Saturday, November 22, 2008
Tuesday dh Christopher was coughing but his sore throat was gone. We sort of did school. Just the basics.
Wednesday ds Nathan woke up with a sore throat. Argued about having to stay in bed. Had the whole house in an uproar. I gave in to save my sanity. He spent the day on the recliner. Ds Christopher did school on the computer and his math.
Thursday ds Nathan woke saying his throat still hurt a little bit and he did not sleep well. So he stayed in bed for the morning and took a nap and got up after lunch. Christopher did school on the computer and his math.
Friday Dd Rachel 22 woke up with a sore throat. Nathan was well enough that the boys did regular school. We watched Bach's Fight for Freedom for our composer study. Did pages 55-62 from The Human Body, 100 Reproducibles for Science. The science topics included senses, nose, ear; and ear, nose, and throat connection which was very timely considering their sore throats and cold. For History they worked on more mini books for the Viking Lapbook. We also read a chapter of The Dragon and the Raven.
So today... dd Jessica, dh Court and I are trying not to get sick. Taking vitamins, extra vitamin C, and garlic. Dh is working overtime today as he did Thursday and Friday nights and has to work overtime Mon-Wed. in order to have Friday off. That will be a good 4 day weekend though. I hope he does not get sick because he gets no sick days and gets penalized for being out of work for any reason and gets double penalties for being out on overtime days like today. So please pray he does not get this. Hopefully the fact that his is out of the house all day and working overtime also will help, since he is getting minimal exposure.
We are supposed to work in the nursery at church tomorrow but now I have to find replacements because of our sickness. Hopefully no one will be sick over Thanksgiving break but I am not holding out much hope there... and it will probably be me!! I pray not though. I hope your week was better than ours.
I hope next week will be better for us though we only have 3 days of school to get through.
Heal those who are sick Lord,
ps - I just noticed when reading another persons blog post that my Homeschool Weekly # should correspond with how many weeks of school we have done not how many the host has done. So I changed my title from Homeschool Weekly #11 to #15. I will also go back and change the other titles so the weeks correspond to our total school weeks.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Enjoy God's Creation
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Today I am thankful for the job my husband has. He is not happy about the new policies the company keeps implementing or the amount of pay. But, since his injury 4 + years ago and being out of work for 3 1/2 of those I am thankful he is working at all. The income is about 1/2 of what he was making before the injury, which happened at work, but we are surviving. I am thankful in this poor economy that he has work at all.
Thank you Lord for ultimately being our Great Provider
Hebrews 11: 39-40 "And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect."
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Cover photos found on Google Image Search
we also found the World Forests maps from Google Image Search
A lot of information can be found here which is a part of this website
specific mini book info and pictures:
Temperate Deciduous Forest
Deciduous Forest Leaves
Animals of the Forest
And from this website:
these mini books with info and pictures can be found
Northern Boreal Forest (Taiga)
Temperate Rainforests of North America
The Conifer mini book came from The World of Plants by Dinah Zike
The two mini booklets that have the name Winterthur in them came from field trips we took last year to Winterthur Museum and Country Estate. We had a years membership and greatly enjoyed getting to go walk in their gardens all year round and hope to get a membership there again in the spring.
The Deciduous Forest Features mini came from the sample of the Forest Habitats at HOAC - download the sample or buy the whole lapbook if you can.
The Big Tree in the 4th section of Christopher's book and second section of Nathan's is from Ranger Rick's Naturescope Trees are Terrific
I could not find the source I used for the Life Cycle of a Conifer page but if you do a google image search you will find a number of good pictures you could use for this.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
We had a good week. I am only going to tell you about the things we did this week different from the regular daily stuff. So if you want to know what we do for Math and Language see my other Homeschool Weekly Posts - scroll down or click on the label Homeschool Weekly at the bottom of this post.
For History we covered:
Mystery of History Lessons 47-52
Lessons included Otto I and the Holy Roman Empire - Leif Ericson Discovers America
The Story of the Middle Ages chapter clvi (Otto I)
Blackline Maps of World History - Middle Ages - Map5 Holy Roman Empire
Choosing Your Way Through the World's Medieval Past - Adventure 7 - Upon the Viking Sea
and on Friday the boys worked, on their own, making mini books for a Viking Lapbook they are doing together. We are making it up ourselves, not a purchased one. They are each taking different topics and putting it together in one Lapbook. I will post pictures when we are done.
