Sunday, January 31, 2016

Best Green Smoothie Ever - Yuri Elkaim

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Our America . . . The Revolutionary War Adventure [A Review]

My son and I were blessed by the opportunity to read for review Our America . . . The Revolutionary War Adventure, by Susan Kilbride.

The Revolutionary War Adventure is the continuing adventures of twins Finn and Ginny as they hunt for their mom and dad, who have gotten lost somewhere in time. That's right -- they've gotten lost in TIME! Uncle Peter, a physicist, invented a small remote-like device that enables time travel. Finn and Ginny's parents were probably holding hands, watching television, when one of them pushed a button on the "remote" and caused them to be transported to some other time and place. They haven't been heard from since.

Whenever Finn and Ginny get a chance, when their Aunt and Uncle go out and leave them home, Finn and Ginny use the remote and hunt for their parents. I reviewed books about their previous Our America adventures: The Pilgrim's Adventure, The King Philip's War Adventure and The Salem Adventure.

In the Our America Adventures, Finn and Ginny experience American history in a hands-on unforgetable way. As their story is told, the student is gripped by the drama, held by the conflict, and worried by the potential dangers. This series of adventures is written for students aged 10 to 13, but can hold the attention of a much wider age range. When read aloud, your younger students can stay focused through the short chapters. And since we've been reading these adventures for a couple of years now, my 16 year old still enjoys slowing down from our high school pace to be read aloud to from this series. He likes them. That says a lot.

The Revolutionary War Adventure comes with a free downloadable activity guide, just like each of the other Our America adventures. Additional adventures have already been written, and my son and I have begun reading The Pioneer Adventure. So if you enjoy my reviews of this series, keep watching for when I post my next review.   

Monday, January 25, 2016

Week in Review - Catching Up

As you can see through the window, we've been slammed by the Blizzard of 2016. Unfortunately for our students, there is no snow between the bed and the classroom! Nevertheless, we've schooled a little less for a few days.

That gave me pause to realize I haven't been posting weekly updates here, so as I said above, this post is a "Catching Up" post. (It doesn't mean we're catching up on our schoolwork. We've opted for comprehension over speed in our high school subjects.)

As in our last weekly report, we're clipping along at the pace we had planned.

Algebra 2:
We aren't going as fast as I would like, but we are doing well. We have acquired the assistance of a weekly tutor, which the student and I are both benefiting from. Grades are improving; confidence is growing. Yea!

Neglected for awhile, and not going as fast as I would like, at least some work has gotten done, some lab experiments, and some documentation.

We're still plugging slowly away at Gulliver's Travels and A Tale of Two Cities. Also started another book by Susan Kilbride about Finn and Ginny's time-travel search for their parents.

There has been some work done! Yea! One assignment was a biography of Madison, and will count towards History. There was a pursuasive essay as well, and a compare contrast essay.

Student took the college entrance Accuplacer test and placed as college-ready in Grammar and Reading. I am still going to restart some work in Fix-It Grammar to work on parts of speech.

Finished work in Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and The Great Little Madison. Wrote a biography paper about Madison. Working now in Year 3 of Tapestry of Grace.

Boy Scouts:
The Scout is receiving three more merit badges at next Monday's Court of Honor. One more merit badge, a project, paperwork... almost to Eagle!

Civil Air Patrol:
Cadet earned a rank advancement. And while we weren't looking, they advanced him! They had advancements on a different night due to holidays, and we weren't expecting it. So we missed this one. He is now a Sr. Airman.
And then there was the blizzard...

