Monday, March 29, 2010

A Love of Learning - One Great Article . . .

I recently finished reading in the February 2010 Ensign (ok, I am a little behind). I just wanted to share an article in there written by Elder David A. Bednar. For those of you that are not LDS, the Ensign is a monthly magazine that our church publishes that has inspiring and informative articles. This article was right on with many of the feelings I have been having lately and some of what I learned at the TJED forum a couple of weekends ago. Even if you are not LDS, I think that the things he speaks about are so right on. Enjoy!!

Learning to Love Learning by Elder David A. Bednar

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thoroughly Enriched . . .

Well, there is so much I want to say about the experience I had at the TJED Forum on Saturday, but I am not quite sure that I can express how great it was in words. It was a very, very long day, but it was a day that was constantly enriching and educational; a good thing.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Andrew Groft, the President of George Wythe University. He did an absolutely, amazing job. The things that he shared with us made a person want to get out of their comfort zone and make a difference with their children and family. He spoke about the importance of each of us being kings and queens of our families and that each of us, ". . . should engage in small but significant deeds of greatness."

He also said, " We each have a creator and He created us to do something; our virtue." He defined the literal and true meaning of virtue as, " being that which you were created to do or be. Are we? Or are we doing things that dull our virtue?" It was very inspiring and uplifting.

The day was then filled with five more equally amazing and educational classes. I learned more about the importance of using Classical works and how to apply them. I learned about the basic Core phase of the TJed and how to use and apply it at home. It was well worth the long drive, long day, and money. This will definitely be a yearly trip.

I think another thing worth mentioning is the large number of youth that attended the youth forum. I was really impressed by the amount of youth that came to attend and also of the quality of there behavior and demeanor. Well done parents!

I also have to mention the book store that was done by Classic Books and Gifts and the large number of vendors with items to buy or find information on. The book store had a large selection of great, classic books for unbelievable prices, and yes, I too did my part and brought home some great finds. All in all, it was an extremely positive experience and I would encourage anyone that is interested in the importance of leadership for themselves or for children, in a homeschool or otherwise environment, to look into attending a TJED event.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A little more about Charlotte Mason . . .

For anyone that has heard about Charlotte Mason and her education methods, but has not really understood, or for those of you that are new to her, Simple Homeschool has a new post that gives an informative, easy to understand introduction. Enjoy!

7 Characteristics of a Charlotte Mason Education

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Putting TJED To Work . . .

In preparation for all of the wonderful, new knowledge I will get this Saturday at the TJED Forum, I was browsing through the book A Thomas Jefferson Education. I have already read it in entirety a couple of times and used parts of it as reference, but I thought I would look things over to get the wheels in my head turning.

When I got to the back, I came across Appendix F, Putting Thomas Jefferson Education to Work and stopped! The good news is, that I began the process described, a few months ago. Ok, maybe more like 11 months ago. I did read The Chosen and loved every bit of it and then I fell off the wagon. Drinking in book after book on so many different topics and genres. The problem? Non of them were the ones on the list in Appendix F or part of the challenge that I DID want to complete.

So, since I will be learning so many new things about TJED, I am committing to finishing the challenges listed in Appendix F. Anyone that wants to join me is more than welcome. Since I already read The Chosen, I will move on to the other books on the list, starting with The Lonesome Gods by Louis L'Amour. Can I finish it in a weeks time? I hope so . . .

For those that don't own A Thomas Jefferson Education, the "challenge" is there to help you, as a parent, learn how to implement a leadership education. It helps one begin to recognize the steps needed in reading, learning, and discussing classic works. We would be starting on step two: Read a Classic. Here is what it says:

" Read one of the following this week.

The Chosen by Chaim Potok
Little Britches by Ralph Moody
Laddie by Gene Stratton-Porter
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
The Lonesome Gods by Louis L'Amour

Just pick one, the one that sounds most interesting, and read it."
A Thomas Jefferson Education, pp. 173

Good luck to all and especially to me. One thing about blogging, it makes you feel more accountable when you are writing it down for the whole blogosphere to read. No pressure!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Book Reviews . . .

Ky's Review:

Alice in Wonderland

by Lewis Carroll

" I really like this book because there's a surprise on every page. My favorite character is the Mock Turtle and the Gryphon because they tell a story of when they were young. If you like surprises you will love this book."

Through the Looking Glass
by Lewis Carroll

"This book is really interesting because there are so many weird things about it, but it's so cool. My favorite characters are the Red Queen and the White Queen and all the other characters. This whole book is a big game of chess. "

Bugaloo's Review:

Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest

by Ann McGovern

"I think Robin Hood is the best book ever.You should read it your self I like Allen-a-dal he sings so well.This book is the best ever.Read it to find out what happens.I like it ,READ!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Week of March 8th - 12th:

Character Trait: We continued working on personal responsibility for a second week and things are going great. I have been really impressed with Ky and Bugaloo for stepping up and taking control of their lives. There was little or no reminders needed. Great job!!

Spelling: Ky just completed lesson 60 in Word Lessons. It was a review of past words and so I had her use the words in a story. She will be finishing that up this week. Just a hint: it's a mystery! She is very excited. Bugaloo just completed lesson 20 in Word Lessons.

Reading: Ky read through lessons 50 - 52. Bugaloo read through lessons 49-51.

Ky finished reading Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.

Bugaloo finished reading Robin Hood and is now deep into the third May Bird book.

They will post their reviews tomorrow.

They finished listening to Jungle Book.

Copy Work: Bugaloo did a review of words with cursive and Ky worked on a scriputre.