For Historical Fiction we are reading The Dragon and the Raven - see my Shelfari or previous Homeschool Weekly posts for details. This week we actually made progress and read chapters 3-6. I am really getting caught up in the book and so are the boys. Oh, one thing I did to help was to download the book into the boys/school computer which is in the living room. It makes it much easier and more convenient for reading. They get to sit more comfortably in the living room and sometimes even work on Lego projects quietly while I read.
For Science we finally progressed in our section on the Nervous System due to dh getting me ink so I could print. So here is science:
Lyrical Life Science - Human Body "Nervous System" song and worktext pages
The Body Book pages 78-87
The Human Body, 100 Reproducibles pages 43-50
Science Pocket: Human Senses & Body Parts by Dinah Zike ( one of her older books) page 3 "You've Got a Lot of Nerve!" (the link above takes you to a couple of copies on Amazon. (there were other copies here also)
We also got back to doing Art Study and Music Study this week. I decided to jump in and do the Ambleside Online list for Art Study and Composer Study since I have not been choosing it on my own. It was good to get back to it. For Art they are doing Botticelli and for music Bach. I did not do any pictures from the Art Study that include scantily dressed or not dressed humans. I choose other works of art by going to the Wikipedia site and downloading those prints I wanted to do instead. I go the link from Ambleside online but I will past it here for you to see. Sandro Botticelli at Wikipedia. Click on thumbnails to see the full view of the picture and to see the public domain tag. The Wikipedia page does have scantily dressed and not dressed humans so please view the pages here and on Ambleside without your children in the room. Then print out the only the ones you want to study. All the pictures on Wikipedia that I printed were public domain. Be careful also of books you borrow from the library if you are trying to avoid exposing your children to this. Keep the books only for your use in reading portions to them and keep them out of site at other times. For Composer Study this week we did The Story of Bach in Words and Music and listened to the Brandenburg Concerto #6. For Art we looked at the Mystical Nativity you can find it at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Mystical_nativity.jpg and the boys did a narration of the details they remembered from the print.
Nathan also did some Robotics - working on his Lego Mindstorms.
Yesterday, we also had the opportunity to see Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed at a movie night at church sponsored by the college and career age Sunday School class. The movie was very good and afterward we had discussion at the church as a group and then we discussed it further on the way home and stopped for sundaes at McDonald's. The movie was very thought provoking and I would like to see it again because there was so much in there. In case you do not know what the movie is about it is about the Intelligent Design vs. Evolution controversy and the inability of the
secular scientific community to accept the possibility of someone having intelligence having designed our world and the universe. You can find a review of the movie here as well as elsewhere on the internet I am sure.
Make a memory with your kids this coming week,
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Today, among other things, I am thankful that my kids are all saved. That we have that spiritual connection so that we can read and talk about things from a Christian Worldview and influence their live for Christ as we help them mature and grow. We can have a Christian emphasis in our homeschooling, in our reading, in the way we view History and Science. That when there are problems we can seek Spiritual solutions not just put bandaids on. That we can pray and sing and read the Bible together and talk about Spiritual things over the dinner table, on the couch, or flopped on my bed.
Thank you Lord, for this blessing, and for the privilege of leading them to you. Help me to take this responsibility seriously.
I Thes. 5:18 "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
Written by Miss Jocelyn on November 12, 2008 – 12:00 am -
Homeschool Mothers do a lot in a day…. I’d say they do more than the working mom because they have to care for the kids, the house, the meals, and much more. They are constantly on the go and with the kids! Sometimes you just need a break. You need to sit down and have a break. While I’m not a mom - YET - I know there I are times I need to sit down for a breather.
This week I’d like to invite you to share what YOUR “Mom” help is. Some drink coffee, soda, or chia-tea. Others check email or read their favorite blogs. Some talk a walk…. what do you do when you need to clear your head and take a breather?
