Thursday, July 30, 2009

TOS Crew Review -- Hank the Cowdog


Hank logo

What do mixed metaphors, man's "best friend" (using that term VERY loosely in this case), and life on a ranch have in common? None other than Hank the Cowdog.

Prior to laying my eyes on this book I had not made an acquaintance with Hank, and I have mixed feelings after spending a couple afternoons with him.


Tornado game

We received a book, CD, and game (with an audio book on tape) to review. Before jumping into the book my kids couldn't resist trying their hand at Hank's Tornado Game. This was our first look at Hank, Drover and their friend the buzzard. The game finds its inspiration in the storyline of The Case of the Swirling Killer Tornado. Players can tussle with a tornado, fly by fellow players, and ultimately end up at the finish line.



In this Trouble style game, each player has three pieces, one each of Drover, Hank, and the buzzard. The buzzard starts further down the trail in a cottonwood tree, just like in the story. A spinner attached to the middle of the board completes the pieces needed to play the game.



We appreciated the travel-game design which holds all the pieces inside when not in use, so hopefully they will all stay around for quite a few rounds of this sturdy and enjoyable game. One small downside we discovered . . . the game can last a very long time if you have the full four players. We kept landing on each other, and getting sent back to home, prolonging the game. The kids still had a great time, but I was ready to impose a "no more going home" rule about 45 minutes into it.


Two of my girls played the game at a different time and said they only sent each other back once or twice, and did enjoy the game even more. (Can I say, "I told you so?")


While playing we decided to pop in the Tales and Tunes CD (on special right now for $3 on their website) to listen while we played. While it was getting going I looked over some of the titles and decided to give it a pre-listen before listening as a group. Some of the titles and lyrics discouraged me from playing this CD for my kids. I listened to it on my own later, and was disappointed in some of the words used by the characters in the songs and story excerpts. Words such as "hiney" "dumb" and "dingbat" made more than one appearance throughout the recording.


It was mildly amusing, but not something I could let my kids listen to without reservations and a finger on the fast-forward button. As for the music itself, some of the songs were slow and beautiful, and others were catchy and toe-tapping. And, they left me wondering what the book would have to offer.


Hank #8
One afternoon a few days later we settled in for some family read aloud time with Hank's Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse. By the top of the second page, I put the book down and we decided to read something else. In the opening of the book it depicts the story ahead to be scary, so scary you might wet the bed. And, then Hank (from whose viewpoint the story is written), says you can just tell your parents that it must have rained in that spot over night.


That just didn't sit well with me. I know it was intended to be funny, but I have a hard time taking lightly anyone that tells kids to deceive their parents. I then looked through the book a little more on my own and started to see the appeal of the books.



Hank is rather humorous. I couldn't help but laughing more than once. So, we decided to give it yet another try, and I would edit as I read. This is something I often do since we have quite an age range in our at home audience. I skip over sentences of violence or questionable words that pop up in otherwise beneficial reading. And, as I read, Hank kind of grew on us all.


His unappreciated affection for his owners, his tolerating and training of Drover, his simple-minded fellow ranch hound, and his ability to mix metaphors beyond recognition drew chuckles out of all of us at one time or another. With my on-the-fly edits of various words (stupid, idiotic, dadgum, etc.) the book was quite enjoyable.


If you are interested in purchasing Hank items they are available on the Cowdog's own website. They offer everything from posters to sweatshirts to paperbacks, audio books, and the Tornado game that we enjoyed the most. Prices for their products range from $3 to $22 for individual items.



Each family would need to determine if this book and other Hank products would offer appropriate reading for them. Take into consideration the age of your kids, and your personal standard for your home. We just might be enjoying another Hank story now and then from our library, the edited read-aloud version in our case. :-)



Read what others on the TOS Crew had to say about Hank the Cowdog


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

TOS Subscription



About six months ago I got a subscription to The Old Schoolhouse magazine when they had some outrageous deal going on, and I have not regretted it since.


Along with the magazine I receive a fresh dose of homeschool inspiration covering a variety of topics, both practical and theoretical to give my homeschool day the makeover it needs now and then. I appreciate the wisdom from veteran, and "retired", homeschoolers. I soak up the tips and ideas for unit studies or handling a problem that I find myself wrestling with.


Each publication reminds me that I am normal. :-) And, it encourages me to know I don't struggle alone through Algebra, spelling woes, and trying to somehow get all the housework done on top of it. It's always good to know that many others walk this same path.


Well, if you could use some of that encouragement delivered to your mailbox, they have another pretty incredible deal going on right now.


They already had a sweet deal with 19 free gifts (scroll and click through that link to find out about all the goodies -- from gifts cards to DVD classes) coming your way for the first 5,000 people to sign up for a two year subscription (fyi, at last count 1,000 people had already taken advantage of this deal). Now, you can get an extra $5 off using this code: ELSGL5OFF


It says their gifts can't be combined with any other offers, but this offer was made specially to work with the subscription and gifts, just plug it in during check out for the extra $5 off. For $34 you can enjoy all the free gifts plus a two-year subscription to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Just make sure you enter that code when you check out to get your extra $5 off. And, share that code around with anyone you want to. That code can be used by anyone (in the US) and everyone to enjoy this deal and all these great free gifts (until they run out, of course).


I know you won't be disappointed in the quality of their magazine, and the meaty content it brings with it. It has been a great encouragement to me, and I wanted to share my enthusiasm with you.

Great Expectations

In establishing a new routine, expectations also get revamped a bit, and I like to write them out so there is no question.


About 8 months ago I did a thorough job of this and now I just jump on the computer and tweak and reprint as necessary.


