Christmas Traditions

 I had good intentions to post this on or before December 1st, but somehow time got away from me and I am writing it a week later than planned. Christmas, without a doubt, is my favorite holiday. We start decorating the first week of November, and spend most of December creating fun Christmas crafts and treats. This is also the perfect time of year to enjoy family traditions.

What are our Christmas traditions?

Back in 2011 when I began homeschooling we started a Christmas book countdown (which is apparently known as “Bookvent” on Instagram). I wrap 24 Christmas or winter themed books, and starting on December 1st we open one a day. Even though my children are getting older, Julia and Jack are both excited for this tradition.

We also have an “Elf on the Shelf”, but ours is a little bit different… Our elf is Christopher Pop-In-KinsHe is super cute, and Jack just loves searching for him every morning. Even if Christopher does get revenge when the kiddos are a little sassy like last year (bahaha)!

Elf on the Shelf Causing Trouble

So what are we reading for our 2017 Christmas “Bookvent” ?

Christmas Traditions: Bookvent

Disclosure: “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”

This year I wrapped up the following books:

  1. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
  2. The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll
  3. The Golden Christmas Treasury: 25 Stories, Poems, and Carols by Rick Bunsen
  4. A Silly Snowy Day by Michael Coleman
  5. Frozen Noses by Jan Carr
  6. Clifford’s First Snow Day by Norman Bridwell
  7. Little Einsteins: Christmas Wish by Marcy Kelman
  8. The Littles Have a Merry Christmas by John Peterson
  9. The Nutcracker adapted by Bethany Snyder
  10. What Santa Can’t Do by Douglas Wood
  11. Jingle Bells by Darcy May
  12. There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Bell! by Lucille Colandro
  13. Mickey’s Christmas Carol by Ron Dias
  14. Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
  15. A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz
  16. The Littlest Christmas Tree by Janie Jasin
  17. Santa’s Noisy Night by Julie Sykes
  18. The Christmas Carol retold by Mark Taylor
  19. Clifford’s Christmas by Norman Bridwell
  20. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer  by Rick Bunsen
  21. If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff
  22. A Chipmunk Christmaby Janice Karman
  23. The Grinch: The Care and Feeding of a Grinch by Christopher Moroney
  24. Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini

Today Jack read this book by himself!

BookVent Christmas Tradition: What Santa Can't Do

If you have been following me on our homeschool journey, you know that Jack REALLY struggles with reading. Tonight he decided he was going to read our book to me since I was feeling a little sad about Julia leaving for the next four days to go to Detroit with her Papa… He struggled through a few words, but he did it! I am so incredibly proud of this boy. Although it has been so hard watching him struggle so much with reading and writing, nights like tonight make up for it. Seeing his confidence growing and the look of pure excitement when he finished just melted my heart.

This year we are also incorporating Christmas themed tea times…

So far we have had a Grinch and a Reindeer theme. Don’t forget to check back next week to see what theme we chose for Tea Time Tuesday.

What are your Christmas traditions?

I would love to know what specials traditions you and your family celebrate each year. Comment below!

 

 

October Homeschool Reading Wrap Up | 2017

Welcome back to Homework and Horseplay!

Today I  am sharing our October Homeschool Reading Wrap Up. This post is more than a little late, but life has been a bit crazy lately. I run a rental company (This makes me sound way  more “with it” than I am… We have one rental home down in NC that I manage.), and we have some serious issues happening with a HVAC project gone wrong. On top of that lovely gem of a mess, our house is under attack by all the germs. So instead of sniffing and coughing my way through a video, I am just doing a blog update this time around.

 

Here are my October Homeschool Reading Wrap Up Highlights…

This year we are using Level 100, Level 7, and Level 3 from BookShark. I have split our books up by level, so it is easy to follow. In this family we like to #KeepItReal, so I have tried to share all the little comments my children made after reading the books.

