview of the girls and what they want to happen in 2019 and their favorite 2018 memories (here are some easy interview questions- http://www.sohosonnet.com/crafts-and-diy/diy-holiday/new-years-eve-countdown-activities-for-kids/)
AND New year’s time capsule (https://kellicrowe.typepad.com/kellicrowe/2010/12/kid-craft-time-capsule.html) and time capsule freebies (https://www.adabofgluewilldo.com/new-years-time-capsule/)
9:00: Last bag: fake champagne and plastic glasses to cheers the new year. Eat sparkling jello jigglers, pull the balloons down, and use Netflix countdown to finish out the night.
The 24 Days of Christmas
We do Elf on the Shelf each year, and last year we started the tradition of the Elf on the Shelf coming to visit each day, with the 12 days of Elf being 12 thematic days in a bag delivered by the Elf. I usually try to align what the Elf does or brings with activities that we do outside of the home. If you saw my yearly plan, you know that I had at first thought of doing a winter week, secular christmas, and religious Christmas week. However, this year I just decided to add additional elf days and intermix that with small presents and crafts, so it is really the 24 days of Elf this year (just with some days less extravagant than others). I added a few more thematic units based on activities I bought on sale at the end of last year and activities I wanted to do with the girls. We also do a daily advent calendar reading). Here are my plans (using many of the ideas that brilliant Jessica came up with last year) and hopefully it can inspire or help you to have a magical Christmas with your family!
Day 1: Snow Day (Saturday following Arctic/Antarctica week)
(Watch: Frosty the Snowman, Read: The Elf on the Shelf, A Christmas Tradition)
**Elf Playing on fake snow
Day 2: Christmas in Nature (Columbus Botanical Gardens Christmas Day)
(Watch: Curious George makes maple syrup or sledding episodes)
**Elf plays in sensory bin
Day 3: Rudolph Day
(Watch and read: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer)
**Elf wears light up Rudolph nose
Day 4: Jingle Bells Day
**Elf spells Jesus with bells
(Watch: Jingle Bells movie)
Day 5: Tree Decorating Day (co-op day)
**Elf on tree with ornaments being gifted
(Watch: a Charlie Brown Christmas, Read: The Littlest Christmas Tree)
Day 6: Miscellaneous craft day- Elf gives a box with craft supplies
**Elf wrapped in Christmas colored yarn
Day 7: Polar Express Day (go see Polar Express in I-MAX 3D at Infantry Museum)
**Elf holding small train tickets
(Read and Watch the Polar Express)
Day 8: Painting plates with Santa at Bare Ware Pottery
(Read: Walt Disney’s Santa’s Toy Shop)
**Elf delivers an Elf on the Shelf bath time painting set that I bought on major sale after Christmas last year
Day 9: Hot Cocoa Day (follow up to Polar Express)
**Elf spells “Jesus loves you” in mini marshmallows and delivers some good hot cocoa mix
Day 10: Gingerbread Day
**Elf with small bowl, wisk, rolling pin
(Watch Gingerbread Men short videos on Amazon)
Day 11: Candy Cane Day (go to Callaway Fantasy in Lights)
**Elf with candy cane chain
(Watch: The Legend of the Candy Cane; Read: Jesus as a shepherd stories and story of shepherds at nativity)
Day 12: Cookie and Kindness Day (Co-op)
**Elf playing with felt cookies and had note about being kind
(Watch Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas; Read: The Christmas Cookie)
Day 13: Peace and Joy Day
**Elf holding nail polish and supplies
Day 14: Nativity Day (Live nativity scene at our church)
**Elf hanging out in felt nativity scene
(Watch: The Star; Read: Baby Jesus is Born, The Nativity by Julie Vivas, The Christmas Story by Children’s Bible Classics, and Mary’s Treasure Box)
Day 15: Saint Nicholas Day (Breakfast with Santa at the Rock Ranch)
**Elf with cross and Bfast with Santa tickets
(Read: Veggie Tales Saint Nicolas)
Day 16: Santa Day
**Elf in Chimney rooftop drop game (https://www.amazon.com/Hallmark-181280-Rooftop-Drop-Game/dp/B00PY5Z27W)
(Watch: Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town or Elf)
Day 17: Santa Bag
