Friday, December 28, 2012

I don't know about you, but with the holidays about over I'm looking forward to more ordered days and getting back into a schedule and more order.  I want to have my children help set their own goals - seems like they're more motivated when they set their own goals.  Of course my goals  and schedule will apply to them as well.  What goals and plans do you have for the New Year?  This is my list for my children to fill out. 

New Year Plans and Goal Sheets

  • What is one character quality you would like to begin to work on? ________________________ List three things you will do to implement this:  1._______________________________ 2._______________________________ 3.________________________________
  • What is one new habit you would like to establish?_____________________________  What will you use as a trigger to remind you to practice your habit?  What do you plan to give yourself as a reward for your new habit?_______________________________________
  • Let's plan to each have a quiet time with the LORD daily - what time will you meet with Him?__________________________                                                                                    Where will you plan to read from in your Bible or what topic will you study? __________ _________________________________________________________________ and what other books and tools do you hope to use?______________________________ choose a book or notebook for a prayer journal and decide how you will lay it out.
  • Let's start book recording journals - it can be a commonplace book or just a simple list of titles and authors, but choose your notebook or journal and decide how you will use it.
  • I plan to reward each of you if you finish your chores for the week without being reminded - what would you like as a reward?________________________________________

Monday, December 3, 2012

 Now that it is December I wanted to anticipate our celebration of the birth of Christ with the children.  My Mom gave us a cardstock Advent Calendar with windows to open each day from Dayspring.  .We open and read a window each day at lunch.

She also gave us a devotional made up of advent readings written by the women of her church so we read one of those each day in the morning as we light another candle on our advent candle wreathe.
A closeup of the Mary and Joseph
that our 9 and 11 year old modeled
from clay for the journey to Bethlehem
following the wreath as we light
 the candles each day.

After supper each day we read the Jesse Tree Devotional readings by AnnVoskamp. It is a free download here. I modeled ornaments from clay rather than print her paper ones.  I stretched a ribbon with 25 paper clips tied on at intervals of about 3-4 inches.  Each ornament I made has a paper clip embedded in it that we clip onto the hanging clips. The ornaments could also be hung on a Jesse Tree Branch. Ann's devotionals each start with an Old Testament Scripture reading and then in her beautiful words she points us to the coming Christ as seen in the Biblical passage.  

We're memorizing the Christmas story from Luke 2.  It is familiar but fun to brush up on.  

Of course crafts abound this time of year as the weather isn't as nice outside and the children are pleasantly engaged in making gifts.  

We've also been listening to Pandora Radio online.  You can make your own stations with music you enjoy.  Choose a song and they will play more like it.  We chose Classical Christmas and have been enjoying beautiful pieces of Christmas music throughout the day.  

And for read alouds - I'm planning to read one of our favorites, A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.  I also ordered The Best Christmas Pagaent Ever, (A fresh look at Christmas from the view of the children of an unchurched family).  A friend said they read Jotham's Journey every year which has readings for each day from December 1st to Christmas.  If I can get a copy, I'd like to read it even though we will have to double up to catch up or maybe just read it right through.  We also have The Gift, a picture storybook by Jan Haley on our coffee table and have read it once and will probably read it again.  It is the fictional story of one of the wise men and his son.   

What are you doing to anticipate the celebration of Christ's birth?