Friday, April 30, 2010


Isn't that what we want our children to be able to do? I am a literature based curriculum fan, but love, love, love the ideas and methods of unschooling. I read several unschooling blogs and try to incorporate some of the things I read.

I recently found UnSchoolMe and found a link to Think! I love it! What a great site for moms like me who are totally unimaginative and boring! I am looking forward to adding some Think activities to our school. I believe I have a couple of Lambies who will really take to these challenges.

ETA: I am going to store this link here. I think it goes along with the topic very well!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


We are on vacation right now, but I thought I'd pop in and drop a link or two. I've been spending some of my downtime going through book lists and getting familiar with new titles to watch for at the upcoming book sales. Want the links?

The Outstanding AO booklist

Old Children's Books

Valerie's Lists

1000 Good Books

Sprittibee's Booklists

Eclectic Homeschool Online

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Giddy Over Geography

I went to a semi-annual week-long booksale this week (twice so far). The first night, it was open only to book sellers and those willing to pay double the price the books would be the next day. I like to go despite the higher prices, to ensure getting a prize or two. The best book of the night was this:

A Child's Geography of the World by V. M. Hillyer

My copy is from 1929 and is a beautiful, tightly bound, treasure, found for just a couple of bucks! I can't wait to look it over. I have Richard Halliburton's Orient and Occident, in separate volumes, too, and will be excited to see how this compares. These three are the suggested geography books for AO5. My eldest used the Halliburton books and liked them very much.

Last year I read "Home Geography for the Primary Grades" with several of my younger kids. It is a great, free resource. They learned lots from it and looked forward to our time together.

This year we have been studying geography together using Ann Voskamp's "A Child's Geography: Explore the Holy Land". My Lambies have learned a lot about Israel and the nations that surround it. We are on track to finish the book this year. I have to say, though, that it is not a favorite among anyone. When I mentioned the other volume and possibly using it next year, there was no enthusiasm. I thought it would be better received when I first got it. Overall, I would say that it is an effective, if not engaging, book that gets three of five stars from us.

I am going to browse over the Hillyer book and see if it will work for a group study. I haven't decided if we will go our separate ways for geography next year or study it together again. Perhaps we'll read the Halliburton books, the Hillyer book, or something all together different? I just don't know. There are so many choices!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Independent Science Class

I love independent learning. It's often the most effective way for a child to learn. I pulled this book off of the shelf and left it on the living room table the other day, without saying a word about it. Since then, it has almost always been in one or more children's hands. What a sneaky way to "teach" science!

I thought I had almost all of David Macaulay's books (just bought one from another homeschool mom on Friday, as a matter of fact). However, for this blog post I pulled up his Wiki and found that he has written many more than I have collected. I will certainly be keeping an eye out for "The Way We Work" among others. We love anatomy and I am positive that this book will be well worth finding.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Equestrian Class

I finally scheduled an Equestrian class. I found an ad on Craig's List for horse lessons and e-mailed the instructor requesting a class for the entire family instead. She was happily open to the idea and we set a date. Long story short, it was hard to get together! We finally met this morning after many e-mails and had the class. It was so much fun!



She had the children jump right into horse care and before too long, they knew the ins and outs of curry combs and brushes, were using the foot pick like pros, and had even learned to saddle the beasts.









All of the children (and Momma) took turns riding. No one was frightened and no one fell off. Everyone took turns and helped one another. The instructor seemed impressed with how the children behaved, listened and tried to put to practice what she taught. We have been invited to return tomorrow to see the farrier at work and enjoy some more riding time. She has offered free lessons in exchange for "slave labor" around the stables. What an opportunity! I know we will be learning, working and exercising a lot at the stables. So exciting!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

If I Had the Money....

"If you had $500, $1000, $2000 that you could use ONLY for curriculum, what would you purchase?"

That was a recent question posed by an anonymous reader. Thanks for asking! I have been pondering and have come up with these wants:

1. The entire MUS curriculum. I have most of the teachers manuals for Zeta down, and some student books, but I would just get the rest of the TM's, DVD's and student books for all levels and not have to worry about it every year. I'd save on shipping by getting it all at once, too. I'm not using student books as consumables any more, so one of each that I don't have would be plenty.

2. The Uncle Eric books. These are used in AO/HEO beginning in Year Seven. I have only found the Rome book used, so they are on my to-buy-soon list. I'd like the deluxe package since the related books are so highly recommended.

I think these two would total nearly $500.

3. I would round out the rest of the AO/House of Education books that I haven't found used. There are a lot of them! I'd bet that would finish off $1000.

Another $1000 would be FUN for me to spend. I really don't spend a lot since I frequent so many used book sales. I would, off the top of my head, make sure to obtain these books (some of which I do own already):

The Book House by Olive Beaupre Miller (I only have found four volumes so far)
The Picturesque Tale of Progress by Olive Beaupre Miller (I have a full set already, but couldn't bear not to mention them!)
The Book of Knowledge (we have two pre-1940 sets and they are well worth the shelf space!)
G.A. Henty's excellent historical fiction. I have but two of these great books so far. They are hard to find used. Vision Forum has a half off sale once a year, so I would wait until then to order the set.
The Sir Cumference Series and others by Cindy Neuschwander. Living math books...what could be better?
The Life of Fred as a supplement to MUS. I like what I have heard about it.
The Little Britches Series by Ralph Moody. I have but one of this series, and it's a tattered garage sale copy I am afraid to actually use.
The Art For Children Series by Ernest Raboff. I have a few, but would like the rest.
The D'Aulaire's books. I have all but a few, but oh, those few! I want them!
Homeschool in the Woods Timeline Figures CD. My friend has it. It makes your Book of Centuries look very nice.
Lamplighter books. I have heard good things about them, though I have only read one. It's "Amy and Her Brothers". I found it when I was 13 at a junk shop. It's a copy from 1860.

I'm sure there are plenty of others I would want. I'll amend the list as I think of them.