Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Arthur Christmas

 Evan and Ian were awake and eagerly asking me to come downstairs and see our elf.  Apparently he got into some mischief again last night!  Ian told me that our elf must have heard the weather forecast because he made his own fake snow and made a snow angel on our dining room table.  They thought this was great!

We had a fun day of schoolwork today all themed around the movie Arthur Christmas.



We began by reading our books for the day, we read two of Jan Brett's Books: Christmas Trolls and Who's  That Knocking on Christmas Eve and then we read Finding Christmas

We talked about how the best gifts aren't always gifts you expect to get and sometimes they aren't even gifts at all. 

As a follow up I had them write about the best gift of all.  I saw this cute idea on  Pinterest and thought the boys would get a kick out of making the lift the flap gifts and using real holiday bows.  They all ended up drawing pictures of their favorite toys so I guess for them the best gift of all is really a gift.
our writing assignment
the books we read
We were making our annual Christmas Sugar Cookies today!

The boys have been asking for days now when we'd get around to painting our cookies and today was finally the day.  I prepared a batch of sugar cookie dough last night and let them sit in the refrigerator overnight.  I rolled them out and the boys get to chose which cookie cutters they want to use.  As I cut the cookies out,  I put them onto three different cookie sheets making sure each boy had at least one of each of the shapes so I could try and avoid any arguments. 

We paint our cookies with a mixture of evaporated skim milk and food coloring then the boys have free reign of the sprinkles.  They have so much fun painting these cookies and they're so proud passing them out at all the holiday parties we go to.

some of our cookies-- ready to be shared
"painting" our cookies
Once they were happily painting away I started rolling out the salt dough I made last night also. 

The dough rolled out quite nicely and I had each boy come over to make his hand impression.  I then cut them out with a sharp knife and used a straw to poke holes for hanging.

 Once all the cookies were done baking I popped the first try of salt dough into the oven and honestly, I am so upset with our results!  many of the ornaments puffed up and cracked, they turned sort of brownish (when I was really hoping they'd stay more white).  Once they're all cooled off we'll paint them up.  

the boys had so much fun comparing the sizes of their hands!

all baked and cool.. but we still need to paint them 
 By this time it was definitely snowing out and both Ian and Evan were chomping at the bit to get out and play in the snow.  The beauty of homeschooling is that they can!  We took a break and got them all geared up, they asked for shovels and spent probably close to an hour outside shoveling snow, clearing off the driveway and front walk (since my boys' idea of playing in the snow apparently means shoveling). 

While they were playing outside Alec helped me cut out the rest of our salt dough into plain ole' regular ornaments for us to paint one day.  We had Christmas carols playing all morning long while we worked and Alec was happily singing along, learning how to roll out dough, line up the cookie cutters and use the straw to poke holes.  He did a great job!  Maybe I'll let him have that job next time.

other assorted ornaments to paint

The boys came in after a bit and got ready to do some math.  Evan had a roll and color stocking sheet again today.  This sheet was a bit different from yesterday's sheet though.  Instead of just rolling, adding them up and then coloring in the answer, this time he had to write the numbers he rolled to get each answer.  It was great practice for him to write his numbers and I have seen tremendous improvement in his ability. 

While he was rolling and coloring away the older two boys had a Christmas Multiplication Bingo game we were playing.  They had to cut out the answers and paste them anywhere on the bingo board then when they were ready I called out the problems.  As they figured out each answer they covered the matching number on their boards.  We did two rounds since the first one resulted in a tie. 

 Ian won the second round and asked to go back outside.  Alec wanted to go out long enough to make one snowball (and stayed out well over an hour). 

Evan was anxious to finish up his math sheet so he could join them.  He told me he only had the number 2 and 12 left.  I asked him if he knew what numbers he needed to roll and he told me it was a 1 and a 1 to make 2 so I told him he could just write the numbers in and not roll.  He wasn't sure what would equal 12 though and so he rolled one last time.  He got a 5 and a 3 told me that was 8 and I asked him if he needed bigger numbers or smaller numbers and he told me bigger.  Then he said "maybe 6 and 6?"  Turned the dice to 6 added up the dots and triumphantly looked at me and said "see 12!"   
    
I was amazed that it wasn't even lunch time and we were done school. 

We had read, finished our writing assignment, finished math, made several craft projects, made our cookies....   The only thing left of our day was watching our movie, Arthur Christmas, which we planned to do at/after lunch.

We even had time to make a snowman.

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