Level 100

October Reading Wrap Up BookShark Level 100

  1. Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann
    Kenten-2 star
    Roxanne-No rating 
    {Level 100 is designed for the student to do most of the work on their own, so I will not having ratings for some of this level’s books unless I read them prior to this program.}
  2. History of U.S. (Volume 1) by Joy Hakim
    Kenten-1 star
    {This book is a “baby” book. It is more Jack’s level than mine.}
  3. Amos Fortune by Elizabeth Yates
    Kenten-5 star
    Roxanne-5 star

Level 7

October Reading Wrap Up BookShark Level 7

  1. The King’s Fifth by Scott O’Dell
    Julia-1 star
    {This book is well written, but I did not enjoy the story.}
    Roxanne-3 star
    {This was supposed to be a reader. Julia disliked it so much that I took over the reading, and read aloud after chapter 3.}
  2. Robotics by Kathy Ceceri
    Julia-2 star
    Roxanne-3 star
    {There is a lot of great information in this book, but we did not love any of the labs.}
  3. Master Cornhill by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
    Julia-4 star
    Roxanne-4 star

Level 3

October Reading Wrap Up BookShark Level 3

  1. Walk the World’s Rim by Betty Baker
    Jack-3 star
    Roxanne-3 star
  2. A Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla
    Jack-5 star
    Roxanne-4 star
    {Jack absolutely loved this book! He asked to read ahead almost every day.}
  3. Pocahontas and the Strangers by Clyde Robert Bulla
    Jack-5 star
    Roxanne-4 star
    {This was another hit! We finished this book weeks ahead of the schedule.}
  4. The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
    Jack-4.5 star
    Roxanne-5 star
    {This was a great conversation starter. Jack and I discussed so many things about the way people lived “back in the day”, and we finished way ahead of schedule for this book as well.}

Final Thoughts…

Overall I feel as though we had a good reading month! It was definitely a rocky start to this program for Julia since she disliked one of the first books she had to read, but we powered through. She is obsessed with the new book she is reading, so we have found our groove.

I am really happy with our curriculum selections this year. I have not seen Kenten this excited about reading for years, and Jack obviously loves his book selections as well seeing as we are weeks ahead in his reading!

Thank you for joining us for our October Homeschool Reading Wrap Up!

If you are interested in the other books we will be reading this year, head over to my curriculum page. You can find all the details there. 

What did you read this month? I would love to follow along on your reading journey. 

 

 

September 2017 Book Haul

Want to see my September 2017 book haul?

As you may have guessed by now I am a bibliophile… I am constantly adding to our home library. I have a feeling that before long I will need to purchase more bookshelves. Is it considered hoarding if its only a big, beautiful collection of books? My September 2017 book haul is a total graphic novel take over. Check out my video below to get an peak inside some of our new books.

Do you have a September 2017 book haul to share?

I would love to see the books all of you have added to your home libraries this month. Comment below or on my channel to share your haul!

If you would like to purchase some of these graphic novels check out our 2017-2018 Homeschool Plan. I shared links to all of the books I shared today, plus a few others.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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What We Are Reading: September 2017

What are you reading in September 2017?

As you can imagine with three separate BookShark levels we do a lot of reading in our home. Not only do I love reading, but I enjoy hearing what others are reading and getting book recommendations. In my video below you can see exactly what books we are reading in September 2017 with our curriculum, plus a few personal selections. We have a bit to go before we finish all of our books, but it has been a great reading month for the Raiche clan.

Do you want to purchase some of these books for your home library?

I have linked all of the books we are reading in September 2017 below.
Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Thank you for watching!

I would love to hear what all of you are reading in September 2017. Comment below or on my channel.

Want a preview of what we will be reading this year? Check out our 5th, 7th, and 9th grade curriculum selections for the full lists.

Unconventional Book Choices

Do you still do reading time with your older children?

Even though all my children have hit the preteen or teenage years, I still read outloud to them daily during our school day. When they were younger I tried to stick with just the classics, but this year I decided to branch out more with unconventional book choices since my oldest son was not happy with a lot of our previous selections. Right before starting our two week mini summer break we finished the Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children trilogy.

This trilogy was a far different selection for our reading time, but my children LOVED it. Some of the language and content may be off-putting for some, but we try to expose our children to all different types of materials (within reason). They all know that just because you hear something it doesn’t mean you have to repeat it. I am so happy that we branched out and tried something completely new. It has been a long time since I have seen my oldest son so engaged in a story. His interest was more than enough reason for me to look past some of the language, and I plan to find some more exciting selections to use this summer before we start our next curriculum packages.

Do you use unconventional book selections for your reading time?