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Saturday, December 01, 2007

First Week of Advent

Last year, for Advent and Christmas, it was my real jump into Real Learning. Elizabeth had posted some plans for Gingerbread Baby and I was captivated. I ran out and bought the book and delved into the DePaola unit in her book and we were hooked. Our Advent was all about beautiful picture books, baking and crafting. This year will be no different. Well, a bit, since Cay has brought us Christmas Mosaic, her books and activities will be our spine. I can't say enough good things about Christmas Mosaic. So, here are the Advent plans.

Every Sunday we'll light the Advent Candle and do a family prayer.

The older children will be focusing on the Jesse Tree and Old Testament History. We will read the scripture passages each day and someone will color an ornament. We are keeping it simple. Small circles colored in by the kids to be mounted on small wood circles with decoupage glue. Not sure yet what these will be put on. Perhaps backed with velcro onto a felt banner of a tree. They will narrate or illustrate the scripture reading and these will be saved in a special notebook that hopefully we will be able to refer to in future years. This will continue through until Christmas.

For the little girls I'll present the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd lessons for Advent. Carmen will also be reading through this book on the Ten Commandments as she prepare for her First Confession in February.

Science will be seasonal (of course). We will be reading about the Winter Fairies and study pine trees. Hmmm, where did I get that idea? Actually, it is more serendipity at work, as I had already started planning this out before Elizabeth posted. The children were upset that we wouldn't be visiting the Alphabet Path again until January so I decided we would read the winter fairy poems for the next few weeks. I'm so happy we'll be having fun with the winter fairies together. Over the next few weeks we will also focus on weather and animals in winter because Carmen loves science and asked me for books and lessons the other day. Lori has some beautiful materials to bring life to these lessons. This will carry us all the way into January.

We will continue crafting gifts, which I won't say too much about so as not to give anything away.

We will slowly bring out the Christmas decorations. I love slowly transforming the house and then suddenly realizing Christmas morning that we are ready to receive the King of Kings.

Math? Yes, math. It is the one subject that has to stay constant or we quickly go downhill. However, we won't do it every day and I do have some fun seasonal activities I can do with the little girls.

Our only other real subject will be some Lively Language Lessons because well, um, we're behind. Since these are so adaptable and fun, I'm pretty sure we can make it work. So many wonderful nouns for the season anyway...gingerbread, peppermint, joy, baby.

Week One Dec. 2-8:

This first week the focus is on St. Nicholas and the Blessed Mother with these books:
Santa's Favorite Story
The Miracle of St. Nicholas
Mary: The Mother of Jesus
There will be narrating and illustrating and crafting with these books. For St. Nicholas we will make spoon saints. These will make wonderful additions to the tree this year and we will probably gift some as well.
Saturday will be a special meal in honor of Our Lady. The kids will help plan the menu. Lilly in particular loves these "meals with meaning" (her phrase).

I have many many more books just for fun. I'm trying to get all of them into the sidebar. In addition, the three older kids will each be reading a book through Advent. Maddy will read The Trees Kneel at Christmas. Lilly will read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Sam will read The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas.

We will be baking a lot. This week Molasses Crinkles for St. Nicholas and probably some other cookie to freeze for Christmas. I will try to post recipes.

Read about the Christmas Tree Fairy. Notebook page about Douglas Fir. (We did the Pine Tree Fairy this past week and did a page about Scots Pine.)

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