Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Menu Monday for 9/18/17

I really thought I'd be able to make more time to plan this week but, again, a rushed plan. Here's this week:

Saturday: Salad plate, with tuna salad and hard boiled eggs, rolls

Sunday: spaghetti with meat balls, salad, Texas toast

Monday: Chicken with Japanese stir fry vegetables, rice

Tuesday: Pork chops, corn on the cob, steamed green beans

Wednesday: Sloppy Joe bake with golden biscuits, salad

Thursday: Salmon, noodles, asparagus

Friday: Date night - dinner out

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Macbeth E-Guide - A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

Review Crew

 This summer I was selected to participate in a review for
Progeny Press

Different products were assigned for different age-grouped students. The product I got to review was the Macbeth E-Guide (for Grades 9-12). I knew my student didn't have time to read Macbeth this summer, but I was permitted to be the student for this review.
I had never read Macbeth, and I was up for the challenge. One of the most interesting aspects of educating my children classically has been realizing how many classic pieces of literature I myself have never read. Even before I learned I would be on the review I dug out my paperback copy of Macbeth and started reading.

Then one day I received the email from Progeny Press giving me instructions on how to download my E-Guide. I did so immediately. There was an interactive guide to Macbeth and an answer key to the same. After downloading both I made a second copy of the interactive guide so I would have one that I could fill answers in right in the PDF document.

Pausing from my struggle to read the "Olde English" of Macbeth, I turned to the pages of the Study Guide. The Guide is divided into these sections:
  • Note to Instructor
  • A Special Note on Shakespeare's Plays
  • Synopsis
  • Background Information
  • About the Author
  • Suggestions for Pre-Reading Activities
  • Act I
  • Act II
  • Act III
  • Act IV
  • Act V
  • Overview
  • Writing Projects
  • Additional Resources
  • Answer Key (which is actually the 2nd download)
I found the Synopsis and Background Information particularly helpful. I suddenly better understood what I was reading. I was intrigued to learn the Macbeth was a fictional story that was created from some actual British history that was altered to serve the purposes of the story Shakespeare had conceived to tell!

Some of the student study guide assignments include:
  • a vocabulary section, with definitions to match the vocabulary words to
  • a quotation to unscramble and attribute to the speaker in the play
  • general questions
  • analysis questions
  • a character study section, where the student dives into individuals in the play to create a brief character sketch of individuals they choose from a list
  • explanations of literary tools and terms, such as foreshadowing, pathetic fallacy, understatement, extended metaphor,  and protagonist
  • introduction to techniques Shakespeare used, such as soliloquy
  • discussion of stylistic devices used, such as contrast,
    personification, hyperbole, anaphora, and metaphor
  • "Dig Deeper" questions, asking the student to consider sections of Macbeth in light of sections of the Bible 
  • Extra assignments - writing assignments which enable the parent to add depth to the study of Macbeth, making this a worthy segment of their student's high school literature and composition course; art assignments which correspond with the study of Macbeth, but give the student another avenue to delve into to further enjoy their study of Medieval England; suggestions for having the student(s) act out certain portions of the play, giving the integrated studies an opportunity for a "Drama" credit as well 

The Pre-Reading Activities suggested watching a presentation of Macbeth before reading the play. I searched Netflix and Hulu to no avail, but finally found a movie version on YouTube starring Ian McKellen. A newer version was made in 2015, but this 1978 version is just fine with me! This idea of watching the movie before reading the piece is entirely different for me, but now that I think of it I have loved the production of many Shakespeare plays that I have never read. They were, after all, originally presentations of the Shakespeare Company that were eventually written down! So, off to watch the movie!

I also went to the Study Guide at this point and played "catch up", answering questions for the segments I'd already read. Most of the type-in sections worked great, but on page 11 there was a place to unscramble a sentence-long quote... with only about 10 spaces for the answer to show. I had to print that page out and write the answer in by hand.

The beauty of this type of product (an e-guide) is that 1) it costs less than a printed guide and 2) you don't have to print a lot of the guide out! With a student you can have him work on line, type in the answers, and save the document. Then you can check the student's work or have the student check his own work. The student's work can be printed before checking (skipping pages you don't need to print). Or you can print out the entire study guide and have the student write the answers in by hand. I print everything double-sided in black ink only for more money savings. So many choices!

I have really enjoyed working my way through Macbeth with the Progeny Press Macbeth E-Guide. So many aspects of the content and the study methods have made it easier to work my way though the play learning more and comprehending better. I highly recommend this Macbeth E-Guide for you to use with your high school students.

In looking at the content, I realized that my son (scheduled to take the SAT in October) would benefit from the content of the study guide even without reading Macbeth. So I began having conversations with him about the terms I found he was not familiar with, such as soliloquy and anaphora.  

