Friday, May 30, 2014

Fabulous Friday....

Riley experimenting with her hair....

Ruben working through mental math....

Levi who loves to color....

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

How Many Kernels on a Cob of Corn?

Today, for lunch, we were eating corn on the cob when Riley asked,"how many kernels are on a cob of corn"?  After a brief discussion about no two ears being alike and estimation, she decided to do some figuring.  She counted one row on her cob, which had 40 kernels.  Then she counted the number of rows, which was 16.  I suggested rounding to 15 for ease of mental math.  She knew that 40 x 10 is 400 and half of 10 is 5, so 40 x 5 must be 200.  Then, 400 plus 200 equals 600.  Riley determined there were approx. 600 kernels of corn on her cob.

This prompted Ruben to inquire, "If there are 600 kernels and you eat one kernel per minute, how long will it take to eat the whole cob?"  After seeking assistance from Angel, he determined it would take 10 hours to eat Riley's cob of corn :))

I love these teachable moments!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Seeing Past Dyslexia...

Recently our local news channel, WQOW News Channel 18, broadcast a three part series on dyslexia.  Morning News Anchor, Aaron Rhody, did a very nice job bringing awareness to the issue.  I've linked each part below and encourage you to check them out.  Each piece is approx. 5-6 minutes. 

Seeing Past Dyslexia, Part 1

Seeing Past Dyslexia, Part 2

Seeing Past Dyslexia, Part 3

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Angel's Graduation....

Angel graduated last night.  This was our second graduate, but the first one through home school.  We joined with eleven other local homeschool families and participated in a graduation ceremony with a reception to follow.  It was lovely!  I have no regrets about homeschooling through high school and look forward to the upcoming years with our younger kids.  Congratulations Angel!

RileyAnn took Angel's senior photos.  Below is a sampling.....

Monday, May 12, 2014

Johnny Tremain...

It is 1773 in Colonial Boston, Johnny Tremain is a bright apprentice silversmith with a promising future.  After a malicious accident leaves Johnny with a crippled hand, he must come to grips with not only his new disability, but his pride.  While struggling with his new self image, Johnny finds himself in the middle of the American Revolution. 

If you have not read Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes, YOU MUST!!  Johnny Tremain is historical fiction at its very best.  Not only will you find yourself transported to historic Boston, but you will come to know prominent Boston Patriots such as Paul Revere, Sam Adams, and John Hancock.

Aside from history, there are many lessons to be learned in Johnny Tremain.  As the story unfolds, we witness Johnny mature from a prideful youth to a young man facing his problems, trying to figure out who he is and what matters most to him.  Johnny Tremain is a coming of age story of man vs. self.  We highly recommend it!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Childhood of Famous Americans...

Childhood of Famous Americans is a wonderful series!  I have read several of them aloud and the kids enjoy them.  Riley enjoys them so much that she has taken it upon herself to read the books pictured above for fun as they fit into our history study. 

Most of this series is out of print, but you can usually find them at used book sales.  Some of them have been reprinted.  However, we prefer the original hardbacks with the silhouettes.  The reprints that I've compared have been edited from the original version.  Though they are a series, you can see from the photo that the books have been printed with an assortment of covers. 

I really appreciate this Childhood of Famous Americans chronological list from Paula's Archives.  It makes it very easy to fit these little gems into whatever time period you are studying. 

Sadly, many schools and libraries are discarding this series as out of date.  I can't imagine how history gets out of date.  We collect just about every one we see :))  These are books I plan to pass down to our children, grandchildren, and hopefully many generations to come.  If you come across discarded Childhood of Famous Americans' books, I would encourage you to snatch them up and pass them on to those special young people in your life.  You will be giving them a great gift!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Book of Centuries....

I had an "Ah-Ha" moment over the weekend.  I'm currently reading through The Living Page: Keeping Notebooks with Charlotte Mason by Laurie Bestvater.  In addition, I was doing a bit of CM research online when I came across these two posts by Laurie Bestvater at Charlotte Mason Institute...

