Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Maia of Thebes notebooking pages 2

We've been busily working on school the last two weeks which means that my posts have become fewer and fewer.  I wanted to get some more of these notebooking pages up for anyone who wants to use them. These are for chapters 7 through 12.

Here they are:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Maia of Thebes notebooking pages

The fourth grader and I started reading one of his books for school this week, "Maia of Thebes." Maia is a little girl living in ancient Egypt with her aunt, uncle, and brother.  More than anything she wants to be a scribe.  But there's just one problem, girls cannot learn to be scribes so Maia must learn in secret.

Notebooking is something that I really wanted to do with my kids this year.  It was a fun way to review what they learned while also creating some great pages for their portfolios.  We are only a few pages into our notebooking journey with this book, but I wanted to share our first few pages awhile.  I'll add more as we get more but for now, here are the pages for the first six chapters of the book, "Maia of Thebes."

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Have You Heard About the Scholastic Dollar Deals?

The dollar deals days are here from Scholastic and you don't want to miss them! August 20-27, 2012 Scholastic is offering tons of their ebooks for just $1!  Check out the sale here:


Yesterday I got some really great books to fill in the holes in our curriculum...actually, I probably didn't need any of them but they were a dollar! How do you pass up a deal like that?

This is a list of what I got yesterday:

1. Super One Page Math Comics
2. Hands-on Explorers
3. Ready to Go Super Book of Outline Maps
4. Literature Guide: The Giver
5. Hands-on Writing Activities that get Kids Ready for the Writing Assessments
6. 40 Funtabulous Puzzles for Multiplication, Division, Decimals, Fractions, and more
7. Real Life Writing Activities Based on Picture Books
8. Teaching Science with Favorite Picture Books
9. Zach the Lazy Zebra
10. 15 Fun and Easy Games for Young Learners: Math
11. Map Skills Made Fun: Neighborhoods and Communities
12. Pre-writing Practice Pages
13. I Like Stripes (level A)
14. Tail Tales (level C)
15. Safety First
16. Amazing Hands-on Map Activities
17. Teaching Elaboration and Word Choice
18. I Can Write my ABCs: Quick and Creative Activities
19. Comic-strip Grammar
20. Spell Well!
21. Awesome Activities to Help Reluctant Writers Succeed!

I have to say, I have looked through most of these and will likely go back and get a few more! I'm very happy with the majority of my purchases so far. :)

We are doing Tapestry of Grace this year as a family so the outline map book is going to be great! I need some maps to work with instead of hunting for free downloads online.  And the math puzzle book will be great reinforcement for my 7th and 4th graders, but especially for the 7th grader who will be working on the basics this year in order to prepare for pre-algebra next year. And those math comics? My older boys are going to just love those!

If you've placed a dollar deals order, what have you picked up? Happy schooling!

Friday, August 17, 2012

What do I do with them?

If you're like me, you likely have lots of kids in a bunch of different stages of their lives.  So what do you do with the kids that aren't really school-aged that still need some quality entertainment? How do you get through a school day without guilt over "ignoring" the youngest?

Now don't get me wrong, I don't really ignore him! He would never stand for that. Lol.  But it's a lot of "sure, you can have some more chocolate milk." And "here, why don't you color this picture for mama?" Or "I'll set up a train track for you in a minute."

I want this year to be different and that's why I've come up with a list of things to do with him while the others are schooling. :)  I'm hoping that by sharing this, someone out there will get some wonderful ideas for their own little ones.

Websites with fun games for little ones:

1. www.pbskids.org/
2. www.nickjr.com
3. www.sproutonline.com
4. www.starfall.com
5. http://www.thomasandfriends.com/uk/Thomas.mvc/Home

Free Curriculum Sites for the littles, some with printables:

1. http://weefolkart.com/
2. www.education.com
3. www.tlsbooks.com
4. www.letteroftheweek.com
5. http://www.enchantedlearning.com/categories/preschool.shtml (some free content)
6. http://www.first-school.ws/

Craft ideas that are preschool friendly:

1. http://www.first-school.ws/theme/crafts.htm
2. http://www.thatartistwoman.org/2009/05/fossil-casts-dinosaur-art-project-1.html
3. http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/crafts-by-age/toddler-crafts/
4. http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/crafts-by-age/preschool-crafts/
5. http://www.homeschoolshare.com/

A few open and go ideas for preschoolers:

1. Playdoh (add cookie cutters and other fun stuff to make this last a whole 15 minutes instead of just 10, lol)
2. water paints
3. coloring books/pages
4. puzzles
5. new books
6. math manipulatives

Some messy ideas:

1. shaving cream art on a table
2. sidewalk chalk with water (makes the chalk look/feel different when drawing)
3. make your own colored bubbles to use outside
4. finger paints

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Math Notebooking Pages

This year I think we're going to take a stab at math notebooking for all of the kids.  The fourth grader and the first grader will be doing Math-U-See this year while the seventh grader is trying out Life of Fred.  I really wanted some pages to go along with these, so I came up with the following:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Art Class

We've all got certain requirements that our states want us to meet and one of those here in Pennsylvania is art.  In our portfolios, we must show evidence of art somewhere.  This is easier with one of my children than some of the others as he is very into drawing!  In fact, he's spent the last several weeks learning about cartooning online!

