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This was our week of falling back into normal routines after all the holiday stuff.
We started our Winter unit for the little kids. This unit is about sound so we had fun playing "instruments" like a washboard and comb. We're reading books about sound like Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin and also about being quiet and listening, like Mousekin's Close Call. I wanted to do a silent listening walk, but the weather last week wasn't conducive to being outside any more than necessary, so hopefully we can do that this week.
It's not how *I* would have done it, but they had fun with it, and have played with it off and on after setting it up :)
This year we've had alot of variation in how much independent work the big girls have had. Last fall, when they had quite abit of independent work, I was printing daily schedules for them, then over the holidays they weren't really doing anything independent. Last week, they had a little bit of independent stuff, but not tons, and the printer was running low on ink, so I grabbed a small white board and listed their independent work on it. I told them I didn't care when they did it, as long as it was done by the end of the week. That let them choose which things to take with them to work on during the music lessons, and what to work on during the little kids' circle time each day. They LOVED it! And I love not having to use paper and ink, or have extra papers cluttering the house.
This week was also music lessons after having 3 (I think) weeks off over the holidays, because their teacher was out of town. They were SOO excited to go to lessons. Ashlyn is starting to work on the pieces for her end-of-book recital, and Lexie started learning to tune her own violin, and read music (Suzuki method teaches other stuff before introducing those elements). So they both have lots going on with music.
During Advent, we decided the best time to light our Advent candles, and read our Advent book, was to have afternoon tea parties. We enjoyed that addition to our days so much that we decided to keep it after Advent. We haven't managed to do it every day, but we're enjoying it. It's a time to fit in some of the little extras that I'd never found time to fit in otherwise, and just reconnect abit.
After much discussion, I agreed to read the Dahveed, Yahweh's Chosen to them. It's not a "kid's book" and not something I'd want to turn them loose with at this age, but I decided as a read aloud, that we could discuss as we went, we'd at least give it a try (I'd read it already, so knew what I was getting into). We also have a "theme" for each day and spend a few minutes on it during tea time as well, the themes are:
"Picture of the week" - we talk about an art piece, and it's artist, and then display that art piece for the week.
"Hymn" - we choose a hymn, sing it together, read a biography about the hymn writer, and then continue with that hymn till we've memorized all stanzas, then we'll move on to another hymn.
"Composer study" - we'll spend 12 weeks learning about a composer, reading a biography about him, listening to his music, perhaps learning the "story" behind certain songs he wrote. . .
"Language study" - some type of exposure to a foreign language, currently their interest is centered on Hebrew, so for now I found a cute song for Purim, so for now we're listening to it and singing it together, so we'll know it by Purim :)
Poetry - we'll spend 12 weeks learning about a poet, reading a biography about him, and reading his poetry.
Self-Improvement - for lack of a better word . . . pretty much something I've been wanting us to work on doing better character/relationship-wise . . . the first thing we're doing is Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends.
So, last week was our first week doing this, and we didn't do it every day, so we haven't even done all the above list, but I think it will work out pretty well.
One of the days, Ashlyn (whose job it was to make a snack/treat for tea), made cucumber sandwiches and cut the crusts off the bread to make them "fancy". Little Bit had fun playing with the crusts while Ashlyn was making the sandwiches, and was so proud of her "face" that she asked Ashlyn to take a picture, so I'll leave you, for this week, with that picture :)