Monday, November 21, 2011

Plans for our "Light December"

I promised the kids this year that since we started school in early August and have yet to take a "holiday", "teacher work day" (um, that's every day), or have any early release days like their public school friends, that we would take off for December.

Now, that thought scares me a bit.  So, I've backtracked and renamed it a "light December".  Which means, they'll be maintaining their independent reading schedule, we'll be doing some math activity a few times a week, they'll be building lots of models (like the Pitsco Siege Machine kits we are going to be using a reveiwing in a few weeks), and oh yes, musn't forget the starfish and clam dissections!

So, I was taking stock of all my resources that I keep shoving to the side because we always seem to need to move along with the curriculum plan.  I'm excited to be implementing several lessons from Artistic Pursuits.  We did a nice artist study last year of over 12 artists.  This year, we've only gotten to DaVinci and Bruegel.  I think the boys would enjoy some real art instruction on a consistent basis.  So far, we've done perspective drawing and we've duplicated some of DaVinci's sketchbook ideas with drawing the outer and inner parts of an object (a grapefruit and a wristwatch).  They really liked that so I know they'll enjoy the projects in Artistic Pursuits.  I've hear great things about this company.

Also, have you heard about Instructables?  It's a "Share What You Make" site where people post pictures and videos and things they build, create, etc.  Some of them are amazing machines, science models, and really geeky stuff.  Around here, we love ALL of that!  So, I may let the kids build some cannons or other stuff that could potentially make my house explode.  All in the name of learning...

Also, we wanted to do a unit study on Austrailia, more experiments from AIMS Educational Company's "Electrical Connections" as well as their "Chemistry Matters" book, a unit study on Simple Machines from Evan Moor's Daily Science, and we must finish The Hobbit from last year (only 2 chapters to go and we never seem to find the time).  Add these things to our normal holiday routine of ice skating, baking cookies, making gingerbread houses, attending our hometown Christmas Parade and ringing the Salvation Army bell, and I think we have our "light December".

Do you try to do school during the busy holiday season or do you take off?  Please share your thoughts!


my3sonsrn said...

Hey Kim,

We are involved in Classical Conversations and our community's last day is December 8th. Then, yes, we will take the rest of December off as I have 2 boys with birthdays in December and we are planning to come to Florida the day after Christmas! I feel I need the break just as much as they do!



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