Monday, April 26, 2010

Living Math


It's amazing how you can homeschool for years and not hear even a whisper about some of the amazing resources out there. Up until now I've taught math like most homeschoolers. We have math textbooks and then we chat about math in life. Then I read a post over at Bakers Dozen where she mentioned living MATH books. Wait. What?! So as I try and fill our schooling with more and more living books, how did I not know there were loads of living math books? So I swaggled (yeah swaggled. It's a word. And if it's not, it is now. Swaggle aka search with swagbucks) So I swaggled the Sir Cumference series she mentioned. Then I saw the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought"s and then I clawed myself out of the vortex I had been sucked into and it was closer to 2AM. Yeah. Let's not tell Clay. I'm sure I slept until 9 the next morning. Let's not tell Clay that either.

Living Math = Literature books that teach math. Literature. A book I can sit with a 6yo and read and I won't see eyes glaze over. Stores of mummies and knights. Adventure with math. Yeah, it's that amazing. Let me send you on a trip to look at loads of great math books too.

Now I think the best of the best is LivingMath.Net . LivingMath not only has a huge Living Math books resource list in all sorts of categories, it has endless ideas for math games, math websites and more. And despite having looked at that site a lot recently just discovered it offers a historical living math curriculum that while I've only read samples looks like it could be a great supplement. And the book list for it looks amazing!

Here's a little taste of the endless living math books out there:
There is a series of 6 Sir Cumference book and every one gets rave reviews!

I had to stop myself. I have so many math books on my wish list. I wanted to add 100 more! In fact I published the post and am now editing to add a couple more like the History of Counting. Hope your feed readers shows the added books. Here's a great Amazon tag list too "Teaching Math Through Children's Literature".

I think hands down one of my very favorite things about homeschooling is being able to teach my children in ways I never even imagined as a child. Off to swaggle some more so I can start buying some of these books :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Truly Excited About School

There is a moment in whatever it is where you have that "ah ha" moment. Yeah yeah I quote Oprah. Don't hold it against me. For the last 5 years I have homeschooled. We did fine. The children have learned to read. And add. The have good handwriting. They're learning grammar. We've been getting the job done. But that's what it's been. Getting the job done. And that is okay. But it's not what I always wanted for them. Getting the job done isn't enough for me. At least not right now while I'm not pregnant or sick :)

I have some friends that school with a strong Classical leaning. They are inspiring ladies to say the least. Go check them out. Dell and AmyKate truly amaze me in what they do with their lovely families with ease. Over the years I have watched and listened to what they were doing and always felt that there was no way I could school like they do. But I was always in awe of their use of living books, their children's writing, and general passion for learning.

So I went and got The Well Trained Mind from the library. I started to read and was absorbed. It was almost obsessive! I read. And read. Then it lived in the bathroom. Yeah maybe library books in the bathroom is bad form. I never thought about until this moment. *blush*. Every chance I got I read that book. Here's a link to a page that gives the basic premise. Classical Education ala WTM. It was as if the heavens parted, a lightbulb went off over my head, and everything just fell into place.

I could do this. I could teach my children the way I wanted to. I didn't have to just get the job done. I "got it". I had already started Tapestry of Grace (love love) which is a classical curriculum but I started adding in more suggestions ala WTM like copywork, narrations, memorization in younger ones, her writing suggestions for older ones, and more. My children are thriving. She explains the three stages of learning and how to teach children based on their developmental stage. Blew my mind in the clarity it brought me. I could WHY to teach my 6yo one way and why I have to teach my 10 yo differently. I understood how to teach writing. That was a biggie. I have developed this love, no PASSION, for books. I've rethought Science. And am actually thrilled about it instead of dreading change like I always do. I hate change. I do. And I am now revamping lots of things! Yeah it really was an "ah ha" moment.

But more than anything, I am excited. Which makes them excited. I am thrilled to understand how all the pieces of what we're doing work together and how that works as they get older. It's not just a day by day thing. I see our future goals more clearly now.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Budget Bit - Paperback Swap


Not that I'm a series gal but I get these crazy ideas that I may talk about something having to do with budgets and cheap and free stuff more than once.

Do you use Paperback Swap? If you don't, now's the time.

PBS works like this. First sign up! Click through my link here: Kim's paperback swap referral link You list books you don't want anymore. When you first sign up, if you list 10 books you get 2 FREE credits!

When someone else wants a book you're posted, they request it from you. You print an easy printable label with their address, wrap your book in it, and mail it. You pay postage. When they receive it, you get a credit. You then request books, either ordering them if they aren't other people waiting for them, or you put them on your wish list.

On your wish list it shows how many people are ahead of you in line waiting for it. Keep adding books to your wish list, and keep posting books of your own. As your turn comes up, you get an email requesting you to confirm you still want the book and BAM the person who has it sends it to you FREE! Okay so you paid postage for other books but still... it's feels free when that long awaited book shows up in your mailbox!

Just today I got an email that one of the books on my Paperback Swap wish list was on it's way. I'm SO excited. Another great book for pennies. This is what's going to be in my box before I know it!
I'm trying to gather up a list of books to use this year for Science. I'll post about what I want to use soon. Between this and swagbucks, I've saved a lot of money. Such a blessing.

So sign up and start getting free books!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Backwoods Home Magazine

A friend of Clay's bought us a subscription to Backwoods Home Magazine. We just got our first issue. I'm so excited! I've bought issues at Tractor Supply and the feed store in the past but never would go spend the money and subscribe. I'm not sure what's wrong with me but I should have years ago. Years.

If you haven't checked out Backwoods Home Magazine, click this cover of the current issue and it will take you to their website's front page where it has online versions of a few of the current issue's articles.

But on top of that, their website is a HUGE resource. On the left side with all the links are blogs of some amazing homesteaders. And archives of retired BWH bloggers. But there is my all-time favorite "Ask Jackie Clay". Jackie knows everything and she gives me confidence that I can do it. Even when it's raw packing crazy meats and canning them or canning cheese :) Or acorn stew.

BWH rocks though seriously. They cover everything from building clay ovens to harvesting acorns to building log cabins with step by step instructions to politics and guns :) Anything and everything a homesteader or dreaming homesteader thinks about is covered in this magazine.

Now just when you think it can't get better........... there's this:

It's the insane, and I mean insane, archive list of past issues from 1998! So run over there and start clicking and reading. Meet me back here in a couple years.

Easter Pics


We snapped a few pictures for Easter. Goodness I love these people!

A family pic snapped after church:

This has to be my favorite picture of the entire day. Such love there.
My big boy and little boy:
Adric reached his hand up without any prompting. It was such a sweet loving move on his part. I will always love this picture because of it.
Look at this gorgeous dude!

The kids:
What 956 of the other pictures I tried to get of them looked like:
Hope you had a blessed Sunday last week. We did.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I think I can.. I think I can


Start blogging again that is. There's so much to talk about. Way too much to sit down and ramble about in one post. But I see changes coming to my blogging (IF I actually do blog of course. We all know that it's one "okay I'm going to start blogging again" post after another LOL). But I see changes coming if I do blog. One major one being talking about our homeschooling as well as homesteading. As of late I have been so inspired in the area of schooling and am excited to share what we're learning and doing. But for right now I'll throw up some pictures.