Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Organizing for Year End

Organising Your Home School {Homeschool Link UP}
As each school year draws to a close, home school mommas everywhere scurry to get themselves organized.
  • Is my school year on track? Will we be done as planned so we can take the summer off?
  • For those who get an annual review, it is time to get those portfolios ready and schedule that portfolio review.
  • Form those home schooling high school, it is time to calculate grades and update that transcript.
  • What are we doing next school year? What materials do I need to purchase?
  • Are there items I will never use again? Is it time to declutter? Do I sell them, give them away, or throw them away?
  •  Is there a Homeschool Convention in my near future? What will my focus be? What do I want to buy? How much money do I have to spend?
This year my focus changes.

  • Celebrate graduation: party, cake, photos, diploma
  • What are the next steps for college?
  • When is the next college bill due?
  • Help son get a dorm room selected;
  • Will my son be able to get a summer job this year?
  • Declutter, declutter, declutter: Sell, give, toss.
  • Home maintenance tasks/renovations/repairs
  • Declutter, declutter, declutter
  • Get caught up on neglected house cleaning
  • Declutter, declutter, declutter...
Beyond the fact that my son is graduating, are you seeing a theme here? 

In May I leave home schooling behind. I started home schooling in January of 1992. For all practical purposes we might as well say Fall of 1991. That means I've home schooled 27 years.

So this year the topic of "Organization" no longer means scurry to plan and purchase for next year. My first order of business, at this point, is purge most evidence of home schooling from my household.

I recently boxed more than 15 boxes of school materials and headed to a home school used curriculum fair. It was only one hour long. I sold $130 worth of stuff and came home with ONE BOX LESS than I left with.

So now I'm working to figure out if I take the time to sell, or do I just find a quick way to get rid of stuff. Hubby wants me to just be done with all this stuff. On the other hand, I know there is money there to apply towards college text books, and I want to take the time to try to sell. We'll see.

So this week includes:
  • Tub man comes to resurface tub tomorrow;
  • Adjuster comes to see what damage the recent wind storm did to our exterior;
  • Tomorrow is the day my son gets to select his dorm room/room mate;
  • Make an appointment for my son's physical;
  • Make a date to get my annual portfolio review done, and
  • My son needs to fill out the Air Force ROTC Application
 Next week will include:
  • Having tub man resurface tub #2 
  • Listing some of the books for sale;
  • Senior photos being taken;
  • I can't even think what else right now...
So that's what "Organization" plans look like in my life right now. What do your spring organization plans look like this year?

Monday, April 16, 2018

Menu Plan Monday for 4/16/18

This week I have tried to make plans for healthier meals. It is still challenging, though, to decide what defines "healthy" since there are so many different opinions. Today's menu plans have a few meatless meals. I figured it couldn't hurt, since I have sometimes tended toward high cholesterol. Reducing animal products consumed (and reducing fat intake) will reduce your cholesterol and generally will also reduce your calorie intake. Am trying it this week and will see what the family thinks before I make next week's plan.

Saturday (4/14):  stuffed baked potatoes, salad

Sunday (4/15):   spaghetti, meatballs, salad, knots

Monday (4/16):   Summer Vegetable Pesto Bake (FOK page 249), salad

Tuesday (4/17):  cheeseburgers, salad

Wednesday (4/18): leftovers (guys eating out)

Thursday (4/19)(CAP): red lentil dal (FOK p 212), salad

Friday (4/20):  dinner out (date night)

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Princess Cut - A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

In March I learned that I would get to review Princess Cut for Watchman Pictures.
Princess Cut The Movie

I watched this film as one who has basically already lived through this drama as a parent. It's not easy to watch your child go through heartbreak. It would be wonderful if it could be avoided, but that's not always possible. If they must experience break-ups, we can hope and pray that ultimately they hold out for God's best for their life.

Princess Cut begins with the main character of the film, Grace, preparing for an upcoming date with her young man, who has been away at college. We quickly meet Mom, Dad, and two younger brothers. Grace's family lives on a beautiful farm in North Carolina that has been in the family for generations.

Dad does not seem pleased that Grace is going out with Stewart, and expresses an opinion that the two should just join the family to eat dinner. He isn't any happier when Stewart calls and instead of picking her up, asks Grace to meet him at the diner.

