Welcome! I'm so glad you're here. Grab a cup of coffee and stay a spell. If you enjoy our time together, don't miss out on a single homeschooling idea. Be sure to subscribe to my daily digest via email or RSS feed. Or, follow along with Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Friday, December 19, 2014

10 Christmas Party Games for Kids



Gather all the kiddos, warm up a pot of snowman soup (That's what we call hot chocolate 'round here.), and get ready for a night of family fun with a Christmas twist. I've gathered together ten of my favorite kid-friendly Christmas party games in hopes to add some Merry to your Christmas celebrating this year.

(If no instructions are included with a particular game, click on the title of the game to be redirected to the instructions.)

1


Right to Left Snowman Game

To ensure that everyone wins a prize in this game, give each player a ziplock containing one Christmas cookie. It's best if each bag contains a DIFFERENT kind of cookie. As the game progresses, the bags of cookies get passed from right to left all the way around the circle. Whichever cookie a player is holding in his hand by the end of the game, is the cookie he/she gets to eat.



Beyond White Elephant Exchange



Who Am I?

As a guest arrives to a family gathering or party, attach a name tag to his/her back. Each tag should depict a Christmas character. Throughout the duration of the party, he/she can ask other guests questions that lead to only YES or NO answers in order to discover WHO he/she is.

EXAMPLE: Am I a character from the Christmas story in Luke? Am I pregnant? Am I Mary? 

Character suggestions

  • Mary
  • Joseph
  • baby Jesus
  • shepherd
  • wiseman
  • Elizabeth
  • Zachariah
  • King Herod
  • Angel Gabriel
  • The Grinch
  • Ebenezer Scrooge
  • Tiny Tim
  • Frosty the snowman
  • a caroler
  • the innkeeper
  • piper piping
  • lord-a-leaping
  • maid-a-milking
  • lady dancing
  • drummer boy


Christmas Wrapping Paper Game



I Spy Ornament Game

Use the ornaments on your tree to play a Christmas version of the classic I Spy game. Take turns describing ornaments for others to guess. Whoever correctly identifies an ornament being described gets to describe the next ornament.


What's in the Stocking Game



The Mitten Game

You will need:

  • a small prize
  • an assortment of different size boxes
  • an assortment of Christmas wrapping paper
  • two oven mitts
  • one dice

To prepare the game:

Wrap the small prize in Christmas paper. Place it inside a box that is slightly larger than the original prize. Wrap the box in a different kind of Christmas paper. Place THAT box inside a slightly larger box and wrap with Christmas paper. Continue placing each wrapped box inside a slightly larger box and wrapping it until you have one large wrapped box. 

To play:

Instruct players to sit in a circle on the floor. Place the large wrapped box and the oven mitts in the middle of the circle. Randomly select one number to be the TARGET NUMBER and announce it to the players. Hand the dice to one player. That player must begin by rolling the dice. If he rolls the target number, he can go to the center of the circle, put on both oven mitts, and begin unwrapping the box. If he does not roll the target number, he passes the dice to the player next to him. 

When someone rolls the target number and begins unwrapping the box with the oven mitts, the dice continues to be passed around the circle until someone else rolls the target number. That player then trades places with the player who is currently wearing the oven mitts in order to have a turn at unwrapping the box. This continues until all the boxes have been opened. The player who takes the last Christmas paper off to reveal the actual prize wins and gets to keep the prize.


Build-a-Snowman Dice Game



Christmas Charades

When playing charades with a wide variety of ages, I like to create two stacks of action cards...one stack of EASY cards for really young kids and one stack of MORE DIFFICULT cards for older kids. I color code these cards to make them quickly identifiable. For instance, RED cards might have the easier actions and GREEN cards might have the more difficult ones. I divide the players evenly into two teams so that each team contains both younger and older children. Although a child might only be able to preform the actions of a particular colored card, he/she can guess any of the actions preformed by his/her teammates...no matter the difficulty level. 

