What Types of Activities Can I Expect to Encounter in WinterPromise?
Each of our programs has books devoted to bringing you activity ideas, while some have kits or art books that also help along the fun! Activities may include making simple historical crafts or “artifacts,” cooking period food, arranging a family dinner, creating games for family fun, making simple costume pieces, recreating historical events, watching a historical docudrama, or creating your own posters or newspapers. Online fun may include visiting historical sites online, taking a peek inside museums around the world, playing games that reinforce what you’ve learned in your studies, journeying through another land, researching a topic online, or even hearing the sounds of a culture or important person in history. The most important thing to remember, however, is that the vast majority of these activities are activities that you will actually follow through and do! Most require a minimal amount of preparation, or even no prep! You’ll follow through because of a number of factors that help you along the way:
- Some activities are just so easily available with no preparation, such as online activities
- Many activities require only the most commonplace of supplies
- Many activities are so simple that if you provide supplies, students can complete them independently
- DVD suggestions are easy to plan for at the beginning of the year, and specific titles and ISBN numbers are given to you to help you get just the right volume
- Some activities fit easily into your family life, such as cooking, which needs to be done anyway
- Many activities are provided for as part of kits that have everything you need to begin
- Notebooking opportunities also provide some activities and require only your student’s imagination
- We let you choose from a variety of activity opportunities — there are so many, you’ll have plenty to discard if they don’t work for you!
What Kinds of Supplies Will I Need?
Many activities require supplies that would be found in any well-stocked homeschool art cupboard, and recommendations are made to guide you toward the activities that bring you the most fun for the least amount of preparation. All of our guidebooks for the school year will bring you a supply list for you to look at and plan for the coming year. This includes a list of what kind of common supplies you’ll need to have on hand as part of your craft cupboard. Not only that, but we provide a yearlong “Activity Planning Sheet.” Divided by week, you’ll have plenty of advance notice for any unusual supplies you’ll need, and you’ll be able to decide ahead of time which activities you do want to complete and which ones you’ll pass on.
Where Can I Find the DVDs You Recommend?
Many of the DVDs are proven resources that can be found at your local library or requested through an inter-library loan. They can also be purchased from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or other reputable companies that offer a full-line of media products. Some parents have had success using DVD borrowing services in which a flat fee is paid for a year’s subscription, and different DVDs are sent when you return others. This option may be difficult to “time” just right to accent your studies, however. Each of our themed program guides features a list of DVDs used throughout the year with a rating system that will allow you to choose which ones to purchase if you’d like to invest in owning some that are real gems!
What Should We Do to Enjoy Our Projects Long-Term — Without Them Taking Over the House?
#1 NO MATTER WHICH IDEA YOU USE BELOW – YOU’LL WANT TO USE THIS ONE!
Write on the back of your projects (or tag them) with the date (with perhaps the WP level you are studying) and something YOU remember about the craft, some funny moment or delightful thing that accompanied the time you spent studying that time period. You may want to copy this information into a scrapbook at some time in the future when you have time to do that. Don’t trust it to memory alone!
#2 CREATE MAGNETIC FRAMES FOR THE FRIDGE –A local craft store will have 8 ½ inch magnet sheets (often office supply stores carry them also). Sometimes you can even find these sheets with adhesive on one side, so you can apply a decorative paper to one side. Cut out the center to form a frame. Place on the fridge and rotate each week’s project or artsy craft in the frame. Another idea is to purchase one of those new-fangled magnetic boards that come in large poster sizes, and rotate art on and off. Hint: Don’t throw away the center of the magnetic sheet you cut out. Keep cutting descending-size frames out of the center. You should have 3-4 by the time you finish with one sheet. OR, apply art to magnet sheets and use as magnets, OR apply art and cut apart to make a magnetic puzzle.
