Saturday, May 25, 2013

Letting Go (again!)... of Maths and Geographies

Don't ask me why I took pictures of materials I was letting go that youngest dd has outgrown.  I'm not actually emotionally attached to the the actual materials.  However, I am attached to memories of my dc using them and am attached to their childhoods that are ending much too quickly.  Letting the materials go is acknowledging that dd (and all 3 dc) has moved on to a different stage in her childhood and I feel the years slipping by all too quickly.

[Insert huge sigh ~ content but bittersweet]

There is a reason that I am sharing these with you... Hopefully something in the photos will inspire you in your material making, or storage, or teaching. 

Since my computer is still dead and I can't type between the photos, here is a general rundown of what is below.  These are mostly Geography and Math works/materials.
- Land/water 'tubs'
- Land/water puzzles made using fun foam and mat boards
- Land/water cards
- Contructive Triangles made from fun foam
- Road Signs dominoes
- Long Bead Chains with arrows
- 1000 Bead Chain with arrows
- Base Ten Blocks
- A math board game
- Fraction box
- Money flash cards and dominoes
- Cuisenaire Rods
- Addition Snake Game
- Multiples [10 of each bead bar in a tackle box with arrows]
- Test Tube Division [also known as Racks and Tubes for long division]
- Short Bead Chains
- Negative Snake Game
- Some independent Math facts cassettes
- Youngest dd's dog ~ Okay, so we didn't get rid of her :).  She is sniffing around my Montessori storage boxes [I highly recommend this system!  Banker boxes have saved this unorganized mind and  this is a system that I really do follow to easily put things away and easily find things.  It's the first organizational routine that I've used that really fits my brain type.]

You can see how I used tackle boxes and the small sterilite drawers to keep materials accessible yet compact on the shelves.

Humph, well, the photos are in reverse order (sort of) and I can't change the sizes or placements nor type by each picture [I amstill using dh's computer in 'safe mode' and I don't want to mess with anything.].  Maybe I can come back later and adjust but here they are in all of their glory...

Friday, May 24, 2013

Language Works ~ Miniature Environment [prepositions]

My computer crashed so I started using my husband's but then his crashed too!  It's barely running in safe mode.  That said, I'm not sure how well this will post...

We're zipping through the end right now of the R and D Language 1 presentations.  She seems to have entered another plane of development when I was sleeping!  We've cleared out a TON of materials :(.  Anyway, she doesn't seem to need lots of practice/experience with the parts of speech.  Today we'll be finishing pronouns and moving on to the next section next presentation.

I could go on and on about how amazing, awesome, and spectacular Montessori grammar is!!  The miniature environment pulls the part of speech together to culminate its study and is engaging.  I have been trying to take some pictures lately ~ now I hope I can remember what they are as I load them!

Okay, I can't format the pictures so they are huge and I can't write text for each, so... This was the miniature environment presentation for prepositions.  They show a few layouts done by the child, a few command cards, my condensed storage for the miniature environment (the whole thing fits in a tackle box except for the little cart), and my storage for the symbols.

Hope this is helpful and hopefully I can get back online soon - or at least salvage all of the photos on my dead computer before 4-H Record Books are due, Argh!  My photos :(.  These were still in my camera and I have more I will post for other lessons that are also still on my camera.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Muffin Mania!

What's Cookin'?

Yesterday I made over *100* muffins!  We are gearing up for some life changes and I wanted to have the freezer stocked with some easy snacks/breakfast foods.  This will keep us from eating processed foods and spending on drive-thrus.

Here is a post about a similar Muffin Mania several years ago [it is mainly a bunch of muffin recipes].  This post has the basic instructions I use to adjust a regular muffin recipe to a 'soaked' recipe (scroll down past the practical life part).

These are the recipes that I made yesterday for our current Muffin Mania.  The hardest part was actually saving them and getting them all the way into the freezer :).

Banana Muffins

Bread Pudding Muffins (could be made using soaked/sprouted bread but mine wasn't)

Oatmeal/Craisin Muffins (soaked)

Mango Muffins:
I used the generic soaked muffin recipe from Nourishing Traditions (p. 482).  I added in 1 finely diced mango.

Pumpkin Muffins (soaked)

Oatmeal (soaked)

Corn muffins

Oh, and, of course, pumpkin cookies!  I love this recipe.  It's cakey, not sweet (I use 1/2 the amount posted) and filling for a snack.  It is from Heavenly Homemakers here (I skip the frosting).

~ Today I baked 8 loaves of bread and 4 batches of rolls.  4 loaves and the rolls sort of flopped - It may have something to do wth the fact that I forgot to add the yeast (!) and had to re-knead the yeast into them.  That's okay.  I'm thinking of using the flat loaves for pizza by slicing them long-ways/side-ways (like an open-faced loaf).

