Friday, November 18, 2011

Vocabulary, Thanksgiving and Black Friday!

This week was a good week for us. I'm still sucking with my time management skills, but the boys had a good week. My grandmother had a couple of doctor appointments that I helped her with, and I spent all day Wednesday at our first tax meeting of the season (Aaaaahhhh, it's already tax season?!?!), so the boys, and the hubs, had a good trial run of what things are going to be like while I'm out of the house for those six weeks or so I'm at the office.

This week is our last official week of school, as we are on track to take our winter break from Thanksgiving until right after the New Year. We never do nothing for those few weeks, but it's entirely different. We focus on holiday studies (like mini unit studies) rather than our normal curriculum. They will work on spelling, but I will only ask them to play spelling games rather than do their normal spelling lists. They will still do their independent reading, but will more than likely spend that time reading holiday stories.

I have no idea what Bailey will read over the holidays, he hasn't decided. Braeden is going to tackle The Polar Express. He has improved SO much lately with his reading. We are loving it! Things are just clicking for him, left and right. A lot of the improvement came after we focused on helping him with his reading vocabulary. He concentrated on sight words in spelling, and played a lot of vocabulary games online.

We also tried to continue the vocabulary focus when we were away from computers too. One way we did this was by playing word games in the car (we spend A LOT of time in the car, lol). We started playing our own version of "The Alphabet Game." Most people play where you follow the alphabet...for instance, Bailey starts and he uses the word "ant." Then it's Braeden's turn and "b" is his letter so he uses the word "bat." And it keeps going. Sometimes you can lay down restrictions, like the words can only be animals or can only be foods.

We play that way, but our favorite variation is where one person starts with any letter of their choice but the next person's word has to start with the last letter of the previous word. So Walter uses the word "skill" and then I'm next and use the word "love." Then Bailey's next and he uses "eat." And so on. When Walter and I play, we don't try to choose only words that the boys know. We use whatever words come to mind and if they don't know what those words mean, then we explain them and use them in a sentence. So we're helping Braeden, but Bailey is benefiting too. :)

This coming week is going to be kinda hectic, much as it is for the majority of the country, lol. Tomorrow I am taking an entire Saturday for myself. Horrible, I know. I am spending the whole day, from about 9am until midnight, with Tracy and her SIL Jen. We will be scrapbooking at Archivers. I love these ladies, and Jen lives in Connecticut so I don't get to see her as often as I would like. I haven't really scrapped in a long while, and I'm so looking forward to it!

The rest of the week will honestly be leading up to Thanksgiving. We will be cramming in last minute school things before our break. Thanksgiving day we will have dinner with my grandmother and that night Tracy, her husband Scott, Jen and myself will head out for Black Friday shopping!!!! It's going to be so much fun! Best Buy is handing out tickets for something we are getting the boys as gifts, and they will start handing out the tickets at 10pm. Doors open at midnight and the frenzy begins. Last year we didn't really hit Best Buy. We did the Walmart thing. I wasn't going to buy anything, but I ended up with over $200 in $5 and $10 Blurays. This year, I'm not even going to pretend I'm not buying anything other than the boys' specific gift items. I'm almost as excited for the movie buying this year as I am about their gifts we are hopefully getting. Scott and I are the Bluray/movie addicts, so we already have our lists of what we want to fight over! ;) Once we are all shopped out, we'll go eat at IHOP and deliriously laugh over what we saw and how excited we are with what we bought, lol.

After shopping, we're heading to my parents where they host a huge Thanksgiving dinner that Saturday. About 50 people huge. It's crowded and crazy, but fun and there's tons of good food.

I have so much in my life I am thankful for, and each year, even through the craziness, I love being able to spend this time with family and friends and give thanks. I hope each and every one of you have a fabulous Thanksgiving with your loved ones!

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