Thursday, October 4, 2012

Learning Log of September 2012

Healthy raw cereal!
This month we did a lot of History informally. We also did a lot of Math. The children blossomed in unexpected areas by their own accord.

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

Books Read Out Loud to All

* Bible everyday. We are reading the Gospel of Luke.
* Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble by Judy Schachner - Dad has read this before and it's a favorite series at our house. Skippyjon Jones thinks he is a chihuahua instead of a Siamese cat. My DH gives him a funny Mexican accent which makes the book even funnier. I highly recommend all Skippyjon Jones' books.
* SkippyJon Jones by Judy Schachner - the first book that gave origin to the series.
* Skippyjon Jones Lost in Spice by Judy Schachner - the link is for his website with games, downloads, videos and information about the author.
* Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
* I don't like to Read! by Nancy Carlson
* Animal Rescue Adventure - Look and Find
* All the Better to See you With! By Margaret Wild - I love this book. We have read it a few times. It tells the story about this little girl that couldn't see well, she needed glasses. But because she was no trouble, her parents didn't find out she couldn't see until one day at the beach. I like to read it again and again because this is similar to how we found out DD9 needed glasses almost 2 years ago.
* Will you Read to Me? by Denys Cazet
* Lola at the Library by  Anna McQuinn and Rosalinda Beardshaw
* Martha in the Middle by Jan Fearnley
* A Lot of Otters by Barbara Helen Berger
* George Washington Carver by Margo McLoone
* My Tow Hands My Two Feet by Rick Walton
* Llittle Loon and Papa by Toni Buzzeo
* Following the Great Herds - The Plains Indians and the American Buffalo by Ryan P. Randolph - Our library has the series of these books. I am reading them to my children slowly. Vintage photos illustrate the book and they make the book so much more real. We are really enjoying this.
* The Wild Little Horse by Rita Gray
* The Spider and the Fly by Toni DiTerlizzi - based on the cautionary tale by Mary Howitt 
* Ten Boys who didn't Give In by Irene Howat - Inspiring stories of martyrs. We are continuing reading this from last month. 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.
* Emily's First 100 Days of School by Rosemary Wells - all about numbers,,, really fun book for Pre-K and kindergarten age.
* S is for Show me - A Missouri Alphabet by Judy Young - We are reading this as we do Missouri State Printables from Living Life Intentionally. I highly recommend the book and the website.

DS7 independent reading list:

DS7 playing soccer and scoring lots of goals.
* Kindle for FREE.
I have a whole list of readers in our Kindle. He read some there.
*Coyote - A trickster tale from the American Southwest by Gerald McDermott
* Sam the Minuteman by Nathaniel Benchley
* The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
* Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora
* I completely know about Guinea Pigs by Lauren Child
The Spider and the Fly by Toni DiTerlizzi

DD9 independent reading list:

* Ruthless - Genghis Khan 13th Century Mongolian Tyrant by Enid A. Goldberg & Norman Itzkowitz - A Wicked History
* Wanda Gag - The Girl Who Lived to Draw by Deborah Kogan Ray
* Moby Dick by Herman Melville - The Great Classics for Children
* Cam Jansen and the Mystery at the Haunted House by David A. Adler
* Cam Jansen and the Ghostly Mystery by David A. Adler
* Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Dinosaur Bones by David A. Adler
* Stanley, Flat Again! by Jeff Brown
* All the Better to See You With! by Margaret Wild
* The Flying Dragon Room by Audrey Wood
* The Barefoot Book of Princesses retold by Caitlin Matthews
Having too much fun on the dragon ride.
* Kenny and the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi
* How Did we Find Out about Vitamins? by Isaac Asimov (Twice a year I hit the Thrifty Store closer to us and buy lots of hardcover books in so many subjects: science, fiction, biographies, textbooks, artists' books and more. This book was one of my finds.) You can read this book for FREE in PDF format HERE.
* Cam Jansen Double Mystery: The Mystery of the UFO and The mystery of the Dinosaur Bones by David A. Adler
* More Cam Jansen Double Mystery: The mystery of the Stolen Daimonds and The Msytery of the Baby Ruth Baseball by Adler
* Cam Jansen and the Mystery at the Monkey House by David A. Adler
* Working Cotton by Sherley Anne Williams
* My Grandmother's Stories - A Collection of Jewish Folk Tales by Adele Geras
* A New Friend for Eddie Eagle - Part II of the Adventures of Eddie Eagle by Margaret Ann Smith - DD9 read the first book and loved it. She was so happy when we found part II at our library.

* Lexi's Homeschool Diary by MacKenzie Moeller - on the Kindle for FREE
* A perfect Time for Pandas - Magic Tree House #48
* Escape to the Hiding Place - The Imagination Station # 9
* Back to School - Rachel Yoder Always trouble somewhere by Wanda E. Brunstetter
* Jesus Freaks - Stories of Those that Stood for Jesus - This book belongs to my DH. When I married him I got to read it and was waiting until the right time to introduce this book to my children. DD9 began reading it. There was a lot of good discussions and thinking going on. The link takes you to the site where other books and excerpts are listed.

