Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Berry Smudges and Leaf Prints

I love making paints from nature. I've even colored Easter Eggs using crushed blueberries. Several years ago, I came across this wonderful book titled: Berry Smudges and Leaf Prints Finding and Making Colors from Nature. It was an answer to a prayer-- it was my dream book!

This book has craft projects and recipes for making colors from nature. Lots of fun! One year, we had an Indian birthday party for Joseph-- we had a Teepee and everything (grandma and grandpa gave hte bosy a 7ft teepee one Christmas!). We painted our own headbands and also did buffalo skin paintings. I used paper bags for the buffalo skins. We torn big shapes from teh bags and wadded htem up to make them look like worn buffalo skins. Thekids then helped to make paints from plantsin the yard. It was a lot of fun!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Resurrection Eggs

Many, many years ago, we started a family tradition with Resurrection Eggs My boys love these eggs-- they are plastic eggs with trinkets inside-- each trinket helps to tell the story of Jesus' Passion and His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Spend some fun time with your kids hiding egss and help them learn about Jesus at the same time!

We usually hide the eggs, have the boys hunt for them and find them, then we sit and read from the Bible before going through the eggs in order. We've done this for years and each year they still look forward to this tradition!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Free Aviation Curriculum

The NBAA (National Business Aviation Association) has a free program—NBAA’s Aviation for Kids Program. They publish an Activity Guide and Teacher’s Resource

They also have activities on their website. Check it out! Here's what their website says:

AvKids Activity Guide Meets Nat'l SOLsThe AvKids Aviation Activities Guide & Teachers Resource now can help teachers meet their Standards of Learning (SOL) requirements. Download a list of how the Teachers Guide meets the National Standards of Learning: PDF, 12 KB. The Teachers Guide incorporates science, math, geography and language arts skills to help students in grades 2 through 5 understand aviation. Also now available in French, German, Portuguese and Spanish versions. Click on the link below to order.
Order free

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Anatomic Models

We have had a model of the body for a while. The boys love putting the parts together! We finally got 3-D models of the Human Eyeball, The Ear, The Brain, and The Heart. One is made by Kikkerland and the other three are Bitz models.

Anatomy & Pathology Charts

We were recently in a museum in Cincinnati & found this AWESOME books for kids. I have always wanted to get copies of the charts that you find in doctor's offices. This book is it! It has 58 charts.

Anatomy & Pathology : The World's Best Anatomical Charts Available at Target for $19.77

Note: younger children may need supervision when looking at the charts to keep them from seeing the reporductive system pages, etc....

Friday, February 15, 2008

A Peek Into My Church and A Child's Guide to the Mass

A Peek Into My Church By Wendy Goody and Veronica Kelly- takes children inside of a Catholic Church, names various object found in the church and what they are used for.

Child's Guide to the Mass By Sue Stanton -- explains the Mass to children with bright pictures and engaging text.

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Arty Facts--a Neat Way to Learn Science

We're still working on a few chemistry experiments today. Lots of fun.

I have a wonderful set of books titled Arty Facts. Linking art to the world around us. There are about 12 books in the series and we have 4 of them: Oceans & Art Activities, Insects, Bugs & Art Activities, Space & Art Activities and Our Bodies & Art Activities.

These books have great science information along with art projects to teach the kids about the subject. We've used these books for many years and still enjoy them. Click on the Arty Facts link above to see the books for yourself.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Chemistry in Action

Joseph received a Thames & Kosmos chemistry set ( a CHEM C1000) for his birthday last year. The boy just loves chemistry and wanted his own set. This set is AWESOME! It comes complete with the chemicals to do all 75 experiments in the book. We always branch out beyond the book....but that's the fun of homeschooling, right? You can see a video clip of our "Mad Scientist" doing the first experiments with his new set.
Today we worked on a few more--and some have to sit overnight & we'll observe them in the morning, using the by-products for a few experiments tomorrow.

We used ammonium iron (III)sulfate solution and potassium hexacyanoferrate (II) solution to make Prussian Blue solution and we also used them as invisible ink. Then, we moved to the kichen supplies for invisible ink. We made messages with lemon juice, vinegar and onion juice. Let the paper dry and heated them to reveal the secret messages. We did all of this while making chocolate chip cookie dough and baking cookies. Who says homeschool moms can't multi-task!?

