Christmas Books and Christmas Plans

This week, I’ve written over at Do Not Depart, sharing two articles you might be interested in for this Christmas season:

On Wednesday, I shared a list of favorite Christmas and Advent books for preschool, elementary, and middle school levels. Read this post to find 10 recommendations, plus share any of your favorites in the comments there!

10 favorite christmas and advent books for families

I also studied the shepherds’ role in celebrating the birth of Christ at Do Not Depart at the end of this week. Read this post to see what I learned about the gift of sacrificing plans for God’s better plans (plus a free verse printable/wallpaper).

Luke 2:20

Finding Special Needs Resources at CurrClick {plus a limited time freebie and a giveaway!}

Special Needs Homeschool Resources from CurrClick {plus a freebie!}

I first learned about CurrClick a couple of years ago from other homeschool bloggers. Then, I was able to meet some of the folks who work behind the scenes with CurrClick at a conference. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been able to find several great resources through CurrClick’s vendors. We’ve used seasonal printables, preschool packets, freebies, and more.

Finding Special Needs Resources at CurrClick {plus a limited time freebie and a giveaway!}

Original photo credit

Finding Special Needs Resources on CurrClick

CurrClick offers downloadable files, lapbooks, classes, videos, and more. CurrClick also runs regular promotions and many vendors offer quality freebies to supplement your homeschool activities. I’m constantly surprised by the affordable prices on CurrClick, too.

One thing I love about CurrClick’s search feature is the filter function. I’m able to narrow my search to age groups or particular needs, both of which are helpful for our family. I found these resources by looking at “preschool” and “Christmas” or “preschool” and “special needs.” Within special needs, there are several subcategories, like “fine motor considerations,” “speech,” and more. Here are just a few of the activities we’ve tried or recently downloaded for our preschooler with special needs (and his typical-developing sister).

Christmas Resources

12 Days of Christmas, Copywork, Activity Book, and Sheet Music - This packet offers copywork, preschool/early elementary learning activities, faith-based information, and actual sheet music of the 12 Days of Christmas song.

Christmas Sprit: Coloring Pages and Activities (a freebie!) - My preschoolers are going to love this packet! We’re using this one from now until Christmas. It offers coloring sheets, dot-to-dots, word searches, and sight word activities. Themed activities often motivate my son to practice handwriting skills. And, right now, it’s a freebie!

Seasonal and Topical Resources

Five Senses Lapbook - I’ve had this on my CurrClick wish list for a while. It’s a full unit download (114 pages) about the five senses with activities that can be modified for various special needs.

Autumn Leaves Lapbook - This lapbook turns leaves exploration in a hands-on learning experience even when reviewing information/facts.

And God Saw that It was Good - This particular download was created for a child with special needs, so it includes a multisensory approach with activities that can be modified for other needs.

Printable Packs that focus on a variety of fine motor skills

I particularly like printable packs that offer a variety of activities for fine motor skills (scissor, handwriting, crafts, etc.), reading, reading comprehension, spelling, and more. CurrClick is full of resources like these! Here are just a couple we’ve used or recently purchased.

African Safari Junior Printable Pack - Animals are always fun, and this printable pack offers information plus hands-on, fine motor practice.

Winter Junior Printable Pack - This pack has multiple kinds of activities, including matching, literacy, math, puzzles, sequencing, cutting practice and more.

All About Me student-created book - We’ve used this book with our preschoolers, both typical-developing and special needs. It’s a great one for self-awareness and fine motor practice.

A CurrClick Freebie!

CurrClick is offering a new freebie each day during this 12 Days of Christmas Homeschool Freebies and Resources promotion!

Today, CurrClick is offering this “Jack and Jill Rhyme Activity Packet” from Notebooking Nook for free! Preschool and elementary ages will love this packet. This freebie is available from December 8-10, 2014, so don’t delay. Add the product to your CurrClick cart, then include the code “CC12days8” at checkout to get this rhyme activity packet for free!

Jack and Jill rhyme activity packet freebie from CurrClick!

Follow allow with the rest of the 12 Days of Christmas Freebies and Resources blog series to get more freebies and check out more great resources other homeschool families are using from CurrClick!

12 Days of Christmas CurrClick Giveaway

12 Days of Christmas Homeschool Freebies and Resources from CurrClick

Enter to win a $20 gift certificate to CurrClick.com to get your own great curriculum supplements for your homeschool! They’ll draw 12 names for a $20 gift certificate each!

The giveaway runs through December 16th, 2014 at 10pm.

Enter below!

CurrClick

 

Disclosure: I am an affiliate for CurrClick, so if you click on a CurrClick link and then purchase a product, I will receive a small commission fee. This does not affect your cost. Thank you for supporting this blog and my family! I also received a few free CurrClick downloads to use and review as a participant in the 12 days blog tour.

One of our favorite preschool learning resources! Signing Time DVDs

A Favorite Preschool Learning Resource

I’ve mentioned it a few times here, but one of our favorite preschool resources are the Signing Time DVDs.

One of our favorite preschool learning resources! Signing Time DVDs

Not only were these essential when my son (who has multiple special needs) was expanding his sign vocabulary to be able to communicate with others, but these DVDs also incorporate early literacy skills through auditory, visual, and tactile aspects. Both of my children learned sight words earlypartly due to these episodes. Signing also provided my typical-developing daughter ways to communicate her wants and needs before she began talking. (And now she can interpret what her brother is saying when needed!)