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. Last month vol. 8 finally came 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 and is still hearing it. I highly recommend this series. It's family friendly, loaded with Scriptures, good morals, life lessons, history, science and more... 

The Mule Day Parade.

* We are also listening to the Little house in the Big Woods on CDs in the car as we drive to and from soccer and karate lessons.

Activities at Home

* We are still 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.

Give Thanks for Our Hands!
* This month for ART study we did Grateful Hands and we prepped our old books with Gesso and painted some empty egg shells for a future craft.

* Playing music: DD9 is teaching the younger ones how to play piano: placement of fingers, scale and some songs like "Mary had a little Lamb" and a few worship songs. DD9 hasn't had formal piano classes in over 8 months but she still practices now and again.

* Composting; planting greens; harvesting green beans; harvesting herbs and drying them; planting squashes and planning for fall crops. My okra and eggplant have been producing an abundant crop.

* Lots of cooking: trying out new recipes that are wheat free; making green smoothies for the kids every morning; increasing our nuts, seeds and greens intake. Look at Mom's eclectic for lists of websites with recipes and other links.

* Playtime outside and enjoying the last of the swimming season. Lots of running around, trampoline, playing in the dirt and writing with sidewalk chalk.

* Games: Red Crucible 2; Mushroom Age (although this game covers history, time line, lots of puzzles and mind games, it is VERY VERY pagan. I do NOT recommend it. I used the opportunity to discuss what the Bible says about the topics presented.)

* Lots of reading aloud: DS7 reading to little ones and to Mom and Dad, DD9 reading to all of them; Dad has been reading more books before bedtime by children's request.

* DD9 is studying SPANISH with Rosetta Stone software. I am fluent in Spanish and English; my native language is Portuguese. I learned the first 2 languages by being immersed in the culture. The Rosetta Stone uses this methodology to teach a foreign language: there are no translations or explanations. Just like a baby learns to speak by listening to parents and family talking to them everyday, the Rosetta Stone method will imprint the language into the student's brain by using sound and image.We didn't buy this, we borrowed from a friend. I wanted to experiment before I took the leap and purchased the Portuguese Curriculum. I am surprised at how well my daughter is learning Spanish. Phonics in Spanish is so much easier. Vowel and consonant sounds are always the same, so even her spelling is turning out really well. :)

* DD5 is doing a lot of art: coloring, drawing, cutting. She got an ink pen and a pad or notebook with her at all times. She is either copying letters, tracing her sister's old drawings or making her own.

DS7 first journal entry in a tiny notepad.
* DD7 wrote his first journal entry on his own. He found the tiny notepad and wrote about going to the pow wow and the fair, spending his money and the things he won. I get a kick out of seeing them take the initiative of trying new things and doing it so well. So proud of him!

* DD5 still using  Walking by the Way Bob Book Printables. and now I also printed out worksheets from Living Life Intentionally Unit Study on States. I bought a map of the USA and put on the wall by our kitchen table. With the older 2,  I am doing the sheets that cover data and other topics of each state, with the little ones I print out the color, number and letter worksheets and let them "play". I don't require that they do them completely or perfectly. I let them use them as they want to. I explain the directions and leave them free to do what they want to. I am also reading books on each state as we do each unit study. We are doing Missouri now.

* Lots of sewing, fort building, playing with boxes, treasure hunting, monster and animal games.

* I love Singapore Math books Intensive Practice Workbooks. Instead of buying the Student Workbook, I bought the textbook (which contains exercises and word problems) and the Intensive Practice books only. The Intensive Practice books are more challenging and have many fun out of the box exercises. So I use them to challenge the kids and I pay them money for pages accomplished sometimes. The catch is: they can't have tantrums or complain about the work. They can ask for help, they can even get the answers wrong, but they can't have bad behavior about it. It's working like a charm. The kids are enjoying the challenge and are doing it on their own without me having to remind them. Behavior has been the best too. They earned a lot of money to use at the fair this month. As for math, we covered division, multiplication, subtraction and addition with carrying over and lots of fun word problems.

Field Trips/ Activities Outside the Home
Return to the Cold Water Dancers!
* We went to Oka Kapassa Festival in Tuscumbia, AL. - I will be making a future post with a photo tour of our trip there.

* Visit to Helen Keller's birthplace. I created a special post with a photo tour of the place. You can see it HERE

* Soccer Games - my 2 oldest are playing soccer for the next 2 months. They really enjoy it. I hate the running around because of practices and games outside town BUT they enjoy it and it only lasts 2 months so the sacrifice is worth it.

* Karate: DD9 and DS7 conquered another belt.

