Sunday, November 16, 2014

Catholic, Homeschooling, and Dyslexic: Religion Class

I've googled those three words a lot over the past year, and there's not much out there for this minority.

Many Catholics homeschool and many dyslexics homeschool, but this weird combination of Catholic, homeschooling, and dyslexic seems pretty rare.

I've decided to help fill this gap with a series of posts about what we've found that works for us here at St. Jude's School for Kids Who Want To Read Good and Do Other Things Good Too.


Here's what we have found success with for religion/theology.

Online Catholic Learning or My Catholic Faith Delivered is a great website for religion courses.  For $25 a year, you can enroll in the Ignatius Press Faith and Life course.


This year we are using Following Christ, Book 6 (Faith and Life Series). I buy the Faith and Life texts and workbooks in addition to the online course.

Monday:  I read the chapter of the week aloud to Edmund.  He reads the blue box (questions and answers from the Catechism of the Catholic Church) at the end of each chapter aloud to me and we discuss.  The chapters are short, three to four pages max.  He does the first of the four corresponding workbook pages.  I aid him in highlighting relevant texts.

Tuesday through Thursday:  He does another workbook page each day for a total of four pages.

Friday:  He does the online lesson which includes a pre-test, a review game perhaps, listening to an audio version of the same chapter again, and the chapter test.

Every three or four chapters, there is a Unit Test, so every three or four weeks, he takes that test on a Friday as well.


My involvement in this subject is pretty minimal.  I spend some time reading on Mondays.  Tuesdays through Thursday I review his workbook pages and we discuss additions or corrections.  Once last week, I had to clear up a little heresy.  No big deal.

I've had a few hiccups with the online courses, but the service at Online Catholic Learning is superb. The folks there have been very kind (and patient) and helpful.  We completed the fifth grade course over the summer are off and running with the sixth grade one.

We are also going to supplement these courses from time to time to do some saint studies (We like the audio biographies from Glory Stories.) and lapbooks.  Edmund is getting confirmed next year, so I hope to add some Confirmation studies in the spring.

Following Christ, Book 6 (Faith and Life Series) has a special lesson for Christmas that I've managed to incorporate into our lesson plan.  Go me!  Normally, I would not have discovered it until too late. Holy Spirit for the win!

For another look at How We Homeschool, check out this interview I did with Micaela at California to Korea.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

WWRW: Five of Our Current Favorites

I'm baaack.  Today anyway.  One day at a time.  Minute by minute.

1.  America's Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution Volume 2 is bringing sanity and deliciousness to our dinner table, with lots of "open, dump, walk away" recipes that I can manage in the 3.2 minutes Polly will stay in the Bumpo.


This is my copy.  I flagged every recipe that did not require prep work.

To be honest, the most prep work required is microwaving chopped onions and garlic before adding to the slow cooker.  So for normal people not holding high-need babies, it's totally do-able.

Every recipe we've tried so far has been a hit.  Welllllll, I liked the Spiced Tenderloin with Quinoa. The minions ate it, and proclaimed it "interesting." It's the first time these gringos have had anything flavored with garam masala.

Monday, we had the Chicken Pomodoro.  To. Die. For.  Definitely making a double batch of that next time.

We've also made the Chicken Adobo, the Chicken Tomatillo Chile (yum!), and Thursday, I'm making Easy Beef Stew.

November + Polar Vortex = Comfort Foods

2.

Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild! by Mem Fox is Jill's current favorite.

"Harriet Harris is a pesky child."

Jill snuggles up to me as I read this book daily. She looks up at me meaningfully when Harriet makes mess after mess.

She smiles knowingly when I read, "Her mother didn't like to yell, so instead she said, "Harriet, my darling child. Harriet, you'll drive me wild."

Yup. It's like a day in my life right there on the printed page.

3.

A Life of Our Lord for Children by Marigold Hunt is a family read-aloud for the RC Connecting with History course we are using here at St. Jude's School for Kids Who Want To Read Good and Do Other Things Good Too.

And it's really interesting.  Basically, Hunt re-tells the Gospels with a linear timeline, while including all the background info about Jewish and Roman life of the period.  I enjoy reading it, while Edmund enjoys listening.  I'm even picking up a few new facts. Learn something new everyday!


When we finish A Life of Our Lord for Children, we'll continue with Hunt's The First Christians: The Acts of the Apostles for Children

4.

