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Showing posts from January, 2012

Science Sunday ~ Yummy Fermentation

Dawson has been working on a fermentation experiment for the past 10 days. I have often received the ziplock bag from a neighbor with an alcohol-smelling concoction and a 10 day plan for turning it into Amish Friendship Bread. We usually save a cup of the start, giving the remainder away to friends (thus the FRIENDSHIP part of the bread), and keep it going for a couple of rounds. But then we either get tired of it or accidentally miss a day or two of the instructions, so end up throwing it away. And then later I will get a hankerin' for some Amish Friendship Bread, but no start to start it with. Enter the Fermentation Experiment . We found a recipe for the Amish Friendship Bread Starter . The purpose of this recipe is to get the proper fermentation going to successfully bake the bread. The " fermentation of sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide by yeast ... is the fundamental step to making bread dough. Before most bread doughs get baked, they require time to rise. Thi

Weekly Wrap-up ~ All About ...

... Dogs Brynne's week has been all about studying the Download-n-Go Dog unit we purchased from Amanda Bennett . We have had fun learning about Labrador Retrievers (or "Lavender" Retrievers, as she calls them), German Shepherds, English Springer Spaniels, and Newfoundlands. She has read non-fiction books about each of the breeds, and a fictional book, as well, and watched a couple of movies . <A HREF=""> Widgets</A> She did four spelling words each day, about dogs, and then orally gave me each word in a sentence. She h


Eli's reading resource teacher shared a website with me yesterday that I would like to pass along. It's called ABCya . There are separate educational sections with fantastic games for ages kindergarten through 5th grade. I browsed the 2nd grade level, and it includes age-appropriate games about Letters, Numbers, Shapes, Geometry, Patterns, Mouse Manipulation, Art and Holiday games. There are lots and lots of fun and creative games for children to play. They are fun, but oh, so educational. Eli's favorite, in his short time playing it, was Create a Car . A lot of the games also have Apps available for purchase (99 cents for most of them) for the iPad and iPhone. I have been looking for another free website for games similar to Starfall , for some time. I think I have found it. I can feel confident having Eli and Brynne play these games.

A Tribute to a Teacher

In high school, I had a favorite teacher. I don't think she was probably everybody's favorite teacher. But, she was mine. She was my Junior and Senior English teacher, my Speech and Debate coach my Senior year, and my pom pon sponsor. I like to think that my pet peeves about grammatical errors have everything to do with this teacher. She was a stickler for grammar, and taught me well. Her name was Louise Rhondes, and she passed away this past week. What made Mrs. Rhodes such a good teacher? PASSION. Mrs. Rhodes had passion for what she taught. She loved grammar and literature and public speaking. She ate and breathed Speech and Debate. She loved it! Her love for her subjects was always contagious to me. She was bold and had high expectations. A couple of times over the past couple of years, I have been asked to give the devotional at my childhood church's Mother Daughter Banquet. Mrs. Rhodes and my mom were in the same Methodist women's circle. Mrs. Rhodes l

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Did You Know?

Did you know ... that when you have the public school 2nd grade teacher who was named "Teacher of the Year", who is super fun and energetic and encouraging, that Homeschool seems "kinda boring"? On Monday night Eli had a meltdown about going back to school on Tuesday. In fact, it was so serious that he was having trouble breathing and we had to break out a paper bag for him. It was so strange! Because he was up so late, I kept him home from school on Tuesday. I copied all of Brynne's work and he did a real day of Homeschool with us. It just so happened that this day was the one where I leave for a couple of hours over lunch to go to a Bible study with a friend, so the day was pretty light. At the end of the day I asked Eli what he thought of Homeschooling. He said, "Well, it's kinda boring." He wanted to go back to school on Wednesday, so he did. Honestly, his teacher is that great! I have told her that if she would follow him through completion

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Lessons Learned

We had another excellent and very productive week with great attitudes ... well, almost . We were away from home on Monday, had book school at home from Tuesday through Thursday, and then were off school today (and again Monday) because the public schools are off again. (Didn't we just come off a two-week Christmas break?) I should have never told Dawson and Brynne we were going to be off school again, because by Thursday they were checking out already. We made it through, though, and here's what we did. Monday Because the public schools were going to be out, we were unable to use our Co-op facility today because the church has a daycare that meets there on school breaks. Follow that? Anyway, we made up our regular Co-op day on Monday. Brynne had Choir and P.E., and Dawson volunteered with the P.E. teacher.  Afterwards we grabbed lunch and went to the zoo. The temps were in the low 50's that day, and they have $1 admission on Mondays in January and February. We have

Giveaway at Taulman Times

I currently have a Giveaway happening over at my regular blog, Taulman Times, for a chance to win a prize pack from Lemi Shine (one of my favorite products from 2011). If you would like to enter for a chance to win, you can post a comment by clicking here . The giveaway ends Sunday at midnight. Good luck!

