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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Take A Tour Of Sonlight Curriculum

I do not personally use Sonlight curriculums, but I know a whole bunch of homeschoolers who do. If you are looking for a curriculum that is loved by thousands of homeschoolers, watch the video below and then head on over to their site. They are offering a three month, or six month payment plan on curriculum purchases, but these only last through the summer months. So be sure to act if you think you will love it.



Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Music For Kids On Activity TV

I love summertime! This is the time I get to blog about and share with all of you the fun and nifty sites I have found over the previous year. Some I get to incorporate in through the school year, and some sit on my favorites tab, and I forget about them until summertime. This fun site is all about different activities for your kids to do. There is music, trivia, making jewelry, magic, science, and tons of other things for you and your kids to enjoy. There is beginner, intermediate, and expert levels, and it is all free. Right now the featured activity is to make a submarine. I am not that crafty, so I think I will pick something a little bit simpler. But if you are crafty, and feeling brave check it out by clicking right here, and please share when you complete it, and let us all know what you think of the site.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Homeschool Evaluations Are Done!

Today was the big day! The day of our yearly homeschool evaluations. This is just as much an evaluation for me, as it is for the kids. It costs 50 dollars per child, and a certified teacher must do it. They meet with your child and evaluate what they learned, and ask them questions, and give them an assignment.

DJ did very well, and is above his grade in reading, and writing. The writing blog helped so much, and she was impressed and is considering having her children try a writing blog. Last year I was concerned with his ability to read way beyond what a third grader should read, but was unsure of his comprehending what he read. We worked on that a lot this year, and vocabulary, and that improved him to above average. The evaluator chose at the end to read to DJ a passage from a book. I watched him and I could tell he heard maybe the first two sentences of the passage. I do not technically teach with the method of reading to them, and then them telling me what I read. I find this a very boring way to teach. I will work on this just so he does not slack in his listening and following directions skills.

Caitlin did not want to be bothered at all, which is what I was afraid of. She wanted to play and not sit and visit with a stranger. This is pretty common for her, as she is very shy. Once we got her to cooperate she did very well, and is above average in her reading, and comprehends quite well. She didn't evaluate math other than counting abilities, colors and other basic kindergarten skills. We need to really work on her shyness, but I really am not sure I want to force her to interact with people when she is not comfortable. Once she warms up to someone she is very talkative, and is in no way isolated. So I will have to consider how to do this in a way that is safe for her.

I am glad it is over, and can now relax for a few weeks. Then I have to dispose of DJ's papers from two years ago as you only need to keep them for two years in FL. Plus they take up way too much space to store, so I am glad it is two years. The evaluation papers need to be copied and sent into the local school for filing. Then I will finish shopping for the end of my curriculum supplies, and finish preparing for next year. I have actually completed a lot of it. I want to check out the Math U See program again, as she highly recommended it again. I have already purchased all of DJ's math stuff for next year so I will not be getting it for him until the following year. But I will look at it for Caitlin.

If you happen to come across this blog looking for an evaluator in the Levy/Gilchrist county areas, I will share my evaluators name with you after you contact me via email at melissaruede@yahoo.com

Sunday, June 27, 2010

How To Paint Flowers

Caitlin and DJ really want to expand their art, and learning to paint skills. So every week I will be sharing a lesson that looks easy enough for them to learn, and then will incorporate them into the next school year for Art class. This one below is for a technique to make simple yet beautiful flowers. I do have to purchase a set of more sophisticated paint brushes than the ones we have, for them to expand their skills.

Tomorrow is our Homeschool evaluations. I will let you all know how it goes. Happy Sunday, everyone!



Friday, June 25, 2010

Butterfly Life Cycle, How To Draw A Butterfly

Next year Caitlin will be doing a butterfly lapbook, and she is quite excited. These videos below will help your child learn about the butterfly life cycle, and other information. The last video is a how to draw butterflies video. Both Caitlin, and DJ will be using this video to draw butterflies. It will be Caitlin's first time at attempting to draw from a video. If you want information on free lapbooks, I have a bunch in the archives, just do a search for lapbooks and they will come up. Have a great weekend, everyone.









Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rent Books With Book Swim

This is so cool! I wondered why no one ever thought of this, someone did. You know how you can rent movies online from Netflix? Well now you can rent books to read, textbooks, or give gift cards to college students, and avid readers. There are four different plans you can sign up for the most affordable being $23.95 with three books being rented at a time. You can see how this would be very helpful to a college student, or homeschooler like me, who doesn't want to pay high prices for textbooks then have to figure out what to do with them after you are done with them. I love to read, but I am simply running out of room to store all the ones I buy, or that are given to me, so now I don't have to. I just send it back for someone else to rent. I do believe you can sell your used books, and textbooks to Book Swim as well. Be sure to read all the terms before you take any books home. No sense in being unaware of what is required of you to rent the books. We do have a local library that is fairly close to our home, but having only one car, and them cutting their hours of operation has made it nearly impossible for us to get to the library. I love this service, and I can not wait to give it a try. If you already use Book Swim, let us know how much you like it, or don't like it. Never buy a book again, rent it!! Click the button below to go to their website, and check it out.


3

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Final Report Card

I have completed DJ's portfolio, and just need to get Caitlin's done hopefully tonight. My snake friend has not returned so I am glad about that. Though I am sure he is in the bushes laughing at me. If you don't know what I am talking about then you didn't read yesterdays post. Here is DJ's fourth quarter report card. He was pleased but unhappy with his Science grade. Because we finished our Science curriculum early in the fourth semester he didn't have many graded papers to help boost the grade. His math did drop a couple of points, but towards the end of the year he was learning newer, and more difficult material. He gets very disappointed with himself, and I have to remind him it is just a grade. If you need info on evaluations, and portfolios, there are some in the archives, way back at the beginning including sample evaluation forms.

DJ's Fourth Quarter Report Card:

Reading: Very good
Math: 84
Language Arts: 86
Spelling/Vocab: 89
Writing: Very good
Art: Very good
Science: 82
Social Studies: 95
Health: N/A curriculum completed in third quarter
Reading Comprehension: Good

Average Grade: 87

These are the books that DJ read in the fourth grade:

Sherlock Holmes Hound of the Baskervilles
Little House on the Prairie
Seeds of a Nation: Florida
Dolphin Diaries book two
Black Beauty
The Barefoot Book of Knights


Starting tomorrow I will be doing some paid posts. During the summer I take the opportunity to make a few extra bucks from my blog. If you would like to hire me to review a product, or your blog just contact me at melissaruede@yahoo.com and let me know what you want, and pricing available.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Another Snake!

Yes you read it right, and this one was too close for comfort. It was right on the back pavement of the yard where the dogs, and my kids play. Biscuit must have thought it was a stick at first because she went to grab it, and it wriggled and scared her. I am glad she listened, and stayed away from it. I was going to take its picture but the camera would not work for some reason. It was probably because I was petrified LOL. We looked it up, and it appeared to be another corn snake, but a different color. Who knew they come in so many colors UGH! It slithered under the fence and off to the neighbors yard. It does make me very nervous because if I have them other yards have them too, and some of these kids are out there all day, and they are small. So now my shovel has graduated to the back door, so it is in easy reach as soon as I leave the house. I wish I was scared of spiders, they are so much easier to squish than a 3 foot snake.

I have had a bit of a crazy couple of weeks. I hope I have not ignored any of my blogging friends. If I did I am very sorry. Next week is our evaluations, and I need to finish up the portfolios. I have been putting it off because it got canceled twice already, but now it is looming and I need to get busy. Plus finish up DJ's last semester report card.

The new washing machine is here, and it is quite lovely I must admit. I still am not happy about having to shell over the money for it, I'll always be a tight wad. Caitlin needs glasses, and it is proving to not be easy to find an eye doctor to test her age, and accepts our insurance. I think I have found one, and just need to make the appointment.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Free Summer Education Classes At Currclick!!

Attention all parents Currclick offers free summer classes in music, art, and many other subjects. The moon lapbook is very nice. These will run in June, and July and you can click this link right here, to take you to their website and look at all the free classes offered, and dates to participate. Some are live so be sure to register, and then write down the date and time. They offer online tutoring, live classes, as well as a ton of other educational info and resources that you might find helpful in your homeschool, or as extra curricular activities for your children. I personally have used their products, and I love them. If money is tight this summer, you can not beat FREE!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fun Friday The Christmas Tree



This is our last week of Fun Friday at Blogging For Fun, and I have saved my most favorite tree for last. The Christmas Tree, a symbol to me of family, heritage, good times, peace, and love. There are those who will the Christmas Tree is sinful, which it does originate in Pagan traditions who worshiped the trees as part of their belief system. However the Christmas Tree has bloomed into something so much more in our lives. My mother was not wealthy when we were children, but Christmas was always special. She absolutely loved Christmas and is extremely religious. The decorating of the tree started on Thanksgiving, and is a tradition I carry with my children to this day. There was both religious, and secular symbols of Christmas in my childhood home, as there is today. Santa Claus was not fictional but a magical person who loved children, and wanted to be sure they all got something on such a blessed day. My mother played Santa Claus for many years to many a children without ever blinking an eye. Our tree was decorated with handmade ornaments made from love, not store bought, many of which I still have today and decorate my own tree with. The Christmas Tree will always be a special symbol to me, my children, and my family. To learn about the history of the Christmas Tree, check out the video below.




Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Finished To Kill A Mockingbird

I have finished To Kill A Mockingbird, book one on my summertime reading list. It was an amazing book, though I thought the ending was a bit fizzled. I wish the writer had written a sequel. This has to go in my list of favorite books I have read. That is a big deal because I wouldn't say that ninety percent of the books I have read would make it to this list. Next I intend to rent the movie, and watch it with my husband. Someday my children will read this for homeschool. I did not get the chance to read it in public school. Next on my list is Frankenstein by Dean Koontz book one. I know it is a huge contrast from classic literature to Mr Koontz, but I do want to read it. If you have not read Relentless yet, I highly recommend it.



Sweating It Out Literally!!


Damn I hate Wednesdays! It seems like every Wednesday something has to go wrong. Oh and it has been over 100 degrees the past three days, and it sucks, without a dribble of rain in sight. It is so hot you can not even swim, because the water is too warm. Today my one year old dog left a really big log of a surprise on the floor for me. She never ever does that, and was extremely easy to potty train. At least I didn't step in it! Grr then my washing machine decided to die. Granted it is at least a hundred years old, but it couldn't have waited until after we did our summer fun stuff Grr! At least I got the curtains washed, I know that is so important. No one will have underwear or socks, but the curtains are clean! Now my husband calls and says something major is going on at the prison, wow that is always fun, and has no idea when he will be home. He will keep me posted. Yay, did I mention today really stinks? I hope you are having a way better day than me. I guess it could be worse, but please don't remind me, I might cry.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rainbow Resource Center

I love this book! This book was introduced to me last year from one of the members of our playgroup. It is the Rainbow Resource huge catalog book. If you want some awesome ideas on books that are educational, and unique, then you need this catalog, and they offer them at discount prices. If you homeschool, have a preschooler, learning disabled child, or you want to supplement the education of your public school children, then you need this resource. You can get it for FREE by going to this link. Is is over 1200 pages of affordable education resources.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Get Your Free Pocket Declaration of Independance Guide


DJ was born on the Fourth of July, anything that occurs in history on his birthday is extra special to him. The Heritage Foundation will provide you with one free pocket Declaration of Independence, at your request. They promote the heritage of America, and keeping our legislators in check. I have known about this site for sometime, but my kids were not old enough yet to understand the complexity of the Constitution. Now DJ will be in 5th grade, and he is ready to start to learn about the Constitution of this great nation. If you would like your free copy, and you can order more if you need them, or will be getting them for a PTA group, or public school, go the Heritage Foundation right here. There is no reason for kids not to know about the heritage of the country they live in. You can also get a free copy of the Bill of Rights, except I can not find the link LOL, so I will have to post that one at a later date for you.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Week Two Counting Carbs For Weight Loss Free Carb Foods

This is week two of my series on counting carbs to lose weight. You should be aiming for 30-45 grams of carbs per meal. Even though I am not actually following this diet strictly I have started researching, reading up on labels, and getting a general ideal of how many carbs are in something. 30 grams of carbs per meal is extremely difficult to maintain, 45 is not bad at all. Remember don't skip meals, and if you exercise you can actually go up to 60 grams per meal. In my research I found that there are some foods that are considered free carb foods. There are not many, and a carb free food is a food with 5 grams of carbs or less per serving. They are not what you would normally think of as free foods for a diet, like fruit, because fruit is actually high in sugar therefore it has carbs. Each of the links provided will take you sites that have lists of foods considered carb free. That generally means you can eat them freely but always be cautious of statements such as that because even 5 grams of carbs will add up over time. Next week I will be posting some simple common sense ways to lose weight that won't leave you starving, or begging for more. Good luck, and please share results if you have been trying this.

http://www.dietandfitnesstoday.com/low-carb-food.php
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetes-diet/DA00076

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday Shopping Steals

Saturday is for shopping, so be sure to grab any of these great steals. Plus don't forget Fathers Day on June 20th.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fun Friday: Deciduous Trees

