Thursday, December 26, 2013

Epiphany Countdown

I made this quick little Epiphany Countdown this morning for my kids using clipart and Microsoft Publisher.  I love it because it is portable - perfect for our trip to Grandma's this week!  I will add the link below for anyone who would like to print it for themselves.  It is plain black and white and I just printed it on colored paper.  Enjoy!

Epiphany Countdown

Updated 11/12/2014 -
Epiphany Countdown 2014

I've also made a smaller, consumable coloring page version.
Epiphany Countdown Coloring Page 2014

Monday, December 23, 2013

December School

December was a light month in our little homeschool.  We made sure to do math, phonics, and writing every day, but other than that we took advantage of a lighter schedule to focus on our Advent work.  We also did a lot of Christmas related work such as learning about Christmas traditions around the world for geography and history.   It is nice schooling year round - it gives us plenty of opportunity to rest when we are feeling a bit burnt out! I am working on putting together our new curriculum for next semester and will get a post about that put together soon.  Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Service Advent Chain

I put together a little Advent chain project for my daughter's American Heritage Girls meeting.  We have been learning about the first part of the AHG oath: I Promise to Love God.  We read about and discussed Jesus' telling of the greatest commandment - to love God above all else and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  We pledged to work throughout Advent at loving God and loving our neighbors through acts of service.  I had printed out 25 ideas on mailing labels for each girl.  They simply stuck the labels on each strip of paper and created an Advent chain with those strips.  I'm so excited for this fun little chain and am looking forward to doing something similar each year!

Our 25 Acts of Service
  • Do someone else's chore for them.
  • Read or tell a story to a younger sibling or pet.
  • Ask mom if she needs any help in the kitchen today, either with making a meal or cleaning up.
  • Tell each family member how much you love them.
  • Pray for each person in your family.
  • Hug someone in your family.
  • Draw a picture or write a note that you can send to your grandparents to let them know how much you love them.
  • Pick out a toy that you no longer play with that can be donated to a family in need.
  • Ask your mom if you can purchase an extra can or two of food this week at the grocery store to donate to charity.
  • Make an effort to smile at people all day.
  • Do extra chores this week to earn money that can be dropped in a Salvation Army Bucket or in the collection basket on Sunday.
  • Secretly perform a kind act for someone today.
  • Obey your parents, teachers, and others in charge of you today.
  • Be patient today and do what you can to please your parents and family without complaining.
  • Say a Hail Mary for someone who is sick.
  • Offer to say Grace at mealtime.
  • Say a prayer for all the world's hungry people.
  • Find a quiet place and sit for a few minutes, letting God love you.
  • Do not lose your temper when angry or frustrated today.  Think of something else you can do to radiate God's love and forgiveness instead.
  • Talk to your parents and check if there is a service project your family can do this season such as buying a gift for a giving tree, sending a care package to a soldier, etc.
  • Draw a picture of the Nativity today and think about how much God loves you.
  • Take care of God's creation by cleaning up a piece of litter or putting out some food or water for your friendly back yard animals.
  • Ask Mama Mary to prepare your heart for Jesus' coming.
  • Be nice to someone who is hard to get along with.
  • Jesus is born!  Think of God's love for you, and offer him all the prayers you have seen and kind deeds you have done this Advent.

I tried to stick to ideas that wouldn't involve a ton of parental involvement just in case the parents were a bit overwhelmed with their own holiday preparations.  Also there does not have to be any particular order other than the Jesus is born one being on Christmas day.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Advent Countdown

This is what we are using again this year for our Advent Countdown.
The left panel has Mary and Joseph traveling closer to Bethlehem each day.  The middle panel is our Jesse Tree using ornaments that I created several years ago.  We also put up an Advent candle on each Sunday since a wreath is out of the question with a rambunctious toddler in the house!  The right panel is our secular panel where I write something fun for us to do each day leading up to Christmas.  Thanks for reading!