Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
What exactly is a mnemonic? A mnemonic is a device that helps you remember something by associating what you are trying to remember with something you already know. Vocabulary Cartoons link together a rhyming word association with a visual picture in the form of a cartoon.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
When I found out I was chosen to be on the Homeschool Crew, I was very excited! I couldn't wait to see what kind of fun products we would get to try out. The children never thought we would get to review toys!
Description:Schleich Action Figures was founded in 1935, and their now popular figurines have been around since the 1950's and are now distributed in over 50 countries. They started out making popular comic figures such as the Smurfs, Snoopy, and the Muppets. Since he 1980's they expanded into the animal kingdom, dinosaurs, knights, pioneers, Indians, and the magical world of Bayala. In addition to the animals and people, they also have many buildings and accessories to go along with them. They design their products to make them as natural and realistic as possible. Since each one is hand painted they are all unique. They go above and beyond Global Safety Standards to ensure that their products will be safe for the children playing with them. There are 500 different figures available and the prices can range from around $2.29- $180.00 depending on what you buy.
Gnu Calf (14387)
Asian Elephant Calf (14343)
Swabian-Hall piglet, eating (13635)
Przewalski's Horse (13620)
Dartmoor Pony (13651)
How We Used the Products: After all of the children tore open the box, checked out each figure, and poured over the catalog, we decided to do some research. Some of the animals we were unfamiliar with, and I wanted to see how the figures compared to the real animals. So we googled each animal and the pictures of each animal. I was amazed at how much each of the figures looked like the real thing! When the research was completed, the children were set free to play with them. Some of the figures were taken to various beds their first night here (a sign of a much loved toy.) In addition to playing with them at home, we also have taken them to the dentist, in restaurants, in the van, and to a church meeting where the children had to sit quietly.
What We Liked: I love the detail in these figures! They look just like the real thing. They are sturdy enough to have endured 4 rambunctious boys for the last 4 weeks and look just like they did when we took them out of the box. They are simple, beautiful toys with nothing to put together or batteries required. The children's imaginations can take over and they can just enjoy playing with them. Even the catalog was thoroughly enjoyed by my family and has been looked through over and over again.
Some things to consider: Once your children get a hold of these toys they are going to want more!
My Recommendation: Good, quality, realistic toys that will last for a long time. After the children poured over the catalog for days, I finally got a hold of it and am keeping several things in mind for Christmas this year.
I received these products complimentary from Schleich in order to write a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Something that I think that is very challenging not just as a homeschooler, but as a parent, that gets even more challenging as they get older, is finding good quality books for your children to read. Media is a very powerful influence. It helps to shape our thoughts, ideals, and values. I can't always pre-read every book the children bring home, and especially in today's world, many books are full of things I don't want the children reading. That's why it is important that there are companies like Salem Ridge Press out there.
Description: Salem Ridge Press was established in 2005 by Daniel Mills, a homeschool graduate, to bring back quality books from the 1800's and 1900's to this generation of readers. Twenty seven books have been republished so far and sample chapters of each can be found on their website. They work very hard to assure that all of their books uphold their standard: "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8)." Their complete list of titles are arranged: alphabetically, by author, by age range, or by time period. Or you can search by New Releases, Historical Fiction, Adventure, Allegory, or Younger Readers. Many of the titles on their website can be bought in either softcover or hardcover, and their prices range from $10.95-$26.95.
Soldier Fritz and the Enemies He Fought A Story of the Reformation by Emma Leslie (softcover $10.95 Hardcover $20.95)
Read a sample chapter here.
Fritz chooses a Bible for his birthday gift from the peddler's pack so he can become one of Martin Luther's soldiers for Christ. When his father the Count goes off to war, Fritz and his family are forced to pretend to be commoners and hide in the forest to avoid being thrown into prison for their faith. They must learn to trust in the Lord and wait for their father to find them.
Young Robinhood by George Manville Fenn (softcover $10.95 hardcover $20.95)
Read a sample chapter here.
Young Robin gets left in the forest after Robin Hood's band steals his families goods. How will he be able to escape from the forest? Will he be able to learn how to survive?
Down the Snow Stairs, or From Goodnight to Goodmorning by Alice Corkran (clothbound $24.95)
Read a sample chapter here.
Kitty cannot sleep on Christmas Eve. Her disobedience has caused her little brother to fall ill. She travels to Naughty Children Land in a dream where she meets many strange creatures. She wants to return to the Path of Obedience but can she resist the many temptations and return to her family before Christmas?
What We Liked: I love the whole idea of a company who is committed to republishing good quality literature that upholds moral standards. I like the amount of care and time Salem Ridge Press puts into every book they publish, editing out derogatory comments they find unnecessary and even editing their illustrations to make sure there is nothing unwholesome included in their books. Although textbooks have their place at times, my favorite way to teach is to use "living books." Their website is arranged to make the type of book you are looking for easier to find. The titles and topics of their books are interesting and educational, and they have titles that will appeal to both boys and girls. The children really enjoyed the books we received and there were calls of ,"read more please!"
