More snow books

We’re finishing up our winter unit featuring snow books and crafts this week.  I really wasn’t too thrilled with my book selections last week, but this week I’m quite happy with the ones I chose!  Here they are:

Snow by Cynthia Rylant is beautifully written and illustrated.  Seriously, it reads like poetry, but the language is plain enough to appeal to kids.

 

The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett is a retelling of the classic tale of Goldilocks and the three bears, set in the great white North.  Brett is an amazing storyteller and illustrator, which is why our third book this week is another of hers!

The Mitten, also by Jan Brett, is another lovely tale featuring animals and snow.  I may have to do an author study on her in the future, she has so many incredible children’s books on the market!

Next week we’ll start two weeks of Valentine’s Day books and crafts, and after that I’m thinking of doing a unit on fairy tales – Cynthia Rylant has rewritten several that I’ve discovered lately, including Snow White and Hansel & Gretel, and if they’re anything like Snow we’re sure to love them!

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Getting organized

I was completely unmotivated and overwhelmed last week.  It wasn’t just school that had me down, though I wasn’t feeling much inspired by that – we just had so much going on and I didn’t feel like I had any time to relax or get myself back on track!  Tuesday was the first day back for our arts co-op, so Mr. S was excited to see his friends and Little T was slightly less excited about trying something new.  All the moms in the co-op are required to volunteer three or four times a quarter, and I got to do it last week – so instead of having a little downtime while the kids were occupied, I spend the morning shepherding Mr. S’s class (about 12 4-6 yr olds) to their classes and helping the teachers enforce a bit of classroom management.  It was fun, but exhausting!  Then on Wednesday, a church group I belong to had its monthly  meeting, and on Thursday I had arranged for us to visit a local Classical Conversations group to see if it’s something we want to participate in next year.

All three days, we had fun activities, but all three days we were running late and I felt disorganized.  On Tuesday, we didn’t get out of the house early enough to go to 9am Mass with the group before classes; on Wednesday, we were 20 minutes late for the meeting, which is problematic because I’m the group’s secretary and have to take minutes (fortunately, there’s a little extra time built into the schedule for socializing); and on Thursday, I felt rushed and forgot that I was supposed to bring our lunch so we could stay and socialize with the other families after the academic portion of the day ended.

I’m definitely not a morning person, but I hate feeling disorganized even more than I hate getting up early – so I decided it’s time for a change.  The only day we don’t seem to run late is Sunday, and that’s because I teach PREP (Parish Religious Education, for those of you whose churches might call it something different) at 8am, so I know I have to set an alarm and get up before the kids.  I’ve decided to try doing that during the week as well.  I was not excited when the alarm went off at 6am this morning, but it was nice to have time to work out and have a cup of coffee before the kids woke up.

Hopefully I can keep it up, and it will make our schedule feel less hectic going forward!  I’ve always been good at organizing some aspects of our life – for instance, I generally stay at least two weeks ahead when it comes to lesson planning – but I really need to be a better steward of our time.

Back to the grind

After taking four weeks off for the holidays, it’s been a little tough getting back into the routine this week.  Fortunately I had the foresight to do some lesson planning before we went to Florida for Christmas and New Year’s, so at least I didn’t have to do more than print out the craft instructions and make sure I picked up all the books I reserved from the library, and we were good to go!  The kids were excited to get back to school, and I’m rediscovering my enthusiasm too.

Back in December, I decided that after the holidays we’d spend a few weeks talking about winter and reading winter-themed storybooks, many of which are related to snow.  This turned out to be perfect timing, because Sunday night we had the biggest winter storm that Georgia has seen in years – nearly six inches of accumulation!  So in addition to reading snowy books and doing wintry crafts, we’ve been playing in the snow every day.  We even got to build a huge snowman yesterday!  Unfortunately we built him on an incline, so he fell over after an hour, but considering that I grew up  in Miami and DH in Puerto Rico, you can’t fault us for not having the mechanics of snowman construction down pat.

Anyhow, I do want to share the books we’ve been reading this week:

Jan Brett’s books are always well-told stories with beautiful illustrations, and Annie and the Wild Animals is no exception!

 

Kazuno Kohara’s Here Comes Jack Frost is my new winter favorite.  The blue and white illustrations are just gorgeous, and the story is simple but fun – perfect for preschoolers!

 

Snowmen at Night is the weakest of my selections for this week, but it’s still a cute story.  I read it to the kids on Monday as we were sitting outside in the snow, and we’ll read it again tomorrow before we make our snowman craft.

I need to get back in the habit of blogging – I do this mostly for myself, as a record of our homeschooling journey, but I’ve gotten out of the habit of both reading blogs and writing these past few weeks.  Need to reestablish my habits in the New Year!