Thursday, April 28, 2016

52 lists~ Favorite books (week 15)

This 52 lists thing is turning out to be more like only 12 lists because I'm only averaging once a month! I had great dreams of getting a list up every week, but each week when I see the topic I have a hard time really listing them out. It's harder than it looks to make a list!

Well, this week list is no different. My favorite books? How can I pick only a few? It could be quite an extensive list! Well, this is the list I came up with (with the help of Goodreads, which I have an account with now). Oh, and to get my ideas rolling I searched for some favorite book lists and most of the lists I found had several of the books I like.

This list includes books that I often go back to read with children as they are ready for them, or re-read myself. It includes any kind of book for any age. I'm sure I could make several lists for different themes, but this is just an overall favorites list.

My favorite books...

1. Pocketful of Pinecones
2. Charlotte's Web
3. Little House on the Prairie series
4. The boxcar children
5. Peter Rabbit
6. Elephant and Piggie books
7. Best Hikes with kids: Oregon
8. Harry Potter series
9. Crenshaw (a more recent one)
10. The Polar Express
11. And lots more!

I guess it really looks like more children's books right now. Maybe because that's the season I'm in as I am sharing all these wonderful books with my kids. I try to read for myself, but really I don't get to as much as I'd like. Just because of lack of time. I mostly read kids books. I am working on a book of my own usually, but it takes me a very long time to get through my own books. I am hoping that gets better soon. It will, I know it.

52 lists with Chasing Slow

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Abraham Lincoln~~Heroes of History (A Review)

Christian Heroes {YWAM Publishing Review}

It has been a fun few weeks around here as we have been studying Heroes of History - Abraham Lincoln, a biograpphy from YWAM Publishing. We received a hard copy book along with a Digital Unit Study. This company offers a whole line of biographies and Christian history books and I am thrilled to have been introduced to this line of books and biographies! This is our first time reading one, and it was very enjoyable.

Christian Heroes {YWAM Publishing Review}

Since this was our first time reading one of these books, I opted to read it aloud to the boys. It felt like we had stepped back in history as we read, and the boys often didn't want me to stop. The story was exciting, and fact filled. I found the story to be very interesting myself, and I learned a whole lot about Abraham Lincoln that I didn't know. This book was easy to follow, and covered Abe's life from his young childhood all the way until his death.

As we read through the book we used the Digital Unit Study to help supplement the readings. To do that I printed it from the website which has other downloads and goodies as well. You don't have to print it, you could save it as a pdf, but I wanted to have it on hand each time we read. The unit study is awesome. It is packed with all kinds of things to go along including quotes, crafts, writing ideas, geography, community ideas, and chapter questions. I found the chapter questions to be very helpful.

Building Abe's log cabin

Eating Abe's log cabin :)

There were many fun, great suggestions in the study guide for projects, including reasons why they tied into the book. I found myself wanting to try them all, and they could very well make for a well rounded unit study. But, for the time that we used this book we were able to complete only a few.

One of the hands-on explorations was to create a log cabin. In the book it specifically talks about how big Abe's log cabin was that he grew up in, and the guide suggested we measure out the 18' x 20' rectangle to see in reality how big that is, and to build a scale model. Ours wasn't exactly scale, but the boys built a log cabin (or at least attempted to) out of pretzel sticks. The most important part of this whole project was them trying to figure out how to build it and make it sturdy. Lincoln and his father had to do that when they built their log cabin, I'm sure!

Their completed log cabin. They never finished the wndows or doors. Oh well, they still had fun.

There were also some printable maps, and fact pages in the study guide. We mapped the state of Illinois since this was where Abe lived most of his life.


These are the printed maps that came in the study guide. They looked for major rivers and cities.



It was also suggested in the study guide to create a display corner. This is what we came up with. It isn't much, just some of the projects that the boys worked on while we studied Abraham Lincoln. The Abraham Lincoln fact sheet is another printable from the study guide. I had hoped to find more as there were some great ideas in the study guide including a penny collection, and photographs.


