Thursday, October 15, 2009
Lesson one: It only takes one knife to spread mayo on sandwiches. No you don't need a new knife for every single sandwich.
Lesson two: If we keep up with our glass then we don't have 30 to wash at the end of the day.
Lesson three: When mommy is sick, is not the time to attempt to clean out the refrigerator. It was a sweet thought, but if you don't wash those dishes they sit and get stinky. ;-)
So all of that to say, once I recover from the illness and the messy house I'll be posting about the Living Books Curriculum.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
The LBC Curriculum is very complete and truly you could just open and go following the instructions in the manual. Even if you aren't all that familiar with the Charlotte Mason philosophy, there are a number of articles and resources included in the curriculum to explain how to implement various subjects.
A suggested daily schedule shows that you can easily finish your core work before lunch, leaving your afternoons free for silent reading, music & picture study, nature study, handcrafts and life skills. I am using a book called Training Our Daughter's to Be Keepers at Home for lifeskills and handcrafts. It is an excellent book and even includes some character study that I will incorporate into the Christian Studies lessons. This is the first year my dd will have a written schedule to follow independently. I have a list of subjects with times next to them. It is her job to follow the schedule. She is very excited and sees this as a new freedom. She doesn't have to wait on me for instructions and thus can make the best use of her time.
Science and History are exciting to me and this year will be a little different than how I've handled those two subjects. In the past we have alternated history and science doing each subject a couple of times per week. This year she will have both subjects daily. American History and World History will alternate days. In American History the focus is Growth and Industrialization. In World History the focus is the Renaissance and Reformation. This picks up where the LBC Middle Ages guide ends. Geography is integrated into the history lessons. Literature selections are also complimentary to these studies as well as the science studies. Science will address four major strands: life, physical, earth, and health. We have a Botany book that we are incorporating as well so some of the lesson plans will substitute this book instead of buying a new book. We also look forward to using a microscope this year.
The Language Arts section is the area that I will modify the most. Because my daughter is dyslexic she has needs that wouldn't normally be present in a language arts program for this age. I will keep all of the language arts suggestions of Grammar, storytelling, copywork, dictation and Shakespeare, but will also add in phonics and spelling as she still needs special instruction in these two areas.
For math, I use Math U See. Singapore Math is recommended, but we've been happy with Math U See so I see no need to switch. The lesson plans call for daily math instruction for 30 minutes which is just about how much time we take now.
I love the way that ChristianFaith Studies is laid out in this curriculum. The child is to read from both the New and Old Testament each week along with time to reflect in a journal entry. This year she will be reading from Matthew, I Samuel, I Kings, Daniel and Jonah. We will also incorporate the character lessons from The King's Daughter and Other Stories for Girls.
Picture Study is an area where I have not done a very thorough job of teaching. I am very glad to see that the curriculum includes clear instructions on how to study great works of art. The pictures are included in the curriculum and just require that I get them printed in color and framed for us to view during the week. Sheila Carroll estimates the cost of having a picture printed to be around $1, plus you can recycle a picture frame or find one inexpensively at a dollar store. If you prefer, you can also study the picture from the computer with no additional costs.
Composer Study will include a study of Handel, Haydn, and Mozart. My children are familiar with some of these, especially Mozart. You can either find CD's to listen to or there is an online service where you can listen for free, or for a small fee make your own CD's. When I taught public school there were many studies on how listening to classical music increased language skills and we were required to listen to Mozart and Beethoven daily in our classrooms. I have yet to meet a child that doesn't enjoy classical music.
For other Electives, we will do daily exercise (PE) with Jack LaLanne, play games with other homeschool families, take music lessons, and hopefully start Latin instruction.
We found the Jack LaLanne website after reading an article on just how fit he is in his 90's and how sick he was when he was 15. His exercise show was televised for over 30 years. He gives God all credit for making our amazing bodies and encourages healthy eating habits with lots of exercise. It is a black and white TV show and the kids seem to like his enthusiasm--at least one of them does ;-). We also hope to organize a regular "game day" with other homeschool families so that we can learn team sports such as baseball, volley ball, basketball, etc. My husband and I decided to hold off on having the children join organized sports leagues until they are older, but we would still like them to learn team sports in a non-competitive way. It is good exercise and lots of fun.