Please share a Scripture that gives you a “mom” help when you’re spirit is feeling overwhelmed.
I do a number of things to take a breather:
Read my e-mail
Write in my blog
Read other blogs
Read something for pleasure (not for school, not to the kids, not about homeschooling, just a good fiction book just for me). Right now I am reading Riven by Jerry B. Jenkins (see our Shelfari in the sidebar).
Once in a while when really stressed I like a loooong bubble bath with Calgon or other nice smelling bubbles or bath crystals
I like to do scrapbooking, which I have not done in a while
but want to get back to
I like to watch movies with my dh
I like to play a computer game or two
I do not, of course, have time to do each of these every day, or even every week, but these are the things I like to do just for me.
"28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 15:13 "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."
Psalm 4:8 "I will both lay me down in peace and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety."
Psalm 27:1 & 14 "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait I say, on the Lord."
Have a God filled day,
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Come What May
Well I have to get my Bible Study done, I am behind by 3 1/2 days and my class is today... and I have to do History and Science with the boys before I go...
Have a Spirit Filled Day!!
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Except for me it is only week 2 that I have been doing this meme and for us it was week 13 of school. 65 days done out of 180. We started school July 27th, and then took a couple weeks off in the early fall for vacations.
Well back to this week. This was not a typical week for us, if we ever have such a thing.
Dd and I had to deal with Jury Duty. See post by that title, if you want to. So, the boys did computer school. Except Nathan had to do his math, which is actually partly on the computer. I have no idea what they did, I did not get an assignment sheet from them telling me, that is on the list to do later today.
Tuesday (Election Day):
History: we did Blackline Maps of World History Middle Ages Map #6 African Kingdoms.
Science: we read Creation Anatomy by Felice Gerwitz and Jill Whitlock pg. 29-31 (the pages on the Nervous System)
Copywork: more Prudence and the Millers - last chapter
Math: next lessons
Grammar: next lessons
no school, Mom just could not pull it together. I don't know if that is from the delay of tiredness of Jury Duty or the blow of the election results anyway we did not do school.
In honor of Homeschool Memoirs #12 Let's Play a Game we did just that. Game day! And it was a lot of fun. We played Pilgrims Progress (WARNING: I do not recommend this site I did not browse this site I only found this site as the only one from my google search that had the version of the game we have, I think we bought ours at our local Christian book store so this is only for your viewing and may have other not so good things scrolling by on their banner, so beware with kids looking over your shoulder), Mad Roll, Professor Noggin Medieval Times and Professor Noggin Space. We never did do math... I totally forgot and the boys did not remind me. LOL
We also did the think challenge see the Think! blog post for details.
I had chats all day online ( Let's Make a Memory, you can still join us today or later) so the boys were given their assignments and I was not looking over them. I need to follow up today and make sure they did what I assigned, but I have more chats and we have other things to do so that may have to wait for tomorrow or Monday. These were there assignments:
Copywork: Wisdom and the Millers Chapter 1 (we finished Prudence and the Miller and this is the one we are doing next) Copy verse, definition given in the book and look up and write the definition from the 1828 Webster's Dictionary (clicke the links to see the book to Buy or Online).
History: Read Mystery of History Lesson 46, Famous Men of the Middle Ages Lesson 15 and Story of the Middle Ages ch lv. Put Good King Wenceslas & Henry the Fowler on your timeline.
Science: Play a Game - they choose to play Professor Noggin Inventions
Bible: Jesus in the Spotlight
Grammar: next lesson
Math: next lesson
That was our week of school!
Pictures of Game day can be found on the Homeschool Memoirs #12 - Let's Play a Game blog post.
Have a Blessed Saturday and a Worshipful Sunday,
We were both very nervous and uptight for days before, but especially the day before and morning before she had Jury Duty. Since we only have one car, and dh goes to work so early, and gets off so early, we could not use the car to get into the city. So another thing we do not often do, actually have never done from this house, we had to take the bus into the Big City, another thing to be nervous about.
