Archive | September, 2012

Cycle 1, Week 4: Ancient Greece resources

30 Sep

I can’t believe that it’s already week 4 of Classical Conversations! Here are some resources for Cycle 1, Week 4.  I have a lot of Ancient Greece resources so I’m going to list them in a separate post from the other Cycle 1, Week 4 resources. Not sure that we’ll read ALL of these, but these were some great finds that I wanted to SHARE. 🙂

Ancient Greece Activities

One of the CC resources that I got from CC Connected recommended focusing on Ancient Greece for Weeks 3 and 4. We are going to finish up some of the Ancient Greece resources that we started last week. You can see additional Ancient Greece resources from my Cycle 1, Week 3 post from last week.

  • Plan your own Family Olympics We created our Family Olympics this summer because of the 2012 Summer Olympics. It was SO FUN and a wonderful, memory-making event! Everyone in the family pitched in and planned it. You can read step-by-step instructions here about how we did so. This would be a great activity to do while studying Ancient Greece, since, after all, they created the first Olympics!

  • Ancient Greece lapbook (FREE!)– Homeschoolshare.com has hundreds of lapbooks, file folder games, etc., and these resources are all FREE! I remembered that they have an Ancient Greece lapbook, which would be fun to use during our Ancient Greece studies.

Ancient Greece kid-friendly literature

  • D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek MythsWe are LOVING this book! It goes more in-depth about the individual Greek gods as well as the myths. The Usborne Greek Myths for Young Childrenthat we used last year was enjoyable with wonderful illustrations, but it did not explain the individual Greek gods. The D’Aulaire book does and also explains the origin of the Greek gods. It’s very well done, and we are enjoying this for our Read-Aloud book, which is our routine to do over lunch. Buy by clicking on the book above for 40% off the book @ Amazon!
  • The Olympians: Great Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece (by Leonard Everett Fisher)–This book must be out of print (after seeing the prices on Amazon!), but it would be a good one to find at your library! We LOVE Leonard Everett Fisher books! We found this one at our library, and it’s EXCELLENT!! If you need a shorter-length read with summaries about the primary Greek gods and goddesses, this book is for you!The summaries are only about a paragraph long, and the illustrations are beautiful!
  • Theseus and the MinotaurYou can check out this book (again!) by Leonard Everett Fisher or this version of the same story (looks like you’ll need to check your library for it! out of print?) by Warwick Hutton. My boys LOVE this story from Ancient Greece; I think they love it because of the Minotaur, a half-man and half-bull creature. I’m so excited…Lego makes a LEGO Minotaurus Game based on this Ancient Greece story!

I just bought it for my boys last week! They’re getting it for Christmas! I can’t wait to meander through the labyrinth with my boys and try to destroy the Minotaur!

We are game fanatics around our home! I love finding games that connect what we’re learning in school with some of their other loves (like Legos!). If you missed last week’s post, you should also check out this VERY educational, math-focused, Ancient Greece-themed game, Zeus on the Loose.

  • The Librarian Who Measured the Earth (by Kathryn Lasky)-Another one that seems to be out of print but would be great to find at your library. This is a biography about a famous Greek man, Eratosthenes who wanted to find out how to measure the earth. He was able to discover a way to do so, and this was almost 2000 years ago when he accomplished it! His measurement was very accurate!


  • You Wouldn’t Want to be a Slave in Ancient Greece (by Fiona McDonald) or You Wouldn’t Want to be a Greek Athlete (by Michael Ford)We love the “You Wouldn’t Want to” historical series! Both of these promise to have great detail about Ancient Greece in a fun, laugh-a-minute way that your kids will love! We found the Ancient Greece slave one at our library.

Have fun exploring Ancient Greece this week! What are your favorite Ancient Greece resources? As always, check out the Cycle 1 Link Up at Half A Hundred Acre Wood for more great Week 4 resources!

Classical Conversations Weekly Link-Up

Ancient Greece activity: Plan your own Family Olympics

26 Sep

A few weeks ago, I was looking ahead to future Classical Conversations lessons to prepare for tutoring my FABULOUS class of Abecedarians. I was excited to see Ancient Greece! Since the Ancient Greeks are credited with creating the Olympic games, I immediately thought about one thing that we did this summer. As the tag line of my blog says, this is too good to keep to myself. We planned our own Family Olympics!

