Thursday, October 16, 2014

Learning Log of September 2014

 September was a busy month. My parents came from Brazil for a 40 day visit and we spend a lot of time just being together. Schooling was reduced to just math, reading aloud, chores and field trips. Of course, the kids still used/ played computers, as well as played chess, helped with cooking, listened to audiobooks... Life went on as usual and lots of learning happened.

We went to US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL and it was phenomenal. 

The kids also began soccer. Our local annual festival happened at the end of the month and the grandparents got to finally enjoy it with the grandchildren. 

My Mom, my oldest daughter and I ran a 5K.


Read aloud Books


* George Muller - The Guardian of Bristol's Orphans by Janet and Geoff Benge - Finally finished. George Muller was a great man of faith.

* Panda Kindergarten by Joanne Ryder
* Rah, Rah, Radishes! A Vegetable Chant by April Pulley Sayre

* Alone Yet Not Alone by Tracy Leininger Craven - Their Faith became their freedom. Based on a true story. Turned into a movie.

* Down the Long Hills by Louis L'Amour - Our first Louis L'amour book! The kids enjoyed it as we learned survival skills and delighted in this fast paced adventure. More coming soon.


Audio Books

* My kids, one time or another have the files below in their mp5s to which they listen to every night at their choosing: Fairy tales and classic stories , worship music, Story Hour files, The Piano Guys, Jonathan Park and The Brinkman Adventures, The Chronicles of Narnia and Story Nory (lots and lots of FREE audio goodness: Bible stories, Classics, educational stories even ones for non-English speakers wanting to improve their English. We love this website!).


* DD11 listening to Jonathan Park episodes as well as Cat of Bubastes by Henty.
* DD9 is listening to Cat of Bubastes as part of the Easy Peasy History curriculum.
* DD7 is listening to Sparkle Stories, Story Hour and Jonathan Park episodes on her mp3.


DD7 independent reading list: 

Continuing this month, DD7 is reading by leaps and bounds. With ease she is reading through her Abeka readers and keeping on reading her 100 books.

72) Ling and Ting - Not Exactly the Same! by Grace Lin
73) Ol' Mama Squirrel by David Ezra Stein
74) Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I don't) by Barbara Bottner
75) The Best Fence Painter - The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
76) The Magic School Bus Flies from the Nest
77) Bumblebees by Emily K. Green - World of Insects - Blast off! Readers
78) Fireflies by Emily L. Green - World of Insects - Blast Off! Readers
79) Young Cam Jansen and the Ice Skate Mystery by David A. Adler
80) Young Cam Jansen and the Pizza Shop Mystery by David A. Adler

Listening and following along books on Storyline Online.


DS9 independent reading list:  

* Calvin and Hobbes -DS9 reads a few strips at night before falling sleep.

* The Trojan Horse - How the Greeks Won the War by Emily Little
* Kidnapped by River Rats - William and Catherine Booth by Dave and Neta Jackson - Trailblazer books.
* Shelterwood by Susan Hand Shetterly
* Johnny on the Spot by Edward Sorel
 
Read Aloud to his sisters:
* The Adventures of Thor The Thunder God retold by Lise Lunge-larsen
* Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt

DD11 independent reading list

* Reading a chapter of Proverbs everyday and highlighting and copying the verse that spoke the most to her. She has now a wall covered in post it notes. 

* The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood
* Mythical Beasts by Doug Marx 
* Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright

* YOuTube - The Company and its Founders by Rebecca Rowell - Technology Pioneers
* Pixar - The Company and its Founders by A. M. Buckley - Technology Pioneers 

* Chicken Soup for Kid's Soul - 101 Stories of Courage, Hope and Laughter for kids 8-12

* Star of Light by Patricia ST. John 
* Treasures of the Snow - Illustrated Edition by Patricia St. John
* Escape from the Slave Traders - David Livingstone by Dave and Neta Jackson - Trailblazer Books 
* The Mayflower Secret - Governor William Bradford by Dave and Neta jackson - Trailblazer books
* The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

* The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich 

* Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D.Houston - DD11 started this book, but didn't finish.


** Take one or two or three (i.e. reading these yet again!)
* Autumn with the Moodys by Sarah Maxwell - book 2
* Winter with the Moodys by Sarah Maxwell - book 3
* Spring with the Moodys by Sarah Maxwell - book 4
* Summer Days with the Moodys by Sarah Maxwell - book 5
* Autumn Days with the Moodys by Sarah Maxwell - book 6 
* Winter Days with the Moodys by Sarah Maxwell - book 7
 
Read Aloud to her siblings:
* Dolphin Adventures - A True Story by Wayne Grover
* A Green Kid's Guide to Composting by Richard Lay


Activities at Home
* DD11 decided to learn the Irish whistle. So we bought one and she has been practicing and learning it on her own with help of YouTube videos and AIOM website.

* Playing chess with Grandpa.
* Training for a 5K with Grandma. Practicing soccer and volleyball with Grandpa.

* Enjoying the last days of swimming with the grandparents.

* Gardening; harvesting okra, greens, herbs, green beans, tomatoes and more.