My dh and dd and I took time on Sunday to drive into the Big City to see where the bus stops would be for us to get off and to see where the courthouse was situated and to see what places were available for food within walking distance. That did give me a little peace of mind. I was able to sleep that night, but not as well as usual. DD and I were up plenty early and ready to go and then nervously waiting the time to go to the bus stop.
It was finally time to go. Then we waited, and waited, and waited for the bus to come. I was getting nervous that we would be late arriving and did not want to get in trouble. Well it finally came we got aboard and the bus was packed, standing room only!! Well first I had to figure out how to put the money in the machine and felt like a dork, with everyone watching me, and people behind us waiting to get on the bus. OK, that part finished. Two all day bus passes acquired.
Next problem, it was hard to see out the front or side of the bus because of all the people standing, and each block or so more people got on, so we are really packed now. I was not sure of the getting off part and was so nervous that I got us off 4 blocks to early!! We had to book it!! and I am overweight and do not walk much, I need to though, and so I could not walk fast. Well we made it, I was out of breath but only had to stop once. We were not late and got in line to go through the metal detectors. Then on the the Jury waiting room. Will I be allowed to stay with Rachel?? Got in another line to check in at a desk. Ask the man at the desk, "is she allowed to have me stay with her?" Answer, "Yes, but you can not go upstairs to the courtroom should she be called." Ok, we can live with that.
Ok, now booklet in hand, dd is reading about Jury Duty and what it entails, "very interesting", she says, "you should make the boys read this when you do American Government again." OK, sounds great. She loves history of any kind so this is right up her alley. Then many directions by a very nice and funny lady. For example, she said, "If you go upstairs and you see someone at the defendents table and it looks like Pookie,(room erupts with laughter) when you are called you have to tell the judge that you think you know Pookie, they callled him by a different name, but you think that may be Pookie. Or that you know Pookie's, mom, dad, aunt, uncle, cousin, brother, etc. Tell the Judge because if you think it is Pookie than it probably is Pookie. You don't want to mess up the trial later by realizing it is Pookie and then having to disrupt the trial later to tell them." She cracked us up so much, in giving directions, that Rachel choked on her soda at one point.
This kind of thing went on and on, and people were called to go up and we still sat there. I had a snack from the vending machines, Rachel was to nervous to eat. We watched a little bit of Price is Right on the t.v. between having to turn it off for her to call more groups. She said we might be there until 5:00 pm and that we should be prepared to stay that long. It was only 9:30!! OH what a long day this was going to be.
But, reprieve, we were done and let go around 12:00. Rachel got her certificate of participation and does not have to do Jury Duty for 2 years. I know the ropes now and will not be nervous if we have to do this again with the other daughter or do it myself.
So, we got some lunch in town at a little take-out place that had two tables, the fried chicken I had was delicious, the pizza Rachel had was ok, but she wished she had gotten something else.
Then we went out to wait for the bus thinking it would not be crowded at this time of day and it was packed. Not as much as in the morning but still standing room only. A couple stops from the center of the city I got a seat and a stop or two later dd Rachel go a seat. We knew exactly where to get off, the corner of the street we live on, and so had no trouble with that.
All in all a very tiring day. But, we were home early and we did fine.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Here are some photos.
Well, I am all geared up this morning for our chat! It starts in just over 2 hours and I cannot wait for this one! I LOVE the holidays, especially Christmas, and I LOVE making memories with my dc. Last night we watched one of our favorite Christmas movies, we have a lot of favorites for Christmas, The Christmas Shoes. Here is a link if you want to check it out online. Anyway, I was crying, as usual, for at least half of the movie and my dd Jessica 19yo was crying and my ds Nathan 14 even said, "My brain says don't cry but the rest of me is not listening," so even he was crying at one point. I don't know if ds Christopher cried or not. Anyway it is a sweet movie that reminds me of the fleetingness of life and to make every day count. When the movie was over I told my kids I love them and got hugs and made sure to tell them goodnight a little while later and that I loved them again. I told my dh, too, of course.
Well, join us this weekend for Let's Make a Memory and get some great advice from some of my favorite ladies. Just check out the link to see the details and to see the schedule for today. Don't forget if you can't join us today or tomorrow you can buy a ticket anyway and get all the great downloads. The audio to listen to later and the chat transcripts and the doorprizes and the bonus goodies... You can get a ticket anytime!