For anyone in Classical Conversations looking for a fun activity to do in the weeks surrounding Ancient Greece, a family using a different curriculum that includes Ancient Greece, or…any family for that matter, I would highly recommend planning your own Family Olympics. It took little effort on my part (which I always love!), and if I CAN DO IT, YOU CAN DO IT! I’m the queen of planning and not following through. Not sure why that didn’t happen this time but so thankful it didn’t! This was one of the most memorable things we’ve done together as a family. My boys still talk about it months later! I think son #2 REALLY thinks he was in the Olympics; he’s quick to tell people that he won a gold medal in swimming. (LOVE!!!) Shhh…let’s keep this as our little secret from him, okay?

So, here’s a step-by-step process to plan Family Olympics 2012:
1) Pick your events.
I got GREAT ideas from 2 of my favorite blogs: Money Saving Mom and I Can Teach My Child. I Can Teach My Child has an entire Olympics unit with a lapbook, crafts, Olympic-themed crafts, etc. I got several “event” ideas from them, but we also came up with our own. Here are the events that we did:

  • Short distance foot race
  • Long distance foot race
  • Javelin (We used an old PVC pipe that used to be my son’s bow)
  • Discus (Who needs a REAL discus when you’ve got a FRISBEE?!?!? Or Captain America’s shield?!?!)
  • Archery (We have oodles of bows and arrows around here! My boys drew a target on a piece of cardboard.)
  • Swimming (Look out Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Missy Franklin, here come the Mosleys!)
  • Long  jump (inspired by MoneySavingMom’s post.)
  • Hurdles (I Can Teach My Child used swim noodles–brilliant!)

Get creative! If you have different Olympic events that you enjoy, scratch these here and do your own! The sky is the limit!

2) Olympic Medals–a definite MUST!
I made the Baking Soda Olympic Medals mentioned at I Can Teach My Child. She had great pictures and step-by-step instructions that made it less intimidating for me.(Notice how cute and neat hers were! Mine, not so much! So, don’t stress out when making them! They don’t have to be perfect!)

making our Olympic medals

If you make these, I would recommend making them one day, letting them dry overnight and painting the next day. You’ll need another day after painting so that they can dry well. I DO recommend buying the metallic acrylic paint from Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or other craft store. It made them even more realistic and evident as to the Gold, Silver, Bronze. It’s worth the $0.89 per bottle. I would also buy some clear acrylic paint (another $0.89 well spent!) to coat the medals; it made mine more SHINY! 🙂

If DIY is too much, make them out of construction paper, cardboard (and then painting or coloring them), etc. I almost omitted the medals for the Mosley Olympics 2012. Whoa…that would’ve been a big mistake! The medals were their favorite parts, and I think it made our Olympics feel more real to them. PLUS, the only reason we had the homemade kind was that everyone pitched in and made them together as a family. I didn’t dare try to do it myself.

3) Gather supplies.
We needed few supplies:

  • pvc pipe (javelin)
  • Captain America’s shield (discus)
  • soccer cones (starting and ending points for races and long jump)
  • pool (for swimming events)
  • music (we each picked our own country to represent, and my husband found our respective national anthems on his iPhone via google. What did we do before google?!?!)
  • medals that we previously made
  • camera (you’ll definitely want pictures!)

4) Schedule your Family Olympics 2o12
Pick a morning or afternoon….and compete!  We did our Olympics over 2 weekday evenings. You can even make an Olympic Torch for opening ceremonies.

Son #1 during the Long Jump. I loved that I caught him mid-air!

Son #2 with the Captain America shield  Discus

Son # 3, also mid-air, for the Long Jump.

5) Lessons learned from Mosley Olympics 2012

  • I don’t know WHAT possessed me to do this, but I’m so glad that I did! I fought back tears after our first evening of competition! The smiles, utter happiness, and joy that exuded from my boys literally moved me to tears! It was a beautiful, memorable ‘family bonding’ experience. Loved, loved, loved it! Every minute of planning and sweat that went into it (on my part) was totally worth it! Again, I’m no crafty mom, so if I can do it, you can too!
  • The Mosley Olympics TRULY were a family affair. The boys helped me make the medals. The 5 of us together planned the events, decided how we would accomplish them, gathered the necessary supplies. Make the planning and carrying out of YOUR Family Olympics a family project. If you, Mom, have to do it all by yourself, it WILL get overwhelming, and you won’t finish it. This is probably the only reason we carried out the plan–because I didn’t do all of it by myself!
  • We will be doing this again in 2016, and hopefully 2020, 2024 and beyond!

Enjoy! If your family does its own Olympics, I’d love for you to come back and post a link to your blog. I’d love to see your Family Olympics 2012!

This smile says it all!