For example, here is my Bible time expectation card:

Bible time

  • Sing one chorus (kid choice) and one hymn (mom choice)
  • Read daily verses in Bible
  • Draw applicable stick figures
  • Discuss applications -- what does this mean to us today?
  • Recite memory work (verses and books of Bible)
  • Read mission focus for the day
  • Pray
  • Read biography

**********************************


Here is the Desk work card:


Desk work

(9:30-12:00 and 1:15-2:15)

  • Have the appropriate materials and tools
  • Work without disturbing others
  • Stay in your seat
  • If you get stuck, reread the instructions
  • Skip a task if necessary and go on
  • Save questions for time with Mom
  • Stay on task
  • Work diligently as unto God


*************************************


We have other cards for desk work time, PE, piano, narrations, cleaning the school room.


These cards help by:

  • Clarifying expectations
  • Assuring nothing gets accidentally forgotten (like memory verses, for some reason I forgot to review them some days, but not any more!)
  • Encouraging participation (we all know where we are headed, and I even include directives like "listen to instructions" and "encourage one another" on some cards where appropriate. It doesn't mean they will always do it, but the reminder is there for all of us to honor God in our schooling)
  • Keeping us on task
  • Giving us the framework to always come back to
  • Giving us a common vision and goal

These have provided us with a solid framework for our homeschool day even when things may get off track, we know where to get back to.


These are a great help for me and the kids and have been such an asset to our homeschool day.

Enjoy more Thirsty Thursday.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

wfmw -- catching that run away dog

For some reason Nathan had to be in this picture as well.


Our dog has a bad habit -- Running away.


When she sees an open door she feels the need to dash through it and run for the hills, or the corn fields, or the neighbor. The good/bad part of this is that she absolutely loves strangers and so whenever she sees someone new she will run straight to them and jump all over them and that is how we have generally gotten her back.


A few weeks ago we wrapped up an obedience class that for the most part didn't really teach us or her anything new, but they taught us one trick that we knew would eventually come in handy.


We practiced an emergency whistle. Using a regular whistle (like used in sporting events) we blew three loud, quick blasts and then gave her a special treat. In our case we used salami which she devoured, and she never gets it any other time.


Here's how we conditioned our dog.



First day -- while standing near the dog, blow whistle three times, give salami/treat. Repeat this TEN TIMES in close succession! Daisy loved this activity.

Salami has become her irresistible treat item now,
saved only for these special times.

Second through fifth day -- while near the dog, blow whistle three times, give salami/treat. Repeat a few times at various locations in and around the house.

For another week -- repeat this exercise once a day always varying the environment so the dog learns that no matter where she is, if she hears those three whistles she has one amazing treat in store.

Once a week for the rest of your dog's life -- repeat this exercise so she doesn't forget.


Clearly not a quick fix, but does it work!!!! Today, we had the first time to really need this training. One of our outside doors got left propped open and Daisy took full advantage. We didn't realize it at first, looked all over inside the house and then found the open door.


Blake got very worried about losing "his" (that is, his when he wants to play, someone else's when it needs cleaning up after or a bath) dog, but I had a bit of confidence in our training. We got the whistle, got the salami, and went on the porch.

Three quick blasts on the whistle and Daisy cam dashing around the corner of the house to get her salami. Ahhhhhh. The thrill of success.


Generally, she has learned not to disappear out the door when we are looking so I didn't know that we would have need for this, but sometimes accidents happen, and it felt so good to be prepared.


Very easy and effective training technique to know you can always get your dog's attention in an emergency. Wonder if I should try this on my kids . . .


Check out more Works for me Wednesday.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Homeschool Showcase



Another great edition of Homeschool Showcase is up over at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers. As we gear up for another school year, check out some of the great posts for ideas to get your school year off with a bang.

One post that I noted includes 100 links to sites where you can buy, sell, trade, and even write books. So, if you are looking to expand (or clear out) your book inventory, you'll want to check that out.

There's lots more to enjoy so be sure to meander through the links.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ambleside Online -- Year 5

As part of my school planning I take the Ambleside Online weekly schedule and hotlink all the online sources that I plan to use right into the schedule. I like to post this somewhere accessible from whatever computer I happen to be schooling from at the time, so I figured here on my blog would be a great place for that.


This schedule is not something I put together. It is taken from the Ambleside site and then I merge their listings and delete a couple things I don't plan on using and compile it into the one list that records what we actually will cover this year and gives us the links to get there all in one place.


In the next week or two I will post a couple other compilations of resources I plan to use in our upcoming school year for our artist and composer studies as well as some other odds and ends. I have gotten as far as thinking about them, but haven't put it all together yet.


This is what my older two students will be using for the History, Literature, and Science. We will also be working through Apologia's General Science book, so I might occasionally skip the science listed here, but I kept it on for now until I see how quickly we get through all the material.

Hope this is helpful to someone as well.



Week 1
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 64. Washington First in War, First in Peace
Abraham Lincoln's World: 1809 pg ix-x, Napoleon pg 5-8, The Next Emperor pg 9-10, Because of England and Napoleon pg 11--14, Young Creoles of Venezuela pg 15-18 and/or Child's History of the World ch 77-78 (ch 73 in 1st edition)
Trial and Triumph ch 36. William Carey Father of Modern Missions (1761-1834) 219
Of Courage Undaunted (Across the Continent with Lewis and Clark) pg 13-20
Explore the Holy Land, Turkey, ch 1 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 1, 2 OR Halliburton
Wild Animals I Have Known: Lobo, first third
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture I, first half
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 1, What is Made from the Blood (teeth, tears, etc) [or, in the 2002 edition, 1. What is Made from Blood? part a]]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Rudyard Kipling
biography of Isaac Newton
to be read over the 12 week term as desired (chapter on him)
Story of King Arthur and His Knights: Part I, The Winning of Kinghood, ch. 1 and 2,
Age of Fable ch 15 The Graeae, Perseus and Medusa, Perseus and Atlas


