Snow Crafts, Games and Fun: A Typical Winter Homeschooling Day in New England

I came downstairs to find Alec working on putting our world map puzzle together on our coffee table while Ian was building with some Lego's in the playroom.

Ian also made a pyramid out of his dominoes (he tends to use these often as building blocks).  I was thrilled to see such self- guided learning taking place.

Pyramid as part of our Ancient Egypt unit; all self- guided 
They all watched an episode of Wild Kratts at breakfast and then we got down to actual school work.

Alec told me his map was part of school and he also wanted me to print out an add and color Christmas worksheet.  He plans on finishing up his word search from yesterday and I'm sure he'll be reading a bunch of animal books, like usual!

Ian wants to work on his extreme dot to dot book and since it does go up into the thousands on some pages I figure it's a good counting activity for him.  I'll let it slide as math work for today.  He also read us all The Popcorn Book by Tomie DePaola.  He did a great job reading and we all learned a lot about the history of popcorn and what makes popcorn pop.  It was a very informative book.

 While his brothers were working hard independently Evan and I worked together.  I found this great snowman slap game.  Since he's just learning a few sight words I only printed out the first two pages of sight words and used two freeze and two snowman cards.

 Once the game is ready it's easy to play too:

  • Place all cards face down and spread out over the table or rug.  
  • Each player takes a turn and rolls the dice.  
  • The number on the die tells you how many cards to turn over.  
  • They have to read aloud each word as they turn it over. 
  • Their turn stops if they get a word wrong, or turn over a snowman card.  
  • If they turn over a freeze card they can keep all the words they've read correctly.  
  • If not all cards are turned face down again and ply continues.  
  • The game is over when the only thing left in the middle is the freeze and snowman cards. 
 Evan needed quite a bit of help with the words but he did think to pull out his Bob's book and look up familiar words.  It made our game very long but I didn't mind since he was happily learning.

After our game he wanted to read the 4 Bob's books we've done together so far and we looked at book 5 too.  We took a picture walk and then I read the book to him.  He'll try reading it to me tonight at bedtime.  He then worked on a dot- to- dot for math as well.  His new book of dot- to- dots goes up to 100 on every page so it's great practice for him!  We worked on today's together and he did pretty good; he really only needed help as it switched from 50 to 60 to70, etc.  I'm sure by the end of the month he'll be a professional at counting. 

We made some paper snowflakes this afternoon.

I found some printable templates but really they just weren't large enough for the boys and they struggled with this project.  Working together they made one snowflake.

such concentration 

We started reading Christmas in Camelot.  The boys love the Magic Treehouse series and I knew they wouldn't mind reading this book over the course of a few days instead of all in one night.

It was another beautiful day so we ate lunch and went out for a walk to get some fresh air.  The boys brought along binoculars and cameras so we were outside a bit longer than planned, but that was fine.  They were engaged and happy.

 I'm so lucky to spend down- time like this with my boys.

They each took turns walking with me, holding my hand (I know those moments aren't going to last long!), and telling me stories.

 Ian told me all about a superhero he would make up called Fireman, who would wear a black suit to attract the sun and start fires with. He could strike a match on his chest to light it.  He fights a bad guy named ice man but his weakness is cloudy days since he gets his energy from the sun... the story went on and on.  It was great oral story development!

They made up games, turned every stick and rock into a gun or a bomb, as most little boy tend to do, and giggled- A LOT!

We also checked out this website late in the afternoon.  It's called snowdays and I learned about it through clickschooling.  The kids found it fascinating and fought over who could have a turn first.  You can create virtual snowflakes!  I played around with it a bit too and it was fun.  As you drag the mouse to "cut" there is an "actual" snowflake on the left hand side that shows the results of each cut.

I love the relaxed pace of our homeschooling days. 


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