It is Fun Friday again, and we are on week seven of our trees series. I am doing deciduous trees. A deciduous tree is any number of species of trees that lose their green pigment color, and fall to the ground in the fall. If you have been with me for a while you know I am not a native of Florida, but of NY. The picture shown is of DJ when he was about two, eight years ago, with my sister and her funny permed hair LOL, frolicking in the beautiful deciduous tree leaves. The pictures will enlarge if you click them, just in case you wan to see the joy on DJ's face, or my sisters funny hair LOL. I was the picture taker so you don't get to see my funny hair LOL. Here in FLorida we live close to Gainesville. It has been told to us that Gainesville is as far south as you can go and still have the leaves fall from the deciduous trees. They do change a light yellow color where we are, and do fall from the tree. However, south of Gainesville they have very little color change, and do not fall from the trees at all. I miss the fall foliage very much. The video below has some stunning pictures of deciduous trees and their colorful fall leaves, from the New Hampshire.





Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Beauty Of A Rainbow!

OK all my nature loving, picture taking friend, I am practicing taking nature pictures. I think these two are pretty good. What say you? These were taken last week after a very light drizzle here at my home.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Teaching Subject and Predicate

A complete sentence must have a subject and a predicate, to be a complete sentence. The subject is the noun part of the sentence, and the predicate is the verb part of the sentence. This cute video sings a nifty little song to help children remember what the subject and predicate of sentences means. Enjoy, and have a happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tomatoes, Razors, and Coupons


OK that sounds like a weird title but I have a lot to get into this post today. This is not a paid post for the razors, but they do go with my coupon gripe which will come in a minute.

I got to eat my first tomato from my Topsy Turvy on my ham sandwich today. It was delicious. I have to make a quick note about pesticides. If you garden you know one insect can ruin your gardening dreams. I had been using some natural green stuff I got at Walmart. It was the most affordable variety in the natural green kind, sorry can't remember the name. Anyways it was working beautifully. Then I ran out, and forgot to buy more. So I did a search on Google and found where you could make your own using original blue Dawn dish detergent. My mom swears by this by the way, and to kill fleas too. Ha to her, and anyone else that claims it works. It killed every leaf on every plant I sprayed. Now if you were not supposed to spray the leaves it did not say that in the directions, and yes I made it correctly. It didn't kill the vegetables just the leaves. So now my tomato plant has tomatoes with no leaves and is quite funny looking. Oh well live and learn.

Now for the coupons. I read a lot of blogs, A Lot! There are quite a few who say how great clipping coupons is, and how much money you can save. Not really I found out. First of all the only way I see you can really save money is if you only buy name brand products. You don't find coupons for store name brands, at least not most of the time. So I might save 50 cents on something when I could save 1.50 on the same thing by buying the store brand. I clipped, and used coupons for one whole month. Not only is it a royal pain in the aft end, but I actually spent more money clipping coupons because it was for brand name items only. Nope done with that. For a family of four I budget $400 dollars every two weeks for groceries. I can go to Save A Lot fill my cart for 125 dollars, then get toiletries, pool supplies, and all other items needed at Walmart and still have a hundred dollars left over, for milk, gas, and bread during the two weeks time period. The only thing I actually find them helpful for is like I said if you use name brand products only. That brings me to those lovely Venus Breeze razors by Gillette. I used to buy you know the cheap ones ten to a package tears your skin up kind. Then I discovered these with the gel bars on them. Ooh La La is all I can say. I will never go back to any other kind, coupon or no. I do use only Hellmans mayo, Jif peanut butter, and I have a favorite shampoo and conditioner. If I can get coupons for any of those or other items I know we will like, and use then that is the only way they will save me anything.

By the way any of you who are homeschoolers, or in college, and you want to save on textbooks click the banner above they have a huge selection at great prices.

Monday, June 7, 2010

My Summertime Reading List

This kind of gives me a chuckle, because I have no idea when I have not read something usually at night before I go to bed. When I was in high school I read Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Great Expectations and a bunch more I can not remember the names of. There are some that I did not get an option to read such as A Raisin in the Sun, and To Kill A Mockingbird, both of which I intend to read before the end of the year. I just finished Relentless by Dean Koontz, and if you are a Koontz lover it will be a favorite of yours too. I just don't understand why they never explained how they found them, but that is all I am going to say, read it! I just got Dean Koontz's Frankenstein book one The Prodigal Son, in the mail. I can't start it until I finish To Kill A Mockingbird which is 1/4 of the way done, and I can not understand why young kids are required to read it. Maybe it is just me but it does not seem to be something a kid would enjoy. The others on my list are: The Great Gatsby, A Raisin in the Sun, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Roots, book 2 of the 2012 series comes out in June, Twilight, the Frankenstein series, and finally Within Our Reach. That should keep me busy for the rest of the year. I also was given a whole set of Smithsonian magazines that I need to read and go through. I already found one that we can use for next year for homeschooling about the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. It is a splendid magazine, and a great way to teach in a different way than just the typical textbooks. What will you be reading this summer?