Week 2
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 65. Adams - How He Kept Peace With France
Abraham Lincoln's World: Ships and Trops and Businessmen pg 18-22, Tecumseh The Falling Star pg 23-24, Sam Houston Becomes The Raven pg 25-27, The Year 1812 in North America pg 28-31
Of Courage Undaunted pg 20-31
Explore the Holy Land, Turkey, ch 1 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 3, 4 OR Halliburton
Wild Animals I Have Known: Lobo, 2nd third
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture I, 2nd half
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 2, How the Blood is Made [or, in the 2002 edition, the next part of the chapter, How the Blood is Made]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Rudyard Kipling
biography of Isaac Newton to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Story of King Arthur and His Knights: Part I The Winning of Kinghood, ch. 3, Part II The Winning of a Sword, ch. 1
Age of Fable ch 15 The Sea Monster, the wedding feast


Week 3
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 66. Jefferson - How the Territory of the United States Was Doubled
Abraham Lincoln's World: 1812 in South America pg 32-35, To Moscow and Return pg 36-38, Don't Give Up the Ship pg 39-40, Andrew Jackson the Indian Fighter pg 41-44
Of Courage Undaunted pg 33-49
Explore the Holy Land, Turkey, ch 2 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 5 OR Halliburton
Wild Animals I Have Known: Lobo, last 3rd
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture II, paragraphs 1-15
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 3, Mother Earth[or, in the 2002 edition, 1. The Dust of the Earth]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Rudyard Kipling
biography of Isaac Newton to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Story of King Arthur and His Knights: Part II, The Winning of a Sword, ch. 2 and 3
Age of Fable ch 16 Monsters, The Sphinx


Week 4
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 67. Jefferson - How the Door Into the Far West Was Opened
Abraham Lincoln's World: A Boy and a Fish pg 44, Napoleon Defeated pg 45-48, The Very Young William Gladstone pg 48-50, Just Before and After the End pg 51-55
Trial and Triumph ch 37. David Livingstone Missionary Explorer (1813-1873) 227
Of Courage Undaunted pg 50-61
Explore the Holy Land, Turkey, ch 2 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 6, 7 OR Halliburton
Wild Animals I Have Known: Silverspot, first half
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture II, paragraphs 16-28
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 4, The Stomach and the Teeth [or, in the 2002 edition, 2. The Stomach and the Teeth]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Rudyard Kipling
biography of Isaac Newton to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Story of King Arthur and His Knights: Part III, The Winning of a Queen, ch. 1 and 2
Age of Fable ch 16 Pegasus and the Chimaera, the Centaurus, the Pygmies, the Gryphon


Week 5
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 68. Jefferson - About an American Who Wanted To Be a King
Abraham Lincoln's World: Back to the Kings Again pg 56-60, Trails to the West pg 65-66, Abe Goes to Indiana pg 67-70, Robert Lee of Virginia pg 71-73
Of Courage Undaunted pg 63-77
Explore the Holy Land, Turkey, ch 3 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 8, 9 OR Halliburton
Wild Animals I Have Known: Silverspot, 2nd half
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture II, paragraphs 29-42
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 5, More About the Teeth [or, in the 2002 edition, 2. More About Teeth]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Rudyard Kipling
biography of Isaac Newton to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Story of King Arthur and His Knights: Part III, The Winning of a Queen, ch. 3 and 4
Age of Fable ch 17 The Golden Fleece


Week 6
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 69. Madison - The Shooting Star And the Prophet
Abraham Lincoln's World: Harriet Beecher, the Preacher's Child pg 73-75, What About Missouri? pg 76-78, Steamboats and the Law pg 79-81, Kit Rides to Santa Fe pg 82-83
Of Courage Undaunted pg 79-86
Explore the Holy Land, Turkey, ch 3 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 10, 11 OR Halliburton
Wild Animals I Have Known: Raggylug
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture II, paragraphs 43-50
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 6, The Circulation of the Blood [or, in the 2002 edition, 3. The Circulation of Blood]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Rudyard Kipling
biography of Isaac Newton to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Story of King Arthur and His Knights: Part III, The Winning of a Queen, ch. 5 and 6
Age of Fable ch 17 Medea and Aeson


Week 7
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 70. Madison - War With Great Britain
Abraham Lincoln's World: Benito Juarez A Boy of Mexico pg 84-87, Toda America Es Mi Patria pg 88-91, Citizens of the World pg 92-94, Victoria Is Born pg 95
Of Courage Undaunted pg 86-98
Explore the Holy Land, Israel, ch 1 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 12, 13 OR Halliburton
Wild Animals I Have Known: Bingo
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture III, first third
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 7, Breathing [2002 edition, 3. Breathing]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Rudyard Kipling
biography of Isaac Newton to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Story of King Arthur and His Knights: The Three Worthies: Prologue and Merlin ch. 1, 2, and 3
Age of Fable ch 18 Meleager


Week 8
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 71. Monroe - The First Whispers of a Storm - Monroe's Famous Doctrine
Abraham Lincoln's World: Hard Times and Bad Kings pg 96-98, Victoria Who Was She? pg 99-101, Charles Dickens Or David Copperfield pg 102-104, Wild Turkeys and Waste Time pg 105-107
Trial and Triumph ch 38. John Paton Witness to the Cannibals (1824-1907) 233
Of Courage Undaunted pg 100-111
Explore the Holy Land, Israel, ch 1 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 14, 15 OR Halliburton
Wild Animals I Have Known: The Springfield Fox
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture III, 2nd third
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 8, Brain and Nerves [or, in the 2002 edition, 3. The Brain and Nerves]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Rudyard Kipling
biography of Isaac Newton to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Story of King Arthur and His Knights: Merlin ch. 4 and conclusion, Pellias ch. 1
Age of Fable ch 18 Atalanta


