Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016

As 2016 comes to a close in a few short hours it is a great time to look back on the events, accomplishments, trials, and joys of life.

Fun events included...

Museum of Biblical Arts
Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo
A Year With Frog & Toad at Dallas Children's Theater
Cloud Gate Dance Theater
Le Mozart Noir Ballet
Lord of the Dance
The Little Mermaid Broadway Musical
Cinderella Musical
Pickled Picasso
Nascar Race
The BFG at Dallas Children's Theater
Chick-fil-A Tour
Doctor Doolittle at Dallas Children's Theater
Taste of Dallas
Pinkalicious at Dallas Children's Theater
Beauty and The Beast Broadway Musical
The Monkees
Ranger's Games
Ringling Bros Circus
Seussical the Musical at Dallas Children's Theater
Nashar Art Center
Perot Museum
Mary Poppins the Musical
The Ballet
Family Camp
The Nutcracker
Lone Star Circus
Dallas Mavericks Games
Charlie Brown Christmas at Dallas Children's Theater
Demi Lovato & Nick Jonas Concert
Fifth Harmony Concert
Frisco RoughRiders Games
Dallas Stars Games
Watoto Concert

Some fun movies included......

The Jungle Book
Pete's Dragon
The Secret Life of Pets
Life Animated
Finding Dory
Kung Fu Panda 3

And we cannot forget....

The 2016 Presidential Election

Watching my children grow in knowledge and wisdom is a true blessing. I love watching each of them as they explore their interests and talents from.....

ballet and other forms of dance to,
violin, guitar, and ukulele and,
developing artistic talent along with,
so much more!!

God has so very faithfully provided in extraordinary ways!! I have so much to be 
thankful for this past year. Yes, we have had some rough times but overall I choose to 
focus on the good. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for 2017!

~ Auld Lang Syne ~

Should old acquaintances be forgotten,
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintances be forgotten,
And days of long ago !

For old long ago, my dear
For old long ago,
We will take a cup of kindness yet
For old long ago.

We two have run about the hillsides
And pulled the daisies fine,
But we have wandered many a weary foot
For old long ago.

We two have paddled (waded) in the stream
From noon until dinner time,
But seas between us broad have roared
Since old long ago.

And there is a hand, my trusty friend,
And give us a hand of yours,
And we will take a goodwill draught (of ale)
For old long ago!

And surely you will pay for your pint,
And surely I will pay for mine!
And we will take a cup of kindness yet
For old long ago!

If you live in Texas today you are cooking up your BLACK EYED PEAS.
Here is a listing of New Year's Good Luck Recipes

Wonder about traditions for the New Year around the world? Well, The Old Farmers Almanac
lists some of the fun traditions. 

And then...

Happy 2017!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Watership Down

Today we lost an amazing literary figure, Richard Adams. Richard Adams is most well known for his novel, Watership Down. Watership Down is a book about a herd of rabbits who learn that their warren  is on the brink of destruction. Led by their leader, Hazel, they embark on an adventure as they seek out a new home. If you haven't read this book you need to. Adams was 96 years old. Watership Down was first conceived as a way for Adams to keep his bored daughters entertained while on a car trip. This storytelling would eventually become the novel that millions have read and loved.

Richard Adams 
May 9, 1920 - December 27, 2016

Here are some of the covers that this beloved book has possessed over the years.

If you haven't read this book yet, do! This is also a great book to read aloud to your children. Thank you Richard Adams for a fabulous book!! There are so many amazing quotes from the book that stick in ones thoughts while reading and for years later.

Friday, December 16, 2016

History of the Zipper

Last week when my 8 year old was supposed to be in bed sleeping she was contemplating zippers instead. Yes, you heard me right, zippers. She came out and said, "Mom how exactly do zippers work? Who invented them?". I told her to go back to bed and that in the morning we would google all about zippers. There is definitely never a dull moment with kiddos. Their little minds are constantly thinking and wondering. 

Instead of trying to summarize I decided to take an excerpt from here.

"The origins of the zipper date back to 1851, when Massachusetts machinist Elias Howe patented the “Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure.” His contraption was loosely similar to the zipper as we know it today, though it was inefficiently pulled shut with a flimsy string. Over time, Howe grew frustrated with slow progress and gave up on his prototype. After all, he had his original claim to fame to fall back on -- the first-ever U.S. patent for a lockstitch sewing machine."

"Four decades later, serial inventor Whitcomb Judson picked up where Howe left off, patenting his own newfangled fastener. The mechanical engineer and salesman called the bulky doodad the “Clasp Locker or Unlocker for Shoes.” He created the hook-and-eye-style closure as a single-motion solution to the many buttons that made the popular boots of the day such a headache to put on and take off, especially after a long, grueling day’s work in a factory."

