Friday, March 7, 2014

Homeschool and Mother's Journal Mar 7

On My Mind This Week:

What isn't on my mind? That's the question. We're in the process of searching for the perfect family dog--our first dog. We've left messages with four different dog foster moms (rescue missions of various types), but no response yet. Dog adoption is not simple if you go through a non-pound rescue operation, such as one who cares for dogs through foster-home placement. Owning a dog is often a ten- to fifteen-year commitment, so we are considering each dog's profile carefully before scheduling a meet and greet.

As much as Beagles are stubborn and steal from your trash can, and grab food out of your hand and sniff their way out of your yard--scent trails being a major ADHD hyperfocus issue for them--they're still the cutest dogs in my opinion, outside of basset hounds. I've fallen in love with the picture and profile of a Beagle mix named Rudy. Only I don't have a veterinarian reference for the application, so that might hurt our chances. They check personal and veterinarian references to make sure you're not the next Curella De Vil.

Here's Rudy's snapshot...adorable, right? Can you get mad at such a face, even if he stole your dinner chicken?

A beagle is supposedly attached to your hip and follows you everywhere--to the bathroom while you brush your teeth, to the kitchen while you do dishes, etc. They want a lot of attention and my son Peter does as well (the perfect, starved-for-attention ADHD match-up, though the reason we're getting a dog is to help with Peter's OCD stress).

Another thing on my mind is switching from Blogger to WordPress, primarily because of annoying things on Blogger like the absence of a proper em dash. I use a lot of those little guys and it irks me to have to fashion my own--improperly, with two dashes stuck together. A dash is not an em dash. It just isn't.

But importing this blog onto a WordPress blog is not so easy, so maybe my em dash obsession is futile? I don't see a single article on the WordPress site about importing blogs. Can you even do it? I've put four years and 1194 posts onto this blog, which is a lot of work to just abandon.

In case you haven't heard, see this article on changes coming to the SAT exam in 2016.

And if you have a pet, see this link for Pet First pet insurance. For $15 a month you can get reimbursed for a maximum of $1000 a year, minus a $50 deductible. There's a $500 per-incident maximum. There is another more expensive, more comprehensive plan called The Lifetime 5000, the details of which you can find at the same link above.

Here are the most common claims:

Top Ten Most Frequent Claims

Ear Infection
Urinary Tract infection
Eye Infection

Homeschool Happenings This Week:

Peter, age 12, just finished The Incredible Journey and started Rascal, two books included just for fun in Sonlight's Eastern Hemisphere package from 2010, which is the used set I bought. Paul, age 10,  is still plowing through The Incredible Journey. Both boys are daily reading Food and Nutrition For Every Kid, and continuing in The History of Medicine and Exploring Planet Earth.


Sing, Spell, Read & Write, Kindergarten/Level 1 Combo Kit   -

The girls are continuing in Sing Spell Read Write, a K-1 combo, two-year beginning reading program, and enjoying library books and Draw Write Now--the drawing book a delightful Christmas present from a friend.

Draw Write Now, Book 1: On The Farm, Kids And Critters, Storybook Characters  -     By: Marie Hablitzel, Kim Stitzer

Mary and I continue to enjoy Saxon Math 1, and Beth gets in on some of it too, along with her occasional interest in her BJU K math book (though Beth is not in K until next fall, which is why I don't push).

We're behind in the Sonlight Science package I bought for the girls this year, but since we school year round it won't be a problem. I don't plan on doing our portfolio review until the first week of September, so besides a week off here and there for Easter and the Fourth of July, we have 6 more months of school. The four or five weeks of vacation I gave the kids late last summer didn't work out behaviorally. Peter's ADHD and OCD affect our whole family, and he functions best on a schedule, even if abbreviated. So it's a truly year-round schedule for us, which is okay since we don't go on vacations.

We finished 2 Kings in our morning devotional time, and started the book of Daniel, which we're all loving.

We are listening to Then There Were Five by Elizabeth Enright on audiobook. It's the fourth book in the Melendy children series. You can view the other titles on Scholastic here. We'll be reading all of them. The interest level says grade 6, but my 7 year old is following it quite well on audio.