* Cleaning, decluttering, and selling our stuff on Ebay.  
* Making videos for YouTube
* Editing Mom's videos
* Making Stop motion videos.
* Trying new recipes like Chicken pancakes and Flaxseed Coconut Cereal for breakfast. Mom is doing The Plan and is teaching the new concepts to the children. 
* Playing with homemade playdough.
* Riding bikes. Practicing soccer.
* Playing MInecraft. Playing a lot of Minecraft.


 Field Trips/ Activities Outside Home

* Homeschooling Meeting
* Lego Club - the kids worked on making stop motion videos. Since my children had already made a few, we uploaded a couple more to my YouTube channel and they worked on helping the other kids to build their sets, storyline and videos.
* A day trip with the Grandparents to the US Space Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL.  We watched the Mysteries of the Unseen World in the 3D theater. Fantastic!
* Grandma, DD11 and I ran a 5K on a Friday at midnight in our town during an annual festival. It was my daughter's and my first 5K and it was exhilarating. I can't get enough of running now.
* Going to our town annual festival and enjoying a crowded town and traffic jams.
* Carnival - the children enjoyed the games and rides during a fair in our town.
* We also watched a re-enactment of a Civil War battle.
* Soccer season is here!! DD11 and DS9 are playing soccer through the city team. Games and practices weekly.
* Shopping trips with grandparents.
* Going to the dentist for the first time for cleaning. No cavities. No issues. :) Yay!
* Eye doctor appts.


 Websites/ Links we found and used/ Apps


* Book Worm Adventures - A fun spelling game

* Khan Academy - great resource for anything math. DD11 and DS9 are still using it for  learning code on the site.

* Minecraft - we purchased the game and the kids are now fully capacitated to create their own worlds, and play in adventure maps and servers. Will they ever do anything else but minecraft???? :(

* Easy Peasy Website -  DD11 is doing the 6th grade curriculum. DS9 is doing the 4th grade and DD7 is doing the 2nd grade one. We stopped it all this month with my parents' visit.

* Storyline online - DD7 leads the way logging on to this site to listen to a read aloud story read by actors. Everyone else will join in. Who can resist a read aloud book?

* Online Academy of Irish Music - DD11 decided to learn Irish Flute and she is using this site to learn to play. She can play Amazing Grace, Are you sleeping, Brother John? and a song from the movie The Hobbit.

TV shows/ Videos/ Movies/ YouTube

* Frozen - still watching it. :)

* Gravity - too intense for the kids; too many extraordinary situations that are really impossible to happen in space. Still an interesting movie.

* Pink Panther videos

* Unstoppable with Kirk Cameron - on Netflix. I watched on my own. I thought it was not appropriate for children under 12 y.o. Deals with suffering and God.

* Tap vs Irish Dance - fantastic video that will delight anyone who loves dance.


* Ken Davis - funny comedian. Watch Fully Alive on Netflix. Read the Book here. We watched with the kids.

* God's Not Dead! - we watched this movie together as a family. There are strong scenes like a beating and a car accident. Otherwise the movie is fantastic as an example of defense of the Christian faith.

* October Baby - watched with my parents during their visit. If you haven't seen this movie, it's a good one dealing with the issue of abortion and forgiveness. My personal opinion is that this movie is NOT appropriate for kids 14 y.o. and under.

* Ransom of Red Chief
* The Great Elephant Escape
* The Adventures of Ragtime

* Ninjago Rebooted - Battle for New NInjago City



Books, blogs and other things I am reading...

* Spelling and the Brain - you got a child struggling with spelling? YOu got to watch this video.

* Hedua Media: Need to know more about different homeschooling methods or lifestyles? Take the time to browse and peruse this channel on YouTube. It's a wealth of information.

Conceived by Rape - Fantastic argument against abortion even in the case of rape. Documentary available for FREE at the link or purchasing the DVD at the same link.

* Fields of Mudan - a short film about children brought into slavery.

* Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality by Jim Burns - I have yet to find a book geared for homeschoolers. Although this book was written from a Christian point of view, it's clearly for kids that go to PS or have been exposed to general culture and media. I prefer the author's books written for younger children.

* Self Regulation and Brain Development -  Dr Regalnea Melrose is  neuroscience and childhood stress and trauma expert and talks extensively of how the brain work and why things are the way they are with our children. If you are experiencing struggles with your children, check out her videos to learn more.

* I Beat the Odds - from Homelessness to Blind Side and Beyond by Michael Oher with Don Yaeger - A must read! There's hope for everyone. All we need is to WANT out!

* The Boy on the Wooden Box - A Memoir by Leon Leyson - How the impossible became possible... on Schindler's List - A fantastic book! A great read for anyone who likes biographies and history. I think I see a book review post coming soon.

* A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer  

* Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels

* Teaching Self Government by Nicholeen Peck - This is another great resource for teaching kids self government and instill obedience and the desire and heart motives for it. The author's family participated in a BBC the STrictest parents on Earth and they did a fantastic job. You can watch the episodes on YouTube.


What have you been up to??




Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How Unique is your Family? A little about our Homeschooling Style.

I will be doing some curriculum reviews soon and I wanted to give you some background information about me.

I think it makes all the difference when reading a review knowing a bit about the reviewer. So here goes... :)

I do not have a degree in Education. I have a Brazilian college degree in International Business. My first language is Portuguese. I speak English and Spanish fluently and have taught them both as foreign languages.

