Cricket’s Christmas Books

Cricket’s Christmas Reading List:

Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas by Jane O’Connor
This was definitely on my dream list of Christmas books, because Cricket is in love with Fancy Nancy right now. However, I had little hope of getting it since everyone else is too, but much to my disbelief it was sitting out on display when we went to the library for story time. I managed to snag it, and by the way she loved it! It was very typical Fancy Nancy, and I loved the family traditions integrated into the store.

One Snowy Night by Christina Butler
I thought this was a cute sweet story about friendship and giving in the true spirit of Christmas. Cricket loved the artwork too.

The Pine Tree Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs
I absolutely loved this book, and I might eventually make it through reading it to Cricket without crying, maybe. I think she would like it more if I wasn’t crying, because that always just bothers her so.
This is a wonderful Christmas story though, and I would love to add it to our personal collection.

The Huron Carol by Frances Tyrrell
I really liked the history behind this Carol, and I thought the adaptation was well done. I sort of tied this into our Christmas Around the World Study, and explained the different culture that this story was written for. Cricket did a good job of drawing parallels to the traditional Christmas Story and seemed to enjoy the book.

I definitely recommend this for a homeschool family that is exploring the native american culture.

B is for Bethlehem by Wilner
While this is a great book it just wasn’t for us this year. I think it was too advanced for Cricket, and too long to hold her attention.

Dream Snow by Eric Carle
This was a cute little story about a farmer (that resembled santa) and a snowy Christmas day on his farm.

Librarian’s Night Before Christmas by David Davis
Cricket enjoyed this book, and liked that Santa and the elves were helping at the library. Although many of the references were lost on her, it didn’t detract from the story. I think she might like it even better next year though.

Queen of Christmas by Mary Engelbreit
Cricket read this one with her daddy, so I’m not sure how she would review it. It reminded me very much of the Queen of Halloween book, that she had loved though.

The Reindeer Afraid to Fly
This book wasn’t so much about anything to do with Christmas other than being about reindeer. I did like that it was about conquering your fears and not giving up. Cricket liked it because it was about reindeer.

Yucky Monday with Mimi

Mimi was a trooper today and watched one snotty, clingy, sicky Cricket. They didn’t accomplish their normal marathon of activities, but I was able to get my work done and know that Cricket was well cared for. Germs aside, I think Mimi enjoyed all the snuggle time she got with Cricket.

Thanks Mom!

Homeschool Christmas – Week 2

As I said last week, we are taking a break from our letter of the week activities and learning this month. Instead Cricket is studying all about Christmas, and relaxing and enjoying the festivities.

At the beginning of the month we read the Legend of the Candy Cane. Cricket really enjoyed this, and we have continued to discuss the significance of the candy cane. This week she did a coloring sheet, sequencing, and graphing (that included candy canes). 

Cricket also reviewed all of these symbols of Christmas.

I (re)introduced the song Away in a Manager this week. Cricket seemed to like it, but so far she has shown no interest in learning it. To go along with our song we did several manger activities. The first was a cut and paste from Confessions of a Homeschooler, and the second was a sticker set from Oriental Trading.

Cricket worked on reading skills a little with this mini book from 1+1+1=1. She did pretty well once she got past the fact that the present wasn’t always under the tree (where it should be).  Cricket also did a Christmas Shapes sheet, from the same site, and it was a good review. She got all of them right the first time, but then she started interchanging triangle and rectangle. We tried another color by shape sheet, but Cricket wasn’t interested in following the directions this week.

I also managed to sneak in a mini letter review, with these super cute trees mats from Prekinders

Through out the week Cricket loved playing with her Fisher Price Nativity and listening to Veggie Tales Christmas.

We also enjoyed making ornaments and baking together.

Our library craft for the week
Scratch Art Ornaments

Our attempt at Rice Krispies, which led to this

Cricket really enjoyed our crafts though. We did a Santa and this reindeer made from tracing her hands and foot.

Christmas Around the World

This week we primarily discussed that not everyone celebrates Christmas during the winter. Australia:
Cricket learned that people gather outdoors to sing Carols by candlelight. We were going to do this indoors, until I couldn’t get a single lighter or match to work in our home. So we just sang Carols without candlelight.
Africa:
We talked briefly about how they celebrate with fireworks, but after my candlelight debacle I didn’t even attempt using sparklers. So I focused on their tradition of a love offering, and reminded her of our shoebox gift we had made and sent off.

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Food critic in the making


Cricket is not a big fan of sweets (no chocolate or peanut butter), so I asked for suggestions from some of my friends for Christmas treats. Tonight we made Rice Krispie Treats. Cricket loves helping in the kitchen so that part was a big hit!