The Macbeth E-Guide has 54 pages and is designed to be completed in 8-10 weeks. A typical school year is 36 weeks, so if you selected four Progeny Press literature study guides, you would have material for a full-year's high school credit in Literature and Composition. Macbeth itself contains witches, murder and suicide. These are issues that different families want to tackle differently, but they should not be entirely avoided. Progeny Press provides a Biblical world view to enable you to open conversation with your student rather than ignoring these issues as if they don't exist.

The Homeschool Review Crew also reviewed e-guides for other grade levels, so if you have younger students you're going to want to click the link below to see reviews of the products for the lower grade levels. Here are the other products that there are reviews for:
In addition, Progeny Press also sells the books for the study, and they have a huge variety of other study guides. I encourage you to visit their web page. Let me know what you think!
To see other product reviews, please click the button below.
Study Guides for Literature {Progeny Press Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, September 11, 2017

Menu Monday for 9/11/17

 Dinner's are planned for the week, but truth be told I'm getting weary of menu planning. Nevertheless it must be done. This week I had no time and plans were thrown together with haste. I shopped, and I keep finding I failed in my plans -- failed to plan part of the meal, failed to buy what I'd need... Hopefully next week will be more inspired.

Anyway, here are the plans.

Saturday: Baked pork chops, green beans, noodles

Sunday: Roast chicken, yellow squash, orzo

Monday: Roast beef, zucchini, potatoes

Tuesday: Chicken cordon bleu, carrots, rice

Wednesday: salmon, sauteed spinach, yams

Thursday: chicken paprika, sauteed peppers and onion, biscuits

Friday: Date night 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Menu Monday for 9/4/17

 September, and all my lad's classes are up and running! His dad and I didn't get away this summer, so over Labor Day weekend we slipped away to the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area for some couple time. Visited an Amish farm where we got three amazing tomatoes for $1.00! A farm market offered cucumbers and zucchini for 2/$1.00 and huge cabbages for $1/each! And then we forgot to get corn on the cob for Monday. (We were gone Friday to Sunday.)

The lad is still not driving because of right-foot surgery, so I am taxi-mom for awhile. Mondays/Wednesdays I take him to the community college at 11:00 a.m. and pick him up later at 1:50 p.m. On Tuesdays/Thursdays I take him to the community college at 8:00 a.m., go home, then back to pick him up at 9:25 a.m., go home, make his lunch and take him to a home school Geometry class at 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays, 1:00 Thursdays, only to head back and pick him up again at 2:00 when class ends.

Today it was up at 6:00, make coffee, shower/dress, make breakfast/eat (feed the lad), leave home at 7:15 to go to the college, drop him at class at 7:45 a.m., head home, write a couple of checks, do some paperwork for his Geometry class group's requirements, 9:05 head out to pick up the lad. Stopped at a store (Ranger Surplus), but they weren't open. Off to allergy shots, home 45 minutes later but stop at the store on the way, make our lunches, get back in car and consume lunch while driving, drop the lad at noon/visit and settle up payment and paperwork, head to library to drop off books due. Home briefly, pull in recycling bins, try to do this post but computer won't cooperate. Back in car, pick up lad, go again to Ranger Surplus, head home, turn around and go back to college to get (expensive commuter) coffee cup lad left in class, home again. Dinner into oven to bake, and crash in chair to do this post. I hope he can drive again soon. I'm exhausted being a taxi.

Anyway, Saturday we were traveling and Sunday we got Chinese food since we'd just gotten home and hadn't shopped. No Boy Scouts on Labor Day, but CAP on Thursday. The lad might not go because he doesn't like to be out of uniform, and in a surgical shoe he would be out of uniform. Here are the dinner plans:

Saturday (9/02): Traveling – eating out

Sunday (9/03):  Home from trip – Chinese food

Monday (9/04): hamburgers, corn on the cob, kale salad

Tuesday (9/05): oven roasted chicken, broccoli, rice

Wednesday (9/06): chili, cornbread, salad

Thursday (9/07) (CAP):  fish, green beans, noodles

Friday (9/08):  date night

Monday, August 28, 2017

Menu Monday for 8/28/17

Another week another attempt to provide family meals on the table each night and an opportunity to connect with our inner circle. This is a busy week at our house, and we can't do the family 6:00 dinner every night. Monday there is a 7:00 Boy Scout commitment; Tuesday there is a 7:00 Pampered Chef party; Wednesday there is a 6:00 Back to Homeschool commitment; Thursday there is a 7:00 CAP commitment; Friday afternoon hubby and I drive to a neighboring state to talk to a financial advisor. 

Those are just the events that affect dinner preparation. The lad is back to Dual Enrollment classes with a Monday/Wednesday commitment from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. He just had right foot surgery on Wednesday, so I am his taxi driver. We had a boy haircut, a Starbuck's visit and a follow-up podiatrist appointment today after his class. I have a haircut appointment tomorrow. Thursday the lad needs his allergy shots. It is back-to-school time, and life is already hopping. This past weekend we didn't have time to menu plan, so we only shopped for part of this plan. But here's the plan:

Saturday: life was crazy. We got pizza.

