Golden Grasses

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Full to the Brim

It was another full week with on-line classes, projects, play practices, uploading and downloading, tutoring, friends, good conversations and not enough sleep. Here is Cub's cool presentation on Excalibur for his Bridgeway Academy LL: Myths & Legends

Play practice continues to be a blast. This group of kids is talented, funny and fun-loving and my friend and ally, Lisa M has come up with some amazing costumes, while the other moms have provided awesome snacks, music and moral support -Winning combo. Cub is playing a tired, food obsessed 15 yo- it's a real stretch for him! They've gone from play practice to ballroom dancing a couple of times.

So, that little fever Cub had over Christmas that knocked him out for 4 days lingers on. It's been a killer (literally) influenza season in the Territories and there have been several tragic deaths. We are all drinking dynamic greens and eating our veggies daily and pumping certain tired, hungry teen boys full of vitamins.
Signed my last two kiddos up for TeenPact this year. Cub is going to the week long class and Flower for the one-day. Survival (TP Alumni event) takes place in our neck of the woods this year, so hopefully we'll add that to our summer activities.  Feeche is actually headed to the State Capitol for the week on Sunday to shadow the Director from Family Policy Council. Now, to make sure everyone has suits, ties and accouterments!
We are really taking down the Christians decorations today- earlier than some years, even. We have January birthdays and they both believe that the house should sport full holiday gear in celebration but this year Directing the plays is putting the last party on hold, so down they come. At 15 and almost 12, my littles are no more. (sniff, sniffity).

Flower is taking great delight in the fact that we are back to art lessons in CC- she is painting up a storm, getting her toes wet playing violin and working her little brain weary studying for Memory Masters. Back to art: We study a great artist every week and then replicate their techniques and style. There is so much great learning to be had by copying the masters! Flower came home and did the same lesson again, as did a bunch of other kids. Cool stuff, that.

Whoever said learning Grammar wasn't fun? This is the awesome "Snow Ball" fight our Essentials Director organized for return from break. Every chart copied over Xmas vacation was turned into a paper snowball, the kids were divided into teams and they tried to get as many snowballs as possible into the other teams buckets. 1/2 hour of uproarious laughter and good times! That's the beauty of CC- it makes the hard work of long term memory aquisition do-able and FUN. The kids are leanring TONS of information that will last them a life-time. LOVE it. 

Image result for john adams HBO
Flower has been watching HBO's John Adams this week, skipping through a couple of the more disturbing sciences. I love the first 4 sessions- a brilliant portrayal of men committed to freedom, their rights as Men of God, with the eloquence and skills to actually do something about it- a true apologetic for classical education if ever there was one!

Don't forget to stop by Monday for the last installment in this years' Virtual Curriculum Fair: Discovering Beauty- the Arts.

Check out the 5th Annual Virtual Curriculum Fair with over 20 participating bloggers a week and a link-up for you to join the party! 

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

VCF- Globe Trotting

This week's Virtual Curriculum Fair, hosted by Susan over at Hearts and Minds, and Stacie at SuperMommy to the Rescue, includes content areas such as geography, history, world cutlures, worldview, biology, botony, geology and anything else under the scope of the social or science. Happy sigh. We love this stuff. In fact, Feeche took Anthropology last semester in college and score the highest grade in the class. The apple fell- kerplop.If you'd like to read what I've written for the VCF in past years on this topic, go here and here.

Let's start with Geography. Curriculums we l.o.v.e: Mapping the World with Art; Memoria Press Geography I and II, Classical Converstaions Foundations and Ch. A- we've been doing our fair share of Map Blobbing. We are liking the Map blobbing very much, though, admittedly, it is a bit intimidating first off. We have also used MCP's Maps curriculum, which I think is a great introduction to geography.Maps and globes in our house are de riguer, as well as some very beautiful Atlas' and star charts.

