This month we really focused on learning the meaning behind why we celebrate Christmas and spending time as a family. We did work on some academics throughout the month, but mainly just continued to adjust to being a family of five. My husband has a lot of time off in the month of December each year, so we enjoyed sledding, biking, and hiking. We saw many elk, rabbits, and foxes and enjoyed some beautiful winter weather.
Now that Bud has finished All About Reading Level 1, we are taking a break from formal phonics lessons. Instead, we started Handwriting Without Tears, Pre-K. Bud has been showing more interest in learning how to write and I have seen him sit for longer periods with a crayon in his hand coloring so I thought I’d give it a shot. The lessons at this point seem more geared toward building his fine motor skills and strengthening his hand muscles.
We worked on his grip with some fun coloring exercises. We found some wonderful crayons that lay a nice line of color down on the paper without much force. They are called Prang Color Wands and I would highly recommend them.
He drew his first person and boy was I excited! I am an artist/graphic designer so I can’t help but get particularly excited when Bud shows an interest in drawing. The HWT curriculum uses wooden letters to teach letter formation and also drawing human figures. It was amazing how quickly he picked it up after we went through drawing what they call “Mat Man” several times.
For our Bible Study this month, we started back in the beginning with Genesis. We talked about Creation, Adam and Eve, and Noah’s Ark. Bud is reading a scripture reader aloud to us now and it is wonderful to involve him more in reading the Bible. I ordered Bible Stories to Read from Rod and Staff and it is simplified just enough to still keep accurate to the text of the Bible. We have been reading about one chapter a week.
We did many fun art activities this month. Christmas time offers a wealth of fun projects for kids. We decorated gingerbread cookies, painted Christmas wreaths, made ornaments, and cut out snowflakes. All wonderful creative projects that also build their fine motor skills.
Bud is memorizing Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost this winter. It is a wonderful poem that gives a beautiful picture of rural life in the 1920’s. Here’s the poem:
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
By Robert Frost
Habit Training: Respect
This month we worked on teaching respect for elders. When my in-laws were here during our postpartum time, I was a bit embarrassed in some situations for how the kids acted and spoke to their elders. We honed in on this trait this month and worked very hard on our pleases and thank yous. We tried not to let the smallest groan go by without “trying it again” or (if the attitude continued) some time in the corner or a chore.
We broke out the Windex and poop scooper in some situations. The added responsibility seemed to actually improve attitudes and give the children a sense of purpose. Peanut helped me bake and clean the kitchen. Bud scraped ice off the driveway and even helped clean the shower drains! They really started to take pride in their work and complain less when we asked them to do something.