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Our December Brain Box - a take on a morning basket
brain stain,  homeschooling as a lifestyle

Our December Brain Box

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Like I mentioned in the post where I shared that we were officially quitting the Charlotte Mason method, we’ve started a little thing we call Brain Stain.

Brain Stain in our take on the idea of Morning Time though it is not always in the morning so for the reason I didn’t like the name, plus I wanted it to be called something more exciting, my Raeca came up with the idea of Brain Stain.

During our Brain Stain time we are going through a few of the resources in our Brain Box. Each month I hope to create a (mostly) new Brain Box and today I wanted to share our December box.

Our December Brain Box - a take on a morning basket


We only thought of this idea in the first week of December so I feel like this box isn’t as Christmas themed as I would have tried to make it if I had been planning this before Christmas but I’m keeping this in mind for months to come and plan on writing down ideas for future months as I think of them.

Another reason I am so excited about this idea of Brain Stain and our Brain Box is because it gives me the reminder to be a little more intentional with our month, especially in regards to holidays and events. I often feel like I am a little behind in celebrating holidays so I think this will help give me the reminder I need.

The idea of Brain Stain and our Brain Box also work really well with how we homeschool without a curriculum, or what I like to call, homeschooling as a lifestyle.

Okay, on to what is in our Brain Box for December!

Our December Brain Box - a take on a morning basket



Dutch Blitz

The kids have been on a real Dutch Blitz kick lately. Raeca (8) can play by herself but Ephraim still plays with a partner (me). Playing Blitz with only two teams can be difficult because you often get stuck waiting for the same number for a long time so I figured out a way around that – Ephraim and I play with two decks. He still has ten cards in his pile on the table but I have a lot more cards in my hand so that gives us a lot more options and makes the game quicker than normal with just two players.

How to Remember (Almost) Everything Ever

I have been wanted to do some memory type games with the kids for awhile and we got this book from our library, so far we’ve done a few of the activities in it and I can’t wait to do more.

Little Pilgrim’s Progress

We are still slowly (but surely) making our way through this book. The kids have been enjoying it and always ask for one more chapter. Their love for it definitely faded when we were doing the Charlotte Mason method and I asked them to narrate the chapters but now that we aren’t doing that any more they are back to loving it.

Our December Brain Box - a take on a morning basket


The Pupil’s One Vocabulary Speller – Canadian Edition

This book was actually a vintage find when Raeca and I went to an antique sale in a barn last fall. We have a stack of these books for decoration and she realized this one is for grade three so she pulled it out and added it to our box. I have no idea how much she will actually want to do the spelling activities in it but it’s already been a great history and geography lesson as the first few pages share some of the “most important” words for kids to know to spell and number one is wagon with cows, winter, hen and ice following shortly after.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic

This is our current read aloud. To be honest, so far I’m realizing that I enjoyed the original Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle more.

Our December Brain Box - a take on a morning basket


Looney Tunes Time Book

This was a book I picked up at Dollarama awhile ago and it’s good for learning time on an analog clock. I haven’t been very good with teaching this kind of time because we don’t own any analog clocks and there aren’t that many around any more.

On the note about clocks: I have been thinking about creating a wall with basic black and white analog clocks and then having the time for different cities in the world, similar to this:

But I just need to figure out where that would work in our house first.

I Broke My Trunk

We are still working on Ephraim’s reading using mainly the whole language approach. This includes a lot of Elephant and Piggie books, Fly Guy and Dr. Seuss. You can actually check out some of our favorite easy readers here.

Our December Brain Box - a take on a morning basket


Tabitha’s Travels

To be honest, as of writing this post we have yet to start this book but I have good intentions to read it with the kids before Christmas! Then for next year I am hoping to read one of the other books in the series with them.

Bedtime Math – The Truth Comes Out

We are on to our second Bedtime Math book – this is currently all we are “officially” doing for math but we take advantage of organic math learning throughout the day and I’m not worried, my kids are both doing really well in math and the lack of worksheets seems to help them actually enjoy it. (That being said, the odd time Raeca actually asks to fill out math worksheets. #nerd)

One other thing I didn’t take pictures of was that I stuck our Christmas picture books in our box for the month as well. You can see some of our favorite Christmas picture books here and here.

And there you have it, our Brain Box for December! I think the theme for January’s box will appropriately be: WINTER – any suggestions for that box?


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