When I awoke this morning it was as if I had woken up out of
a daze.  A daze that has lasted for the
last 3 months.  This morning I was ready
to go.  I was organised and I had a


Then I realised that it was December and we don’t plan in


The last three months have been fairly loose.  The older children have done their work
(though at times I wonder if they could have “produced” more but then I realise
that is not what I am about!!).  But the
younger two have done very little formal academics.


I had tweaked my routine over the weekend – a tweak that
made more room for a reading aloud session with Nomi and Jessica.


But as I said now is December.  We generally get ready for Christmas in December so what to do?


I wrote a list of all the things that I needed to do, the
priorities that I had, and then I divided them up into the 4 D’s of our
routine.  Discipleship time, Discipline
time, Discussion time and Discretionary Time. 
We worked together on the home-blessing.  Then the older kids did their math, while the younger two read
(discipline studies).


Jessica has created an Advent Calendar and wrote her own
Bible Study for us to work through as we open each flap.  This is going to be the basis of our
Discipleship studies over the month of December.  Isn’t it neat that she has prepared a Bible Study!


We had a few days to catch up on so we sat down, Bibles and
Bible study tools in front of us.  We
researched “grace” after her first verse was Eph.2:8 which talks about Jesus
being our gift of grace.  We read and
discussed a few other passages that took us to the place in the story where the
angel appeared to Joseph telling him to marry Mary and name the baby Jesus, as
he would save the world from sin.  Each
of the children was required to represent our discussion on “gift of grace” in
a notebook page.  I went to the office
and got some of my office work done.


Daniel drew a gift box and took a photo of our nativity
scene, which is going to go inside the present.  Naomi made a cut out-flap of a Christmas tree and a cut out-flap
of a gift under the tree and wrote her understanding underneath the flaps.  She also photocopied the
Kids-Bible-Dictionary section on “Grace” and glued that to the bottom of her
page.  Jessica typed a few extra verses
that explain grace and her own definition. 
Joshua drew a cartoon along the lines of getting into heaven via good works
vs. grace.


Jessica and I went into town to pick up her book project –
printed and bound and ready to deliver to the families who have ordered a copy
or two.  She paid cash for it.  She received 2 sponsorships, and I gave her
a loan to cover the income she will receive in fulfilling her orders.  She has come out on budget with about $4.00
to spare.  Handing over cash and
receiving the receipt was all a part of her seeing through the money side of
this project.  She has now to sell the
book (pre-orders), write a receipt and pay back her loan.


Daniel and Nomi had extra chores today.  It is so much easier to get the older two to
jump up and just do it but the younger ones are the ones in training and they
need the instruction and practice.


Joshua worked on 1 hour of history today.  We looked at his D.Waring unit study and
chose some writing assignments for him to complete before he moves onto the
next unit.  This unit has taken him
quite some time.  He has taken a bit of
a dogleg though he hasn’t always read the books that actually answer the
questions he has had.  This has been a
learning experience in itself – to define the question and to have a purpose
for reading the book. 


I had a good discussion with Joshua, Jessica and Nomi about
my re-introducing Reading time in our routine. 
(Another tweak!)  Up till now we
have had reading time after lunch as a rest type activity and a break for me
though the last few years this has been a flexible time slot for the older
two.  But I am now seeing it as an
opportunity for them to read their reading list books – yes it will be restful,
and enjoyable and a break for me, but they need to be reading
purposefully.  I have given 1 hour to
Josh and Jess and ½ hour plus ½ hour room time for Nomi.  In this hour they also need to write in
their Reading Journals.  We discussed
again their reading journals and the things that they can write in there.


Jessica worked on her piano playing today.  She has been a while without practice and
was feeling a bit rusty.  She preserved
through not being able to “get it” and practiced for longer than she usually does.


Nomi and Daniel worked on their Christmas presents so that
by the end of the day they have each wrapped a few presents and they are under
the tree already.  Both the girls helped
Daniel at different times work on his presents.  It is great to see signs around the house – STOP “so and so”
don’t come in!  Santa’s workshop!  The guest room has become the gift wrapping
station.  We don’t usually have locked
doors in our house – very much an open door house so we have had to establish
rules.  Before they close a door they
need to let me know what they are doing. 
This way no one gets offended that they aren’t allowed in the room! 


I had listed on my priorities for today to read to
Daniel.  Unfortunately that didn’t
happen till bedtime.


I spent a long time reading our Read Aloud – Peter Pan.  With Daylight Savings started over the
weekend my body clock  has taken a
little adjusting.  Dinner was running
late so I sat down and read with the kids. 
It was great.  I also read
another chapter while they ate dessert. Two more chapters to go and we will be
finished.  It has been a challenging
book to read, as the turn of phrase is very unusual.  The author has also used very big words so that has been


We are going to read “Bible Smuggler” next.  I tried to get a Christmas type story from
the library but they were all about Santa coming down chimneys!  Next year I will have to be organised
(something I am just not this year) and buy one.  The kids were asking about the origins of the tree last night so
it would be good to look into that again. 
(I’ve done it before but not with the kids)


So back to my list of things to do today…. Did I get things
finished?  No… but things got
started.   It looks like our loose
arrangements of our days will continue through December.  The kids had their to-do list and I had mine
and we worked together to get what had to be done – done!  I guess that is what life is about whether
it is December or not!


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