Friday, May 14, 2010

And More Goodies...

Ok, everyone knows about Project Gutenberg...we just printed off This Country of Ours by H.E. Marshall to add to our reading with the Paths curriculum.  You knew I'd keep hunting, didn't you?  I can never just get a curriculum and leave it as it stands.  No, I'm weird.  Gotta always tweak and adjust.

Well, after This Country of Ours, I moved along to The Baldwin Project and The Story of The Worlds, by M.B. Synge.  The second volume, The Discovery of New Worlds, has a lot of good reading for explorers, including more on Columbus.  The first volume, On The Shores of The Great Sea, we've already read through with some ancient history.  There are 5 volumes...(3) The Awakening of Europe, (4)The Struggle for Sea Power (5)Growth of The British Empire.

As we move on through Paths, we'll go back and grab other books...James Otis...Richard of Jamestown is a fun reader for the youngers.

I'll probably add more to this post as I wind through the various books available at The Baldwin Project.

A Moral Alphabet is fun...goofy, but fun...
America First...
American History Stories, Vol I  II  III  IV...
A First Book in American History...
Historical Tales, Vol I  II...there are also volumes on Greek, Spanish, Roman, Japanese, English, German, etc.
Several volumes of Streams of History by Ellwood W. Kemp

Gearing up: Things we're planning, help we need

I don't have a world map.  How sad is that?  I have US maps, nice outline blank maps, full page size, not too compressed you can't read them. I even have a large US map on our bulletin board.  But when I need a world map, do I have one?  Shoot no.  What kind of homeschool mom am I?

So, scanning the 'net today we are in search of compass crafts and activities, Columbus fun, and a blank, printable world map we can put in our notebooks.  We have to mark Genoa Italy, show Spain, route some of Columbus' voyages....all mappy things.

We found some, but not quite what I want...I'm dealing with youngers who need a lot less detail and a bit more space to color and mark things.  Of course, the olders could stand a lot of detail, but still...this one-room schoolhouse has issues with combining lessons.

National Geographic:  Xpeditions  
National Geographic site also has lesson fact, when we get to Lewis & Clark, we'll be back for more fun!
National Geographic also has a MapMachine site

AOL @ School site...lots of stuff, but maps are what I went for...I'll definitely be back as their selection of goodies is huge!  Like under Explorers, there's a nice section on Christopher Columbus...
World Atlas site
for books and such on mapping and related activities, there is also A Book in Time...they sell several books on all sorts of subjects.
an illustrated guide to using a compass...we'll read this along with other things
GISnet has a nice page on the origins of the compass and a study on the 32 compass points we'll check out as well
Of course, the curriculum included the 1911 Boy Scout handbook...plenty of decent orienteering notes there.
Theodora's offers several map selections, print and purchase both

We're pretty much ready to go with the Paths curriculum and will probably do some reading and checking things out this afternoon to start tomorrow.  I've printed off the first 2 weeks of student sheets and gathered some coloring pages and Bible sheets for the youngers, our books are ready, our notebooks set up, and but for that world map I've yet to find, we are good to!

Here's what I shared yesterday when the books arrived:
New Books: our Paths of Exploration set arrived this morning! Ahhh, the book junkie in me is feeling quite satisfied right now :o)
I have a nice, tightly bound new Handbook of Nature Study. I have discovered the Reader's Digest North American Wildlife book. How we have crept along homeschooling without that beauty is beyond me. It's my new definite "must have" title now.
We have several other titles that will make a great addition to our homestead library here. I didn't see a dud in the bunch.
And somehow I totally missed that the POE texts were hardcover. Hardcover. We love the sturdiness of hardcover books here. Considering they need to last thru several children, hardcover is always what I try to search out. I never paid any attention to the main texts in the curriculum being hardbound.
I'm over the moon :o)
I've already maxed out the ink cartridge printing student sheets, supplements for David and Emily that flow along with the week's work, Bible sheets, and a copy of the week at a glance checklist. We are doing over the binders we had for Nim's Island and other projects and if I can contain myself, we will start Monday morning. Most likely we will start tomorrow :o)
I'd start now, but I suppose that is just a tad over zealous, beginning at nearly 8 pm, heh?
Our day will mesh like this:
Math lessons
main English lesson
Light for the Trail (Bible study)
Paths of Exploration...
We'll have copywork/dictation/narration work, reading aloud, word study, geography, writing (reports and creative), art projects/skills, country/state studies (we will tie in the Trail Guide to US Geography later with this).
I don't have a laminated world map. I'll have to get one at Books-A-Million next week. Wish we had done it -- Dewey was planning to take a World map and US map, place them back to back between thin plexiglass and seal them up so we had a true write on/wipe off map instead of changing ours out all the time. Oh well...we'll be ready to put one together now :o)
We'll be mapping the journeys, countries of origin and destination for Columbus. We have 6 weeks of his era, then off to Jamestown, the pilgrims and more!
I'm really enjoying the looks of the Paths curriculum so far. I think I've read pretty much the entire first volume since it arrived this morning :o) We like the flow of the Trail Guide to US Geography, aand this is rather similar. It's set up mainly for a typical 3rd-4th-5th grade run, but we will be tweaking (as usual) to include Jacob (8), KatiAnne (7), David (5) and Emily (almost 4).
The olders will also participate, with deeper work on the same topics in the history and science areas especially. We will find additional titles for them...any suggestions? We're looking for upper elementary and high school reading. Historical fiction is fine, biographies are better :o)
*Lewis & Clark expedition
*Johnny Appleseed
*Daniel Boone
*Westward Expansion
And perhaps some thoughts on crafts/skills/projects for the olders as well :o)
You can look over the areas of exploration at Paths of Exploration 
scroll down and you can read all that's offered in this comprehensive Ruth Beechick/CM style curriculum, including the future additions coming out!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Have I mentioned needing some accountability in my life?

