Saturday, September 8, 2012

Learning Log of August 2012

Mushrooms everywhere!
August was another full month: birthdays, a trip to the beach, saying good-bye to the grandparents after a 3 month long visit (it didn't seem that long, really!) I am realizing daily that my children are growing way too quickly. Where is time going? So many things to do, so many places to go to, so many dreams to fulfill...

Everything in BOLD and BIG letters are my favorite picks 
the ones I recommend you check it out!! 

Books Read Out Loud to All

* Bible everyday. We are reading the Gospel of Luke.
* The Legend of GID the Kid and the Black Bean Bandits - Doing the Right Thing Ain't Always Easy by The Miller Brothers - (Heroes of Promise Series -  Book One)
* The Oak Inside the Acorn by Max Lucado - Beautiful Book. Highly recommend! Even DS7 who has a hard time sitting still and listening, sat quietly and took every word in. :)
* Because I love you by Max Lucado - another beautiful book by Lucado that portrays the truth of God's Word.
* Hooray for Grandma Jo! by Thomas McKean
* Count on Culebra - Go from 1 to 10 in Spanish by Ann Whitford Paul
 * Ten Boys who didn't Give In by Irene Howat - Inspiring stories of martyrs. We are really enjoying this series.  The link is for the set of 5 volumes. Ten Boys who didn't give in is just one of the volumes. The stories are in chronological order so I am using the opportunity to talk to the kids about timeline and historical events.
* Who Moved My Cheese? for Kids by Spencer Johnson and Christian Johnson - my DH read this book about 3 times to the kids at bedtime. He and the kids enjoyed it very much. It deals with attitude and what to do when things don't go our way.
* How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills

The Hangout with a huge sand dune just for the kids!

DS7 independent reading list:

* Brittle Bones by S.E. Pearl on the Kindle for FREE. ( see more about this link below)
* Hariball goes to a Baseball Game by Zavier Temporal on the Kindle for FREE
* Six-Donner Sid by Inga Moore - DS7 read this on his own and then asked if I wanted to hear him read it out loud to me. Score!!! :)
* I am invited to a Party! by Mo Willems
* There is a Bird on Your Head! by Mo Willems
A sunflower without seeds.
* Today I Will Fly! by Mo Willems
* Small Wolf by Nathaniel Benchley - an I can read History Book - DS7 read this one out loud to me in one sitting. He enjoyed the adventure, and how courageous the little Indian boy was because he wanted so much to be a man like his father. It was a good read. We discussed what makes a boy a man and the differences between the American Indian and the "white man". (I got our copy at our library. They were getting rid of older books and I got me 30+++ books in the process. You might want to check out your library for the books they are selling.)

DD9 independent reading list:

* The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B.White - I bought some used Abeka readers and DD9 read through them for fun. In one of them there was an excerpt from this book title and she was so interested in the story that she asked me to buy it for her. I found our copy at our library. It's from the author of Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little. The link will take you to Homeschool Book Review Blog or you can find it on Amazon. This was a good read!
* A Penny's Worth of Character by Jesse Stuart
* Come to My Tomorrowland by Jesse Stuart - The link will take you to Home School Book Review website so you can read more about the book. This was the perfect book for my DD9 who loves animals.
* Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
* The Shaman's Apprentice - A tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne Chrry and Mark J.Plotkin
* Pirates Don't Change Diapers by Melinda Long and David Shannon
* How I became a Pirate by Melinda Long and David Shannon
* Levi and His Magic Pants by Douglas Bradshaw on the Kindle for FREE 
Squeakums - DD9's newest creation.
* Rats on the Roof and Other Stories by James Marshall

