December Homeschooling Plans

I like to do things a little different during the month of December when it comes to homeschooling. During a season that is naturally busy, I prefer to scale back on the academic schoolwork and focus on preparing our hearts for Christ’s birth, enjoying all the books and movies of the season, making lots of arts and crafts, spending time with friends and family for special events like Christmas tea parties and Happy Birthday Jesus parties and finding intentional ways to serve and bless others.

Each day we will continue to do our math and grammar, but otherwise focus on our Christmas activities.

Here are some of the things we will do this year.

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Christmas Books!!

Is it normal to have 75+ children’s Christmas books? 🙂

Christmas books are the best and we look forward to pulling them all out and spending the whole month reading them.  They are like old friends we haven’t seen all year.

I realize you probably don’t want 75+ Christmas books at your house, so I’ve narrowed it down to two lists. The top 3 Christmas books for the Christmas minimalist. And the top 15 Christmas books for the average person.

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Fall Picture Books

The best fall and Thanksgiving picture books!

  • Strega Nona’s Harvest by Tomie dePaola
  • Thankful Together by Holly Davis
  • The Deer in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas
  • Milly and Tilly by Kate Summers
  • The Fox and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson
  • The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh
  • The Little Scarecrow Boy by Margaret Wise Brown
  • Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin
  • From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer
  • N.C. Wyeth’s Pilgrims by Robert San Souci
  • Ox Cart Man by Donald Hall
  • Sarah Morton’s Day & Samuel Eaton’s Day by Kate Waters

2017-2018 Homeschool Plans

We have been lightly homeschooling through the summer, but already the children and I are anxious to get back to a daily routine and start fresh this year with some old familiars and some new things.

As with each new year, I try and evaluate what works and our current situation. Our current situation is a 2nd Grader, a Kindergartener, a Prek 3 year old and a 18 month old terrorist. Because of the little stinker, things will probably be less smooth than usual. But to balance it out, my 2nd grader is reading fluently and can hopefully do some of her work on her own.

Although I tend to lean towards the Charlotte Mason approach to learning, I am also incorporating some workbooks for a few subjects this year. These are mainly for math and for reinforcement of things they are learning. Plus, two of the children will be going to work with daddy one morning a week while the rest of us are in Bible study and will need some things to do to keep them busy.

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You’re in the Turn

You know that one sin you can't seem to shake? The one you get so angry at yourself every time you do it. You pray and pray for God to help you stop. You wake up hopeful every morning, but by 10am you've already blown it. That sin.

Mine is losing my temper. I'd like to list all the reasons why I have a short temper. But the truth is that none of the reasons makes any difference. The fact is that I am called to be long-suffering, patient, gentle, kind and compassionate. But I refuse to do this. I disobey. And I am fully capable of controlling my temper. I do it in public. So why do I choose not to at home?

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You Can Trust the Man who Died for You

A few nights ago I read a devotional that has been replaying itself in my head.

Streams in the Desert, August 1st

And do not present your members to sin as instruments to be used for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and your members to God as instruments to be used for righteousness.(>Rom 6:13)

I went one night to hear an address on consecration. No special message came to me from it, but as the speaker kneeled to pray, he dropped this sentence: “O Lord, Thou knowest we can trust the Man that died for us.” And that was my message. I rose and walked down the street to the train; and as I walked, I pondered deeply all that consecration might mean to my life and—I was afraid. And then, above the noise and clatter of the street traffic came to me the message: “You can trust the Man that died for you.”

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Trim Healthy Mama

I hesitate to write this post considering I struggle to stick with this way of eating that I’ve used on and off for five years. But I have had several people ask me about the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan and about how I lose weight after having a baby, so I thought I’d share the only way I have ever found to lose weight without starving myself to death. And I enjoy the plan so much I try to eat this way as much as possible.

Transparently, I usually gain 50 pounds with each pregnancy and I’ve had four children. This means I have gained and lost 200 pounds in the last six years. *whoa* To lose the weight I’ve tried several methods. I’ve done it by eating as little as I possibly can. I’ve done it by counting calories. I’ve done it by imposing strict restrictions on myself. Frankly, these methods are awful. They make me angry and miserable. And then everyone else in my house is miserable because I am hangry.

I also don’t have time to go to a gym or even to go running or for a walk. I will also be truthful here…even if I did have time, I probably wouldn’t go for a run or go to the gym because I hate doing those things. I do enjoy walks, but trying to take four young children on a walk is not for the faint of heart. I do use the Trim Healthy Mama Workin’s DVD’s several times a week and I enjoy them.

But I mostly depend on my weight loss to come from my eating habits.

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Good Works

If you are a Christian, you probably already understand that nothing you did saved you. No amount of good works or performance made you good enough to earn salvation. The Bible teaches us that it is God who draws us to Himself, He justifies us and saves us and then together we begin a journey of sanctification through reading His Word and obeying it.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Once we are saved, we are thankful for His grace and mercy on us. The more we learn about Jesus, the more thankful we become. The more thankful we become, the more we should want to serve Him and work for His Kingdom.

Enter good works.

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Summer Book Basket

Instead of monthly book baskets over the summer, I decided to lump them all together to give us a more relaxed reading time over the next few months. Enjoy!

  • Blueberries for Sal and Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey
  • The 4th of July by Alice Dalgliesh
  • Johnny and the Birds by Elizabeth Webb and Ian Munn
  • Island Boy by Barbara Cooney
  • Rachel and Obadiah by Brinton Turkle
  • Why Misquitos Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema
  • Roxaboxen by Alice McLearen and Barbara Cooney
  • Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
  • Jenny’s Surprise Summer by Eugenie
  • Emma’s Poem by Linda Glaser
  • Summertime in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Old Home Day by Donald Hall
  • The Bear that Heard Crying by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock
  • Parable of the Sower by Helen Caswell
  • All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan
  • The Burgess Seashore Book by Thorton Burgess
  • The Little Island by Margaret Wise Brown


Do the Next Thing Lesson Planning

If you have been a homeschool mom for any length of time, you have probably tried several different methods of lesson planning. There are many options that range from a boxed curriculum that lays everything out for you to blank planners that you fill in yourself to no planning at all *Grin*.

Search Pinterest and see how many printable lesson planner options come up right now. Probably about 500. Overwhelming. I have wasted so much ink and paper printing these out and then using them for about a week.

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