A Civil War Ball with dresses of that time and all!
* Mule Day - our local yearly fair. We got to decorate and ride on a float. Afterwards we enjoyed the fair rides and everyone (except me) attempted the junk food and found it not so yummy anymore since we have been eating green smoothies and healthier for the past couple of months.We also, later that day, went to see a re-enactment of a Civil War ball. Everyone was invited to join in and we did!!

Websites/ Links we discovered and perused.

* Skippyjon Jones website: videos, downloads, games and author information. There are fun games that teach words in Spanish.

* Sheppard Software Math Games: We have used this website before and I really like it. there is so much here: from animals, biology, math, grammar, US government, history and more. Most of everything is interactive either in video format or game format with some text. I used the Math Games section to have the kids practice their math facts and multiplication tables. DD5 played games about colors and numbers and colored some animal scenes too.

* Math is Fun - This was a helpful site to help with division. There is an explanation and then exercises to practice.

DD9 practicing cursive handwriting.
* The HEV Project Website - A christian based website with videos teaching a variety of things from crocheting to science. DD9 watched the videos on cursive handwriting. She did 3 lessons. DS7 began watching the chess videos and that led to the kids having a chess match after another. If you remember they already know how to play chess, they improved their skill this past summer with Granpa. 

I highly recommend you check this website. There are also video testimonies of adults who were homeschooled and parents who are currently homeschooling. A great encouragement to all!

TV shows/ Videos/ Movies/ YouTube findings.

* The Woodcarver - a WWJD movie. Unapologetic Christian. We enjoyed it. Deals with divorce and trouble teens; second chances; strong ethics and family.
* Barbie - A Christmas Carol

Making friends during soccer games.
Florence Nightingale - DD9 and I watched this together one night on YouTube. It's an animated version of Florence's life, but so much information that I did not know. So educational.

* One Lucky Elephant - the story about Flora, an elephant rescued in Africa and raised as an circus elephant. As the elephant got older, her owner needed to find a place for her to live. Interesting story. DD9 really enjoyed learning more about elephants and how social they are.

* The Praise Baby Collection - Praises and Smiles - oh, what a nice surprise this DVD was! I got it at our library and the whole house enjoyed it. While the DVD plays worship music the images are soothing with babies and toddlers playing and dancing around. So we fill our house with beautiful music and images. :) I highly recommend. It was so calming to us! The link will take you to their website so you can preview some sample videos.

* Mars Needs Moms - another highly recommended movie. I just picked this one at random at our library and it turned out to be just what we needed. My kids had been misbehaving and had been nagging. Well after the movie was over the first time, my DD5 was teary eyed and full of love toward me. So sweet. The kids watched it 5 more times!!! in 3 days. Here is a Review to help you decide. 

* 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - the Walt Disney old version.

DD9 playing soccer.
* The Slow Mo Guys - 2 crazy guys who like to videotape stuff in slow motion. Super Cool!! Kids love this!

* Song of the South - Based on the Uncle Remus' Stories. This is the full Walt Disney movie on Youtube.

* Baby Einstein - Baby Van Gogh - World of Color - These videos are supposedly for babies but my kids like to listen and watch them. Sometimes we put them on as a background as we do crafts in the living room. Of course, DD2.5 is there too watching the video. :) The link is for the video on YouTube.

* Baby Einstein - Baby Bach - Musical Adventure - you can find this video on YouTube too.

* The trouble with Angels on DVD. - Interesting movie. It sparkled a lot of discussion about drinking, smoking and reckless behavior as well as compassion and charity work.

* WWJD movie

* Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Mom's Ecclectic Reading List

Decorating our patriotic float for Mule Day.
My DH and I have gone wheat free this month. So I am slowly incorporating the lifestyle to our whole household. Check out some of the books, websites and articles below:

* The whole new Mom - I made her oatmeal cake and it was a huge success at our home. So good! I also learned how to make food that is soooo expensive at the grocery store for mere cents like Homemade Coconut Milk. Who knew??

* Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko - If you want to find out why greens are so important in our diet, you must read this book. Then search YouTube for videos showing how to make a green smoothie. Not hard at all!

* Healing Promises by Joseph Prince - I recommend anything from him. Through his ministry I finally understood the Grace that God has poured our for us through the life of Jesus.

* Eat your G-BOMBS everyday!! 

* A great article on Quitting!
* 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. I weigh less now than when I got pregnant with my first daughter over 10 years ago.

Bronze statue of Helen Keller.

Generation Cedar and Visionary Womanhood had some very interesting articles this past month. Also Chris Jeub challenged and offered help to anyone on government help to dare to get off it!!

I also found Christy Tomlinson and have been watching her videos on YouTube. 

I am working on my first Mixed Media Canvas. I will share it soon.

What have you been up to? If you found anything interesting in this post, please let me know. You have questions? Ask away.


Linking to:

Snippets from Unschooling


Collage Friday at Homegrown Learners