Delight-directed Homeschoool Learning in December With CurrClick

December is a hard month for homeschooling in our house. The days leading up to Christmas seem so busy to me and all I really want is to just slow down, bake cookies, and stare at the twinkle lights on my Christmas tree. Not to mention, we’re all starting to feel a little homeschool burnout by now. That’s why I have started Delight-directed Homeschool Learning in December–to get us through the slump, take a curriculum “break” without really taking a break, and add a little fun to our days. Oh, we’re still doing the basics like math, writing, and reading, but we’re taking a break from the more intense unit studies for a little while to catch our breath and enjoy the holiday season.

One easy way I incorporate delight-directed learning for multiple kids is by turning to CurrClick.com. CurrClick has thousands of resources with the click of a button. You can purchase their products for relatively cheap, and most importantly, you can download and print them instantly. CurrClick makes delight-directed learning a cinch.

CurrClick

Delight-directed Homeschool Learning in December

To start with, I sat down and searched the CurrClick website for things I thought the kids would enjoy. With thousands of resources, it can get a little overwhelming to scroll through lapbooks and unit studies with kids looking over my shoulder. Keeping the kids’ interests in mind, I searched for things that would still meet some of the current learning needs for each child. Then, I let the kids pick what they would like to do out of those things. So, in a way, I guided their choices a little. I’m sneaky like that.

So what did my kids pick?

Jonah (7 yrs old) picked the Winter Brick Activities and More (he’s a a bit Lego obsessed)
Winter Brick Activities and More Lily (5 yrs old) picked the Frozen Lapbook , Frozen Copywork, and the Frozen Activity Book (she’s a bit Frozen obsessed)

Frozen Lapbook

Frozen Copywork

frozen activity book

The most important thing? It worked! The kids are enjoying themselves, I get a break from the teacher intensive curriculum, and we can still enjoy all of our favorite holiday traditions during the month of December.

12 Days Of Christmas Homeschool Freebies and Resources

12 Days of Christmas Homeschool Freebies & Resources from CurrClick.com

Here’s little more incentive to help you get to know CurrClick.com! Along with some of my blogging friends, I am partnering with CurrClick to offer the 12 Days of Christmas Homeschool Freebies and Resources.

From December 12 – December 14, 2014 you can download a Holiday Music Unit Study for FREE with code CC12days12.

Plus, we’re hosting a giveaway! Enter below to win one of 12 $20 gift cards to CurrClick!

CurrClick Giveaway

 

CurrClick end of the year sale

Rainbow Fish Ornament

The Rainbow Fish is a simple story about a beautiful fish who learns to make friends by sharing his most prized possessions–his sparkly scales. While Rainbow Fish starts out prideful, he learns a lesson in giving and friendship. It’s one of my favorite books for talking about how to be a good friend and sharing. The Rainbow Fish isn’t a Christmas book, however, we were inspired to make a Rainbow Fish Ornament to remind us to give freely and as a kid-made gift for little friends. {This post contains affiliate links.}

The Rainbow Fish book inspired Kid-made ornament #kidmadeornaments #kidsmadechristmas

Rainbow Fish Ornament Supplies

  • Perler Beads {affiliate}–Perler beads are very small beads that are placed on small pegboards. After making a design, you use an iron to melt the beads and fuse the design together. My kids are addicted to these “melty beads”.
  • Perler Bead Fish Pegboard {affiliate}
  • Perler Bead Ironing Paper (comes in the Perler Bead kit)
  • Iron {affiliate}
  • Googly Eye {affiliate}
  • Hot Glue Gun {affiliate}
  • Small, shiny rhinestone or sequin {affiliate}

How to Make a Rainbow Fish Ornament

  1. Using the fish shaped pegboard, place the perler beads in your desired pattern. We tried to mimic the Rainbow Fish illustrations with the light blue face and the blue, green and purple scales, but the great part about this project is that kids get to fill up the pegboard however they want.
    Perler Bead Rainbow Fish inspired ornament
    Rainbow Fish Inspired Perler Bead Ornament
  2. Once the pegboard is full of beads, very carefully transfer the pegboard to a towel. Place the ironing paper on top of the beads and iron with a medium iron setting until the beads are melted and fused together. {Please Note: This is a grown-up job! You will see my child’s hand on the iron in the photo below, but the iron was not plugged in and was only for the tutorial photo.}
    Rainbow Fish Perler Bead Ornament
    perler bead ornament inspired by The Rainbow Fish children's book
  3. Allow to cool completely. Then, peel the ironing paper off the top.
    perler bead fish ornament
  4. Remove the cooled perler bead shape from the pegboard.
    perler bead fish
  5. Hot glue the googly eye and the small rhinestone on the fish. Poke an ornament hanger through the top of the ornament (what I did) or you can hot glue a piece of ribbon to the back.
    rainbow fish perler bead ornament
    rainbow fish inspired perler beads
  6. Hang on the tree or give as a gift to a friend!
    Rainbow Fish Ornament made from perler beads
    Rainbow Fish Ornament gift for a friend

70+ Kid-Made Ornaments Inspired By Children’s Books

A bunch of my blogging friends have gotten together to make kid-book inspired ornaments and I bet your favorite book is in the list!  It’s a 10 day long party of gorgeous kid-made art and Melissa over at Mama Miss is hosting the big party for us.  So go on over and check it out.

