Week in Review - HOD MtMM - Unit 17

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Here's where we finally took a winter break! Instead of taking the week before Christmas off, we are taking the week after. That week is usually anything less than restful. I thought the boys would enjoy some time to enjoy their gifts. I know some folks take 2 weeks off at Christmas. Instead we will take another break coming up in February. I'm trying to take more regular breaks instead of ending so soon like we did last year.

This is my mom's idea of Christmas chocolate. Ha! She was more excited to see my reaction than to see the kids' faces. I have never been able to stop her from being generous. I just let her now. Someday I'm sure I'll be the same kind of Grandma.

Week in Review - HOD CtC - Unit 17

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Happy winter! This month has been slow and full all at the same time. It's been nice having a break from afternoon classes, but at the same time we have also spent more time with family and friends. I would rather the latter any day. We made it through Christmas, and we are thoroughly enjoying some time off. Phew.

Last week we learned about the Persian empire through the eyes of Queen Esther. We have been reading the Book of Esther for storytime. Every year at Purim many Jewish people celebrate the salvation of the Jews during Esther's time. Hamantashen cookies or Haman's Ears are a traditional Jewish treat eaten during Purim. We love these kinds of history projects!

Week in Review - HOD MtMM - Unit 16

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

After WWI America enjoyed a time of prosperity and peace. This week we learned about what was to come after the roaring twenties. After The Stock Market Crash of 1929, The Great Depression followed. We spent some time this week hearing first hand accounts of that period from those who lived in the dust bowl. This was such a sad time in American history.

The Golden Gate Bridge was built in San Francisco during the Great Depression. San Francisco is my home town, so it was fun for me to see this picture. Aedan followed the instructions in Draw and Write Through History to complete the drawing.

Week in Review - HOD CtC - Unit 16

Monday, December 19, 2016

We got our first snow this week. It's been nice having a really long fall. I can handle the snow if it won't last for months on end. The boys enjoyed being outside all bundled up. There were plenty of hot drinks and even a few snow angels.

Week in Review - HOD MtMM - Unit 15

Saturday, December 17, 2016

We are nearing the halfway mark here at Monarch Room. We have made a few changes lately that have made our days more enjoyable. I think this has been one of the most enjoyable history periods we have done. Maybe that's just me talking though. I'm fascinated by all we are learning this year, and hopefully Aedan catches a little of that enthusiasm.

Week in Review - HOD CtC - Unit 15

Friday, December 16, 2016

Brrr....It's getting cold here in the Midwest! This is always my favorite time of the school year. I feel less guilty staying home when the fireplace is lit and the day is too cold to venture out. We have a few more weeks before we will take some time off, but until then we are doing our best to make the best of our days.

One of the things I love so much about Heart of Dakota is how it is so centered around Christ. There is always so much Biblical insight. It's been so sweet seeing Silas learn Bible history this year. We have had so many great conversations. 

Every day Silas reads a portion of scripture. The guide gives some direction on how to pray. For some this feels forced, but I remember what it feels like to be a new Christian. I had no idea how to pray. Having a model really helped me as a new believer. Each day our HOD guide will direct the kids to pray in the A.C.T.S. way. This week's project was to make a prayer box to store his prayers.

Another Raddish Cooking Adventure - Apple Pie

Monday, December 12, 2016

Ok you guys...Raddish is just too fun! We still had one recipe from last month's box that we needed to make. We had a quiet Saturday which was the perfect opportunity for pie making. We got an invitation to eat at our family's house that night, so we wanted to surprise them with a special treat. A pie in the hand is an open door to the heart and an open door to any home in my opinion. 

Truth be told I'm not really awesome at making pies. My mom is a fantastic pie maker. I once tried to make a lemon meringue pie for my dad and he thought it was really weird. To my credit it was completely from scratch. He didn't like the lemon zest, but my pie self esteem still suffers. I can make a mean birthday cake, tiramisu and cheesecake, but pies have never been in my wheelhouse - at least not until now.

Week in Review - HOD CtC - Unit 14

Friday, December 9, 2016

Have you ever just stumbled upon something you knew would truly make the kind of change you needed that very moment? I'm really happy with many of the choices we made for this year, but language arts was starting to feel a little soggy. When things are going well there is excitement, joy, and far less push-back. A few years ago I discovered Brave Writer. I remember reading through The Writer's Jungle and fell completely head over heels with the philosophy. The problem was I wasn't really brave enough just yet to trust the process.

I pulled out my Brave Writer resources and decided we need a change for how we were approaching writing. We set aside the more formal writing and are now enjoying freewriting and other really fun writing projects. My kids actually have loved this approach. I'm finding my kids writing in their free time. They love sharing their stories with each other and with us. It has brought me such joy to see them so excited about a subject that seemed like drudgery so often. Truly. I'm so grateful.

I have also been regularly watching Julie from Brave Writer's A Gracious Space daily readings on Facebook. I plan to write a whole big gushing post about how all of this has revolutionized so much of how I was thinking abut school, being a teacher and being a mom for that matter. I've learned so much. I'm still processing it all, but I really want to share it with out when I can more adequately communicate how I've been feeling.

Week in Review - HOD MtMM - Unit 14

Thursday, December 8, 2016

We made it through the fall schedule commitments and have been really enjoying the slower pace of these past few weeks. When we have time in our week I love to make some of our activities a little more fun than if we had to rush through them. I'm so thankful to not be rushing out of the house 2-3 days a week. School is far more enjoyable on these days we get to take our time.

In history we learned about education, entertainment, prohibition, Stalin and Mary McLeod Bethune. We learned that a popular thing to do during this period was to have ice cream socials.

Handmade Gift Ideas and Holiday Recipes {Giveaway}

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Happy December everyone! Some of you that follow Monarch Room know that we love our essential oils. We use them for about everything you can think of under the sun. We keep our immune systems ship-shape, make our own personal care products, and also scent our home with these amazing oils.  As we head into the holiday season I wanted to share some of the ways we use them this time of year and also share a few handmade holiday gift ideas. There are so many people in our family that often we draw names for gift giving. It's still fun for me to make some handmade gifts even though we aren't officially supposed to buy gifts for the adults in the family. Here are a few of the things I'm sharing with my loved ones this year. Keep an eye out for a giveaway at the end!

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