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Monday, October 04, 2010

Pleased as Punch

(Brought over from my old blog location.) :)

I am now into week whatever with our homeschooling this year and I have to say I am very pleased with Susan Wise Bauer's, Writing with Ease, Level One Workbook and Writing with Ease, Level Two Workbook as well as First Language Lessons, Level 3. They are exceptional programs that make it terribly easy to teach quality grammar and writing to younger children. I am using it with my two littles, ages 8 and 10. The focus on summarizing a passage via narration as well as the dictation and copywork are the perfect fit for us. The Language Lessons level we are using is working well for my ten year-old and I love that it is in bites easily digestible for her.

Reading was a huge struggle for her and she is coming along so nicely now. I feel so blessed to have been able to teach her at her level in her time without the pressure of meeting some arbitrary state timeline. She is unafraid to read and does not dread it. This is a big big deal to me. To hear her read words that she has to decode on her own and to see her do it - well there is nothing like it.

My "baby" is coming along nicely too. We discovered at the Modesto Homeschool Convention this year, a wonderful little reading curriculum all in one book. http://www.readysetreadnow.com is the website. Emma is doing so well with it and I am seeing some major progress in her reading ability. She has struggled with reading too, but is overcoming it and I am so happy for both of us! :) The company is changing the name of the program since the name is so similar to one already out there. It is not the same in any way though--and this is a good thing in my mind! :D

It is a lovely thing when, as a homeschool parent, you discover curriculum that really works. Sometimes it doesn't matter and you can use anything, but sometimes things just "click" and that is the case here. It is just making our homeschool life that much easier--and I like that!

Are you using anything that just fits for you this year?

Pleased as Punch

I am now into week whatever with our homeschooling this year and I have to say I am very pleased with Susan Wise Bauer's, Writing with Ease, Level One Workbook and Writing with Ease, Level Two Workbook as well as First Language Lessons, Level 3. They are exceptional programs that make it terribly easy to teach quality grammar and writing to younger children. I am using it with my two littles, ages 8 and 10. The focus on summarizing a passage via narration as well as the dictation and copywork are the perfect fit for us. The Language Lessons level we are using is working well for my ten year-old and I love that it is in bites easily digestible for her.

Reading was a huge struggle for her and she is coming along so nicely now. I feel so blessed to have been able to teach her at her level in her time without the pressure of meeting some arbitrary state timeline. She is unafraid to read and does not dread it. This is a big big deal to me. To hear her read words that she has to decode on her own and to see her do it - well there is nothing like it.

My "baby" is coming along nicely too. We discovered at the Modesto Homeschool Convention this year, a wonderful little reading curriculum all in one book. http://www.readysetreadnow.com is the website. Emma is doing so well with it and I am seeing some major progress in her reading ability. She has struggled with reading too, but is overcoming it and I am so happy for both of us! :) The company is changing the name of the program since the name is so similar to one already out there. It is not the same in any way though--and this is a good thing in my mind! :D

It is a lovely thing when, as a homeschool parent, you discover curriculum that really works. Sometimes it doesn't matter and you can use anything, but sometimes things just "click" and that is the case here. It is just making our homeschool life that much easier--and I like that!

Are you using anything that just fits for you this year?

Friday, October 01, 2010

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Gorgeous September

It is a lovely delicious fallish kind of day today and I just love it. We are beginning a new year this week and I am glad. It is hard to believe that I have the wide spread of ages and schoolwork I have this year, but we do and it feels almost normal. I have tenth, eighth, sixth, fourth, and second grade children and that means we are all over the educational spectrum. :D At the moment though, four of them are outside in our court running in the wind with delight. It has been pretty warm here so to have a 74 degree day to play in is just too enticing to miss. I will call them back in soon, but isn't this one of the gifts of our choice? I think so.

We are doing a different kind of co-op this year with a dear family and sharing the teaching load. Science and history are the subjects as well as gardening and possible animal husbandry. (Or something along those lines anyway!) We started yesterday and I think it is going to be a great year. The beginning of a school year holds a lot of promise and hope. I am grateful I get to live this life and grateful for the relationships it brings.

I wouldn't want to live any other way. Thank you, Lord!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Here we are!

A new blog site and a new blog look. I am still getting used to it all and will have to reload all the links to favorites I used to have, but it just might be helpful to someone.

That's all for now! The grocery store is a callin'! :D

Monday, April 19, 2010

Glorious Monday!

Some Mondays are hard. Today is not! It is a lovely breezy day with spotty sunshine. We have much planned ahead of us and not the least of which is a very exciting day planned to visit the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Bouquets to Art is this week and I am so excited. I studied floral design in college and we visited this event then. It was a spectacular showcase of floral art in combination with the permanent collection housed there. 20 (cough) years ago was the last time I attended and this week I will be going with my children, my mother, my aunt, and my grandmother. Four generations of family!