I grew up attending public school and hating the whole learning process, so the fact that my wonderful child wants to learn something new over the summer is still mind-boggling to me sometimes but then I remember: this is one of the big reasons I am homeschooling them!  I want them to learn NOW what it took me so long to realize. Learning should be a fun, life-long, enjoyable experience.

Anyway, here's a picture he's recently done:

This picture was done by my upcoming fourth grader using instruction that he received here: http://www.activitytv.com/

This was one of his first pictures.  Since then, he has done dozens more, several of which have made the cut to the portfolio for this year.

Some other free art sites we like:


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dinosaur Notebooking Pages

Here's a few more dinosaur notebooking pages.  These have clip art added to them for a little more visual interest.  I make my notebooking pages black and white for a few reasons.  One, it's easier on the wallet if I'm only printing in blacks and grays.  And two, it gives my kids a chance to be a little more creative by coloring the pages themselves in any shades or colors they choose.

Enjoy the pages!

Dinosaur Unit Study with Notebooking Pages!

Before we officially kick off our homeschool year, we'll ease into it with a week-long unit study on dinosaurs.  Now this subject is tricky in our house as we are a Christian family and I'm not ready to introduce evolution or the big bang theory to most of my children (the seventh grader already knows about these).

Whether you're interested in introducing those subjects or not, I've got some fun websites, books, and activities planned for the week that I thought I'd share with you all! We'll be discussing things like what the different dinosaurs ate, their size, fossils and where/how to find them, and more.

The websites we'll be using, both for information and activities/projects:

1. http://christiananswers.net/dinosaurs/
2. http://www.thatartistwoman.org/2009/05/fossil-casts-dinosaur-art-project-1.html
3. http://www.magictreehouse.com/#teachers_resource_center
4. http://www.pbs.org/teachers/search/resources/?q=dinosaurs&x=0&y=0
5. http://www.rocksforkids.com/R&M/fossils.htm
6. http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/dinosaur-crafts.htm
7. http://www.history.com/search?search-field=Dinosaurs
8. http://www.uky.edu/KGS/education/activities.htm
9. http://www.homeschoolshare.com/dinosaurs.php

Books we're using:

1. Magic Tree House Dinosaurs Before Dark
2. Magic Tree House Sunset of the Sabertooth
3. Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #1 Dinosaurs
4. Bones Rock! Everything You Need to Know to be a Paleontologist
5. Eyewitness Handbooks Fossils
6. The Mystery of History
7. From This Earth Fossils
8. The Nature and Science of Fossils
9. Jurassic Park Istitute Dinsaur Field Guide
10. National Geographic Dinosaurs
11. Dinosaur Mummies Beyond Bare-Bone Fossils
12. Dragonbreath Series Books (okay, so they aren't dinosaurs but it DOES get my fourth grader reading for the new school year, lol)

We'll also be doing several notebooking pages. There are tons available online both for free and for purchase.  You can also easily make your own.  You can see some of the ones I've created below. Feel free to use them in your own notebooking if you wish!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Wrinkle in Time, Chapter Twelve

We're finishing up the final chapter today! Here's a link to chapter twelve on SparkNotes: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/wrinkle/section12.rhtml

Chapter Twelve: The Foolish and the Weak


accord formidably indignation broccoli catapulted

  1. Why was Meg so angry for so long in this chapter?
  2. Why is Meg the only one that can go back and save Charles Wallace?
  3. When Mrs. Which said she had something that It did not, did you know right away what it was? Why do you suppose that was what worked to free Charles Wallace?
  4. Give me some examples of the love theme that you've seen in this final chapter.
  5. Did you like the ending of this book? Why or why not? Is there anything you wish had happened but didn't?

    **For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. -1 Corinthians 1:25 (NIV)

Noteworthy Notes from SparkNotes:

-The gifts Meg receives in this chapter allude to Christianity.
-Meg returns home a changed person and is finally comfortable with who she is.

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Wrinkle in Time, Chapter Eleven

Here's a link to today's chapter in SparkNotes:http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/wrinkle/section11.rhtml

Chapter Eleven: Aunt Beast


emanate           trepidation           frigid           oppressive             perplexity
opaque         converged         gorge          reverberated

  1. “How can you explain sight on a world where no one has ever seen and where there is no need of eyes?” How would you answer this question?
  2. Aunt Beast tells Meg that their planet has help in their fight against the black thing. Who is helping them? *Hint, look at the capitalization of Him here.
  3. On Ixchel, the beasts cannot see. Initially, Meg seems to feel that their lack of sight is limiting for them. Do you feel this is true or no? Why or why not?
  4. Tell me what you think about Meg's reaction to her father on Ixchel. Would you feel the same way in similar circumstances? Explain.
  5. How would you describe the Mrs. W's to the beasts on Ixchel?
 Noteworthy Notes from SparkNotes:

-Ixchel is named for the Mayan goddess of the rainbow and patron of medicine.
-L'Engle is challenging our assumptions about people communicate with one another and how they perceive the world in this chapter.
-Calvin's gift of communication is finally useful here.
-Ordinary speech isn't used on Ixchel so this complicates communication with them throughout the chapter.
-In being forced to describe light to Aunt Beast, Meg realizes that sight and perception are separate, that sight is just one way to view the world.
-"The disassociation between sight and perception functions to reinforce one of the novel's major themes: the relationship between appearances and reality."