**Elf sitting on Santa Bag
Day 18: Holiday Fun Day
**Elf coloring in Christmas coloring books
Day 19: Grinch Day (go see the new Grinch in theaters)- Co-op day
**Elf reading “How the Grinch Stole Christmas
(Read and watch: How the Grinch Stole Christmas)
Day 20: A Mouse Christmas
**Elf “eating” cheese and leaning on Gingerbread house
Day 21: Elf Roadtrip (heading to see family in Charlotte on this day)
**Elf hanging out on luggage
Day 22: Holiday origami (in Charlotte)
**Elf making an origami figure
Day 23: Nativity review
**Elf sitting with a nativity scene
Day 24: FINAL DAY
**Elf brings large bag, sits by a final letter with farewell in it and stuff to make cookies for Santa
Happy thanksgiving! I am so thankful to you, my readers, for reading this blog and giving me a reason to keep going by hopefully helping a few of you. This thanksgiving was extra special, as Aria is a little older and now is of the age to start understanding how lucky she is and just how much she has to be grateful for, and man, am I so blessed that I get to stay home with her and do what I do. She tells me all of the time how much she loves homeschooling, so I am so blessed to have a supportive husband who has been pro-homeschooling from the very start! Anyways, rant over, and on to all of the details of the week…
Once again, I divided each day into categories. We covered Native Americans, Pilgrims, Gratefulness and turkeys, and a co-op craft day that incorporated bits of each hosted by my friend. Though I don’t have all the links to her activities, my friend did some awesome activities like a life-size board game where you pretend to be a pilgrim and have to avoid sickness and problems on the boat overseas to get to the new world. It was a really great way to teach strategies to the girls. Then, they made teepees with ice cream cones and icing (which was of course a big hit) and tried to make our own mini floating Mayflowers (see under Science). We also played a thanksgiving bingo from Target that was super fun. I love having creative friends that give me a bit of a planning break!
For Native American day, we dressed up and made our own headbands and played with our thanksgiving pilgrim and Native American toys in our teepee. We painted with Indian corn, made small foldable teepees and played with puppets. For pilgrim day, we also colored and played with puppets, made our own pilgrim hat, and did some good pilgrim worksheets.
For gratefulness and turkey day, the girls played in a thanksgiving sensory bin, added our turkey parts to the gratefulness pumpkin, made multiple foam turkey crafts, and did some fun worksheets. We also made our own gratefulness tree I found at Target, which ended up being our table centerpiece.
I always end up overplaying for thanksgiving because each year I seem to forget how hard it is to not just cook and plan for the thanksgiving meal but that I have to fit in the cleaning and prepping for guests at some point! But it never hurts to have extra things to use for next year, so I don’t mind that I had a number of things leftover. Plus, from time to time the girls wanted something to do and I was able to quickly pull a craft or worksheet out for them.
We ended our thanksgiving week transitioning into our Christmas season, which will be extra special this year (see my 24 days of Christmas Elf post) by going to a Christmas tree farm for the first time to cut down a Christmas tree. Now that the thanksgiving decorations are done, its time to really dive into winter and the Christmas season! I just can’t wait for the many fun things to come!
This year, I decided to do fall a little bit later in the semester to try and hit the season at just the right time and seemed to succeed. Fall happens a bit later in south Georgia, and covering it right before Thanksgiving appeared to give me a good overlap of appropriate activities for both holidays. The week was terribly rainy, but we lucked out and chose to do our fall walk on Sunday so we had leaves and seeds to sort, even if they ended up being a bit brown by the time we got to them.
