Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Jesus Storybook Bible

 When I was writing a post (to come later at MetroFamily) about what worked for us this year, I realized I had never blogged about the Jesus Storybook Bible.

 At the beginning of the year I sat down with a calendar and mapped out what we needed to cover when in order to be at the Christmas and Easter stories at Christmas and Easter.  It worked out to one to two stories a week and fit the year perfectly.

 Sometimes we did a craft, or sometimes the kids colored a page while I read.  (We have this book that I think I got at Mardel for $5 a few years ago and it had pages for most of the stories in the Jesus Storybook Bible.)

(Alice's rainbow craft when we read about Noah)
I liked this because it was simple and Alice could participate, too.  Next year we are going to use the What's In the Bible? DVDs.

Watch your Madel ads and you can find the book/CD pack for around $10-$15!

Monday, May 28, 2012

I Heart James Garfield

Since it's Memorial Day, I thought it would be a good time to tell you about one of the best books I've read lately--one about someone who lost his life in the service of his country.  When I was looking up library books on presidents for Jack, I came across Destiny of the Republic:  A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President and thought it sounded interesting, so I requested it.  And now I have a new favorite president.  

James Garfield had a hard start in life.  His father died when he was a toddler and his mother worked hard to keep from having to give her children to a wealthy family to raise.  Garfield worked on canals, went to school, taught, preached, fought in the Civil War, became president of a college, and eventually a congressman for Ohio.  He was so well-liked and respected that when he went to the 1880 Republican convention to nominate a friend, he came home with the nomination himself, even though he tried to prevent it from taking place.

In his later life, he loved his wife dearly, but when they had not been married long, he had an affair.  I know this doesn't sound surprising for a politician, but stay with me.  Even though he wasn't sure if he loved his wife, he broke off the affair and returned to her, writing,

“I believe after all I had rather be respected than loved if I can’t be both.  I hope when you…balance up the whole of my wayward self, you will still find, after the many proper and heavy deductions are made, a small balance left on which you can base some respect and affection.”

Take that, John Edwards.
The book focuses on the events leading up to July 2, 1881, when Garfield was shot by Charles Guiteau.  It follows the president over the next ten weeks until his death from infection from doctors literally poking around in the wound without washing their hands.  It also follows Alexander Graham Bell and his attempts to invent a tool to locate the bullet in the president.  Even at the time of the president's autopsy, it was clear that his death was caused by his medical care, not by his gunshot wound.

The other part of the book that was very interesting to me was the reaction of the nation to a possible Chester Arthur presidency.  Arthur was a strong ally of one of Garfield's biggest political opponents, Roscoe Conkling, and was widely thought to be completely unprepared for such a job as the presidency and even suspected by some as having been involved in the shooting, or at the very least, to blame for it.  During the weeks between the shooting and Garfield's death, Arthur began receiving letters from an invalid named Julia Sand, who, in a nutshell, told him he needed to buck up and be the best president he could be, though she said it much more eloquently.

“Your kindest opponents say: ‘Arthur will try to do right’—adding gloomily—‘He won’t succeed, though—making a man President cannot change him.’  But making a man President can change him!  Great emergencies awaken generous traits which have lain dormant in half a life.  If there is a spark of true nobility in you, now is the occasion to let it shine.  Faith in your better nature forces me to write to you—but not to beg you to resign.  Do what is more difficult & more brave.  Reform!”
She encouraged him to break his ties with his somewhat shady political past, saying, “It is not the proof of highest goodness never to have done wrong, but it is a proof of it…to recognize the evil, to turn resolutely against it.”  And you know what?  He did.  He ditched Conkling and ended up being liked and respected by the American people.  Because he got some letters from some woman he'd never met and took her advice.  Can you see that happening today?  I got all fired up and said I thought it would be great to live back then, until Jay pointed out that we'd likely die of some nasty and completely preventable disease.  I would like to keep modern medical care, but wouldn't it be great to have politicians like that today?  Instead of...Gah.  I don't even want to think about it.

Read this book!  It comes out in paperback in a couple of weeks and can be yours for less than $11.  It's well worth it. I'm in line for River of Doubt at the library and if it's half as good as Destiny of the Republic I'll be happy.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fun Friday: The Last Day of School!

 Today was our last day of school!

 Last night he asked me if I was going to make him a flag for his food.  He loves traditions.  I already had it ready!  (Printed from here.)
 After we finished up school, we went to the little splash pad and playground.

 We took these yummy cookies to snack on!

 And then there was more splashing.

And more playing.

We came home and I started the big school room clean out!  Wish me luck!
Read today's post at MetroFamily here!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Artist Study: Matisse

 Our last artist study for the year was on Henri Matisse.  (We don't have any coverings on the school room windows and it is really hard to get a straight shot of this bulletin board without a glare!)

 We love the Getting to Know... books--for artists and presidents!

 A couple more of the books we used.  We also watched the Dropping in on Matisse DVD, which the kids enjoyed.

 We tried the Overlapping Matisse Shapes from Art Projects for Kids.  (And then we went through and tossed a bunch of old markers!)

 We also tried this collage project from Jen's blog.