Somethings to Consider: Since the books are republished from the 1800-1900's, the vocabulary at times can be a bit challenging as there will be words you might not ever have heard before. I don't think this is a negative thing, just something to be aware of. Some of the words they define at the bottom of the page which is very helpful. I read-aloud the books to Nick (8) and Alex (6), and Chelsea (13) read them on her own.
My Recommendation: If you are looking for wholesome books of good quality with good moral standards that can be enjoyed by your family, go here and visit their website. There is something for everyone!
I received a complimentary copy of Soldier Fritz, and complimentary e-books of Down the Snow Stairs and Young Robinhood to use with my children for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Saturday was the 4-H Premium Sale. I was very proud of the children. They each did a great job and there were no flying chickens. It is scary going into the show ring and standing in front of a crowd of people that you don't know, with a chicken ,in 95 + degree heat, and after you have been sitting waiting for your turn for almost three hours. We did not get as much money as last year (which can be a little disappointing,) but we are very thankful for all the people that donate money to support the kids showing livestock making it a little easier for the children and the parents. Fair week is over for this year. Now we need to sell some of our chickens and figure out what to do for next year.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Saturday the children have to go into the show ring and hold their chickens for the Premium Sale which is when local businesses donate money back to those showing livestock to help pay for their expenses. Please say a quick prayer that Anthony (who is only 5 and can be a bit of a wildcard) will do ok, and nobody will get pecked by their chickens and no chickens will end up flying away. Thanks!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
In this book, Max gives us scripture, uses Biblical examples and relates them to modern day problems. It is so common and look at the world today and think that the problems are too big to be solved. Max shows us not just what the problems are but also how each one of us every day ordinary people can do something to make a difference. Included at the end of the book are discussion questions and an action guide outlining what you can do. This book is inspiring and encouraging and will make you want to go out and help change the world.
I thought this was a wonderful book and encouraging. It is true that not one of us can do it all, but all of us can do something to make our world a better place to live in and to hear Jesus’ words that, “Whenever you did these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me-you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40 (MSG)
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
When we found out we were expecting again, I was very disappointed to find out that the OB who I LOVE and have been seeing for more than 6 years, is no longer delivering. It can be hard to find a doctor who you see eye to eye with, really like and respect, still gives out her home number, and will deliver you even if she is not the doc on call. Anyway, I had to find a new doctor who so far I do like, except for one thing......her view on being pregnant and breastfeeding.
Quite honestly I mentioned that I was still nursing on my first appointment in an off-handed way, and only because it can be a factor in determining due date. I was in no way prepared for the response from the nurse, doctor, and even the ultrasound tech, that this was NOT a good thing and needed to stop nursing immediately. The doctor's reasoning is that nursing causes uterine contractions that can cause preterm labor and miscarraige. Thi surprised me so much because my previous doctor encouraged me to nurse as long as I felt comfortable even when I was pregnant. I explained politley to the new doc that I have done this 4 times before very successfully and didn't expect that this time would be any different. She firmly explained to me that she felt it was an unnecessary risk to myself and my unborn baby and encouraged me to stop immediately.
To be honest with you, I will admit that I am ready to stop nursing Lily, but not because I feel that I am hurting my unborn baby. The nausea, fatigue, and let's just call it tenderness, has me starting the weaning process. Lily, on the other hand, would probably nurse for ever. She is a comfort nurser and although is almost 18 months would probably go on nursing for much longer ( I do have a little mommy guilt over cutting her off.) I cut back on one feeding every week or so, and right now am only nursing in the middle of the night. Within the next couple of weeks she will be completely weaned.
So, are there risks to nursing while you are pregnant? The answer to that is not for the majority of women. If you are an average, healthy, women with no chronic or severely acute illnessess, who has not suffered from miscarraige or preterm labor, and are haing a normal, healthy, pregnancy, you can still coninue to nurse without risk to yourself or unborn baby. Your nursing baby is not taking any nutrients from your unborn child. You may consider trying to add some extra calories and calcium to your diet. I have nursed into my 5th month of pregnancy in the past, and I know women who choose to continue nursing throughout their pregnancy and then nurse both the infant and the toddler.
If you are nursing and pregnant, don't be immediately discouraged to stop right away because one doctor tells you to if you still want to continue. Ask the reasons why they feel that way. Do some research on your own. Get a second opinion if you don't agree, and do what you think is best for all of you.
Monday, September 6, 2010
This week-end, we headed up to my parent's house so my wonderful husband could help my dad lay laminate flooring in the kitchen/dining, living room, and hallway. While the men were busy at work, mom and I got the children out of their hair and headed over to the Washington County Fair. It was a very large, much bigger than what we are used to. The children had a lot of fun riding the rides and checking out the animals. We were worn out after about 4 1/2 hours and we didn't even see half of everything there. Our county fair will be coming up next week, and the children are really excited about it too and entering their stuff! It is always fun to go places, but as Dorothy once said, "There's no place like home!"