When I was a teenager, I lived in California and went to public school there. I went to 7th, 8th and 9th grades. I know first hand what it's like to go to public school in the US.

My Dad is an Engineer so I grew up having long math tutoring sessions with him. He loved math and would explain it to the details. I remember hating those lessons then. I really didn't have the patience. Today I appreciate those times so much because they helped me grasp many mathematical concepts.

I tutored math in High School and College but I do not consider myself a math expert or a genius. I like math today, but it wasn't always so when I was in school. I always viewed math as a puzzle sort of a game. Sometimes I wanted to play. Sometimes it wore me out.

I was pretty good at it. I studied Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry even Calculus. While I loved the first three subjects, I got lost in Calculus and really can't tell you much about it.

I have homeschooled my children from birth. Not one has gone to school. You can read my Learning Log posts to see what our months look like.

I cannot tell you that I have taught them all they know.


They do a lot of learning on their own. But I do guide them, instruct them and facilitate their daily studies. On the date of this post, we have 4 children between the ages of 4 y.o. and 11 y.o.

I would say our learning style is eclectic or relaxed homeschooling. I used to think we were unschoolers but not anymore. While we do NOT like school or schoolish settings of any sort, Mom likes to be in charge or at least pretend she is in charge. :)

We have routines and some "rules" to our activities so I am really not a Sandra Dodd unschooler type.

However, my kids do tell people that we don't do school and that we unschool. I have told them for so long that the learning we do at home is completely different from school. So in their minds we unschool. 

The term was coined by John Taylor Gatto and he came up with it out of frustration for the public school system.



All my children have different learning styles

At least 3 of them are very much verbal. They need to talk to learn or to remember what they are learning. 

Can you imagine these children in a classroom? 

We have arguments at home because of so many interruptions. I have to constantly listen to my children regurgitate information they are learning because it helps them to process it. I have to look interested too. :/

I would say all four are visual learners. I have a couple who are also kinesthetic. They move all the time even when they are doing workbooks. 

One for sure is also an auditory learner. She is teaching herself how to play the tin whistle. Two are very social and two are very solitary in their learning. 

How does a Mom homeschool with so many learning styles?

Flexibility is key!

From the beginning my goal was to find out who my children were and facilitate their gifts and talents. Although I cater to their strengths, we work on their weaknesses too.

We change our routines constantly. We use all sort of media to learn. We use many different curricula. Sometimes we don't finish a book/ textbook. We do lots of hands on activities. We are very social. There is music and noise at my house everyday. We are not a quiet home. 

We use computers. We watch TV. We have cable. We read our Bibles too. :)

We also read a lot. Lots of different genre. Poetry. Biographies. Historical Fiction. How to books. Scientific books. Magazines. Comic Books. Take a look at my Learning Log posts to see some of our reading choices.

I hate routine. I don't like to do the same thing everyday. I tell my kids the only routine we have is 3 meals a day, and a set bedtime. Everything else is subject to change in our house.

Many times we begin with a routine of reading out loud everyday after lunch. Within 4 days we are doing something else. We might read again before bedtime because the book is so interesting. (We did that yesterday as we read our first Louis L'amour book) Or we might not pick up the book for a few days.

I believe we are learning all the time. Our brain does not stop absorbing or processing information because we are not doing a workbook, reading a book or listening to a lecture. 

Everyday life experiences are learning experiences!



We are a curious family. Hungry for knowledge and experiences.

We "school" year round. Sometimes we will stop whatever curriculum we are using and play, read, watch documentaries for 30 days. Then pick up where we left off like nothing happened.

We endeavor to do "school" (workbooks, projects, Easy Peasy work load etc) in the morning and be done by lunch time. So math, individual reading, grammar, history and/ or science readings/ videos, Bible are all done in the morning in about 2 hours. Afternoons are left for reading alouds, hands on projects, free computer time, music/ craft lessons and anything else that the kids fancy.


Our journey in homeschool began with my husband's desire to home educate our children. He did not enjoy his time in PS as a kid and was bored most of the time. He was not challenged at all and was picked on for being smart. Also, as a Christian, he wanted to be the main influence on our kids' lives. He feel it's important to teach our children God's principles and guard their hearts.

I had no clue what homeschooling was, but always felt in my gut that it was just wrong to have to send my children somewhere else to have a stranger teach them and enjoy their victories. I wanted to spend time with my children. I wanted them to be close. Homeschooling is the perfect fit for us! We get to learn together and be the most important influences on their lives!

I also felt I wasted a lot of time in PS. I wanted to give my kids free time to explore, think and develop their gifts and talents. I spent a lot of years lost until I discovered my gifts and Jesus! :) (not necessarily in this order)


I hope this information helps, as you read my curriculum reviews. 





It's really important to know the uniqueness of your family so that you can choose the resources that fit your style and your goals.




We are all different and sharing those differences can be helpful in our self exploration as we go on our homeschooling journey!

What sets you apart? How unique is your homeschooling style?

Share in the comments' section.

