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Archive for the ‘Advent’ Category

Hopefully here are my beginnings of a regular weekly post about what we are achieving in our week.  This is probably going to be a good thing for me to reflect on what we do during our weeks.  I am hoping it will give me that sense of accomplishment I so yearn for!

General

This week the focus was on Jordy and the toilet, which in hindsight didn’t need as much focus or attention as I was planning (success!!!!).  I am focusing on reading out loud to the kids more often and in a more thought out fashion than I previously have.  I have written a new schedule (which we are extremely loosely bound to!) and that always makes me feel better about everything, somehow.  We have three ‘scheduled’ read aloud times.  One for picture books (aimed at Jordy and Gubbs), one for non fiction books (which will cover whatever rabbit trail/unit study we are on) and one for chapter books (aimed at Eli and Zi).  This helps me to make sure the kids actually get read to each day and also allows me to say ‘no’ or ‘later’ to books when I am feeding Zeek and want to spend some time with him.

We have also introduced an afternoon tea time twice this week.  We have had a cup of tea (normal and chamomile) and have sat down and talked about a different virtue each time.  Maybe we should call this are ‘virtues tea’!  This was enjoyed by us all, a definite keeper in our schedule!

Maths

Eli is zooming ahead in Rightstart level B.  I wanted it completed by the end of the year (2008), but wasn’t as consistent with lessons as I should have been.  We have about 15 lessons to go with only 2 of them being particularly challenging.  I am amazed at the mental maths Eli can preform now.  He can add double digit numbers in his head into the hundreds with no support, but sometimes a little time.  I love the flow of Rightstart, how Eli’s thinking processes naturally head towards a particular concept and then it is presented within the next couple of lessons.  I love how his interest in that concept is already piqued so that he absorbs it so readily when it is presented to him.

Zi has also begun Level B this year.  Eli and I took two years to get through it and so we will probably do the same with Zi, though it may be faster as Eli can play the games with him – yay the joys of siblings!  I often overhear him singing the ‘yellow is the sun’ song that teaches him the abacus bead combinations!

Literacy

Zi has read up to Fitzroy reader 7 and 3x and 4x this week.  he is getting much better at blending the sounds, though he does get frustrated when he can’t just read it and I prompt him to sound it out!  He loves re reading the readers he has already read.  A great sense of accomplishment is felt when a difficult reader is suddenly deemed – easy mummy!

I haven’t done anything formal with Eli this week.  He has been writing a lot of letters and putting in the letter box for me to read.  Eli goes through real times of intense study in areas and at the moment literacy isn’t one of them.  He is really enjoying free play with music this week.

Music

Eli – learning Minuet 2 (half done)

Zi – playing first line of twinkles and rhythms.

Me – Practicing Go tell Aunt Rhody on piano (I’m amazed at how far 15 mins on the piano a day can get you!)

Lots of informal experiment with the Lion King soundtrack.  The kids are loving the parts in Hakuna Matata and I just can’t wait to be king.  They are also loving the drum playing, especially with the bongos Gubbs got for Christmas.

Faith

I hate to put faith as a category.  I don’t like to have to teach faith by formal means.  We try to live our faith, we challenge each other to be more like Jesus, we discuss aspects of our faith as they come up.  This week however, we did the Epiphany, the day we celebrate the visit of the three wise men.  We talked about kings ( and camels!) and read the relevant parts of the bible. We added the wise men to the nativity.  We have also packed away our Christmas tree and decorations, but left the nativity out so that the three kings could visit with us a bit longer.  Derek and I decided that we would like Eli to prepare for the sacrament of reconciliation this year.  I have to talk to our priest to find out how to do it through the parish.  We also have to think about how to prepare him at home.

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Advent 2008

The things we do to prepare for Christmas…..

Advent Calendar

My wonderful Mother in law made us this calendar a few years back and it is terrific.

  • We have a puzzle that we stick onto the wall.  Each day we add a piece to the puzzle until it is completed with Mary and baby Jesus on Christamas day.  We have also had a poster with stickers on it (with a sticker in each pocket).
  • Each day I have a excerpt of the Christmas story up until the birth of Jesus.  In years gone by we have done it until the Epiphany (visit of the three wise men), but this year we plan to do the twelve days of Christmas and so we will do the wise men then.
  • We also have a beautiful knitted nativity set that we set out as a lead up to Christmas.  This year we are only going to include Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the animals before Christmas and then Shepherds and wise men after.
  • This year we are doing a program called advent rainbows.  I bought ribbons of different colours and we have put the colour of the day into each pocket.  Each day at dinner we read the reading that goes with the colour and then tie the ribbon onto the Christmas tree.  Something different and fun!
  • Craft activities and special events are scattered through the calendar on appropriate days.  We make decorations, go for a drive to look at the lights, read certain books, make cards/presents, cook etc.
  • Treats are included along the way.  These are usually chocolate frog, lollies, fruit bars, anything special.

Advent Candles

We have a set of advent candles and a wreath (that we make as a craft) on our table.  The church prepares for the Four Sundays leading to advent. Three candles are purple, one pink and the Christmas candle is white and decorative.  There is lots to reflect on using these candles as a centre point. As a young family, we basically light the candles, that we are up to, during dinner and say a prayer specific to that week.  As the kids get older, we will reflect on the people of advent and possibly more into the virtues of advent using the candles as a focus point.

Crib for Jesus

This year, about a week before Christmas, we will try to make a crib for him.  I’m undecided if we are going to make it this year (like with wood!) or use the same cane wahing basket we have used in the past, but I am going to fill it with a bit of straw.  The kids then have to pratice their virtues and do good deeds for others to ‘earn’ straw to make Jesus’ crib more comfy.  Jesus (the doll!) will arrive after the Christams eve mass.  We’ll see how this goes!

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