I have had some exceptionally geography oriented kid- globe carrying, map studying, history verifying, cross referrencing types. It didn't take muich to teach them- just throw maps on the wall, globes around the house, curriculum that enforces maps as essential to learning nad knowing and understanding the world in which they live and viola!  For kids not oriented that way, teach them geography- it is the grammar of history and culture.

We have traveled extensively and lived across the country- in New England, on the West Coast, Midwest, Southwest and Great Plains, and that in-itself, gives one great perspective on geograpy and how terrain and water and weather determine culture, traditions, economy and language. As we've traveled we have hit up every musuem, national park, state park, science center, living history museum and park we could afford and make time for. Our goal has been to seek out and experience what we can, where we are at. We are intentional about doing so.

World cultures has been pretty easy to teach when our family was younger and we lived on the west coast among internationals and our neighbors were from all over the world and many colors of the rainbow. It's a bit different living in the upper Midwest where people of color vary mostly between pasty winter pale and summer tan. That being said, there ar e still people here from all ovah the place and we have befriended folks from the Middle East and Europe and Africa. Kwowing poeple from other places and listening to their stories, is one of the best ways to teach world cutlures that I know.

Secondly, reading widely is also a great window into other places, cultures and people groups. Songlight curriculum and Bethleham books both have great reading lists.
Science- I mention the same thing every year: start with Magic School Bus books, take lots of nature walks, read the entire Tiner Series and then in 7th grade jump into the Apologia series, starting with General Science. Spend copious amounts of time watching science related videos like Moody and listeniing to CD's like Apologia's eled MP3's and tons of time going through the NOAA and NASA web-sites and have magazines lying. aroudn like Ranger Rick, NAtional Geographic for Kids, Science News and Biblical Archeology Today. Sign up for an on-line class or program, if you can afford it like Aurora Lipper's SuperCharged Science or a Bridgeway Academy Science Lab- both of which are very much worth the money.

Good science is the constant search for accurate information so teach your kids what that means and how to find it. This includes teaching the scientific method, vocabulary and hypothesizing. For us, the half and hour of Science activity found in CC's Foundations Community program has been invaleuable to teach the scientific method, (i.e. begining logic) in a way that is accessible, doable and memorable to young kids. Furthermore, in Challenge, Science is taught as natural outcome of the child's curiostiy, their need to know and their need to express about that knowing. Which I love. I see how effective this method is: priming the child's natural curisity and feeding it and then allowing the child to express what they've discovered. This is so much like Dr. Dh. His passion for finding answers to the things and his natural curiousity and zeal fro the natural world  has led him us on some amazing paths.

Don't underestimate the importance of Green Time. In other words, get outside. We live in the country and are surrounded by nature. We have seen hawks, eagles, beaver, marlin, skunks, possums, deer, coyotes and much more just by virtue of where we live. My kids are naturalists and know an amazing amount of information about the Great Plains because they are out in it. In California we had the beaches and mountains and an amazing, world class park (think botony) system. In New Mexico, the star gazing was, quite literally, world class. The city, too, has zoos and parks and streams, museums and nature centers. Maximize the resources of your location (i.e. think geographically).

History, how do I love thee? Timeline, baby, is foundational to truly understanding history. I've written about how and why to study a timeline here and here. We have memorized the 160 timeline cards in the VP pack and then switched over to the CC pack. The first 160 points on the timeline were hard work. The next 160 points on the timline were not so much. Pretty soon, we all have a lot of points on our timline memorized and it all started with the first 160 points, taken from cards. Pretty easy, eh?