By far, the best part of the week was the short bit we were able to spend walking in nature and enjoying the beauty of fall. We did both a scavenger hunt and a fall leaf/seed walk, so the girls stayed busy the whole walk looking for things to collect or check of their list. That meant, there were no complaints about being tired or wanting to head back, which is always a win!
I divided the days into: apples, fall as a whole, leaves, pumpkins, and hibernation/migration. We also went over to a friend’s house one day for co-op and did really fun fall crafts like fall leaf handprints and creating leaf people, which was a fun break for both myself and the girls. I’ve really enjoyed having help once a week with coming up with crafts and activities from my co-op, and it is always more fun going on field trips when you have friends to join you! If you can even find just one friend who will start a co-op with you, it makes the journey a little less lonely.
Anyways, for apple day we played in an apple pie sensory bin, made apple orchard frames, counted apple seeds, did apple STEM, and made coffee filter apples. We also did a basic introduction to fall and its months on Monday with rewriting a fall poem (one of the great activities in the Autumn nature journal I mention) and the seasons wheel we made a few years back.
For leaf day, Aria made words out of letters written on pinewood discs, seed rubbings and sorting, salt crystal leaves (which didn’t turn out but if they turn out for you, please tell me what I did wrong!!), leaf rubbing, and pressing leaves. We also made coffee filter leaves and hung them to make a harvest banner with the apple coffee filters.
Even though we already covered pumpkins with halloween, we went back and did a few more additional activities and covered parts of the pumpkin more thoroughly (plus, dissecting anything is always fun). We made foam pumpkin and gourd crafts from Michael’s, coloring pages, and some miscellaneous pumpkin worksheets.
Lastly, we covered hibernation and migration with some friends who came over. We put a big tent in our living room so the kiddos could pretend to hibernate and created a hibernation sensory bin with leaves and other fall items, bears and squirrels, and boxes/paper towel rolls we painted to be our caves or logs where the animals hibernated. For migration, we wanted to do a bird walk but it was raining, so we talked about how and why bird migrate and had the kids draw birds in a “V” shape. I also sung the kiddos a rap song and did a chant about different animals and whether they hibernate or migrate, which the kids seemed to enjoy!
Overall, fall is a fun and important week. By not doing it earlier in the season, we missed overlapping with certain fall events like festivals or visiting the pumpkin patch, but I don’t think we were so far off from the field trips that the girls had already forgotten what we had seen. I think fall is just the best season of the year (other than the single good month of Winter, December :)), so it was fun spending some time celebrating the beauty of nature and God’s creation with two little ones who are still so excited about everything! Already looking forward to the return of fall fun next year!
Veterans Day Blog
Because my father-in-law served in the Vietnam War and my husband served over in Iraq and is now in the reserves, for Veterans Day each year we try to put time aside to not only learn about what the army does but also do special things to honor their service. This year, we added a component of putting together care packages for people my husband serves with, but overall we spent most of the week learning and creating special gifts that were military related.
To learn about the military, we wandered the National Infantry Museum with my husband, who was able to tell us all about where he served and show us lots of stuff from his time in service. It is a really great museum that the girls always love visiting. Later in the week, we went to the Civil War Naval Museum in downtown Columbus and checked out some amazing boats and boat pieces from the Civil War. You can even wander inside of one to see what life was like inside a war boat, which was something new and exciting. One of the benefits to living right by a military base is that there are so many ways to get hands on with learning about military life, even if my husband only serves one weekend a month!
We spent the rest of the week writing cards, decorating books, making characters, and ultimately filling packages for Daddy and Papa to get on Veterans Day. We were able to mail and gift the presents on Veterans Day to the surprise of both. Time in between the crafts was filled with playing with boatloads of soldiers and some new civil war toys we found at the museum. I’m definitely going to have to teach about the Civil War next year!
