Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Odds and Ends Regarding The Book House

I have been collecting My Book House books for a long time. I have need of just ONE more to have the complete set!  If anyone has a spare Volume 1 with a light green cover laying around, please let me know.  I looked through my new-to-me Volume 2 last night, just randomly reading bits and enjoying the pictures.

I so love the colors of vintage books. You just don't get them with reproductions!  Speaking of reproductions, Dover is reprinting My Book House. I have seen that the first two volumes are published and ready for purchase. Volume One Volume Two If you can't get the originals, these seem to be a suitable substitute.  I haven't seen them in real life to compare the quality of the illustrations, though.  Do use Amazon's "Look Inside" feature in the links above. They have nice samples available.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Common Core

I usually don't touch on political issues here, but please take a few minutes to look over these links.  The Common Core "education" standards that the federal government is quietly slipping into states is SO dangerous that I want everyone to be aware.  You most likely read this blog because you homeschool, but you have many friends, neighbors and family members who don't.  Please help educate them in this very invasive program.  The American people can stop these unConstitutional violations if we stand together and demand our God-given freedoms and rights be respected. These "standards" are being forced on all of us, even homeschoolers.  Many well-known curricula have complied already, unknown to their customers.  This must be nipped in the bud now.  






Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Self-Motivated Desert Learning

If allowed, learning happens so naturally. My nearly eight year old Troubles is suddenly enamored with all things desert. If I had planned lessons on my timetable, they may or may not have produced some knowledge about the topic, but since it is self-motivated learning, it's ALL absorbed with enthusiasm!  He expressed interest in deserts last summer and we read a few books about them.  It's interesting how curiosity goes round and round.  

Some resources from this study:


You Tube:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

C is for Barbara Cooney

Today's author and illustrator is Caldecott award winning Barbara Cooney.  She's one of my favorites (I say that often, don't I?).  Pastels of the softest hues or delicate pen and ink details combine in her illustrations. She adapted and illustrated many old folk tales, so I read her often to my younger children.  

She was a born artist. Her mother was also an artist, so from her earliset days, she had access to the materials she needed. Her mother was a wise teacher: "She gave me all the materials I could wish for and then left me alone, didn’t smother me with instruction. Not that I ever took instruction very easily. My favorite days were when I had a cold and could stay home from school and draw all day long.... She was an enthusiastic painter of oils and watercolors. She was also very generous. I could mess with her paints and brushes all I wanted. On one condition: that I kept my brushes clean. The only art lesson my mother gave me was how to wash my brushes. Otherwise, she left me alone."

She's well known for Chanticleer and the Fox and Oxcart Man, her Caldecott books, but has over 200 books to her name!  Only Opal is one that touched my heart, and is based on a real girl's story.  I'd never heard of her story before reading Mrs. Cooney's book.

Miss Rumphius is a title that no one should live life without reading numerous times.  I love it.

Please go get a few of her beautiful titles from the library this week. You won't be disappointed! Also, make sure to visit Veee at Acknowledging Him. She's profiling an author whom I had never heard of before she told me of him.  I have all of his non-twaddle books now, on her recommendation. (Edited to add: Veee's blog host folded, so her blog is gone.  I'm truly sorry. It was a gem of a blog.  She posts on Instagram under Bibliobites. The author she had profiled was Bruce Colville)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Things I Wish'd I'd Known When I Started Homeschooling

The Libertarian Homeschooler, who has quite a following on facebook, is doing a series of great lists of things she wishes she had known when she started homeschooling. For my own reference, and your benefit, I am copying and pasting them here. I have not researched everything she includes, and may not agree with all of it, but want to have the list for future use.

1. You don't really "need" a curriculum.

2. More pajamas.
3. White boards.
4. The Great Courses
5. LearnLiberty
6. Tom Woods's Liberty Classroom
7. Ludwig von Mises Institute
8. Foundation for Economic Education
9. Maren Schmidt, Understanding Montessori newsletters
10. Sugata Mitra
11. Whatever Happened to Penny Candy
12. Project-based learning
13. No, really. You don't need a curriculum.
14. Grammar Island
15. Okay. If you feel more comfortable having curriculum in your house, buy it but know that you'll end up using it as a reference.
16. Children never really start or stop learning. 
17. Very few people ever do the entire year's work. 
18. They will learn better, faster, happier without a lesson.
19. Lap books? Not required.
20. Children aren't projects, they're people.

1. They'll spend more time 1-on-1 in one day at home than in an entire week of school. Chill out already. They're good.

2. One child will learn to read at 5, the other child will learn to read at 8. Neither one is "behind".
3. Books that tell what children "should" know at different ages are good for starting fires and little else.
4. If you don't teach him to add and subtract, he'll do it himself.
5. Some children don't learn to read with phonics. No matter how invested you are in phonics.
6. Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes
7. Children of the Code (google it)
8. Don't let your first three negative homeschool co-op experiences dissuade you. There's one out there that will work.
9. The Philosophy of Liberty (youtube)
10. You don't have to teach art. You can farm that stuff out.
11. Get. Out. Of. The. House.
12. Ask the child how he would like to organize his learning.
13. To my children, adult yelling = big kid having tantrum
14. To my children, adult using physical/emotional pain = bullying
15. You aren't nearly as important to the learning process as you think. Really. They'll do most of it in spite of you in the end.
16. They need your company far more than your instruction.
17. Modeling is required.
18. You'll get it wrong. Does that really surprise you? Get over it. Get on with it.
19. Find some outside-the-family mentoring relationships for the child.
20. That book/curriculum/latest and greatest doohickey at the store/expo/convention looks really nice. It's going to gather dust.