Our newly discovered, knocks-our-socks-off budget App (You Need A Budget)

25 Sep
And now, readers, a guest post from my hubby. Enjoy!
The long and winding road of managing personal finances has finally ended for the Mosleys. We have long searched for a financial software that was:
  • simple,
  • not overly time consuming 
  • accessible to both spouses
  • Mac friendly (not required but a plus.)
We tried excel spreadsheets (achieved none of these goals), Quickbooks (not accessible to both spouses and sometimes time consuming) and a few terrible solutions on the Apple App Store (not naming names to avoid defamation lawsuits).
Then we found YNAB (You Need a Budget) for the second time. I tried it about a year ago when it was in version 3, and it left much to be desired. Enter YNAB 4. It is the perfect solution for us. Here are a few reasons:
  1. Simple, user-friendly interface. The desktop and iPhone app versions are clean, easy to use and easy to understand.
  2. Introduces a simple and flexible approach to budgeting. YNAB is similar to the Envelope System without the envelopes and with more flexibility. The software does a great job of implementing this budgeting approach.
  3. Provides confidence and accuracy by keeping track of vendor, bank account and budget account for all charges. Many of the Envelope System solutions available are too simple. They keep track of the vendor and budget account, but they do not keep track of bank accounts. So, it is difficult to know if all charges and expenses have been entered into the software. By keeping track of the vendor, bank account and budget account, YNAB makes it easy to know if all expenses have been entered. Therefore, confidence in the accuracy of the numbers on the screen.
  4. Syncs with multiple devices including Mac, PC, iPhone, iPod touch and several others. There are several accounting programs that will allow me to manage my finances well. The problem? My wife needs to know numerous times a day how much we have available to spend in a particular category. With YNAB, she has instant access on her wireless device at all times. Also, she can enter her expenses as she makes them.
  5. Allows downloads from bank. Are you likely to forget to enter an expense? It is always difficult to enter this manually. With YNAB you do not have to enter them. You can download your data from your bank. Also, YNAB has an excellent ability to recognize and match charges that have already been manually entered.
  6. Has helpful training and support. New systems of budgeting and new software require training. YNAB does it well with online video tutorials.
  7. Free trials for desktop client and apps. It takes about a month to see the YNAB process work. I am guessing that is why they offer a 34-day free trial. It is easy to setup and offers full functionality. They also offer free versions of the iPhone app, but it is not as developed as the paid version. Do not judge the app until you see the paid version.

This list above contains the positives about its functionality. Here are our favorite things about YNAB after using it:

  • We have access to our budget 24/7.
  • When we open YNAB on my iPhone or my wife’s iPod Touch, we have confidence in the amounts of money that we see on the screen. If it’s been spent, it’s in YNAB. We can confidently check the amount of money left in a budget item, say Eating Out, and decide if we have enough money to eat with friends after a soccer game.
  • YNAB has helped us discover areas in our budget where we can save more money! This has occurred without any increases in our income.

So, if you need a budget, you should try You Need a Budget!

–> Click here to purchase and get a $6 coupon off the paid version.

Cycle 1, Week 3 Resources

23 Sep

Here are some great resources for Cycle 1, Week 3.

History Statement: Greek and Roman gods
We studies Greek gods last year with Sonlight. My boys LOVED it! They’re excited about more study this year! We used the Usborne Greek Myths for Young Children last year with Sonlight, and it was enjoyable! Wonderful illustrations!

We’re going to read more Greek myths this year with D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths. (40% off right now at Amazon!) I’ve heard great things about this book! We’re read the first chapter already. I like that it gives the origin of the Greek gods, which goes back to the Titans. Since we live outside of Nashville, we LOVE the Titans around here!

AND…I’m sure that we’ll watch Hercules this week! My oldest son got it for his birthday this summer! My boys LOVE IT! Wahoo! It’s 40% off at Amazon right now too!

I’m REALLY excited that our CC Community is taking a field trip to the Parthenon in a couple of weeks! If you live in the surrounding Nashville area (or even if you don’t!), I highly recommend visiting the Parthenon in Nashville! It’s an exact replica of the original Parthenon. The Athena statue inside is AMAZING and was a wonderful ‘hands on’ experience for my boys when we studied the Greeks last year. They do have field trips for homeschoolers; the entry is FREE if your school meets in Davidson County! We had an AMAZING tour guide last year. I was so excited…everything that we had studied and that I had taught the boys SHE said as well. 🙂 Whew! Always relieved to know that I’m teaching my boys correctly!