Easy charade suggestions

  • Mary holding baby Jesus
  • a donkey
  • an angel
  • catching a snowflake with your tongue
  • putting on mittens
  • building a snowman
  • making a snow angel
  • decorating the Christmas tree
  • chopping down the Christmas tree
  • shaking a present to hear the sound
  • eating Christmas dinner
  • skiing
  • ice skating

More difficult charade suggestions

  • no room in the inn
  • shepherds watching their flocks
  • shepherds worshipping at the manger
  • the angels making an announcement to the shepherds
  • wisemen following the star
  • wisemen giving gifts
  • wrapping a present
  • unwrapping a present
  • Christmas caroling
  • the Twelve Days of Christmas
  • shopping for gifts
  • drinking hot chocolate
  • shoveling snow
  • snowball fight
  • sledding
  • lighting an Advent candle
  • making a snow fort
  • eating a candy cane
  • hanging Christmas lights
  • mailing Christmas cards
  • Salvation Army bell ringer
  • making paper snowflakes
  • Jingle Bells
  • making gingerbread houses
  • reading the Christmas story from the Bible
  • baking cookies


Christmas Pictionary

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Stovetop Potpourri with Printable Tag {Great Sunday School Teacher Gift}

Stovetop Potpourri with Printable Tag. Makes for a great gift for Sunday School teachers or club volunteers {The Unlikely Homeschool}


I've counted them. I've added them all by name. There's exactly 31.

31.

Among them are nursery workers, children's ministry coordinators, Sunday School and Wednesday night teachers, and small group leaders. Their talents are many. Their hours of service to my children are numerous. Their willingness to be poured out in sacrificial service for God each and every week...unmeasurable. 

And for that, I am grateful.

Every year, our family gathers around the dining room table in assembly-line fashion to put together small gifts of thanks to all the children's ministry volunteers who invest in our family each week. This year, we put together small gift bags filled with all-natural Christmas potpourri that when simmered on the stove, make an entire house smell like warm, spiced cider. This potpourri is easy to assemble and makes for a welcome alternative to the traditional Christmas cookie or jar mix "thank you" gift.


Stovetop Potpourri with Printable Tag. Makes for a great gift for Sunday School teachers or club volunteers {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Ingredients

1 orange or clementine
1-2 sticks of cinnamon
1/4 c. cranberries
1 T. whole cloves
1 tsp. whole allspice

To assemble

Fill one cellophane bag with the ingredients listed. Secure with a twist tie. Use raffia twine to attach a copy of the "instructions" to the bag.

Stovetop Potpourri with Printable Tag. Makes for a great gift for Sunday School teachers or club volunteers {The Unlikely Homeschool}


Instructions as printed on the tag

  1. Quarter orange.
  2. Place all items in a saucepan and cover with water.
  3. Simmer on low heat.
The potpourri can be re-used several times as long as additional water is added to the saucepan each time. 

Don't forget to download your copy of the Stovetop Potpourri Instruction tags.


Need more ideas for teacher gifts? Be sure to check out the following:
Edible Snowman Buttons
Christmas Thank You for Sunday School Teachers

*These printables are FREE but are for personal use only.  In downloading the following files, you are agreeing not to copy, reproduce, or alter them except for your own personal, non-commercial usage.  In addition, you are also agreeing not to share or publicly display any or all parts of the materials on Facebook, in an email, or in person.  If you wish to share the downloads with others, please share a direct LINK to this post.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Homeschool Co-op Public Speaking Class {Lesson Plans}

Homeschool Co-op Speech Class {Lesson Plans} The Unlikely Homeschool

This semester, I am teaching an Introduction to Public Speaking class at our bi-weekly homeschool co-op. Although the practical goal for this class is to provide opportunity and practice for the children to be able speak in a large group setting, the spiritual implications can be found in the class verse, 
"But in your hearts, revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect," 1 Peter 3:15
As Christ-followers, we ought always be ready to give an answer to the hope that we have. That "readiness" requires a MESSAGE and the ABILITY to proclaim it. While I believe that God can and does use even the most timidly-delivered testimonies for His glory, I also think this verse implies a boldness. Often boldness only comes with practice and a little bit of know-how. This class offers both.