* The Capture #1 by Kathryn Lasky ( Guardians of Ga'Hoole) - Here is a REVIEW I found helpful when deciding if my daughter should read this book or not. Here is a REVIEW of the movie which was taken from the first 3 books of the series. Here is another REVIEW about the books - this one even more thorough.
Here is a website with discussion questions for the first book. I used this with my DD9 to test her comprehension but also to talked about some of the themes discussed in the book.
* The Journey #2 (Guardians of Ga'hoole)
* The Rescue #3 (Guardians of Ga'Hoole)
* The Siege #4 (Guardians of Ga'Hoole)
* The Shattering #5 (Guardians of Ga'Hoole)
* The Burning #6 (Guardians of Ga'Hoole)
* The Hatchling #7 (Guardians of Ga'Hoole) 
* The Outcast #8 (Guardians of Ga'Hoole)
* The First Collier #9 (Guardians of Ga'Hoole) 
* The Coming of Hoole #10 (Guardians of Ga'Hoole)
* To Be a King # 11 (Guardians of Ga'Hoole)
* The Golden Tree #12 (Guardians of Ga'Hoole) 
Squeakums' bedroom in progress..
* The River of Wind #13 (Guardians of Ga'Hoole) 
* Exile #14 (Guardians of Ga'Hoole)

Audio Books

* Jonathan Park - Volume VIII - The Copper Scroll - DD9 loves Jonathan Park. She has been listening to Vol. 1 to 7 for over a year now. Every night she turns her MP3 on and listens to episodes until she falls asleep. This month vol. 8 is finally out and Jonathan Park and crew are in Israel making new discoveries and unveiling new treasures. So of course, we bought the digital files and she has heard it all. I highly recommend this series. It's family friendly, loaded with Scriptures, good morals, life lessons, history, science and more... 

* We heard Adventures in Odyssey episodes from Friends, Family and Countrymen #39

Activities at Home

* We are doing a new devotional. We are using The Dig for Kids. I download it to my kindle and I am using it with the kids. So far they are enjoying it very much. We are actually reading sections of our Bible and answering questions and memorizing verses. I highly recommend this.

Working on life size body maps.
* We made life size body maps. I first saw the idea HERE and just thought we had to do it since I had recently purchased some books on Anatomy for the kids.

More mushrooms... there are so many varieties.
* Harvesting our sunflowers; prepping our garden for fall; harvesting a lot of okra, tomatoes and our first broccoli crown; pruning bushes and tomatoes; sowing greens for the fall, prepping the ground for more growing; throwing out sunflower seeds to the birds;exploring the outdoors and mushrooms;

* Enjoying lots of swimming and mowing the grass. One night we had a pool party with cake and ice cream and glow in the dark sticks. We invited a few friends over and everyone had fun.

Practicing controlling the soccer ball.
* Practicing weaving with a soccer ball; jumping on the trampoline; playing outside with neighbors, playing in the rain.

* Playing school: DS7 and DD9 take turns teaching Biology, Reading, Math to all the kids. Lots of reading aloud to one another. Playing Monster Manners.

* DD5 said she wants to learn to read. So we began our Kindergarden Hooked on Phonics program. I have used it with my older 2 children with success to teach them to read. I do a page or 2 a day as the child shows interest. Just my child and me on the couch or on the bed with the book, sounding out the letters and putting them together to make words. Then we read the short stories and go from one page to the other. Once we finish the kindergarten we begin the 1st grade. Usually we don't finish the 2nd grade book because by then they can read and there is no sense finishing the curriculum. They got more important and interesting books to read. :)

* DD5 is also "doing school" with  Walking by the Way Bob Book Printables. We don't own the Bob Books and I am not using their curriculum. I printed Walking by the Way worksheets and put them into a binder. When DD5 wants to do school she gets her binder and her pouch filled with markers and sets out to do her school. Without schedule or strict rules, she is learning her letters and phonics as well as having fun.

Playing school and reading aloud to each other.
* Lots of sewing and making animals and their houses; coloring, cutting and playing pretend games. Building houses, apartments and other buildings with old diaper boxes.

* We are using our Singapore Math books again. We are working on addition with carry over, multiplication with single and 2 digit numbers, subtraction with borrowing and more.

Field Trips/ Activities Outside the Home

* We went to the beach for a week. Oh, so much fun! This is our third time going to Gulf Shores, Alabama an it is our all time favorite place to go. Gulf Shores has great infrastructure with a Community Center and Park for the kids, a zoo, a water park, go cart tracks, arcades, State pier, lots and lots of restaurants and shopping, all within 10-30 minutes away from Gulf Shores West Beach. Here are some of the things we did:

The best Grandma ever (my Mom) at the Museum with us.
The Hang Out has such cool vintage decor. So much fun!

