Thursday, May 23, 2013

J is for...Jack

When we were deciding on  a name for our fourth child, we did not know the sex, I knew if it was going to be a boy I wanted to name him Jack(Jackson).  That was after my great-uncle and I loved the name.  Well, here we are 10 years later and I still love it, but wish I didn't have to hear it or say it 50+ times a day.  He is a challenging kid, but wow is God going to do great things with him!!

G...Go Getter
M... Mind craft player
N...Never quiet
O...One track mind
S... Snuggles
Z... Zealous

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's Schoolhouse Library

Schoolhouse Magazine is offering a great resource for YOU. 
Schoolhouse Library

For ONLY $25 you will receive 175+ audio books or e-books of over 25 different topics. 

Arts and Crafts
Organization (with several planners)
Nature Study
Special Needs 
and Much More!!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

I is for... Intentional Disciple

Before I get started let me say, I left church Sunday with a severe limp!!  Being Mother's Day the sermon was for Mothers, but take my word for it it wasn't a lot of fluff!!!!  I don't know how many times they stepped on my toes, but "Ouch!!!"

If you are brave :) here is a link to watch the sermon.
 A Mother's Legacy by Dave Stone and Kyle Idleman

"A Mother's Legacy is her Children."  Kyle Idleman

The Webster's Dictionary definition for Intentional Disciple
  •  intentional-done purposely
  • disciple-a pupil or follower of any teacher

So a Intentional Disciple is someone who follows Christ with purpose. 
As a mother I should be an intentional disciple, I should keep the big picture in mind.  I should remember we are raising them to release them.  I should be a calming presence.  I should have sincere faith that is loved into them.  All of this needs to be modeled in the home, they are WATCHING!!!

"But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith."
     1 Timothy 1:5

"These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."                               Deuteromony 6:6-9

Dear Lord, 
I pray today and everyday that I am an INTENTIONAL DISCIPLE!!!  That I am living it out load in my home with my children.  Help me be positive and proactive.  Help me show them God's Word through my actions and love!  Thank you, Jesus, for these beautiful children you have blessed me with.  Help me be a blessing to them as well.                  In Your Beautiful Name, Amen!!!

Spanish for You! Review

Has the idea of teaching Spanish ever crossed your mind? 
Have you thought you're not qualified to teach it? 

If you answered, "Yes" to either of these questions I think you should check out Spanish for You!. This is a flexible, easy to use and fun Spanish curriculum.  Spanish for You! is written by Debbie Annett who has been teaching Spanish for grades K- high school for 14 years. She wrote this because of all the needs she saw in teaching Spanish for elementary and middle schools.  A few of those needs were the ability of elementary/middle school Spanish to easily flow into high school curriculum and curriculum that allows families and school to use the same book with all their students.  Ms. Annett is a very conscience writer.  She is quick to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.  She also has a blog that offers lots of extras that can be used as part of you learning experience.

To get started with our review we received a download for the Fiesta themed package.  It can be used for 3-8 grades being divided by grade level 3rd-4th, 5th-6th, and 7th-8th. You can order what we received for $64.95 plus the teacher lesson plans for $12.95 to $14.95 depending on grade level. You can check out a sample here.

ALL Spanish for You! packages come complete with:
  • soft cover book or e-book.
  • 24-30 week lesson guide for the grades you need (24 weeks for G5-6 & 7-8, 30 weeks for G3-4) (PDF download).
  • self-checking worksheets (PDF download).
  • audio files of entire book (includes bonus audio of native speaker of entire book) (MP3 download).
  • flashcard/activity pictures (PDF download).
How we used it:

I used Spanish for You! with my fourth grader and my first grader tagged along. My first grader did have a hard time with the worksheets (we used the 3rd-4th grade level), but had no trouble learning the words!!! The lessons are set up on a four day week schedule which worked great for us. We wasted no time jumping right in and getting started.  We started with making the flash cards from the flash card pictures and then worked through the lessons.  The audio files were very helpful for this non-Spanish speaking Mamma!!   Since the program is flexible we went through things at our own pace.  We have had to spend more time learning about conjugating the verbs than learning the words.  We played games which helped make it a lot more fun.  Since the first lesson was a "La fiesta de cumpleaƱos" (A Birthday Party) we enjoyed the two birthdays we had in our family while working on the new words.

What I think about it:
I honestly have struggled for years about having to teach my children a foreign language.  I am happy to say that I see great potential with Spanish for You! to help me guide my children into a high school Spanish program for their foreign language credit.   This is something that we will continue working on next school year and forward to have them prepared for high school Spanish.

I really liked having the audio file.  It made "teaching" this so much easier, since I wasn't trying to figure out how to say a word!  You not only have the author guiding you in Spanish, but a native Spanish speaking person as well.

When I first received the files, they were very hard to follow and to figure out which worksheet went with which lesson.  When the concerns about file confusion was brought to Ms. Annett's attention she  reorganized the lessons together which will make planning much simpler.  I personally would rather have the actual book as a hard copy instead of the e-book.