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Wrinkle in Time, Chapter Ten

Here's a link to notes on chapter ten on SparkNotes: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/wrinkle/section10.rhtml

Chapter Ten: Absolute Zero


imperceptable       disappointment       corrosive         fallible         assuaged

  1. When Meg wakes up, she is unable to move or talk. Which of Meg's “faults” is most present in those moments?
  2. Mr. Murry told Calvin that he was the second to try out tessering after the first had left and never returned. Was it foolish for him to go on and do it anyway? Why or why not? What would you have done?
  3. Think back to the description of the planet that Meg, Mr. Murry, and Calvin are on currently. Based on looks and description, do you think this sounds like a dark planet or no?
  4. When Meg is finally able to speak, she lashes out at her father and it is said that she “is as much in the power of the black thing as Charles Wallace.” Explain what that sentence means.
  5. Why do you suppose Mr. Murry quotes scripture to Meg in the midst of her anger and frustration? **

** “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” This is a Bible verse quoted from Romans 8:28.  

Noteworthy Notes from SparkNotes:

-Absolute Zero, the title of the chapter, is a scientific term.  It refers to "the temperature at which all molecular motion ceases, -273 degrees Celcius."
-As Meg begins to regain feeling, the massaging of her father's hands feels painful to her.  She winces and he explains that the pain is good-it means she is beginning to feel again.
-"Meg will only later understand that she is often threatened by internal evils just like the one possessing Charles Wallace externally."
-Meg is lashing out at Mr. Murry in this chapter because she still has the immature belief that he is superhuman, able to do anything.  When she can understand that he is only human, she will be truly mature. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Wrinkle in Time, Chapter Nine

Here's a link to the free SparkNotes for this chapter: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/wrinkle/section9.rhtml

Chapter Nine: IT


placidly       gropingly          brusquely         impenetrable         myopic
insolent       ominous           inexorable          dais         omnipitent

  1. The Mrs. W's leave each child with something to help them in their battle against IT. To Meg, they leave her faults. As we read through chapter nine, can you see how Meg's faults are really unique gifts? Explain.
  2. Why do you suppose that Mrs. Who's glasses allow Meg the ability to get through the wall between her and her father?
  3. When Meg breaks through the wall using Mrs. Who's glasses, she finds herself not only with her father but in complete darkness as well. It's here that we physically see again that IT uses darkness in this battle between good and evil. Can you find other examples of darkness versus the light?
  4. Why is Meg so disappointed after releasing her father?
  5. “Like and equal are not the same thing at all!” This is Meg's response when IT tries to twist the truth about life on Camazotz. With this in mind, do you think it's true that destroying IT means destroying Charles Wallace? Why or why not? And if it might not be true, why isn't Meg willing to take the risk?

    Noteworthy Notes from SparkNotes:

    -Meg recites the Declaration of Independence in an attempt to fight IT which is significant because the Declaration is against all that Camazotz has become.
    -Only the irrational roots of numbers stand a chance against IT, which is why Meg uses them in her resistance.
    -L'Engle uses a brain to represent IT to remind us that intellect without emotion leads to sameness and causes us to loose our creativity.
    -"Charles downfall demonstrates that intelligence and intellect alone cannot resist the tyranny of uniformity."

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Wrinkle in Time, Chapter Eight

Here are today's SparkNotes to go with the questions: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/wrinkle/section8.rhtml

My questions and vocab:

Chapter Eight: The Transparent Column


pinioned         somber         swivet           misconception            pedantic
annihilate        sulfurous          ominous          sadist          emanate

  1. Who or what do you think has taken over Charles Wallace in the beginning of the chapter?
  2. Can you think of anyone else who tries to twist the truth for his own gain? How can you tell?
  3. “IT sometimes calls Itself the Happiest Sadist.” What makes this phrase funny to Charles Wallace? What does it mean?
  4. Meg knows just by looking at Charles Wallace that he isn't him anymore. Give me some examples of things he says and does throughout the chapter that prove that he isn't himself at the moment.
  5. Given the option, would you rather face life with some disappointment mixed with happiness OR no disappointment coupled with zero happiness?

    Noteworthy Notes from SparkNotes:

    -When Charles Wallace tells them "not to fight it" he is echoing the words of others the children have encountered on Camazotz.
    -Grabbing Charles Wallace's arms and Calvin's attempt to talk to the "real Charles" are both examples of extreme love, something that IT doesn't want people to have on Camazotz.
    -While rearranging atoms is actually impossible, it does point to the influence of quantum physics on L'Engle.
    -Though Calvin and Meg don't get through to Charles Wallace, they do learn enough about IT that they are ready to face IT.