Last night, Miss A was gifted a used flute from her Meme and Grandad. If it isn't too late, then she will start the beginner homeschool band. That will be an inexpensive way to have music lessons as they are group lessons instead of private lessons. This will require driving 30 minutes to a nearby town so we will adjust that days schedule to reflect that day trip.
Latin is the other elective I would like to add later this year. I'm still researching which program to use and if it is the right time to introduce it. As I find out more about this area, I'll have posts with resource links under the label Latin.
The only other thing I'd like to mention about this curriculum is that I will likely write my lesson plans out to make it a 4 or 4 and a half day curriculum. It seems like it will be pretty simple to do. On the suggested lessons, Friday are the lightest day of work. So it stands to reason that when we need a four day week, we can easily double up on a couple of things and have that fifth day available for field trips, music lessons, or project days. In addition there is a flex week built in for narrations, field trips, etc. I'm so excited to start this curriculum. It is going to be easy to implement and we have been so pleased with the reading selections in past LBC curriculum guides.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
The King's Daughters and Other Stories for Girls is used for the character study in Training Daughters to Be Keepers at Home book. It is character stories from another time period. So far the two stories we have read instill that chores are a pleasant part of life and that they help lift our spirits and make life more enjoyable. There are several stories in the book and it is also available as a free download on Gutenberg. The stories are about 7 pages long (when copied and pasted into a word document) and simple to understand with nice line drawings throughout the story.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Old Fashioned Farm Life
World in a Drop of Water
Joseph Haydn: The Merry Little Peasant
Mozart: Wonder Boy
Prudence and the Millers + workbook
I, Juan De Pareja
Handbook of Nature Study
Man Who Laid the Egg
Thunderstorm in the Church
Exploring the World of Physics
Sowers-George Frideric Handel
Who in the World was the Forgotten Explorer?
In addition I ordered:
Training Our Daughters to Be Keepers at Home (for handicraft)
Mr. Pipes & Psalms & Hymns of the Reformation
Friday, July 31, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
My littlest homeschooler is Miss Jessalyn Claire. She turned 5 in January and is very eager to begin her schooling. In fact, when I print out the assignment sheets for the older two children, she often asks for her own assignment sheet. For her preschool experience I like to use age appropriate resources several times a week. She could just tag along with the older children but she really does get a lot of enjoyment out of her own lessons. She is having a fun time with Alphabet Color and Glue and Simple Scissor Practice (both e-books from curriclick). Today though, I found this lovely little book of fingerplays. Not only does it tell the words to the fingerplays, but it shows little drawings of hands so that you know exactly how to do each fingerplay. This is a Gutenberg Project book and it also includes music clips that go along with the words in the book. What fun she will have learning new fingerplays next week.
Monday, May 18, 2009
This kids are enjoying coloring pictures of the Kings, knights and lady loves that they been reading about in school. Dover Coloring Books are always excellent. This one is giving us an additional bonus. It tells about the fashions on each page and which century and country the clothing would have been worn as well as what fabrics the garments would have been made from. Miss A is doing a 4-H record book on clothing and textiles and this coloring and reading about medevial fashions will count toward her clothing and textiles project. The coloring book is pretty cheap ($3.95) and is available online at the Dover Website.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Here is a link to patterns for redwork that tell the story of Colonial America. If you have young ladies that like to sew, redwork is a great project. This quilt would look very nice in my bedroom. Maybe I can get some time to sew myself one.
Here is another link with a description of each quilt block.
Friday, May 15, 2009
The Talisman is a gripping tale set near the end of the Third Crusade. King Richard the Lionheart is grievously ill, and all around him the leaders from allied countries plot and scheme to gain personal power, putting the future of the crusade in jeopardy. Sir Kenneth of Scotland finds himself caught up in events, and finds both his honour and his life are now on the line. Can a cure be found for the King? Can Kenneth redeem his honour? – Written by Rowen.
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
This text is not quite finished on librivox.
If you click on the link you can be emailed
as to when it is finished and listen to what's been recorded.
“The object of this book is to bring together stories of the most important movements in the history of Europe during the Middle Ages, and to make familiar the names of the most important figures in those scenes. I have endeavoured to weave a tapestry in which, with due colour, may be traced the history of the rise and fall of the various nationalities and the circumstances and mode of life of each—in short, to give the young reader an approximation to the background for the study of his country’s history which a wide reading gives to a man.” (Summary from the Preface of Heroes of the Middle Ages by Eva March Tappan)
1) I didn't really know existed
2) are rich in vocabulary
3) are very well written and
4) are exciting and interesting.