Overall, the week was not filled with loads of “heavy” activities to do, but I think that everything we learned about and did was very important. We are so proud of our family and their service, so it was wonderful to spend time honoring them and showing just how proud we are! Even if you can only spend a day writing Veterans Day cards or a moment saying thank you, I guarantee everything will be greatly appreciated by those who served or have served in the military because it is truly a job filled with self sacrifice!
I find fall time to be this strange mix of both completely exhausting while also strangely rejuvenating because with the beautiful fall weather comes loads and loads of outdoor activities and festivals. So, life is fun and the air feels amazing, but at the end of the holidays you almost want to collapse in exhaustion. As I'm writing this, I am definitely feeling the tiredness after all of the excitement, as we just got home from our 4th fall festival of the season. But, man, are we blessed to live somewhere that offers so many fun activities to do, especially the many free things we have been able to take part in. Halloween week school activities were fun and definitely kept us busy, but we did very little of our Math U See and Sing, Spell, Read and Write this week so that we could really make the time to attend every activity we possibly could, and I think that was the best decision we could've made! Fall is all about exploring pumpkin patches, corn mazes, fall festivals, and trick-or-treating, so I definitely suggest taking the time at the start of the fall season to plan something for each week or weekend so you don't miss out on any cool activity!
I had a theme for each day, which included the following (caveat: my girls don't get scared easily, so if your children do, you might want to avoid things that might bother them):
2. Witches and haunted houses
3. Harry Potter (co-op)
5. Jello and candy science
6. Ghosts and bats
7. Spiders and skeletons
8. Halloween party and movement games (co-op)- on Halloween Day
Anyways, we lucked out that many of the things we did during the week had great activities outside of the house that aligned with what we were doing in our home. One of the Halloween themed co-op days, we did a Harry Potter theme and did a bunch of activities that related to the books (Aria has been asking me to read the first one to her, so this worked well in conjunction with our nighttime reading). Then, we attended a Harry Potter event in Columbus at a nature center called Oxbow Meadows. The event was called Frogwarts and was a bunch of science, crafts and scavenger hunts that related to the books. Aria and Skylar had a blast! Our library also did a Halloween themed day where the girls made potions and other fun crafts, which just so happened to align with our witches and haunted house day. And of course, the four fall festivals we attended all had fun fall and halloween crafts and activities that worked to help promote what we were working on all week. If you happen to live in the Columbus area, I highly recommend Oktoberfest at Fort Benning because not only are all the rides free and the kids can take home a pumpkin each (which were the ones we ended up carving), but they also load you up on free packs of crafts that I was able to take home and use during this unit or save for my thanksgiving one!
Our favorite day was probably the jello and candy science day. Not only was it super hands on and the science experiments really weird and cool, but I actually learned a few things along with the girls! I'm still completely grossed out by candy corn, so I always love any chance to destroy the candy (though I'm not so mean as to not allow my girls to try some at the end of the day). Even Skylar really got into everything, which I always love to see.
Spider day was also a huge hit. with a fun spiderweb obstacle course and some really great crafts I got on major sale through Toucan Box. The cool thing about their crafts is they give you enough to do the same craft a few years in a row, so I was able to save it to use it again next year! We also made a fun spiderweb painting with tape and watercolors that turned out really cool looking when you take the tape off!
Halloween is such a fun time of year and I thoroughly enjoyed how much we got out and about around the holiday. The exciting thing is that the fun is just beginning and there is so much more coming this holiday season! (Can you believe that I've already gone to a Christmas fair with the girls this year?! The madness starts early!). Now, time for a quick break and then ready to dive into Veteran's Day planning! Let the fun begin again!
Jessica and Ana
Our Homeschooling Mission Statement: We will strive to be patient, godly examples to our children, integrating biblical principles and morality into every subject. Learning should be fun. We will foster an attitude of lifelong curiosity and play while providing the best possible education we can through books, art, technology, food, tactile activities, and cultural experiences. Learning will not be dictated by hours on a clock but will be a way of life for our families.