Friday, July 22, 2011


I've been reading through the Petunia books with the Littles. What a treasure this collection is! Poor little Petunia has some mighty common character flaws but she always learns her lessons at the end. Roger Duvoisin's bright, sketchy drawings illustrate her plights perfectly! Here, Petunia suffers the natural physical effect of pride...

which of course, results in a fall.....

...but leads to a search for real wisdom...

...which leads (in family discussion) to discovering James 1:5 (NLT) "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Planning 2011-2012

It's planning time again! I'll share some of the resources I am planning to use this year, along with links to some of the printables I am using.

I write out our term's week-by-week work using this form created by Linda Faye. I've used it for years and am so thankful that she made it available for all to use. Linda Faye is the creator of a great site called Charlotte Mason Help. It's a wonderful resource that should be bookmarked.

This year I printed off these cute little reading logs for the four youngest Lambies. When the book is filled, I plan to either take them out for something or get them a special treat. What that treat is, I have not decided.

My favorite attendance sheet is from Donna Young. I find her site helpful, but sometimes it's hard to find a particular page you saw that you liked. I usually make a master copy to keep on hand in case a favorite form goes missing. :)

EmBlem will continue with Apologia Science. She loves it. She'll be in Chemistry this year! GirlofGod has chosen to study astronomy in depth. She's using Jeanne Fulbright's book as a spine and other books to supplement. The rest of the children will be studying Human Anatomy, using Exploring Creation with Anatomy. Nature study will continue as it always does.

We're using Mystery of History Vol. 1 all together this year. I am not sure how it will work out, but I am looking forward to teaching history all together rather than to each child individually as I had been when using AO more closely. We'll be using our Book of Centuries as the timeline. I will likely use "A Picturesque Tale of Progress" as appropriate. I love this series!

Of course we will identify the area we are studying in MOH on the map, but the bulk of our geography will be US this year. I will use a few different resources. This free site has almost everything I'll need! I also have "Yo, Sacramento". It helps the kids remember states and capitals in a unique way.

For Bible, I am considering studying character traits this year, along with our through the Bible readings. This chart will be useful. I really like this printable record for personal Bible time. I also want to listen to J. Vernon McGee on a regular basis. The Way of the Master is very useful for learning how to share your faith.

We'll continue to do grammar, composition, spelling and such in various books depending on each child's abilities. My oldest will be doing Larry Burkett's Money Matters for Teens. I'd love to get Dave Ramsey's homeschool program to use in the future.

Some of the kids will be doing workbooks from Evan-Moor: "The Daily ______" series. They are quick and easy activities that pack a lot of punch for the time spent. I have a couple of kids who prefer this kind of independent work and I am glad to have found Renee's recommendation.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Edward Ardizzone

Missy, Troubles and I are reading through our Edward Ardizzone books. We love his sketchy watercolors with their soft colors. Having visited the ocean recently, the children are quite taken with the Little Tim series. I have found all of ours at library sales, but some are available for fairly reasonable prices online. We've already enjoyed "The Little..." series, written by Graham Greene and when we finish the Tim books that we have, we'll read "Nurse Matilda" or the beautiful "A Child's Christmas in Wales".

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Maurice Sendak

I have a large collection of Maurice Sendak's books. Everyone knows and most folks love "Where the Wild Things Are" (book only, skip the movie!). Many folks have seen and enjoyed "Seven Little Monsters", "In the Night Kitchen" and "The Nutshell Library". Some were even familiar with "Higglety Pigglety Pop!" before they made the short for the Wild Things movie.

Having written and/or illustrated over 90 books, some are bound to be out of print and/or lesser known. I recently found out from Little Lamb Books that Maurice Sendak made a pop-up book. It's called "Mommy?". As soon as I read about it's existence, I ordered one from Amazon. It came yesterday. It's classic Sendak, with slightly creepy but cuddly monsters and a simple storyline that lends itself to imagination. It's been in one child or another's hands since we got it. Troubles rolled out of bed this morning, layed on the couch for about five minutes, then stretched out on the floor with it, naming the various monsters and watching the mechanics of the book as he slowly opened and closed it.

"Outside Over There" was Mr. Sendak's last book, written in 1981. He has finally written and illustrated a new book! It's called "Bumble-Ardy" and it's due to be released in September. I can't wait! I have it in my Amazon cart even now.

Whatever the title, you can't go wrong with a Maurice Sendak book. Go get one today and READ with your children!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tide Pool Study

We went to the Oregon coast and were blessed to be able to see some tide pools. While walking to them, the Lambies collected random crab parts. Later, they assembled the fine specimen you see above.

Many of the children spent the 2010-2011 school year in "Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures". Therefore, these animals were familiar and they had *that* much more fun seeing what they had studied.

Someone else pried this starfish off of his shelf and left him out on the rocks, upside down and vulnerable. We held him for a little while, noticing his rays, suckers, eyespots and mouth. Then we returned him to a pool, in a safe location.

There were SO many mussels! We recalled reading in "Pagoo" that they sent out strings to anchor themselves. Looking carefully, we did indeed see byssal threads! We also identified several kinds of seaweed and sea grass. We had a great time, learning and playing in God's great creation!