Monday, May 25, 2009

Summer Break

Our little Homeschool at the Farm is taking a summer break. We'll start back up in a couple of weeks as we are going year round this year. For now we will enjoy the outdoors, fishing, garden, swimming, and get lots of sun and fresh air.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fingerplays for the littlest homeschoolers

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

Medieval Fashions

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

Colonial Redwork Patterns

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 Crusades

The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott
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.

Heroes of the Middle Ages by Eve March Tappan
“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)

The above books are available on Librivox. As we get further into the Living Books Curriculum Middle Ages guide, I find that we really love the literature choices. We are reading books that
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

A Short Study of Tornadoes

Since we live in Tornado Alley, I decided to take a short break from our regular science and have a unit study on tornadoes. I am using lessons from Middle School They have a variety of themes and resources. However, the Tornado Theme Page has 6 organized lessons complete with fun little worksheets if you have a kid who likes puzzles and such. We also found video on National Geographic.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What to Draw and How to Draw It

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 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.

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,
Mrs. P