This has been a busy week in our house!

Carnival of Homeschooling

We have a lot of celebrations over the holiday months, in our family:

  • November 23 is my father’s birthday;
  • November 25 is my brother-in-law’s birthday;
  • November 26 is my parents’ anniversary;
  • November 28 is a birthday day shared by my brother and my middle son, while…
  • November 29 is my youngest son’s birthday.
  • Thanksgiving rounds out the week most years.

We just get past all these festivities, in time to put up Christmas decorations, shop and celebrate what ends up being several Christmas celebrations (when you have adult children, scheduling becomes interesting). Then it’s on to celebrate the New Year in the style of my husband’s family (black-eyed peas and collard greens, of course), then my birthday on January 5… It’s enough to make your head spin, in a good way, of course!

This past week, we stepped onto the holiday track and started running!

Homegrown Learners
  • Word work has become fun for all of us since we discovered the spelling lists for the National Spelling Bee and other organizations. We have been quizzing one another each night. Fun for all!
  • Our little guy is a humongous fan of Minecraft, a video game that is hugely popular with boys of all ages (and not a few men, as well). As I watched over his shoulder, I realized that part of the game involves using “redstone,” a block of ground that, when arranged properly, creates an electrical circuit that can be used to open and close gates, work levers, control dams, and work pistons. Kids even draw diagrams that are, in fact, schematics for electrical circuits. The two of us are designing a series of lessons for an electricity unit, grades 4-6, that use Minecraft work as the learning tasks.
  • We started a new family tradition by volunteering to cook and serve at the local soup kitchen, the Covenant Soup Kitchen, where we helped to serve 125 people. Our youngest son was a perfect gentleman!
  • We celebrated our own holiday on the following weekend, where I used a raft of potatoes for mashed potatoes, and a white potato pie. Mmmm…
  • We continued our study of autumn nature finds by a study of a large squirrel’s nest near our driveway. We also found a nest that we believe belongs to some kind of warbler, to add to the collection started with the oriole nest from last week.
  • Tonight, we had cake and ice cream in honor of two of the birthday boys, our youngest two sons, Christopher (23) and Malik (9). Malik got a new pair of Timberland boots, and Christopher went home with a gigantic Christmas cactus to add to his indoor plant collection.
  • We began a study of animal hibernation this month. Come visit Simple Science Strategies to see a lesson plan that is appropriate for upper elementary or middle school science classrooms.
  • I have been fascinated by the variety of owls we have identified by their calls, in the early morning and evening hours. To date, we have heard (or seen) great horned owls, barred owls, and long-eared owls. Did you know that owls live on every land mass in the world, except Antarctica? is an excellent resource for bird calls, and lots more information.
  • Come to A Child’s Garden to see our nature study “bookshelf” that we began creating this week, using a great widget from Shelfari. My son and I are creating one to make a visual “reading log” of his independent reads, that we will share on this blog, later this week.

It’s been a very full and fulfilling week! I pray that you and your family have had an equally rewarding week at your home.