What Grace thought would be a date with Stewart turns out to be a raucous group get-together where Stewart announces his engagement to another girl present in the group. Grace leaves quickly, but quietly, and goes home to grieve. Stewart had told her he had something special to tell her, and she had thought he was going to propose to her, not announce his engagement to someone else!

Not long after, Grace is approached at a coffee shop by a young man named Jared, who seems very caring and concerned about her hurt over having been dumped. Grace's parents try to sit down with Jared to get to know him, but he avoids the situation and asks if Grace can go with him to get a shake. Jared continues to pursue Grace, pushing physical affection beyond what she is comfortable with. 
Grace is feeling the stress. She is being pressured by Jared, feeling guilty, and no longer feels she can be transparent with her parents. While she is working on a final project for her interior design course (I presume in college), Drew knocks over a drink damaging her project and she snaps at him and says unkind things. He runs out of the house. Quickly regretting her words she pursues him, but he takes off on his bike. She hops on a bike to catch up with him, but he gets hit by a car. It was very scary, but the bike took the brunt of the hit. In addition, the neighbor/doctor had been visiting and was quickly at the scene to check on Drew's welfare.

The accident breaks Grace, and she finally turns to her mother, and then her father, letting them know all that has been going on. With their input, she decides to end the relationship with Drew and spend her time becoming the person God wants her to be, while she waits on God to bring the right man along.
Watchman Pictures

After Grace turns things over to God under the protection of her parents, it is very sweet the way the rest of the love story develops, but I will not spoil it for you. 

The term "Princess Cut" refers to a particular cut of diamond for an engagement ring. I have two issues with the diamond ring theme in the movie. The first issue is the concept of holding out until the right man comes along and places the expensive ring on the lady's finger. I've never agreed with the concept that the right man has to be able to afford the expensive ring or he's not the right man. This movie might not be trying to present this concept, but it does reinforce this concept.

The second issue is about the ring in this movie that was initially intended for one woman, but was then given to a different woman. That is a practical thing to do, but I suspect most little princesses would feel like used goods if they ever found out they were being given a ring originally intended for someone else.

This movie is very much a Christian movie. The filming is very professionally done! The scenery in the setting is beautiful. Some of the situations and some of the acting was... maybe less than one would get from a Hollywood production, but it works. It is refreshing to have wholesome movies one can watch with one's kids. This movie lends itself to deeper conversations with one's older kids about what is God-honoring in relationships, as well as the importance of walking through relationships in a God-honoring way and waiting for the person God has planned for you in marriage. I also like that the perspective is on developing one's personal character rather than being hyper-focused on evaluating only the other person's character.

I highly recommend this movie for families with up-and-coming teens. I recommend parents watch the movie and develop their own plan for parenting through the years leading up to the marriage of their young ones. Then the movie can be shared with those kids when the parents deem it an appropriate time.

The DVD also contains:
  • The Making of Princess Cut
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Blooper Reel
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Film Trailers
 I have not yet watched these additional features.
Other members of The Homeschool Review Crew also reviewed this movie. To read more reviews of this movie, please click on the button below.

Princess Cut {Watchman Pictures Reviews}

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Third Form Latin - A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

In February the Homeschool Review Crew learned we would be reviewing products for Memoria Press.

Memoria Press

There was a variety of products available for review, and I couldn't believe it when I was chosen to review Third Form Latin!

I wanted Third Form Latin because I have been working on my Latin. Memoria Press highly encourages parents to work through their Latin program to learn the material before teaching it to their children/students. I worked first in First Form Latin, then in Second Form Latin. I approached this new curriculum with delight, but also trepidation! I am/was not quite ready to be working in Third Form Latin as I haven't finished Second Form Latin yet. Memoria Press will tell you always finish the previous level before jumping into the next level! Finish it and make sure you have a solid grasp of all the vocabulary, declensions and conjugations!

So my box arrived.  I pulled everything out to see what was included.

You can see most everything in the above picture. The complete package comes with Student Text, Workbook, Quizzes and Tests, Teacher Manual, Teacher Key (to Workbook, Quizzes & Tests), Instructional DVDs, Pronunciation CDs, and Flash Cards. The vocabulary flash cards are kind of hidden in the upper left-hand corner. They come as flat sheets, and you can split them all up at once if you want, but I'm only splitting them up a sheet or two at a time as I need them.