Week 9
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 72. Adams - The Tariff of Abominations
Abraham Lincoln's World: The Story of Brazil pg 108-111, The Drama of Greece pg 112-114, Ulysses Grant Named and Renamed pg 115-117, Railroads Are Here pg -120
Of Courage Undaunted pg 111-123
Explore the Holy Land, Israel, ch 2 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 16, 17 OR Halliburton
Wild Animals I Have Known: The Pacing Mustang
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture III, last 3rd
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 9, How the Mind Gets Knowledge [or, in the 2002 edition, skip this week]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Rudyard Kipling
biography of Isaac Newton to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Story of King Arthur and His Knights: Pellias ch. 2 and 3
Age of Fable ch 19 Hercules spend 2 weeks as needed


Week 10
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 73. Jackson - "Liberty And Union, Now And Forever" - Van Buren - Hard Times
Abraham Lincoln's World: A Three Day Revolution pg 121-122, Young Patriots of Italy pg 123-126, A Bloodless Revolution pg 127-128, Union and Liberty pg 129-134
Of Courage Undaunted pg 125-136
Explore the Holy Land, Israel, ch 2 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 18, 19 OR Halliburton
Wild Animals I Have Known: Wully
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture IV, first third
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 10, Seeing [or, in the 2002 edition, 4. Seeing]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Rudyard Kipling
biography of Isaac Newton to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Story of King Arthur and His Knights: Pellias ch. 4 and 5
Age of Fable ch 19 Hercules spend 2 weeks as needed


Week 11
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 74. Harrison - The Hero of Tippecanoe
Abraham Lincoln's World: Time Makes an Old Idea New pg 139-142, The Sultan's Guest pg 142-144, India pg 145-146, Li Hung Chang A Boy of China pg 147-149
Of Courage Undaunted pg 137-152
Explore the Holy Land, Israel, ch 3 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 20, 21 OR Halliburton
Wild Animals I Have Known: Redruff
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture IV, 2nd third
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 11, How the Eye is Guarded [or, in the 2002 edition, 4. How the Eye is Guarded]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Rudyard Kipling
biography of Isaac Newton to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Story of King Arthur and His Knights: Pellias ch. 6, Gawaine ch. 1
Age of Fable ch 19 Hebe and Ganymede


Week 12
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 75. Tyler - Florida Becomes a State
Abraham Lincoln's World: Slavery What To Do About It pg 150-153, Abe Lincoln of New Salem pg 154-157, Remember the Alamo pg 158-162, On To Oregon pg 162-164
Of Courage Undaunted pg 153-163
Explore the Holy Land, Israel, ch 3 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 22, 23 OR Halliburton
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture IV, last third
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Rudyard Kipling
biography of Isaac Newton to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Story of King Arthur and His Knights: Gawaine ch. 2 and 3
Age of Fable ch 19 Theseus


Optional Exam Week

Week 13
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 76. Polk - How Much Land Was Added To the United States
Abraham Lincoln's World: Into Darkest Africa pg 165-166, Young Lion vs Ancient Dragon pg 167-168, R Stands for Regina pg 169-170, Corn and Potatoes pg 171-173 (Child's History of the World 79-81 [ch 74-76 in 1st ed] Music)
Trial and Triumph ch 39. Hudson Taylor The China Inland Mission (1832-1905) 239
Biography of your choice - spread over the 12 week term as desired
Explore the Holy Land, Egypt, ch 1 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 24 OR Halliburton
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture V, first third
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 12, Hearing [2002 edition, 4. Hearing]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
biography of Alexander Graham Bell to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Oliver Twist: ch. 1-3
Age of Fable ch 19 Olympic and other games, Daedalus, Castor and Pollux


Week 14
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 77. Polk - The Finding of Gold
Abraham Lincoln's World: Rebellion in Canada pg 174-175, Steam Across the Atlantic pg 176-177, Behind Japan's Closed Door pg 178-180, Wedding Bells pg 180-183
Biography of your choice - spread over the 12 week term as desired
Explore the Holy Land, Egypt, ch 1 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 25, 26 OR Halliburton
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture V, 2nd third
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 13, The Smell, the Taste and the Touch [or, in the 2002 edition, 4. Smell, Taste and Touch]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
biography of Alexander Graham Bell to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Oliver Twist: ch. 4-8
Age of Fable ch 20 Bacchus


Week 15
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 78. Taylor - Union Or Disunion
Abraham Lincoln's World: Authors and Visitors pg 184-186, Telegraph and Photograph 187-189, On To The West pg 190-196, To The Halls of Montezuma 197-199
Biography of your choice - spread over the 12 week term as desired
Explore the Holy Land, Egypt, ch 2 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 27, 28 OR Halliburton
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture V, last third
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 14, The Bones [2002 edition, 5. Bones]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
biography of Alexander Graham Bell to be read over the 12 week term
Oliver Twist: ch. 9-14
Age of Fable ch 20 Ariadne


Week 16
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 79. Fillmore - The Underground Railroad
Abraham Lincoln's World: Gold pg 200-201, Canada pg 201-202, Corn and Potatoes pg 203, The Year 1848 pg 204-208
Biography of your choice - spread over the 12 week term as desired
Explore the Holy Land, Egypt, ch 2 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 29, 30 OR Halliburton
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture VI, first third
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 15, More About Bones [or, in the 2002 edition, 5. More About Bones]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
biography of Alexander Graham Bell to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Oliver Twist: ch. 15-19
Age of Fable ch 22 The rural deities


Week 17
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 80. Pierce - The Story of "Bleeding Kansas"
Abraham Lincoln's World: A Beautiful Uniform or a Spiked Helmet pg 213-215, Wilhelm der Goldaf pg 216, The Peace Festival pg 217-220, Napoleon III pg 220-224 (including Eugenie)
Trial and Triumph ch 40. Amy Carmichael Mother to Outcast Children 245
Biography of your choice - spread over the 12 week term as desired
Explore the Holy Land, Egypt, ch 3 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 31, 32 OR Halliburton
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture VI, 2nd third
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 16, The Muscles [or, in the 2002 edition, 5. Muscles]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
biography of Alexander Graham Bell to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Oliver Twist: ch. 20-23
Age of Fable ch 22 Erisichthon


