Friday, March 30, 2012

Reading: A Good Find!

Whenever I find a book that engages my kids, I feel the need to share it!  Work a Day Doings written by Emma Serl and published in 1914 is truly a classic.  A timeless treasure.  I downloaded it for my Nook Color for FREE on the Google Books website, although I have to say that it would be worth purchasing a hard copy if one could be found. 

Work a  Day Doings is a collection of short stories.  Tonight, Katie read the story of Mr. Squirrel.  Aside from the brilliant writing that incorporated humor and factual information in a fictitious story, it captured Katie's attention right from the beginning!  This is the type of book that has great potential to turn struggling and/or reluctant readers into those who may actually get excited to pick up a book for pleasure.  The repetition of some phrases helps the reader to learn more complex words while provoking her mind to remember and comprehend the story as she is reading it.

Many of Emma Serl's books are available for free download on your computer and/or digital reading device.  I'm one who loves the feel of an actual book, but I'm also thankful to acquire digital freebies when I can.  Why are they free?  Well, in this case, the book is so old that the copyright has expired, which makes it free domain.  Google Books has a vast selection of free digital downloads, and you don't necessarily need a special reading device to be able to read them.  Most, if not all, can be read on your computer.  Even though I enjoy the physical touch of a book, it's a nice change to read off a screen sometimes.

If you enjoy a Charlotte Mason style of reading/schooling or if you're looking to try something new in reading, I encourage you to go check out some of Emma Serl's books, and hope that you'll find them as helpful and enjoyable as we have.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Little at a Time

Regarding my problem with reaching my picture limit in Picasa, I decided (for now) to resize pictures and swap them out in my posts, which will allow me to delete the large files in Picasa.  Yes, this seems like a daunting task.  However, I'm pacing myself and commit to spending a few minutes here and there to work on it.  I'm starting with my LAPBOOKS page and have already completed one set.  So, if you happen to have trouble viewing pictures on my blog, please know that it is temporary and I am working on it!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Simple Tuesday

Outside my window... it's dark and quiet because it's 9:30pm and all the neighborhood kids have gone home. :)

I am thinking... that we should get our dog fixed.  I hate when she's "in season."

I am thankful for... the beautiful Spring days we've been having.

From the kitchen... is the smell of tacos lingering from dinner.

I am wearing... my comfy clothes - yoga pants and a t-shirt!

I am creating... a list of birthday plans for Katie.

I am going... to take the kids to a real castle soon.  It's the only authentically built medieval castle in the U.S. and happens to be only about an hour from our house!

I am reading... nothing but school books right now, and I'm kinda ok with that.

I am hoping... to go the movies soon to see The Hunger Games.

I am hearing... the TV.

Around the house... are siding and paint samples, and new school books for next year.

One of my favorite things... is cinnamon ice cream.  YUM!!!

Here is a picture I am sharing... of Katie dissecting the lungs of a pig at co-op...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Out of Space

What do you do when you've reached your limit of free space in Pacasa?  In the beginning of my blogging experience, I uploaded all pictures at full size because I didn't know any better.  Randomly deleting pictures is not an option since many are attached to my blog.  However, there are plenty of pictures in Pacasa that I never even posted on my blog.  Those can be deleted but it seems like such a tedious and time-consuming task.  Maybe I'll look into the possibility of resizing the larger files in Picasa.  I wonder if that's possible.

Gymnastics & Basketball

Our lives do revolve around more than just homeschooling!  Katie's basketball season has come to an end.  It is bittersweet.  We enjoyed watching her play but are glad to have our Saturday mornings back. 

Emily had her Districts Gymnastics competition last Saturday.  She did a great job and we are very proud of her.

The theme of the meet was Wizard of Oz and they did a really great job with it.  The awards stage was especially impressive.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Viking Runestones

We have been learning about Vikings in My Father's World, Rome to the Reformation.  Today, we made Viking runestones.  We were supposed to do this project last week but the weather was so nice that we took advantage of spending more time outside.  Today was perfect since it rained all day.

The Vikings used letters called runes and they carved their writing and designs on stone or wood.  We used air-dry clay and real clay tools, which made the carving much smoother.

I think Emily's is supposed to say "Writing Fun"
but she may have mixed up some letters...

Katie decided to make a sword and carve designs into it...

And I made a family crest...

Fun project!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

St. Patrick

It's no coincidence that our studies this month brought us to the period of history when St. Patrick became a missionary in Ireland.  How timely!  Our family has some Irish heritage, so it's especially fun to celebrate such a courageous figure in history.  It inspired me to put a couple of printables into frames that were begging to be released from their box in our basement.

Valentine's Day

Isn't it great to know that we're so busy enjoying life that it's taken me three weeks to blog about Valentine's Day?  I'm not even going to write much.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, mostly...

American Girl Tea Party...

My mother-in-law planned on taking the girls to an American Girl Tea Party the Sunday before Valentine's Day.  She was sick, so I took her place...

Can you believe how big they are?

They both won a door prize!

Valentine's Day...

I always try to do a little something special on Valentine's Day.  This year, I wasn't really feeling it with all the illness we had.  But, I managed to pull out a heart-shaped pizza, a special bouquet us girls put together for Daddy, and hubs brought the girls special gifts...

I suppose Chef Julie (AG doll) was handing out clementines for Valentine's Day.

The girls loved their pizzas and Hubs loved his treat!

And in case you're wondering, I got a box of chocolates and some flowers!