Monday, December 13, 2021

Homeschool Update: Weeks of 11/29/21 and 12/6/21

A cold came through our house in the middle of last week, and we didn't do school for a few days, so I decided to just combine the past two weeks into one post again. 

Advent Activities 

We have simplified our Advent a little bit for this year. Instead of trying to manage one Jesse tree for each child, we printed only one for the family. We also received five sticker Advent calendars in the mail from a friend, but we're only using one this year. The three older girls take turns coloring the Jesse Tree ornament, putting the ornament on the tree, and putting the sticker on the Advent wreath. Then we do a short prayer service based on this Jesse Tree Prayer and Litany. Each week, we are singing a different Advent hymn. First, we did Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence, and then Oh Come Divine Messiah. We also pray the Christmas Anticipation Prayer 15 times each morning. 

For the first time, we also have an Advent wreath this year. We light it after dinner and say the Advent prayer for that week from The Catholic All Year Prayer Companion. We finish by singing O Come O Come Emmanuel in English and Latin. 

On November 28, we went to the Advent Family Festival at the Shrine of St. Anthony. On December 5th, we went to breakfast with Santa at our parish. On December 6th, the kids woke up to shoes filled by St. Nicholas and we sang O Who Loves Nicholas the Saintly.

Morning Time 

Poems: From Favorite Poems Old and New, edited by Helen Ferris (Doubleday Books, 1957), I read aloud: "Marjorie's Almanac" by Thomas Bailey Aldrich, "Prairie-Dog Town" by Mary Austin, "Goody O'Grumpity" by Carol Ryrie Brink, "Villagers all, this frosty tide" from Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame,  and "The Kitten at Play" by William Wordsworth. 

Music: We started reading Peter Tchaikovsky and the Nutcracker Ballet by Opal Wheeler, and we listened to the pieces included in the text: 

Art Appreciation: In 100 Masterpieces in Color (Hamlyn, 1972), we studied The Annunciation by Fra Angelico and Madonna of the Meadow by Raphael. We also watched the Smarthistory video about The Annunciation.  


First Grade: C. and I read two sections from Builders of the Old World: In the Hall of Truth and A Great Queen. Then we read Hatshepsut: His Majesty, Herself by Catherine M. Andronik and watched two videos: Hatshepsut Temple and Obelisk and Hatshepsut, The Woman Who was King. She also watched two more parts of BBC's Egypt from 2006. 

Third Grade: M. finished The Puritan Revolution by Walter Hodges (Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1972) and has moved onto The World of William Penn by Genevieve Foster, in which she read the first section, about William Penn. 

Science (and Health)

We started BFSU Lesson B-9, How Animals Move IV - Energy to Run the Body. We discussed how the respiratory, digestive, circulatory, and urinary systems help the body use energy and eliminate waste, and watched a variety of videos: 

C. asked about how her voice box works, and she watched a video about the larynx and colored a diagram of its part. 

M. and I read the chapter about hair care in The Care and Keeping of You Volume 1. She also went to the orthdontist to get her lip bumper put in, and she has been learning about caring for her teeth and her orthodontic appliances. 

E. did her Under the Sea Koala Crate. 


C. read Philomena by Kate Seredy, Did You Carry the Flag Today, Charlie? by Rebecca Caudill, Lester and Mother by Myra McGee, and Henry and the Paper Route, as well as Very Merry Christmas Tales (Scholastic, 2004) and Here Come the Holidays (Scholastic, 2005). She started writing a thank you letter to her godmother for her St. Nicholas gift. 

M. finished Puritan Adventure by Lois Lenski. She started Tumtum & Nutmeg: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall by Emily Bearn, which was a birthday gift from Grandma. She also wrote thank you notes for her birthday gifts.  

E. read Dog Bug, Mutt and Pup, Pig Fun, Rag Gets Wet, and Ann's Big Muffin. Now she is working on Tim the Truck

At lunch, we read The Genie of Sutton Place by George Selden. At dinner, the read-aloud was Little Pear and his Friends by Eleanor Frances Lattimore. 

Typing and Handwriting 

C. and M. both did typing daily. Their handwriting practice was primarily writing thank yous.


C. started learning Christmas songs in ASL from We Play Along: O Little Town of Bethlehem, The First Noel, I'll Be Home for Christmas, and Little Drummer Boy


C. worked on multiplication and division in Singapore 2A. M. worked in Challenging Word Problems. Both girls did Khan Academy some days, but they need to get back to a better routine. 

Instrumental Music

M. and C. both practiced piano and recorder every day. 


The girls colored the words "hope" and "love" for the first two weeks of Advent. R. and A. colored pictures of Santa. C. also made the "unicorn world" M. gave her for her birthday. 

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