So, Join the FUN!! and Let's Make a Memory!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Mint Candy Pumpkins
Have a blessed day!
Make a memory with your kids.
Oh, the maple cookies were good too! they are on another post on their blog
I found this challenge for kids on a website. I LOVE it and the boys had a great time with it. We hope to participate many more weeks in the future.
Think! A Program Designed to Encourage Kids to Think Outside of the Box
This week we have two challenges:
1. If you have it, use 5 pieces of Halloween candy and 5 toothpicks and 2 straws to make an animal, real or imaginary. You may use scissors in construction but not in the solution. You may not use any other materials but you may use anything from your Halloween candy! If you don't have Halloween candy, use whatever you'd like to make an animal.
2. Put a bag of marshmallows (any size) on the table. Tell your students to big the biggest arch possible. They may use whatever they'd like during construction but the final arch must be made only of marshmallows. Wash your hands! Take pictures. Send them in.
Do one or both challenges. We'll post the pics for all of them!
Click Here http://kidswhothink.blogspot.com to see her website.
Here are our Photos
Christopher replies, "OK, so it is Stonehenge."
Who can argue with that!!
My attempt at making an arch with some bunny shaped marshmellows. I would not stand up for long. I let go of the arch, pushed the shutter and before it took the picture it would fall down. Ds Christopher said to push the shutter then move my hand at the last second... AHHHH! Success!!
Not to stable but it was fun trying!!! We had a lot of laughs and made a great memory!
I will try to remember to take some photos of the kids with there creations next week... did not THINK (LOL) of that!!!
Homeschoolers are very resourceful people. They use what they have and use them to their best ability. I know in our home many times people ask us how we use this or that for learning, and we are happy to explain it’s value. I think the main thing that a lot of people miss is that life is learning, and you must use everything in your home for learning otherwise you won’t fully be prepared.
THEMEThis week I want to invite you to share what different games you use for learning in your homeschool. Outside games, board games, or card games, and what purpose or subject you use them for.
I am thankful that I:
have a great husband
have the privilege of homeschooling my kids (though I would not say that every day) LOL
pictures are from while we were doing our online Creation for Kids class
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
It will be a pdf download that will contain instructions on how I organize my books It will have a couple of pages you can print out and use to help organize your books and photos to help explain my method.
If you buy a ticket to Let's Make a Memory Cindy will send you a conformation e-mail. Send a copy of that e-mail to me (just hit forward and put in my e-mail address) and I will send you the link to download your freebie from me.
My e-mail is in the link to the right in the sidebar under View my complete profile. If you have a problem or don't understand just leave a comment and I will get back to you.
First I would like to tell you that Cindy is having a free preview chat TODAY!!!
This is a perfect opportunity to get to know Cindy for FREE!! and see what the chats are like. You will be HOOKED on Cindy.
Here is the information
In honor of Cindy's upcoming seminar Let's Make a Memory, this coming week, November 7-8 I have an article written by Cindy Rushton for you for FREE but first of all my thoughts on her topic.
We have made many, many memories over books. My family LOVES to read and they love to hear me read aloud, and I love to do it for them. I enjoy changing my infections and really getting into the book. I do not really do voices but I do make the reading so exciting that they are forever begging, "Please read another chapter!!!"
Whether it is the whole family sitting in various places in the living room, or me reading while the kids finish chores, or reading to the boys while they lounge (LOL) on my bed!! We love Historical Fiction, Fiction that moves our hearts and minds (like Lamplighter) and Fiction "just for fun" (like Little House and The Moody Series by Sarah Maxwell).
I loved reading the classic picture books to my dear little ones (many to many years back, they grow so fast) like Tootle, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, Hop on Pop, or Where is My Mother (I could go on... and on... and on... but I won't) as well as new favorites like Christian Mother Goose (well it was new when my kids were young) and I never stop reading to the family no matter what their ages. They still all gather and listen to me read and they are 22, 19, 14, and 11 and dh... I will not put his age in... LOL... listens too!!
