So, technically this should've been posted the week before Christmas, but it's been crazy around here! The week of Dec. 17th, we rowed Cranberry Christmas by Wende & Harry Devlin. The story is about an old man, Mr. Whiskers, who loves to ice skate on a pond near his home. This pond is disputed by his neighbor, Old Cyrus Grape, who thinks it belongs to him. When Mr. Whiskers' sister decides to pay him a visit, he decides to do a good cleaning of his home (Mr. Whiskers apparently only does this yearly!). While cleaning he discovers the deed to the property and that the pond belongs to him. I have to say, this wasn't one of my favorite rows, but the boys seemed to like it. Mr. Whiskers is an old sea captain and he would say "Suffering Codfish" when he was surprised. That may have been the boys' favorite part. They laughed every time! I got most of my ideas from Homeschool Share (free unit study of Cranberry Christmas).
We started the week off by talking about collections. In the story, Mr. Whiskers has a huge seashell collection that he stores in his bathtub. I asked the boys to think about some of their collections (trains, cars, Mr. Potato Heads, etc.). They decided we would use their Cars™ to sort into a collection. We sorted into red cars and blue cars first, then made a Venn diagram and put cars that had both red & blue in the middle.
|These pictures should show you that we have wayyyyy too many cars. And these are just the blue/red ones!|
The book talked about Mr. Whiskers doing figure "8's" on the pond. So, I got some flour out to demonstrate this to the boys. They had a great time trying it out. I even caught "B" drawing some imaginary figure-8's in the air throughout the week.
Next, we did a "Will it float or sink?" science experiment with cranberries and some other objects. Both of them had to predict whether the object would float. The boys wanted to put them all into the water at the same time. You can see our objects/results below:
After we had our results, I cut into a cranberry to show the boys the air chambers inside that allow the cranberry to float. They thought it was pretty neat. Afterward, they both tried some cranberries (uncooked, yuck!). "B" was not a fan, but "C" asked for more.
We also did another science experiment which was a complete and epic fail. After briefly discussing germs, because of Mr. Whiskers dirty house, we took a piece of bread and rubbed our hands and coughed on it. Then, we placed it in a bag in the sunlight to "watch the germs grow." Well, the germs never grew. This was a suggestion from the Homeschool Share website. After thinking about it, I remember doing an experiment in a Microbiology class where we stuck our petri dishes under a UV lamp to see which bacteria were susceptible to UV rays. Perhaps all of our germs were susceptible to the UV rays? Next time, I'll just put it in a warm location sans sun.
The book also talked about how Mr. Whiskers didn't have any money for Christmas decorations. So, they made ornaments from his shell collection. We decided to make a few homemade tree decorations of our own. We made candy canes from pipe cleaners:
And also strung cranberries & popcorn (and talked about patterns). Albeit, a very short string of cranberries & popcorn! The boys lost focus pretty quickly. We placed this on the bush outside and watched to see what the birds ate first. They loved the popcorn!
Finally, cookies were brought to Mr. Whiskers house for the big dinner. We baked several different kinds of cookies to share with our neighbors. The boys had a great time rolling the dough in various sugar concoctions!
This week we talked about the angels appearing to the shepherds and that shepherds obeyed and left their flocks to visit the Savior. We talked a lot about obedience and doing it quickly. We also talked about "JOY", our word from last week, and that the letters stood for "J"esus, "O"thers and "Y"ou. Our memory verse was Luke 2:10-11.
But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid" I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today, in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you, he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:10-11. (love the nose swipes by "C")
We started off the week with a fun game of pin-the-tail on the sheep. "What?", you say. You've never heard of such a game? Well, let me tell you, it's just as riveting as pin-the-tail on the donkey!
Then made some puppets to retell the story. A shepherd and angel (there were great challenges to see who could make the best scared shepherd face, as you can only imagine):
I put a cotton ball, star, cloth, fine wood chips and a candy cane into a bag and had them draw out one item at a time. They had to think about what that item might represent in the story: cotton ball=sheeps wool, star=the star (kind of obvious), cloth=swaddling clothes, wood chips=hay in the manger, candy cane=shepherds crook or "J" for Jesus.
They also colored a manger scene picture that had hidden pictures in it. They are iSpy pro's, so this was pretty elementary for them.
The day we talked about how the shepherds obeyed quickly, we discussed things that we could do to obey and who we should obey. We made paper chains as a fine-motor activity. Every time they created a new chain, they had to think of a person who they should listen to and obey. We later hung these on our mitten tree from Week 15:
Finally, we cut out pictures to sequence our story. We also made a "JOY" ornament and talked about the order in which we should put things...Jesus, others, you.
Mommy's learning moment of the week:
So, this learning moment came from this past week and not the actual week we rowed Cranberry Christmas. I'm sure most of you have started taking down your Christmas decorations or are getting ready to do so. I don't know about you, but I'm a little anal about decorating the Christmas tree. Ornaments should be placed evenly and like ornaments should not be clustered together, right? This line of thinking is ok when you are the only one decorating, however, when you have little helpers...it can drive one to insanity. I thought I did better this year. I allowed them to put them on the tree wherever they wished without having a breakdown. I admit, I did secretly move them to my desired location after they were in bed. :) Anyway, while taking the tree's down, my mind wandered to all of the heartbroken families who were affected by the shooting at Sandy Hook. Their sweet little children who helped them decorate the tree this year and now, how that Christmas tree will look so different. Will be a tragic reminder of what happened. I think next year, I might just keep my paws off the tree. We never know when it will be the last time to decorate it together. I'm cherishing these moments a little more now. -Praying for peace for those families and that they will be able to know the hope of one day seeing their loved ones faces again.
This week focused on being able to count from 0-20 and be able to write 0-20. Below is one of the boys' math test. I drew out 21 blanks and told them they had to fill it in from 0-20.
This week wrapped up all the Capital letters. We did "I", "T" and "J". They practiced writing some words and did a review of all the capital letters:
I know I said I would have a video for you this time, however, I completely forgot to do one. I hope my memory is a little better next week!