Category: Books

A Day in the Life 19

My neck is out and my back aches. Sigh. We got a big snow and I shoveled even though my neck was twinging so my dad could get in the driveway. I only shoveled a little but it was too much and now. Sigh. I am off to spend several hours flat on my back playing Harvest Moon because I can’t sit up for long. Before I go I want to share a couple things:

This morning my “teaching himself to read” child called me over to the table where he sat eating animal crackers.

“Look Mom, this says low fat!”

“Did you read that yourself?”

“Yup.” He grinned and went on eating.

As I said he has been having me “read” a hymn book to him. He likes to help me read the words, which are divided into syllables so he can easily sound them out. He then helps me sing the songs. It is very sweet. (It had never occurred to me that all the old hymn books I collect from yard sales would make such great easy readers.)

My little boy has taught himself to read!

Also, all three kids are very into Edubuntu and are spending lots of time playing GCompris and and several other great educational games. The other cool thing about Edubuntu is that you can go to the Edubuntu site, download the isntaller and burn the image to a cd–which will allow you to run the whole thing off the cd without installing over your copy of Windows. We have two copies running though one of the machines still has Windows on it. It is amazing to see what they are learning from this wonderful program.

A Day in Life 16: When Learning is a Choice plus Doodle-a-day 2-19-08

When something is a requirement it is hard for the rebellious nature not to rebel. When learning is a choice then the rebellious will choose it because they really do want to learn. And when a person really does want to learn something that person will find a way.

  • When we went to the library last week my son asked for Hooked on Phonics: level 1, my daughters asked if they could get books to read. I reluctantly agreed only because we pay quite a lot in library fines because they forget which they got out.
  • Before bed my son read a book with me because he wanted to learn to read it. He also asked if he could play the Hooked on Phonics game in the morning. I told him he had to get his work done first (Mondays he throws all their dirty laundry down the step, move it to the hall where he has to sort it, plus put away all the pots ad pans and plastic items from the dishwasher.)
  • He woke at 8:30 and before he got his breakfast he had done the dirty laundry, not only the upstairs but also all the dirty laundry from the bedroom and the bathroom and he did everyone’s dishes, not just his own. He then came and told me and asked if he could play his game. (He has played it before and knows the answers pretty well but he is a cautious child and wants to REALLY know things before moving on.)
  • He spent an hour playing the Hooked on Phonics game which moves you through reading all sorts of three letter words then asked to go outside after he ate breakfast.
  • He went off to visit our elderly neighbor, who loves having company and happily reads him books, plays restaurant with him, and watches as he builds amazing towers with her set of blocks.
  • He spent hours playing happily in his room with his magnetics, exploring the world of magnetism and time outside with one of his plastic swords fighting off the monstrous trees that have invaded our backyard in search of fair princesses who need rescued or pretending he is a tiny little man inside my father’s back hoe moving sand around our fire pit and covering and rediscovering matchbox cars.
  • He asked to play Number Rings with me (a math game put out by Discovery Toys that requires the players to add, subtract, multiply, and divide 3 dice in order to fill in all the numbers from 1-18.) He then proceeded to beat me with only a little help with multiplication from me.
  • At bedtime he read If You Give a Pig a Pancake with only little help from me.
  • The next morning he he asked if he could do his school work. He then proceeded to get out all his workbooks and do page after page of his phonics workbook–effectively teaching himself all the long a spellings and reading them on his own. This after spending some time outside and realizing it was too cold and putting away 20 items in his room so he could go outside in the first place.

This is the same child who, when told he HAS to do something gets very worked up and can’t possibly get anything out of it because he is too busy being upset. Each of my children are different and he is my methodical self-motivated child. This child would be in trouble constantly in school because he can NOT sit still and can NOT be quiet (he makes noise and moves around all through our church time and reading time although if he is engrossed in a project he can be still). When he works on workbook pages he talks constantly and then gets up and runs around the house jumping off the furniture and shouting cock-a-doodle doo (his latest noise discovery.)

Bloggy Love

I have received the E is for Excellence award from Seeking Faithfulness and Diary of 1.

I have been pondering for some time who all I should pass it on to. At least in this one it doesn’t matter so much who all have already received it. (I am always a bit slow on these things and everyone I know has already done all the memes.)

The rules are as follows (oh and I am bad at rules.) By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, you have to award it to 10 more people who’s blog’s you find Excellent Award worthy. You can give it to as many people as you want but please award at least 10. Thank you out there for having such great blogs and being such great friends! You deserve this! Feel free to award people who have already been awarded… (Those awarded are listed below the following.)Read More

A Day in the Life 15: Some days are like that, even in Australia

Rachel tried to snow board but her feet were too big for the foot holes. She got in trouble for stuffing her clothes and toys under the dresser, every, single, day–because mommy keeps checking her work. Her mouth and head hurt because she is getting two molars which mean a fever which means she is on seizure alert.

“It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week,” says Rachel

Mommy told her to wear a helmet when sled riding and she didn’t. Then she thinks she hit a tree and thinks she hit her head but only remembers suddenly being on the other side of it lying in the snow. She thinks she will wear a helmet now.

Yesterday she wore her footy pajamas and got in trouble for running in the kitchen which she was doing because she wanted bacon and told mommy that and then ran again and her feet fell out from out under her and she landed on her back hitting her head in the place that still hurt because she had hit it on the tree.