Week 18
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 81. Buchanan - The Story of the Mormons
Abraham Lincoln's World: Der Tolle Bismarck pg 225-227, At Home in Springfield pg 228-231, Free Soil and Slave pg 232-235, Uncle Tom's cabin pg 236-237
Biography of your choice - spread over the 12 week term as desired
Explore the Holy Land, Egypt, ch 3 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 33 OR Halliburton
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture VI, last third
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 17, More About the Muscles [or, in the 2002 edition, 5. More About Muscles]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
biography of Alexander Graham Bell to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Oliver Twist: ch. 24-28
Age of Fable ch 22 Rhoecus-The Winds


Week 19
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 82. Buchanan - The First Shots
Abraham Lincoln's World: Land of Nobles and Serfs pg 238-239, A Lamp in the Crimea pg 240-242, Families and Friends pg 243-247, Viva L'Italia pg 248-252
Biography of your choice - spread over the 12 week term as desired
Explore the Holy Land, Iraq, ch 1 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 34, 35 OR Halliburton
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture VII, first third
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
biography of Alexander Graham Bell to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Oliver Twist: ch. 29-32
Age of Fable ch 23 Achelous and Hercules


Week 20
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 83. Lincoln - From Bull Run To Fort Donelson
Abraham Lincoln's World: The Devil's Wind pg 253-255, About Peace and Foreigners pg 256-261, Shrinking the World pg 262-266, Bloody Kansas pg 266-271
Biography of your choice - spread over the 12 week term as desired
Explore the Holy Land, Iraq, ch 1 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 36, 37 OR Halliburton
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture VII, 2nd third
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 18, The Brain and Nerves in Animals [or, in the 2002 edition, 5. The Hand]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
biography of Alexander Graham Bell to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Oliver Twist: ch. 33-37
Age of Fable ch 23 Admetus and Alcestis


Week 21
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 84. Lincoln - The Story of the First Battle Between Ironclads
Abraham Lincoln's World: Opening Japan pg 272-277, Good Old Abe, The Rail Splitter pg 278-280, The Man and the Hour pg 281-284, 1861: The Torn Map pg 289-294
Biography of your choice - spread over the 12 week term as desired
Explore the Holy Land, Iraq, ch 2 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 38, 39 OR Halliburton
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture VII, last third
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 19, The Variety of Machinery in Animals [or, in the 2002 edition, 6. In Place of Hands]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
biography of Alexander Graham Bell to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Oliver Twist: ch. 38-41
Age of Fable ch 23 Antigone, Penelope


Week 22
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 85. Lincoln - Thru Battle of Shiloh And the Taking of New Orleans
Abraham Lincoln's World: What About England pg 295-297, An Empire for Mexico pg 298-301, Russia's Serfs are Freed pg 302, 1862: The Monitor and the Merrimac 303
Trial and Triumph ch 41. Charles Spurgeon Prince of Preachers (1834-1892) 253
Biography of your choice - spread over the 12 week term as desired
Explore the Holy Land, Iraq, ch 2 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 40, 41 OR Halliburton
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture VIII, first third
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 20, The Hand [or, in the 2002 edition, skip this week]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
biography of Alexander Graham Bell to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Oliver Twist: ch. 42-45
Age of Fable ch 24 Orpheus and Eurydice


Week 23
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 86. Lincoln - The Slaves Are Made Free
Abraham Lincoln's World: Henceforth and Forever Free pg 304-309, Prussia Marches to War pg 310-314, 1863: Vicksburg and Gettysburg pg 315-320, Red Cross pg 321-322
Biography of your choice - spread over the 12 week term as desired
Explore the Holy Land, Iraq, ch 3 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 42, 43 OR Halliburton
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture VIII, 2nd third
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 21, What Animals Use for Hands [or, in the 2002 edition, 6. Variety in Animals]]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
biography of Alexander Graham Bell to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Oliver Twist: ch. 46-49
Age of Fable ch 24 Aristaeus the Bee-keeper


Week 24
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 87. Lincoln - Chancellorsville - the Death of Stonewall Jackson
Abraham Lincoln's World: The Last Year of War pg 323-328, Looking to the Future pg 329-335, Victory and Defeat pg 336-338, Day of Light and Shadow pg 339-342
Biography of your choice - spread over the 12 week term as desired
Explore the Holy Land, Iraq, ch 3 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 44, 45 OR Halliburton
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture VIII, last third
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
biography of Alexander Graham Bell to be read over the 12 week term as desired
Oliver Twist: ch. 50-53
Age of Fable ch 24 Amphion-Muusaeus


Optional Exam Week


Week 25
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 88. Lincoln - The Battle of Gettysburg (Child's History of the World ch 82-84 [ch 77 in 1st ed] Civil War, Florence Nightingale, Machines)
The Story of the World vol 4 by Susan Wise Bauer ch 1, 2
Carry a Big Stick (Teddy Roosevelt) introduction and pgs 25-34
Explore the Holy Land, Saudi Arabia, ch 1 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 46, 47 OR Halliburton
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 22, The Tools of Animals [or, in the 2002 edition, 6. Animal Tools]
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture IX, first third
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier
biography of George Washington Carver to be read over the 12 week term as desired
(DONE) Kim by Rudyard Kipling ch 1
Age of Fable ch 25 Arion


Week 26

The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 89. Lincoln - Grant's Campaign - Sheridan's Ride
The Story of the World vol 4 by Susan Wise Bauer ch 3, 4
Trial and Triumph ch 42. Chinese Christians In the Boxer Rebellion (1900-1901) 259
Carry a Big Stick (Teddy Roosevelt) pgs 35-50
Explore the Holy Land, Saudi Arabia, ch 1 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 48, 49, 50 OR Halliburton
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture IX, 2nd third
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 23, More about the Tools of Animals [or, in the 2002 edition, 6. More Animal Tools]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier
biography of George Washington Carver to be read over the 12 week term as desired
(DONE) Kim by Rudyard Kipling ch 2, 3
Age of Fable ch 25 Ibycus