At the Parthenon, we bought this GREAT game in the gift shop. It’s called Zeus on the Loose. It’s a FUN educational game! The children are given cards with numbers on them, as well as some god and goddess cards. It basically teaches MATH in a fun way! The players have to add the number cards together at each turn to reach 100 and win Zeus (a cute little yellow figurine that my boys like to fight over!)

Bible and Geography
And Here We Go (love this blog!! great CC resources!) has great resources connecting the History Statement, Timeline flashcards and Geography with Scripture! LOVE it! I’m excited to read these Scripture passages with my boys this week to show them some encounters that Paul has with Greek gods, which were worshiped during the time period when he lived.
And Here We Go! - Our Homeschooling Adventures

We’ll probably keep reading Story of the World, too! Go here to see the chapters matched up with the History Statement and Geography. My boys love SOTW. 🙂

Math
My boys LOVED the Skipping Counting mazes from Confessions of a Homeschooler. We’re DEFINITELY doing them again this week! They asked for MORE MAZES after finishing the 3s and 4s for last week. I told them that we had not learned the 5s and 6s yet, so they’d have to wait until next week! ha!

Latin
Here’s a gift for ya! I used the pictures from file I found on CC Connected to make Tracing Pages for the Latin 1st Declension endings. I love the pictures, which help me with pronunciation. I’m giong to use these in class tomorrow. The children will have the page in a pocket protector and trace the endings with a dry erase marker while we sing the fabulous song on the CC cd. You can download the pages here: C 1.W3 & 4.Latin endings

Crafts
I wish I was a craftier mom! I’m just not, but I’m really trying this year! We ran out of time last week to mummify an apple since we went out of town last week (lest you think I have it all together and that I do everything perfectly all the time!). We will probably do that this week. There are some other great crafts for this week’s Memory Work. We’ll see if we can maybe do one of these.
*Animal Cell-There are GOBS of creative crafts with the animal cell. Pinterest will be your best friend here. Or, here are several different ideas in one spot.
*Paper Mache Mount OlympusThis looks AMAZING but very messy! I hope I’ll be brave enough to try it because I know my boys would LOVE IT!!

Hope that everyone has a great WEEK 3! What fun things will you be doing or reading this week? I’m a part of the CC Weekly Link Up at Halfahundredacrewood.com Click below to get our Cycle 1, Week 3 ideas. 🙂

Classical Conversations Weekly Link-Up

Seeds Family Worship cds (+20% coupon!)

22 Sep

Let’s face it-not all children’s music is created equal. We all know how some “kids cds” are ANNOYING and TERRIBLE–like fingernails on the chalkboard! If that’s been your experience with children’s music, you should check out any of the Seeds Family Worship cds! I truly can’t say enough good things about them! Seeds Family Worship cds are another favorite around our home. The Seeds cds are Scripture set to GREAT, NON-CHEESY MUSIC.We have all 6 volumes and thoroughly enjoy listening to these Scripture-saturated songs. Our family has learned a lot of Scripture this way, too. You never forget what you learn via song! Shhh…don’t tell our sons, but we probably enjoy listening to them more than they do!

One of my favorite volumes is the newest one, Seeds of Character, shown above. The last song on the album is, “The New Testament Song.” It’s such a fun song! I love that even my TWO year old knows the New Testament books of the Bible thanks to this Seeds song! If that isn’t a testimony to how wonderful they are, I don’t know what is! We’ve also used them in my Pre-K Sunday School class this past year, and they are a tremendous hit with all the children (and my fellow teachers!)

ALL of the Seeds Family Worship CDs come with 2 cds when you buy one for $13.  “Buy One, Give One” is the idea behind that. Seeds Family Worship desires for you to keep one for yourself and give the 2nd one away! I love that! Another idea is to split the costs of the cds with someone. If you know of someone else wanting to order them, place one order, and you will each have a CD. They’re well worth the $6.50; believe me. 🙂

The Seeds cds also make great gifts! My parents got the complete set for my youngest son and niece a few Christmases ago. Because there are 2 cds per set, my mom bought them all and split the cds between them. I even thought today that these would fit perfectly inside an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox! Stock up and buy several at a time for birthday parties, baby showers and Christmas presents! What a wonderful, “eternal-investment” gift; not bad for $6.50!

Also, another fun thing to share with you…a coupon code** for 20% off: BABEOFMYHEART. Happy shopping and happy listening! May God mightily grow the seeds of His Word in the hearts of your children and your own!

**The coupon code doesn’t work on the “All of ‘Em Six Pack,” which is already discounted at 20%. It works on purchasing individual cds (can be used for multiple quantities) only.

