Thursday, May 22, 2014

Good Advice

Been too busy to blog....and now Zeke has ringworm.  Sigh.  You think we can make it through unscathed?

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Great Spring Edible Wild Food Hunt

I've been quite interested in eating wild plants that grow.  Everyone knows that you can eat dandelions, but aside from that, my knowledge is pretty limited.

I got an amazing book from our library, and immediately purchased a copy from Amazon.  The Forager's Harvest.

This book totally rocks, and if you are in the upper Midwest, is the one you want.  I recognized just about every plant in this book where I grew up.

The kids and I will be going on an excursion back to my parent's house at the end of May to have edible wild food week with my dad.  Ava is even going to get to miss school for it.  (Next year we won't have to worry about that because she will be homeschooled and we can do it for science!)

Remember how in The Hunger Games, Katniss stayed alive by eating wild plants, well, here you go.  This book is excellent because it has actual pictures, not drawings to help you identify.  And the author Samuel Thayer, goes into lots of details about how and what parts of the plant to eat.

A fun spring/summer experiment for anyone to do with their kids.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Honest Slogans

The following are hilarious.  I tried to just download a couple, but you get the whole shebang. They are "honest slogans".  My favorite is the WebMD one.  (Way down near the bottom)

A fresh batch of Honest Slogans

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Why We Abandon Reading Books

Goodreads came up with this nifty little chart on why we abandon reading certain books.  It's kind of long so you will have to scroll awhile to see the whole thing.  But interesting.  And I am all for abandoning a book, if you've spent enough time on it.  I'm looking at you The Goldfinch.  It got such amazing reviews, and it was awful.  As one person on amazon posted, "You'd think The Goldfinch was good if you thought Gone Girl was good."  Enough said.  That was another crappy book.  Don't waste your time on either of them.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wendy's Frosty DIY

I found this on pinterest the other day.  A knock-off Wendy's frosty.  You better believe this will be made and made and made again at our house.  We have a serious addiction.

Low-Fat Copycat Wendy’s Frosty - 4 ingredients & a blender is all you need for this spot-on, lighter version of the real thing!
Get the recipe here.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Owen's Second Grade Curriculum

I finally wrapped up all the stuff Owen will need for 2nd grade.  And I am feeling pretty good about it!  Here's what he will do.

Math:  Horizons grade 2

Horizon Math 2 Student Book 2
Truthfully, he's already doing this now. But we'll take a short break before we start up school again, so he'll just pick up where he left off.  It's considered advanced, and I believe it.  He does three pages a day, which equals out a lesson and a half.  (That's by his choice, he excels at math and loves it.)

Reading:  No formal program, just good books.  Hopefully, I'll post his list like Ava's soon.

Phonics:  Rod and Staff

Grade 2 Phonics Workbook Units 2,3
I wasn't originally going to do this, but it's so cheap, and consistently praised so we are going to give it a whirl.


Easy Grammar Grade 2 Workbook                                             -
Since we pulled Owen from public school in March, he has been using First Language Lessons of the Well Trained Mind.  I picked it because people raved about it all over the homeschool boards. After using it for 2 months, I literally want to poke myself in the eye.  Owen doesn't mind it, but if I have to teach using it again, well, let's just say that I'd rather not.

So we will be using Easy Grammar grade 2.  I did just attend a homeschool conference that highly stressed less is more, and that a formal study of grammar really doesn't even need to start until 4th-ish grade, but since he was already doing it, and seems to be good at it, we'll just keep going.  If life gets busy, then we'll drop it for now.


Wordly Wise 3000 Student Book Gr 2, 3rd Edition   -     By: Kenneth Hodkinson, Sandra Adams
This was a last minute addition.  I hadn't thought to do vocab. words with Owen, but I really like the format of this so we added it in.


Grade 2 Spelling Teachers Manual
Again, something new for us.  We started out using All About Spelling, which was basically praised so highly by everyone and their mother, that I thought we couldn't go wrong.  We liked level 1, which focused on teaching all the sounds the letters make at one time, and using tiles on a magnet board.  He finished that like lightning and we moved onto level 2.

I do not like it, Sam I am.  And here's why.  It gave so many rules about why we do things, that words I knew Owen already knew became complicated because he was constantly stopping and thinking about all the spelling rules that he had been taught.  Before, he would have just whipped it out.  I think he is a good instinctual speller, and all the explained rules are not helping him.  They are actually hindering his ability.  I was pretty bummed, because it's $40 per level.  I'll hold onto it for the babies when they come up, because I think it could be an excellent program if it fits the kid, but it just doesn't fit Owen.


Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day: Exploring Creation with Zoology 2  -     By: Jeannie Fulbright
    Exploring Creation with Zoology 2 Junior Notebooking Journal  -     By: Jeannie Fulbright

We are doing this right now too.  And Owen loves it!  It's a textbook that I read to him, and then we use the junior notebook journal for activities.  This series is done by Apologia.


Creation to the Resurrection, Volume 1, Second Editon: The Mystery of History Series  -     By: Linda Lacour Hobar
We're doing volume 1, from creation to Jesus' resurrection.  I am super excited about this because it teaches biblical history and teaches what was happening in the rest of the world at the same time!

Art & Music:

These are going to be pretty informal at this stage in the game.  We will be using Confessions of a Homeschooler's curriculum for both of these.  Found here.  We're leaning towards school Monday through Thursday, with Friday devoted to art and music and if the kids need additional practice with anything.

Science and history will be alternated for Owen during the week. Right now we are also doing Writing with Ease, and he won't finish it before this school year technically ends, so we may finish up level one when we start back up with second grade.

Our plan for right now is to finish this school year out, which for Ava still in public school, ends June 10th.  Then we'll take about a month off and start up again July 7th.  We are looking to homeschool  year round.  About 6 weeks on and then a week off with extra time around Christmas.

So there you have it, Owen's official-as-of-now curriculum.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Golden Boy

I came across this book the other day.

Golden Boy, is a story about an albino young boy living in Tanzania.  In the story he must run to save his life because Albinos are hunted in the belief that their body parts will bring the person who bears them good luck.

When Chris and I traveled to Uganda, we met with one Albino boy in a village out in the bush.  His poor skin was so sunburned and red.  Chris went up to him and made a huge point to spend time talking through translation and spending time with him, letting him know that he was special and loved.

There are only 15 reviews of this book on amazon, but ever single one of them is 5 stars.  I will be ordering this soon.  Ava will also be reading this for her 6th grade year.

And lest you think this a problem only in the past, please visit this article from National Geographic about the continuing problem of Tanzanian albinos being killed.  Since 2000, 72 Tanzanian albinos have been killed for their body parts.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Transport vs. Downing Tote

I love both of these bags.  Apparently, so does every other American woman judging by how many pins there are of each of these on Pinterest.


I gave you two images of the Downing Tote, because I was kind of meh about it by itself, but once I saw the tote in an image on a person, I liked it a lot.

I think I might lean a little more in favor of the Madewell.  They are both $168 full price.  Ouch. But the J. Crew tote often goes on sale at 30% off.  Which makes it only $117.  A lot more affordable. Apparently, the Madewell never goes on sale.  

I do like that the J. Crew seems to be a titch more structured.  And I really like the purse in the image with the girl and her weird baseball hat.  I am just trying to decide how I feel about the zigzag pattern on the J. Crew Downing Tote.  

What say you?  One over the other?

* See my updated review on the JCrew Downing Tote here