“It has been a terrible, no good, very bad week,” says Rachel

Last night she didn’t sleep well because her head hurt and woke up in pain because her earing was pinching her ear went back to sleep and then woke up with it bleeding from being pinched and her head hurt from being hit and while she was trying to take the earrings out she knocked over a nail polish which broke open all over the carpet. She tried to clean it up with water but that didn’t work and now the bathroom smells like nail polish and remover because mommy had to scrub it.

“It has been a terrible, no good, very bad week,” says Rachel “Life’s not fair,” she says.

At breakfast she was out of bread and took her zinc without eating so then her stomach hurt and she couldn’t find something she wanted to eat and her head hurt and her ear hurt. Then she got a fever again and had to take a bath which she didn’t want to do because it made her cold. Then Mommy made her change out of her new fuzzy pink sweater and wear her tank top and light pj pants, “I HATE my light pj pants,” says Rachel. And daddy can’t comfort her because his back is out and his neck is spasming and she wants her daddy.

“It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week ,” says Rachel. “And everything is awful.”

She was fighting with her brother and sister and was mad because they wanted to watch one movie and she wanted to watch another and mommy said that they had done their work and could watch the one they wanted because she had just watched the one she wanted. And Mommy called Grandma who came and took her brother and sister because they were fighting and mommy had to take care of both herself and daddy and they get to go play in the snow and visit at grandma’s while she has to lie down and be sick, and her head still hurts and everything is awful.

“It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week,” says Rachel. “And they get to have all the fun.”

Mommy settled her down with some hot carob milk and a pile of new movies to watch and the house is quiet. “Everything is awful, and it has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week, ” says Rachel.

“Some weeks are like that,” says Mommy.

Thursday 13: Artistic Influence or 13 children’s book illustrators I love.

I have been pondering what has influenced me as an artist and where to go from here. I have some favorite fine artists most of which are well known and which everyone has heard of. More importantly I was surrounded by many books illustrated by great illustrators. I spent a lot of my childhood perusing those books, often trying to imitate their drawings and paintings.

As an aside I will say that this is the way most of the best artists learn, by imitating other great artists, absorbing the style elements they love and rejecting the bits that don’t work for them. Very few great artists learned their art by being taught how to draw and paint each element, instead they were inspired by other artists and grew because they loved the work. If you have a child who loves art don’t get them art lessons, give them lots of resources–good books with great illustrators, books of famous artists prints, get them good materials, quality paper and pencils will go a long way towards helping a child develop his artistic talent.

That said the following is a list of the illustrative artists that I found inspiring, which helped me develop (and continue to help me develop) my own style. If you have a moment take a peak at these brilliant artists and their work. There are some great artists here.Read More

Awesome Sale

Library and Educational Services is having an AWESOME sale. Since they are wholesale you have to be a homeschooler or teacher or someone else who qualifies to get an account but if you fit the bill this sale is incredible!

They have so many great things on sale for about 25% of the normal price that I can’t even list them all. A lot of A&E history DVD’s as well as stories of the presidents.

I just ordered the 5 hour long Pride and Prejudice DVD set for $15–its the 10th Anniversary Deluxe addition which prices at $60.  (When I told Shamus the price he said get it as an anniversary gift. :))

If you do video tapes they are selling out of those–they have the 10 tape set of Nest Entertainment  animated Bible stories down from $130 to $20!  My kids LOVE these stories but we don’t do video tapes so that isn’t happening–if we did we would be ordering them.

If you homeschool check it out–there are some great books and DVD’s available at great prices.  You have to sign up and give some evidence that you are homeschooling since it is a wholesale site but it is worth it.  If you want to see the email I received that explain the sale let me know and I will email it to you–it lists the sale items in detail.

On Board Books and Growing Up

The kids are cleaning out their rooms. We do this at least once a year, usually more often. They accumulate stuff they are too big for and need help choosing. This evening I went through their book shelves. I don’t allow too much twaddle up there–if a book doesn’t have great illustrations and good writing it lives a short life in our house. Sure Dragon Tails and Bob the Builder make their way from the thrift shop but they make their way back pretty quick.

This year was a bit of a shocker for me. The girls have begun in earnest to enjoy “real” chapter books. Sure they still enjoy some of my old picture books but most of those got moved to my son’s bookshelf. They were replaced with classic chapter books and favorite fairy tales, the books that get read and reread, and the picture books with incredible illustrations to be used for inspiration.

In my son’s room the baby board books were nestled away into the closet for a future grandchild (not mine, I am hoping my brothers will have children to read them.) It was hard to pack the Stephen Cartwright books away though the Sandra Boyntons stayed to hang out with Patricia Polacco and Dr. Suess, alongside Oxenbury and Rosemary Wells in the hopes of enticing our little man to read and be read to. Other favorite picture books, the ones my son once could not sit still for now reside on the shelves beside Thomas the Tank Engine, waiting for him to find them and ask for them to be read. No Bath Tonight, Say Hello Vanessa, That Fat Hat, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and Could Be Worse await him and knowing how they have pleased my brothers and I as well as my daughters I know that soon he too will search them out to read them over and over.

Still it is sad to see Where’s My Teddy? go, and all the Usborne baby books are there no longer. I wonder if he will notice that Tickle Tickle is gone. I wonder if he will miss them. He needed the room for his big kid books and I am sure he will find many new imaginings and inspiration among these pages which have been read by two generations already.

Update: No I am not one of those moms who get all sentimental about baby clothes, its just the books, I am deeply attached to certain books. 🙂 Having written my sentimental stuff I tucked him in bed and he happily settled down with “Snow Day” which had been tucked away on his sister’s shelves. In fact he was having a hard time deciding which “new” book to peruse tonight. 🙂