Friday, September 27, 2013

The Homeschool Mother's Journal: Random 5 on Friday (9/27)

September 27 Collage
1. Wii Fit anyone? Hannah's is showing Caleb it is easy!
2. The most needed thing in the house this week!
3 & 4. Notebooking 5. Caleb working on Bridgeway English
 (upcoming review).6. For some reason Delani is mesmerized
with this book. I laugh every time I see her with it.
6. My little cutie!!!
1. I hate sickness! Chantry started the weekend off with a cold and it immediately spread to over half of us. By Tuesday I came down with it. I think the Kleenex box was the most important thing in the house this week.

2. Fall also decided to arrive with a vengeance (probably why we are sick). Sun one day, windy, rainy and just plain nasty weather the next and everyday afterwards. Of course, in Oregon that means overcast mornings which make it hard to get up. I read this a line in my current fiction read, Daniel Plainway by Van Reid, which I think describes Oregon mornings quite well!
A hint of dawn shone through the single frosty pane this morning, with what Lydia considered to be a lack of conviction. p. 8  

3. Even with being sick we did make it through most of our school work this week. No, we weren't finished real early in the day, but by the time we went to bed we had it done. I was going to start up some writing this week, but decided that would be too much (for myself).
4. I have Chantry and Destini working on some notebooking. Destini is doing it in science (Chantry will be to when I finally get him started) and they are both doing it for our readings in A Child's Geography of the World by V.M. Hillyer. This is very basic--just a composition book for science and lined paper and miscellaneous pages I have found free online, but it is a start.
5. We finally got around to starting Composer Study. The kids got out their Home School in the Woods History Activity Pak - Composers that we had reviewed  and started looking for our composer, Franz Josef Haydn. They also dug into Story of the Orchestra and The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. They also filled in Homegrown Learners SQUILT form. I am always glad to see them dig into something on their own.

Senior Moment 4
Algebra II is proving to be a tough subject.
Perseverance and Dad's help will be the key!
(Everything written on that board is Greek to me!)
Homegrown Learners

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Family Vacation 2013

I have been really remiss in getting this posted, but since my blog is my kinda-sorta scrapbook I am still going to post it.

My parents came to visit and we took a small vacation. We took a day and went to Multnomah Falls and then a few days later we headed up to Seattle. Here are pictures of our time together.

Multnomah Falls Trip 2013
1. Multnomah Falls - It had been 8 years since we had been here and Delani's first time to every see it or climb to the top.
2. Here is the whole family at the bridge (shown in picture one).
3. My Mom & Dad.
4. Delani was declaring mutiny at this point. Someone was climbing down and told us we only had a couple more switchbacks and then we were at the top (they lied!).
5. Cue the music (think Rocky)--we made it to the top! I really found out just how out of shape I am.
Pike's Place Market
6. Pike's Place Market.
7. Original Starbucks (since I hate coffee I just took a picture).
8. The Fish Market where they throw the fish. This was fun to watch.
9. The flowers at the market were absolutely beautiful!
10. Here Caleb is tasting Turkish Delight. Since the kid's enjoy Narnia we had to get some to try. We picked the strawberry flavor. The kid's unanimously decided that Edmond was very foolish, since they didn't think Turkish Delight tasted that good.
11. Ewww, the gum wall! Yes, behind Chantry and Delani the wall is full of gum. We did not contribute since we don't chew gum.
12. Caleb with his papa.
Discovery Park/American Girl
13. Discovery Park (Let me tell you this a discovery just finding the place!). We had to walk down hill through the woods to get to the water.
14. Delani is raring to go.
15. We made it. (I never could figure out exactly what this body of water was called.)
16. Check out these large flowers that we found at Hobby Lobby.
17. Already for the American Girl Store.
18. Both girls had gifts cards that they had been saving since Christmas. Destini had saved up enough to purchase a new doll.
19. Sitting in the AG store is not fun for the guys!
20. Hello, Caroline!
21. When we were finished we headed down to the Lego store so the boys could do some shopping.
Not pictured: I was able to go to Half-Price Books. We don't have any of them down here in Oregon and this year I found two different stores to browse (and buy! You didn't think a homeschool mama could leave a bookstore without buy anything, did ya?)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Presidential Game (TOS Review)

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Have you or your kid's ever thought about what it takes to become President of the United States? We recently became acquainted with how to become the President when we received for review The Presidential Game.

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The Presidential Game is a game of strategy for two separate teams, one representing Democrats and the other Republicans, to see who can gain 270 of the 538 electoral votes. To begin the game you first pick the amount of weeks that you want to play. 30 weeks is the recommended amount, which will probably make your game around an hour long (though your first couple times playing may take longer.).
The way to gain electoral votes is through campaigning or fundraising. All of this is done through the rolling of the dice which gives you the number of your electoral votes for that turn. You then place your chips, which represent one vote, on your choice of states. If you choose to fundraise you also gain electoral votes and at the end of your turn you then pull a Politics card that can help you gain (or lose) votes.When your weeks are finished the team with 270 electoral votes or more are the winner.