Then There Were Five

Ms.Enright, who has a wonderful knowledge of plants, flowers and the natural world, intersperses that knowledge throughout her books, making them teach and inspire children in the sciences. Besides that, her weaving of a tale and talent in developing endearing, multifaceted characters are both outstanding, making Louisa May Alcott her only competition in my mind.

Both women see children as uniquely talented, complicated creatures bursting at the seams with charm--a view I wholeheartedly agree with. Though I have other favorite authors for picture books, these two ladies are my top two for novels. We were first introduced to Elizabeth Enright by Sonlight last year, when we read Gone-Away Lake and Return to Gone-Away Lake (we picked up the sequel on our own). We also read Thimble Summer, for which Ms. Enright earned a Newbery Medal in 1939.

Scholastic Bio: Elizabeth Enright (1909–1968) was born in Oak Park, Illinois, but spent most of her life in or near New York City. Originally envisioning a career solely in illustration, she studied art in Paris, France, and at the Parsons School of Design in New York City. Throughout her life, Elizabeth Enright wrote and illustrated numerous books, winning many awards in the process. Among those awards were the 1939 John Newbery Medal forThimble Summer and a 1958 Newbery Honor for Gone-Away Lake. The first of the Melendy Quartet, The Saturdays, was published in 1941. 

I have some picture books to share with you, some with a social studies theme, and some just for fun.

Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave By Laban Carrick Hill


Synopsis: To us
it is just dirt,
the ground we walk on...
But to Dave
it was clay,
the plain and basic stuff
upon which he formed a life
as a slave nearly 200 years ago.

Dave was an extraordinary artist, poet, and potter living in South Carolina in the 1800s. He combined his superb artistry with deeply observant poetry, carved onto his pots, transcending the limitations he faced as a slave. In this inspiring and lyrical portrayal, National Book Award nominee Laban Carrick Hill's elegantly simple text and award-winning artist Bryan Collier's resplendent, earth-toned illustrations tell Dave's story, a story rich in history, hope, and long-lasting beauty.


Tea With Lady Sapphire, by Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick


Synopsis From the authors of the "In the Woods" series of children's books comes this beautiful celebration of birds and nature. "Tea With Lady Sapphire" tells the story of a grandmother who invites her grandchildren over after a wintertime snow to build a snowman. They fill its red floppy-eared hat with nuts and seeds making their snowman the final backyard feeding station for the birds and critters. The three warm up with a cup of tea and hot chocolate and watch nature come to life as birds of all colors and varieties come to enjoy a winter feast. In "Tea with Lady Sapphire: Sharing the Love of Birds," New York Times best-selling authors Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick continue their tradition of teaching children gentle lessons of nature and, hopefully, inspiring the next generation of nature lovers.


Spring Thaw, by Steven Schnur


Synopsis: Lyrical prose and lush illustrations depict the coming of springtime on a farm, from the warm wind that arrives during the night, to melting snow, to newborn lambs curled up in hay warmed by the sun.


There's a Hole in My Bucket, by Ingrid and dieter Schubert


Synopsis: Publisher's Weekly This winsome if slight adaptation of a German folk song opens as Bear discovers that the flowers in front of his cave are wilting fast. He sets out to water them but his bucket has a hole, and when Hedgehog offers to help him fix it, the results are predictable. Observant readers will notice that a storm is brewing, and, indeed, it is a much-needed rainfall that drenches the flowers and solves the hole-in-the-bucket dilemmaat least temporarily. An appealing, decidedly inquisitive cast of woodland animals and insects peeks out from the Schuberts' (Amazing Animals) softly shaded double-page illustrations, and the bumbling Bear and Hedgehog appear particularly endearing. At the end of the story, the "revived" flowers look much the same as they do at the beginningan inconsistency that may trouble some readers, but one that is eclipsed by the cheery images and tone.


Warm as Wool, by Scott Russell Sanders


Synopsis: Betsy Ward's three children are cold. It is 1803, and they have traveled by covered wagon to the dark woods of Ohio. After the family shivers through the icy first winter in a drafty log cabin, Betsy is determined to get wool to make warm clothing for the children. She seizes upon a chance to buy eight bedraggled sheep. But it's harder than she expected to raise sheep on the frontier. Will Betsy be able to keep her sheep alive? Scott Russell Sanders tells the dramatic story of a pioneer mother's struggle to provide for her family.
When Betsy Ward's family moves to Ohio from Connecticut in 1803, she brings along a sockful of coins to buy sheep so that she can gather wool, spin cloth, and make clothes to keep her children warm.


