Merry Christmas 2023

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From our homeschool to yours, Merry Christmas for 2023! May your wishes come true this holiday season and throughout the rest of the school year!

Merry Christmas

We are staying home for Christmas, enjoying each other, Santa’s gifts, lots of yummy food and maybe a cup of hot cocoa (or two). The day after Christmas we have friends and family over for a festive lunch. Continue reading »

Merry Christmas 2022

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I hope you had a merry Christmas; #merryandbright, as they say in our social media world. We stayed home and enjoyed wrapping gifts for our children on Christmas Eve. When it is -2 F (-16.7 C) outside, you do not feel like going anywhere.

Teens building LEGO kits

Our children building their respective LEGO kits

Now that they are older, our teens give us a list of wishes. One of the wishes is that we also give them something they do not expect or know about. They like to be surprised. Continue reading »

Christmas Break 2019

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Last week, we dashed about with Christmas preparations and I imagine you all did the same. We receive so many emails over the Christmas season, I figured you would not miss one more, from this blog.

Mother and Daughter in matching dresses

Twinning with my daughter is always fun.

We had family in town for a few days before Christmas, then they left. When Christmas came, we celebrated quietly, with our family of five: me, my husband, our son, daughter, and cat. Can’t forget the cat!

One of the reasons we homeschool is because we are home buddies. We do not seek to be with crowds. Nothing wrong with crowds. If that’s what you like for a celebration, go for it.

Mother and son playing nerf guns

My son and I playing with nerf guns. He usually wins, but I won this time.

New Year’s Eve will also be a quiet affair for us. We do not usually stay up until midnight. One year, I think the kids wanted to stay up just to see the ball drop live in New York City, but they fell asleep by 11:30pm. Ha! Ha! Ha!

This friend of ours told us that, around 5-6pm, their family watches celebrations on YouTube from Europe or the Middle East – it’s midnight over there. Then, they go to bed at their regular time. Isn’t that a great idea?

As far as this break, we are taking it easy with everything. Still, we need to prepare a bit for Science Olympiad and Spelling Bee, which are coming up in January. We also need to touch the piano and violin now and then. But yes, a relaxed break is being had by all, including this mama.

Merry Christmas!

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We are home for Christmas, which was our contractor’s goal after the wildfires and the damage at our house. But our house is not completely fixed yet. The wood flooring has to be replaced all over the house due to water damage after a tree fell and punctured the roof in several places, followed by rain that night.

Christmas at Downton Abbey

Christmas at Downton Abbey is a 2-CD collection of traditional Christmas melodies sung by some of the cast members from the iconic TV series and others

We are thankful and counting our blessings though. The children opened presents earlier in the morning and were very excited to receive new things to build and play with. We draw strength from their enthusiasm and childlike excitement.  Continue reading »

Develop Artistic Talent with Holiday DIY Project

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With Christmas coming up soon, it’s a great time for moms to work on DIY projects with their homeschoolers. We shouldn’t get so caught up in teaching our children the alphabet and math that we forget about art. Encouraging kids to be creative and artistic is something all parents should be doing.

Not very artistic yourself? It’s no problem. There are still a lot of fun, easy ways you can help your kids develop their own artistic talent.

Here are some ways you can help your child work on his or her creativity in the coming weeks:

Continue reading »

Mom Monday Week 51 – Merry Christmas!

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This year, I discovered the secret to a peaceful and relaxed December. Are you ready for it? You know, the ONE thing you need to do in order to stay sane through the holiday season, Christmas shopping, and the end of the semester. Drum roll, please… Get sick.