Blessings,

Tereza

 
" To believe in unschooling is to believe that true learning happens best when it arises from the experiences and interests of the learner, not from an imposed curriculum or a teacher or a parent.  As unschooling parents, we don’t act as teachers, but as facilitators and partners." - Jennifer McGrail


Here's more on Unschooling and Christianity.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Learning Log of August 2014

 I love the month of August. I used to hate it because in Brazil it's one of the coldest month of the year. It's winter time there. 

But here in the US, it's hot and muggy. It's summertime! I love it!

However, this August was pretty mild and not so hot! My eggplant is not in full production yet because the weather is so mild. 

God did give us some surprises in the garden. We harvested 5 beautiful cantaloupes that I did not plant! That was fun to reap these yummy fruit!

The kids had lots of fun while we waited for the grandparents' visit in September.




Read aloud Books

* While, DD11 and DS9 are still reading the Proverb of the day on their own, we have begun reading the Psalms together for our devotions in the morning.

* Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology - We took a break and didn't do any of this book this month. We still did science though. :) Check out the rest of the post.


* Out of My Mind - Sharon M. Draper - we finished it at the beginning of the month. The kids really enjoyed seeing life from the perspective of a 11 y.o. girl who has cerebral palsy. Life at home, school and in general is just hard when you can't communicate. I would recommend every family to take time to read this book. It's a great read aloud book. Questions for discussions are at the end of the book. DS8 told me one night, "Please don't turn the music on. I want to digest and think over what I heard of the book tonight."

* Explaining Cerebral Palsy by Sarah Levete - we read this after we finished Out of My Mind so the kids could understand a bit more of what causes cerebral palsy, the diagnosis, and treatments.
* Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
* Old Mikamba Had a Farm by Rachel Isadora
* A Dragon's Tail - The Little Mermaid's Treasure Chest


* Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher - Click on the link to read a great review on this book. We read this out loud and the children looooved this book! It's a wonderful book to talk about how a character changes and grows throughout a book.

* George Muller - The Guardian of Bristol's Orphans by Janet and Geoff Benge - we began this book toward the end of the month. We will probably finish it in September. Highly recommend it to anyone who wants to know what's it like to live by faith and rely on God for all your needs.

* The Birthday Tree by Paul Fleischman - read to DD7 and DD4.


Audio Books

* My kids, one time or another have the files below in their mp5s to which they listen to every night at their choosing: Fairy tales and classic stories , worship music, Story Hour files, The Piano Guys, Jonathan Park and The Brinkman Adventures, The Chronicles of Narnia and Story Nory (lots and lots of FREE audio goodness: Bible stories, Classics, educational stories even ones for non-English speakers wanting to improve their English. We love this website!).


* DD11 listening to Rush Revere and the Patriots.
* DD9 - nothing that I know of.
* DD7 is listening to Sparkle Stories and Story Hour on her mp3.



DD7 independent reading list: 

Continuing this month, DD7 is reading by leaps and bounds. With ease she is reading through her Abeka readers as well as keeping on reading her 100 books. This month we discovered compound words and homophones while reading the books. As well as contractions.


67) Who Dug this Hole? by Anita Holmes - We Can Read about Nature!
68) Eloise Skates! by Kay Thompson - Ready to Read - Level 1
69) If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff
70) Flowers and Friends by Anita Holmes - We Can Read about Nature! series
71) Dixie Loves School Pet Day by Grace Gilman

Listening and following along books:
* The Princess and the Pea with CD by Usborne Young Reading
* Pinocchio with CD by Usborne Young Reading
* The Beauty and the Beast on tape.
* Mouse Soup by Arnold Lobel on tape.
* Best Friends - The True Story of Owen and Mzee by Roberta Edwards

Watching books read out loud on Storyline online. Captions are on, so she is following along as the actors read the books. Check out the link to the site below. 



DS9 independent reading list:  

* Reading a chapter of Proverbs everyday and highlighting and copying the verse that spoke the most to him. He is practicing narrating what he has read.

* Calvin and Hobbes - We have now a collection of Calvin and Hobbes books. Calvin and Hobbes is relaxing to DD9. He will read a few strips before dozing off.

* Ten Boys Who Made a Difference by Irene Howat -
* Bionics - Cool Science by Judith Jango-Cohen
* The Lonely Book by Kate Bernheimer
* The Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett

* Greek Myths for Young Children by Marcia Williams - DS9 is fascinated with Greek mythology at the moment.
* Medusa - Monsters of Mythology by Bernard Evslin
* The Hydra - Monsters of Mythology by Bernard Evslin

  Read Aloud to his sisters:
* Llama Llama and the Bully Goat by Anna Dewdney
* Pirates Love Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort
* Everything but the Horse by Holly Hobbie
* The Best Fence Painter by Mark Twain - The Adventure of Tom Sawyer - Easy Reader Classics
* The Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett



DD11 independent reading list

* Reading a chapter of Proverbs everyday and highlighting and copying the verse that spoke the most to her. She has now a wall covered in post it notes.

