Add DECEMBER to the list of reasons why I adore Classical Conversations.
We go down to the bare bones in December, so we can focus on Advent and being peaceful as a family.
It isn't always easy, because it seems there are a hundred and one demands on our time during this busy time of year. I don't want to look back on the month and regret wasted time and unwanted activities. I want to create memories for our family that are meaningful and fun.
Thankfully, school isn't a DEMAND in December - it's a fun something we carve out time for because we WANT TO.
For my Foundations/Essentials student it is a much needed time to review after 12 weeks of hard work. It is a time when we can continue to have fun and also add some Christmas schooling to the mix without "getting behind".
My Challenge B student will finish in one week. She will have some work over the break, but I can happily say she will have three entire weeks of rest, which is much needed.
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I've had SUCH fun this week, playing review games, reading aloud, and planning art projects for the rest of the month. When you homeschool using CC as the spine, there is plenty of wiggle room in December!
Foundations Memory Work Review Games
We're all about SIMPLE in our homeschool.
We play a couple of review games. My absolute favorite is Memory Work JENGA -- believe me, this wasn't MY idea. I've seen this idea floating around a lot online.
I use a simple printable, My Memory Work, from Brandy, at Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood, to keep track of the pieces of memory work Grant knows and the pieces he needs to keep practicing.
It's so simple: set up your JENGA game. As you pull pieces out, quiz your child on a different area of the memory work. (I've seen people write on their pieces to correspond with the weeks and subject area, but we haven't done that.)
My son gave each area of the memory work a color and used his Sharpies (we can't live without these!) to check off the memory work areas he mastered and put a star in the boxes of the areas he still needs to review.
I like the Geography Trivium Table for Cycle 3 for having him point out to me where the states/capitals and features are.
As you can see, he really needs work in the English Grammar department. Please tell me we aren't alone in this struggle??
We also use a Simple Dice Game to review the memory work.
Essentials Review in December
Honestly, I'm finding that reading quality literature aloud to my children is such a wonderful way to review everything we have learned in Essentials.
Our current read aloud is The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (which also happens to be one of the current book choices for Challenge B). We've been pointing out similes, metaphors, -ly words, strong verbs, quality adjectives, etc....
Essentials is just amazing to me - so much valuable information packed into such a short 12 weeks!
Grant also continues to copy his Essentials charts each day. He really doesn't mind doing this, because I let him have a fun snack while he's copying --- I don't think that's bribery - it's INCENTIVE!
We have also been thinking about the Faces of History event our community will have in the spring.
Grant has chosen Ronald Reagan, and has started reading some books about his life. We are big fans of the Heroes of History books. I'm teaching him how to read a book and highlight (thank you, Challenge guide!), so it will be a bit easier to put the information together when the time comes.
That's it - like I told you, we keep it simple in December to make time for our Advent and art and music studies.
NOW --- on to the December CC Blog Carnival. I love having the chance to see what other CC parents are writing about. Please check out these posts, and leave the bloggers a comment -- comments mean so much to bloggers and sometimes we rarely get them!
The Lost Tools of Thinking --- this is such a thoughtful article from Marc Hayes, a CC dad. I've heard a lot of Challenge parents doubting the validity of The Lost Tools of Writing Curriculum, and this article addresses that.
Review of Cycle 3 App -- Allie did a nice review of this App, which we also use to review all throughout the 24 weeks of Cycle 3
Water Bottles, Parkour, & Latin -- I love what Becki says here about having friends to learn with - this is one of the HUGE benefits that we experience in CC, also!
Why Cursive? Why Copywork? Why Poetry? -- Brandy gives a very thorough explanation about why all of these are important. She also talks about the PreScripts books from CC, which we use throughout the year to focus on memory work and cursive handwriting.
Make a Model Lung - such a simple and effective activity. Brandy's boys had a great time with this, as did my son, Grant!
Civil War Unit Study -- OK -- get ready for a lot of GREAT information again from Brandy. Lots of free downloads and resources included!
Our History Notebook: Part 2 -- this is a post I did which includes a downloadable reading list for weeks 13-24 of Cycle 3 and also a video about how we create a history notebook.
If you'd like to participate in the carnival, or read past issues of the carnival, visit the CC Blog Carnival page here on the blog.
So, I'm curious: What does December homeschool look like in your house? Share some ideas with me in the comments!