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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Castles of the Middle Ages

Next year, for sixth grade, DJ will be doing book two in the Story of the World series called The Middle Ages. The Middle Ages is all about a darker time in history, knights, castles, dragons and lots of legends. DJ has already started reading the book, that is how much he enjoys it. I have not read it yet, but I will be reading it before school begins in September. This year we didn't purchase the activity book that went with the reading book, because DJ lost interest in the one last year. So I just purchased the reading book and test manual with answers. The video will show you some of the famous castles from The Middle Ages.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Free Lessons With Classroom Zoom

I have purchased workbooks from Teacher Created Resources several times. I knew they had an online option for lessons, but never paid much attention to it. It is called Classroom Zoom and I finally took the time to check it out. Though I can not pay for another website for school purposes, I already have two for next year, they do offer a section of free choices. I have browsed through them, and they offer a variety of topics for a variety of ages. I have saved a few that I really like, and will check back with their online program next year, when I am once again planning for the following school year. Check it out and see if there is anything you can use over the summer, or to supplement your child's school lessons.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Keeping Your Bunny Cool In The Summer

As a lot of you know, Caitlin has a pet bunny for 4H. His name is Red River, and she calls him Spot. He lives in his own little closed in room in the garage. It used to be an office now it is his home. He loves his little home. In the winter we worried he would get too cold. We brought him in the house, in the extra bathroom a couple of cold nights. He did not like this at all. So we gave him extra hay, and a blanket that he would burrow under at night. He was much happier with that. Come to find out bunnies tolerate the cold much better than the heat. Who knew? Bunnies can not sweat, or pant, so they have no way to get rid of excess heat from their bodies. They simply over heat. What an awful thought. Since his room is insulated and closed with a door, it stays cool in there most of the day. But with our awful FL heat and humidity, his room gets quite warm by mid afternoon. These are the things we do to help him stay cool: In the evening he gets extra cold water to drink you can even freeze it and he will lick the ice block, we use a small blanket that we soak with cold water and lay it in his cage he then lies on it if he wants, he has another area where he does not have to lie on the wet blanket in his play yard, with a wet cloth we wet his fur down especially his ears but do not use a baby wipe just regular cool water, and there is a ceiling fan that is turned on all day during the hottest days. You will notice your rabbit may eat less during the summer months. This appears to be normal and OK, just be sure he is drinking enough and still pooping. If he or she is not then you might need to cool him down more. Ours seems to eat most of his food at night when it is cooler, but he will always accept a treat anytime of day, LOL! The video below is very helpful in how to keep your rabbit cool in the heat.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Review for Head Of The Class

Some of you may have remembered I posted about us beginning to use Head of the Class. Well we have been using it since January, and I thought I would share my thoughts so anyone else who has thought about using it, could get some feedback.

First off I am no way being paid for this, nor was I asked to do it. I found Head of the Class over Christmas break. Because it was free, I thought we would try it when we started back to school. Even though we were already halfway through our school year, and other curriculum lessons, we started it anyways. DJ stopped using it after about two months. Not because I didn't like the program, but because it was too much for him with his other lessons. So he won't be doing it at all anymore. Caitlin however, has finished 30% of the first grade lessons. Now that her regular school lessons are over, that were planned by me, she will focus on finishing first grade over the summer. She does about an hour a day, four days a week. At this pace she should have it done by the start of the second grade school year in September. That means she will have completed two full first grade curriculums this school year. Whew! She will be using Head of the Class second grade, as her main curriculum for next year. Head of the Class states that it is a six month program to complete, so she will have plenty of time.

Now for the meat of the program. At first it seemed too easy, and not a challenge at all. However, now I can say that is not true. The first grade math especially is a challenge, and I could even say hard. However, Caitlin and I are working through it, and she is doing quite well. They do not do sight words, which is OK, because you can copy them to flash cards from other sights, and do them with your child. Caitlin has already mastered first grade sight words. For first grade a lot of the lessons so far have covered spelling. Not sight word spelling though. Spelling of various phonics like blends, vowels, etc. This has expanded her reading vocabulary a lot, and I am very pleased with the results. They also cover Science, Reading, Social Studies, Art, Music, and even some Spanish. I am very very please so far with Head of the Class.