* The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss - DD11 loooooved this book but she did not finish it. Here is her explanation "They are going back to civilization. I didn't want them to go back. I wanted them to stay in the island." I said, "So this is your way to keep them in the island in your head, huh?" She smiled and confessed, "Yes." Smart little thing! :)
* The Pirate Meets the Queen by Matt Faulkner

* Tiger, Tiger by Lynne Reid Banks - the author of the Indian in the Cupboard
* The Adventures of King Midas by Lynne Reid Banks
 * The Return of the Indian by Lynne Reid Banks - book 2 of the Indian in the Cupboard series
* The Secret of the Indian by Lynne Reid Banks - book 3 of the series above.
* Tikta'Liktak - An Eskimo Legend by James Houston

* Dogs and Puppies by Nolon Stacey - Drawing Made Easy
* Colored Pencil by Eileen Sorg - Drawing Made Easy
* Dragons and Fantasy by Kythera of Anevern - Drawing Made EAsy

* Gabby Douglas - Historic Olympic Champion by Sarah Tieck
* Dogs HAve the Strangest Friends and Other True Stories of Animal Feelings by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
* Dolphin Adventures - A True Story by Wayne Grover -
* Imprisoned in the Golden City by Dave and Neta jackson

* Buffaloes by Sheila Griffin Llanas - Animal Icons
* Gray Wolves by Sheila Griffin Llanas - Animal Icons
* Bald Eagles by Sheila Griffin Llanas - Animal Icons

 * The Dolphins of Shark Bay by Palmer S. Turner - Scientists in the Field series - for my animal lover daughter this book was a treasure. She learned so much about dolphins!

* Exploring The History of Medicine - From Ancient Physicians of Pharaoh to Genetic Engineering by John Hudson Tiner

* Blood and Guts - A Working Guide to Your Own Insides by Linda Allison - book is full of illustrations (drawings) that are fun and engaging. Experiments and fun facts fill this book. Great book for a curious or uninterested child.

* Fun Stuff Cupcakes - This book got DD11 creative juices flowing. She wanted to start a business selling cupcakes. WE talked about a business plan, laws concerning opening a cupcake business and settled on just trying out recipes for now. WE made lots of cupcakes in just 10 days. :)


** Take one or two or three (i.e. reading these yet again!)
* The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks - we got the following books of the series.
Summer with the Moodys by Sarah Maxwell - DD11 read these 2 years ago and now she is re-reading them. These are great books with lots of godly examples in it.

Read Aloud to her siblings:
* The Pirate Meets the Queen by Matt Faulkner
* The Rooster Grows - A Book of American Rhymes and Jingles by Maud and Miska Petersham
* The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Andersen


Activities at Home

* Swimming, swimming, swimming.
* Pool Birthday Party at our house - DS8 is now DS9!
* Gardening; harvesting okra, greens, herbs, green beans, tomatoes and more.
* Building a swing with Daddy!

* Cleaning, decluttering, and selling our stuff on Ebay.  
* Making videos for YouTube
* Working on editing Mom's videos.
* Making Stop motion videos.
* Trying new recipes like Chicken pancakes and Flaxseed Coconut Cereal for breakfast. Mom is doing The Plan and is teaching the new concepts to the children. 
* DD11 wants to start a cupcake business. So we began testing recipes. Check out her cupcakes' photos above. 
* Playing MInecraft. Playing a lot of Minecraft.Playing Lego Chima on line.
* Learning Code on Khan Academy website for FREE.


 Field Trips/ Activities Outside Home

* Lego Club
* Church Picnic with slip and slides, hot dogs, burgers and lots of fun.
* Bowling with another family to celebrate a friend's birthday. DQ treats afterwards.
* A Back to Homeschooling Party hosted by our local library - a meet and greet event with games and crafts. Fun, fun, all around fun!!
* Feeding a friend's cat and enjoying their tire swing as well as harvesting blueberries.



 Websites/ Links we found and used/ Apps


* StoryLine On Line - books read online by actors. My DD7 is really enjoying these as she perfects her reading skills. We have the captions on so she is actually reading along as she listens to the actors read.

* Khan Academy - We watched videos on exponential numbers; long division; multiplication and division with decimal point. DD11 and DS9 are learning code.

* Minecraft - we purchased the game and the kids are now fully capacitated to create their own worlds, and play in adventure maps and servers. Will they ever do anything else but minecraft???? :(

* Easy Peasy Website - We are back to using Easy Peasy site as our guide for our homeschooling. We are doing 2nd, 4th and 6th grade. We are skipping Science altogether for now because we are covering this subject with the Apologia Human Anatomy Curriculum. If you need a FREE and flexible curriculum this is it! check it out!





TV shows/ Videos/ Movies/ YouTube


* Frozen - about a 100 times. We love this movie! :)


* Heaven is for Real - a Christian movie from Netflix - the book is so much better.

* The Croods -

* Brain Game -

* Episodes of Ruff Ruff Man, My Little Pony episodes- season 2; Magic School Bus

* The Indian in the Cupboard - VHS movie

* The Boy Who Dreams in Code - YouTube video

* The Gabby Douglas Story - movie from Netflix




Books, blogs and other things I am reading...


*The Gospel and Materialism - part 2 - sermon by David Platt

* A Thousand Rivers - what modern world has forgotten about children and learning. 

* Schooling the World - something I have thought of on and off. Take the time to watch the film and think about what are we doing to the world. Are we really helping the poor?