Freezer Meal: Breakfast Power Muffins

21 Sep

Have I mentioned that I have 3 scrapping young men in our home? When people ask me what I do (i.e. my occupation), I have started replying with “food fixer.” That is, I fix food for my 3 growing boys. Most days it seems like I’m cleaning up the dishes from one meal when 1 of my sons (if not 2 or all 3 of them!) comes into the kitchen announcing that they need a snack. 🙂 I, seriously, hope that I can find a job earning 6 figures when they’re all teenagers in about 10 years. I can’t even fathom how much food they’ll consume then. ha!

For the past year, I’ve been trying to boost their protein intake so that their growing bodies will be satiated for longer than a half hour. ha! 🙂 I saw the Breakfast Power Muffins recipe on my friend Lorie’s FB page. Lorie, thank you for this recipe!!! This recipe is a hit with EVERYONE in the Mosley household! The boys love the chocolate chips, and my husband and I enjoy that the peanut butter, flax seed and oats help us stay full until lunch! 🙂

The original recipe makes a dozen. From the get go, I started doubling the recipe. These days, doubling the recipe meant we had muffins for about 2 mornings before it was time for me to make more. Last week, I quadrupled the original recipe and ended up with almost 6 dozen! YAY! This batch has lasted us an entire week! Here’s a picture of 4 dozen muffins cooling in the kitchen! I cooked the next 2 dozens the following day.

To freeze:Place individual muffins on a cookie sheet. Cram as many of the muffins as possible on there! Try not to let them touch each other, though. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for a couple of hours. Once frozen throw into a Ziploc bag and keep in your freezer. When you’re ready for muffins, pull out as many as you’d like and enjoy! If I pull some out and place them in our “Muffin Box” (see the teal container in the bottom right hand corner?!?!?) before bedtime, they are fully thawed and delicious at breakfast the next morning. 🙂 By freezing with this method, the muffins are allowed to individually freeze. If you throw them in the Ziploc skipping the cookie sheet step, they will freeze in one big glob and will need chiseling tools to break them apart.

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Breakfast Power Muffins
hearty, healthy, stick-with-you, yummy breakfast

2 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 cup brown sugar (I don’t pack it)

1 cup peanut butter

2 bananas

1 cup of apple sauce or carrot puree

2 eggs

2/3 cup milk

2/3 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/4 to 1/2 cup milled flax seed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients and set aside. Blend everything else and then mix in dry ingredients. Spray muffin tray. Bake for 15-18 min. Makes 24 muffins .  This recipe is easily doubles with no extra effort.  Eat 1 dozen muffins now and freeze 3 dozen muffins for later.

How the Mosleys tackle our CC Presentations

21 Sep

I love that my boys are responsible for a weekly Presentation with Classical Conversations. When I first found out that this was a weekly requirement, I was a nervous wreck . My knees were shaking, and with fear and trepidation, I broke the news to my oldest 2 boys: “You will have to do a 2-3 minute presentation each week in CC.” I braced myself for weeping and gnashing of teeth coming forth from the bodies of 2 young Mosley men. However, they replied, “Okay!” and quickly started telling me about everything they wanted to share in class. Whoa! I was not prepared for that! With 2 weeks of CC under our belts, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at their eagerness to do the Presentations. There have been some instances of weeping and gnashing of teeth, though, lest you think I have perfectly compliant, eager-beaver students. Practicing in preparation for Mondays and getting them reined in to focus on only ONE topic each week has been, well, challenging an opportunity of growth and character development for all (including Momma!) in the Mosley home. 🙂

I thought it might be helpful to see how we’ve been putting together our presentations. We just finished our work on Presentation #3, and this system seems to be working. So, we’re going with it! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right??!?!?

The beloved, folded paper


A fellow tutor from our Community gave me this idea. She said that it worked well for her 6 year old last year, so I thought we’d try it our first week. It’s really helped my boys, who are ages 5 and 7, so we’re sticking to it. 🙂

Fold a sheet of paper in half, hot dog style, and then fold it into thirds. When you open it, you’ll have 6 rectangles. My boys use the first rectangle for their Introduction. “My name is John Martin. Today, I will tell you about my favorite Greek god, Ares.” (Ares, is the god of war. Any question as to why this is my son’s favorite?!?!?) The last square my boys use for the Conclusion. They usually draw a ? in the rectangle to remind them to ask questions. The Conclusion is when they show any visual aid(s) to the class that they’ve brought. John Martin drew a picture of Ares to show to his classmates for Monday. (“This is a picture that I drew of Ares, and I wanted to show it to you. This concludes my presentation on Ares. Are there any questions?”).