For You are a Kenyan Child, by Kelly Cunnane

For You Are a Kenyan Child

Synopsis: Imagine you live in a small Kenyan village, where the sun rises over tall trees filled with doves. You wake to the sound of a rooster's crow, instead of an alarm clock and the school bus. Your afternoon snack is a tasty bug plucked from the sky, instead of an apple. And rather than kicking a soccer ball across a field, you kick a homemade ball of rags down a dusty road. But despite this, things aren't that different for a Kenyan child than they would be for an American kid, are they? With so much going on around you, it's just as easy to forget what your mama asked you to do!


Stranger in the Woods, by Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick

Stranger in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy

Synopsis: Editorial Review from Barnes and Noble: A self-published picture book that has swept the country by storm, this stunning "photographic fantasy" captures the magic of wintertime and the beauty of nature. Expert photographer Carl R. Sams II and his wife, Jean Stoick, have combined a delicate, heartwarming story about a snowman that suddenly appears in the woods with vivid animal photos, resulting in a cozy charmer that will leave readers awestruck.


How to Babysit a Grandpa, by Jean Reagan

How to Babysit a Grandpa

Synopsis: A New York Times bestselling picture book about a child spending time with his grandpa. Written in a how-to style, the narrator gives important tips for "babysitting" a grandpa, including what to eat for snack (anything dipped in ketchup, ice cream topped with cookies, cookies topped with ice cream) what to do on a walk (find lizards and dandelion puffs, be on the lookout for puddles and sprinklers), and how to play with a grandpa (build a pirate cave, put on a scary play).
Filled with humor, energy, and warmth, this is a great gift for or from a grandparent, and perfect for lap reading when Grandpa comes to visit!

Our Gratitude List we actually already shared in yesterday's Thankful Thursday post.

Kids' Favorite Things This Week:

~ Peter and Paul made up their own baking recipes, writing them in their Quick Write journals. Peter's was an apple cake which turned out to be delicious, and Paul's was for pumpkin cookies that turned into pumpkin cake because of excess moisture, but it, too, was delicious. Once you've baked for a few years, writing your own recipe isn't much of a stretch. I was very proud of the boys.

In the back of my mind I guess I hope my children will be their own bosses and own businesses someday, whether farming, a bakery, or whatever. Being your own boss can be scary and a lot of hard work, but it can be a family affair and a pleasure, too, and affords you opportunities for mission work.

Peter has never wavered from his desire to be a farmer, and he always tells Mary that if her husband agrees, they can live and work on his farm, too. Paul says pigs are stinky and he would come to visit only.

~ The three younger children enjoyed making Welcome Home decorations for Daddy, who visited his 91-year-old father in Florida for four days this week. Paul made several hanging decorations from an origami book, and Mary and Beth made paper chains. They spoke longingly of Daddy many times during the four-day separation, which warmed my heart.

Scripture to Share:

Deuteronomy 4:9 “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children...

Psalm 139:13-16 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

How was your week, my friends?

So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler?


Lisa @ Our Country Road said...

Wow! Your list of books is great! I've never heard of any of them (well except the Sonlight books) and would like to read them all! Thanks for the suggestions!

Christine said...

Lisa, what a beautiful family you have! You do a great job coming up with stimulating, hands-on lessons. Thank you for visiting here today.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog today. I just love to read the posts on the Weekly Wrap-up as well. We have also been on the hunt for a family dog and have had a hard time. We've had one puppy stolen (a lab). Then a few weeks ago we went to the shelter to meet a dog and after we had played with her for nearly an hour they told us she was already adopted. I'd like to try again but some little broken hearts need time to heal. Good luck on your pet search

Chrystal Bliske said...

Wow, you have had an interesting week! I just googled the whole blogger to wordpress issue and I guess that it can be done, I'm just not sure how difficult it would be. I guess it just depends on how em dash obsessed you really are ;-) ... Have a wonderful weekend and I hope you find the dog that is right for your family!

Christine said...

Chrystal, you are a dear. Thank you for googling it. I didn't think of that. I probably would need help with the technology part so it will go on the back burner for now. Thank you so much for stopping by.

Becca said...

Love how you share about books. I often request the titles from our library after reading your posts.