Well, I could go on and maybe I will tomorrow but I have to get ready for my Bible Study and I want to get this out to you today so... here is the freebie from Cindy and don't forget to check out the seminar details about this coming weekend... Let's Make a Memory
Let's Make a Memory...Over Books!
by Cindy Rushton
Hummm…was it the giggles the whole way through adventures with Pooh? My constant sobbing through every page of The Little Preacher? Our total addiction to every single page of Pilgrim’s Progress? The giggles and strategy as the children would run off to “play” every single bit of Daniel Boone’s life—with stiff warnings from Mom that NO ONE really got the hair-cut! Peeking outside to see the hard, hard work as forts were raised and mud pies “baked” for our beloved “soldier.” Oh, the precious, precious memories! Precious memories that are OURS forever!
Want the best homeschool year yet?
Why not make it a priority to curl up as a family over the pages of a great book each day? Get the water going…pull out some nice snacks…settle down for tea (or hot cocoa!!)…and dig into great books!
Game, but have no idea where to begin?? Come home with our family and get a picture of how easy AND awesome building a memory—over a great book—can be!
Decide a Good Time for Read Alouds…
Over the years, I have found that even though I LOVE great literature and believe passionately in the power of a great book to inspire us toward greatness, teach those facts in a palitable manner, and feed our hungry minds with great ideas, there has still been a constant battle with distractions from our beloved typical family reading time. Constant phone calls…friends dropping by…never the same day to day family life because of constant interruptions…the list could go on and on! I found that we needed a more consistent time to read, study, and cuddle. A time that was just ours!
The best time for this was at the end of our busy day. Our family reading tradition began years ago when my husband worked as an Alabama State Trooper. We found ourselves up until very late hours. Those last few hours before he came in seemed perfect. They were not likely to be times for calls, errands, or drop-by guests. They were the easiest to preserve for our special time whether we were on the road traveling or cuddling on our sofa or snuggled in my bed for a nice-long read aloud! Those moments were the perfect ones for our family. Now, since the children are almost grown up, the schedule is more complex than ever, and dad is now retired and running the family business the ONE constant that we all cry out for in the midst of busy or chaotic or even the most hum-drum day is our evening family read aloud and pow-wow time!
So, the first things to decide–what time would work best for your family? Look at your schedule? What time of the day is the most constant…the most uninterrupted…the easiest to settle down? Set that time aside—you have a treasure house of memories coming your way!
Perhaps a set time is not the problem. Perhaps the greatest need is dealing with the struggles that make read alouds an utter impossibility. An ideal! Certainly not a reality! You know…settling down the children…containing the messes long enough to finish one small part of a story…getting their interest? The habit that becomes a treasured tradition begins bit-by-bit! Here are a few ideas that may help:
* Get to know YOUR family and their interests. Each and every family is completely unique. What we love to read as a family, your family may not like at all! Our children may be completely different ages as yours. Our family preferences may be completely different than yours. In fact, our choices for read alouds now that our children are at these ages are very different from the choices we made in the early years. The key to a sizzling read aloud program rests with getting to know YOUR family and their interests and then basing your choices upon where you are.
* Use a reading list! Have no idea which books to begin with? TOTALLY confused with all of the options? We have a couple of recommendations. First, we recommend our book The Never-ending Rushton Reading List (soon to be re-released in ebook format after being TOTALLY revamped–working on that now!). It is very reasonable, compact, simple, and easy to begin using today. It includes suggestions that are perfect for teaching every subject with great books AND it has a basic list of recommended read alouds that EVERY (smile!) family should read through! As they get older, another recommendation that we have is our book Inspiring Our Children Toward Greatness Using Great Literature (also, out of print right now–look for it to be re-released in ebook format very soon too! One powerful book!) which has an extended list of recommendations for life-transforming literature and great books that you won’t want to miss. You can also find great recommendations in other books, catalogs, and at your local library.
