Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Math Fun

Earthgirl and I finished up our math curriculum, Math-U-See Gamma, and just ordered the next one, Delta. We love this math curriculum. As I was looking up the Math-U-See website, I ran across a fun site I had bookmarked awhile back.

Classic Math Mistakes had Pluto Boy and me laughing snorty gee- laughs. Yes, at one time or another we have made most of those mistakes. This morning, Earthgirl looked with me at the posters, and recognized some of the mistakes. She knew, for example, that 3.1 hours is not 3 hours and 10 mintutes, and we talked through how long 3.1 hours actually is (Do you know?). She also loved "1 X 1 = 2" and "7 x 0 = 0." She just made that last mistake twice on one page, much to her chagrin. Of course, the algebra is still mostly above her. Back in college, my Strengths of Materials prof used me as a humorous example, because I had done a complicated problem correctly, except that I missed the answer because I said that 3 X 2 = 5. (It was OK; he ragged everybody over their mistakes, so there was no offense, or maybe equal offense?) Well, it's a good thing I am not designing bridges.

Under the tabs at top, take a look at Freebies, and then "The REAL Maths problems posters." More snorty geek-laughs. What a fun teacher Mr. Hopley must be.

Isn't it interesting that we say "Math" and in UK they say "Maths?" Just yesterday, Earthgirl pointed out in her reader that the text referenced "a woods." We more often say, "the woods," or maybe "a wood," or "a wooded area."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Passing on Skills

This Singer sewing machine is a little older than I am. Mama made my baby clothes on it before I was born. Now I'm SLOWLY introducing Earthgirl to it. She is eager to make a bunch of clothes.

Friday, April 17, 2009

24 Years

April 1985

April 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Listen, my children and you shall hear...

This Saturday marks the 234th anniversary of Paul Revere's ride. I know I posted awhile back about Homeschool Freebie website, but tomorrow's resource sounded so good that I want to bring it back up.

Tomorrow's resource, which they plan to leave available through the weekend, includes 2 MP3 dramas and 2 pdf files., and sounds really good. K-Sue says, "Check it out!"

While My Computer Was at the Spa

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sometimes I need to be reminded...

“Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength”

- Charles H. Spurgeon

“Pray, and let God worry”
- Martin Luther
"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Matthew 6:33-34

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dogtrot Library and Book Recommendations

While I was busy growing up in the 60's and 70's, my home county in Georgia was busy preserving our history. A big, almost derelict house was returned to its first role as a stagecoach inn, a whole village was created with 19th century homes and buildings, and houses from the early 1800's, both occupied and unoccupied, were marked with little signs so visitors could identify the antique residences. And from the farm neighboring our family farm, a dogtrot log cabin was disassembled, each piece numbered, and reassembled in town, right beside the stagecoach inn's gardens. It became our local library.

It was a magical place. You walked up the wide steps to the center dogtrot, entered the right side for children's books; the left side for grown-up books. The librarian, a retired elementary teacher who had taught my brother and me as well as my father, had her desk on the children's side. In those days, I don't remember signs warning, "No shirt, no shoes, no service," and in the summer we were as likely to arrive barefooted as not.

There I met the Boxcar Children, and solved mysteries with the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. There I roamed the Secret Garden and suffered with the Little Princess. There, with Johnny Tremain, I sought liberty. I met the Little Women from the shelf at the back of my 5th grade classroom, but read their story again and again over the next few years from the Library copy. You could look at the library card inserted in its pasted-in holder at the back of the book and see who had checked out the book before. One older boy, a big-time reader, was a good gauge for me. The best books he checked out mulitple times. (With privacy concerns being what they are, I'm sure this would never fly today.)

Recently I remembered a favorite author from those days, Phyllis A Whitney, and her juvenile mysteries. Now we are reading one of them, Earthgirl and I, and I recommend them for the 8-14 set. (I make this recommendation without having read or reread all the books, so take it as a light recommendation.) The author, a U.S citizen, was born in the orient. Her books usually feature children 11-13 years old, and are full of geographical and historical facts. I remember one book set in Capetown, South Africa, one set in the Isle of Skye, and one in San Francisco. I always learned new things in these books. From the one set in San Francisco (I think it was Mystery of the Green Cat) I learned the word "occidental." In the one set in South Africa I learned about, well, South Africa. I read all the ones at our library. Looking at her website now, I learn she wrote 20 altogether. I have not read all these books, but enjoyed the ones I did read. I'd be interested to know if anyone else read some of these. Ms. Whitney also wrote for adults, but I am not very familiar with those books.

We go to our beautiful big library in our town now. One row of shelves contains as many books as there were in the whole of my childhood library, and I love it. But I am nostalgic for the log walls, the little rooms, sitting on the steps in the breezeway, the scale of the place, where I could soak up every word in the room.

Dogtrot Library Summer 2008. This building is not being used as a library now.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

He is Risen!!!

He is risen indeed!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

From a Friend's House

Feeling in shop...hope it comes home soon...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April is National Poetry Month

GottaBook: Announcing 30 Poets/30 Days!

April is National Poetry Month. This month, Gregory K. over at Gottabook is presenting us with 30 new poems for children, many by poets we enjoy, including:

Arnold Adoff, Jaime Adoff, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Douglas Florian, Betsy Franco, Kristine O'Connell George, Charles Ghigna, Nikki Giovanni, Joan Bransfield Graham, Nikki Grimes, Avis Harley, Mary Ann Hoberman, Lee Bennett Hopkins, X. J. Kennedy, Bruce Lansky, Julie Larios, J. Patrick Lewis, Pat Mora, Kenn Nesbitt, Linda Sue Park, Ann Whitford Paul, Gregory K. Pincus, Jack Prelutsky, Adam Rex, Jon Scieszka, Joyce Sidman, Marilyn Singer, April Halprin Wayland, Janet Wong, and Jane Yolen. Credit where credit is due: Yes, I copied this list directly off his post of March 23.

I loved today's poem, "Midnight Stray", by Rebecca Kai Dotlich. "...who wore a grayish tattered ear--" What an evocative line. Earthgirl and I are going to check in with them daily this month.

So -- in honor of National Poetry month, when even the non-talented are encouraged to write poems, I present a little Haiku.

Tea Olive struggles
He sleeps and purs in my mulch
See? My potted cat

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Brake for Spring Break

It's Spring Break in our county. Homeschoolers can make their own Spring Break, but I have found it just works best for our family to break along with the school system. Earthgirl and I took off for Sea World Monday, and found it really crowded. We saw the Dolphin Show, fed a few dolphins, laughed at Clyde and Seamore, and left after 3 hours. We'll take advantage of our annual passes on a less-busy day.

Yesterday Earthgirl got to play and swim with friends (no picture), and today we had sisters over. They have played all day.

We did an art project from one of my favorite sites. After we finished, I looked back at the project and realized it was tagged for 4th and 5th graders. As I said in my comment there, the older 3rd-grader really caught on. The younger 3rd-grader (Earthgirl) was frustrated with the tracing. The first grader wandered off to play Barbies while her sister finished her coloring.

But still they loved the project.

But mostly they loved being together.

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