#3 CREATE A HANGING CORNER IN CHILD’S BEDROOM –Using fishing wire with hooks attached to the ends, create a corner in your child’s bedroom where he can hang bulky projects – give him space for 4-6 things to hang at various heights. The key here is to tell him that every time he wants to add something – one thing gets thrown away (or you decide to put it in storage because you can’t part with it!) This way a child can keep something long-term if he’s really in love with it, and still has room to rotate other things in and out. Hint: If you don’t have a corner, hang wire from a curtain rod over a window at various heights so it looks kind of decorative!
#4 ENCOURAGE GIFT-GIVING –All of us know Grandma Smith is lonely, but we rarely think to surprise her with a homemade craft. After a craft has served its lifecycle at home, consider gifting an elderly relative or a shut-in at church with a craft. To add to the personal nature of the gift, encourage your child to write a note on the craft, or attach a gift tag with a personal note or even add an encouraging Bible verse that goes along with the craft. Hint: Grandma Smith probably won’t have any qualms about throwing “gifts” away if she keeps receiving more of them! (Tell her to feel free!)
#5 REPURPOSING –Sometimes crafts can be re purposed into something you – or a relative — will use! Try putting a drawing into a see-through mug, or laminate a neat report about your family vacation and use it as a place mat. Take bits and pieces from crafts you really can’t keep and decoupage them onto a wooden box or crate. Cut out round disks from pictures that highlight the most important parts, hole-punch, put a ribbon through it and use it as a Christmas decoration or to decorate a wreath to give to Uncle Joe. Collage a table runner. Use them as backgrounds for scrapbooking! Make a magnetic puzzle as in Idea #2 and give to younger cousins, or your church nursery with a magnetic board to hang.
#6 MAKE A YEARLY COLLAGE –Take strategic pieces of your crafts for the year that have meaning, perhaps things that give the flavor of what you studied for the year. Add family photos of study time, craft time, field trips or museum visits, and create a great collage that will reflect your family’s memories for a year. Let the kids work on it together at the end of the year. Collect things throughout the year, and together make a decision about whether to use it or not. You can even purchase a shadow box frame at a craft store to make it look really special. If you’ve made something really 3-D, cut out only one half or the front part to use. If you have extra that won’t all fit, and you really don’t want to toss, make a couple of extra smaller ones for grandparents, or to keep for the kids to take with them when they leave home.
AND NOW … THE “FINAL SOLUTIONS….”
#7 PURCHASE FILE BOXES OR UNDERBED STORAGE BOXES FOR LONG-TERM STORAGE –Inexpensive cardboard letter-size file boxes are available at most discount or office supply stores. So are plastic storage boxes that go under a bed. Assemble them, then start folding paper crafts into the boxes. It may be helpful to throw away the bulkier crafts after each month of display, and store only those crafts that can be flattened. We all know it isn’t worth it to keep everything your child produces. Sometimes it may seem now like it isn’t worth it to keep anything- but that isn’t the case. You’ll want to shed a few tears over this stuff when the kids are off to college. You may even want to make a cute display on a graduation or wedding day. Keep the things that reflect your child’s special personality, or interests, or that will remind you of some special memory, as we’ve stated in Idea #1. We can’t stress the importance of this enough. Hint: When your box gets full, and you want to add more, go back and weed out some things that you really feel you don’t need to keep, whether they are duplicates, or similar, etc. Take digital pictures of whatever you don’t want to keep (Idea #8), and stick to your guns that you REALLY aren’t going to exceed one box per child for school memories!
#8 TAKE DIGITAL PICTURES OF “PROJECT CASUALTIES” AND SCRAPBOOK THEM IN YOUR “MAKE-YOUR-OWN HISTORY BOOK” –This is such a great solution. Take the digital pictures once a month. If you’re smart, you’ll also write down in the order the pictures are taken the notes you’ve attached to them or written on the back about your special memories that you associate with them (remember #1?). It’s important to write them in order or you’ll get all mixed up when you actually get the pictures back. Write these memories on a piece of paper to tuck & rubber band with the pictures if you don’t get to your scrapbooking right away. Then, let your student scrapbook them into their “Make-Your-Own” history book or “Timelines in History,” with your special notes. You might want to get double prints of the pictures, so Mom & Dad have a copy to scrapbook of their own.