10 Days of a Kid-Made Christmas featuring 70+ ornaments inspired by children's books

Here are the rest of today’s Kid-Made Ornament bloggers, so stop on by and start pinning:

Stained Glass Gingerbread Man Ornament | The Educators’ Spin On It

 Sugar Plum Fairies Ornament | Made with Happy

Legend of the Pointsettia Ornament| Growing Book by Book

Stickman Ornament | One Time Through

Russell’s Christmas Magic Ornament | Adventures of Adam

Want to see them all in one place? Check out the 10 Days of Kid-Made Christmas page!

5 Festive Christmas Treats

Let me be honest, one of my favorite parts of December are the festive Christmas treats and sweets. Some of my family’s deepest traditions include certain foods, or the experience of making them together. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve passed these traditions on to my kids, too. While we have our favorites, we are always open to making new fun treats. As I was working on this post, my youngest spied the reindeer gingerbread cookies below, and requested they be added to our holiday baking list. So, grab a little helper and head to the kitchen to enjoy these 5 Festive Christmas Treats!

5 Festive Christmas Treats

5 Festive Christmas Treats

Reindeer Gingerbread Cookies | Your Kids OT

Christmas Pops | Cutting Tiny Bites

Caribou Chocolate Donuts | Christianity Cove 

Chocolate Raspberry Christmas Bars | Path Through the Narrow Gate

Pretty Christmas Sugar Cookies | My Sweet Mission

Good Tips Tuesday LinkUp Party

Good Tips Tuesday 1/6 | Golden Reflections Blog

We want this to be a resource for you to find Good Tips for your life, home, kids and everything in between! So what kinds of posts are you able to link up now? Check out this awesome list!

  • Recipes & Cooking Tips
  • Homemaking Tips
  • Parenting Tips
  • Kids crafts & Activity Tips

Your hosts each week are:

Golden Reflections Blog

Simply Sherryl

A Bird And A Bean

Happy Brown House

A Diligent Heart

The Gracious Wife

Good Tips Tuesday

Now let’s get to today’s Good Tips Tuesday party!

  • Link up your recipe/cooking, homemaking, parenting, and kids craft/activity tips below (4 per person please)
  • Please link directly to your post, not to your main blog page. All links that do not follow this will be deleted.
  • Visit other posts in the party, comment, tweet, pin and let them know you came from GTTuesday!
  • We will feature 4 posts each week, picked via random.org. We will each be picking our favorite post from the week and pinning all of the featured posts and favorite posts to the GTTuesday Pinterest Board!

Follow Heather @ Golden Reflections Blog’s board Good Tips Tuesday #GTTuesday on Pinterest.

Disclosures:

  • By linking up and including a picture, you agree to allow Golden Reflections Blog, Simply Sherryl, A Bird And A Bean, & Happy Brown House, A Diligent Heart, and The Gracious Wife to use your pictures and links in future featured post/photo collage like this one. Your photo may also be used for promotion on all social media outlets of all the before mentioned blogs with the corresponding link # given of your entry.
  • If you include your e-mail in the link up form below you will be added to a weekly e-mail reminder when the link party goes live. Your e-mail will not to added to any other lists or given out, please see our privacy policy for details.

We can’t wait to see all the amazing posts you will be linking up this week!

Blessings,

Heather, Sherryl, Erin, Sara, Marlene, & Michelle

 Loading InLinkz ...

4 Christmas Countdown Ideas

Oh, December, how did you get here so fast? It’s time to start the “official” Christmas countdown, which my kids are happy about since they’ve been counting down since Halloween. Here are 4 Christmas Countdown Ideas that were included in last week’s link-up.

4 Christmas Countdowns

Toilet Paper Roll Advent Calendar by Dabbling Momma

Elf on the Shelf Reads Books! by Growing Book by Book

Christmas Countdown with Kids by Planet Smarty

Christmas Activity Jar by Stir the Wonder

Want to know which Christmas countdown we do? We love our yearly tradition of Truth in the Tinsel!

truthinthetinsel_300-250

Good Tips Tuesday LinkUp Party

Good Tips Tuesday 1/6 | Golden Reflections Blog

We want this to be a resource for you to find Good Tips for your life, home, kids and everything in between! So what kinds of posts are you able to link up now? Check out this awesome list!

