It’s very cold and wintry up here in the mountains of Colorado, so we decided to start the off the year learning about snow and the Arctic. Also, we started the month off with a bang and had a very fun and memorable New Year’s Eve.
Bud is really enjoying Handwriting Without Tears. He has learned to write about 10 letters and he is excited about his new skills. He created a “greeting card business” after reading Benny Goes into Business by Gertrude Chandler Warner and practiced drawing pictures on each card and writing simple words like “Hi”.
We practice writing on a large white board I found at a thrift store. I hope this will set him up to transition into copywork next year instead of a formal curriculum.
Peanut enjoys playing with magnetic letters and puzzles. This is a nice introduction to the alphabet for her and keeps her busy while I make dinner.
We are about halfway through RightStart Mathematics Level A and this month we played lots of fun games and learned some new concepts. Money was introduced and Bud had fun counting and adding with real money.
The program has been fantastic in that it teaches him early on to think of numbers in terms of 5’s and 10’s.
We continued our Bible reading learning about Abraham, Lot, and Isaac. We have also been working on memorizing Philippians Chapter 4. We have been learning about Christian missionaries in the book Growing With the Millers.
We have been learning about the Arctic and snow this month. We read many great books this month about the subject and learned all about the animals, climate, and landscape of the North.
We did some need experiments to understand the subject better:
- Blubber Experiment (from StayAtHomeEducator) where you put shortening in a ziploc bag and dip your hands in another bag with and without the “blubber” to feel which is warmer. It was a great way to learn how polar bears, seals, and other animals survive in the arctic cold.
- We created out own arctic scene using frozen blocks of ice (water frozen in plastic storage containers) and some small figurines of arctic animals we had. Bud enjoyed watching the “ice floes” float on the water.
- We played outside! There is so much to learn just by going out and touching, listening, and tasting snow. Though it can be hard to put forth the effort of dressing them with layers of puffy jackets and cumbersome snowsuits, it is always worth it. Within minutes, they forget that it is cold and start sledding, digging and building forts.
Bud has been enjoying the poems from Robert Louis Stevenson’s book A Child’s Garden of Verses. Last Fall he memorized Autumn Fires and now he is working on Wintertime. These are delightful seasonal poems and Bud really enjoys reciting them. He has been putting the words to music lately.
Habit Training: Kindness
We do scripture memorization during our Morning Basket time each day and a few of the verses we have worked on deal with the habit of kindness, specifically using kind words. This month we’ve been trying to train the kids to use “Kind Words in a Kind Voice”…something that is hard to do even when you are a grown-up. As usual, habit training my children has help convict me of my own weaknesses and sin.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
“Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths except what is helpful for building others up according to their needs.” Ephesians 4:29