Objectives

To provide practical instruction in the following public speaking skills in order that each student can successfully deliver a demonstration speech at the end of the semester:
  • approaching the platform
  • commanding audience attention
  • volume
  • diction/articulation
  • eye contact
  • facial/body expression
  • speech preparation
  • peer evaluation and critique

Homeschool Co-op Public Speaking Class {Lesson Plans}

Typical Class Schedule

Each class period will contain the same six elements unless otherwise mentioned in the lesson plan. They are as follows:
  • vocal/body warm-up exercise
  • review of previously learned material
  • brief lesson of new material
  • brainstorming/planning session
  • peer-critique
  • take-home assignment


Demonstration Speech

The culmination of the entire semester comes in the form of a demonstration speech. I have chosen the demonstration speech to be the final project because it is one of the simplest and most-practical of all speech types. Delivery of a demonstration speech requires use of all the skills mastered throughout the semester and can easily be age-tailored for my young students. 

Each demo speech must possess the following four parts:
  • Introduction
  • Listing of necessary supplies/materials
  • Steps of completion
  • Conclusion

Homeschool Co-op Public Speaking Class {Lesson Plans}

Mentor & Peer-Critique

As with anything in life, evaluation is a helpful tool for personal improvement. Part of learning to become an effective speaker is learning to become a critical listener of one's audience. Each speech will be delivered at least twice in order that mentor and peer feedback may be given and used for improvement. Each student will deliver his/her speech once. Oral feedback will, then, be given by me, the mentor, in the form of at least 2 positive comments and 1 constructive criticism. After the first round of speeches has been completed by everyone in the class, the second round will begin. Each student will re-deliver his/her speech keeping the mentor feedback in mind. After each "do-over", I will call upon other class members to provide peer critiques. Two students will be asked to give a positive comment about the speech and one student will be asked to provide a constructive criticism.

Homeschool Co-op Public Speaking Class {Lesson Plans}

Lesson Plans

Day 1

Warm-up Exercise: The Penguin; march around the room with large strides and swinging arms

Lesson Objectives:
  • Introduce the class verse and explain the importance of public speaking.
  • Discuss a Biblical view of "shyness".
  • Demonstrate how to properly introduce oneself and allow everyone to practice.
  • Demonstrate how to properly approach and exit a platform and allow everyone to practice.
  • Discuss the importance of a peer-critique and give examples. 
  • Discuss "vocal clutter" (ummm, and, uhhh, other filler words).
Take-home Assignment:
Read over the Presidential Trivia paragraphs twice to yourself and once to your family. Become familiar with it, but do not memorize it.*

*I've typed out short paragraph excerpts from the book I Grew Up to be President by Laurie Calkhoven. Each excerpt is from the life of a different president and will be assigned to one of the students in the speech class.

Day 2

Warm-up Exercise: Tongue twisters

Review: how to approach and exit a speaking platform

Lesson Objectives:
  • Discuss appropriate volume for audience size, maintaining eye contact when reading something aloud, and proper pausing during a recitation/reading.
  • Demonstrate a presidential trivia paragraph reading.
  • Allow everyone to have two run-throughs of his/her presidential paragraphs. (Follow mentor/peer critique guidelines.)

Day 3

Warm-up Exercise: Play "What's in the box?" (Fill a box with random items from around your house such as a coat hanger, a jump rope, an empty water jug. Call one student at a time to the front to pull one item out of the box. He/she must create an alternative use for the item and use it in a charade-like mini skit. Audience members must correctly guess the new use for the item.)

Lesson Objectives:
  • Discuss hand gestures, body language, and improvisation skills.
  • Show an example of a demonstration speech from youtube.
  • Discuss the four main parts of a demonstration speech: introduction, listing of necessary supplies/materials, steps of completion, conclusion.
  • Brainstorm possible demonstration speech topics as a group.
  • Assist the students in choosing a topic. (Speeches should only be 3-5 minutes in length. Chosen topics should be ones that can be demonstrated from start to finish at co-op.)
Take-home Assignment: Pass out a 3x5 card to each student. Instruct everyone to write his/her name at the top and his/her demo speech topic. They are to take these cards home and use them to list out all of the necessary materials for their chosen demo topic. 