The next task is to figure out how to fill in the remaining 4 rectangles. For my 5 year old, I let him draw pictures of what he wants to tell his classmates. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how his drawings jog his little mind regarding what he is going to say. 🙂 He’s so proud of his work! (If I could only get him to slow down as he presents it! ha!)

For my 7 year old, we go into greater detail with this step. His tutor encourages the children in his class to speak for 2 minutes. My husband said that John Martin’s first presentation was 30 seconds, so we had to bulk it up for week 2. Here’s what we did.

When all else fails, the dry erase board is my best friend
For my 7 year old, I draw the 6-rectangled grid on the dry erase board for him as seen above. I fill in the Introduction and Conclusion rectangles for him. I, then, help him try to summarize the information that he wants to convey into the remaining 4 squares. He’s 7, so I help him come up with the categories. I write one in each rectangle, and then, he tells me what he wants to tell his classmates about those particular categories. I will plug in the information into the rectangle, and we repeat this until we’re finished with all four. I, then, have him practice his presentation based on the information on the dry erase board. This lets me see if it’s an appropriate length of time, and it allows him to see if there is additional information he would like to include. Here’s what our completed dry erase board looked like today.

He, then, transfers the information to his 6-rectangled sheet of paper in a way that is memorable to him. I’ve been surprised as the “systems” he comes up with to remember the information. He usually puts the first letter of each piece of information, and he remembers the information from that. I never would’ve thought of that! Here’s what his beloved piece of paper looked like completed.

Presentation Prep Thursdays
As a parent, the other side of the Presentations has been trying to determine when to work “Presentation Prep” into our week. I hate putting things off to the last minute; I turn into a Stress Monster. Everyone in my home doesn’t like the Stress Monster (neither do I, for that matter!). I also hate doing school work over the weekend, so my goal has been to figure out a time in our weekly rhythm of school to incorporate Presentation Prep. My goal each week is to do this on Thursday. This is a day that we’re usually home, and I like it because it gives me time before the weekend to have the boys practice their Presentation. The nightmare in the back of my mind has been that I would put this off until Sunday and then scrambling to help them get their Presentations together. Remember the Stress Monster? He would definitely be appearing if I did this. Some folks can do that (I’m secretly envious!), but I can’t. 😦 Working on the Presentations mid-week has worked well for us the past 3 weeks, so I think we’ll keep with that system. 🙂 It’s also worked nicely on Sunday nights for a quick review before CC on Monday morning. We tell the boys to get out their Presentation Papers, do a quick run through before the family, and they’re good to go!

Hope this helps! Anyone have any Presentation Prep ideas! I would LOVE to hear them! 🙂

Cycle 1, Week 2 tips–Skip counting, 5 kingdoms & adultery?

18 Sep

I’m sure THIS blog post title got your attention! First, we’ll tackle skip counting, 5 kingdoms..then, adultery?!?!? Yes, I’ll explain!

Counting by 3s and 4s
We have used Saxon Math since day 1 of our homeschooling adventure. I love Saxon Math! I know it’s not for everyone, but I love the cyclical approach it takes with concepts. I also love the strategies that Saxon uses to teach and explain the concepts. Saxon incorporates skip counting for 3s and 4s. Here’s how they do it:
3s-Pat your lap twice, followed by a clap. Every time you clap, you will be saying a multiple of 3, and thus, counting by 3. They encourage the child to silently say “1, 2” while patting the lap twice and SHOUTING “3” with the clap. Repeat until you reach 36.
4s-Touch your feet, knees, waist and head. Encourage your child to silently say “1, 2, 3” while touching his/her feet, knees and waist followed by a SHOUT of  “4” when he/she touches the head. Repeat until you get to 48.

Also, these Skip Counting Mazes look soooooooo fun! I’m hoping to try these with my sons. 🙂

The 5 Kingdoms of Living Things
The 5 kingdoms of living things can easily be sung to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” My kiddos enjoyed this so much in class! You can also trace your child’s hand and write the 5 kindoms on each finger and make a 5 Kingdoms of Living Things puppet to use while reviewing.

Adultery–How do I explain this to children as we memorize the 10 commandments?
GREAT QUESTION! I teach 3 and 4 year olds in Sunday School at our church. Our curriculum alternates between 1 year of the Old Testament and 1 year of the New Testament.