Not only is Head of the Class free, but there is a forum where you can make suggestions, or ask questions. There are links to the resources they use to make their lessons. Also of importance is the fact that the website works smoothly every time we use it, and has never been down even one day. Your child learns at their own pace, and you can repeat lessons, or skip lessons if you choose to do so. It has both printable lessons as well as online interactive lessons. There are skills assessments for your child to take and I believe you can print them for your records. I have not done that yet, because we have not completed all the lessons yet.

For those of you who want religious type lessons, this may not be for you, however I do not find any lessons thus far that would be offensive to any particular religion. So far their lessons cover up to fifth grade, but they are going to be releasing sixth grade soon. If you need an elementary homeschool curriculum, or even extra work to public school lessons, check out Head of the Class.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Math Playground

It is summertime. That means it is time to clean up the educational links I have posted, and share new awesome ones I have discovered. I am always searching for new, interesting and educational websites especially free or very affordable ones. Math Playground, is just what it sounds like. Math games, interactive flash cards, plus puzzles, and math videos. Check it out and see if you can use it in conjunction with your other lessons.

Monday, June 20, 2011

How To Draw Hair

As promised here is the next video, how to draw hair. The only thing left are the different shapes of human faces. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Learning To Paint

I mentioned sometime back that I had a desire to learn to paint. My mother has been painting, using the Donna Dewberry method for sometime now. Probably more than a year. Well today was my first painting lesson. I showed up at my moms, no children with me, and had an all day lesson. No, I did not paint this lovely piece. It is one of the ones my mom did and gave to me. It has matching glasses too. So in the five hours I sat there trying to paint one flower that looked like a flower, she painted several bottles, and even did tiny thimbles and needle holders. Jeesh talk about not keeping up, LOL! She then provided me with DVD's, brushes and paint to practice with. I don't think I have time to learn this. I guess I will start with the DVD's and just try to memorize it like everything else I have learned to do. I told her if I ever learn this I can teach the kids how to do it. She then offered to be our art teacher for the next school year, and teach the kids and me. Whew I dodged a bullet there! My mom can sew, and is an awesome cook too. I so did not get any of those genes in the great DNA replication process.

Friday, June 17, 2011

How To Draw Ears

Keeping with the theme of drawing, here is the next segment how to draw ears. All that is left is the hair, and different shapes of the face. I look forward to how DJ does with the end product. I might even give it a try. I used to love to draw and just kind of got away from it. Have a wonderful weekend, and Fathers Day to all!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How To Draw A Nose

Continuing with our drawing lessons on drawing a face. So far there has been the mouth, and eyes, now comes the nose. Be sure to check the archives if you would like to see all lessons. DJ is learning to draw faces and he requested I post these.

Monday, June 13, 2011

4H Dinner Tonight

Tonight is our 4H dinner on manners. This is the end of our first year of 4H, and our group worked on manners this year. Now tonight is the final test. It should be interesting. The children have to properly set the table, answer basic manner questions, and then proceed to eat with good table manners. Caitlin unfortunately spiked a fever last night and still has it today. She will not be attending, even though she wants to. I feel bad, but I can not expose her to other children, especially I am not real sure what she caught. She is a Cloverbud so it shouldn't be that big of a deal for her. DJ turned in his Photography book, book one, last week and we are eager to see what the leader has to say. I will be making stuffed shells, and macaroni and cheese. Have a great Monday, everyone.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Free Travel Videos

This year DJ finished up learning about Ancient Times. In the Fall he will begin learning about The Middle Ages. He has already begun reading the book, even though he will be reading it again, LOL! I guess he just enjoys it. I use a lot of Youtube videos for supplemental education to subjects we are learning. I came across this awesome Travel Video site, and it is free. The videos are all Youtube, but they are already categorized with detailed explanations, so it saves me time searching for them myself. And they have some of the most awesome videos on there. If your kids are learning about different parts of the world, check it out. Or, if you yourself just love to learn about other places, it is great for big kids too LOL! Have fun!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

What Would Make You Vote?

Our official school year is over, so now I get to blog about things I find interesting, or consider hot fun topics. So I was reading on a few different blogs and news stories about the 2012 presidential election next year. It is starting to pick up now. So a couple of questions and thoughts for you all to share.