Day 4

Warm-up Exercise: Clap/Snap Oral Scattergories (Gather everyone in a large circle. Introduce a topic such as boy's names or animals. Call out a letter and then begin a clap/snap pattern with everyone clapping and snapping in unison. As soon as a rhythm has been established, call on one of the students to start the game. He/she has to say a word that falls under the topic heading and begins with the assigned letter BEFORE one repetition of clap/snap is finished. The play continues until someone is unable to give a word in the allotted time. When this happens, he/she is out and a new topic and letter are chosen. The game continues until all players except one have been eliminated Example: If the topic is boy's names and the letter is B, the students around the circle could call out BRIAN [clap, clap, snap, snap] BRAD [clap, clap, snap, snap] BRENT [clap, clap, snap, snap]... )

Review: The four parts of a demonstration speech.

Lesson Objectives:
  • Write out the steps to the demonstration on 3 x 5 cards.
  • Review concepts learned in Day 2.
  • Discuss the logical progression of a speech.

Day 5

Warm-up Exercise: Play charades using suggestions from Kid's Charades.

Review: the four parts of a demonstration speech

Lesson Objectives:
  • Introduce different types of introduction examples. (question, quotation, narrative story, statistic, personal reference, joke, historical or current event reference)
  • Assist the students in brainstorming introductions for their demonstration speeches.
  • Introduce different types of conclusion examples. (question, quotation, strong appeal, inspirational story, joke, summary)
  • Assist the students in brainstorming conclusions for their demonstrations speeches.
Take-Home Assignment: Practice your speech a total of 4 times (3 to yourself and once to your family).

Day 6

Warm-up Exercise: tongue twisters and body stretches

Lesson Objectives:
  • Allow the students to deliver their demonstration speeches.
  • Provide mentor feedback of each and allow for audience feedback from other students.

Friday, December 12, 2014

DIY Gingerbread House Party for Kids

DIY Gingerbread House Party for Kids {The Unlikely Homeschool} Make a party for cheap without loosing your mind.

Add some whimsy to your Christmas season this year by hosting a budget-friendly "gingerbread" house party.

For the past ten years, we've been joining some dear friends to create candy-laden creations for cheap. Here's the secret...

Our gingerbread houses aren't really made of gingerbread.
We use graham crackers instead.

With eight kids from toddlers to teens between us, we've had to devise ways to keep the party do-able for little ones while still maintaining the interest level of older kids.

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)

DIY Gingerbread House Party for Kids {The Unlikely Homeschool}


Here are some of our best tips.

Make your own frosting

Buttercream frosting is simple to make, can be made in really large quantities ahead of time, and may be kept frozen until the day of the party. After preparing the frosting, keep it white, or separate the whole batch into several different containers and use icing gel to dye each portion a different color. (I strongly recommend icing gel vs. regular food dye as the colors are more vibrant and true-to-life.) If you choose to freeze the frosting, be sure to thaw and re-whip it just before using.

Buttercream Frosting

1/2 c solid vegetable shortening
1/c butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 c. sifted confectioners' sugar
4 T. milk

Directions: Cream the shortening and butter together. Add vanilla. Gradually add the sugar, one cup at a time. The mixture will be thick at this point. Add milk one tablespoon at a time and whip until it comes to a desired consistency.  

DIY Gingerbread House Party for Kids {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Construct the houses ahead of time

Using a piping bag and a generous portion of frosting, construct the houses before the guests arrive. Frosting is wet and pliable until it sets. Expecting small children to be able to "glue" the graham cracker walls of a house together with wet, pliable frosting is asking for frustration and lots of tears. And the kids won't like it either! Trust.me.

After one not-so-smooth first year of gingerbread house decorating with our children, my friend offered to assemble all of the houses the following year. She's been doing it ever since...bless her!!

To construct a simple graham cracker house

You will need:
4 graham crackers
frosting in a piping bag
a knife
a piece of sturdy cardboard
aluminum foil
tape

Directions:
Begin by completely covering one side of the cardboard with the foil. Fold over the edges of the foil onto the back of the cardboard and secure with tape. This will provide a building space for the house and will make the candy creation easy to transport or move after the party.

Break three of the four graham crackers in half so that they each form two squares. Use four of these squares to make the walls of the house by securing them all together with beaded lines of frosting. Next, take the remaining halves and mount them at angles to form an A-line roof on top of the walls. Using the remaining graham cracker and the knife, cut two triangle shapes and secure them to the front and back of the "A" in the roofline. Allow to set for at least 30 minutes. The frosting will act as cement and help to form a really solid structure. 

