What We Did, December 2009

Bible
We went through our box of Christmas devotions, which look at Old Testament stories and prophecies that point to Christ, read the nativity story a few times, and told the stories of the Wise Men and the story of David and Goliath many times. We also learned some lines for the cousin Christmas pageant (which will be performed tomorrow)

Songs
God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen
We Three Kings

Project Work

From a discussion about the globe, we expanded to discussing other planets and finally to a multi-week study of the solar system. We updated the song, "The Family of the Sun." We made models of the planets out of marbled paper (dipped in oil, water and food coloring). We also enjoyed the following books:

Ten Worlds, Ken Croswell (used for photos rather than read)
If You Decide to Go to the Moon, by Faith McNulty. A nice, narrative explanation of moon travel and what the moon is really like.
The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System, Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen. Not my ideal of noble literature, but it did get requested a lot.

Other Books
The Christmas Story, We Three Kings, The Twelve Days of Christmas by Gennady Spirin: Gorgeous illustrations, influenced by Eastern Orthodox tradition. We will be looking for more by him.
The Night Before Christmas, illustrated by Tasha Tudor
The Legend of the Poinsettia, Tomie DePaola
Slop! (A Welsh Folktale), Margaret Read MacDonald
Little Red Riding Hood, Trina Schart Hyman
The Nutcracker, Anthea Bell
Rapunzel, Paul O. Zellinsky
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

Skill Work
D1 read The Night Before Christmas (with help), The Twelve Days of Christmas (on her own, after hearing the song once or twice), and the first story in Little Bear. She practices reading individual words in harder books and reviews books she has read on her own.
D2 continued to work on sounding out VC and CVC words. He read some short books that concentrated on these.
They both wrote and drew constantly. D1 will write stories and poems mostly phonetically. We have discussed some more advanced phonics concepts/spelling rules, such as e-controlled vowels and double letters, and she is integrating them more and more in her writing. She is turning her "J" around correctly now. Working on "N." D2 is increasing his stamina for writing and learning to write more letters.
Talked about and played games with pairs that make ten.

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