1- If you voted for Obama in 2008 but are unsure if you will vote for him again in 2012, what one piece of legislation could he take up and pass that would swing your vote? For me, I want him to cut the salary and cushy benefits of all the House and Senate members. It is not even constitutional that they are getting paid, and benefits like health care. Plus the money that would be saved by taxpayers would be immense. I seriously wonder if all House and Senate members were not paid their yearly wage, how much of the Obama health care plan could be funded just by doing that. Hmm that is a thought.

2- If you are a Republican kind of voter, which one of the ones already running do you like and why? What one platform topic could they run on that would secure your vote?

3- If you are an independent like me, which way are you leaning? I already spoke about Obama, for me to pick a Republican they would have to not be endorsed or more likely pushed by the Tea Party. They are just too drastic in their thoughts for me.

So what say you? Be nice politics can be brutal.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why I Homeschool

I homeschool so I can relearn everything I learned in school, LOL! Seriously though I can not believe how much I remember, and how much I never learned, or forgot. Teaching your children, unless you are already a teacher which I am not, is like going back to school yourself. It has been a fun school year, and I am happy with the progress we have made. This will be my last Wed meme Why I Homeschool, until we return to regular classes in September. Hop on over to Miss Moes blog, to see why she homeschools.

DJ's 4H photography book was handed in yesterday. I am eager to see what Mr Chris comments will be. Caitlin, because she is Cloverbud, has a book that can be completed over two years. She has one more interview, which she is avoiding, and then hers will basically be done.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Well It Has Been An Interesting Couple Of Days

I have probably mentioned in the past that my husband joined the town volunteer fire dept in January. While he has not completed full training he does respond to calls, and will finish up the end of this summer. I was canceled Sat night from my job, so he had all weekend to respond to calls. I may have also mentioned how dry it is here, and my irritation with the town for letting people burn in the town limits. Well, Sunday evening the kids and I were outside enjoying the semi cool evening. We heard a very large explosion and Caitlin said, oh its burning! Great, what is burning? I turned around and the neighbor across the street had flames and smoke coming from his yard, and I heard his wife way are you OK? Now I was not properly dressed to investigate, nor is there a way to get out of the back yard, so I told my husband to go check him. As he crossed the yard the call went out for the fire dept. Even though he was right there looking at it he had to get in the car and drive to fire dept. The gentleman was OK, and no damage done. He had a paint bucket in a burn barrel burning. So that ended and Monday came along. About 2 I went out to water my poor plants as it appeared no rain was coming again. The sky was clear and it was excruciatingly hot. Within 30 minutes we could hear thunder and the wind was picking up. I quickly put on the weather radar, and sure enough just that fast there were severe thunderstorm warnings up for all surrounding counties. My husband came in just about that time, and it had started to pour. The power started flickering on and off, and then went out. At that same time I heard this loud growling noise, like a huge animal was outside. I said what is that? Then it stopped. My husbands alarm went off, and as he was going out he said that noise might have been the tree knocked down in the yard. Yep one of our, thank goodness, small trees had been blown over, and our bigger tree had limbs down all over the yard. The lightning was fierce. We were out of power for six hours, which is a long time here, but there were so many trees and lines down around town that it took them a very long time to fix them all. This all brings me to my final point. It is hurricane season now here in FL, severe weather is not rare here. FL is the lightning capital of the US, with thousands of strikes daily. It is time to get your emergency preparedness kits ready to go. Most people don't do this and then find themselves unprepared when it happens. I don't put all the things in there they say you must, how would I ever move it, say if I had no car and had to move two children, two dogs, and a rabbit. It just is not feasible. But I always have the basic emergency items we would need, and I am always aware of the weather this time of year. It snuck up on everyone yesterday.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Last Few Days Of School!

This is our last official few days of school. Yay!!!! Then I have to do final report cards, start working on portfolios, and continue planning for next year. I know still busy, but still a vacation for me.

Don't worry, I still put up posts, and summertime is when I get to post about anything I want, educational or otherwise. So be sure to have your typing fingers ready so you can comment on all my cool upcoming posts.