Overall I loved this book, and I am excited to try some more. I will definitely be including more of these biographies in our future history units. I think this could very well be a complete history curriculum with the purchase of several of the biographies. Included with the digital portion is a homeschool curriculum guide which even lists all the books and the order to follow them in for a complete American history curriculum. I am thinking about using this for our history next year! I also noticed that they have audio versions that I am interested in trying. That could be a very good fit for our busy family.

If you want to find out about other Heroes of History biographies go check out what the other crew members had to say as most of them reviewed a different title. Click on the banner below:

Christian Heroes {YWAM Publishing Review}
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, April 25, 2016

Train trip to Seattle


We finally went on a train trip that I have been wanting to go on since we first started homeschooling. Every year the Amtrak field trips to Seattle are posted, but every year we have had a child under 5, so we couldn't go. Now we finally have no one under 5! I was super excited for this day. The children were extra excited for this day as it was their first ride on a train.

It was a whirlwind of a trip! The plan was to ride 4 hours up to Seattle, WA, spend 4 hours walking all over, and then 4 hours back. We had to start our day super early and be to the train station at 7:15, although the train didn't load until 8. So, we waited, and waited.

Waiting for the train at the Portland Union Station

Finally! It was time to board!


The train seemed a lot bigger up close. It doesn't seem that big when you see it going by on the distant track.


We were off on our adventure. Being on the train for 4 hours is a long time, but everyone had a good time looking at everything as it went by.


When we arrived it was so nice to finally be out and walking around, but we would certainly be tired by the time it was time to get back on the train again. We planned on getting everywhere on foot. No cabs or buses for us.


Our first stop after getting off the train was lunch. We opted not to eat on the train, and eat as soon as we got there. We decided to head to the waterfront.  It was a beautiful day for walking!


We found a Red Robin at the waterfront, and decided we were all hungry so that would be where we would eat. April was hoping for something different since we eat at Red Robin in Oregon, but being on foot we didn't have a lot of choices since we were hungry.


Then, we headed up to Pike's Market. It was busy, but so fun! I didn't take many pictures there because I was just trying to keep up and not lose any kids in all the crowds. Lots of cool things to buy though!


We had to stop and rest once in a while. Alex did pretty good over all. This was actually taken on our way up to Pike's market.


After Pike's Market we headed to the Seattle library. But, first we stopped for a snack at Piroshky, Piroshky. It was a pretty yummy stop.


 On our way up to the library we had to walk uphill. It doesn't look as steep as it really was in this picture, but Alex likened it to mountain climbing...


The Seattle library is pretty amazing. It's big and tall, and it has 10 floors! I went up to the 10th floor with April and immediately knew I had made a mistake. I am terribly afraid of heights, and this is what you see up there...


Luckily April's got to explore lots with her Dad. They found some fun things like neon yellow escalators, and a red floor. The whole hallway/floor is painted red.


I was happy to sit down and relax for a bit while Alex built with some blocks. It was a nice cool reprieve from the walking outside.


He built...


And built...


And built, finally getting it taller than himself!


The amount of books that this library must hold!...


 Finally it was time to head back to the train station. We wanted to make sure to not miss that train!


Back at the train station we had a little bit of waiting to do again. It was a beautiful train station!


It's so neat that they still have these old train stations around. See how tired we were?


We arrived back at the station around 10:15, but we weren't home yet. Another hour home, and that was a late night! So glad the next day was Friday, but it threw me off because it felt like a Monday since we just had a trip. I enjoyed the train part of it, and the walking around, but I kinda wish we had a little more time to explore. Fun trip though, and all the kids loved it.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Writers in Residence (A REVIEW)

We had the opportunity to review a new writing program by Apologia Educational Ministries called Writers in Residence. We have used many of Apologia's science books, so I was excited to see what a writing program from them would look like. I was very pleased to find some of the same great quality that we find in their science books in this writing program as well.

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review

After I received the spiral bound book (which is pretty thick), and its accompanying answer book, I read through the "How to use" section. I felt a bit overwhelmed at the thickness of this book at first, but reading the "how to use" section really helped alleviate some of the worry I had. It covers all the what's, how's, why's, etc., and gives a lot of great suggestions on how to use the book. Then it introduces the real-life writers that are featured in this book. I love that it looks at some real-life writers, and interviews them. It is one of my favorite features of this book.