* Make it FUN! Reading need not resemble the drudgery from our school days. Rather, it can be a great big family party! We have a daily “tea time” with our read alouds. When the children were little, I found very soon that our children were much more attentive if their bellies were full and their hands busy. Being a “tea-time addict,” it was almost the “given” thing to do! This may seem a bit artificial to your family. Find what works. Some families settle down with snacks like our family. Others entertain the children with play-doh to keep their hands busy while mommy reads. Other families give their children sketch books to “draw” what they imagine while mommy reads the book. Just make it a FUN family time! You will be amazed at how much the children will learn while making a memory!
Choose the BEST! Great Literature!
The still, quiet spirit of our home was only the first part of this special family tradition! Great books were musts! My children love to read. We have a library just for them filled with books that they can choose during their free time. They cover a wide-range of studies just by using whole, living books full of ideas and great information. For our read alouds, I did not want a repeat of those books. Instead, I wanted life-changing literature. Because of this heartbeat, I am extremely selective to choose the very BEST books for this special time.
I have a very simple test for discerning if the books are life-changing. I ask myself, “If these were the last moments that I had with my children, would this be the book that I would want to be the LAST ONE?? Would this be the memory that I want for them to carry with them?” “Is this book capable of teaching those life-lessons that they need to carry them through life?” This limits my choices to those books that are absolute MUSTS for my children. Those books that all well-educated children should dine upon. Those books that feed the spirit…challenge the soul…and encourage us to keep on persevering through it all!
I have been amazed at the way the Lord has led us by His Spirit to each book that He has wanted for us to read as a family. From The Hiding Place to Basket of Flowers to The Elsie Series to Hedge of Thorns to Passion and Purity to great poetry to Christmas stories to a multitude of biographies…God has had specific direction for us right when we needed to know His next choice!
Once I know which book we will read next, I usually hunt for a nice, large print edition, if at all possible. These are wonderful for helping us take turns. My son used to be so intimidated by small print in books. The large print editions are easier for him to read comfortably from. They also make great texts for copywork lessons. I saw the advantage to the large print as we read from Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. There were so many wonderful quotes that I felt were important for the children to copy into their copybooks. While we read aloud, I simply marked them with a highlighter. On those mornings that the children were drawing blanks for copywork ideas, all they had to do was open that book to find a plethora of excellent choices! I found that to be helpful for my writing and speaking as well because I could easily find those great thoughts that had been planted in my mind while we read!
We usually take turns reading. This is the perfect way to help beginning readers ease into reading aloud for others. Their work can be so mundane if they practice with readers or insignificant reading lessons. A great book invites children to read with expression. When I would notice them tiring out, (you probably know that time because that is when they get REAL monotone…AKA boring!!) I would join in and read for a little while. That usually brightened up the pace so that when they would begin again, they would sound expressive and enthusiastic. Now, I absolutely LOVE to listen to them read aloud. It is neat to hear them stress those words that I would stress…or pause as I would pause! What a treasure!
Well, that is only part of the treasure! One thing that I love about this precious time with my children is that I find out just what they think, feel, and believe. We have tremendous discussions almost nightly about great ideas. I remember this being a goal for my children as they matured into adulthood. I never dreamed that I could have this blessing with little children! It is during these quaint moments of reading while sipping our tea, that I get a peek into their heart! I see their heart’s desires…their struggles in their character…the depths that God’s Word has worked in their lives…and their instant choices when faced with adversity (through the pages of the books). I can also help them trouble-shoot making decisions that may prevent them from irreparable errors later in their lives! Yes, those are the gifts that come with serving up great literature to our children.
Just This Easy…
Our daily read aloud time is just this easy. We don’t make it complicated by tests…by book reports…by written narrations on all we read. We are not even legalistic that our time be limited to books. We have been known to cuddle up with art prints JUST like we do our books. When we include art prints, we simply cuddle up to “listen” to the artist as he or she communicates through the canvas. My little ones have been known to sketch or paint the recent art print with their own style while I read a section from a great book. We also LOVE biographies, so we have enjoyed reading sketches about artists or the latest composer that we are getting to know! Each day, we use this time to also read through the Bible together as a family. This only takes minutes, yet the results have been overwhelming in our lives. Just a bit here and a bit there has helped to carry us into our world with a little bit more understanding about the worldviews of our culture! Not to mention, great art and music feed our minds with ideas that keep us growing into the vessels that God can really use in our culture!