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The kid's and I sat down to play one evening. I had read through the rules, but was having a hard time putting them into practice. I finally had to ask my husband, who was trying to write a sermon,  to come help and give us guidance and clarification. By trial and error we slowly began to figure it out. We kept score by using the WebMap Calculator, but you can also keep score on the score pad that comes with the game.
We had a successful first game and the only thing we did wrong was that we used 3 dice when we did fundraising instead of the recommended two. (I found this out from updated rules that are posted online here.) When we played this later it did make a difference since it was harder to fundraise with only two dice since the higher the numbers you roll the better your fundraising results will be.
Since the game calls for 2 or more players it was nice that two of the kids could sit down and play it by themselves. The game also is for ages 11 and up and my 11 year old had no problem at all understanding the concept of the game. Even my 5 year old was involved in playing by rolling the dice.
The Presidential Game does a great job of showing how the electoral college works and the wisdom our Founding Fathers had when they implemented it. It also gave insights into campaign strategies and how fundraising can affect an election. We also learned about the importance of the four key states--California, Texas, New York, and Florida to a campaign.
The icing on the cake of this whole game was the WebMap Calculator. You can use this to help keep score. It is a visual of how the whole election process is going. By tapping on the states you can turn them blue (Democrat) or red (Republican). It also keeps tracks of the electoral votes. You can use your computer, smartphone, or tablet. We did one game with our computer and then tried our iPad. At first it wouldn't work by using our finger, but when we used a stylus it worked beautifully.
The WebMap Calculator on the iPad.
The Presidential Game was not only an educational game, but it was fun. Yes, there was a slight learning curve to it, but once we got through that down we were off and running. I think my husband summed it up best when he said, "It's a keeper!"
The Presidential Game is available for $35.00.

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Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page

•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Strong Poison (The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries) by Dorothy Sayers

I got carried away with my teasers this week. I just couldn't stop at one!
"If anybody ever marries you, it will be for the pleasure of hearing you talk piffle," said Harriet, severely.
"A humiliating reason, but better than no reason at all." p. 104
I love how this is worded.
"There is something about wills which brings out the worst side of human nature. People who under ordinary circumstances are perfectly upright and amiable, go as curly as corkscrews and foam at the mouth, whenever they hear the words 'I devise and bequeath.' p. 181
Since I see a lot of similarities between Lord Peter Wimsey and Wodehouse's Wooster and Jeeves, I laughed when I read this. Lord Peter is talking to Bunter, his valet.

"Do you never overlook anything, Bunter?"
"I endeavor to give satisfaction, my lord."
"Well then, don't talk like Jeeves. It irritates me..." p.193

What's On Your Nightstand - September

{Contains affiliate links}
What's On Your Nightstand

For October:

From August's Nightstand I read:
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (review)
The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy Sayers - Another Lord Peter Wimsey story. Enjoyable.
Small Changes for a Better Life: Daily Steps to Living Gods Plan for You by Elizabeth George - I can't say anything she covered hasn't been covered in other books, but her books always make me think and show me areas in my life that I need to address.

I am currently reading:
Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lisa TerKeurst

I also read:
Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits (Austen Takes the South) by Mary Jane Hathaway - I couldn't sleep so I picked this book hoping for something to put me to sleep. Wrong! I ended up reading the whole book. This was a cute story, not the best writing, but it kept my interest.
Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers - I really enjoyed this story. Here are a few teasers.
Keys to High School Success: Get Your Homeschool High School Started Right! (Coffee Break Books) by Lee Binz - Enjoyable read if I can keep myself from being depressed that I haven't done half the things recommended for my current high schooler. Oh well, maybe for the next one.

I listened to:
Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie - Still working my way through Poirot mysteries.
The Mark of Zorro by Johnston McCulley - Loved this story! It is like Robin Hood being set down in Old California. Plenty of action and humor.
Sad Cypress: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) by Agatha Christie - Every once in while one of Christie's books stand out and this was one of them.
The Thirty-Nine Steps - John Buchan - Another fabulous story. If you like a good spy story check this one out.

I didn't read:
The Lemon Jelly Cake by Madeline Smith - This was on my September Nightstand. I just couldn't get into this book. I read over 70 pages and decided I had too many other books to read and chucked it.

See what others have read over at 5 Minutes for Books.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Homeschool Mother's Journal: Random 5 on Friday (9/20)

The Pebble Pond

PicMonkey Collage
1. New vacuum--the other one literally melted! 2. Wow! Under the
kitchen sink is actually clean. 3. Doing an art project at Co-op.
4. Some goodies Destini and I picked up at the Quilt show.
1. In my life this week...On Monday we ended up watching two children from our church due to their little brother having surgery to attach electrodes to his brain. Thankfully, my husband took the day off work and that was a blessing. Amazingly enough we even got a majority of homeschool work completed.
I also had to have my house in ready to the exterminator to come out to spray. They wanted the under the sink area in the kitchen and bathrooms all cleaned out. I did the kitchen and then just said forget it. Our problems with ants have never been under any sink. Caleb cleaned out under the kitchen sink for me and the whole time he just grossed out. It wasn't THAT bad, but you know kids!
2. In our homeschool this week…I think we have our routine going pretty well. I still haven't added in our art and music study. I also need to add in writing. That is my goal for next week.

3. Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…Speaking of art study--check out these Art Question Cards that Barb at Harmony Art Mom created. These are definitely becoming a part of our art study.
4. My favorite thing this week was…You have to love what kid's pipe up and say. Here are a few that had me laughing:
Destini was making brownies and while cracking the eggs Delani pipes up and says, "If one is raw throw it away."
Chantry and Caleb were attempting to take down their bunk beds. In the midst of this Delani decided that they needed Dad to come and help. This is what I overheard next:
Caleb: Why did you call Dad? We are doing fine.
Chantry: We are???
Chantry had just come downstairs whirling a drill at Delani. She started hollering, "Mom, Mom, he's trying to unscrew me!"
5. Places we’re going. . .Destini and I slipped away and headed to Portland to go to the NW Quilt Expo. We looked at all the quilts on display and then went through the vendor hall looking for a quilt project for Student Convention next year. This field trip will be filed under "Home Economics". 

Senior Moment 3

This is the heart and soul of my son. Being a help to his dad and
working hard to help us raise up a church.
(He is preparing door hangers for outreach.)

Homegrown Learners


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