Week 27
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 90. Lincoln - Sherman's March To the Sea - Lincoln Re-elected President
The Story of the World vol 4 by Susan Wise Bauer ch 5, first half of 6 (up to page 63)
Carry a Big Stick (Teddy Roosevelt) pgs 51-67
Explore the Holy Land, Saudi Arabia, ch 1 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 51, 52 OR Halliburton
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture IX, last third
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 24 Instruments of Defense and Attack [or, in the 2002 edition, 6. Tools for Defense and Attack]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier
biography of George Washington Carver to be read over the 12 week term as desired
(DONE) Kim by Rudyard Kipling ch 4
Age of Fable ch 25 Simonides, Sappho


Week 28
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 91. Lincoln - the End of the War - The President's Death
The Story of the World vol 4 by Susan Wise Bauer second half of ch 6 (starting at pg 63), ch 7
Carry a Big Stick (Teddy Roosevelt) pgs 68-82
Explore the Holy Land, Saudi Arabia, ch 2 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 53, 54 OR Halliburton
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 25, Wings [or, in the 2002 edition, 6. Wings]
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture X, first third
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier
biography of George Washington Carver to be read over the 12 week term as desired
(DONE) Kim by Rudyard Kipling ch 5
Age of Fable ch 26 Dianaand Endymion, Orion


Week 29
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 92. Johnson - How the President Was Impeached
The Story of the World vol 4 by Susan Wise Bauer ch 8, 9
Carry a Big Stick (Teddy Roosevelt) pgs 83-97
Explore the Holy Land, Saudi Arabia, ch 2 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 55, 56 OR Halliburton
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture X, 2nd third
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 26, Coverings of Animals [or, in the 2002 edition, 6. Coverings for the Body]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier
biography of George Washington Carver to be read over the 12 week term as desired
(DONE) Kim by Rudyard Kipling ch 6, 7
Age of Fable ch 26 Aurora and Tithonus, Acis and Galatea


Week 30
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 93. Grant - A Peaceful Victory
The Story of the World vol 4 by Susan Wise Bauer ch 10, 11
Trial and Triumph ch 43. Abraham Kuyper Theologian and Statesman (1837-1920) 265
Carry a Big Stick (Teddy Roosevelt) pgs 98-112
Explore the Holy Land, Saudi Arabia, ch 2 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 57, 58 OR Halliburton
Fairy-Land of Science: Lecture X, last third
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 27, The Beautiful Coverings of Animals [or, in the 2002 edition, 6. Beautiful Animal Coverings]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier
biography of George Washington Carver to be read over the 12 week term as desired
(DONE) Kim by Rudyard Kipling ch 8
Age of Fable ch 27 The Trojan War


Week 31
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 94. Hayes - Garfield - Arthur
The Story of the World vol 4 by Susan Wise Bauer ch 12, 13
Carry a Big Stick (Teddy Roosevelt) pgs 113-128
Explore the Holy Land, Jordan, ch 1 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 59, 60 OR Halliburton
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 28, How Man is Superior to the Animals [or, in the 2002 edition, 6. A Time for Sleep]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier
biography of George Washington Carver to be read over the 12 week term as desired
(DONE) Kim by Rudyard Kipling ch 9
Age of Fable ch 27 The Iliad spend 3 weeks as needed


Week 32
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 95. Cleveland - Harrison - Cleveland
The Story of the World vol 4 by Susan Wise Bauer ch 14, 15
Carry a Big Stick (Teddy Roosevelt) pgs 129-141
Explore the Holy Land, Jordan, ch 1 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 61, 62 OR Halliburton
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 29, The Thinking of Animals [or, in the 2002 edition, 7. The Superiority of Man]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier
biography of George Washington Carver to be read over the 12 week term as desired
(DONE) Kim by Rudyard Kipling ch 10
Age of Fable ch 27 The Iliad spend 3 weeks as needed


Week 33
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 96. McKinley - War And Sudden Death
The Story of the World vol 4 by Susan Wise Bauer ch 16, first half of 17 (up to pg 185)
Carry a Big Stick (Teddy Roosevelt) pgs 142-158
Explore the Holy Land, Jordan, ch 1 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 63, 64 OR Halliburton
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 30, More About The Thinking of Animals [or, in the 2002 edition, skip this week]
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier
biography of George Washington Carver to be read over the 12 week term as desired
(DONE) Kim by Rudyard Kipling ch 11
Age of Fable ch 27 The Iliad spend 3 weeks as needed


Week 34
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 97. Roosevelt - Taft
The Story of the World vol 4 by Susan Wise Bauer second half of ch 17, 18
Trial and Triumph ch 44. J. Gresham Machen Valiant for Truth (1881-1937) 271
Explore the Holy Land, Jordan, ch 2 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 65, 66 OR Halliburton
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 31, What Sleep is For [or, in the 2002 edition, skip this week]
Carry a Big Stick (Teddy Roosevelt) pgs 159-172
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier
biography of George Washington Carver to be read over the 12 week term as desired
(DONE) Kim by Rudyard Kipling ch 12, 13
Age of Fable ch 28 The Fall of Troy spend 2 weeks as needed


Week 35
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 98. Wilson - Troubles With Mexico
The Story of the World vol 4 by Susan Wise Bauer ch 19, 20
Explore the Holy Land, Jordan, ch 2 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 67, 68 OR Halliburton
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5: ch. 32, Hygeine [or, in the 2002 edition, 7. Hygiene and Diet]
Carry a Big Stick (Teddy Roosevelt) pgs 173-187
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier
biography of George Washington Carver to be read over the 12 week term as desired
(DONE) Kim by Rudyard Kipling ch 14
Age of Fable ch 28 The Fall of Troy spend 2 weeks as needed


Week 36
The Bible
This Country of Ours ch 99. Wilson - The Great War
The Story of the World vol 4 by Susan Wise Bauer ch 21, 22
Explore the Holy Land, Jordan, ch 2 OR Hillyer's Childs Geography of the World ch 69, 70, 71 OR Halliburton
Carry a Big Stick (Teddy Roosevelt) pg 189-end
Shakespeare and Plutarch's Lives and Plutarch’s study guide
Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier
biography of George Washington Carver to be read over the 12 week term as desired
(DONE) Kim by Rudyard Kipling ch 15
Age of Fable ch 28 Agamemnon-Troy (end of chapter)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Verse of the week - II Corinthians 10:5

http://www.freefoto.com/images/01/23/01_23_51_prev.jpg

Rabbit trails.

