Friday, November 30, 2007
The end of our first term
We made it. Today is the end of our first term. I've divided our school year into three manageable chunks of three terms of twelve weeks. Recently, I wrote that we were settling into a nice rhythm, but in the past couple of weeks I realized that I was already anticipating November 30th. I am ready for a break. I don't know about Luke, but I am ready for a change of pace around here. I'm sure that Thanksgiving broke our rhythm and it doesn't help that mentally I was already jumping ahead to all of my Advent plans. So, our schedule works out great as we can slow down and transition into the new Liturgical year. We can savor all of the richness this season has to offer. Now, I don't want to suggest that we take the whole month of December off. Remember, we're always learning! We're just going to focus on different things. As always, there is going to be a lot of story time and with the stacks and stacks of Advent and Christmas books that I've checked out from the library, we won't lack for a good story. I have tons of ideas. I want to read A Christmas Carol aloud during the evenings. (Last year, we checked out many different movie versions of A Christmas Carol. Luke couldn't get enough of this story and yet we did not read it aloud last year! Also, I've been looking all over for my Nutcracker CD to no success. You can bet that I will find it after Christmas, but I'm not that upset. I just ordered another copy and I know that this will comprise most of our study music during December. We are going to read The Nutcracker and learn about this fairy tale and we just read It's a Wonderful Life for kids! by Jimmy Hawkins which inspired me for a It's a Wonderful Life rabbit trail. I haven't seen the movie in a long time and I was excited that Paul checked it out from the library yesterday. Luke hasn't seen this movie yet either. There are so many charming holiday movies out there. Usually Luke balks at the idea of a black and White film, but we started watching Holiday Inn with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire last night and so far, he really likes it without complaining about it being in black and white. (I can't believe I've never seen this film before!) So, as you can see my mind is churning on how to encompass both the magic and beauty of the Christmas season. I've also got some crafts planned. To coincide with our reading Snowflake Bentley, we are going to make 3-D snowflakes from a kit I ordered from Chinaberry and we're going to make beaded snowflake ornaments. (We actually started these and they are a little more challenging than I originally anticipated, but we shall persevere.) Also, I would like to take the time to memorize (along with Luke) the famous Clement C. Moore poem, The Night Before Christmas and I just got another idea! Of course, it will mean having more stacks of books, but it might be fun to check out several different editions of The Night Before Christmas and see how different illustrators interpret this poem. Borrowing from Real Learning, I've gotten the fairy bug. What a great way to teach Botany! There will be some interesting things to learn about the evergreens in our backyard! Next week we will celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas and this Sunday, we will light our first Advent candle. As you can see, I'm really excited as we move into new rhythms for Advent.