We are so close to "finishing" school for the season, even though I don't school to a calender really.  We school year-round here, changing grade levels as the time comes, in various subjects.

However, calender schooling or not, I can always use accountability to keep me spurred along.  As I mentioned, we now have Prepare and Pray and Blessed Assurance to start delving into, and by the week's end we will have Paths of Exploration, the first of the Learning Adventures series, as well as Light for The Trail Bible study.  I hopped onto Amazon and found hardcover unabridged copies of The Swiss Family Robinson, Robinson Crusoe, The Sign of The Beaver...and added in the Nourishing Traditions and the Traditional Foods cookbooks for good measure.  Can't always fit things into the budget, but when I can without stress and strain, it's time to go for it.

So, I've looked over Prepare and Pray/Blessed Assurance....and I'm leaning toward starting backwards.  yeah, don't I always go against the flow? We are wanting a bit of a lighter reading as we get our feet wet this summer.  The Sign of The Beaver, moving off into Robinson Crusoe, sounds like something more doable at this point.  Then we can shift gears again and go for The Swiss Family Robinson.  Am I wrong in thinking that way?  Should I just buckle up and go along with the designed flow?

Then again...I do have the Paths coming....maybe we should just start there.

LOL...I'm nothing but indecision.  I think too much for everyone's good I believe.

The general days will play out like this...
Rod & Staff math lessons, flashcards, review sheets, etc.
Rod & Staff English lessons, Working with Words
Our Bible will flow mainly from the lessons of the unit studies...there are memorization passages, Scriptural notes, character traits, and with Paths, we have Light for the Trail.
There are all manner of trails to follow on both unit studies...
under Science you have animal studies, clouds, weather patterns, levers and simple machines, outdoor activities (building shelters, rafts, camp items, etc)
and History is covered, obviously...
The olders have the CLE Home Ec series to finish through as well...

That gives us a rounded program I believe.  I can easily work the youngers in with alternate stories and coloring pages, and we like reading aloud, and narration times.  I think we can easily work the olders in, focusing more along the history sides and science trails with a bit more indepth work on their part.  I don't believe for one minute that being written for "grade such and such thru such and such" locks me in in any way, shape or form.  Adjustments are always there if you want them.  I have ages 3 1/2 on up to 17...I always make adjustments to include everyone in as many areas as I can.  I have to.  There's only one of me and 8 of them.  I'm out-numbered!

So...what do you think?  On top of all this, I have a 17 yo not the least interested in finishing her assigned graduate work, and a 14 year old determined to graduate by years' end.  Always something tossing rocks in my road I guess.

Paths of Exploration unit...

I broke down and ordered it.  I've wanted it for some time now.  We have really enjoyed GeoMatters' Trail Guide to US Geography, and wanted more like it.

I'm becoming a unit study junkie, I think.

We ordered the complete unit, text and all resources.  I needed another copy of The Handbook of Nature Study as ours is pretty much nothing but duct tape and prayer binding at this point.  Wonder if I can get it spiral bound?  It's rather thick...probably not.  And I really wanted most of the resources they use for our own shelves.  I like reading for fun sorts of books, but I want a library built on resources and references, with fun fictional reading added as a secondary focus, not as our primary focus.

