Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thursdays of Thanks.....

A boy and his fort; A girl who loves to bake; A happy, healthy baby; A man who takes time for his children; A child asking me to read aloud; God using the Pilgrims to found this great nation; Psalm 100......

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 
Enter his gates with thanksgiving: 
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name. 
For the Lord is good. 
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation. 
                                                                             ...Psalm 100 

May you have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving....

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thursdays of Thanks...

New shelves; Living books to study Jamestown settlement; The Hundred Dresses book club; Kids in costume; God's miraculous gifts (Have you seen this video?); Getting home safely through snow and ice; Being with my sister on her birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHELE!!).....

Monday, November 18, 2013

This Dear Bought Land...

I just finished reading aloud This Dear Bought Land.  This little gem is out of print, but I was fortunate enough to obtain the one copy in our library system.  What a wonderful way to study Jamestown!  The book made me laugh and cry.

I feel as modern day Americans, we are very out of touch with the history of our country.  It's important to teach our children and not forget what the men and women went through to make America what it is today.  This Dear Bought Land gives a great sense of what it must have been like for the early colonies.  You learn of the suffering, setbacks and hardships endured.   It is so amazing to me how these men pushed on gaining the foothold to build this nation we now call America.

The book is told in story form through the eyes of young David Warren.  David develops a love-hate relationship with Captain John Smith.  But in the end, David becomes a man and gains great respect and admiration for Captain Smith.  This Dear Bought Land is a TruthQuest History recommendation.  It's also listed on Bonnie Anderson's Visual History Timeline.  We highly recommend This Dear Bought Land with two thumbs up!  We hope to own our own copy some day :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursdays of Thanks....

Little scholar; Volunteering; Good feeling about math; Making cards; New friend of a friend; Play center; 3 days of sales.....

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Math Decision...

Whoa, Who....I finally made our math decision and it feels good!  After limping along with a mirage of programs, I'm very excited to announce what we've settled on.  Drum roll please......SINGAPORE Primary Mathematics

We're a couple of weeks in with RileyAnn, but only a day in with Ruben.  So far the transition has been beautiful!  I love the approach.  It's very similar to RightStart Mathematics, but not nearly as teacher intensive or expensive.  

I highly recommend taking the placement tests, particularly if you are transitioning into Singapore from another math program.  Nearly every review I read, states Singapore Math is advanced.  Don't be surprised if your children test at a younger level.  The numbers don't necessarily coincide with the grade, unless you're starting with Singapore from the beginning.  It appears as though Levels 1-6 cover 1st through 7th grade.  I placed both kids at lower than grade level simply to ensure there are no gaps, also to rebuild RileyAnn's math confidence.  So far, she really likes Singapore Math.  It's challenging, but not so difficult as to cause feelings of anxiety, frustration, and ignorance.  After teaching the lessons, I can even feel my brain being a good way :)

There are three books per semester. A Home Instructor's Guide, Student Textbook, and Student Workbook.  The main feature of this package is the use of the Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract approach.  This is totally in line with Dr. Ruth Beechick and Charlotte Mason's methods.  The idea is to teach by concrete instruction meaning through manipulatives, games, etc.  Then transition to practicing with pictures in the textbook.  Finally, completing abstract exercises in the workbook. 

I definitely recommend the Home Instructor's Guide!!  I think this book makes the program.  As a matter of fact, I think it's possible to use this guide exclusively in the younger grades, using manipulatives and games rather than workbook pages.  We don't even pull out the text, workbook until the end of the lesson, after I feel the children understand the concept inside and out. 

Also, the Home Instructor's Guide makes the program open and go.  There is a Suggested Weekly Schedule at the beginning of each guide.  Each lesson gives you a list of necessary teaching materials (linking cubes, hundred chart, base 10 blocks, place value chart, counters, playing cards, etc.)  There are suggestions to make your own manipulatives if you don't already own them.  The charts, cards, and mental math pages are located in the Appendix for you to photocopy.

Each lesson provides a list of lesson objectives, notes to the instructor providing added explanations of concepts, instructional ideas and suggested activities to go along with the textbook pages, game ideas to reinforce concepts, "homework" assignments, and textbook/workbook answers. This may sound like a lot of information, but each lesson is laid out very well and contained in two to three pages. 

I really appreciate the fact that the guide is written to me as a homeschool mom.  I do not have to sift through classroom activities.  It's intended to use one on one with your child.  Although, many of the games can have more than two players so you could include siblings.  

Another great feature of Singapore Primary Mathematics is the price.  Each student book sells for around the $10 mark.  The Home Instructor's Guide sells for around $18.  The only consumable is the Student Workbook, so if you're planning to reuse with multiple children, you only need to buy 2 new workbooks at a total cost around $20 per year. 

I will keep you posted on our math progress throughout the year.  If you're new here, you may find something of use in these other math posts.  Math 1, Math 2, Math 3.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Roanoke & Virginia Dare....

I just finished reading the Childhood of Famous American book Virginia Dare: Mystery Girl by Augusta Stevenson aloud to the kids.  We were studying the Lost Colony of Roanoke.  This is a wonderful story!  We love Childhood of Famous American books!  Our kids have read several.  This particular book was hard to find.  Our library system doesn't have a copy.  I was very thankful to borrow it from a fellow homeschooler.  I highly recommend it if you can locate a copy. 

Product Details

I usually have the kids complete a notebooking page or coloring sheet for various people, places, and events that we learn about.  Sometimes they create their own and sometimes I print things I find online.  Today, I found this wonderful vintage coloring book  on The Lost Colony. 

Vintage Storybook Cover

I printed it and bound it with our ProClick Binder.  It's too cute!  I wish they still made coloring books like this.  We just used one page of it.  I copied the page and put handwriting lines beside the picture.  The kids then copied a couple of sentences about Virginia Dare and Roanoke on the lines.  We like the way they turned out. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thursdays of Thanks....

Serving hungry people; Celebrating niece's pregnancy; The habit of attention; Haircuts for the boys; RileyAnn's pumpkin roll; Psalm 39; Billy Graham's 95th birthday.....

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Apple Surprise....

We've been cooking up a storm here with the fall harvest, but I realized I haven't posted any food items lately.  So here's one of my latest creations....

One apple of your choice sliced and cored
approx. 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt
a dollop of carmel
top with your choice of granola - I make my own

This makes a great breakfast or anytime snack.  Our kids were begging for more :)