The first is from 2010 and the second is from 2011, both of which were written before the 2013 copyright of The Living Page.  
Apparently, the Book of Centuries contained a two page spread for each century. One being a blank page, and one being a lined page numbered in five year increments.  The student then drew pictures/illustrations on the blank page of artifacts connected with that century.  The lined pages were used to note event dates "characteristic" of that time period.  Therefore, each book was individual to the student, with no two books alike.  Rarely were pictures glued in, to prevent the book from becoming too bulky.  In addition, toward the back of the Book of Centuries were ten blank pages where the student could draw maps and other history descriptions. 
Reading these posts, along with seeing the Book of Centuries Notebook Samples found in Appendix B of the book, really helped me to get a better idea of what Charlotte was trying to accomplish.  We've been keeping timelines with the cut and paste figures.  Now it appears that we've been going about it all wrong.  Although, I'm actually relieved to learn the correct method.  It looks much simpler and more cost effective.  I also think it will better help the children remember a timeline of history, which is the goal :)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Total Health: Choices for a Winning Lifestyle VS. A Beka Health....

A friend recently asked me to review Total Health vs. A Beka Health for her high school student.  Angel completed the middle school TH book in 8th grade and the high school TH book this year in 12th grade.  We also used A Beka Health in 6th grade.  She much preferred Total Health.

As a side note, for 12th grade I paired Total Health with I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris and we used Hewitt Homeschool's Health Syllabus and Tests.   I thought this was a good fit.  Angel enjoyed Harris' book as well. 

Since Angel used both programs, I asked her to write the review.  Again, keep in mind that we've only used A Beka health in 6th grade, not at the high school level.  Maybe the high school level covers areas more comparable to Total Health.  For us, Angel loved Total Health so much in middle school, it was a no brainer for high school.  I really didn't even look at any other programs at that point.  Here are her thoughts....

“Total Health was a great program!  It presented the information in an interesting and readable manner and included thought provoking activities and discussion topics to review the material covered.  Total Health provided accurate information on not only physical health, but it also explained how important our spiritual, mental, and social health are to our overall well being.  It presented health information from a Biblical perspective which made it much easier to apply the lessons learned to my life personally.  Overall, the program was well worth the time and effort put into it.  Total Health is a wonderful in-depth program that can be understood and enjoyed by all high school students. 

A Beka’s Choosing Good Health is also a good Biblically based health program and has its perks for those who like the textbook education method, but it is not as thought provoking or in-depth as Total Health.  Below are some compare/contrast points for both programs.” 

Total Health
A Beka Health
Readable and interesting; conversational, as if a teacher was speaking to you
Textbook reading and presentation of material; dry
Covered overall health from physical, mental, social, spiritual, etc.; not just nutrition and exercise
Covers mainly the human body, good nutrition, exercise, first aid, etc.; does not cover mental, social, or spiritual health
Included thought provoking explain/discussion questions that allow the student to think about the subject or issue being covered in the text themselves, coming up with their own opinions or answers
Included standard textbook multiple choice, fill in the blank, matching, etc. questions that allow the student to find the answer in the reading rather than having the student actually think about the issue being covered; no thought provoking or essay questions
Has only two tests, one for each quarter; has a review that contains explain/discussion questions after each chapter; no quizzes
Has 4 tests, 8 quizzes and 11 worksheets throughout the program; no activities that 
allow the student to apply the material they have learned  

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Still Pluggin' Away....

We're still pluggin' away here on Drywood Creek.  It's been raining for a week.  I believe The Farmer measured over four inches so far. 

Time is flying!!  Angel has only two weeks until graduation.  Riley started softball.  Ruben celebrated his 9th birthday and started baseball.  Levi is talking up a storm and makes us smile several times a day.  I'm in the heart of thrift and book sale season :))

For now, I thought I'd share some random photos....

Dear Ruben celebrating a birthday with a cake baked and decorated by Riley.
Cousins hanging out :)
One of Angel's senior snapshots by Riley

Every sister needs a little brother to join in her photo shoot.
Levi enjoying time outside with daddy.