Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Homeschool Book Fair (Part 1)(Hank the Cowdog)

What's Cookin'?

It's middle dd's turn to make up the menu using the food that we already have on hand.  It's a real life "Food Challenge" like the 4-H contest or "Chopped" on Food Network :).  Last night it was simply beans and rice tacos on corn tortillas since we needed to go somewhere after dinner.  I've been getting Buenatural organic corn tortillas and they haven't bothered me.  The ingredients say 'trace of lime' so they must be soaked and that's why I can tolerate them.

Youngest dd has  kicked me out of the kitchen this morning so she can make a surprise breakfast.  I just heard the oven open and can't wait to see what she's concocted...

2 quick Gottatries before I lose the links:

Mexican Hamburger Soup:

Chicken and Spinach Breakfast Sausage (using ground chicken):

What's Schoolin'?

Before I get into my main topic today... let me just tell you how much I love reading lists :).  I have an entire binder just dedicated to reading lists.  In fact, in big bold letters on the spine it reads, you guessed it, "Reading Lists" - on an orange strip of background paper so it stands out even more.  That binder is bulging!

Before I start yet another "Reading List Vol 2" binder I need to cull those lists which dc have way outgrown and, honestly, didn't need as much as I thought.  I'm thinking of the Fountas and Pinnell reading level list of early readers and guides like that.  There are also suggested ages/grades for children's classics in there which I could move to youngest's portfolio with titles checked off.  That would clear room for... new reading lists!

Here's a link for fellow reading list aficionados.  I can't wait to dive in and dig around the list of lists!

Homeschool Book Fair

I recently got back from a 2-day homeschool book fair.  Dc got to spend some time with my mom ("Ita") and I got to spend some time focusing on school-ish ideas, plans, and materials (and got to spend 5 minutes here and there with my dear, dear friend that I miss so badly!).  Right now I'm jazzed, overwhelmed, intimidated, and renewed.

Jazzed just because :).  I love conferences - especially the exhibit hall!  I went to a few sessions that had to deal with preparing for college admission.

This leads into feeling overwhelmed.  I miss the simple old days when my olders were youngers!!  It feels like every curriculum choice suddenly has such repercussions.  The choices for those last high school classes for credit are overwhelming (I've gone back and forth and back and forth and back regarding Geometry for next year).   The thought of college prep is daunting now that it's upon us and I don't want to 'goof up' any potential opportunities for my dc.

This leads into intimidating. The CLEP and PSAT and SAT are a bit intimidating to me.  Not the actual testing but the fact that they now count (we've taken the regular, not college admission, SAT for years off and on) and that we should spend real life time prepping for their maximized opportunity.  There is no way my dc will spend the recommended 10 hrs/week on SAT prep; yet, somehow we need to practice some to be fair to dc as well.

I feel renewed with a recharged sense of focus and purpose for the olders as well as the younger.  My head is spinning and spinning with ideas, schedules, planning, etc.  In my mind's eye the office where our school materials are stored is suddenly organized.  Now I just have to do it in reality, lol.  To that end I have pulled out most of the resources from 2 bookshelves and have sorted stacks all over the kitchen table.  I have exhorted dc to please not even sneeze in the general area or they will all come tumbling down to the floor!  3 of those stacks are just reading/writing/grammar type resources (and that's not even counting the Montessori grammar album that I have under the coffee table!).

My favorite fun finds:

There was a Hank the Cowdog booth which dd-10 has enjoyed reading lately.  The truth is, we are all enjoying them since the olders and I never read this series.  I previewed one that I thought was not appropriate for the olders when they were really young and never looked at them again when it was more appropriate for their ages.  I got a goodie for each dd:

Tales and Tunes from Hank the Cowdog (for dd-10)

Hank the Cowdog Playing Cards (for dd-15)

Fear's Return (another series by John Erickson) (for dd-16)(even though it's an easy read for her!)

As a writing teacher I really, really wanted to get this Story Craft book by the same author but, alas, that shall have to wait:
Story Craft: Reflections on Faith, Culture, and Writing from the Author of Hank the Cowdog

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