That's often where our thoughts take us. If unchecked our thoughts can run from a reflection of God's greatness to a vacation plan to scheduling conflicts to childhood memories to what's on the dinner menu all in the space of two minutes.


Sometimes, when I follow my thoughts they bring me into sinful places.
Places of discontent.
Places of grumbling.
Places of jealousy.
Places filled with pride.
At least some of you can probably relate.

That is part of the reason that verse speaks to me with so much conviction. II Corinthians 10:5 says, "We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." This was my verse for the week almost a year and a half ago, but I revisit it on almost a weekly basis, and had some fresh perspective recently.


Some words in Scripture I just need to dig back into to draw out the meaning even more. "Captive" is one of those words. If you care to see the original Greek word and see for yourself, feel free to do so. It comes from a word that means to lead away like taking a prisoner of war captive. The root word comes from the word for spear.


Taking my thoughts captive involves warfare. Taking aim, tying them up, ridding myself of these thoughts or making them work for me in obedience to Christ.


How does that look? Well, as I stand there stewing about some blatant injustice to my personal rights (you know: bad drivers, needy kids, unending housework, etc.) I need to grab that thought and remember my never ending role of service to God.


Instead of annoyance at the constant demands on my time, I should pray for strength for myself, giving thanks for the blessing of a full house, for the opportunity to model a follower of Jesus to my children, for my child to grow to love Him also.


Instead of grumbling about the ironing or cooking that needs to get done . . .pray for the family members that you are caring for, thanking God for a husband that provides so faithfully, rejoicing that we have such abundance of food and clothing, recognizing God's constant provision and blessing.


Lord, please help me this week to stop those runaway thoughts and take them captive for Your glory. I want to praise you for the blessings and not grumble over the inconveniences. Thank you, Lord, for the specific challenges of Your Word that reach so vividly into my life and mind. Keep changing me. ~Amen


We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

~II Corinthians 10:5~

Thursday, July 23, 2009

weekly wrap up - Curriculum edition

As we accelerate toward the official start of school I find myself once again absorbed with all things homeschool. Budgets, schedules, classes, co-ops, curriculums, philosophies, inspiration, etc.


Last week I, and many others, enjoyed Kris's posting of her Curriculum plans for the year ahead, and so she invited us to join her this week with a posting of our own plans. You can jump over there and read about many other homeschoolers' plans as well.


But wait -- here's mine first :-)

In the order of our daily schedule:

Bible
- Grapevine Studies, Old Testament Overview (review coming. We are enjoying this, but I want a couple more weeks with it before I share all my thoughts).

- You can Change the World - praying around the world

- AWANA


Missionary Biographies
- Chance to Die by Elliot (about Amy Carmichael)

- Trial and Triumph (love this book!)

- then, not sure yet. Maybe Daktar or Bruchko or Through Gates of Splendor (if it's not obvious, I'm kind of a missionary biography junkie, probably a quarter of my books relate to missions in one way or another)


Spelling
- Spelling Power

- SpellQuizzer


Math
- Nothing exciting -- we use A Beka for 1,2 grade (don't do kindergarten, just start first grade stuff when they are around 5 years old); Saxon for 3 through Algebra II; this year we are using Jacobs Alegebra I for a fresh perspective and have really liked it so far


English
- IEW We will dabble in this next week and use it to advance writing skills, hopefully. A popular method and I have enjoyed learning more about it through videos borrowed from friends. This was my one big purchase this year. I bought the student intensive ($120) with the DVDs.

- Rod and Staff (2-8) We started these two years ago and I cannot rave enough about them. Simple, affordable, academically strong, and clearly taught from a Christian worldview. I don't require my kids to do every single exercise, and we do a bit orally, but they have learned so much and enjoy the many references to a more agrarian form of living. They do not officially sell their products online, but this link takes you to a store that you can purchase them through.


Handwriting
- We start out with Handwriting without Tears. I enjoy their early writing books and even found a large set of their wooden manipulatives at a sale earlier this year for less than $15 I think.

- Once my kids have their writing pretty well established (2-3rd grade), we move to A Reason for Handwriting. I liked their cursive better than any other books that I looked at, so that is part of the reason for the switch. It has worked well so far.


PE
- Aside from sports we do daily running, stretching, etc.

- I want my older kids to all be comfortable running a mile by the end of this year.

- More on a PE activity that we often use


History
- Sonlight core 1 for the younger set. I've done this once already a few years ago and am looking forward to reading some favorites once again!

- Ambleside year 5 for the older two. I think combining will save my sanity a bit this year. We should have time to dig in a little more, and I love the conversations that erupt when I work with more than one child at a time.


Science
- Sonlight core 1 for the younger set

- Aplogia General Science with the older two


Co-ops and classes:
- Keepers at Home
- Ballet
- Gymnastics
- fall soccer, spring baseball
- drama
- gym and swim


Nature Study
- Handbook of Nature Study blog

- Handbook of Nature Study (an old version of the book can be seen online at that link)


Lots of extras from Ambleside (Read Alouds, Poets, Plutarch, Artists, Composers, hymns, more nature study, etc.)


I'm a little tired just looking at it all, but still excited. So much fun stuff ahead this year, can't wait to jump into it all!