So, between Pray and Prepare, Blessed Assurance and Paths to Exploration I think we have another year covered pretty well.  Math continues along, as does core English work (spelling work, parts of speech, etc) and areas of bunny trailing as usual.

Maybe I can stick to it for a while...?

Prepare and Pray unit study curriculum

An online friend, Beth from Northern Sky Art, loaned us her copy of the unit study Prepare and Pray! and it arrived today.

We have long looked at this unit as something we would like.  We enjoy the Swiss Family Robinson book, so what's better than the story and some learning fun along with it?

A vital part of any well rounded education will include emergency preparedness. This extensive, yet practical hands-on course will equip the participants to be ready to face whatever the future brings, while always acknowledging the True Source of our well being: God Himself!

A 36 week literary unit study designed for the whole family, toddler through resident Grandma and teaches a confident, positive approach to impending difficulties using simple resources and family teamwork. Fear is not the object of this study, but it is our desire to stimulate a watchful, prudent attitude which will equip children and parents to develop untapped abilities, press through physical limitations, and respond reasonably and scripturally to threatening situations and the challenges of end-times living.

Learn outdoorsmanship, survival skills, and sustainable living skills from a practical academic course for all ages 3-103!

Based on the Swiss Family Robinson , a classic novel for children written by Johann (David) Wyss, a radical believer who used every available opportunity in the story to emphasize character training and true godliness. The written original version has little or nothing in common with the Disney version. There are no pirate battles, squabbles over a flirtatious young lady, or allowances for laziness. The curriculum was originally developed in 1997, has been widely and successfully distributed, with endorsements from many homeschooling veterans, experts, and publications. It was never intended as a "y2k" curriculum, as we have clearly and repeatedly stated that judgment upon the ungodliness of our nation could clearly take many unpredictable forms. So we cover a variety of scenarios, including natural disasters, economic downturns, terrorism, plague, etc. It is a miracle, but we have managed to develop a curriculum preparing for these events that children and families consider fun! Your child's life may depend on skills he learns while having fun.

Sounds like something right op our alley!  I can't wait to really dig in and read through the unit and make some plans.  There is another one we may go for once this is over...Blessed Assurance, based on The Sign of The beaver and Robinson Crusoe as its text.
Blessed Assurance! is based upon The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare and Robinson Crusoe, the timeless classic by Daniel Defoe. These books were chosen for a distinctive purpose. As Prepare and Pray! developed the foundation for family teamwork in preparation for perilous times using Swiss Family Robinson, the stories chosen as the foundation for Blessed Assurance prepare your children to develop independent skills and a very personal relationship of trust in their Redeemer. In preparation for a life of responsibility during increasingly difficult days, these stories focus on characters who must stand alone, remain loyal to what is right and true, and rely upon resourcefulness and prayer to solve a multitude of problems.

The Sign of the Beaver is the story of thirteen year old Matt, a colonial American boy who is left alone on a n undeveloped homestead in the Maine wilderness, while his father is delayed in returning with his mother and sister. To survive, he learns to cooperate with a Native American tribe who teach him many skills in exchange for lessons in reading using a Bible and Robinson Crusoe. He has many adventures and the story is one the whole family will enjoy. Part Two in Blessed Assurance proceeds into reading the true story of Robinson Crusoe, the story of a young man who rebels against the guidance of his parents and reaps catastrophic consequences. He winds up on a deserted island, repents of his sin, comes into an intimate place of fellowship with the Savior where he no longer feels profound loneliness, and becomes skilled in primitive self -sufficiency. He is faced with issues as varied as self-defense, racial prejudice, and assurance of salvation. Blessed Assurance is designed to build character in your sons and wisdom in daughters who must also learn to make an independent stand for truth and honor in these last days.

LOL:...I'm such a dolt!  I stopped and looked over the binders Beth sent and BOTH units are there!!!  Prepare and Pray and Blessed Assurance both waiting for me to notice!!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Oh Boy!!! This is great!

I know...everyone knew about this but me, right?  I have downloaded soooo many audiobooks this afternoon I've got to be smokin' the site!  They are available in ITunes and MP3 format.

Books Should Be Free

oh my gosh -- the children's selection alone is burning up my computer!

This Country of Ours, H.E. Marshall
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Tom Saywer
Huckleberry Finn

And History --
Our Island Story is just a good read
 Story of The Middle Ages, Samuel B. Harding
James Otis....Richard of Jamestown,  Ruth of Boston
G.A. Henty titles as well!

I will spend a lot more time there for sure.  I'm tickled Jennifer shared this link!!!!  I had no idea about's that cave I live in.  I need to get out more, heh?