* A Lineage of Grace - Five Stories of Unlikely Women who changed eternity by Francine Rivers - I began Mary's story. Unfortunately it's not as interesting as the others. I am having a hard time finishing it. Mary's character is not developed as in dept as the others. Feels like the author is hesitant in adding to the real Mary. Afraid of showing some lack of character or weakness.

* I Will Carry You - The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy by Angie Smith


* In a Heartbeat - Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving by Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy with Sally Jenkins - If you watched the Blind Side and found the Tuohys inspiring, you really have to read this book to find out what they are all about. I loved how Leigh Anne and Sean individually told their stories going all the way back to their childhood, upbringing and college times. Very inspirational!

* Slavery in America: The MOntgomery Slave Trade - Equal Justice Initiative

* Footprints of a Pilgrim - The Life and Loves of Ruth Bell Graham - I love to read biographies. It fascinates me to discover the background of the everyday life of people that are in the limelight. Ruth Bell was an ordinary woman living for an extraordinary God. :) I highly recommend anything on her.

* The Plan - Eliminate the surprising "healthy" food that are making you fat by Lyn-Genet Recitas - I will be doing a couple of post on this book. I lost 7 pounds in 5 days! I was able to kick the sugar cravings to the curb once again in just 3 days!

What have you been up to? What new discoveries have you experienced with your kids?

Blessings,
Tereza

Sunday, August 24, 2014

God's Wink

This morning, as we had breakfast, getting ready for church, we experienced one of God's winks.


My oldest daughter opened the curtain of the big window located in our breakfast nook. This is the place where we have all our meals. It looks out to the front of our property, about 5 acres of land, about 3 miles from downtown. It's surrounded by thin strips of woods so we have many forest and wild visitors. But we had never seen one at daylight.

"Look, there is a deer!" my son squealed. Most of us didn't really believe him but we looked out anyway. And there it was.


 It just stood there. It stood long enough that I could do a short video and focus and take more pictures.

As it moved out of our sight, we went to the garage and stood outside. It again looked at at us and I took more photos. And then it left.


Isn't it beautiful?

We had only seen one of these driving along the country roads at dusk. Or on the front yard, at night.

But here it stood at daylight. At 9:30 am for us all to admire it! God's wonder! Amazing!

What wonders have you seen lately?

Blessings,
Tereza

What

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Learning Log of July 2014

We played school this past July . Yeah, DS8 decided to use his mathematical skills to teach DD6 multiplication. Of course, she is not there yet. But he tried! :)

July was crazy busy and as I type this to publish this post I am worn out. I need a vacation. :)

We did lots of outings, play dates, reading and activities at home. We haven't started "school" yet. We are just doing our normal summer routines: Bible, math and reading everyday. I think I might skip school this year.

A Bible study on obedience was key this month. Out of my mind was an amazing book. Opportunities to be with friends were priceless. I hope you find some useful links below. :)

Read aloud Books

* This month, DD11 and DS8 are reading the Proverb of the day on their own. I asked them to highlight one verse that spoke the most to them. DD11 is writing them down on a PostIT and posting it on her bedroom wall. DS8 is just sharing the verse with me and telling me why he liked or thought it important.
* Together we did this Bible Study on Obedience. We read passages throughout the Bible and completed the study. It was very illuminating and even I found out things I didn't know. I highly recommend this Bible study on Obedience created by Kim Sorgius. I bought the combo pack and I used them at the same time with my children ages 4 to 11 y.o. The little ones listened and drew or colored on their individual worksheets and the bigger ones listened and wrote/ completed their worksheets. We had great discussions, prayer times and breakthroughs. Praise the Lord! :)


* Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology - We took a break and didn't do any of this book this month. We still did science though. :) Check out the rest of the post.

* Caleb's Story by Patricia MacLachlan - the 3rd book from the Sarah Plain and Tall Saga.
* Stupendous Sound - Science Rocks! by Nadia Higgins 
 * Hospital - That's Gross! A Look at Science by Julie Murray
* Paradise Island - The Little Mermaid's Treasure Chest
* Skippyjon Jones Lost in Spice by Judy Schachner
* The Watcher - Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps by Jeanette Winter - DD11 read aloud to DD4 and DD6.
* Out of My Mind - Sharon M. Draper - This is one of those books that the kids ask you to NOT stop reading. We finished it in August because we were so busy going places.
Castles in the Sand - The Little Mermaid's Treasure Chest
* Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan
* The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese - a book about spanking, listening and obeying.
* Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett and Kevin Cornell - Some books are just not worth writing. :/

A day's harvest from our garden!

Audio Books

* My kids, one time or another have the files below in their mp5s to which they listen to every night at their choosing: Fairy tales and classic stories , worship music, Story Hour files, The Piano Guys, Jonathan Park and The Brinkman Adventures, The Chronicles of Narnia and Story Nory (lots and lots of FREE audio goodness: Bible stories, Classics, educational stories even ones for non-English speakers wanting to improve their English. We love this website!).


* DD11 listened to Rush Revere at night.

Not much listening to audiobooks this month. Instead lots of reading.


DD6 independent reading list: 

Continuing this month, DD6 is reading by leaps and bounds. With ease she is reading through her phonics books stories as well as keeping on reading her 100 books. This month we discovered compound words and homophones while reading the books. As well as contractions.
Talking to DD6 one day in March,  I asked her if she was happy to be reading now. She said she was. Then I asked her if she wanted to read Calvin and Hobbes. Her answer: "you can only read Calvin and Hobbes after you read 100 books." So we came up with a plan to list all of her 100 books, because according to her once she reads 100 books then she will be able to read any book. :) How smart is she?