* fishing at the beach; swimming at the pool; visited the Nature Center at the State RV park; checked out the state RV facilities and drooled; went to the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola; build sand pits and castles with the kids at the beach; the kids went boogie boarding at the beach; lots of walking on the beach; dancing and playing with glow in the dark sticks on the beach one night; eating out; we went to the The Hang Out for breakfast one morning (they have a pirate/ princess treasure hunt for the kids from 8-10:30am); played Uno and Black Jack and read books. :)

* We had never been to the Naval Aviation Museum before. It was divine providence and I am so glad we went.  It was FREE admission (when you have a big family you know how important that is!) and there is so much to see and learn in there. I definitely recommend and it's a half a day field trip at least! There is so much to see that I think it will be a place we will visit again.

Practicing soccer.
* karate and soccer.

* We had Animal Tales at our local library again. This time the program was on Reptiles - Scales and Tails. We also had McWane Science Center in on another day for a presentation and the kids had a great time learning about the Bernoulli effect, atmosphere pressure, acid and base and chemical reactions. All in all it was a fun learning time.

Websites/ Links we discovered and perused.
* Math 5 Live - DD7 and DD9 watched the lesson on Multiples, Factors, Primes and Composites; DS7 did a lesson on proper fractions; We tried the lesson on equivalent fractions but that didn't go as well. :(

Sand between our toes! Aaaaaaaah!
* - got DD9 and DS7 doing 20 Math exercises a day on this website. The first 20 exercises are FREE, then you need to become a member or switch to a new computer to do 20 more or wait until the next day to do 20 more. Since my kids get bored easily, there is no sense becoming a member. I just use the site when they want to. DS7 worked on money (do you have enough to purchase up to $5); logic reasoning (guess the number); odd and even numbers;

* Pink and Green Mama has so many great ideas for crafts. If you are looking for hands on activities for your kids, do check her out. We found the life size body maps idea on her site.

Exploring Science
* Wallace and Gromit World of Invention - Build, explore and invent your socks off!! Lots of fun! The kids played on this website for a little while, AFTER we watched the movie (link below) they REALLY played on it. Really fun!

* Economic Systems - this is a Mom's study on economic systems - very easy to understand. I had just been talking to my DH about the subject so when I found this post I had to share with my kids and you. :)

* Blog that posts FREE children's books for the Kindle - This was a great find. On the first night I found this, I downloaded over a dozen FREE books that all my kids - 9 y.o. and under - would enjoy. Right away I got DS7 interested and he read a couple of books to himself and one to his 5 year old sister. I highly recommend you sign up for this blog. Even if you don't have a kindle you can still read the books on your laptop or computer. 

Animal Tales at the library again. Always fun!
 * Kathryn Lasky 's Studio - you can read more about the author of the Guardian of Ga'Hoole and find out about her researches to write her books, as well as her past works and future ones. I am trying to cultivate an interest in my children not only in books but in how they are written. I find it useful to learn  more about the authors, illustrators and artists behind the work we appreciate.

* Classic Reader - classic books for FREE online. I used this to find short stories like The Little Match Girl and the Glass Dog.

Below some websites we haven't used yet but they look promising:

* FREE Online Piano Lessons for Kids -

* Science Stuff Blog

* Science illustrated

* Simply Charlotte Mason website : help on how to teach different subjects.
This is a great site with help for the non-traditional non- classical way of learning. I always find helpful tips or ideas of how to help my kids learn.

TV shows/ Videos/ Movies

* Happy Feet 2
* The Tigger Movie
Getting the seeds of a mammoth sunflower!
* Nanny McPhee Returns - the kids watched this movie 3 times in 2 weeks. I watched bits and pieces of it, although not a Christian movie does have some positive values to it. You can read a Christian Review HERE. 
* Nanny McPhee - this is the first movie. I got this one from our library. Really enjoyable.
* Boomerang at the Beach: lots of retro cartoons - Smurfs, Scooby Doo, Poke mon, Flintstones and more.
* Beethoven 1 and 2 (on the way to the beach in the car)
* Shark Week - TV shows
* Wallace and Gromit World of Invention - we got this from Netflix. This is NOT an animated movie, but the characters are mainly the host to a program showcasing great and funky inventions. This is a great addition to your Science curriculum. You can go HERE to watch some of the clips of the episodes. This DVD contains 6 episodes, the DVD is almost 3 hours long. I highly recommend this DVD. We watched it a couple of times as a family.

