This week was pretty mellow. We've been taking turns being sick for nearly a month now. First it was colds, then stomach flu, then colds again. Yesterday Little Z was diagnosed with the croup. Hurray. So between, "Mommy, I don't talk so good." and me and Hubs taking turns on the porcelain throne (sorry, TMI) we haven't done a whole lot.
We did have a window of wellness this last weekend though, thank goodness, because I was going insane.
So we went to the Festival of Lights at the Grotto. For those who haven't been, I highly recommend it. Back in the day, my high school choir did an appearance there each year. Most nights here in Portland you can expect wind, cold, sideways down-pouring rain, and generally horribly cold, wet, weather. We happened to pick a night that was DRY and without wind! It was a Christmas miracle!
There are lots of things I like about the Festival, but this year was the first year I took the girls so each thing that we saw made me think, "Wow, this is an excellent learning opportunity." When you walk in, there are stations of lights depicting scenes from the Nativity story with audio narration. You walk a bit more, there's another spot with lights and story. The lights are impressive, but the story is amazing and chokes me up.
And then there are the choirs. The Festival hosts the largest gathering of choral groups during the Christmas season. I'm not sure how many choirs will perform during the course of the Festival, but it's a lot. Looking at the program there are 5-8 choirs that perform nightly and the festival will go on until Christmas Day. It was a great opportunity for little ones to see and experience live music! I know personally, that we probably wouldn't pay for the kids to see a concert that we most likely would have to leave after 20 minutes, but we can certainly sit for 20 minutes and leave a performance if we need to in a venue like this. To round things out, there was also a petting zoo, a display of Nativities from around the world, and a puppet show. We really enjoyed it and I think the girls learned a lot. It was a great intro to the Christmas season!
Our other preschool activities this week were pretty basic. We learned about the letters C and D. We did some letter tracing and name writing practice. We talked about things that start with each letter, and what kind of sounds they make. I checked out a phonics DVD from the library and we watched that. We also watched a Nature episode "My Life as a Turkey". Ziva liked it so much that she's requested to watch it twice - so we watched it again. We spread out some uncooked rice on a cookie sheet and used it to practice writing their names as well as the letters C and D. The girls LOVE "rice time".
We've also got our Advent wreath set up and we're going through a book called Getting Ready for Christmas: A Daily Advent Prayer & Activity Book for the Family. Each page is very colorful, and it has a brief scripture verse along with a prayer and an activity. The activity is usually something open ended like, "Make an angel ornament for the Christmas tree." I'm usually able to take the suggestions and then look online for something simple to do. So far we have printed out a small angel coloring page, colored it, glued it to construction paper with a loop of ribbon between. It took us about 15 minutes. Today the activity was "Make a sheep ornament or draw/color a sheep." I printed out a cute shepherd/sheep coloring page and we colored it. Easy peasy. But it gave us the opportunity to talk about how a shepherd takes care of his sheep and that God is like our Good Shepherd who provides for all of our needs.
My plan for next week:
I printed out the local school district's Preschool Packet. The packet is supposed to supply enough things to do for a month, but we usually find that it will only last that long if we add in a bunch of other stuff! The packet this week goes over the letters E and F, so we'll focus on those letters. We'll continue to do the activities suggested in the Getting Ready for Christmas book. I have about 20 Christmas books checked out from the library, so we'll do a bunch of reading. I also bought everything we need to make birdseed ornaments to use as gifts from the girls to the family members for Christmas. I'm sure we'll also do some baking. Lots of cookies need to be made this month for gifts!
I linked this post to Homeschool Creations Moments to Remember!