Fresh schedule

I finally did it last night.


Putting it off all summer, because I knew it was an absolutely impossible task. Ahem. Yeah, it took me all of 15 minutes.


Our homeschool schedule is officially revamped to include new subjects, books, and remove outdated time frames.


It looks like this:

9:00 -- Bible time

9:30 -- Missionary/Christian biography

9:45 -- Spelling Power

10:00 -- Math hour (I spend one-on-one time with each of my four school age kids)
During this hour the kids spend 15 minutes with me, 15 minutes each doing math on their own, typing, and handwriting.

11:00 -- English hour (same as math hour, just with English this time)
Kids spend independent time on English, music practice, and silent reading

12:00 -- PE

12:30 -- Lunch break with Daddy (always a highlight of our day!)

1:15 -- History and Science time with my three younger ones,
study hall for the older two

2:15 -- History and Science with my older two, younger three are free to engage themselves in not-too messy art projects, Legos, or other educational activities we have on hand

3:15 -- Notebooking time

3:45 -- Done for the day!

Fridays will be different. On those days we will cover all the extras after Bible time (art, composers, music, Spanish, nature study, items we get to review that don't fit elsewhere, Plutarch and Shakespeare if I stay ambitious, and piano lessons).


Always exciting to get a fresh start. I think August 17 is our official start date, although we never really quit through the summer, we do relax a bit. That will be back to the real world of homeschooling.

Tune in tomorrow for what we will actually fill those slots with.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

wfmw -- staying cool and hydrated


Summer usually means lots of time spent outside, a bit of hot weather, and active pursuits.


To fully enjoy these times, I always make sure that we have lots of water to drink and ways to keep cool.


These are just a few of the tips I have incorporated into our summertime planning to make sure this happens.


First off, I keep a couple of these in our freezer at all times:


I have found that these little margarine tubs are the perfect size super ice cube to put in our water cooler and take on the go. This usually takes all day to melt even if left in a hot car, thus assuring us ice cold drinking water throughout the day.


When I use them, I refill them right away so they are ready for next time. Then, whenever we are headed out the door, I put it in the water cooler, fill it up with cold water and we are ready in a jiffy!


Also, I fill up additional water bottles the night before and freeze them for either drinking throughout the day or keeping the cooler cool. One frozen two liter or gallon jug can keep your cooler cool without needing lots of ice. Then, you stick it back in the freezer at home and reuse it next time. A very frugal, environmentally friendly alternative to a cooler full of ice.

Other helpful items to keep on hand:
  • hats
  • small towels or bandannas (these can be great for dunking in a cooler full of melting ice or cold water to cool off with)
  • spray bottles (keep these in the cooler, too, for an extra cooling mist!)

Why bring water with you?
To help prevent you from filling up on tea or pop while you are out.
And, of course to keep you hydrated.

How much water?
Well, we usually count on about 4-5 cups per person, but you will need to determine what your family needs. Better to overestimate than under and find yourself paying $3 a bottle for water or drinking a less nutritious alternative.


Stay cool, and most importantly, stay hydrated! You can enjoy your time lots more and keep your energy levels up if you take care of yourself and your kids in this regard. Get ready to really enjoy the rest of this summer!


Check out more WFMW.

Close-up: Spelling

In preparation for an upcoming post compiling all my curriculum choices for the coming year, I am putting together a variety of "Close-up" posts to share in depth about some of the items we will be using that I think deserve an extra look. We already talked about mentoring, and now on to some of the more core subjects.


Each year in evaluating our focus for the year ahead, I examine where my kids have excelled and struggled in the previous year. Spelling has often received limited attention, and although I have tried various methods, I have never found one that made much of a difference for one of my children in particular.


For this coming year, I think I have the combination to tackle this subject. In addition to SpellQuizzer (which I reviewed at the beginning of the summer), I picked up a much coveted book at a book sale this weekend. For just $5 (!) I snagged a copy of Spelling Power which has become my new favorite book.

Spelling Power, Fourth Edition

More than just a spelling curriculum, this book spends the first 100 pages describing the hows and whys behind their system. I had previously tried The Natural Speller because I liked the idea of getting them into high school with just one spelling book. However, I should have known that a $20 book with less than 100 pages could do what I expected it to. It's a decent book but you get what you pay for, unless you buy it at a used book sale. :-)


Now I don't know if I could justify Spelling Power's $60 price tag new. I haven't paid that much for one book since college. But, it is quite a book.


Here's how it works:

- Preliminary test of 50 words(stop once they have reached six incorrect words)

- More precise placement test (tells you exactly where to start in the book)

- Spend 15 minutes each day on spelling (5 minutes testing, 5 minutes independent work on missed words, 5 minutes skill building activities)

- Kids learn the rules with the lists. I always talked about the rules, but I like the idea of having them write out the phonics rule when we first learn about it.

- Kids move on at their own pace progressing when they get the words right, continuing to study the words they spell incorrectly. I LOVE the individual tailoring of this system.

- Periodic reviews to keep it solid


What I don't like:

- Very teacher intensive. In the past my kids did spelling mostly on their own, and I just checked their tests. I need to find another 45 minutes in my day for spelling now. As my husband said, "That's probably why it works." And, I'm sure he's right.

- Lots of reading to prepare initially. I really want this to work, so I'm doing the reading, but 100 pages is a lot of reading on just spelling!


I'm starting this now, so I will have the kids settled into their routine and expectations when school starts. We get the placement tests done now while I have more flexibility in my schedule, and they will be able to work on their own at least a little through the school year.


I am so thankful that another homeschool mom told me about this book, and I am so thankful that I found it for such a reasonable price from another homeschool mom who has no idea how she blessed me by selling her "done-withs" for those of us still on this journey. I look forward to watching my kids continue to grow and thrive as I add more weapons in my arsenol for the upcoming year.


Enjoy more Thirsty Thursday.