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Mondays and Fridays are my favorite days of the week. Mondays are full of new week energy, and I feel rested from the weekend and ready to conquer my task lists and lesson plans with gusto. By Friday, I am tired. So why do I love Fridays? Mainly, I have learned to keep Fridays light and fun. We do not use any of our regular curriculum. Fridays are for math games, Life of Fred, special electives, pen pal writing, and prior to COVID-19, we took field trips or had classes with our homeschool group.
We still have Bible time first. I read a chapter from “Kingdom Tales” while the girls color Bible verse coloring sheets. I love this book. It actually contains three books: “Tales of the Kingdom”, “Tales of the Resistance”, and “Tales of the Restoration”. We read “The Girl with the Very Loud Outside Voice” today from the last book, “Tales of the Restoration”. All of the stories center around children and adults who use their talents to further the Kingdom against the dark powers that oppose them. I love these tales, and get choked up every.single.time we read them together. The coloring sheets I found at various sites through Pinterest by searching for Bible coloring pages.
Then, we worked in our Spanish lapbooks by learning about los dias de la semana (the days of the week) and then reviewed vocabulary with a game of Spanish bingo. The Spanish lapbook is available for free at http://www.homeschoolshare.com.
Next we played “Clumsy Thief“, which my kids love. Its a fun and fast card game where the players make pairs of cards that total 100. They can steal sets of cards from other players by adding another card that could make 100. My fourth grader, who does not often get a chance to win against her older middle-school sisters, won the game today!
After the game, the girls completed chapters in their Life of Fred books. My fourth grader is using Jellybeans, my seventh grader is using Pre-Algebra 1 with Biology, and my eighth grader is using Beginning Algebra. We have used Life of Fred on Fridays for years now. The characters are endearing, the story lines are engaging, and I am satisfied with the extra practice and challenge they get from the series. We have had luck finding used Fred books on ebay, however the publisher Z-Twist Books offers free shipping and the prices new are not much more than used.
We wrap up our lessons on Fridays with pen-pal time. I have a little basket from Dollar Tree that stores all of our stationary, stickers, envelopes, stamps, return labels, and an index card box of addresses. The girls each have their own personalized return labels and we buy fun stamps from the post office, such as dinosaurs or astronauts. Who does not love to receive a letter from a friend in the mail? The kids send letters, but also enclose stickers, pictures, or comics they have drawn. Colorful paper, envelopes, stickers, colorful pens, and fun stamps makes it even more like a gift. We probably spend the most on stamps, but having the kids use penmanship and written communication skills to send letters, and the thrill of getting letters back, is worth it.
On a personal note, I find that leaving this space to do fun things on Fridays take the pressure of me as the teacher. It is a day for all of the fun extras. If we go on a field trip instead, there is nothing that cannot be pushed to the following Friday. It is a day to relax into homeschooling, unwind and reflect on the week. I calculate and record grade averages for their math and ELA assignments for the week. I look ahead at next week’s lesson plans for special materials and books from the library that I need to pick up. It is a day we can all look forward to.