If you are looking for a fun chemistry curriculum that you can use for all ages, try Friendly Chemistry. We have enjoyed this set so far this year & think you will, too! I believe the family who makes and sells this curriculum is a homeschooling family.

Art and Music in Piedmont Triad, NC

Our middle child takes piano lessons and has done well in a few piano competitions. We LOVE St. Mary's Music Academy in High Point.

We also love the art teacher they have been taking art from for the last 3 years. Patti Sheets teaches art classes to homeschoolers year-round. She owns her own studio and gallery called Gray Wing. The boys takea class thereonce a month for 2 hours-- a total of 10 students per class. Patti also offers wonderful summer art camps, as well. This past summer, my two youngest attended the Paris summer camp. You can see a picture of their paintings on our family website here. There are also pictures of other projects included.

Just wanted to put a plug in for our favorite teachers!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Egyptology Books

We have some wonderful books on Egyptology. Myboys love these "hands on" boks on Egypt. I love these books. Each of te pages is filled with wonderful interactive tools that you can use to discover Egypt and its wonderful ancient civilization. Postcards, maps, books inside of books.....and even an ancient Egyptian game comes to life in your hands--all items included inside the beuatiful pages!

Egyptology: Search for the Tomb of Osiris

The Egyptology Handbook: A Course in the Wonders of Egypt

Please shop through the iGive link to the right -- using the iGive link helps to raise money for Shwachman-Diamond America, a 501(c) 3 non-profit.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

George Washington

With President's day coming up, I thought I'd post about a few of my favorite books on George Washington! One of my favorites is A Child's History of the Life of George Washington by Josephine Pollard. First published in 1896, this book is excellent for young and old alike! We all enjoyed this book a lot. When we later went to Mt. Vernon, we could picture Washington on the bowling green and we could even picture him riding his horse up to Mt. Vernon, too. This book is a wonderful addition to anyone's library.

We also like George Washington's Teeth by Deborah Chandra and Madeleine Comora, a book that goes through significant events in the life of George Washington while at the same time, letting the reader know how many teeth he had at teh time of the historical event and how it was lost, etc. Quite entertaining for young readers. My boys like seeing the picture of George's real teeth in the back of the book!

When Washington Crossed the Delaware by Lynne Cheney is another of our favorites. The ilustrations are DIVINE! Most all would be suitable for framing in your home! A wonderful book for children!

Another book of interest: If You Grew Up with George Washington by Ruth Belov Gross

If you would like to purchase these books, you can help raise money for Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome research and education by going through and selecting Shwachman-Diamond America as your charity. You can shop at stores like Barnes and Noble and a percentage of your sale goes to SDA. Thank you!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Books for Pre-school and Kinder

Some of my favorite books when my children were young:

The Catholic Children's Treasure Box Series by the Maryknoll Sisters

Leading Little Ones to Mary by Sister Mary Lelia

My youngest son is now 10 and he still remembers reading these books. Above, you will find links that include excerpts from the books.

All three of my boys would look forward to reading time and couldn't wait to find out what else they could do to act like Mary, Pray like Mary...and be better Christians.

Catholic Homeschooling

I have been homeschooling for over 9 years now. My oldest son turns 14 next week. Homeschooling is a that we love. We try our best to incorporate the teachings of the Church into our daily lives and live the Gospel. I also run a non-profit organization from my home, Shwachman-Diamond America. It can be challenge to balance everything, but somehow, God provides the grace we need to make it work.

Homeschooling certainly has its challenges. Homeschooling two boys with Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome adds to the challenge. We have to homeschool around hospital visits and illnesses. In this blog, I hope to share our love of God and homeschooling with others.

Tuesday was Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) and we made a King Cake from scratch, it was loads of fun. It is fun and it certainly is a blessing to be able to homeschool our children and not only watch them grow intellectually, but to watch them grow closer to God as they learn about Him and His Church-- as we do activities that are based upon the liturgical calendar.

This year for Lent, we are trying to read meditations from a set of books written by an Opus Dei priest and we are trying to pray the rosary daily. Our youngest son loves to lead us in the rosary.

Please check back as I hope to build a blog that may be of help to new homeschoolers....