Sunday, June 6, 2010

No Words Are Necessary


Those are birds drowning in oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Now I try to usually keep my negative thoughts to myself, but this is the future of our Gulf. They need to blow the damn well up, lose their investment, and be done with it. All this other nonsense is just that nonsense.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Counting Carbs and Diabetes

This is going to be a multi post subject for this blog. I am on summer vacation and I needed something to blog about. A friend of mine was newly diagnosed with diabetes. She is having a hard time trying to lose weight so she can hopefully reverse the diabetes, or at least be diet controlled with no medications needed. This topic is close to my heart. As a 20 plus year nurse, and someone who has diabetes in their family I know what a devastating illness it can be. But it doesn't have to be. Once you have overcome the shock that you have it, and the denial plus all the other emotions that come with it. It is time to get to work getting your life back under control. The newest way that diabetes is being both controlled for blood sugar levels, as well as for weight loss is by counting carbs, not calories, carbs. This video will be the start in many series of how to count carbs, measure carbs, and stay within your limit. If you are on insulin you need to discuss with your doctor what your carb to insulin ratio should be. It is much different than for those who take no insulin. Watch the video below to get you started, and please not that 15g=1 carb. So if a serving size of something is 3, then you are taking in 45grams of carbs for that one item. Most experts agree if you are a woman, and non active you should limit to 30grams of carbs per meal. If you are active it can go up to 45. Men who are active can have up to 60 grams of carbs per meal. Learn to love to read your labels, and understand what you are reading. Never skip meals or try to eat no carbs at all. This is especially dangerous if you are a diabetic.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Fun Friday: The Orange Tree

Well I forgot to do a post yesterday, and now I am having blogger's guilt LOL. I usually only forego the posts on Saturdays. Our evaluations have been pushed back a week due to the evaluators needs. That is OK because I haven't decided yet what I want to put in the portfolio. Gives me more time.

Today is Friday, so that means it is Fun Friday time at Blogging For Fun. We are working on an eight week tree meme, and this is week six. As you can see I picked the Orange Tree this week. Here in Florida, mostly South Florida where it very rarely goes below freezing, oranges are a huge part of the economy. The tree is a flowering tree, that is quite beautiful to the eye, and sense of smell when in bloom. Orange trees can become quite large, and are prone to a disease called canker which the trees must be treated for, or the trees die, and also can infest a whole orchard if not treated. Oranges actually originated in Southern Asia. They can grow to about ten meters tall. There are many different types of oranges with Navel being probably the most well known, and then Valencia next. US is not the top orange producer in the world, Brazil is, with the US coming in second, and Mexico third. Brazil actually harvests twice as many oranges in a year as the US does. Oranges are very acidic, and some people can not tolerate eating too many at once.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Fun Friday, and a splendid weekend.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Commas, Colons, and Semicolons

Moving on with some more fun grammar topics. Grammar the most unpleasant lesson for me to teach my children. For one thing it is so boring and so much to remember. Anyways enough whining, watch the video below to catch up on all your grammar needs.

We have had a crazy busy week and I think I am all socialized out. I still have to get portfolios together for next Tuesdays evaluation. At least I have gotten almost all of our books ordered, and curriculums lined up for next year. I hope everyone is having a great week, this week so far. Can you believe it is June 2nd already, ugh where did the year go?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Learning With Lapbooks and Learning Centers

If your child attends public school you are probably already familiar with learning centers. They are centers set up with a goal oriented lesson, and all the activities that would accompany that topic. I think they are great and Evan Moor sells some very nice ones. However, I don't have room to have all the learning centers I would need to have in one school year.

That brings me to lapbooks. Now I have never made one of these, but I really like them. We will be trying one of these for Caitlin next year, for animals. To me they are kind of like a themed unit study that you put together in a book format, that your child can read over numerous times to learn the material needed to understand the topic. A big part of first grade centers around dinosaurs, and several different types of animals. At the bottom of this blog you will find a website that is dedicated completely to dinosaurs for kids. You can use it as you need to help with a dinosaur lapbook. Here are some websites I found that give you ideas how to make lapbooks, and the supplies you would need for different topics.

http://www.lapbooklessons.com/FreeLapbooks.html
http://www.squidoo.com/lapbooking
http://www.homeschoolhelperonline.com/lapbooks.htm

If you use lapbooks, or learning centers drop me a comment of which ones you like, or don't like.

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