I have not read any of the book above. Sad but true, somehow I missed Ivanhoe and Talisman. These are additional reading suggestions. Heroes of the Middle Ages is not listed in the guide, but I found it on librivox and it is a nice fit. We will only listen to selected chapters as it covers the entire middle ages. I like Eva March Tappan's books. She has a way of making them easy to read without watering it down into "twaddle." My daughter is enjoying them, as the chapters are short enough to not be frustrating. Other things coming up in next week's lessons are a medieval feast, a report about the Knights Templar, and some time working on her timeline. I believe all of the books I linked on librivox also have free online texts that you can read as well.
Note: Links have been updated and I have added summaries of the books from the librivox website.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I'd like to introduce you to What to Draw and How to Draw It by E. G. Lutz. This particular book is copywrited in 1913. It is 78 pages in length and would be suitable for about 9 or 10 year olds and up. Some of the animals look a bit dated with their chunky shapes that were common in art of this time frame. The people too look as though they live in the turn of the century as can be expected. However, I really like the step by step approach to drawing figures. Also, my kids like all things old and antique so they will like drawing little girls and boys that look like antique paper dolls. I think they will especially get a kick out of the page with expressions. There are little men with the most wonderful mustaches and facial expressions. As I was looking at it my daughter has already chosen about 10 that she wants to draw today. I had the sad news to tell her it is scheduled for next week. Now, to choose which page to have her draw first. And maybe if she gets her work done today I can print her one to try out ahead of schedule. ;-)
This lovely little book was on www.homeschoolfreebieoftheday.com a few days ago. Unfortunately, it is not there now. However, I did find it in the American Library's Internet Archive. If you have a child that likes to draw, then this would be a great download. Just print out a sheet at a time and the child can step by step draw all sorts of animals and pictures. In fact it looked easy enough for me to draw, and that's saying a lot.
In addition to using it once a week in our lessons, I plan to choose 10 pages to use in a small co-op setting. I find that most children would like to draw and so I think this will be a good co-op choice. Another idea I have for this book is for a Christmas present. My mother is an artist and I know that she would love one of these pictures drawn with charcoal on crisp white paper and presented in a simple black frame. Can't you just see a proud Grandma telling that her 11 year old granddaughter drew this for her? And I can see said granddaughter thrilled to use "real" art tools such as a charcoal pencil and nice paper. In fact, if they turn out as nicely as I anticipate, I may have the kids make me some to hang at my house. Some of my favorite art work has been created at my kitchen bar with crayons and copy paper. Yes, I will definitely put an order in for my own art for Christmas as well.
Here is the black and white pdf of the book.
Here is another pdf. This one is scanned from the original book and the pages are yellowed with age.
Here is a flip book version. When you click the arrow the pages turn like when reading a real book.
Here is a link to the home page of American Library's Internet Archive. I have not had time to search it and see what all is offered. This may be one of my new favorite links. Who knows, I have so many.
Loving and learning,
Monday, April 27, 2009
Men of Iron by Howard Pyle is historical fiction that transports us back to the 1400’s, a time of knighthood and chivalry. Myles Falworth is eight years old when news comes they must flee their home. His blind father is accused of treason. We see Myles grow up, train as a knight, and with perseverance, clear his father of any wrong-doing and restore their family name.
(Summary by Laura Caldwell)
Today is a rainy day on the farm. It is perfect for listening to a story while sipping hot tea. I couldn't find some of the extra reading choices in LBC at the library this week. Rarely do we get to the additional reading, but this week the reading was short. I decided to see what Ambleside Online is reading. Immediately, I noticed that in year 3 (Renaissance-Reformation) they had listed Men of Iron by Howard Pyle. I had heard that it was really good and after reading the summary, realized it would fit right in with this week's study on knights.
I found it on librivox and we are enjoying listening to it. If you don't have the book, but still would like to read it, then click here to find the text online. Of course, you could buy it as well if you are book poor and bookshelf rich. ;-) It is still being published even though it was first printed in 1891. To me that is a good sign that the book is worth my time.
I also found copy work from this book. Those AO folks are just so organized. They have a yahoo group that is just copywork to go with each year on their website. So I joined the yahoo group and found a 171 page pdf file of copywork for year 3 which included several copywork selections from Men of Iron, nicely organized by chapter. I just love it when I don't have to reinvent the wheel.