We just finished the Old Testament series last month. Of course, the story of the 10 Commandments was one of the lessons. The week that we taught the 10 Commandments was my week to teach (of course!), a co-teacher and I alternate teaching. I immediately thought of commandment number 7 and how in the world I would explain it to 3 and 4 year olds. I was a nervous wreck; my stomach was in knots. Thankfully, the Lord graciously gave me words as I talked with the kiddos! Commandment number 8 says, “Do not steal.” So, when we talked about Commandment number 7, I simply told the kiddos that it means that a person is not supposed to steal someone else’s husband or wife if he/she is married. I never even used the word “adultery.” I asked them if we’re supposed to steal. They screamed, “NO!” in response, so I followed that question up with, “Does God want us to steal someone else’s husband or wife if they’re married?” Again, a resounding, “NO!” And…that was the end of that! They understood it, no further questions were asked, and we moved on to Commandment 9. Whew! Untangled knots in my stomach. 🙂

Enjoy your week 2 Memory Work! I hope these small tips are helpful! What are you doing for Week 2?!?! Also, if you’d like to see more Cycle 1, Week 2 resources click the link below to Half a Hundred Acre Wood Classical Conversations Link-up…

Classical Conversations Weekly Link-Up

Cycle 1, Week 2

17 Sep

We had our 2nd week of CC today! Another great day!

Here are some of the things we’re HOPING to do this week. We’ll be visiting grandparents part of the week. These are the target I’ll be aiming at but not sure how many of these we’ll accomplish. 🙂 Grace-filled living here @ Suzanne Shares. 🙂

Bible for Timeline and Geography Memory Work
I’ll be using the Biblical references from And Here We Go. She’s got Scripture references to coincide with the Timeline Cards as well as the Geography. I love ALL of her suggestions for CC; I’m thankful to have found her blog. 🙂

Science
There’s a GREAT lapbook on Homeschool Share for Animal Classification. It goes over Week 1 Science. There’s nothing exactly for Week 2, but we didn’t get to this last week and will do that piece this week. We’ll use it the next several weeks as it goes into Vertebrates and Invertebrates, classification of those and specific info about each one (Mammals, Birds, Mollusks, etc.).

If you’ve NOT heard of Homeschool Share, you must go there now! WOW! Amazing lapbooks on specific books, different concepts, etc. and everything’s FREE! I just noticed they have an Ancient Egypt lapbook when on the site today. This would be great to use now, too.

History Sentence
We’re making a “History Notebook” of sorts. I wanted my boys to illustrate the History Sentences each week as a means of review and giving us the opportunity to talk more in depth about them. We did this last week and will do it again this week. I reviewed the OiLs, basic elements of shape, with them before I let them draw. I encouraged them to use OiLs as they drew (not sure that they did this so much…but you do what you can, you know?). If you’re on CC Connected, some wonderful person typed out the statements for all 24 weeks and included a huge box for the child to use to draw it. I printed these out, and we’re using those. If you don’t have them, you could simply do this on a blank sheet of paper. If your child needs extra handwriting practice, have he/she write the statement and then illustrate it.

History Reading
If you haven’t picked up on it yet, my family is filled with book junkies! We LOVE books around here, so we plan to read, read, read! I brought many of these along on the trip! We can’t get enough of a good book!

  • The Golden Goblet– We started this last week and are REALLY enjoying it! The mystery surrounding Ranofer, who’s working for a goldsmith in Ancient Egypt, and his evil half brother, Gebu is captivating my boys!
  • Story of the World-We’ll keep reading the corresponding chapters from here. And Here We Go has SOTW and Week 2 matched up on her site.
  • Pyramid by David Macaulay-This book is a delight for the eyes! Macaulay’s pen and ink drawings of the pyramids are breathtaking, realistic and mesmerizing. He created a fictional story about a pharoah building a pyramid to accompany the exquisite drawings. Our library had the accompanying DVD, which was shown on PBS, so we got it as well. Excited about this book!

  • You Wouldn’t Want to be a Pyramid Builder: A Hazardous Job You’d Rather Not Have-My boys (and their momma!) love this series!  Last week, we read the one based on Sumer (You Wouldn’t Want to be a Sumerian Slave) to coincide with the Geography Week 1 Memory Work. This series highlights different eras of ancient history in a fun, kids-can-grasp-easily way.

Crafts-Mummify an apple
I get a homeschool magazine in the mail on occasion. I can’t remember its name, but I do remember that I never subscribed to it. I’m not sure HOW I ened up receiving it, but it’s an enjoyable AND free! No complaints here!

