Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas "Break"

December roles around and somehow the structure of our school day goes out the window and in comes our time to break free from the textbooks and the confines of our school room.  Sometimes, it's nice to just let learning come naturally.  Many might disagree with our approach, but sometimes the best learning isn't done in a classroom at all.

We may not have opened a textbook in a few weeks, but  there is still lots of "schooling" going on.  Ella received the "Draw, Write, Now" series for her birthday and she is enjoying drawing and writing almost daily and without any prompting.  

Not to mention all the "Thank you" Cards she has been writing from her birthday! 

She received a Math Shark game for her birthday as well and continues to play, practicing her math facts (without the moans and groans).  Ella consistently loves to help in the kitchen and can follow a recipe as good, if not better than some adults.  She measures, pours, adds, subtracts, divides, and multiplies all without opening a textbook.  

We decided to try a new advent series this year, called "Truth in the Tinsel." 

 I heard about it just a few days before Advent, so didn't have all the necessary crafts ready to make.  However, the kids absolutely loved making crafts daily. 

 I have to admit it became cumbersome between all the birthday and holiday activities.  Next year, I am going to plan in advance and think we'll get even more out of this wonderful book of simple crafts with the kids.  I really enjoyed reading and discussing the full story of Jesus's birth.

Ella was so thrilled to receive a DVD bible for Christmas, 

along with many of her favorite books.  She has been reading non-stop and her reading skills continue to exceed my expectations.  

She's blowing through her Magic Tree House books and can read & comprehend her book in 2 hours time.  Amazing, that she can sit and read for so long at just 6 years old!

As for Eric, he has been singing his ABC's around the house, loves decorating sugar cookies and picking his colors (he knows all his primary colors now) and counting from 1-10 in Japanese.  Yes, Japanese!  Ella taught him how to count in Japanese, since she has to count in Karate class.  Eric has also been helping with the cooking (learning to count, measure, and follow directions) 

and loves to just play with his big sister.  I am so glad to give the kids a chance to really learn to cooperate with each other and learn to get along in spite of their differences.  

Even when they are playing freely with one another, I will often see Ella reading to Eric or singing with him.  He absolutely loves his big sister!

Well, as you can see Christmas "Break" is in full swing.  We've turned the lights on this holiday, but will continue letting our kids shine all through the coming year.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All!