Here is what I assigned Ashley for today's copywork:
I think this particular passage would lend itself well to a narration that the child draws instead of telling. The language gives a very clear picture of that knight riding up on his horse.
Men of Iron by Howard Pyle
The year 1400 opened with more than usual peacefulness in Englad. Only a few months before, Richard II - weak, wicked, and treacherous - had been dethroned, and Henry IV declared King in his stead.
Myles Falworth was but eight years of age at that time, and it was only afterwards, and when he grew old enough to know more of the ins and outs of the matter, that he could remember by bits and pieces the things that afterwards happened; how one evening a knight came clattering into the court-yard upon a horse, red-nostrilled and smeared with the sweat and foam of a desperate ride- Sir John Dale, a dear friend of the blind Lord.
Friday, April 24, 2009
This book is in no degree an attempt to relate the involved and intricate history of the Middle Ages. Its plan is, rather, to present pictures of the manner of life and habits of thought of the people who lived between the eighth and fifteenth centuries. Our writings and our everyday conversation are full of their phrases and of allusions to their ideas. Many of our thoughts and feelings and instincts, of our very follies and superstitions, have descended to us from them. To become better acquainted with them is to explain ourselves. (Summary from the Preface of When Knights Were Bold)
Librivox is my new favorites website. A nice bonus is that I can have librivox running in one tab and then click on another tab and see what the Nester is doing on her blog or rearrange my virtual bedroom on Better Homes and Gardens. This is sort of the equivalent of having your cake and eating it too. Seriously, I do have another reason for loving librivox and it has to do with dyslexia. If you have child who struggles with reading (dyslexic or not) listening to books read aloud is a great way to improve their reading. In fact, it improves all kid's reading, but is especially helpful for those with dyslexia or other reading difficulties. [I'll try to edit this post later with some research to support that statement. ]
I did a quick google this morning and found that librivox has recorded When Knights Were Bold. This is a book used in the Living Books Curriculum Middle Ages study. Being dyslexic, my daughter really benefits from reading along while I (or librivox) read aloud. This helps a great deal with fluency as well as comprehension. It is sort of like when you are teaching a child to write and you hold their hand to help them make the letters. With dyslexia, they often struggle with the decoding enough that by the end of a paragraph (sometimes even the end of a sentence) they may have entirely forgotten what they read because the decoding required such effort. Read it aloud, while they read along, and you are holding their hand through the decoding so to speak. The correct decoding is reinforced, the comprehension is better, and they enjoy that reading instead of dreading it. There are lots of reasons why this helps, but I'll not bore you with all of that. :-)
Although this is my 11 year old daughter's school work, my 7 year old son insists on listening along. He is now officially over his obsession with dinosaurs and it is firmly replaced with a new one of dragons, knights, and castles. I love how he puts on armor, a helmet and shield and holds his plastic sword while we read it aloud. For fun, I think I'll have the girls put on their dress up clothes and instead of our usual narration, I'll have them act out today's chapter from When Knights Were Bold. It's Friday after all and they have worked really hard all week.
If you would like to read this book, it can be purchased from Living Books Curriculum here or found as an e-text here. I would say that a child that can read independently on a 4th grade level (or can read a Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys book easily) could read this book alone (although I did not do an official readability on it). It is 312 pages, but the text is larger than usual and the chapters are not too long. You could also easily read part or all of the book as the chapters each stand alone in content.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
What a fun surprise I have for you today. I found The Book of Dragons read aloud on librivox today. Of course, I found it after I'd already read most of what has been recorded. But if you have not started this book yet, you may be able to listen to the book in it's entirety. for free. online. It doesn't get much better than that. I don't mind reading aloud at all. It is just that I currently read aloud 1-2 hours a day. Anytime we can listen to a story it is a welcome blessing to my voice.