DIY Gingerbread House Party for Kids {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Create an age-appropriate decorating station

Our decorating process has had to ebb-and-flow over the years due to the ages and stages of our kids. There's really no RIGHT WAY of setting up a decorating station. Always consider your space and the maturity level of the party goers. 

DIY Gingerbread House Party for Kids {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Here are three different methods that have worked for us.

DIY Gingerbread House Party for Kids {The Unlikely Homeschool}

For preschoolers

Set a house, a paper plate laden with assorted candies, and a napkin at each spot around the dining room table. Place a small bowl filled with frosting and a butter knife between two different spots. Most young kids are not able to pipe frosting themselves, but can be encouraged to use a butter knife or small spatula to spread frosting on sections of their house to act as "glue" for mounting their treats to the walls of the house. Discourage finger licking since the frosting will be shared. Instead, encourage the children to use the napkin that you've provided.

DIY Gingerbread House Party for Kids {The Unlikely Homeschool}

For lower to mid elementary

Before party guests arrive, prepare small bowls and spoons with a variety of treats. Each bowl should contain only one kind of candy and should be small enough to be easily passed by little hands. Also, fill additional bowls and a handful of piping bags with frosting. Scatter these around the work space and encourage the guests to share them. Place a house, an empty paper plate, and a napkin at each spot at the table.

When the party begins, pass each small bowl and corresponding spoon clockwise around the table. Instruct the children to spoon one scoop of treats onto their plate and pass the bowl to their neighbor. Once all the treats have gone around the table, the guests may begin piping/spreading frosting and adding candy.

DIY Gingerbread House Party for Kids {The Unlikely Homeschool}

For tweens and teens

Before the party, set a house at each table spot and scatter a handful of frosting-filled piping bags around the workspace to be shared by all. Prepare a candy buffet on a separate counter or table by filling small bowls with candy and providing a stack of paper plates and napkins.

At this stage, you could choose to assemble workstations with tin foil-covered cardboard and a stack of graham crackers OR pre-made houses that you've made yourself ahead of time.

When the party begins, instruct party goers to take turns going to the "buffet" and ladling candy onto a paper plate. They, then, can bring the plates back to their houses and use the candy and piping bags to create edible masterpieces. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

My {BIG FAT} List of 100 Resources for the Newbie Homeschooler

My {BIG FAT} List of 100 Resources for the Newbie Homeschooler {The Unlikely Homeschool}

So...you've decided to homeschool.

Right about now, you might be freaking out with sweaty palms, parched lips, and whisperings of "NOW WHAT?" floating around in your head.

If I were sitting with you right now, with a tall dark-chocolate mocha at my side (Yes, it's my drink of choice. Somethin's got to keep my eyelids up. I AM a homeschool mom, after all. I spin a lot of plates. And sometimes it gets a wee-bit exhausting. Nope, scratch those last lines. They may be rooted in truth, but they're not very encouraging. So, let's just keep with "it's my drink of choice". Carry on.)

If I were sitting with you right now, WITH or WITHOUT the dark-chocolate mocha, I'd give you a welcome-to-the-pack hug and remind you that homeschooling is a calling.

A high calling.

You were hand-picked to do this.

It is not by accident that YOUR children were placed in your loving care.
Nope. Not by accident.
God providentially chose you to be the mother...and first teacher...of your babies. You and your teaching will refine them...smooth out all the rough parts in their lives. And they yours.

God, Himself, chose YOU to teach YOUR children. So, don't question His ability to choose wisely.

You can do this. For real.

Homeschooling is an unconventional path, but certainly NOT an uncharted one.

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)

In keeping with my "If I were sitting with you right now" musings, I've gathered together some of the best-kept secrets of those veteran mommas who have chiseled their own path already. I hold them high like a beacon to help you navigate your first few steps on the journey with unwavering resolve.

And here they are...