We will also be belatedly celebrating what used to be an every-year family tradition of Saint Patrick's Day. Now those who read this blog regularly know we do Saint Patrick's Day pretty big here, but I have not had a full-family SPD event in many many years and my children have never celebrated it with their 100% Irish Great Grandmother due to distance and timing. Wednesday evening will be it then! (Hey - we can celebrate Saint Patrick in the middle of April, right?) :D My Grandmother is 91 and I know she isn't going to be around forever. Do you have family like that? I love the time I spend with my Grandmother and rejoice that my children have that blessing.

It has been many months since we have spent any time with my mother and her husband and we are excited to do so. Family is a gift of God and we are grateful for them! What are you grateful for this week?



   

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

I love this day of the year! I grew up with a grandma that is 100% Irish and we celebrated this day every year with gusto. My corned beef is in the crockpot and we will be dining finely tonight! My children asked me today how corned beef was made - does it involve corn and if no, why the name? I found this little tidbit here.

Why do they Call it "Corned" Beef?

The term “Corned” comes from putting meat in a large crock and covering it with large rock-salt kernels of salt that were refered to as “corns of salt.” This preserved the meat. The term Corned has been in the Oxford English Dictionary as early as 888 AD.

Irish Were the First Exporters of Corned Beef. Irish were the biggest exporters of Corned Beef till 1825. The English were serving corned beef but also the Irish. In this day and age corned beef and cabbage is not very Irish, but corned beef is. The area of Cork, Ireland was a great producer of Corned Beef in the 1600’s until 1825. It was their chief export and sent all over the world, mostly in cans. The British army sustained on cans of Cork’s corned beef during the Napoleonic wars.


I love little tidbits of knowledge that that. :+) Do you have a good recipe for Irish Soda Bread? I often recommend this one, but make sure you substitute butter for margarine. It will not be the same without that change!

We are heading to our co-op today for some good "book larnin'" but also for some great fellowship and a build-your-own-potato bar! Yum!

For those of you looking for something "Irish" to study today, you might enjoy this old post of mine. The Book of Kells is exquisite and amazing and well worth your time. The picture links are no longer working on this old post, but you can see some of the gorgeous artwork here.

And another old blog post about the real Saint Patrick.

And to close I want to share a poem that is oft quoted this time of year, but I love it just the same.


May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wednesday Wanderings

What I'm thinking: Spring gardening. This is part of our winter harvest:



What I'm reading: Lord of the Rings - will be for a while!

What I'm listening to: My computer fan. :+)

What we're learning: With my little ones, American History with Beautiful Feet's timelines.



What I'm watching: The Olympics!

What's cooking: Roast beef, baked potatoes, and salad. 

What I'm buying: Veggies, but not these cause we grew them. Don't they look funny? They tasted SO good!



What I'm wearing: Favorite clothing - jeans, brown shirt, sox. Comfy!

What I'm thankful for: My birthday girl...


13 never looked so cute. :+)

What I'm creating: The Spring Lab for The Old Schoolhouse(R) Magazine!

What I'm praying: That these two little bears will feel better and lose their coughs:



What I'm planning: For February to be OVER soon!

What I'm looking forward to: Full time employment for my husband.

A picture to share: A science experiment with crystal growing. Click through to see how beautiful the crystals are up close!




Monday, February 08, 2010

Monday Musings (On Monday!) :+)

What I'm thinking: How I am blessed to have my delightful son as it is his birthday today!

What I'm reading: Lord of the Rings - I usually read it once a year, but skipped last year. It is so much better than the movies and I love the movies!

What I'm listening to: My children figuring out who is right. That is so important you know. LOL

What we're learning: Bloody Mary, Elizabeth I, the first book of Samuel

What I'm watching: We are still trying to see Avatar.

What's cooking: Roast chicken at the request of the birthday boy, mashed potatoes, salad and an ice cream cake.

What I'm buying: Birthday presents!

What I'm wearing: The same long flannel nightgown! (I told you it was my favorite winter attire! :+)

What I'm thankful for: The birthday boy!

What I'm creating: Ice cream cake.

What I'm praying: God's will for our lives.

What I'm planning: Wednesday co-op day. I had a funky dream that Wednesday arrived and I had absolutely nothing planned. It wasn't awesome.

What I'm looking forward to: Dinner

A picture to share: The birthday boy on the left and his birthday friend on the right! They are only a few days apart (plus a few years!) Thanks, Charlotte, for the picture! :+) 



Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Monday Musings (on Tuesday)

What I'm thinking: How I could use a cup of coffee and how much this kind of thing is interesting to read on other people's blogs. Hope it is the same here. :+)

What I'm reading: Veritas Press' Omnibus II. I am scheduling Hannah's reading and I really enjoy the essays at the beginning of every book. Frankly, the essays are better than some of the book choices!