Anyway, if you have not heard of The Book of Dragons, I say that you MUST read it. It is a collection of 8 dragon short stories. You can find it at your library, amazon.com, or also as an e-text on the gutenberg project. It fits in nicely with this week's lessons on castles, knights and such. And if you have boys, especially if you have boys, just read it because all boys love dragon stories. Connor, my 7 year old son thinks it is the best book I've ever read. In fact, I don't even have to ask for a narration. He freely gives a lengthy narration the minute my husband walks in from work. The short stories are also nice and short, perfect for even the youngest child's attention.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Today, Miss A and I went to the bank. She set up a "Moola Moola Account" at our credit union. A "Moola Moola Account" is a special account for children under thirteen. The idea is to let them learn to save money and earn "moola moola bucks" toward fun prizes, like pencils, water bottles, posters, etc. She put her youth fair check in and will be learning to keep a record of her money. This is a good skill for real life and a nice bonus for her 4-H record book as she needs to know how much money she spends/earns on her fair projects. You may have a similar program at your bank for children. Generally it is pretty easy to set up, requires a small amount of money (ours is $5) to start an account, and the parent signs for them as they are a minor. The two younger children are contemplating starting an account with their tooth fairy money after seeing the (cheesey to a mom) (cool to a 5 year old) moola backpack and pencil. Well at least one of the children has tooth fairy money...the youngest one has "Meme" money...lol. I guess if they decide to part with their money, then I'll be headed back to the bank to let the younger two have their own "Moola Moola Accounts."
Friday, April 17, 2009
Grammar Land was so interesting that my dd was not too happy to find that she had completed all her grammar for the week and it would be next week before she could read about Mr. Pronoun. She thought the sad little Mr. Article was funny and and also loved the rich and wealthy Mr. Noun. We did the exercises assigned to the children of Schoolroom-shire by the judge and found them to be nice short lessons. I knew right away if she understood the part of speech in that short oral language lesson. You could easily make a short worksheet to go with each chapter with very little effort, if you need a worksheet for some reason.
I got my copy as a free e-book from www.homeschoolfreebie.wholesomechildhood.com a while back. I found it online here as a free online text since that freebie has long since expired. You can also purchase it from amazon.com. Either way, it is a nice, informal way to enjoy learning your grammar.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
My dd (age 11) is working through the Living Books Curriculum guide to The Middle Ages. We have enjoyed all of the literature that came with it and today spent some time oohing and ahhing at castles and learning more about feudal life in the Middle Ages. It appears from our little bit of research that due to the high quality of materials a lot of castles are still standing. Many have been updated and restored and some are now museums. We read about one castle that took 100 years to complete. Looking at the detailed photos you can see how that is possible. I'm amazed at all of the intricate carvings in stone as well as gorgeous paintings on ceilings and walls. All time consuming jobs that require great talent as well as patience.
Today's reading was from When Knights were Bold by Eva March Tappan. This book as well as other great books on the Middle Ages are available from LBC. The chapters are fairly short and interesting enough for a 7 year old boy to sit and listen intently even though it isn't part of his school work. I count that a definate plus. A boy listening is a boy not antagonizing his other sister or making a mess. ;-) The books in this unit are geared for the intermediate to middle school aged child. I'd say they are for grades 5-8. In this unit, we have especially enjoyed reading Son of Charlemagne and The Lantern Bearer. This unit from LBC is a history unit and you will still need to supplement with other sources for your math, language, copywork, etc. I use Ambleside Online for a lot, Writing Road to Reading (not a CM type resource) and Math U See. It's been fun to create my own lesson plans, but I think next year I will just go ahead and order the LBC curriculum for the grade and get all the lesson plans and books in one box. The idea of having everything all mapped out for the year just sounds very nice as I try my best to write lesson plans instead of walking around outside smelling the roses and soaking up the sunshine.
Here are some links to websites with information on life in the Feudal Middle Ages. I hope it is a help to your study of the Middle Ages.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Here is a coloring sheet so that your children can color their own Starry Night. This is one of my all time favorite art works. My children are coloring it in water colors to achieve a look similar to the original. I think it would be fun with pastels, pencil colors or even crayons.
I'm implementing a Charlotte Mason approach in my home school. Every so often I am adding in elements that I think will benefit my children in their learning. Two weeks ago I was reading about storytelling. Somehow I had not read about this before or at least I don't remember much if I did read it. I decided it would be an easy addition to our school day. Children are natural born storytellers. I think that is part of why they love to hear stories so much. The children have loved this single addition so much that they remind me if I happen to forget about storytelling. They especially love to retell their stories at the dinner table to their father. So if you are thinking about starting to implement a Charlotte Mason education, this is a good place to start. The children will naturally love it and with that success you will be spurred on to try other Charlotte Mason ideas.