I began Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel by Katherine Reay, but kept "misplacing" the book, only to find my high school girls were much further along in it than I was.

So I did what any kind and generous parent would do.  I read the ending, and then handed it over.

Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel is an ideal book for the young adult reader.  Set in modern times, with a "Daddy Long-legs" type plot, Reay's novel is sweet without being saccharine, and relevant without being raunchy.

I predicted (quite accurately) the entire plot and ending, but that didn't diminish my enjoyment in seeing the protagonist live happily ever after.

5.

I read Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy  by Rumer Godden at least fifteen years ago, and I'm re-reading it for Micaela's Stella Maris online book club.

It's like a completely different novel this time around.

Lise Fanshawe, brothel manager goes to prison for a crime passionnel.  From prison, she enters religious life.  From one enclosure to another.  She finds her freedom behind the walls of a convent.

There is so much to think about in this book.  I am avidly looking forward to discussing Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy with the others who have read it.  You've got time.  Come on! Play along!

Yeah.  I would NOT let my high schoolers read this one.  It's gritty.  She's a prostitute. But it's not graphic.

When I was telling Patrick about it (He lets me "tell" him my books, God made him just for me.), he said that this sounded like a book that I would hate.  And it does.  But like I said, gritty, not graphic.

Since I've been MIA for so long, I'm not going to host a link-up, but rather add this post to Jenna's Five Favorites party.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Theme Thursday: Good Job!

This is what's happening at St.Jude's School for Kids Who Want to Read Good and Do Other Things Good Too this week.




Linking up with Cari for Theme Thursday.

I have about a dozen really great blog posts in my head, but Polly cried for 3.5 hours because I thought about getting out my laptop.  Someday soon I hope....

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Philippians are my kind of peeps.

Did anyone else get a personal letter from St. Paul on Sunday?

A reading from the Letter of St. Paul to {Insert Your Name Here}.

Have no anxiety at all,

but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.

Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

whatever is true
whatever is honorable
whatever is just
whatever is pure
whatever is lovely
whatever is gracious
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise
Think about THESE things.

Keep on
doing what have learned 
and received 
and heard 
and seen in me.

Then the God of peace will be with you.

My letter stopped there, but there's another part, just a bit further on, one of my favorite parts for when the going gets rough.


Thanks, Paul.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

7QT: TGIO!

1.  You know you married the right guy when he busts out his electric guitar to learn the Strawberry Shortcake (Berry Bitty Adventures) theme song.


I cannot even describe the awesomeness.  We had one berry good jam.

2.  I'd like him to learn the theme for Franklin next.  We changed the words to "Hey, it's Polly!"  Maybe Edmund could learn how to play a jaw harp?


3.  Speaking of theme songs, I may have mentioned once or a dozen times that I came up with lyrics for the theme to Monarch of the Glen.


Love that sexy sax.

Problem:  Since they keep changing who the Laird is, I have to change the words fairly often.

4.  My wonder son Peter, who is in Pennsylvania this weekend for a national collegiate level golf tournament, penned words to the theme close to everyone's hearts, Downton Abbey.


"Dog is walking.
Open shutters now.
Bells are ringinging.
The mail is here, the kettle's warm.
Measuring the places.
Petals falling.
Lamps are on.
DUST, dust the chandelier."

5.  YES!  I used up 5 takes on theme songs! #winning

Time for a gratuitous baby pic.



6.

Last night, Lucy and I watched Sense and Sensibility with *swoon* Alan Rickman.


Lucy commented that it was remarkably like the movie, Scents and Sensibility on Netflix.

no words. #fail

7.  I beg to disagree with Mr. T.S. Eliot.  September is the cruelest month.  Maybe October.  There were snow flurries this morning.

Polly will not abide car seats or naps longer than five minutes.

I hear a baby crying in my head when I go to sleep at night.

This season of life is dang hard.  So many people with so many needs.

Sorry blog readers, but I blew off WWRW this week.  I chose to shower, walk the whole brood the whole way to the library, and stop at the playground on the way home.  I let Edmund and Jill play as long as they wanted.

I'd like to promise it won't happen again, but most days are difficult days.  Not a lot of reading is happening and even less blogging.

It's just going to have to be that way for awhile.  I know you'll understand.

Any bloggers wanna take a turn guest hosting WWRW?  Shoot me an email.  Or just leave a comment.

My troubles aren't really troubles.  All these people in my life to love are treasures.  I get that.  But here's to a day when I go to the bathroom and nobody talks to me through the door!

