Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Friends, Family, And Fellow Homeschoolers.
Our Christmas 2009 was very special. The weather turned cold. It snowed. The children were able to make snowmen, and snow ball fights, and slide on a small hill. When they were tired, they came in and enjoyed hot chocolate. Later they went out again. That was a lot of fun. There is something so special about the first snows and the quiet crisp cool air.
We’ve had a lot of changes in our life over the past couple of years. And the finances have remained tight. We did not have much extra money this year to travel, to shop, or do freely with. We had been getting settled into our home we bought the end of October. Moving requires a lot of finances. Due to finances, we have rented since moving to North Carolina. But the timeing was right and now we were in a home of our own. For Christmas we did a few basic decorations. We put up a few lights on the front outside, some greenery on the porch rails, and wreaths with bows on the lights by the front door. The kids thought this was great and really enjoyed decorating the house. Any time is a fun time to bring out the tools and work with Dad.
With our school work in December, we studied the history behind some of the traditions in our Christmas holiday. I did a lot of research on line and put a unit study together for the children. I like doing unit studies because each of the children can learn the subject and do activities on their own level, yet we are still all together focused on the same subject. Also it gives them a break from their workbooks. In some ways they just don’t enjoy their workbooks. Especially our third grader. But he does enjoy doing unit studies. I did find seveal places where you could purchase a unit study already put together, but I had the time to do the research for a Christmas Unit Study and Christmas Lapbook myself. I also found several crafts online that we really enjoyed making. Ultimately the most important reason we celebrate this holiday is because God gave us Jesus Christ as our savior. We celebrate His birth as the center of this holiday. As we studied about Christmas, we made a Christmas Lapbook to reinforce our learning.
If you are interested you can check out some of these resources for curriculum, stories, unit studies, lapbooks, and much more:
CurrClick Curriculum In A Click
Squidoo All About Robot Lapbook, Unit Study, and Robot Products
Then we put up the Christmas tree. The children made paper ornaments, paper stockings, and christmas decorations. They hung their paper stockings on the fire place, and their ornaments and decorations on the tree. Home made. It was lovely. On Christmas eve, our oldest boy, age 9, filled the paper stockings with miniture candy bars and candy canes. Overall, it was a very nice holiday. I would say we avoided the hussle and bussle of the holiday. With no travle plans and little money to spend, it pretty much puts some limitations on the whole event. We found other ways to make it special with the children. We had a birthday party in honor of our Lord Jesus Christ. The kids decorated the dining room with ballons, made a birthday card, and we had cake and ice cream. We sang songs. Each of us blessed the Lord and gave him sincere prayer from our heart.
For Christmas, we set aside a small amount to spend for our family. We were able to order the children gifts on line from Amazon and when the UPS man came a day or two before Christmas, the children were ecstatic with joy. He ranks pretty high. The baby recieved a rocker. The toddler recieved a baby doll and little peopleand furniture for her doll house. The older three boys had expressed a lot of interest in robots so we came up with a robot theme. Each of the three older children recieved a very nice robot, a book of a fictional story about a robot, a movie with a robot, and sticker pages to design a paper robot. They were delighted. We did some research and we were able to find the robots for up to 70% off retail, so it didn’t tap our budget too much.
The oldest boy’s robot is able to be put together in three different forms. So later he can take it apart and rebuild it a different way. It is an Erector Spy Robot, with a built in camera, voice, sound and light effects. He can guide it all over the house from the computor and see and hear what the robot is seeing and hearing. It is able to opperate even when you are not home and can watch over your home when you are gone, and you can take your laptop computer with you and control it and watch it from where ever you are at. Dad helped him build the model that resembles a scorpion on tracks. It has computer software so that he can learn to program the robot too. The other two boys got a robot that was already assembled and they act human like and roam all over the house. They are able to do more commands than I can mention and it was a really good investment for all of them to learn about.
Their gifts were more of an investment in their education than anything else. It is hard sometimes to encourage them to study. They just don’t enjoy the repetiveness of some of their workbooks in writing and math. They want to be doing things that are active, not sitting and writing. As parents, we try to find things that will encourage their reading, writing, and math skills without them necessarily feeling overwhelmed. It is a goal that is hard to acheive sometimes. I’ve done a lot of reading about boys being pushed to study to hard to soon and it actually makes them rebel against school. I don’t want to set them up for failure. But I hope I can challenge them to learn the skills they need by incorporating what they are interested in learning about and motivating them with this.
We want to encourage their interest in electronics and robotics and plan to include a unit study and lapbook to further their understanding. I have a lot learn myself. I am busy researching information to include in our unit study. I will post more about the Robot Unit Study and the Robot Lapbook in a future post.
I hope you had a blessed Christmas and are looking forward to the blessings in the year ahead.
Flat Rock Chris on Twitter
Weiser Natural Foods