Thursday, April 29, 2010

Once upon a time...

As a home educating family we read a LOT of books, so I had to smile when I read this quote from Albert Einstein...

"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales."



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Quote for today

I think this quote is very much worth a good chunk of consideration.

Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity.
- Christopher Morley


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Good quote

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. ~ Albert Einstein

I love this quote.... I've obviously tried quite a few new things : )

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook - 12 April 2010


Outside my window...I see happy children playing

I am thinking...that I should plan for next term

I am thankful for...God's provision

I am be a bit easier on myself

I am reading...too many books at the same time

I am hoping...that our children will make good decisions in life

I am husband fixing up some computer

Around the is peaceful

One of my favorite things...a good cup of tea!

A few plans for the rest of the week: To take the kids to the museum and a picnic

You can link to "The Simple Woman's Daybook" here

Sunday, April 11, 2010

TOS Review: Expedition Australia

I was given the opportunity to review this homeschool product from The Old Schoolhouse ® and Amanda Bennett. I was provided with a free copy of this e-book for review purposes.

Expedition Australia, is a 103 page e-book from The Old Schoolhouse® and Amanda Bennett, priced at US$7.95. It is an amazing treasure chest of information on Australia. At the end of this 5-day unit study you will have a lapbook and a notebook on Australia.

The study is geared towards children in grades K – 4.

I love lapbooks and have used a study written by Amanda Bennett before so was very excited about receiving Expedition Australia. I was not disappointed!

This e-book is true to its name: Download N Go! All you need to do is to print out the pages to be used – no other preparation / research needed. It provides you with a list of good books for further study as well as links to amazing websites.

This 5-day study has a specific focus for each day. There is a study of a specific Geographic feature of Australia for every day as well as a native animal. Other daily features are beautifully illustrated Australian poems, looking at the distance between your town and a given town in Australia, a Bible verse and looking at the temperature and time in your own town and a given town in Australia. Other lessons include regions of Australia, a bit of Australian history, the Australian Flag and National Anthem and looking at the boomerang and also constellations in the Southern Hemisphere.

The first day was also a great recap on the 7 continents that we’ve learned about in the beginning of term. The kids enjoyed the fact that they already knew that!

What we all enjoyed about this study is how Amanda linked to video’s, photographs, maps and other amazing interactive websites. It kept it interesting – a complete all senses learning unit!

This has definitely expanded my horizons in how to prepare other unit studies and how to present something to the kids in a fresh way.

Some of the activities were a bit young for my kids so we just skipped those. What I found great about this is that there are plenty resources to choose from.

I highly recommend this product which is part of the Download N Go series. Other topics in this series include: Winter Wonders, Amelia Earhart, Ben Franklin and Sea Shells among others.

TOS Review: When I grow up, I want to be … A Firefighter

I was given the opportunity to review a homeschool product from The Old Schoolhouse ®. I was provided with a free copy of this e-book for review purposes.

When I grow up, I want to be … A Firefighter, is an 82 page e-book from The Old Schoolhouse® priced at US$8.95. It is packed with information on what is involved in being a firefighter.

Although the vendor suggests this study is for ages 4-10, I am sure that this can be used for older students too.

This e-book includes the history of firefighting, firefighter training, equipment used, salaries in different states in America, a great vocabulary list, footnotes on many pages explaining words and concepts, a section written by a firefighter who shared about personal experience, a section on building codes, how to build a model robotic arm, math problems, fun activities, copy work pages (both in print and cursive), colour-in pages, a word search and the ‘stop, drop and roll’ message in American Sign Language.

The last two pages include a list of books and websites for further study.

My first thought about this product was: “this is HUGE!”. At first glance I did not know how I was going to tackle this, until I went through the entire document slowly.

It does not provide a suggested ‘schedule’ as to how to divide the work up. This on one hand leaves it open to flexibility, but on the other hand might be a bit overwhelming to some. My initial thoughts might have been due to the fact that most of the e-books I’ve used before had more of a “Day 1, Day 2 etc” layout.

Once I scanned all the content I developed a bit of a plan and it became very exciting!

I like that the content speaks ‘to’ the child, feeling more like a dialogue than reading a textbook. “Have you ever…” and “As we’ve discussed before…” etc.

It provides the parent with great ideas, such as visiting a restaurant and looking for specific things such as the exit signs by the door etc, having fire drills, directions for a fire engine cake and others.

The kids became excited about this study and looked forward to reading their portion of the text and then engaging in the activities. My daughter decided to draw most of the equipment we learned about and my son quickly joined in on that. We also have a fire escape plan at home that we went through again and even went to our nearest fire station. The kids still enjoy looking for the markings on the road pointing to the fire hydrants on the sidewalk.

We live in New Zealand and as the content of this study relates to Firefighters in America I had to do a bit of research and look up the history, salaries, firefighter training in NZ etc. and make sure that the kids know NOT to dial 911, but 111 in an emergency : ). NZ Sign is also slightly different from American Sign Language.

This however did not put me off the study, but gave us opportunity to discuss how things vary in different countries.

I would definitely revisit this study later as there is such a wealth of information contained in it.

This study is part of the WannaBe series that looks at many different careers. A very worthwhile product!