Friday, November 20, 2009


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Christmas!! I love the spirit of christmas, I love making my house look as trashy as possible with as many lights as possible, I love christmas music and I love the celebration of Jesus' birth!!
2 years ago I started learning about advent and how people celebrated it and what it menat and was all about. Along this journey I was told about these books below and we absolutely love them!! In each book you follow along with each of these kids on their journey in the time of Jesus' birth. They are amazing stories rich with history and bible truths that will enhance your christmas in so many ways! Go here to read more about each of the books.
You read a chapter of the story each night of advent and at the end of each chapter are scriptures and more details of the truths in each chapter. Last year we read Jotham's Journey every night as family devotions for advent and the boys loved it. This year we will read Bartholomew's Passage and next year we will read Tabitha's Travels. If we haven't found something else we like better - we will start all over again and keep rereading them year after year!

This an out of print book that was shared with me by another family and it is another one that I just LOVE! We will be using this book along with some other crafty ideas for school during December. This book has 28 devotions for advent PLUS 12 more devotions for the 12 day christmas season starting on christmas day. Each devotion has a meditation, a prayer, bible references, some of them have book suggestions and song verses to sing or just read. I just love the way this book is written - it is short and powerful and easy to read and understand and full of info!!!

Last year I was unable to find this book but this year i found it on ebay! L. Schroeder is the author if you want to look for it!
I spent some time this summer and the past 2 months going thru a bunch of advent books I had picked up over the past 2 years looking for ideas on how to celebrate advent! From them - I took the ideas I really liked and want to implement this year into our school day and advent celebration. I will be typing this up in the next day or so - since we will be starting to study christmas and advent in a week or so - and i will be happy to share it with you all once I do!!
I would love to hear what you do to celebrate christmas and advent????

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Art Games

I saw an art 'Go Fish' game in art class at coop and I wanted one. I came home and started searching for one on the internet. These are the only ones I could find and they were about $10 a set.

I didn't want to nor could I afford to buy them so......I made my own!

As I began to make them i realized I would be much happier this way because I could do it by artist not by time period or type of art. We are studying Winslow Homer this semester so I did
him first and then I did Monet and Van Gogh for the rest of the year.
Doing art Charlotte style means we will study the same artist for 12 weeks. It will have been longer for Homer since I was working for htis first part of the year but we will get 2 artists in after christmas till the end of the year!
I found pics of the works by Homer I liked and thought the boys would like. I right clicked ont he pic and saved each one to my pics file. I then printed 2 of each picture in a wallet size. I chose 12 pictures total. I put them on an index card, labeled each picture with the artists name and title of the art piece and then laminated them. I did cut down the index card just a little and I tried my best to make them all the exact size so you could hold them for a game of 'Go fish'.
We now have a set of Homer, set of Monet and a set of Van Gogh cards that we can play 'Go Fish' or 'Matching' with!!
After we finish this year they should be able to mix up the artists and play with them like that too!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

the New School Room

Last Spring I posted about our School Room and since then I have rearranged again and turned what was our living Room into our School Room. It is right off the kitchen(the old school room) and so all the bookshelves that are along the back wall in the kitchen are still there. I love the look of them and so it will be awhile before I have any thoughts of moving them!

This is what the room looks like when you look in thru the kitchen. The table is not there anymore - it took up too much space and we still do our work at the kitchen table so it is a nice open space the boys are using to build, color and leave their toys all over the place!!
The desktop got moved into this room too. It is nice that it is not in the same room as the tv now. The boys would play games and watch tv at the same time and it made me crazy!

This is our school discipline system. I have used this from the beginning(2 years ago)with the boys and it is only for school times. I got it off the internet or out of a magazine somewhere and I do not remember where so I am sorry i can't guide you to the original idea.
Each boy has an envelope on the wall with all 5 of their cards in it. They start out each day with a Blue card.
Blue - Good Day
Yellow - Caution
Green - Extra Chore
Pink - loose Screen
Black - go to bed early
This system has worked so well for us. It is clear what the consequences are and it is so easy for me to use! They have never gotten to pink and only to green a time or two. It is usually enough to just get yellow and they are good! The extra chore is something gross or time consuming - cleaning all the cabinet doors is my favorite right now!

The inside of the doorway has a bookshelf on either side of it. The alphabet cards are sticky tacked to the inside of the doorway(since it doesn't have an actual door). On the wall I have the calendar and the Family Prayer stuff tacked up. Their is usually a picture of the family members we are praying for where the black is and around it are verses about prayer.
Above that I have posted our Family Rules!
This space has been working really well for us and my hubby is so very happy that the kitchen table is no longer covered in books and projects when we sit down to eat!!!