General Helpful Websites


Homeschooling 101 Youtube Playlist



Homeschool Legal Defense Association- provides information about the homeschool laws in each state and connects readers with local homeschooling associations

5 Homeschool Blogs That You May Not Be Reading But Should Be

Donna Young Printables and Resources- lots of free printable organizational charts and checklists

Homeschooling 101 Pinterest Board

The Ultimate Guide for New Homeschoolers Tina's Dynamic Homeschool Plus

31 Days of New Bee Homeschooler Boot Camp Tina's Dynamic Homeschool Plus

Homeschooling State-by-State Link Up True Aim

My {BIG FAT} List of 100 Resources for the Newbie Homeschooler {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Organization

10 Summertime Steps to School Time Prep

How I Start My Homeschool Day on the Right Foot

Creating an Annual Portfolio

Organization for the Homeschool Momma Starts With This

5 Practical Tips for When Planning for School Seems Overwhelming

Ultimate Free Homeschool Planning List Free Homeschool Deals

My {BIG FAT} List of 100 Resources for the Newbie Homeschooler {The Unlikely Homeschool}


Choosing Curriculum

5 Tips to Consider for Choosing a Curriculum

Delight-Directed Curriculum Planning Starts With This

How I Plan My Homeschool Curriculum Shopping List

Curriculum Choice- a website completely dedicated to curriculum reviews

Homeschool Reviews- another website with curriculum reviews

Where to Request Homeschool Catalogs Jimmie's Collage

The Ultimate Guide for Choosing Homeschool Curriculum The Curriculum Choice

My {BIG FAT} List of 100 Resources for the Newbie Homeschooler {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Scheduling Your Day

5 Days of Scheduling Your Entire Homeschool Year

Why and How to Implement a 4-Day Homeschool Schedule

Implementing Task Cards

Cultivating a Self-Driven Day for a Middle Schooler

Our Homeschool Schedule

5 Simple Tips to Help You Schedule Your Homeschool Day Joy in the Journey

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Scheduling Real Life at Home

My {BIG FAT} List of 100 Resources for the Newbie Homeschooler {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Homeschooling Multiple Ages

Homeschooling Children of Multiple Ages G+ Hangout



How Do You Homeschool with a Baby or Toddler?

Our Start the Day Together Basket

BIG Family Homeschooling Pinterest Board

5 Tips to Establishing Tot School Hip Homeschool Moms

Homeschool Planning for a Large Family Contented at Home

10 Days of Large Family Homeschooling Raising Arrows

Creating a Group Teaching Time that Will Rock Your Homeschool Homeschooling in Real Life


My {BIG FAT} List of 100 Resources for the Newbie Homeschooler {The Unlikely Homeschool}


Making Cents of Homeschooling- Cheap & Free Resources

5 Tips for Finding Free {or almost free} Books for Homeschool

Top 5 Websites for Inexpensive Homeschool Curriculum

Top 10 Free Educational Computer Games

Free Homeschool Deals- a blog dedicated to sharing free or almost free homeschooling resources

Print-a-Palooza- a link up of dozens and dozens of free homeschooling and home keeping printables

Project Gutenberg- free eBook downloads

Over a Hundred Printable Pages Great Peace Academy

Homeschool For Free Only Passionate Curiosity


My {BIG FAT} List of 100 Resources for the Newbie Homeschooler {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Setting Up Your Homeschool "Classroom"


Our Homeschool Places and Spaces

Top 10 Must Have Items

Homeschool Spaces Pinterest Board

Not-Back-to-School Classrooms iHomeschool Network

Our Must Haves for Homeschool iHomeschool Network

50 Ideas for an Organized Homeschool Creekside Learning

My {BIG FAT} List of 100 Resources for the Newbie Homeschooler {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Books Worth Reading

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling

Honey for a Child's Heart

The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas

101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum

For the Children's Sake

The Three R's

The Book Whisperer- written from a traditional classroom approach, but well-worth the read

my {BIG FAT} List of 100 Resources for the Newbie Homeschooler {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Starting on the Right Foot

Words of Truth for Homeschooling

First Day(s) of Homeschool {Traditions}

First and Last Day Pinterest Board

10 Little Things That Can Make or Break My Homeschool Day

10 Do's and Don'ts for the Newbie Homeschooler

What is De-schooling and Is it Important? Real Life at Home

Starting Homeschooling? 7 Things You Need...and 3 You Don't My Joy-Filled Life

5 Things to Ask Yourself Before You Start Homeschooling This Year Homeschooling in Real Life

Where Should Your Kids Go to School: 25 Questions to Consider The Chuppies- an excellent list of questions to consider if you are still undecided about schooling