 

Linking up with Jen. A day late.  That's how it's gotta be.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WWRW: Reading About Math


Ten Orange Pumpkins: A Counting Book by Stephen Savage has amazingly clear illustrations that play with light and shadow and silhouette.  The text is pleasantly simple.  Rhyming, but not too rhymey.  Know what I mean?


I have read it to Jill a dozen times, and I could read it a dozen more.  She loves to find the black cat on every page.  In addition to being a counting book, it's a fun Halloween read.


The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos by Deborah Heiligman is the picture book biography of the famous mathematician, Erdos (pronounced Air-dish).  He loved math so much, he missed out on learning some basic life skills.


When he leaves home for the first time, he can't butter his bread or do laundry or pay bills.  

No worries.  The mathematicians he visits take care of things for him so he can spend his whole life doing math.


Favorite part:  Erdos refers to the children of his friends as Epsilons and the delightful pictures by LeUyen Pham show children wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the Greek letter Epsilon.  Yes, Jill and Polly would look adorable in Epsilon t-shirts.  Who on Etsy can grant this wish?


The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky is not for the pre-school set.  Edmund and I learned from it though.  Question:  If Erastothenes knew the earth was round and measured it like 2000+ years ago, how come Columbus's critics didn't get the memo by 1492?

Anyway, I find it fascinating that someone figured out and actually got a crew of people on board to measure the circumference of the earth BY HAND!  Or actually, by foot.  They weren't off by much either!


I'm a visual learner, so it makes sense that I love seeing math in nature.  Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature by Susan C. Campbell explains the Fibonacci sequence and shows us brilliant photos of the sequence in God's creation all around us.  God is so smart.

Laura, WWRW linker upper, wrote about another Fibonacci picture book last week, over at her space called "To Say Nothing of the Sideshow." Of course, I have to check out The Rabbit Problem myself now, as well as On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein which popped up on one of my Amazon searches.

I love that Amazon knows me and gives me book recs.  By the way, I'm an Amazon Associate and I use affiliate links.  I got a nice little gift card from Amazon recently. Thanks for clicking and looking and sometimes buying.


And as always, thank you for linking up!

Friday, September 19, 2014

7QT: All the things.

1.  Important Business First.






2.  I've been re-arranging furniture.  (translation:  If you feel you have no control over anything in your life, at least you can control the furniture.  Until your spouse gets home.)

We need more seating in our living room.  See quick take #7 below.

I'm thinking about this piece from Target. The size perfectly fits the tiny space I have left. Unfortunately, it has a rather restricted weight limit so Patrick and I could not sit on there together.


Also, unlike most of my furniture, it is not brown.

Brown hides dirt, chocolate, coffee, and daily dinge.  Downside:  brown is boring.

I'm also in love with this rug from LL Bean. But honestly.  Can you put a Christmas tree on an orange rug?  I thought not.

 Of course, it is available in navy.

In the perfect version of my life, I only buy furniture from LL Bean because everything is guaranteed for life and my home looks like a beach cottage in Maine.

3.

Am I the only one that missed when JULIAN FELLOWES made a Titanic two years ago for the 100th anniversary of the historic event?!?


Just in case you were starting to doubt the "There are only 80 British actors total" Theory, may I point out that Clara, current Dr. Who companion, is a stewardess on board Titanic.

Edmund is currently obsessed with shipwrecks, specifically the Titanic.  I see this as a sign that we need to go back to Cali to visit the Queen Mary again.

I also raided our library system for any and all Titanic related material.  (We did NOT watch the Leo DiCaprio/Cate Winslet film.  If we do, it will only be to see the amazing re-created footage of the ship's actual descent underwater.  The best part of the movie in my opinion.)

The reviews of the Julian Fellowes version are varied, but we enjoyed it.  By and large, it's family friendly.  One wicked mother of six exchanges glances and a kiss with ... no spoilers here.

Julian (yes, we are that close) does a remarkable job highlighting the plight of Catholics at that time, in the creation of the ship as well as on board.  The portrayal of class differences is eye-opening.  The snubs the aristocracy give each other are almost comical.

All of the details that I find captivating about the Titanic travesty are given due: the lost binoculars, the treatment of steerage passengers, the cowards, the heroes, the cluster of mistakes made in the creation of the ship, the myriad of bizarre conditions the night of April 15, 1912.