48) The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems
49) Surprise! by Mercer Mayer
50) All by Myself by Mercer Mayer
51) Grandma, Grandpa and Me by Mercer Mayer
52) Our Friend Sam by Mercer Mayer
53) Norma Jean, Jumping Bean by Joanna Cole
54) Planets Around the Sun by Seymour Simon
55) Little Critter's These are My Pets by Mercer Mayer
56) Just For You by Mercer Mayer
57)  Johnny Appleseed - My Story by David L. Harrison
58) How Do Dinosaurs Say Good NIght? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
59) Too Many Dinosaurs by Mercer Mayer
60) Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett
61) Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? by Nancy White Carlstrom
62) You Read to Me, I'll Read to You - very short stories to read together by Mary Ann Hoberman - This book is filled with short stories to be read together. We read it in a span of a week.
63) Animals in the Great Outdoors by Delores Shimmin - 1st grade reader from A Beka Reading Program - this also is a book with short stories. Great vocabulary and stories portraying strong values and morals. DD6 is really enjoying these books. I will be buying the 2nd grade readers too.
64) Open Windows - 1st grade reader from A Beka Reading Program - Stories portraying strong family values. Another great reader that DD6 is enjoying.
65) I Just Forgot by Mercer Mayer
66) A Big Guy Took My Ball! by Mo Willems




DS8 independent reading list:  

* Reading a chapter of Proverbs everyday and highlighting and copying the verse that spoke the most to him. He is practicing narrating what he has read.

* Calvin and Hobbes - We have now a collection of Calvin and Hobbes books. DD8 routine before drifting off to sleep is to read a few comic strips. The books are also in the car, so when we go places he reads some more. Although Calvin is a little devil, DS8 is learning new vocabulary, World History, current issues as well as what not do or what not to say.

* The Mystical Pencil - A Medieval Mess by Dustin Evans
* The Mystical Pencil -  Costume Craziness by Dustin Evans
* The Mystical Pencil - Dinosaur Drama by Dustin Evans
* The Mystical Pencil - Raging Robots by Dustin Evans

* Hospital - That's Gross! A Look at Science by Julie Murray
* Crazy Concoctions - A Mad Scientist's Guide to Messy Mixtures by Jordan D. Brown
* Space Exploration - Eyewitness Books
* Ten Boys Who Used Their Talents by Irene Howat - finished it this month.
* Ten Boys Who Made History by Irene Howat -
* Robots and Rovers by S.L. Hamilton
* Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales - One Dead Spy - A Revolutionary War Tale
* Blueffton by Matt Phelan



DD11 independent reading list

* Reading a chapter of Proverbs everyday and highlighting and copying the verse that spoke the most to her. She has now a wall covered in post it notes.

* The 39 clues - Cahills vs Vespers book #6 - Day of Doom by David Baldacci
* The 39 clues - Unstoppable - Book #1 - Nowhere to Run by Jude Watson
* The 39 clues - Unstoppable - Book #2 - Breakaway by Jeff Hirsch
* The 39 clues - The Black Book of Buried Secrets - Introduction by Rick Riordan

* The Mystical Pencil - A Medieval Mess by Dustin Evans
* The Mystical Pencil -  Costume Craziness by Dustin Evans

* The Mystical Pencil - Dinosaur Drama by Dustin Evans
* The Mystical Pencil - Raging Robots by Dustin Evans


* Rascal by Sterling North
* The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald
* The Samurai's Tale by Erik Christian Haugaard
* The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
* The Great Turkey Walk by Kathleen Karr
* Belle The Mysterious Message

* The Time Garden by Edward Eager
* A to Z Mysteries - The Quicksand Question by Ron Roy

* Hospital - That's Gross! A Look at Science by Julie Murray

* Great American Artists for Kids - Hands-On Art Experiences in the Styles of Great American Masters by Mary Ann F. Kohl and Kim Solga

*  The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui T. Sutherland  - Wings of Fire series - Book #1
* The Lost Heir by Tui T. Sutherland - Wings of Fire series - Book #2
* The Hidden Kingdom by Tui T. Sutherland -  - Wings of Fire series - Book #3
* The Dark Secret by Tui T. Sutherland  - Wings of Fire series - Book #4
* The Brightest Night by Tui T. Sutherland - Wings of Fire series - Book #5

* Trainee Handbook - Spy University by Jim Wiese with H.Keith Melton (spy expert)
* Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales - One Dead Spy - A Revolutionary War Tale


* Rump - The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff
* Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
* Blueffton by Matt Phelan

* Blue Bay Mystery - The Boxcar Children #6 - by Gertrude Chandler Warner
* The Mystery at the Alamo - The Boxcar Children series y Gertrude Chandler Warner

* The Canary Caper - A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy

* Ten Girls Who Made a Difference by Irene Howat -
* Ten Girls Who Changed the World by Irene Howat -