Even after years of watching these shows, my husband and I still walk around the house singing these songs. They’re actually good “kid music.” The songs vary in sound, are fun to listen to, and allow practice with signing and memorization.

Today and tomorrow only (Tuesday, November 25th and Wednesday, November 26th): Signing Time is hosting a huge $10 DVD sale! Each DVD is only $10 week, which is half off the regular sale price!

Our favorites are in the Series 1 DVDs, especially:

And now they recently released a lovely Christmas episode!

Signing Time Christmas!

 

This sale runs today only, so click the links above to check these shows out! UPDATE! The lovely folks at Two Little Hands Productions extended the sale for one more day! The sale now runs through Wednesday, November 26th!

Have you used signing with any of your children? How so?

I am an affiliate for Signing Time and Amazon Associates. If you click on a Signing Time link or Amazon and then make a purchase, I receive a small commission. This does not affect your final cost at all. Thank you for supporting this blog and my family!

This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Where Treetops Glisten novellas (WaterBrook, 2014)

Three Christmas Novellas for Your Reading List {Book Review – Where Treetops Glisten}

I always love reading Christmas stories during November and December. Add in historical fiction and storylines with faith concepts, and I usually find some enjoyable reading.

Where Treetops Glisten (WaterBrook, 2014) qualifies as enjoyable Christmastime reading. This book consists of three novellas written by Cara Putman, Sarah Sundin, and Tricia Goyer.

Where Treetops Glisten novellas (WaterBrook, 2014)

The book begins with a prologue (written by Sarah Sundin) to introduce the readers to the Turner family. We meet Louise Turner, a grandmother to Abigail, Pete, and Merry (Meredith) in 1941 Lafayette, Indiana, just as the United States has joined the second World War. The prologue (and the epilogue written by Cara Putman) is written from Louise’s point of view.

We then follow about a month and a half of Abigail’s story in 1942 in White Christmas, written by Cara Putman. Abigail is attending college and working at the local candy store, and feeling very unsure about attaching to any guy until after the war because of losing her high school boyfriend to the Pearl Harbor attack the year before. Abigail meets Jackson Lucas, an honest, helpful man who has a family problem he is trying to solve. As Abigail’s lawyer father helps Jackson out, Abigail can’t help but get to know Jackson more. This story touches on growth, trust, hope, and healing from past heartback.

“No tears are wasted, unless you allow their cause to freeze you in place.” – p. 99, White Christmas by Cara Putman

In I’ll Be Home for Christmas, written by Sarah Sundin, we follow Pete during a month-long furlough back at home in 1943 from being a fighter pilot in the war. He feels broken and beyond fixable after the terrors he has seen and been involved in during the war. When Pete happens upon Linnie, a little girl prone to wandering, he helps her home and finds out he has a past connection with her mother, Grace. This story focuses on trust, seeing people for who they really are (not who they were or who they should be), opening to love (even though pain comes with it), and finding peace and fulfillment in God. I particularly love how both main characters learn that giving also helps fill and open us.

“If Pete gave in faith out of nothingness, God would replenish.” – p. 152, I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Sarah Sundin

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Tricia Goyer is set in the Netherlands in 1944 during the week before Christmas. As a nurse for the United States forces, Merry treats wounded near the front lines. Merry feels betrayed by her love from Miami, David… until she finds connections to him in the Netherlands and learns more of his story. This story highlights trust, learning truth, the importance of community/connection wherever you are, and the healing of opening up.

“Hope did even more good than the medicine and the doctoring. Hope changed things.” – p. 299, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Tricia Goyer

The novellas cover a range from 4 days to a month in time span, depending on the story, and 100-120 pages long, each perfect for an afternoon of cozy reading. Each novella is well-written and includes a romance line along with historical storytelling. I found myself particularly drawn to Jackson and Abigail’s love story and found myself smiling while reading, but I also loved Pete and Grace’s story, too, especially with little Linnie playing such a vibrant role. Merry and David don’t interact face-to-face until late in their story, but I found the historical components of the setting and events in their story to be intriguing and captivating. While readers might find a few cliche phrases or minor situations here and there, the stories themselves are full of interest, growth, and hope. The historical references add realistic detail and cause the reader to rethink how her own holiday traditions might be changed in such circumstances.

Each story offers conflict, historical elements, love, hope, renewal, family, and new beginnings. Such life-filled themes, especially of hope and new beginnings, offer an agreeable accompaniment to the Christmas season.

What are some of your favorite Christmas reads?

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

I am an affiliate for Signing Time and Amazon Associates. If you click on a Signing Time link or Amazon and then make a purchase, I receive a small commission. This does not affect your final cost at all. Thank you for supporting this blog and my family!

This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

On This Day and Every Day

This Day and Every Day

Have you read Psalm 118 lately? It’s a fantastic one for gratitude and month we’re thanksgiving is on our minds. But, it’s also great for any day.

And that’s one thing we can learn from Psalm 118.

We have some pretty strong reasons to be grateful this day and every day. To pray. To praise. To love.

Join me at Do Not Depart and read about Psalm 118, particularly verses 22-25. Take a look at all the posts this month to follow the whole study on Psalm 118.

On This Day and Every Day