I started my time with Third Form Latin by reading the Introduction in the Teacher's Manual and taking a week to do a quick review of some of the Latin I had covered in First and Second Form Latin. It was humbling to me when I read that the First, Second, Third and Fourth Form Latin sets are for grammar aged students (Grades 2-7). I thought this was high school material! The website actually says Third Form Latin is for grades 6-11, so that made me feel better.

I'm struggling so to remember all this Latin vocabulary and the various declensions, different tenses, different cases and genders, etc., etc. And then I remembered that the brains of early grammar students soak up memory tasks like sponges. I wish I had that kind of brain now!

In week 2 of my time with Third Form Latin I started in on Lesson 1, which was, again, more review, as was Lesson 2 (and I needed it!) In general, I thought I would use this format while working on the program: 
  1. Watch the DVD of the instructor teaching the lesson for the week (on Monday);
  2. Read the student textbook chapter for the lesson of the week;
  3. Do one workbook page per day Monday through Friday and review vocabulary flash cards;
  4. On Tuesday through Friday, listen to the pronunciation CD as part of the day's work;
  5. On Friday, take a test or a quiz.
That was my plan, and then Lesson 1 had six worksheet pages! Saturday homework... Then Lesson 2 had seven worksheet pages! I'm not sure how the creators of the program intended this to be used... Initially I assumed one lesson per week, but that had to morph.

So my new plan was one worksheet per day, with a test or quiz on the day of the last lesson worksheet, and start the next lesson the next day with the DVD video.

Each Lesson has a saying that gets memorized with the lesson, in addition to reviewing previous sayings from previous years. I have a funny story about that. When I was almost done with Lesson 1, I ran into a friend that I know knows some Latin. Pleased with myself, I recited my saying of the week to my friend, Brett, to see if he knew it translated to, "I think, therefore I am." He had trouble with it, but eventually translated it. It wasn't until I got home that I realized that instead of saying, "Cogito ergo sum" I had been saying "Cogito est sum", which translates to mean, "I think, you are, I am." What? No wonder Brett couldn't translate it! I laughed out loud when I realized the mistake I had been making.

The Teacher Manual gives a lesson overview broken down into four numbered sections:
1) Greeting, Recitation, Review
2) Latin Saying
3) Vocabulary, and
4) Grammar - Syntax

After the teacher works through this plan each day, the student does the workbook page(s) for the day. The teacher is instructed to do a Final Oral Drill, as in previous Forms, even though this material is not included in the printed materials.

One thing I particularly love about Memoria Press Third Form Latin is the way if you've done the workbook pages, you are able to do well on the tests and quizzes!

As I initially fired up the DVD to watch the Introduction video, I found myself resistant -- the instructor in Third Form Latin is not the instructor I knew from First and Second Form Latin (Glen Moore)! I don't do change well! However, I was liking the new instructor, Kirby Owen, before the Introduction was over. 
I especially like that he speaks a little bit more slowly than the other instructor, Glen Moore. I really had difficulty keeping up with Glen Moore during recitations! So, new instructor, Kirby Owen? Check! I approve! (Don't get me wrong, I love the Glen Moore, too. I was just surprised at how easily I got over changing to a new instructor!)

I want to highly encourage all home school moms to consider studying Memoria Press Latin and teaching it to your children! Latin trains the brain and gives the student grammar and structure that helps them throughout life! It will help them with understanding the English language, it will help them throughout middle and high school, and the vocabulary structure and roots will help them score well on college entrance exams! Or, if you are just a language lover like I am, study it just to study it! I am studying Latin to do something for myself. I'm kind of a "Geek", but I love studying Latin! 

Memoria Press gave members of the Homeschool Review Crew a wide variety of products to review:
To see reviews of these various products, please click the link below.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Menu Monday for 4/9/18

Spring arrived with threats of snow! I don't know what to serve when it is supposed to be spring but is acting like winter... Anyway, here is this week's plan:

Saturday (4/7): Bacon, Lettuce &  Tomato sandwiches, potato chips

Sunday (4/8):  rotisserie chicken, mashed potoes, brussels sprouts

Monday (4/9):  (used book sale, Boy Scouts committee meeting) Subway

Tuesday (4/10):  Flank Steak, mashed potatoes, green beans

Wednesday (4/11): leftovers (guys eating out)

Thursday (4/12)(CAP):  chicken Caesar salad, TX toast

Friday (4/13):  dinner out (date night)