I look forward to using this program forward in our homeschool with my 5th and 7th graders.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Papa's Pearls~~A Book Review

In the last few months I have been reminded that the generation of my grandparent's "The Greatest Generation," is so important to those of us who have the honor to learn from them.  My in-laws are from that generation which is a great blessing to my children. With the death of my father-in-law,  just this past February (he was 90), I realized all the things he has taught his family.  The wisdom he had and the blessing he was for us is irreplaceable and I enjoy reminding my children of all the wise things he shared with us.  Then I was asked to review a book, Papa's pearls, written by a Diane Flynn Keith.  The book is based on the life and wisdom of her father Carol Joseph Flynn.  I really enjoyed the book and it brought many things to my mind about my father-in-law.  The book is a "Father's Gift of Love and Wisdom To His Children and Grandchildren."

I thought I would read through the book then have my children read it. To be totally honest this is a great book to share with your children whether you read it or they do, but right now for my children this has been a very sensitive time with the loss of their own grandfather.  So you will just get my thoughts!!

Papa is part of "The Greatest Generation" and this book helps you see just why it is called that.  The folks from that time are genuine and hardworking. Mr. Flynn is no exception.  He started his life in the mist of the Great Depression and had to fight to get somewhere in life.  He worked hard to make some thing of himself.  He taught his family many things like hard work, how to show love, etc.     Papa's Pearls, is a wonderful collection of life lessons taught to a lucky family by a wonderful man who wanted to best for all the generations of the Flynn family.

Diane Flynn Keith does a wonderful job telling us about her father and how much he meant to his family.  I had many moments where I was brought to tears and lots of moments of laughter.  He sounds like he was a character, and a joy to know.  After reading this well write book I do feel that I know him and his family.  One thing he always says to his family is, "Where's my hug?"  I bet those were some great hug.

I look forward to reading this to my children.  I think it will help them appreciate their own, Pappaw.

I hope you find the time to check Papa's Pearls, you can find it on Amazon for only $13.47.

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Monday, May 6, 2013

H is for...Horses, The Kentucky Derby

Being from Louisville, Kentucky the first Saturday in May isn't just a Saturday in May, but the day we watch beautiful Thoroughbred horses run the "fastest two minutes in sports". Those of us who live here get to participate in two weeks of Derby festivities.  From fireworks to horse races, from parades to steamboat races there is a lot to do in Louisville.

Thunder Over Louisville
A spectacular firework show, the largest in the United States

The Mini Marathon
Now this includes a full marathon as well

Hot Air Balloon race
There are four activities for the balloons; a Glimmer, Rush Hour Race, Balloon Glow and finally the Great Balloon Race.

The Great Steamboat Race
The 99 year old Belle of Louisville races the Belle of Cincinnati up the Ohio River then back down.

The Pegasus Parade
A fun family activity.

The Oaks
A horse race for just the Fillies, female horses, The Run For the Lillie's.  This is coined Louisville's Day at the Track.

The after two weeks of fun we enjoy the Kentucky Derby, The Run for the Roses

The horse races take place at the historical Churchill Downs, which is just about 3 1/2 miles from our house.  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Review: Writing with Sharon Watson

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Writing isn't something we have had a lot of success in.  I love to write, but have struggled teaching my children to write.  My daughter, who is a ninth grader, is a good writing, but struggles with what to write and the correct way to write.  
Things are changing for us thanks to Writing with Sharon Watson . It is a  great resource for high school writing. We were asked to review The Power in Your Hands: Writing Non-Fiction in High School from Writing with Sharon Watson.  This book offers step-by-step assistance to writing.The textbook is geared  to all writers Beginning Writers, Intermediate Writers and Accomplished Writers. 

With Writing Non-Fiction they will learn what they need to know for high school and will be prepared for college writing. They will  write five different persuasive essays, which including an SAT essay, comparison-and-contrast essay, a biography, a literary analysis, a research paper, and whole lot more. Plus they will master description and narration essays. All of this is in a easy to use, self-guided textbook ($39.98)

I also received the teachers edition ($14.95) which has a very practical grading section that helps with grading all the writing assignments.  Each assignment has a checklist which are included in this teacher book.  You will also find all the answers for their daily work there as well.

How we used it: 
Since we have worked very little on writing when we first started working through the book WE worked through it together.  She would read through the lesson and we would discuss it together.  After to first few lessons I saw that it was really self-guided and she could work on it by herself.  I do go over her answers each day and offer any assistance I think she needs. She has been able to use what she has learned so far in the textbook to help her write a paper for a class she takes away from home. She will continue to work through the book until the end of this school year.

What I thought:
I love the format of the textbook. It is very easy to follow with clear stopping points, which aids in being self-guided. It isn't to busy with pictures or unnecessary additions. Everything is explained well and is easy for her to understand and the little bit of humor through out is an added bonus.

The teacher book has been a great help for me. Not only the answers to her daily work, but also the grading help. It gives clear objectives for the coarse which allows for successful writing. It outlines details of what is included in the students "Toolbox". I especially like the 14-Minute Power Surges Program, which gives writing prompts to be used throughout the week for the student to practice their writing.

We will begin working in The Power in Your Hands: Writing Non-Fiction in High School again in the fall and my high senior will work with us as well.

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