At this time, the Julian Fellowes Titanic mini-series is not available on Amazon Instant Video or Netflix, but the DVDs are available on Amazon Prime for only $5.38.

(I do use affiliate links.  Thank you for your support.)

4.  Do you rotate toys?  If so, how?

We have far too many toys in our home.  Books too for that matter.  I pitch or donate the junk, but I still have more than we can store neatly.


This is just a tiny fraction of what we have.
I have this one cabinet that I would like to imagine could contain all of the toys. But as more birthdays and Christmases keep happening to Jill, and Polly has a good size basket of her own things, I am fighting a losing battle.

5.  Our garden is STILL flourishing!  I am still harvesting about 6-10 tomatoes a day.  They are small plum tomatoes, which are perfect for Marinara Sauce.


Patrick based his sauce off Martha's recipe.  He can't follow a recipe. His creative genius just takes over.  He added fresh basil and I forgot to put it through a food mill.

It was still most excellent. And I am not a fan of red sauce.

6.

St. Jude's School for Kids Who Want to Read Good and Do Other Things Good is chugging right along.

I am THRILLED that I took Charlotte's advice and bought the Teaching Tapes for Saxon math.


Edmund was thisclose to testing into an advanced grade level but I chose to under-challenge him and build confidence, rather than over-challenge him and create frustration.

He watches these terribly made dvds of the sweetest woman with a Southern drawl explaining the day's lesson, and whips through it.

THEN he re-creates the dvd lesson on our whiteboard HIMSELF with problems of his own creation! FOR FUN!


We are also delighted with Andrew Pudewa's Student Writing Intensive on dvd.


Edmund finds the topics (Sea Snakes, Desert Tarantulas, etc.) so completely fascinating that he looks forward to the writing lessons.

7.

As you know, it's Friday, and these are the 7 quick takes that I always link up with Jen Fulwiler, because she's good at this blogging gig.  (shudder.  "Gig" is one of those words that makes me cringe.)

Jen has really good stuff to say today, particularly on entertaining.

Hospitality is a virtue, something that comes naturally to some, and must be worked towards for others.  I've found that entertaining for me is often always an act of humility, because my house isn't the way I want it.

But it's not my will that matters here, and that's the rub.

Go read Jen.  She gives hope to those who suffer from inferior home issues.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Catholic, Homeschooling, and Dyslexic: Religion Class

I've googled those three words a lot over the past year, and there's not much out there for this minority.

Many Catholics homeschool and many dyslexics homeschool, but this weird combination of Catholic, homeschooling, and dyslexic seems pretty rare.

I've decided to help fill this gap with a series of posts about what we've found that works for us here at St. Jude's School for Kids Who Want To Read Good and Do Other Things Good Too.


Here's what we have found success with for religion/theology.

Online Catholic Learning or My Catholic Faith Delivered is a great website for religion courses.  For $25 a year, you can enroll in the Ignatius Press Faith and Life course.


This year we are using Following Christ, Book 6 (Faith and Life Series). I buy the Faith and Life texts and workbooks in addition to the online course.

Monday:  I read the chapter of the week aloud to Edmund.  He reads the blue box (questions and answers from the Catechism of the Catholic Church) at the end of each chapter aloud to me and we discuss.  The chapters are short, three to four pages max.  He does the first of the four corresponding workbook pages.  I aid him in highlighting relevant texts.

Tuesday through Thursday:  He does another workbook page each day for a total of four pages.

Friday:  He does the online lesson which includes a pre-test, a review game perhaps, listening to an audio version of the same chapter again, and the chapter test.

Every three or four chapters, there is a Unit Test, so every three or four weeks, he takes that test on a Friday as well.


My involvement in this subject is pretty minimal.  I spend some time reading on Mondays.  Tuesdays through Thursday I review his workbook pages and we discuss additions or corrections.  Once last week, I had to clear up a little heresy.  No big deal.

I've had a few hiccups with the online courses, but the service at Online Catholic Learning is superb. The folks there have been very kind (and patient) and helpful.  We completed the fifth grade course over the summer are off and running with the sixth grade one.

We are also going to supplement these courses from time to time to do some saint studies (We like the audio biographies from Glory Stories.) and lapbooks.  Edmund is getting confirmed next year, so I hope to add some Confirmation studies in the spring.

Following Christ, Book 6 (Faith and Life Series) has a special lesson for Christmas that I've managed to incorporate into our lesson plan.  Go me!  Normally, I would not have discovered it until too late. Holy Spirit for the win!

