Weekly Wrap Up: Christmas Miscellany and the Review Crew

I’m tempted to say we’ve accomplished nothing this week, but I suppose that is all in perspective.  We are taking things a little easy for the month of December.  I always plan some wonderful unit study and then beat myself up about not finishing it all.  But the truth is, the kids (and I) are ready for a break.  So we’ve plugged along.

Monday- We started our Christmas Around the World lapbook with a study of Argentina.  We are marking each location on the map and discussing the Christmas traditions of each.  Yes, it’s a little young for the older kids to be doing, but I love these family studies, and I’ll do it as long as we possibly can.  Some homeschooling friends came over midmorning, and the kids played, ate lunch, and then we broke out the cookie dough and made Christmas cookies!  This is a tradition that started in my family when my niece and nephews were small.  We would gather every year for a cookie day.  By the time my kids were old enough (they are much younger than the cousins on that side), we didn’t have too many years before the cousins started drifting off.  College and jobs and now marriages have come into play, and we’ve adapted the tradition over the years making cookies with different homeschooling friends.  Everyone always get super messy, but it is loads of fun.

Tuesday- Our lapbook country was Australia.  We like to read about Australia because one of the familys of missionaries we pray for regularly are in Australia.  Perhaps the funniest thing we learned was that the Australians have a Christmas carol about old, gray kangaroos pulling Santa’s sleigh.  It is called Six White Boomers, and we listened to it on YouTube.  We laughed quite a bit and there was definitely some dancing and singing involved.

Wednesday- Our lapbook country was England.  There was quite a bit of information about England; and we read a good bit about the history of Christmas as we know it.  I am always surprised at the people who know nothing of the history of the holiday  I always like to talk to the kids about how Christmas was actually started on a pagan holiday, Saturnalia.  As Christianity spread after the life of Christ, Christians decided to hold a special mass at that time of year and call it the Christ Mass.  From that humble beginning- nothing about the birth of Christ really- came the traditions we know now as Christmas.  I always point out that even though December probably was nowhere near the birth of Christ we can use the celebrations we now have at this time of year to bring our focus to Christ.  Through traditions such as our Advent Wreath and the Jesse Tree, we can use this time to remind ourselves of what Christ has done for us.  One of my favorite Christmas videos is Retooning the Nativity which address the myths of Christmas and focuses on the truth of the Gospel.

Thursday- We skipped our lapbook and headed out to our youth group’s Homeschool Hanging In at Chick Fil A.  The older kids hung with some friends and played board games; the littler crew played on the playplace with friends, and I enjoyed talking to other homeschool moms.  The kids just did independent work that afternoon.

Friday- Today I shared some books with the kids.  A few were from the reading list at Schoolhouse Teachers.com.  This past month’s list was about music and conductors and I was excited to find some about Bach, the composer we’ve been studying.  I had those and some Christmas Around the World books requested through inter-library loan, and I was able to pick them up yesterday.  So instead of moving on to another country, we enjoyed those books today.  This afternoon we went to the bowling alley and bowled a game with the homeschool teen group. I didn’t bowl, but all four kids did.  Kathryne won which was surprising because she usually doesn’t even like to play!

In other news this week: I am an official reviewer for The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I have wanted to be able to do this for a while.  I love reading reviews.  I love writing reviews.  And I love getting great products to try.  This week I completed my first review for Schoolhouse Teachers.com, a site I’ve actually been using for a while now.  You can read my first official review here.

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Next week we are going to keep on with a few more countries in our lapbook, but we are also going to homeschool days at Great Wolf Lodge- our very favorite vacation place!

For more Weekly Wrap Ups visit Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

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