Then we tried them. Cricket took one bite and said “Mmmm yummy” however she was making a funny face. So I asked her if she really liked it. Cricket said “I like it just a little, but can I have a blueberry waffle instead

Oh, only my silly girl!

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What Cricket is Reading This Week

 

I haven’t done this for a few weeks, but I’m excited to get back to it since it’s one of my favorites. Cricket is really in love with reading now. These are our library books for the past week:

The Stars Came Out on Christmas by William Boniface
Cricket liked the raised stars in the books and I liked the counting. It wasn’t my favorite book about the birth of Christ though. The story focused on the “stars” and the story seemed out of order.

Who is Coming To Our House? By Joseph Slate
This IS Cricket’s favorite Christmas book so far. She really likes animals, so she was very interested in the preparations of all the different stable animals. I thought this was a sweet and original way to tell the Christmas story.

The Legend of the Candy Cane by: Lori Walburg
This book didn’t really capture Cricket’s interest, nor did she seem to “get it”. I think it was a little above her comprehension level. It was a good book though, so we will try it again next year.

Corduroy’s Christmas by Don Freeman
This was a simple story about Santa Christmas. Cricket enjoyed the lift the flap aspect of the book and she seemed to like the character Corduroy.

The Little Red Elf by Barbara McGrath
The positives: we really liked the illustrations in this book and the overall story was a cute Christmas retelling of the little red hen
The negatives: I think the “lesson” part of the story was lost and the ending didn’t make sense to someone who hadn’t read the little red hen and/or know this was what the book was referencing. Cricket REALLY didn’t get the inside joke of it, so it pretty much killed her enjoyment of the book.

Little Tree by e.e. cummings
Cricket and I both loved this book. The poem itself was wonderful and it was only enhanced by the beautiful illustrations.

Christmas – Monday with Mimi

I’m trying to get back into my blogger “routine” this week and that includes a Monday with Mimi post. For those of you new to my blog, I work part-time mostly from home but on Mondays I have to go into the office for a staff meeting. One of the hugest blessings in my life is that while I am at work Cricket is with my mom “Mimi”. So, here is some of what they did today:

Today Cricket wanted Mimi to come to her house so that she could show off all of our Christmas decorations. They were thoroughly inspecting my nutcracker collection before I even made it out the door. After I left they read, and read, and read. Mimi said they also played with dolls for awhile and made a paper chain. Cricket really seemed to enjoy the crafty chain, or at least she enjoyed showing off her handy work. Cricket also chose to work with her letter clothespin matching game.

Just one more great Monday with Mimi!

Homeschool Christmas

We are taking a break from our letter of the week activities and learning this month. Cricket is studying all about Christmas to include: Christmas around the World; symbols of Christmas; our family traditions; and of course the true meaning of Christmas.

This past week holds one of my favorite parts of the holidays, decorating. I LOVE listening to some Christmas music, creating the perfect tree, and making memories. Cricket is definitely beginning to join in my love, and was a wonderful helper this year.

Decorating her tree

One of my favorite things we did this week was reading “Why Jesus is Better Than Santa Claus” each day (I can’t find where I got this from). This led us into many great discussions.

Cricket’s favorite thing, by far this week, was a set of finger puppets that we made. She played with them over and over again, and asked repeatedly for puppet shows. It’s a little hard to tell since she colored them each one solid color, but these two were santa and a reindeer.

On Monday, with her Mimi, she painted a several Christmas ornaments. You can see them here along with her home school room decorations.

Cricket chose to use stickers on this dot paint sheet from 1+1+1=1. She also did an excellent job of counting the 13 stickers when we were done.

Also from 1+1+1=1 was this great color by shape worksheet. Cricket had me color with her on this one.

Through out the week Cricket loved playing with her Fisher Price Nativity and a new Christmas Puzzle. I love how imaginative she is becoming, and the stories she tells as she plays.

I also picked up this set of Christmas erasers and Cricket used them for sorting, counting, and sequencing.

Christmas Around the World

England: 
We learned about the English tradition of mummering, where people dress-up in costume and perform in the streets. Cricket celebrated this by diving into her dress-up trunk and wearing costume for pretty much the rest of the day.
Germany:
We studied Germany on Wednesday, December 1st, since it coincided with the beginning of our advent calendar. I talked to Cricket about the meaning of advent and the preparation for the celebration of the birth of Christ. Cricket also learned about the German tradition of honoring the wise men or three kings in January. Part of this celebration is writing C+M+B and the current year above the door frame of the home. Which comes from the latin for Christ Bless This House and/or the names of the three wise men. 

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