Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Homeschool Update: Weeks of 12/13/21, 12/20/21, and 12/27/21

Advent Activities

For the rest of Advent, we continued with our Jesse Tree, Advent calendar, and Advent wreath, as well as the St. Andrew Novena, the Christmas Novena, and prayers appropriate for saint days falling within Advent.  We went to a hymn sing at our church and had a wonderful time meeting some new people and reconnecting with summer friends. We also prayed the O Antiphons. 

Christmas Activities

We attended Mass on Christmas Eve, and the girls wore fancy dresses and looked at the Nativity scene. On Christmas Day, we opened presents, ate houska for breakfast and roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, and chocolate pie for dinner. We're continuing the Christmas celebration throughout the twelve days with crafts (finger puppets, sticker collages, pom pom reindeer, etc.), and Christmas music. Our tree is still up. 

Morning Time

Poems: From Favorite Poems Old and New, edited by Helen Ferris (Doubleday Books, 1957), I read aloud: "All Things Bright and Beautiful" by Cecil Frances Alexander and "Lone Dog" by Irene McLeod. 

Music: We finished reading Peter Tchaikovsky and the Nutcracker Ballet by Opal Wheeler. The girls also watched a production of The Nutcracker on YouTube, as well as my elementary school chorus rendition of the ballet in which I played a flower. We listened to the Coventry Carol and All Glory Laud and Honor on the feast of the Holy Innocents  As part of our Advent prayers, we sang O Come O Come Emmanuel, The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence, O Come Divine Messiah, and Comfort, O My People. 

Art Appreciation: We looked at several paintings by Giotto in The Glorious Impossible by Madeleine L'Engle, and read her accompanying reflections. 


First Grade: C. finished with Egypt and moved on to Mesopotamia. She colored a MapTrek map of Mesopotamia and labeled some key cities as well as the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. She read the Gilgamesh trilogy by Ludmila Zeman, City of Rainbows by Karen Foster, and we started reading aloud Lugalbanda by Kathy Henderson. In Builders of the Old World, she listened to me read the sections called "The Fertile Crescent" and "Life in Babylonia." She also read a little bit from National Geographic Investigates Ancient Iraq

Third Grade: M. read these sections from The World of William Penn by Genevieve Foster, which finished the book: 

  • Three French Explorers
  • Louis XIV, 1643-1715
  • Two Moghul Emperors
  • Sir Isaac Newton, Edmund Halley
  • William Penn, 1684-1699
  • James II
  • William and Mary, 1688
  • K'Ang-Hsi, 1662-1722
She also watched Versailles Rediscovered and The Last Magician


We finished BFSU Lesson B-9, How Animals Move IV - Energy to Run the Body, and watched these videos: 

The week of December 20th, we took a break from science and resumed on the 27th with Lesson C-5, Inertia, and watched these videos: 


M. finished writing thank you letters for her birthday presents. C. became interested in writing poetry and started scribbling down rhyming poems. 

At lunch, we read aloud A Tree for Peter by Kate Seredy and started The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser. At dinner, our read-aloud has been The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. In the evening, I've been reading The Family Under the Bridge to C. and my husband has been reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone aloud to M. 

E. finished the last of the Hooked on Phonics readers and has moved on to real easy readers, such as Gus Gets Scared by Frank Remkiewicz, Snow by Roy McKie and P.D. Eastman, Cat and Dog by Else Holmelund Minarik, Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman, and Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman. She continues to read the exercises in The Ordinary Parents' Guide to Teaching Reading

Independently C. read Ralph S. Mouse and started The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum and The Voyages of Dr. Doolittle by Hugh Lofting. 

M. read the first Tumtum and Nutmeg: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall. She also read two Landmark books, William Penn: Quaker Hero and The Explorations of Pere Marquette, as well as Isaac Newton: The True Story of His Life as Inventor, Scientist, & Teacher by John Hudson Tiner.


C. worked on multiplication and division in Singapore 2A and did some soroban practice. M. worked in Challenging Word Problems. Both girls did Khan Academy almost daily. Both girls also did chapters from Life of Fred on Wednesdays.

Instrumental Music

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

Physical Education

The girls rode bikes on warm days. One morning, we walked to the high school to run on the track while the public schools were out for Christmas break. 

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