Monday, January 03, 2011

Winter Countdown with the Squirrelings

Happy 5th Anniversary to the Carnival of Homeschooling!

It's never too late to decorate for holidays. Even in a culture that puts up Christmas trees in November and yanks them down on Boxing Day.

Most of our decorations didn't get put up until pretty close to Christmas this year--busy people and a lot of general crafting/schooling/doing chaos that needed to be cleared out before we could think about adding extra things. We didn't get our Nativity scene up until New Year's Day--but since we have only one shepherd and three wise men, what better time to make it the centre of things than the days before Epiphany? And yes, we still have all the other Christmas things up--no point in only having them out for a week.

Since we've started back to school, we also have a Winter Countdown Calendar posted on the kitchen wall. We didn't have an Advent calendar, so we had to count down to something. What are we counting down to? Groundhog Day. Or Candlemas, if you prefer.

Remember that we had three thrifted copies of the Owl Book of Winter Fun?  Solar Handwarmers! Penguins! Footprints in the snow!  All those things that you can do if you have an Ontario backyard full of snow, and homeschoolers to try them out. There's one of the copies peeking out there behind the rummage sale pickings:

Mama Squirrel decided that we needed to do something with those books and also that we needed to have a bit of post-Christmas school fun.  She picked out daily puzzles, pictures to look at, and snow things to try from the books, and wrote them onto enough index cards to last from now until February 2nd (the last activity is a fact page called Groundhog Daze).  On the backs of the index cards are pasted parts of a larger picture.  So:  the cards are posted with Stick-Tac, in order, on a shiny piece of wrapping paper on the kitchen wall.  Each day there are a couple of things for the girls to do in their books, and then the card gets turned around.  By February, we'll see the whole picture, and we'll end with a Wodent Party.

And by that time it won't be quite so dark and cold.


Jennifer in MamaLand said...

Well, thanks to your recommendation, I ordered the Owl book, even though we have an Ontario backyard without ANY snow at the moment... I hate this season and anything that helps me get outdoors with the kids is a Very Good Thing.
Great idea about the countdown. I need something like that for ME - the kids don't seem to care that it's dark and cold all the time.

Mama Squirrel said...

Hope you have fun!

Our snow disappeared too--but it's back today.

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