"One of the next makers to take a crack at the concept was Gideon Sundback, a Swedish-American electrical engineer. Between 1906 and 1913, he busied himself streamlining Judson’s design, eventually devising two neighboring rows of intermeshing teeth. The sturdy metal prongs satisfyingly yanked into a single unit with a slider pull tab. And so was born the “Separable Fastener” zipper we know and take for granted today."  

I laughed when I read that when the zipper was first introduced the response was, "That will never catch on and last." I cannot imagine what we would do without zippers today! Again, I love that homeschooling gives me the opportunity to deviate from our normal curriculum to study things such as zippers. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Brave Women In American History

Have you ever heard of the phrase, "girl stunt reporters?" Before the early 1900's men exclusively dominated the field of journalism. In order to break through the male dominated world women had to become creative in order to have there voices heard. Female journalists could not get past the ladies' page. Women had to fake their way by using pseudonyms and going undercover in order to uncover some of society's greatest untold stories of the times. Women went undercover in places such as insane asylums and factories. They investigated childhood labor practices, scammers and cheats, illegal abortions, and other dangerous happenings. Elizabeth Cochrane's (aka Nellie Bly) famous, Ten Days in a Mad House, was one such endeavor. Winifred Sweet (aka Annie Laurie) staged a fainting to report on the ill treatment of patients in the local public hospitals. Eva Valesh (aka Eva Gay) investigated a industrial laundry shop to talk with the women about their unsafe and inhumane conditions. One famous reporter was simply known as Girl Reporter. These uncovered atrocities and scandals put these women in dangerous situations but opened up the way for huge change. As a result of their determination to be seen as "real journalists" these stunt reporters helped bring funding to treat the mentally ill as well as establish protective and labor laws. These women truly made their mark in history!

Friday, December 9, 2016

The 3 Multiplication Facts

Learning multiplication doesn't have to be a DREADED undertaking for your child. There are so many amazing jingles, stories, and songs to help your student learn their math facts. Today I want to share with you one of my favorite ways to teach the 3's.

Everyone knows the song Row, Row, Row Your Boat, right? Well, your child can learn their 3 multiplication facts up to 10 with this easy help.

Another one of my favorite ways to teach multiplication facts is with Times Tales. To learn more about this fun way of learning multiplication facts go read my review here. Another fun way to learn the facts is by this method here.

Your child does not have to be frustrated and crying in order to get past this milestone in math.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

What I Have Been Reading

I love reading a good book. Here are a few "must read" books that I have read lately. 
Books are a great escape from the craziness of life. Grab a cup of coffee or tea, 
curl up in a blanket, and enjoy a good book. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

High-Interest Nonfiction ~ A Review

High-Interest Nonfiction:
49 Fascinating Short Stories & Reading Comprehension Activities
Remedia Publications, Inc.

High-Interest Nonfiction: 49 Fascinating Short Stories & Reading Comprehension Activities is a reading and comprehension based program containing history and science stories followed by literal and interpretive comprehension questions to engage a student’s understanding of what was read. The product includes a 2 inch, 3 ring binder and a CD containing the contents of the binder in pdf format, a skills chart, a reading level chart, a word count chart, and a complete list of Common Core State Standards. The program covers 49 short stories with corresponding comprehension questions and thought engaging activities. The listed price for this product is $59.99.

The target audience is students between a 3-5 grade reading level. The interest level is 2-12. The program would be appropriate for both classroom or homeschool use. The teaching method used aims to “ensure that what a student learns, how he or she learns it, and how the student demonstrates what he or she has learned is a match for that student’s readiness level, interests, and preferred mode of learning.” Differentiated learning seeks to appeal to the various learning styles of students, their interests, and skill level. This would be a great fit for a homeschool parent wishing to teach various grade and ability levels.

I used this program with my 3rd grade daughter. I really liked the set-up of the program. Each story, on average, is four paragraphs in length. Preview words are listed at the top of the story page. These words may be unfamiliar in pronunciation and/or meaning for the student. After each story the student will answer multiple choice comprehension questions and various activities including: short answer, fact or opinion, vocabulary, research, classifying information, finding the main idea, and critical thinking. The story content is enough to tell a story without being so long that the student becomes disengaged. The variety of comprehension and skill based activities ensures that the student has a proper understanding of the story text as well as engaging the student in a wide variety of skills. My daughter was able to read the stories on her own. She was able to work through many of the activities on her own, but did require help with some of the more advanced skill activities. Overall, my daughter really enjoyed this program. If I could add on addition to the program, it would be definitions of the preview words.

I would highly recommend this reading program to others. The program is all-inclusive and provides the student with high interest stories and research-based activities.

Confetti Eggs