Yes, friends, get sick. If you get sick, the amount of work your family will allow you to do is minimal. Everybody will pitch in a bit here and there. You discover that the whole operation will move on just fine without your efforts. It’s brilliant!

mom monday wk51

I should patent this idea: eat a lot of sweets through November and extra pie at Thanksgiving, so that your immune system gets overwhelmed and completely unable to deal with the viruses going around. And work extra hard through November, too, to the point of exhaustion. That is a sure recipe for sickness in December. And you’re off the hook with the Christmas preparations.  Continue reading »

Advent Calendar Activities

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Advent Calendars come in many shapes and sizes, like Kubla Crafts Stuffed Oh Christmas Tree Fabric Advent Calendar or Wood Advent Tree w/ 24 Storage Drawers -Ready to Paint Unfinished. Homeschoolers love to make their own, too. Sometimes.

This year, I will use this blog post as my Advent Calendar. As we do each activity, I will update this post with a picture or a link. Our Advent Calendar will double as a homeschool record.

Here are our daily Advent Calendar Activities:

1. Put up the Christmas tree.

Daddy and children setting up the Christmas tree

Daddy and children setting up the Christmas tree

2. Decorate the rest of the house.

I bought a simple wreath at the Christmas Store in Pigeon Forge and added things we already had - a bow, a couple of bells and an ornament

I bought a simple wreath at the Christmas Store in Pigeon Forge and added things we already had – a bow, a couple of bells and an ornament.

Wooden Advent Calendar

I had given up on finding the right Advent Calendar for us this year, when I ran into this beauty at Tuesday Morning in Pigeon Forge.

3. Every day sing/learn Christmas carols/hymns. This whole month we sing Christmas hymns at family worship times. My favorite is Adeste Fideles (O, Come, All Ye Faithful). I hope my children can learn it in Latin in a few years.

4. Drive through Gatlinburg at night, to see the lights.

Christmas lights abound in Gatlinburg - Winter Fest is what they call it. It starts in November and ends in March.

Christmas lights abound in Gatlinburg – Winter Fest is what they call it. It starts in November and ends in March.

5. Pick up books about Christmas at the library.

Children reading books on floor

My children got lost in books at the library and just hit the floor.

6. Make Christmas crafts.

LEGO nativity scene - baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary, grazing sheep, a donkey, a camel, and an angel

I asked my son to build a LEGO nativity scene. I gave him instructions from a website, but he came up with his own, as he did not have all the right bricks. Please note the angel on the barn. Also, the donkey, camel and two grazing sheep. I intentionally blurred the Holy Family because, well, they look a bit too modern – especially Joseph. But I did not want to buy the LEGO figures with their robes. I wanted my son to build his own and I think he did a fantastic job. Baby Jesus looked really cute.

Children trimming a craft Christmas tree

My children working on a Christmas tree craft at the library, after Story Time. We live in a small, tourist town, so often we are the only ones attending such programs. It’s a pity. The children’s librarian puts together such meaningful programs.

7. Take a nature walk and note object lessons. Update: the weather was rainy and cold. We stayed in and listened to Pandora’s Classical Christmas Station while working on Christmas crafts.

8. Take a family picture.

9. Bake cookies for neighbors. We bake several batches throughout the month.

10. Learn the 12 Days of Christmas song.

11. Point out the 12 Days of Christmas symbols in Pigeon Forge.

12. Make a gingerbread house.

13. Write Christmas cards.

14. Take a nature walk. If we have snow, make a snow man.

15. Bake cookies for neighbors. We bake several batches throughout the month.

16. Make Christmas crafts.

17. Attend a Christmas concert or watch one on TV/youtube. We attended the Sevier County Choral Society concert at the Presbyterian Church in Gatlinburg. I used to sing with this choir before we had children.

18. Bake cookies for ourselves.

19. Get more Christmas books from the library.

20. Make more Christmas crafts.

21. Take a nature walk and/or play in the snow.

22. Bake cookies for neighbors. We bake several batches throughout the month.

23. Start cooking for the big meal. Find ways to let the kids help.

24. Finish cooking while still letting them help.

Hope this gives you some ideas for your homeschool this December. Please leave me a comment below with your celebrations, activities and resources.