For another look at How We Homeschool, check out this interview I did with Micaela at California to Korea.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

WWRW: Five of Our Current Favorites

I'm baaack.  Today anyway.  One day at a time.  Minute by minute.

1.  America's Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution Volume 2 is bringing sanity and deliciousness to our dinner table, with lots of "open, dump, walk away" recipes that I can manage in the 3.2 minutes Polly will stay in the Bumpo.


This is my copy.  I flagged every recipe that did not require prep work.

To be honest, the most prep work required is microwaving chopped onions and garlic before adding to the slow cooker.  So for normal people not holding high-need babies, it's totally do-able.

Every recipe we've tried so far has been a hit.  Welllllll, I liked the Spiced Tenderloin with Quinoa. The minions ate it, and proclaimed it "interesting." It's the first time these gringos have had anything flavored with garam masala.

Monday, we had the Chicken Pomodoro.  To. Die. For.  Definitely making a double batch of that next time.

We've also made the Chicken Adobo, the Chicken Tomatillo Chile (yum!), and Thursday, I'm making Easy Beef Stew.

November + Polar Vortex = Comfort Foods

2.

Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild! by Mem Fox is Jill's current favorite.

"Harriet Harris is a pesky child."

Jill snuggles up to me as I read this book daily. She looks up at me meaningfully when Harriet makes mess after mess.

She smiles knowingly when I read, "Her mother didn't like to yell, so instead she said, "Harriet, my darling child. Harriet, you'll drive me wild."

Yup. It's like a day in my life right there on the printed page.

3.

A Life of Our Lord for Children by Marigold Hunt is a family read-aloud for the RC Connecting with History course we are using here at St. Jude's School for Kids Who Want To Read Good and Do Other Things Good Too.

And it's really interesting.  Basically, Hunt re-tells the Gospels with a linear timeline, while including all the background info about Jewish and Roman life of the period.  I enjoy reading it, while Edmund enjoys listening.  I'm even picking up a few new facts. Learn something new everyday!


When we finish A Life of Our Lord for Children, we'll continue with Hunt's The First Christians: The Acts of the Apostles for Children

4.

I began Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel by Katherine Reay, but kept "misplacing" the book, only to find my high school girls were much further along in it than I was.

So I did what any kind and generous parent would do.  I read the ending, and then handed it over.

Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel is an ideal book for the young adult reader.  Set in modern times, with a "Daddy Long-legs" type plot, Reay's novel is sweet without being saccharine, and relevant without being raunchy.

I predicted (quite accurately) the entire plot and ending, but that didn't diminish my enjoyment in seeing the protagonist live happily ever after.

5.

I read Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy  by Rumer Godden at least fifteen years ago, and I'm re-reading it for Micaela's Stella Maris online book club.

It's like a completely different novel this time around.

Lise Fanshawe, brothel manager goes to prison for a crime passionnel.  From prison, she enters religious life.  From one enclosure to another.  She finds her freedom behind the walls of a convent.

There is so much to think about in this book.  I am avidly looking forward to discussing Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy with the others who have read it.  You've got time.  Come on! Play along!

Yeah.  I would NOT let my high schoolers read this one.  It's gritty.  She's a prostitute. But it's not graphic.

When I was telling Patrick about it (He lets me "tell" him my books, God made him just for me.), he said that this sounded like a book that I would hate.  And it does.  But like I said, gritty, not graphic.

Since I've been MIA for so long, I'm not going to host a link-up, but rather add this post to Jenna's Five Favorites party.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Theme Thursday: Good Job!

This is what's happening at St.Jude's School for Kids Who Want to Read Good and Do Other Things Good Too this week.




Linking up with Cari for Theme Thursday.

I have about a dozen really great blog posts in my head, but Polly cried for 3.5 hours because I thought about getting out my laptop.  Someday soon I hope....

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Philippians are my kind of peeps.

Did anyone else get a personal letter from St. Paul on Sunday?

A reading from the Letter of St. Paul to {Insert Your Name Here}.

Have no anxiety at all,

but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.

Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

whatever is true
whatever is honorable
whatever is just
whatever is pure
whatever is lovely
whatever is gracious
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise
Think about THESE things.

Keep on
doing what have learned 
and received 
and heard 
and seen in me.

Then the God of peace will be with you.

My letter stopped there, but there's another part, just a bit further on, one of my favorite parts for when the going gets rough.