  • Recipes & Cooking Tips
  • Homemaking Tips
  • Parenting Tips
  • Kids crafts & Activity Tips

Your hosts each week are:

Golden Reflections Blog

Simply Sherryl

A Bird And A Bean

Happy Brown House

A Diligent Heart

The Gracious Wife

Good Tips Tuesday

Now let’s get to today’s Good Tips Tuesday party!

  • Link up your recipe/cooking, homemaking, parenting, and kids craft/activity tips below (4 per person please)
  • Please link directly to your post, not to your main blog page. All links that do not follow this will be deleted.
  • Visit other posts in the party, comment, tweet, pin and let them know you came from GTTuesday!
  • We will feature 4 posts each week, picked via random.org. We will each be picking our favorite post from the week and pinning all of the featured posts and favorite posts to the GTTuesday Pinterest Board!

Follow Heather @ Golden Reflections Blog’s board Good Tips Tuesday #GTTuesday on Pinterest.

Disclosures:

  • By linking up and including a picture, you agree to allow Golden Reflections Blog, Simply Sherryl, A Bird And A Bean, & Happy Brown House, A Diligent Heart, and The Gracious Wife to use your pictures and links in future featured post/photo collage like this one. Your photo may also be used for promotion on all social media outlets of all the before mentioned blogs with the corresponding link # given of your entry.
  • If you include your e-mail in the link up form below you will be added to a weekly e-mail reminder when the link party goes live. Your e-mail will not to added to any other lists or given out, please see our privacy policy for details.

We can’t wait to see all the amazing posts you will be linking up this week!

Blessings,

Heather, Sherryl, Erin, Sara, Marlene, & Michelle

 Loading InLinkz ...

Nature Walk Bag

One component of our homeschooling is nature walks. We get outside, enjoy fresh air, and learn about the world around us. We often have several things we need to carry with us for our nature walk time. Instead of packing and unpacking a bag every week, I set up a Nature Walk Bag with some of our important items we need most often. This simple act of organizing our nature walk materials has saved my sanity! We have everything read to grab and go.

Nature Walk Bag for little scientists on the go

What’s in our Nature Walk Bag?

Science Journal–we use this to write or draw things we saw on our nature walks. It may be making a list of the bugs we saw, sketching an interesting flower, or doing a bark rubbing, but we always try to journal about our time outside. The kids also record our science experiments in this journal. For example, the picture below shows the journal page from my Second Grader after Testing for Air Science Experiment.

science journal

Writing Utensils–I put a few pencils and colored pencils in a small pencil bag. I chose colored pencils so I wouldn’t have to worry about melting crayons if I left it in the van.

Binoculars–Part of the reason we have binoculars is because my oldest thinks he needs them for an exploring adventure, but we normally use the binoculars to look at birds or animals from a distance…of course, that depends on how quiet the kids can be before scaring them off.

Bug Catching Kit–My boys love bugs. It is easier to observe insects when you can catch them and get a closer look. We always release them into the wild so they can go about their business…unless the three year old stomps on them.

Magnifying Glasses–Once again, the boys turn into little explorers when they can “play the part” with a special tool. We use these to look at bugs, tree bark, flower parts, and the veins of a leaf.

magnifying glass

Kid Friendly Field Guide–By having a field guide in our bag, we can look up birds, plants, and more. Learning how to use a reference text like this to find information is a skill everyone should have.

We use and love the Fun With Nature Take-Along Guide. It is a compilation of 7 books: Caterpillars, Bugs and Butterflies; Frogs, Toads and Turtles; Snakes, Salamanders and Lizards; Rabbits, Squirrels and Chipmunks; Tracks, Scats and Signs; and Trees, Leaves and Bark.

We also use More Fun With Nature Take Along Guide. It is a compilation of five other Take-Along Guides. It includes: Berries, Nuts and Seeds; Birds, Nests and Eggs; Rocks, Fossils and Arrowheads; Seashells, Crabs and Sea Stars; and Wildflowers, Blooms and Blossoms.

Note: Depending on what we are studying, I choose one of these books. I don’t want to be carrying a heavy bag for long! And let’s face it…mommas end up carrying these sort of things most of the time.

Nature I-Spy Cards–I printed the Nature I-spy Cards from Nature Study Printables for Toddlers and Preschoolers written by friend Maureen over at Spell Outloud. I placed them on rings so they wouldn’t get lost. Little Brother likes these the most.

nature walk

 Need more Nature Study ideas?