Well, why not put on a little Classical Music in the background. Warm some water…EVEN if you prefer to use it for hot chocolate with fluffy marshmallows! :) Dust off those poetry books or that book you keep putting off for another day. Curl up with your little ones…there is NOTHING quite like the memory that can be made over a great book!!
About Cindy Rushton...
Cindy Rushton is the hostess of the Let's Make a Memory, her annual holiday fling for mothers around the world. She is recording Preview Chats for the Let's Make a Memory RIGHT NOW! Join her wonderful guests FREE for today as they count down to the Let's Make a Memory Virtual Seminar (November 7-8--BUT! NEVER ENDING because it is an ONLINE seminar!). Get your ticket NOW and begin to dig into her FREE gifts now! Check out all of the details here:
Let's Make a Memory
Oh I got the images for this post from pppst.com you can get to their site by clicking on any of the images.
Have a Blessed Day,
And Don't Forget To VOTE!!!
Saturday, November 1, 2008
To start off I would like to say Christopher is in 6th Grade and Nathan in 9th.
The boys are doing Jesus in the Spotlight: John, Chapters 1-10 (Discover 4 Yourself® Inductive Bible Studies for Kids) for Bible.
They had their last Creation Science for Kids Online Class on Monday. We still have a few experiments to do to finish up but otherwise we are done. The class was great and we can listen to the audios over and over. As with all of Cindy's classes you can still purchase a ticket and get all the great handouts and experiments from Felice. We are studying the Human Body for Science and on Tuesday we started the Nervous System. We did our pages from Considering God's Creation, Read a library book The Nervous System, and read the Nervous system section in Blood and Guts. Each day we have also been reading Prudence and the Millers and the boys are using this book as copywork also. Each days reading is about a health or manners issue and includes Bible verses, some days they also copy a list of rules from the end of the chapter, some days they have to write some other details from the story based on the topic for that day. It is reinforcing our study of the Human Body nicely though it does not necessarily coordinate with the topic we are on at the time.
We are studying the Viking Age right now in History. As you can see from my sidebar I am reading the Dragon and the Raven or the Days of King Alfred by Henty to the boys for Historical Fiction read-aloud. We did not read it as often this week as we should have. It becomes difficult some times to read it since I do not own the book and we have to go to my computer to read the free pdf. (Just excuses... I need to read it to them daily and stop the excuses... I sound like them!!! LOL)
In History we covered King Alfred and some of his descendants, monasteries, and some of the attacks by the Vikings on England from The Story of the Middle Ages. We also read "Life in an English Castle" in Choosing Your Way Through the World's Medieval Past. We covered Iceland in Mystery of History volume 2 and then read Odyssey Magazine May 2000 Warming up to Iceland that I had borrowed from the library. We used that for History and Science that day since it covered volcanoes, hot springs, Vikings, horses, and other facts about Iceland. On Friday we read about New Zealand and Zimbabwe from Mystery of History vol 2 and we read about a monastery founded in 909 in the book The 100 Most Important Events in Christian History.
The boys also do math each day. Nathan is doing Teaching Textbook Geometry and doing quite well with it. Christopher is doing Saxon 76 and doing well also.
The boys are also doing Grammar. Nathan is doing Easy Grammar Plus and I do recommend the student workbook because it prevents having to do a lot of photocopying. Christopher is doing Daily Grams Grade 6, and he does it orally except for writing it once a month so I have something to put in the portfolio. They do grammar every day.
For Music we sing acappella as a family and minister at a nursing home a couple times a year and sing for special music at church. Right now we are prepaing Christmas Carols for our ministry at the nursing home in December and we go caroling as a family to our pastors and to the Sr. Saints of our church. We do not practice every night but at least 3 times a week.
I am planning to get back to Music Study next week by finding the All Glory, Laud and Honor cd we own. And I want to get back to doing Art study too by finding some paintings of the Viking or Middle Ages. (a project for after I post this). If you know of a good source leave me a comment.
Click on the picture at the top to go to the site that this meme came from and see the other entries.
Have a blessed weekend,