Thanks, Paul.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

7QT: TGIO!

1.  You know you married the right guy when he busts out his electric guitar to learn the Strawberry Shortcake (Berry Bitty Adventures) theme song.


I cannot even describe the awesomeness.  We had one berry good jam.

2.  I'd like him to learn the theme for Franklin next.  We changed the words to "Hey, it's Polly!"  Maybe Edmund could learn how to play a jaw harp?


3.  Speaking of theme songs, I may have mentioned once or a dozen times that I came up with lyrics for the theme to Monarch of the Glen.


Love that sexy sax.

Problem:  Since they keep changing who the Laird is, I have to change the words fairly often.

4.  My wonder son Peter, who is in Pennsylvania this weekend for a national collegiate level golf tournament, penned words to the theme close to everyone's hearts, Downton Abbey.


"Dog is walking.
Open shutters now.
Bells are ringinging.
The mail is here, the kettle's warm.
Measuring the places.
Petals falling.
Lamps are on.
DUST, dust the chandelier."

5.  YES!  I used up 5 takes on theme songs! #winning

Time for a gratuitous baby pic.



6.

Last night, Lucy and I watched Sense and Sensibility with *swoon* Alan Rickman.


Lucy commented that it was remarkably like the movie, Scents and Sensibility on Netflix.

no words. #fail

7.  I beg to disagree with Mr. T.S. Eliot.  September is the cruelest month.  Maybe October.  There were snow flurries this morning.

Polly will not abide car seats or naps longer than five minutes.

I hear a baby crying in my head when I go to sleep at night.

This season of life is dang hard.  So many people with so many needs.

Sorry blog readers, but I blew off WWRW this week.  I chose to shower, walk the whole brood the whole way to the library, and stop at the playground on the way home.  I let Edmund and Jill play as long as they wanted.

I'd like to promise it won't happen again, but most days are difficult days.  Not a lot of reading is happening and even less blogging.

It's just going to have to be that way for awhile.  I know you'll understand.

Any bloggers wanna take a turn guest hosting WWRW?  Shoot me an email.  Or just leave a comment.

My troubles aren't really troubles.  All these people in my life to love are treasures.  I get that.  But here's to a day when I go to the bathroom and nobody talks to me through the door!

 

Linking up with Jen. A day late.  That's how it's gotta be.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WWRW: Reading About Math


Ten Orange Pumpkins: A Counting Book by Stephen Savage has amazingly clear illustrations that play with light and shadow and silhouette.  The text is pleasantly simple.  Rhyming, but not too rhymey.  Know what I mean?


I have read it to Jill a dozen times, and I could read it a dozen more.  She loves to find the black cat on every page.  In addition to being a counting book, it's a fun Halloween read.


The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos by Deborah Heiligman is the picture book biography of the famous mathematician, Erdos (pronounced Air-dish).  He loved math so much, he missed out on learning some basic life skills.


When he leaves home for the first time, he can't butter his bread or do laundry or pay bills.  

No worries.  The mathematicians he visits take care of things for him so he can spend his whole life doing math.


Favorite part:  Erdos refers to the children of his friends as Epsilons and the delightful pictures by LeUyen Pham show children wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the Greek letter Epsilon.  Yes, Jill and Polly would look adorable in Epsilon t-shirts.  Who on Etsy can grant this wish?


The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky is not for the pre-school set.  Edmund and I learned from it though.  Question:  If Erastothenes knew the earth was round and measured it like 2000+ years ago, how come Columbus's critics didn't get the memo by 1492?

Anyway, I find it fascinating that someone figured out and actually got a crew of people on board to measure the circumference of the earth BY HAND!  Or actually, by foot.  They weren't off by much either!


I'm a visual learner, so it makes sense that I love seeing math in nature.  Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature by Susan C. Campbell explains the Fibonacci sequence and shows us brilliant photos of the sequence in God's creation all around us.  God is so smart.

Laura, WWRW linker upper, wrote about another Fibonacci picture book last week, over at her space called "To Say Nothing of the Sideshow." Of course, I have to check out The Rabbit Problem myself now, as well as On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein which popped up on one of my Amazon searches.

I love that Amazon knows me and gives me book recs.  By the way, I'm an Amazon Associate and I use affiliate links.  I got a nice little gift card from Amazon recently. Thanks for clicking and looking and sometimes buying.


And as always, thank you for linking up!

Friday, September 19, 2014

7QT: All the things.