** Take one or two or three (i.e. reading these yet again!)

*A New Friend for Eddie Eagle - part II of the Adventures of Eddie Eagle by Margaret Ann Smith
* Bartleby of the Big Bad Bayou by Phyllis Shalant
 * Judy Moody Girl Detective by Megan McDonald



Activities at Home

* Swimming, swimming, swimming.
* Pool Playdates at our house. More swimming playdates. Did I say swimming playdates yet? :)
* Gardening; harvesting okra, cucumbers, yellow squash, greens, herbs, green beans, tomatoes and more.
* Making kimchi for the first time.
* Making cards for OWH.
* Cleaning, decluttering, and selling our stuff on Ebay.  
* Making videos for YouTube
* A girly birthday party for DD6 who is now DD7. DD11 got to help decorate and plan the party. We made a chocolate cake with crooked neck squash and pink icing. 
* All the girls are wanting to help more with cooking, cleaning and just taking charge. I need to let go and let them do it all. :) 
* I have become the official hairdresser at home. I am trimming the guys' hair and dying the girls' hair pink. :) 


 Field Trips/ Activities Outside Home

* Lego Club
* Summer dance classes for DD4 and DD6 - they are enjoying tap, ballet and tumbling together. So sweet to watch!
* Summer Reading Program at our local Public Library - It's all about science this summer. Animal Tales came to visit. WE always enjoy the presentations. The kids learn so much. The Coosa River Science School came too and again the animals were the stars. And McWane Science Center could not be left out during a program where it was all about science. They talked chemical and physical reactions. The kids had a blast!
* Birthday party at our local Water Park. It was so much fun.
* A Nerf gun birthday party.
* ARt classes at the library.


 Websites/ Links we found and used/ Apps

* Neok12 - I found this website reading Generation Cedar's blog and what a find! The website is filled with videos and other resources sorted out by subjects. A great learning tool! Following on my kids' interest on space, we watched Colonizing the Moon,

* MathTV.com - Videos explaining how to resolve problems on different subjects. Mr McKeague has published many books on Mathematics and you can sign up for a yearly membership and have access to books online, as well as worksheets, videos and more. Really interesting and affordable. Great resource for higher grades and college wannabes.

* AdaptedMind.com - another website offering lessons, videos, worksheets all done online. Very affordable too. Free Trial available.

* HomeschoolMath.Net - fantastic website from reviews of Math curriculum to articles on how to teach MAth, lists of online math games and more. Great resource.

* What kind of praise you should give to your kid when he is learning ? - Now I know why I like to do hard things! Ha!

* More on Growth Mind Set and Math -

* Book Worm Adventures - A fun spelling game


Our new Math curriculum: review coming soon!

TV shows/ Videos/ Movies/ YouTube

* My kids really enjoyed VBS last month, and many of the songs were still in their heads so we found some of the songs like Yes to VBS, More Than Just a Good Man and others on YouTube and my kids rocked on! :)

* Frozen - about a 100 times! :)

* Magic School Bus episodes

* Why Pluto is No Longer a Planet?
* How Long Does It Take to Get to Mars? -

* The Power of Belief - Mindset and Success -

* The Truth about the Vietnam War - a Prager University video
What matters most in life? - another Prager University video - this video was a great topic for an enjoyable conversation.
* The War on Work - another Prager University video

 * The Decomposition Of McDonald's Burgers And Fries - What happens when you set McDonald's sandwiches, fries and other burgers and fries out on the counter? Real food decomposes after a couple of days. What about this junk food? See it for yourself.

* The Inn of Sixth Happiness - a movie about Gladys Aylward. Of course, as a Hollywood movie they added romantic situation that did not happen in Glady's life.



Kimchi made with Yellow Squash
Books, blogs and other things I am reading...

* Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers - Martha's Legacy Part I 
* Her Daughter's Dream by Francine Rivers - Martha's Legacy Part II - another great read from Francine Rivers. I love the depth of her characters. These two books were so eye opening to me.

* Stepping Heavenward by Elisabeth Prentiss - Audiobook for FREE on Books Should Be Free Website.

* Faithfully Frugal: Spend Less, Give More, Live More (Sacred Mundane) by Kari Patterson - What does it mean to live frugally to a Christian? Where are your treasures? Where is your heart? This book was very short but very inspiring. I am enjoying reading Kari Patterson' blog too.

* Damaged by Cathy Glass - The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child - Inside look at how foster care works in UK. Very sad story.

* A Lineage of Grace - Five Stories of Unlikely Women who changed eternity by Francine Rivers - Last month, I read Unveiled - the story of Tamar. This month, I am reading Unspoken - the story of Bathsheba. I love the way Francine Rivers writes. I love how well she develops her characters thru the story timeline. I would love to review each one of these stories in a blog post.I also read the story of Ruth in this same series. There are two more to go: the "lady" in Jerico and Mary.

* The Waiting by Cathy LaGrow with Cindy Coloma - The true story of a lost child, a lifetimes of longing, and a miracle for a mother who never gave up. I love biographies. Love true stories with triumphant endings. This is one of them. The book tells the lives of the biological mother and the child put up for adoption. Years later, both over 70 years of age, God orchestrates their encounter and the realization of a dream. If you can get your hands on this book, it will bless your heart!


How was your July? What new things did you learn?

Blessings,
Tereza