Saturday, December 20, 2014

Week 20 ~ It Feels Like Christmas!

Thanks for the support last week. This has just been a rough year. However, I am embracing this wonderful season. We finished school this week and are at the halfway mark for the year. That is a good place to be before a two-week break. I do think I will be rethinking how to do school in December next year. Perhaps I will stop school a bit earlier.

This week, we attended some really fun events.

A Nativity Show ~ This was my favorite activity this week. I love nativities, so this show was perfect for me. I could possibly become the crazy nativity lady with 100 nativities if it were not for my Quaker roots that stress simplicity. I really do like a clean and uncluttered home. I am really driven crazy by commercialism and the abundance of stuff our society expects us to own. It was the first time to have this nativity display in Asheville, but I hope it becomes an annual event. There were more than a 100 nativities from all over the world.

A Christmas Party ~ We attended the annual special needs holiday party. Even though the organization has experienced budget cuts this year, the party did not disappoint. They did a lovely job again. The kids especially enjoyed the llamas, face painting, craft making, mining in the gem mine area, lunch, and lots of dancing. There were many other activities that our kids have either outgrown or that didn't peak their interest.

Out and About ~ We wrapped up all of our usual appointments and classes this week. The kids attended the last of their dance classes until the new year (insert a giant, sad moan from Little Red Riding Hood). Tom Sawyer finished his physical therapy appointments for the year. We also enjoyed December Lego Club. The challenge this month was to make a Christmas scene. Little Red Riding Hood made a Christmas tree in a room.

Our Five Week Review Night ~  We had a show and tell night of our last five weeks. We had a Christmas tea-themed dinner this time. We tried to make all of the food red, green and white. Considering that we were all a bit under the weather, it went well. The kids are doing a better job at grasping map skills. Tom Sawyer needs lots of work with public speaking ~ he mumbles. I have lots of thinking to do before we start back to school. I think we need to really dig into math and language arts and drastically reduce other subjects so we have time to create a stronger foundation before junior high next year. I have really seen this year that, although the kids both have learning challenges, they are not as challenged as I had thought. I really want to let them bloom and catch up so that the rest of their school years will be smoother for them. Here are the highlights from this unit.
  • Seabird by Holling C. Holling was a wonderful literature approach to geography. We are using the Beautiful Feet geography and literature approach to the Holling C. Holling books this year. I really see the value in this curriculum. 
  • Tom Sawyer's Homeschool Writing Class outside the home has been a great asset to him. He is learning to manage all of the homework and get it done on time. He is also working on reading his weekly report or story to that class. 
  • Audio books in the car is such a great way to have time for literature. I think we will only learn literature this way in the coming semester, so there will be more time for writing and math when we are at home. The kids enjoyed Doll Bones, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and Amahl and the Night Visitors this unit.
  • Teaching Textbooks for math is still the way to go around here. I just need to get Tom Sawyer doing more lessons each day so he can catch up. He is getting scores above 94 on almost every lesson so he can do more lessons in a day.
  • Art with Grandma is still fun even though our friends have not been joining us this year. Their schedule is just crazy. We learned about Georgia O'Keeffe this unit.

tea, water, green beans, brisket, cherries, celery, raspberries, crackers, soft Swiss cheese and apple pie.
I think I am going to set journal time aside next semester. I told them that the journals would not be corrected, but the spelling in Little Red Riding Hood's journal is so bad. I just can't see how it is helping her learn. I think the spelling portion is just giving her bad habits. It would be better to use that time to write a writing prompt and then correct and rewrite it. We have been doing that anyway, but I want to do much more. For now, I am looking forward to a restful Christmas.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Merry Christmas to you and yours. :)

  2. Congrats on finishing this half of the school year. It looks like you had a fun week. I love your themed dinners. I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas.

  3. My first thought after reading your post through to the end is just how blessed, really really blessed we are to homeschool. You are doing such a fabulous job each term checking that your children are where they need to be and changing anything which needs to be changed.
    A merry, merry Christmas to you and your family from me and mine!

  4. A beiautiful week Dawn. Can you believe this year is half finished!?? Didn't it just start? I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas my friend. Hugs and prayers for you all.