This is Alice's--I cut the shapes out for the person, but she assembled them cut the other paper and glued it all down herself.

We also did this watercolor project, but I can't find the finished project or a picture at the moment!  It's time to do some end of the year cleaning out and organizing!

Artist study has been a big hit this year!  I am going to come up with a list of famous artists who have works nearby we can go see next year!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Truman's Aunt Farm

 We recently finished up Truman's Aunt Farm.

 We didn't do a lot of written work since much of the insect information was a review.  I brought up the " Head-Thorax-Abdomen" song from an old zoo class, but Jack had forgotten it.
(Ants printable from HSS.)

See the homophone riddles?  I made those myself using the lapbook pieces that you can type on from HSS!  Become an email subscriber to the HSS blog and you can get this great resource FREE!

 These pages came from the Evan-Moor Giant Science Resource Book.  It's a bit pricey, but I have used this (I have the e-book version) for years now, so I think it's worth it!

 Some more insect books we used.

 And of course we took our insect field trip!  (This picture makes me laugh!)

 Last week we also noticed that some wasps had built their nests in Jack's window birdhouse.  It was neat to see them so close up, but it was hard to get a good picture!

 We also took some time for some word play.  Antics! is a great book even for older kids and adults because some of the words are pretty difficult.

I found these at the library and Jack loved reading through them and quizzing me.

We're wrapping up our school year now with The Glorious Flight!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fun Friday: Surprise!

 Pretty much the whole day was fun.  (Does anything scream fun more than a giant Lite Brite?)  Actually, the fun started around 7:30 when Jack woke me up to notify me that he had seen the neighbor's grandson arrive at her house and could he please go play right now?  So after breakfast and putting on real clothes, they played.  Jack was having a field trip day and the other boy is out of school now, and I came in to find them playing math on the white board.  Odd.

 Later we went to the Tulsa Air and Space Museum as a go-along with our current FIAR book, The Glorious Flight.

 The last time we went here, we had a baby bathroom emergency and we missed the planetarium show.  Thankfully we are no longer dealing with such things, and we got to enjoy the show!

 The big surprise came after the museum.  I didn't tell the kids where we were going until we were almost there--we had to drive past it on the highway to get there, so Jack saw it.  This is a new thing at the Oklahoma Aquarium for the summer called the Extreme Water Park and they were having a free opening night.  Calling this an Extreme Water Park is kind of like calling your school carnival Disneyland or your kid's track meet the Olympics, but the kids had a lot of fun.

 It was really windy so they were not able to set up the huge water slide, but the kids found lots to do.

 Both of them liked the obstacle course.

 Jack pretty much never stopped moving except to have some cake.

 He even ran from slide to slide.  We were there for four hours and he totally crashed when he got in bed.

We'll probably go back once more this summer so Jack can try the giant water slide.  It's kind of pricey for hosed-down inflatables, but they really did enjoy it and would have stayed longer if they could have.

 Alice said the evening was so much cool.  I'm thinking about stealing that phrase.


Check out today's post at Metro Family here!

Did you read about the Sir Cumference books?

If you're not an email subscriber to Homeschool Share's blog, do it now for some awesome freebies--like tons of lapbook pieces you can type on.  I used some myself this week!

Happy Friday!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

 I had a great Mother's Day.  I got a beautiful handmade Matisse card from Jack and a gorgeous necklace.

 You can't see the necklace here, because Jack had his arm around my neck while we were trying to take a nice picture.  It was nice of him to cover my double chin, though.

 And Alice....Well, if you look up the Cross of Adoration with Pearl on the James Avery site, you can see it.  I love me some pearls.

 I eventually got a good one of the two of us.

 This is how Alice wanted her picture taken.  And then the kids got excited because my mom and dad rode over here on their bikes--a pretty impressive surprise since they live more than six miles and some good hills away.

One of the best gifts:  I looked out the window yesterday to see the kids swinging and holding hands.  Please tell me this will last forever!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fun Friday Night: Rooster Days Run

 Our long day stretched into the evening with the Rooster Days Run.

 Jay and Jack were much, much faster than us!

 Alice would run fast for a bit and then want to get in the stroller--until she fell and scraped her knee at the halfway point and I had to carry her.  That was one long mile!

 When we were done, we listened to Jenny Labow while we waited for my sister and brother-in-law to finish their run.

Not a bad way to spend the evening!

Fun Friday: Bug Out!

 Today we went to the Bug Out at the Myriad Gardens.  Last year they were closed for remodeling, so Alice doesn't remember when she went before.

 Alice dumped all of her bugs from the first container on the floor.

 Jack finally made it a little further inside before releasing his bugs.

 Alice decided she was a little creeped out then and wanted me to empty her second container.

 The bug crowns they designed in the craft area!

 We had lunch at Arby's--the same Arby's we went to on Jack's 5th birthday.  They look a little different now.

 We saw lots of wildflowers on the sides of the highway (though my pictures are terrible!), which was a nice tie-in to last week's story.

Most of the way home, though, the kids looked like this.  Between a late night last night and a really early morning, we're all worn out!

Don't forget to check out this week's post at Metro Family

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