Math: Ky started on decimal multiplication and has done great. Bugaloo is continuing to master her multiplication facts up to 7 with worksheets, tables, flash cards, and games.

Peaches worked on recognition and writing some of her numbers.

History: We read more in The Story of The Thirteen Colonies. We have been listening to a book on tape also, "Who was first? : Discovering the Americas" by Russell Freedman. It has been really great to listen to in the car. Lots of great info.

Take Five: They continued learning about electricity and magnets with some worksheets, books, and experiments.

Other: Ky and Bugaloo spent time writing in their journals every day and also in scripture study. They also did units on MusIQ and their regular piano practice and lessons.

Peaches and JJ spent a lot of time with puzzles and their busy boxes. I am excited to go to the TJED forum this weekend so I can learn more about the phases and hopefully incorporate them with the littles.

We played Scrabble a couple of times and I encouraged them to try to use spelling words they worked on in the past. They spent a lot of time in singing practice. They sang "He Sent His Son" as a Sacrament musical number at the Veteran's home on Sunday. For those of you that are not LDS, Sacrament meeting is when the members of that congregation (we call them wards) gather to hear speakers, sing hymns, and partake of the sacrament (bread and water). I am not fluent in other religions, but it is similar to Mass or Communion rite.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Great Find for Nature Study . . .

I found some great field and pocket guides on a recent shopping trip to Costco. I think that they will be of great use in our nature study journeys. They are not small, but are a great size to take out with you on your adventures and nature hours. They measure about 5" x 7". I went through the stacks and found all the different kids and got one of each. The publisher is Parragon.

I think that these are a great resource for nature study or general studies of each topic. I got the following for $5.99 a book:

AField Guide to the Wildlife of North America by Bryan Richard
A Pocket Guide to Insects by Patrick Hook
A Field Guide to the Birds of North America by Michael Vanner
A Pocket Guide to the Stars & Planets by Duncan John
A Pocket Guide to Trees by Jenny Linford

Some other great resources and ideas can be found here. Also, keep an eye out at your local library. We picked up a flowers field guide that is just a couple of years old for 25 cents. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Week of March 1st - 5th:

Ky and Bugaloo both got letters from their pen pals and were so excited!!! On Monday, they took some time to write them letters. Peaches has been a little disappointed that she hasn't gotten anything yet, but I explained to her that Australia is a long way from us and that it will take time to get a letter to and from there. Being patient is hard for a four year old.

Character Trait: We have always tried to work on character traits and have encouraged our kids to act with manners, but I don't think that we were specific in the tools and design of them. So, we will now focus on a particular character trait and practice it in our daily lives. Last week we started on Responsibility. We talked about responsibility of our actions and of ourselves. They have been working on being responsible for their bodies ( cleanliness) and their personal spaces ( bedrooms). So far, they have been doing great. They have needed a few, small reminders, but have done an amazing job.

Spelling: Ky just completed lesson 59 and Bugaloo just completed lesson 19 in Word Lessons.

Reading: Ky read through lessons 47 - 49. Bugaloo read through lessons 46-48.

Ky is now reading Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.

Bugaloo is now reading Robin Hood.

They listened to Jungle Book.

Copy Work: Bugaloo finished the last of her cursive work. Ky copied a scripture.

Math: Ky and Bugaloo worked on word problems this week. I love word problems because it gives them a "real life" situation in which to practice the math skills they are learning.

History: We read more in The Story of The Thirteen Colonies.

Take Five: They started learning about electricity and magnets. They read some great information and books and filled out some worksheets. We were able to find some great books about electricity and magnetism at the library. They will work on this same topic for a couple of weeks.

Other: Ky and Bugaloo spent time writing in their journals every day and also in scripture study. They also did units on MusIQ and their regular piano practice and lessons.

We played the game Settlers of Catan. The girls LOVE this game and I think that they learn a lot from it. Ky made coconut cookies on Tuesday afternoon with a friend. She also helped me make M&M cookies on Sunday afternoon.

Monday, March 8, 2010

TJED Forum 2010 . . .

Have you gotten your tickets for the TJED Forum 2010 yet? I got mine!!! I am so excited to go to this conference. Even though we mostly follow a Charlotte Mason method, there are many aspects of the Thomas Jefferson Education that I like. This will be my first home school conference and I am very excited to learn more, meet fellow homeschoolers, and just have a good time.

Of course, I didn't order soon enough to get the early discount, but I think that it will still be worth the price. I am so looking forward to going. Maybe I'll see some of you there!! Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Great New Site . . .

There is a great new site out there for all those homeschoolers that are also Latter-Day Saints. Go check it out and enter to win some of their great prizes!

Week of Feb. 22nd - 26th:

Spelling: Ky just completed lesson 58 and Bugaloo just completed lesson 18 in Word Lessons.

Reading: Ky read through lessons 44 - 46. Bugaloo read through lessons 43-45.

Ky is now reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. She is excited because she has TWO books waiting to be read. The next May Bird and the next Nancy Drew!

Bugaloo is now reading Robin Hood and also can't wait to get to the next May Bird.

They listened to the Nancy Drew: Secret of the Old Clock ( I guess they can't get enough).

Copy Work: Bugaloo got back into her cursive work and Ky copied some scriptures.

Math: Ky has moved onto long division and is really doing great! She did a lot of worksheets, word problems, and AAA Math. Bugaloo has been reviewing her multiplication facts of 0-6. She is doing a great job! She uses worksheets and AAA Math.

History: We read more in The Story of The Thirteen Colonies.


Ky and Bugaloo spent time writing in their journals every day and also in scripture study. They also did units on MusIQ and their regular piano practice and lessons. They worked on their craft projects as well.