Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mixing Christmas Crafts and Schoolwork

I had planned to take the whole week off with the boys but they're just antsy and they were asking what we were going to do today.  Yep! You read that right; they were ASKING for work.



   Book work:  I had spent part of my weekend making up my own color by the code sheets for the older boys.  I had been having a real hard time finding ones that worked on skills at their own level so I printed out a few Christmas coloring pages and filled in the spaces on the paper with division and multiplication equations.  I pulled a sheet out for them to work on today and they worked on division facts while coloring a fun Christmas picture.


   Evan wanted to work in his Star Wars books so we worked on a page in his math book and two pages in his phonics book.  We then sat and read I Will Surprise My Friend!  It was another Elephant and Piggie book and we had fun laughing over the expressions of these two characters.  We just love them!

Crafts:  Today we made snowmen ornaments.  We have craft day with our homeschool group tomorrow and I wanted to try out the craft with the kids to see how it would go before introducing it to a whole group.  Other than the mess Alec made with permanent paint on my kitchen table (yep, I'm still crying over that one!) it all went really well.  The snowmen are adorable and the kids thought it was easy to make.  I like that all three are very similar yet have their own distinct personality.  The kids loved this simple craft and the paint pens dried very quickly too.  It's the perfect craft for our craft day.
 
To make these ornaments you need:
  Simply fill the ornament using the plastic snow (this takes time and patience).  Once full draw a fun face on the ornament using the paint pens.-- That's it! 


Our completed ornaments 

Evan working hard to fill his snowman 



    Writing activity for the Holidays: How to Wrap a Christmas Present.  The boys had to write out step by step instructions teaching someone how to wrap a Christmas present.  I love having the boys work on these because they're usually pretty funny to read afterward.  I think it's good practice for them on giving out directions and trying to make them easy enough to understand and follow.  I usually pick a skill that they are quite familiar with so they aren't overwhelmed and we discuss any steps that they might have thought were obvious and skipped over when they're all done.  As far as writing goes it's usually a pretty fun way to squeeze some into our day.
 
   Read Aloud:  We had a lot of Christmas books we checked out of the library so I read Tyrannoclaus and Paddington Bear and the Christmas Surprise.  We also read a bit more of our Harry Potter book.

   Self- guided geography:  The kids pulled out a puzzle that talks and tells them the capital of each state as well as the state name.  Evan was repeating them and telling me excited "Mom, the capital of Alaska is Juneau" and "The capital of New Jersey is Trenton."  It started a whole recitation from Ian and Alec of all the state capitals they could remember and they remembered A LOT!  I had no idea how many capitals they knew.


   Physical Eductaion and Social Skills:  The boys played a scavenger hunt/ capture the flag type game at gym today.  The class kept modifying the rules as the game progressed.  All three boys ran  for the entire hour just about non- stop.  They looked like they were having a lot of fun.

   Random Acts of Kindness (teaching the reason for the season):  We headed into Target and I was struck by how excited my boys were to shop for some complete strangers.  Our karate school adopted a local family to help out during the holidays and with our wish list in hand we spent a good 30 minutes looking through the aisles of toys and clothing searching for the perfect gift for each kid.  Sometimes they were a bit too generous and I had to explain that while we wanted to help we did need to set a budget and stick to it.  They worked together and came up with some truly wonderful gifts.  It's great to see how giving they are willing to be (with my money of course), but they were definitely feeling the Christmas spirit and that's just priceless to me.
   

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