And the poor home schooler can't get time off for snow days unless mom needs some shoveling done. But she doesn't. This blizzard started Friday night, was done by Sunday night, and was shoveled by Monday morning. Poor boy!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Menu Plan Monday for 1/25/16

We're expecting to get slammed with a snowstorm, so I needed to shop early. Thought, since I'm ready early I might as well post early. Maybe others use my ideas; maybe they also like to shop on Saturday like my family does. Maybe

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Bone Broth Diet

So I'm almost done with the 21 day challenge for The Bone Broth Diet. I don't know if I can get a post done on Saturday (day 22) to tell my weight loss and show my photos, so I thought I'd post an initial "almost done" post.
Starting weight: 170
Almost done, 12 pounds lost in 19 days, down one pants size. Don't I look good? So happy! #BoneBrothDiet

Monday, January 18, 2016

Menu Monday for 1/18/16
So last week I mentioned that I am following The Bone Broth Diet. I have now finished Week 2 and am on Day 3 of Week 3! What I don't think I mentioned last week is that last week

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

FREE PLANNER! One Week Only!

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is so cool! They are offering their Hey Mama! Planner absolutely free for one week!
Are you satisfied with the planner you are using? Grab this anyway! It is an amazing resource full of additional encouragement and information.
Don't have a planner, or dissatisfied with the planner you were trying for this school year? Perfect! Grab this planner.
Don't need to replace your planner? Grab it and use it next year, Here is the link:

 The $29 HEY MAMA Planner is 100% off!
Free planner offer valid 1/11/16-1/18/16 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Menu Monday for 1-11-2016
Sorry if you got this blog entry before it was ready. I was peacefully typing, looked up and found it had published without my permission. ::sigh::

Okay, so I didn't tell you last week, but...

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Winter Review of our School Year

September, October, November and December behind us. Final stretch: January to June. Thought this was a good time to review what we had planned, what worked, what didn't, and what we're using now.

In August my plans were:
Algebra 2: Bob Jones
Chemistry: Apologia
Literature: Tapestry of Grace and When Worlds Collide
Composition/Writing: Tapestry of Grace and When Worlds Collide
History: Tapestry of Grace (Finish Y2, Start Y3)
Spanish: Bob Jones
Phys Ed

Let's start with Bible.
Our normal plan throughout each year is reading three chapters a day five days a week. Were doing quite well. Some days we read more; some days we miss our reading. In general, tho (especially compared with last year), we're doing quite well.

Second subject in our daily planner is Algebra 2. We started the year with Bob Jones Algebra 2. We reached a point, fairly quickly, where it became very frustrating for my student, and we switched to CTC Math because we just weren't getting the BJU done. This became frustrating for me because, ahem..., there was a recurrence of student saying he had done math or was going to get it done that day, where he had either not done as much as he should have or actually didn't get to it at all. We discussed it, made a plan, got a tutor, and now we are back with BJU, albeit behind schedule.
Still finding it difficult to cover at the pace indicated by the curriculum guide. This course is daily a struggle. I haven't recalculated the lesson plans yet -- we will probably have to work some into the summer to finish 75% of the book. If so, we will do so. I consider adequate coverage of this course very important for his college readiness. He expressed an interest in studying engineering in college, and that's what I am trying to prepare him for.

For Chemistry, we started the year with Apologia Chemistry.
As with Algebra 2, we reached a point where we just weren't getting the assignments done. This time the roadblock started because the teacher (me) failed to find the proper fuel for the burner, and the experiments weren't working as they should because the burn temperature wasn't hot enough with the fuel we used to substitute.

We switched to having him work his way through Fascinating Chemistry. Once again, he hit a mental roadblock. He wasn't understanding or wasn't retaining well enough to pass tests to progress. He stopped using Fascinating Chemistry, and we are returning to Apologia. I now have the proper fuel for the experiments, thanks to my hubby.

Literature - I've been taking selections from all over. We worked through Puddn'head, by Mark Twain (part of When Worlds Collide). Student also worked on War of the Worlds (also part of When Worlds Collide).  

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, A Tale of Two Cities, and The Travels of Gulliver. These are selections from the end of Year 2 in Tapestry of Grace (Colonial America; constitution). Next week we will begin week 1 of Year 3 (the 1800's). I am using more of a Charlotte Mason method, so rather than reading one book in one to four weeks, we read multiple books, spreading a book out over about 12 weeks, depending on the book.