Louis Pasteur Anyone? ~ I Need Your Help!

In learning about Fermentation today, Dawson really got into Louis Pasteur and said that he thought he was really cool. Of course, as a homeschool mom, my thought was, "Well, then let's not move forward and, instead, study him some more." I mean, if your child shows an interest in something, especially a microbiologist, don't you just want to park there for a while? But, I don't have any direction on a lesson plan. DOES ANYONE HAVE A GREAT LESSON PLAN ON LOUIS PASTEUR , OR IDEAS FOR HOW I COULD BUILD ONE? I do not want to waste this awesome opportunity.

Read a Little of This and That

There are some good articles out there in the world-wide web this week. If you have a moment, check them out ... Simple Homeschool by Jamie Martin has several linked articles about how preparing high school students for college is ruining high school for them. And, Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers has her Homeschool Showcase up for this month. Good reads!

Study America Saturday ~ C-SPAN Classroom

Next year, for Dawson's 10th grade year, he will be studying Current Events and American Government . With the presidential election in November, these topics will be soooo relevant! Sadly, I do not know near as much about the election process as I should. I have never understood why we don't just count each person's vote and the candidate with the most votes wins. What the heck is the Iowa Caucus, and electoral votes .... huh??? Several months ago I came across C-SPAN Classroom . It all started with a forwarded e-mail about requesting a free electoral college map poster. YOU CAN STILL GET YOUR COPY BY CLICKING HERE ! The website has constitutional clips, lesson plans, and so much more. It sparked my interest about teaching Current Events even more when I went to the site and realized that there is a companion website called  C-SPAN Classroom Deliberations that "engages students in classroom deliberations about current issues being debated in Congress."

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Three Out of Four Ain't Bad

It was a great back to school week for three out of my four kids. One, not so much. We only had two days of book school in homeschooling this week, because we started back on Wednesday and then had Co-op today. But the two days we were home doing school were probably the best two days we have had all year!  Dawson ~ 9th Grade Dawson started learning about The Civil War by watching Episode 5 of America: The Story of Us . He did the episode questions and vocabulary, and then we started our current Civil War read-a-loud of The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick. We were planning on reading The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, but it was another heavy reading and after Uncle Tom's Cabin , I was feeling doubtful as to Dawson's excitement level, especially when coming off a long break. I had checked it out a couple of weeks ago (it came in quicker than I thought) and it was already due to be returned the day we started back to school. There was a

If Every Day Could Be Like This

I have to admit, I was dreading starting back to school today. I thoroughly enjoyed our two week break, and I know the kids did, too. We enjoyed sleeping in late, sitting in bed drinking coffee (me, not the kids), playing video games in our pjs (the kids, not me), and leisurely going about our days. This morning when the alarm went off at 6 a.m., it actually scared me! I woke up wondering what the heck it was! But, I drug myself up, had my quiet time, went for a walk, came home and showered and got ready for the day, and just got right to it. Eli DID NOT want to go back to school. In fact, he cried and I had to walk him in to his class. I thought, "Uh oh. This day is going to be tough." But, when I got home, Dawson immediately came downstairs and was ready to get started. And he kicked it all day! We started reading our current read-a-loud, then he watched the next episode of his history dvd. He answered the questions and did vocabulary. Then he went upstairs and did

First Semester Wrap-up

Happy New Year!! Our Side of the Mountain posted a mid-year summary that I thought was inspiring. It was nice to be able to see the exact progress of the first semester of school, as well as state some second semester goals. I told her I was going to copy this great idea. So, here goes ... Dawson ~ 9th Grade Algebra: Life of Fred Beginning Algebra finished Lesson 49 of 108 Grammar: Easy Grammar finished Lesson 44 of 180 Critical Thinking: Reading Detective, Beginning finished Page 61 of 146 Typing: Good Typing did about 15 minutes, twice a week Writing: Institute of Excellence in Writing, U.S. History Supplement finished Lesson 10 and extra Thanksgiving poem History: America: The Story of Us finished Lessons 4 of 12  the First Settlers Boston Massacre Boston Tea Party Paul Revere Valley Forge The Declaration of Independence Westward Expansion Lewis and Clark Pioneers Gold Rush Alamo Trail of Tears The Erie Canal Slavery Underground Railroad (spent extra time on the Westward