Sunday: Dinner out with son-in-law and daughter;

Monday: Spaghetti and meatballs, salad, TX toast;

Tuesday: Salad plate with tuna and cottage cheese, hard boiled eggs, lots of cut veggies;

Wednesday: subs, I guess -- I'm going to be in a meeting with my son when we normally eat...

Thursday: blackened cat fish, yams, green beans;

Friday: Date night 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Everyday Family Chore System - A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

Review Crew
For the past month or so I have been working with a product from Everyday Homemaking to review.

For the past month I have been working with the concepts presented in The Everyday Family Chore System.

I received access to the PDF version of the book in late mid-July. I had just undergone foot surgery, and my son was away on a trip with the Civil Air Patrol. When I learned that  The Everyday Family Chore System was coming up for review I expressed interest. Sitting in a chair with my foot elevated, looking around at the mess my house was, I knew I needed help. I thought, "Sure! Why not!"

As I began reading The Everyday Family Chore System, I began to get a lump in my stomach. We were expected, for this review, to "read through the book and implement something from it." This system is a great product, but my family is not a good fit for the system, and the time-frame was not good for my son's summer schedule. My son, in the midst of a ten trip, came home briefly and then left on another trip. Shortly after his return from his second trip, there was County Fair week...

As I further explain the Family Chore System I will help you further understand what I mean (that the system is great but that I was not able to implement the system). 

The Everyday Family Chore System is an ideal system to begin following when your children are young. It gives excellent instructions and encouragement to the mom on how to implement the system with various aged children. The book teaches which chores are appropriate at which ages.

The Everyday Family Chore System begins with a section that covers training the child: realistic expectations; setting up rules; establishing disciplinary consequences; and cultivating your relationship with your child.

Section two covers setting up the actual system. It involves first determining things that need to be done daily, weekly, monthly, etc. Next jobs are divided between children (and parents, if desired). Next there are resources provided that you can print out to set up the system. The first is called "How-To-Do-It Cards". If you have additional jobs you write them up on 3"X5" cards. You put contact paper on everything and cut out the cards. Instructions are given for what to do with the cards and how to set up a "Job Box".

A third section of the book focuses on teaching the children to work with diligence. You demonstrate the task and gradually let the child take over. You want to be organized and have a functioning routine. Success gets rewarded; slacking has consequences. Commit everything to the Lord.

A forth section gives the actual templates to use with instructions. There is also a link given to a workshop you can listen to, Getting Kids to Help at Home.

I'm not trying to explain the whole system -- I want you to buy it if you want it. There is a rotating system for daily and weekly jobs assigned to your various children, and it is explained how to work in the less frequent jobs.

So where the program did not work for me was that I have only one child (almost adult) in the home at this point. During this review his time was already taken.

But I do love the system. What I read that is totally working for me is the various "How-Do-Do-It Cards". I've been homemaking almost 40 years, and gradually over time things have been going downhill in cleanliness. The instruction cards, while not rocket science, are very helpful for me. I read, and I say, "Oh, I never thought of that! No wonder that is so dusty!" In other words, author Vicki Bentley includes cleaning steps that I have not been doing, which explains the gradual downhill slope of cleanliness around here. I think I used to move so frequently that it never got this bad. At this point we have lived in this house 18 years, and there are places that just haven't been getting cleaned.

So while I don't have an army of little people to train to help me with the many jobs that need doing around here, I do appreciate the content of The Everyday Family Chore System and look forward to the gradual improvement I will see around here as my little army (hubby, son and I) work to make improvement. This is a program you can run with as is or tweak to fit your situation. Improvement is good; we don't need perfection. Neatness and cleanliness bring peace.

I got an email from the author this morning offering my readers a special deal - 10% off The Everyday Family Chore System and/or Everyday Cooking (print or e-book) through Labor Day! The code for your discount is TOS10books -- you can apply it to as many books in yout cart as you'd like, but you do need to shop first, apply the 10% discount code last.  Expires Sept 5.

Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew were reviewing both The Everyday Family Chore System and Everyday Cooking. To read more reviews please click below.
Everyday Cooking and Chores Systems for your Family {Everyday Homemaking Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, August 21, 2017

Menu Monday for 8/21/17

Did you miss my menu plan last week? Sorry about that. It was County Fair week and I didn't have time to plan and/or post. We were winging it.

This week I am back in the kitchen. Plans are set. Here they are:

Saturday (8/20): County Fair

Sunday (8/21):  BBQ Chicken, corn, broccoli

Monday (8/22): Spinach Pie, biscuits, salad

Tuesday (8/23) (CAP): salad plate with tuna and hard boiled eggs

Wednesday (8/24): lasagna roll ups, salad, TX toast

Thursday (8/25) (Men’s Meeting):  Rotisserie Chicken, rice, California veggie mix

Friday (8/26):  Salmon, yams, asparagus