Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal ........... painting by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Snapshot Summary: December 5-11, week 13

Snapshot Summary: December 5-11

James' division page
After doing division problems as we did last week for some time, James can now write division problems on a piece of paper with a smaller typical division matrix (see how we labeled the first one with cups, candy (manipulative) and how many in each cup? as a review/reminder) the different pieces on the first problem. We can now play games with problems making the unknown any part of the problem, expanding his awareness of the component parts of a division problem.

Quentin's math work

Quentin is working on adding and subtracting  two-digit numbers with no carrying. We used Smarties candies this week for our math manipulatives. : )

James' outline about The Declaration of Independence
James is working on his first report, a report on the Declaration of Independence, so I began with helping him outline the basics, rather like a newspaper article.
The boys love to play with plastic figures.
We learned about the end of the Revolutionary war and how we floundered as a country as we struggled to get our feet under us.
Alex's postcard geography album page
We learned about Kansas in our 50-state study.

Quentin's picture study analysis
We did something a little different with our picture study this week and compared and contrasted four of Vermeer's paintings.

We are learning about the layers of atmosphere, using layered cookie mixes as a edible hands-on model.
Alex's science notebook page
We are learning about whales. I had planned to take them out to the road in front of our house (no cars during the day) and mark off how large some of these whales really are to give them a sense of their immense size, but it has rained all week. We will try to fit this in next week instead.

Advent Activities

We are learning about Christmas traditions around the world this year. Each day we complete an advent activity and add a page about the tradition in our Holiday Celebrations Around the World book.
St. Nicholas from Turkey
made plaster clogs to leave out for St. Nicholas to fill
Saint Nicholas Day
Saint Nicholas left chocolate Santas in the clogs

Christmas in Wales
Get Decorations
Katie and James went out for greenery while Quentin and I went out for the store-bought kind of decorations. They completed a page about how the tradition of mistletoe comes from Wales.

Christmas in Germany
Decorate the house and tree.
They also had a little decorate the tree sticker book in the advent calendar envelope for today.
They made a page about Nutcrackers and learned their tradition came from Germany. They also watched The Nutcraker ballet and played with nutcracker pics (I will be using the rest for cupcakes later on).

Christmas in Germany
Decorate a Gingerbread House.
They took turns decorating the gingerbread house and Katie made cookies with the one not working on the house. I like to make my own gingerbread houses, but I bought a gingerbread house kit because I needed to simplify things this year, and that is one place I didn't mind cutting corners. It turns out that the icing including in the kit was too runny, so it was a little frustrating for the boys. If I do this again, I will remember to make up my own icing. They completed a page on the Advent Wreath for their Christmas traditions book.
Snow Playwith Claydough.



  1. What a full week with lots of exploring and learning! I pinned your atmosphere post- that would have been so helpful when we did that lesson. I think we will go back and review it next semester.

    We are still stalled on our history/geography posts. It might be after the new year before we are back to joining the meme. I really enjoyed your geography links this week.

  2. I just love your weeks! I especially like the layers of the atmosphere with cookie mixes. And smarties for math manipulatives look like such fun!! Beautiful Christmas greenery too.

  3. Totally checking out the holiday celebrations around the world link.

    How many were subtracted because of being eaten?

  4. Gosh your weeks always look so amazing Phyllis. I love the Christmas Around the World stuff. Look at those cute little wooden shoes! Kei and I made a Gingerbread house from a kit and it was too runny! Made me crazy. All the Christmas decorations are lovely.

  5. Thanks so much for linking with Collage Friday - you're my first link up ever. :-) I love the gingerbread house decorating. Mostly, I'm struck by how much hands on stuff your boys did throughout the week - a perfect homeschooling portrait, that's for sure!

  6. How wonderful. We are studying Christmas around the world next week.

  7. Looks like you've been up to all kinds of wonderful things!

  8. Such a beautiful week! I think the idea of using the cookie mix jars to show the layers of the atmosphere is a very nifty idea!

  9. I'm going to pick up some cornstarch so we can try out the clay recipe! And thanks for letting me know where you got the soldiers; I'm going to look for them! Enjoy the rest of your week. :)


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