My {BIG FAT} List of 100 Resources for the Newbie Homeschooler {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Resources for Particular Methods

The Five Flavors of Homeschooling



The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Methods Renee at Great Peace

Ambleside Online- Charlotte Mason

Simply Charlotte Mason- Charlotte Mason

A Charlotte Mason Home Companion

10 Reasons Why I Choose a Living Literature Approach- Charlotte Mason

A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion- Thomas Jefferson Education

Classical Conversations- Classical

The Well-Trained Mind- Classical

Living Montessori Now- Montessori

Waldorf Homeschoolers- Waldorf

Project Based Homeschooling- Project Based Learning

Unschooling.com- Unschooling

50 Best Blogs in the Unschooling Movement- Unschooling

The Unschooling Handbook- Unschooling

The Master List of Unschooling Resources Weed 'em and Reap - Unschooling

my {BIG FAT} List of 100 Resources for the Newbie Homeschooler {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Encouraging Thoughts from the Veterans

My Advice for the Newbie Homeschooler {or Burned out Veteran}

10 Things I was Unlikely to Learn Without Homeschooling

I Can't Homeschool Because I'm Not Qualified to Teach Higher-Level Subjects

Help! I Have a Resistant Learner

24 Must Read Homeschooling Articles for Newbies Jimmie's Collage

10 Things Every New Homeschooler Needs to Know Real Life at Home

Some Days Are Like That: The Homeschool Edition Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

12 Things Homeschool Moms Need to Remember Homeschool Diaries

Homeschool Momma: What You Need to Hear Today The Chaos and the Clutter

my {BIG FAT} List of 100 Resources for the Newbie Homeschooler {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Establishing a Reading Culture 

How to Begin Read Alouds with Your Young Learner

50+ Great Read Alouds for Lower to Mid Elementary

Handwork Ideas for Read Aloud Time

Dear Homeschool Momma With a Struggling Reader

Choosing the Right Readers for Your Emergent Reader

Hidden Benefits of Reading Aloud to Your Kids

What Reading Time Looks Like in My Home

Ultimate Guide for Establishing a Reading Culture in Your Home Blog, She Wrote

Books...Books...and More Books for Kids! Pinterest Board



I've linked up with the lovely bloggers of iHomeschool Network to bring you 100 Things on 100 Things.

Friday, December 5, 2014

What We're Reading in December 2014

What We're Reading in December (Book selections for a homeschooling family of 7)


Christmas carols ringing from the speakers?....check!
Mug of hot cocoa at our sides?....check!
Good book in each of our hands?...double check!!

December's sights and sounds always have a way of drawing us to the pages of one good read after another. December is cozy. So are books. It just feels right to put the two together.

Here's what we're reading.

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)

Read Aloud- Everybody

The True Gift- After finishing the last two books in the five book Sarah, Plain and Tall series, it was only natural that we would want to start our Christmas season with this MacClauchlan holiday classic. (This particular MacClauchlan book is a bit more modern than her others. I've had to do a little omitting of words like "dumb.")


Jamie- that's me!

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess- I thought the Christmas season would be the perfect time to take a big gulp and start this one. I'm sure it is going to be a wee bit painful, but I'm kind of looking forward to it. 


Sweetie Pea- 6th grade

The Body Book- (Mom assigned book) This is the last in a group of four books that I have intentionally assigned my daughter to prepare her for all the many changes that are happening in her world and her body as a preteen girl.


Redwall- (Read-for-fun book) She hasn't started this one yet as she's currently finishing another book. But she can't wait to crack it open.


Super Boy- 3rd grade

Henry and Ribsy- (Mom assigned book) The misadventures of Henry and his faithful dog, has my son hooked.


Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express- (Read-for-fun book)


Blonde Warrior- 2nd grade

Tornado- (Mom assigned book) My older two kids both loved reading this book. It's so fun to see the next-in-line enjoying it too!




Greased Lightning- Kindergarten

Scholastic Phonics Ready Readers- This is a series of graduated phonics readers that come in a boxed set. This is set 2 in the series. 



So, while the chestnuts are roasting on an open fire, we'll be reading! (Ok...not really...we have no chestnuts and we certainly don't have any open fires. But, we have lots of books! So the "reading" part is true.)

How about you? Whatcha' reading?

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