After the "how to use" section it has a Suggested Daily Schedule. I was happy to find it laid out very similar to the science schedules. It gives you a daily suggestion that is easy to follow.

The first writer's spotlight is then introduced after the schedule, Bill Myers. We read about him, and learned that he has also writen, directed, and done voice work for the Family's Adventures in Odyssey. That led us to checking out a few of those audio books from the library. We even found one on DVD to watch too. The writer's spotlights are dispersed throughout the book at the beginning of each of the 6 units. It is a fun way to get to know some writers and their books and styles.

We then moved onto Unit 1, module 1 (the units are split into several modules) which starts out looking into our own memories for writing ideas. In Module 1, We checked out the book When I was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant, as suggested to help us see how we could write about our childhood memories. It was an enjoyable book that followed a pattern using the "When I was Young..." phrase. We used the charts to help map out some childhood memories of the boys. From that they can then write a draft of those memories for "When I was young..." using that phrase to begin each thought. Module 1 continues on to verbs, and module 2 covers nouns. This book has it all. It covers the basic conventions the English language, spelling, writing and editing.

It also has checklists at the end of each module to make sure all steps are completed, and to help with points and grading. It can be a great way for children to see the progress they are making in writing, especially if you don't usually grade writing assignments (like me). I like the step-by-step process throughout this whole book. Very easy for both student and parent to follow.

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review
Overall, I think this is a great writing curriculum for your 4th-8th grader. I feel like my 4th grader isn't quite ready for this though, so I will save it for next year to continue going through it. It is very complete, and easy to use. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of us doing anything, so that is why I have very little in the way of pictures. But, there are many other reviewers that have some great pictures of the things they did. You can find their reviews if you click on the banner below.

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review

You can also find Apologia with these links:

Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Golf, cub scouts, and prizes

The past few weeks...


We spent yesterday (Sat.) laying down some bark. It's amazing what a new layer of bark will do to freshen things up!


We have been working on the marble adventure in scouts. I brought Citibloks and marbulous for the boys to build marble mazes and runs. I brought Alex with me so that April would have one less boy to watch. He had fun playing marbles with the big boys. He can hardly wait for cub scouts.


 Aaron and his friend working on a game together. One of the challenges is to make up a game. Aaron had already signed this off, but his friend hadn't.


This is the game that his friend came up with. Aaron was helping him try it out.


I have worked out 4 days this week! And, 5 days the week before. This is a definite improvement from my previous status which was maybe once a week. Trying out the beachbody thing right now. 


April has rehearsals 2 times a week all this month until her play in May. We hung out for my helper day on Monday. Aric was sick so he sat with me. It was a nice relaxing time to just sit and read.


Aric was sick on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. He wasn't up for anything really, but he did manage to do some typing on the Talking Fingers game. He received a certificate, but couldn't really be too excited about it. He was ready for a nap.


 We had a G is for golf theme this week. Sort of. About all we did was paint with golf balls, and I made a sensory bin with golf balls and tees. Time actually being at home is so limited right now with rehearsals, and other things going on.


Painting with golf balls turned out to be a big hit. It makes a cool pattern. Try it sometime!


During one of April's rehearsals we hit up Cold Stone Creamery. It was good. I tried to be strong and not get anything. It didn't work.


Our Woodburn homeschool group had a Spring fair at the library a few Friday's ago. It is a fun activity with stations that involve games, crafts, or activities that have to do with spring. One of the stations was a recycle station complete with prizes, and a grand prize for each age group.


 Guess who won the grand prizes? Both the older boys! They both got the most right. They were proud. I was relieved that they both won. I am sure I wouldn't have heard the end of it.


 We have a dress up box at co-op that the kids pull out in the afternoon. Alex wanted me to help get him all dressed up as an army guy.


We started some poetry memorization this week. It is a review product from IEW. The boys are loving it so far. I am enjoying doing it with them too.

image Aaron started golf club. He really enjoys this. It's the only sport that I have found that he likes so far.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...