Last month there was a small section on Ancient Egypt, and I noticed it mentioned mummifying an apple. Not only do we have oodles of pears at our house, but we also have a supply of apples from our apple tree. I ripped out the article to use with our ancient history studies with CC. I think we’re going to try it this week. I brought the article with me to type out the instructions, but alas, it’s lost! I found this article online, and these are the same instructions. This is MY kind of craft…little prep time, simple instructions, simple to complete but what appears to be a HUGE impact after the apple’s mummified. Can’t wait to try this!

I hope that each of you have a fun Week 2 @ home! What are you doing for Week 2 at your house?!!? Please share with us! 🙂 Also, check out the Cycle 1, Week 2 link ups here…

Classical Conversations Weekly Link-Up

Children’s Bibles that we LOVE

15 Sep

I remember the quest to find a children’s Bible when John Martin was about 6 months old. WOW! So many choices! We stumbled upon a GREAT one, The Big Picture Story Bible, at the time, and we’ve stumbled upon 3 other great ones. I wrote all of the information for a college friend, and thought to myself, “I should post this on my blog to share with others.”  Again, I remember how hard the decision was when we were searching, and we couldn’t find anyone to suggest one for us. So, if you’re like we were, I’m writing this note just for you! These 4 Bibles have TRULY impacted our family and our sons’ lives. We are GRATEFUL for that and just HAD to share!!!

The Big Picture Story Bible (Book with CD)
It gives you the “BIG PICTURE” of God’s story, His plan of redemption from the very beginning, with Christ Himself shown as God’s plan! It doesn’t have every Bible story, but it highlights those that show His BIG PICTURE plan. We are using this now with our youngest (2 1/2 years old). Our “big boys,” who are 5 and 7, still enjoy hearing it as well. They now have an accompanying CD with it. We LOVE having the Bible on CD for our boys! We let them listen to it during rest time. Suggested ages: Perfect for babies and up.

The Jesus Storybook Bible
Okay…it’s AMAZING! I LOVE reading it myself. Oh, and I love reading it to my boys, too. It talks of Jesus being our RESCUER and it builds on that theme throughout every story. It’s like the BIG PICTURE STORY BIBLE in that it gives the BIG PICTURE of God’s redemption plan. It wonderfully highlights the gospel; I almost cry my eyes out when reading it. We got this right before our oldest son turned 3, and we have used it frequently with him and our second son. This is a great option for 3 and up. They also have a new curriculum that goes with it, The Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum Kit Handouts, New Testament. I’ve not used it, but if it’s anything like the Bible, it is excellent. In our church plant, we have also recommended it for those who have come to faith later in life and are needing an overview of the story of the Bible. Suggested ages: 3 and up
The Word & Song Bible
After reading Noel Piper’s book, Treasuring God in Our Traditions (which is a WONDERFUL book on instilling traditions within your family that evidence to our kids that we treasure JESUS!), she talked about how their family had “Bible time” with their daughter from an early age. When she couldn’t read, she would use the Bible with read-a-long tapes. They wanted to instill in their kids from early on the importance of daily time in God’s Word. I LOVED that idea,  so, I was on a MAD SEARCH for THREE years to find a kids Bible with CD or tapes that our boys could use to “read-a-long.” A friend told us about The Word & Song Bible. This Bible has a summary and song about each book of the Bible, and the audio is on the CD so that our boys can follow along! The readings are dramatized, so it’s FUN and action-packed–not like an adult “book-on-tape.” Our boys are auditory learners, so they SOAKED this up. Our oldest, at age 3 when we first got this, would walk around quoting different “stories” from the books, impersonating the characters, and singing the songs. The BUMMER is that this is out of print. However, I’ve linked it above to some used copies on Amazon. Definitely buy the cds or tapes! Suggested ages: The Bible is probably more for school age kiddos, but the audio component can be used at any age.

The Child’s Story Bible
Two dear friends, both unsolicited, recommended this Bible to me on the same day. I thought, “Hmm, I should check it out.” I’m thankful that I did! At the time, our oldest son was almost 6, and we were looking for a Children’s Bible that included more of the Bible’s content in a storybook format. We enjoyed with him the previous Bibles mentioned, but we were ready for the “next level.” This Bible does just that. It goes into greater depth and detail with stories that are often omitted in children’s Bibles. I appreciate that about it, and it does so in a manner appropriate for children. My boys have now been introduced to the stories of Achan, Rahab, Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phineas, some of the “lesser known” Bible characters. However these stories have resonated with them and given our family wonderful fodder for conversations about God, obedience to God, the reality of sin, and our need for Christ. We enjoy reading it together at breakfast for what our boys call “Bible time.” 🙂 Suggested ages: 4 and up.

I hope these are helpful resources as you seek to teach your children to know and love God!