1.  Important Business First.






2.  I've been re-arranging furniture.  (translation:  If you feel you have no control over anything in your life, at least you can control the furniture.  Until your spouse gets home.)

We need more seating in our living room.  See quick take #7 below.

I'm thinking about this piece from Target. The size perfectly fits the tiny space I have left. Unfortunately, it has a rather restricted weight limit so Patrick and I could not sit on there together.


Also, unlike most of my furniture, it is not brown.

Brown hides dirt, chocolate, coffee, and daily dinge.  Downside:  brown is boring.

I'm also in love with this rug from LL Bean. But honestly.  Can you put a Christmas tree on an orange rug?  I thought not.

 Of course, it is available in navy.

In the perfect version of my life, I only buy furniture from LL Bean because everything is guaranteed for life and my home looks like a beach cottage in Maine.

3.

Am I the only one that missed when JULIAN FELLOWES made a Titanic two years ago for the 100th anniversary of the historic event?!?


Just in case you were starting to doubt the "There are only 80 British actors total" Theory, may I point out that Clara, current Dr. Who companion, is a stewardess on board Titanic.

Edmund is currently obsessed with shipwrecks, specifically the Titanic.  I see this as a sign that we need to go back to Cali to visit the Queen Mary again.

I also raided our library system for any and all Titanic related material.  (We did NOT watch the Leo DiCaprio/Cate Winslet film.  If we do, it will only be to see the amazing re-created footage of the ship's actual descent underwater.  The best part of the movie in my opinion.)

The reviews of the Julian Fellowes version are varied, but we enjoyed it.  By and large, it's family friendly.  One wicked mother of six exchanges glances and a kiss with ... no spoilers here.

Julian (yes, we are that close) does a remarkable job highlighting the plight of Catholics at that time, in the creation of the ship as well as on board.  The portrayal of class differences is eye-opening.  The snubs the aristocracy give each other are almost comical.

All of the details that I find captivating about the Titanic travesty are given due: the lost binoculars, the treatment of steerage passengers, the cowards, the heroes, the cluster of mistakes made in the creation of the ship, the myriad of bizarre conditions the night of April 15, 1912.

At this time, the Julian Fellowes Titanic mini-series is not available on Amazon Instant Video or Netflix, but the DVDs are available on Amazon Prime for only $5.38.

(I do use affiliate links.  Thank you for your support.)

4.  Do you rotate toys?  If so, how?

We have far too many toys in our home.  Books too for that matter.  I pitch or donate the junk, but I still have more than we can store neatly.


This is just a tiny fraction of what we have.
I have this one cabinet that I would like to imagine could contain all of the toys. But as more birthdays and Christmases keep happening to Jill, and Polly has a good size basket of her own things, I am fighting a losing battle.

5.  Our garden is STILL flourishing!  I am still harvesting about 6-10 tomatoes a day.  They are small plum tomatoes, which are perfect for Marinara Sauce.


Patrick based his sauce off Martha's recipe.  He can't follow a recipe. His creative genius just takes over.  He added fresh basil and I forgot to put it through a food mill.

It was still most excellent. And I am not a fan of red sauce.

6.

St. Jude's School for Kids Who Want to Read Good and Do Other Things Good is chugging right along.

I am THRILLED that I took Charlotte's advice and bought the Teaching Tapes for Saxon math.


Edmund was thisclose to testing into an advanced grade level but I chose to under-challenge him and build confidence, rather than over-challenge him and create frustration.

He watches these terribly made dvds of the sweetest woman with a Southern drawl explaining the day's lesson, and whips through it.

THEN he re-creates the dvd lesson on our whiteboard HIMSELF with problems of his own creation! FOR FUN!


We are also delighted with Andrew Pudewa's Student Writing Intensive on dvd.


Edmund finds the topics (Sea Snakes, Desert Tarantulas, etc.) so completely fascinating that he looks forward to the writing lessons.

7.

As you know, it's Friday, and these are the 7 quick takes that I always link up with Jen Fulwiler, because she's good at this blogging gig.  (shudder.  "Gig" is one of those words that makes me cringe.)

Jen has really good stuff to say today, particularly on entertaining.

Hospitality is a virtue, something that comes naturally to some, and must be worked towards for others.  I've found that entertaining for me is often always an act of humility, because my house isn't the way I want it.

But it's not my will that matters here, and that's the rub.

Go read Jen.  She gives hope to those who suffer from inferior home issues.