For school in December, as usual, we took things s l o w. Every year I resist the urge to take the entire month off (as a lot of homeschoolers do). The girls and I would just feel restless with an entire month off. So, instead, we skipped the formalities and honed in on what they felt like learning in the moment. This year they chose Saint Nicholas, winter crafts, new-to-them games, and writing for Mae.
We switched our devotions over to a Christmas themed one, but for the most part, we just stuck with reading the Bible, and expanding on verses.
We also read many many holiday themed books, including one of our favorites, The Quiet Little Woman and a new one for us (per their deep intrigue), The True Saint Nicholas. I loved the timing of this one. His life was intertwined in the history timeline we just finished up, so the girls knew every historical figure mentioned as well as each setting with great detail. Mae (like her momma) was geeking out and was so so glad she could picture everything so well in her mind. It also brought to their minds, our beloved, George Muller – and of course Christ.
The girls made salt dough ornaments –
2 CUPS BAKING SODA
1 CUP CORNSTARCH
1 1/4 CUPS WATER
Mix baking soda and cornstarch in a medium saucepan, then add water.
Stir with a cooking spoon (wooden or silicone). Fold dough up from the bottom so it doesn’t burn.
It will go from syrup to gravy to pancake batter and the whipped mashed potatoes. Remove from heat. If you’re unsure, stay on the side of softness, dry dough will crumble.
Let dough rest until cool enough to handle. Scoop dough into damp dishcloth or tea towel. Form it into a ball and wrap it in cloth until completely cool (15 minutes or so.).
When ready, knead the dough until it goes from sticky to smooth. If it remains sticky, add cornstarch.
Roll out with a rolling pin or bottle and cut with cookie cutters or a butter knife. Our house was cut with a butter knife, and the star and Star Wars characters we used cookie cutters.
The girls painted them with acrylic paint and I coated them with glossy clear spray paint. (Mandolorain was left matte)
Mae practiced her sling-shotting while Daddy and I worked on the old house.
We have begun an art series on portraits. We will be watching a variety of YouTube videos from many different artists. The first one discussed proportions and placement in detail – things Mum has mentioned, but sometimes they need to hear things from someone who isn’t Mum…
These illustrations were created while watching this video.
Mae asked to do lessons that involved writing, so we worked on creating better sentences quite a bit.
We also began editing her stories, using a thesaurus – boy did we get some giggles out of that activity!
We also taught them new games, such as Clue, shown above. I won the first round, but the following day, Mae won!
We also braved the cold and rain to keep up our walks. It was a chore sometimes. We may bring out the bikes to ensure a quicker lap time on the really cold days.
For German this month, the girls memorized O Tannenbaum in full. It was so lovely listening to them sing along on their own in the car when it would come on. They really enjoyed memorizing a song in German, so we may try a story or poem next…or another song? We still use Duolingo as well as videos from the library and “first-word” books, but for December we focused solely on the song.
I’ll be posting about our Christmas and the rest of our December later this week. I hope your Januarys are starting off on the right foot!