What I'm listening to: My children playing a game.

What we're learning: Reformation history, how the Israelites lived during the Judges, Boston Massacre and Tea Party for "Littles History", and how much my children would like to go to the tidepools on the coast.

What I'm watching: We will be going to see Avatar this weekend.

What's cooking: Roast chicken, baked potatoes, broccoli for dinner.

What I'm buying: Absolutely nothing. :+)

What I'm wearing: A long flannel nightgown that graces the floor. It is my favorite winter nightgown made for me by my mother.

What I'm thankful for: Our church. The families' love and prayer; the fellowship and deep teaching.

What I'm creating: Crochet dishcloths. That's about it at the moment!

What I'm praying: God's wisdom and direction for my husband as he continues his job search--and for a job opening just for him.

What I'm planning: My co-op month! Just finished coloring in my sample habitats yesterday. So pretty!

What I'm looking forward to: Co-op this Wednesday. What God will do in the future.

A picture to share:

 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Good stuff out there.

I just love finding things online that I didn't know were there. :D One of my children needs a little extra work to really learn this lesson in her Math U See so I went to the site to see if they had anything that might help. Did they ever! They have a worksheet generator that you can specify for different lessons. So not only does she have fresh problems to work with, I don't have to think them up! It will even generate the answer key if you want it to. What a bonus! Poof, her math lesson is ready for tomorrow! I love MUS!

In our Mystery of History study we have been learning *so* much. The Reformation and the Renaissance are such amazing and heroic times. Right now we are reading a marvelous book about John Calvin. He is one of my heroes. The book is called, The River of Grace: The Story of John Calvin. It begins when he is seven and goes through his early life, his conversion upon examining the scriptures for himself, and his roll in the formation of the reformed church. It never ceases to astound me how little people knew of God and His word in the church at this time. Even the services in the churches were in Latin and the common man could not understand! I praise God for the Reformation. We would not have the light of His word were it not for courageous men and woman during the Reformation! We are very much enjoying it.

My newest review product I am working on is a biology program from Science Shepherd. It is beautifully put together and very thorough. I am excited about it. More on that in the future!

Even in the midst of our crazy winter storms I am starting to think about spring. What will we plant in our EarthBoxes this year? I have purchased a few heirloom seeds as the one bean heirloom from last year worked so wonderfully. (And we harvested the seeds again of course for this year!) The site is a little wonky for finding what you want, but Cherry Gal is where I chose to purchase the seeds I wanted purely because they had English cumcumbers! She has a neat selection and we bought some herbs and a few other veggie seeds. Spring will be fun!
 

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mullings

Another year! Time keeps marching on whether I am available for it to do so or not. :+) I am excited about this new year and grateful for every day.

We start our second week back post-break tomorrow and it is going well. I set up a schedule/check-off list for each child right before we started back last week and it has been working remarkably well. So much so that my younger two keep reminding me of the things we have yet to do all day until they are accomplished! This is both wonderful and frustrating all at the same time. LOL I am grateful though, in truth, but it makes for a very busy day. Homeschooling five with all different levels of study is really a challenge, but a good challenge. At the end of last week I thought to myself, wow, this is hard work, but work I want to be involved with. So we work!

Last week I had a wonderful night out with a dear friend. We started at the Fox and Goose Pub for dinner where I had the *best* fish and chips! It was a wonderful old brick building with very British decor. It was a fun "flash back" to England for me and wonderfully Americanized because there was no smoking! :D Then we headed to the Crest Theater in downtown Sacramento to see the beautifully gifted George Winston. His talent is so multifaceted it simply astounds me. Not only can he play some of the most beautiful piano solos, but he also plays very complicated guitar and harmonica pieces. I did not expect that at this concert. I also did not expect that he would be so unassuming. He wore jeans, a blue Oxford shirt and sox!! Evidently he plays best that way as Diane said that is how she has seen him play twice before--even in a suit! :+) Our seats were unbeatable and his playing superb. Thank you again, my sweet friend, for the glorious evening of time just with you!

We wrapped up our first semester artist study on Raphael. His artwork was unmatched--even today. It brought tears to my eyes a few times while studying it, it was so beautiful. I cannot imagine having that kind of gift. We are now moving on to an American artist, John Singer Sargent. He was, in effect, homeschooled! That was a fascinating discovery. Of course they wouldn't have called it that, but it is how he was educated. His mother, I would hazard a guess, would have been called an unschooler. :+) We are just beginning our study about him from the wonderful and free Ambleside Online art schedule. What a tremendous resource Ambleside is! My dear friend Nancy, is educating us on our new composer, Edward Elgar. I love what she brings out and shares with our family. Dawn is sharing and teaching scripture to the children as well as a study of maps in our geography course, and Charlotte is teaching a hymn this month. A rich time of fellowship and learning!

God is faithful and we are resting in Him. Welcome 2010!