Monday, April 30, 2012

Lemonade War~ !



Our 13yo just started a new book and I thought I would share about it. Lemonade Wars by Jacqueline Davies. 

He had just started it this morning and already he says he likes it! ( which really says something!) :)  I thought it would be a fun book for him to get and its been sitting on our shelf since last summer. He finally pulled it out to read~ Our youngest tends to like business and money ( sound familiar to anyone else out there?) so seeing this sort of made me wonder if he might enjoy this book.

Through the link provided you can learn more about the book and lessons it teaches but here is a review from Children's Literature~

 " Effectively combines math ( especially money), economics and marketing to make a suspenseful, subtly educational plot that goes down as easily as a cool glass of lemonade in August" - Children's Literature


I had no idea there were more in the series ( which, again, the link will show you) so if he likes this one as much as he thinks he does he can plan to read the others as well~ Oh, and he also ran for the frig to get a glass of lemonade after he read a few chapters! ha! ~ We will be adding this to our Bean Bag Reading for sure.

Note: this reminded me of a game my older son has played ~ Lemonade Stand by Cool Math, free to play online! And there is also this one I found as well: Lemonade Stand.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Civil War Unit Study~


I recently learned about this online Civil War Unit Study. I have taken a bit of time to go through it and read through some of the scope and sequences, lesson plans and resources. I think it is really a great unit study.

I also like the biographies on particular individuals and find these would be great for practicing our IEW writing lessons as well.  The curriculum can be downloaded individually according to grade level. There is also coloring pages, primary source information, puzzles, power points and lots of things to use while working the unit study.

This is a great study to check out if you were thinking of doing a Civil War Unit. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Learning Online~ A Fun, Interactive Way!

I just had to share with my readers about this new site. I had been surfing the internet looking for some free resources for our studies and found this absolute GEM. Its called GCFLearnFree.org.


 I am not exactly sure where to start so I will try and start from the beginning since that makes more sense~ I am just all excited about this site can you tell? My boys LOVE interactive learning online especially in this fashion.

Click on the  "All Topics" underneath the header in yellow and it will list all the topics covered on the site, there is lots there!

The boys and I spent some time on this site seeing how it all worked. I loved the reading section, we chose science to start off and did some guided reading exercises which were terrific for children to build fluency.

The boys enjoyed the Food Labels interactive, they were laughing and learning at the same time. My older teen knew most of the information but he loved doing it with his younger brother and thought it was such a neat way to learn it~ here is an image for the Food Labels activity:

The site is completely interactive so you have to click on the things and it goes along with what you choose for answers. They just loved it! My son especially liked the art work and realistic approach they took, not corny like many sites.

We then tried the grocery shopping topic and that was tons of fun also, right down to hearing the people in the store, it is excellent. Its like your right there. What fun! I realize most homeschoolers do learn to grocery shop when they are shopping with mom instead of in a classroom but what a neat idea for perhaps special needs learners! I just love it. Here is an image from the grocery interactive. We loved the woman who would make comments on it as well~ really makes the interactive much more engaging..  My boys can't wait to do more on this site~ If you know of any other interactive sites like this please post and share! They are so much fun~ Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Astronomy Reads~ Before Starting our Unit

We are just beginning our Astronomy Unit Study and the boys have started reading this week their books of choice, just to get started and explore a bit on their own about Astronomy. The idea behind this was instead of getting a bunch of books and diving in, I wanted to take a more laid back approach and have the boys do a bit of exploring on their own first and get some questions in their own minds about some things before we started to really get into the Unit. One thing we are doing is as the boys have questions, for example while my youngest was reading briefly about the Moon he posed a question about what would happen if we really didn't have a moon and made a hypothesis on his question~ we are documenting this and other questions that are similar and will use this to explore deeper and find answers for as we go along.( inquiry based approach)

Our youngest chose one that was on our shelf called Space ( a Magic Treehouse Research Guide) he likes it very much so far but complains it doesn't really go into enough depth. I quickly reminded him this is to just get his interest peaked and to mark things and we will be learning much, much more in depth things during our new Astronomy Unit. He seemed satisfied with that.  I have found also during his reading that there are many things that are peaking his interest, as I see him jump out of his chair to come and tell me something new he learned or thought he knew about, only to find that what he thought, wasn't so!  Gone are the days of formal narration because when you have a child thats interest is peaked like mine, they do it all on their own~


My older son chose Princeton Review's Astronomy Smart Junior. It only took him a couple of pages to tell me how much he was enjoying this book. He explained that he liked how it mixes both a narrative story form with facts that teach him as it moves along. ( we will be adding this to our Bean Bag Reads at his suggestion)  He wanted to see if there was any more in the series that he might like. There is a few more but the only one that peaked his interest and he added to his wish list was the Archaeology Junior book, which will be great when we do our Ancient Civilizations Unit.

I am still collecting some information and picking and choosing between what we will use for our Unit. I sort of wanted the boys feedback on alot of it but here is some resources to share that I have compiled so far~ ( I may not use ALL these resources since I plan on this only being approximately a 6-8 week study at the most, depending on what we end up exploring) Afterwards I have a Botany Unit planned and heavier nature study for our summer term. Once I have my outline complete I will be sure to share~

Free Reads~

I have a new favorite place on the internet~ it is the E-Books Directory~ I was searching the internet for free resources for our concentration in World History we will be starting after the summer and found this site.

With over 6,000 books and over 500 categories there is LOTS here.

I just had to share this with my readers~ We are really beginning to see how handy our E-Reader and Ipad can be~ with a site like this we can find lots of great information.

Money savings with great resources finds is what this site is all about~

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