Have a great Summer!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

300 Club Tennis And Swimming Summer Camp

Our summer Junior Development Tennis Program is designed to teach our students solid tennis fundamentals. The emphasis will be to give each of our students a strong technical foundation and build sound stroke production. We want to give our students the best opportunity to be successful as soon as possible on the tennis court. Our sessions will provide stroke development, point play, strategy, mental training, and physical conditioning. Students may sign up for as many sessions as they would like. Regardless of a players' experience or ability, our outstanding teaching professionals will work hard to help each student improve their skills, reach their individual goals, and acquire an interest for the lifelong sport of tennis.

Camp Schedule: Weekly sessions June 13th - August 19th / 9:00AM - 1:00PM
Cost:Call the 300 Club for rates

3715 NW 12th Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32605 / (352) 378-2898 ext. 3

Friday, June 3, 2011

Florida Homeschool Issues

If you homeschool in Florida, and are experiencing any of the problems mentioned on the video, please be sure to contact Florida Homeschool at the email they provide you with. I know homeschoolers in Marion County have been having this same issue, and one family in Lafayette County. We do not have any problems yet, so I hope to keep it that way.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What Does Drowning Victim Look Like

As most of you know, we have a swimming pool, and have had one for as many years as we have lived here in FL. Both my kids learned to swim very young. My kids are good swimmers, and understand water safety. However, I am still very diligent about supervising them when they are in the water. I read a very interesting article the other day, and one I never really thought about and maybe others don't either. It was basically about what a drowning victim looks like.

You, like me, may envision a drowning child, or adult, flailing in the water, screaming, panicking and sucking in water. This is actually what leads up to the victim drowning and is not actually drowning. Because they panic, and lose control they actually are sucking water into their lungs. The definition of drowning is death from suffocation resulting from aspiration of water or other substance or fluid. Drowning occurs because the liquid prevents breathing. The lungs of a drowned person may contain very little water or other liquid. It doesn't take much liquid for the airway to be cut off and breathing to cease. Once they have stopped breathing, the body will go limp and the person just looks like they are floating face down. Soon after the heart will stop beating, and full cardiac arrest will occur. You might think the child is playing Dead Man's Float, because that is truly what a drowning victim looks like. They are face down, body limp, with no movement. If you see a child, or adult doing this, then poke them. You will know soon enough if they are playing Dead Man's Float or a drowning victim.

According to the medical dictionary, drowning victims should be treated as follows, First aid measures are begun as soon as the individual is rescued from the water. Blankets and other coverings are used only to prevent loss of body heat. artificial respiration or other appropriate respiratory support should be administered at once to anyone who has stopped breathing. A victim who is unconscious but still breathing should be placed in a reclining position, preferably on the side. If the victim is not breathing and there is no evidence of a heart beat, cardiopulmonary resuscitation is begun immediately.

There are a lot of springs here in FL, and they are beautiful. They offer a cool place in the summer. However, I do not frequent them, because there are no lifeguards. I do not feel safe for my children, or other children, so I just don't go. You basically swim at your own risk. It is not for me.

If you own a pool it is very important you learn basic First Aid, CPR, and have strict pool rules for ultimate safety. Be sure everyone in your house knows how to swim. Teach your children to tread water, and not panic should something happen in the water that frightens them, and yourself. You never know how you will react to a situation, but like a fire drill practicing a routine can help get through it safely. It doesn't take much for a child to drown. Have a locked gate, especially for very young children with an alarm. If you have an above ground pool, always remove the ladder when no one is supervising to prevent anyone from entering your pool without your knowledge.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Why I Homeschool

I homeschool so we can enjoy our summer vacation. This is not really one of the reasons that I began to homeschool, but it sure is nice to enjoy our summer vacation. I need it, they need it, we all need it. Most public schools give some kind of review or homework over the summer months. Reading lists, or other assignments. While I see nothing wrong with this, I do think summer vacation should be summer vacation. We do some work, but not enough to be considered work. We relax, regroup, and enjoy the break. Our summer vacation begins next Wednesday. Be sure to check out Miss Moe's blog, to see why she homeschools.

For those of you who visit me through Mom Blogger's Club, I still can not access my account. I have asked, and received a password reset, but I still can not log in. I apologize and as soon as have time to figure out what is wrong, hopefully I will fix it. Has anyone else ever had that problem on that website?

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