* Going Places - a short 1948 cartoon about Entrepreneurship.  

* Terrified Terrier - Wishbone Inspired by The Red Badge of Courage.  - this was a VHS we bought from the library. I sometimes buy their old books and videos to help out. Once I am done with them, I donate them. The kids loved the Wishbone movies so I found this YouTube Channel that has a 129 videos all from Wishbone. Lots of movies/ episodes to watch without paying a dime!! Wishbone's episodes mix history, literature and adventure.

* What's in the Bible - Vol. 2 and vol. 3 - continuing on with this great series. The kids are really enjoying these videos. One think I really like is that you can get the digital copy of the video so you can install on your laptop or computer and watch it over and over without needing a DVD player. Read more on this on my learning log of July 2012.
The best Grandpa (my Dad) ever at the beach with us!

* Big Miracle - This movie was inspired by the true story of the 3 whales that were trapped in ice in Alaska. It was interesting to see the spin and the left bias the movie portrait. There were some golden nuggets: they mostly came from the Inuit people in the movie. We like to use family night movies to show the children the truth about movie making: that most of what you see on a movie is not true - it couldn't happen in real life. Many things are added to make movies more dramatic or exciting but it could never be done in real life. Here is an article that exposes one of the dramatic scene that never happened in real life.

Mom's Ecclectic Reading List

* Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham - I liked the format used to write this book. This is juvenile fiction. I proof read it to decide if DD9 could read it too. I think it's more like 13 and over audience.

* "Parenting is Your Highest Calling" and 8 Other Myths that Trap Us in Worry and Guilt by Leslie Leyland Fields
If you are a concerned parent, always worried about the damage you are doing to your kids or what you are NOT doing right, you must read this book. Written from a Christian perspective, you will find freedom and joy to learn that it's all about relationship and not rules. 
Fresh sauteed green beans from my garden! Yumm-O!!
* Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD - very controversial, BUT if you are a fast food junkie, or cookie or packaged food junkie this book will revolutionize your life. I have decided to abstain from wheat and I have lost 4 pounds in just 2 weeks.
The Growing Family Beats the Incredible Shrinking Dollar

* Tony Robbins - he is a very controversial figure but I really like his positive outlook and energy. I actually LOVE his energy. He is like a controlled tornado. Amazing! He has an amazing story too. For all the entrepreneurs out there and the kids and people that don't seem to fit the mold, his story shows that anything is possible. The link will take you to his show on Oprah divided in segments.

* Good and Angry - I am also re-reading this book. Really working on implementing some of the techniques.

* Economics for Everybody - it's a new DVD/ study taught by Dr R.C. Sproul Jr. After watching a few sample videos and the first lesson, this should definitely be in every Homeschool Curriculum. We are planning to purchase this. You check it out and decide.
Dare to take flight!

I hope you found some good links and ideas to add to your homeschooling or life in general. I have to thank all the homeschooling blogging Moms out there that share their insights and inspire my learning logs. Thank you, thank you!!



MomLaur said...

Wow, what a fantastic list! Love seeing other people's reading lists! I always loved Trumpet of the Swan, I had forgotten about it until now! And we love listening to Jonathan Park too! Visiting from Homegrown Learners!

Dawn said...

I love the beach pics. It looks like you found an awesome place to rest and play. My kids love Wallace and Grommit. You all did so MUCH.
Blessings, Dawn

Homegrown Learners said...

Wow -- you put A LOT of time into this post. Thank you for all of the fabulous resources... many of them we have used, but some of them I am not familiar with!!

Thanks for always linking with Collage Friday!

Mama Eagle said...

Thanks for mentioning my blog! What a huge encouragement it was for me.

Susan said...

What an amazing month! So many wonderful resources here, Tereza!! Thanks for sharing at Favorite Resources :)
We read part way through the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series and enjoyed it. We sort of trailed off and didn't finish, and this reminds me that I actually would like to finish!
We enjoyed that same Wallace and Gromit DVD :)
I am now going to check out that site you linked for free children's Kindle books!