Creative-Nature-Walks-3D-Covers-2

Creative Nature Walks has over 100 nature walk ideas that are easy to do! If I didn’t have this ebook and so many of Cindy’s wise words, I would seriously wander around with the kids looking at the same things every week. Cindy has some fantastic ideas packed in this resource. If you are new to nature walks or just need a fresh idea, this is for you. Cindy is my go-to person for Nature Study. She has a ton of nature study resources available!

Follow Sara @ Happy Brown House’s board Easy Science Activities on Pinterest.

4 Fall Food Recipes

Fall is pretty much my favorite: just-right-weather, the colorful leaves, and the food. Definitely the food. I find it hard to resist cinnamon, apples, pumpkins, and soup. Last week’s Good Tips Tuesday had some great fall food recipes in the link-up. This week we’re featuring 4 Fall Food Recipes!

4 Fall Food Recipes

Caramel Apple Delight | Sunshine and Hurricanes

Creamy Spicy Pumpkin Soup | My Sweet Mission

15 Kid Friendly Autumn Recipes | Christian Montessori Network

Easy Caramel Apples | My Sweet Homeschool

Now, let’s get to this week’s party!

Good Tips Tuesday 1/6 | Golden Reflections Blog.

We want this to be a resource for you to find Good Tips for your life, home, kids and everything in between! So what kinds of posts are you able to link up now? Check out this awesome list!

  • Recipes & Cooking Tips
  • Homemaking Tips
  • Parenting Tips
  • Kids crafts & Activity Tips

Your hosts each week are:

Golden Reflections Blog

Simply Sherryl

A Bird And A Bean

Happy Brown House

Were you featured? Grab the button!

Happy Brown House

Now let’s get to today’s Good Tips Tuesday party!

  • Link up your recipe/cooking, homemaking, parenting, and kids craft/activity tips below (4 per person please)
  • Please link directly to your post, not to your main blog page. All links that do not follow this will be deleted.
  • Visit other posts in the party, comment, tweet, pin and let them know you came from GTTuesday!
  • We will feature 4 posts each week, picked via random.org. We will each be picking our favorite post from the week and pinning all of the featured posts and favorite posts to the GTTuesday Pinterest Board!

Follow Heather @ Golden Reflections Blog’s board Good Tips Tuesday #GTTuesday on Pinterest.

Disclosures:

  • By linking up and including a picture, you agree to allow Golden Reflections Blog, Simply Sherryl, A Bird And A Bean, & Happy Brown House to use your pictures and links in future featured post/photo collage like this one. Your photo may also be used for promotion on all social media outlets of all the before mentioned blogs with the corresponding link # given of your entry.
  • If you include your e-mail in the link up form below you will be added to a weekly e-mail reminder when the link party goes live. Your e-mail will not to added to any other lists or given out, please see our privacy policy for details.

We can’t wait to see all the amazing posts you will be linking up this week!

Blessings,

Heather, Sherryl, Erin & Sara

 Loading InLinkz ...

Raking Leaves Pretend Play

One of our favorite children’s books to read in Autumn is Fall Leaves Fall! It’s a colorful little book about two brothers enjoying leaves in the fall and all of their Autumn adventures–raking leaves, jumping in leaf piles, making leaf art, and more. As we were reading, Asher had some questions about what the characters were doing with the leaves. To help give Asher a better understanding of raking leaves, I set up a pretend play activity for him.

Raking Leaves Pretend Play and gross motor activity inspired by the book, Fall Leaves Fall by Zoe Hall.

Using a packet of fake leaves from the Dollar Tree and a kid’s toy rake, Asher (and the big kids) pretended to rake leaves in our living room. When the leaves were all raked into a pile, he counted to three and jumped onto the pile of leaves. While the sounds and smells of raking leaves were missing, Asher did get a chance to experience the gross motor movements involved in raking a pile of leaves.

Raking leaves is a good activity to help kids in motor planning and proprioception. While watching Asher rake, his movements looked awkward to me. We will continue this activity a few more times to practice and see if his movements become more fluid and less robotic.

Raking Leaves pretend play and gross motor activity

Raking Leaves Pretend Play Materials

We own and love the Toysmith Kid’s Metal Leaf Rake With Hardwood Handle. Since we love to add a book to most of our activities, we used Fall Leaves Fall! as our inspiration story.

A Book & a Big Idea

Want more Autumn and Thanksgiving activities inspired by kid’s books? A group of bloggers at iHomeschool Network are sharing their activities for their favorite Fall books today. Go see the rest of the great ideas at the Book & a Big Idea Blog Hop!

A Book & a Big Idea link-up from iHomeschool Network