~ We also made some mini mint brownie cups and boy were they good!!  Dh had brought back some from some gathering that were pre-packaged (Should I put the brand?  Better not).  I cringed when I saw dc eat them and was inspired to try our own.  Oldest dd made them.  We added 1 extra tablespoon of flour to our brownie recipe and added 4 drops of peppermint oil.  Delicious.  Dh said that they tasted just like ___'s brand but without the weird aftertaste.  Food should never have a weird aftertaste - that should be an alarm.

Tomorrow... It's another baking day.  I'll be focusing on pita bread, tortillas, naan bread, and personal pizza crusts... Time to soak the batches!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Chaucer ~ Canterbury Tales

What's Gardenin'?

Here is a nice post about garden planning:

This organic fertilizer was recommended on an iodine forum.  I haven't used it yet but want to look into it some more:

What's Cookin'?

Here is a great article about the essential minerals in bone broth:

What's Schoolin'?

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales:

1. We started by reading a few picture books...

Just a word of warning:  Chanticleer and the Fox and The Rooster and the Fox were fine but the book by Barbara Cohen in not appropriate for all ages/families.  Please preview it before handing it to younger children.  I thought we could read it aloud in the car and do some carschooling while traveling but middle dd (who was reading it) stopped and said that it really wasn't appropriate for youngest.  The olders read it on their own instead.

2. We read about the characters and plots from 2 separate resources.  The first is simpler and shorter (Understanding The Canterbury Tales); the second is a little longer for each and has more details (Geoffrey Chaucer's the Canterbury Tales (Bloom's Guides).  Another warning:  the plots are not all clean and some are unsavory and lewd.  He was making social commentary and hyperbolizing with his extreme characterizations and plots.  There are some adult topics in some of the plots.

3. I had to pick a version - the hardest part of the study!
There are several versions of Chaucer that I checked out from the library (see below). This is the one that we decided to use and I will use the same version when youngest gets to C.Tales as well. I chose Nevill Coghill's version because it is modern English spelling but keeps the original flow, rhyme, and tone.

4. I read the Introduction (Part I: Chaucer's Life) aloud.  The recommendations from our British Lit spine were The Prologue, The Nun's Priest's Tale, and The Pardoner's Tale.  We skipped the prologue because of their previous readings of the characters and plots.  We skipped The Nun's Priest's Tale because of their reading of several versions with the picture books.  Instead they read The Pardoner's Tale and The Parson's Tale (with has the prologue and a summary in our version).  They also read Chaucer's Retractions at the end of the book ("The Maker of this Book here takes his Leave").

For The Pardoner's Tale:  They read from the end of the prologue "But let me briefly make my purpose plain..." up to and including the paragraph ending with "...Only a groat.  Come on, unbuckle your purse!" I had the places marked with sticky notes and excluded the last lewd part after that paragraph.

For The Parson's Tale:  They read the prologue and the summary in italics plus the Retractions.

5.  We did our lesson together using our British Lit spine with some add-ons.  For example:

~ p. 51 from Understanding The Canterbury Tales has a great explanation of the different story types so we copied and put that in their Lit binders. [There is also a chapter in this book about Literary Devices that we'll skim orally.]

~ We wrote an "early English ballad" together which they copied in their Lit Response Logs (about oldest dd's water frog that lives on our bar - his name is B.D. Eyes).

~ They copied a section of original Chaucer with a translation that I found in Ackroyd's intro from The Prioress seeking Divine guidance.  I had copied that page (p.xx) for us to use from that book and the very next page has some language that I found objectionable (see my non-recommendation of this book below).

~ They copied the definitions of the different types of irony from our spine in their notebooks/binders.

~ From our spine they are doing the Book Checks for The Nun's Priest's Tale and The Pardoner's Tale.

6. For a writing extension:  They just finished reading the epic poem The Song of Roland (Penguin Classics).  Between that and Chaucer they have some good examples of lyrical storytelling.  Their task:  write about an event (either exciting or mundane, doesn't matter) in poetic form.  I can't wait to see what they write!  Hmm... I haven't decided on mine yet...

Here are some other versions available.

Free Kindle:

 Penguin Classic with original Middle English spelling:

Retelling by Peter Ackroyd [Note: I do NOT recommend this one after previewing it! I left it on my post to show what not to get.]:


 I found an old copy of this book at a local library (copyright 1935): The Canterbury Tales: The Prologue and Four Tales with the Book of the Duchess and Six Lyrics by Geoffrey Chaucer Translated into Modern English Verse by Frank Ernest Hill

Modern Reader's Chaucer: The Complete Poetical Works of Geoffrey Chaucer Now First Put into Modern English by J. Tatlock and P. MackKaye (copyright 1919 and 1966, so not so modern :)):


 I also checked out a 1935 version translated into modern English by Frank Ernest Hill.

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