The past year has seen many changes and challenges for our family and our homeschool. We found ourselves uprooted from the hustle and bustle of city life, and planted firmly on my sister's farm in Tennessee. Adjusting to the ebb and flow of this new life has been both overwhelming and wonderful. We've found that the seasons of homeschool, much like our lives, can transition and shift. So, with this New Year and new homeschool season upon us I am focused on being thankful, making more meaningful connections, and making memories with our children. What better way to bond with our kids than with brownies, books and games in the New Year!
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I had an epiphany earlier this week while enjoying the first brownie batter of the New Year. First, the batter was delicious and the spoon was almost the size of my head! Second, I Love Brownies. No really! I do, and you know what? If I am happier cleaning the kitchen while eating a brownie, then would it not follow that our son, for example because writing is his least favorite subject, would find writing more delightful with a brownie? Julie Bogart, from Brave Writer always talks about making things lovely and enjoyable! It's not bribery; it's about making the task more preferable. Why not create a pleasurable culture around writing that includes invisible pens, journals, fantastical stories and brownies? This is one of the reasons I love Brave Writer! It's what we did for poetry and now the children love poetry tea time! This is just one reason why brownies are such a fantastic idea in the New Year and who knows what shenanigans we'll get into when brownies are involved!
I love building our family culture around books. There is nothing I love more than snuggling up with the children and reading a great book. I've found that our read alouds really deepen our bond and helps us to connect as a family. No, this doesn't just happen at bed time. It can happen at any time during the day!
We usually have several selections going at once. The children each have a book that they have chosen. This week our daughter has me reading Charlotte's Web aloud, while her brother has me reading Harry Potter (again.) I thoughtfully choose a selection of library books based on the season and their interests. So, of course we have a stack of books all about winter and snow. The library is probably the single greatest resource a homeschooler can have.
We enjoy talking about what we've read and how we might have reacted if we were in the position of the characters. I am always asked to do the silly voices. Although, I must say that my Mountain Trolls voice from The Hobbit was pretty spot on!
Have you heard of Gameschooling? I hadn't either until my friend Cait over at My-Little-Poppies told me about her free 31-day Gameschool Challenge. The premise is to add more play to your day! Doesn't more play sound amazing? We've been having a blast with board games and card games. Old favorites have made appearances like Parcheesi, Phase 10 and UNO. Then there are the new games like Gravity Maze, Zelda Monopoly, and Dragonwood!
Here is a list of our family's favorite games! I highly recommend joining the challenge and adding games to your day.