History: We've been working on Tapestry of Grace history as well, working our way through the Colonial period, touching on the French Revolution, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution. Looking forward to the 1800s.

Composition: we are not doing well in this area. Hoping we can manage to get improvement in this area soon.

Spanish: We started the year with plans to use Bob Jones Spanish I.
I bought textbook, teacher key, tests, answers, activity book, answer key, CD set, ...the whole "shebang". We crashed and burned. I told them I don't speak Spanish. Why would they sell me a curriculum that tells the teacher to stand before the student and say, in Spanish, "pen", "pencil", "blackboard", "table", "desk" etc. I don't know how to pronounce, even if they had given me the words in Spanish. What was that sales lady thinking? And they have a 30-day return policy. In Maryland our "convention" is at the end of April. That means that by the time I started trying to use the Spanish in September I already could not return it.

Over the summer I reviewed German I for Middlebury Interactive Languages. When I realized my delima, I contacted Middlebury and asked them, now that my review was done could I possibly change from German I to Spanish I. They very graciously allowed me to do that. I worked my way into the language, hoping that having this Spanish would enable me to teach the Bob Jones Spanish. After a number of weeks I realized I needed to abandon Bob Jones and just have my son do Middlebury Spanish I. He has been very happily studying and learning Spanish ever since. I will be posting a review of Middlebury Spanish very soon.

My student was going to work towards his Physical Education half-credit this year, but seems to have lost his initiative. He does get physical training (2 hours 1 time per month), but isn't clocking hours the rest of the time. Maybe we'll get that half-credit worked off in warmer weather.

Driving education has continued, but not too intensely. He will take a formal class maybe in the spring.

So that's our mid-year update. How is your home school year going?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Menu Monday for 1/4/16

Menu Plan Monday - recipe ideas and menu planning inspiration for the week of Jan 4/16
Sorry I'm late. Here is my menu plan for this week.

Saturday (1/2):  
Pork loin dinner, Brussel sprouts, carrots, potatoes

Sunday (1/3):
Beef vegetable soup, salad, rolls

Monday (1/4):
Roast chicken, rice, broccoli, salad

Tuesday (1/5):
Turkey meatloaf w/vegetables, mashed potatoes, green beans

Wednesday (1/6):

Thursday (1/7):
Bburgers, noodles, green beans, lettuce, tomato

Friday (1/8):
Roasted Salmon Gremolata, quinoa, spinach

Saturday (1/9):  
Turkey chili, salad, corn bread

Friday, January 1, 2016

AO Rotations - January 2016

Ambleside Online Rotation for January, 2016
This is a summary of the AO studies that come up for study in the presented AO rotations for the month of January, 2016.

Hymn Study:
January's hymn is "He Who Would Valiant Be" (to the tune of St. Dunstan's Tune).

Folk Song:
Term 2: Jan My Grandfather's Clock *

Nature Study:
winter: Brook, river, ocean
We aren't focusing on nature study this year because my high school son is focusing on Chemistry.
I don't think we're going to get this one done. Next term is Much Ado, and I think I want to try to get to that one.

Artist Studies:
Term 2 
2015-2016 TERM 2 Jacques-Louis David (ZHOCK lu-WEE dah-VEED; 1748-1825; French. Self Portrait) (This term's composer: Schubert)

6. The Coronation of Napoleon and Josephine in Notre Dame, 1807; "NGA Kids" activity can supplement this painting.
Napleon, Emperor of France, at his coronation by Ingres.      
Composer Studies:
2015-2016 TERM 2 Franz Schubert (1797-1828; late Classical/early Romantic) (This term's artist: Jacques-Louis David)

   1. Trout quintet

   2. Symphony no. 8 ("Unfinished")

   Selection 3 & 4. Symphony no. 9 ("The Great") (4 weeks)

   5. Impromptus op. 90 (D. 899)

   6. Die schone Mullerin (a song cycle)