We love Story of the World volumes 1-4. It's a must have for any educated person, but essential to the homeshcool. From there, get the History of the World, volumes 1-4, they are must haves for any educated person. You might not agree with everything. That's fine. It's a good, basic, solid overview of world history, devoid of doctrinal bias and not cultural-centric In other words, it's a true history of the world, including all of the continenets. The CD's are must haves. We've listened to them for years.
Diana Waring and Mystery of History CD's are good add-ons.
Bethleham Books, Sonlight, Veritas Press, Memoria Press are our go-to for good read-alouds, along with G.A. Henty. Forget what you hear about him being a racist- he was a man of his times and, while he writes formulaically, if you want to know some history, you'll find his written some good accounts.
We are very much enjoying Notgrass American History. Cub and Flower are reading it outloud to each other and I have nothing but great things to say about it.

We also study my myths and legends and classic literature- which allows great insight into cultures and the why of things. Cub is taking Myths and Legends through Bridgeway Academy this quarter and it is a great humanities overview. D'Aulaires Greek and Norse Myths- the Greek is now on CD (!), and more. Which takes us into World Religions. We do some overview but focus much more heavily on what our faith traidtion is- Christianity and how Jesus transcends space, time, ethnicity and culture to bring Salvation to all people. We celebrate the festivals and feasts and Hebrew roots, eytmological studies and in-depth Bible study. And we read Christian fiction and watch movies and listen to a ton of music- Chrsitian and Messianic and folk.
And lastly, Classical Conversations - you knew I get around to it, right? Listen to the CD's - the history sentences and the timeline songs. If you memorize all three cycles of history, that 72 history sentences. Think what a neurologically rich historical web your kids are creating in their little minds by memorizing the Bill of Rights and the Premble and so much more, complete with dates, people, places.

There's more, always more, but I have other things I have to get done. Go here to LINK UP and share your best resources for the Social Sciences! 

includes history, geogr aaphy, world cultures, worldview, biology, botany, geoloies gy, etc., etc., etc. @Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Winter Smash

I survived this week. It included two 2-hour play practices, a 2 hour presentation on classical education and Classical Conversations, CC Community Day, Tutoring Foundations, learning grammar, and semester-end submissions for at least 2/3 of my student load at work; staff meetings and sortakindof figuring out the new computer system, Memory Masters review, 3 on-line computer classes for the kids, helping Feeche write a resume, the dishwasher repair man coming and finally the warranty to get a new dishwasher, hand washing dishes, friends and a zillion phone calls. I did manage to eek a work out or two, and have relied heavily on the kids cooking, the crock pot and friends who brought food, chocolate, prayer and belly laughs at all the right times.
Needless to say, the Christmas decorations are all still up.

Frankly, I think my schedule is exhausting. I would seriously consider public school, just in the for sake of ease department but then we watch something like Indoctrination, (which I'll be reviewing soon) and Dr. Dh and I look at each other and go, "Um, no." And then I drink another glassful of Dynamic Greens and go to bed earlier-ish.

Speaking of reviews, there are some great reviews coming up, including an Radio Theater Production of In Freedom's Cause. We got it last week and have listened to it twice already- GREAT stuff!


The 2015 Virtual Curriculum Fair is in full swing.
 To date we've posted Playing with Words and Discovering Patterns
Exploring our World is up this week and you will find tons of info on geography, science, history and more. I love this field of study (I know, I've said that every week) so come back tomorrow to read my post about some of our tried and true curriculum, including a linky for you to join the party!

I don't agree that we don't have these concepts in the U.S.- We totally embrace frilufsliv and gezelligheid 'round here. Especially during weeks like this past one that sported negative 17 degree weather. It did warm up to 1 degree the next day, which found Flower outside for over an hour, bundled to the brim, and enjoying the clear skies and bright sunshine that we have in abundance. 

Why is this true? 

My kids are drowning in Memory work; Foundations, Essentials, the play and Latin. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly they learn it all, embrace it, own it and start manipulating what they've learned and applying it to various areas. 
Memoria est mater studiorum
Memory is the mother of learning. 
Truth, that. 

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Too Much Fun

Beauty and the Bee the super cute, very funny, relationship revolving, adolescent angst capturing play that our super
crew of jocular thespians has been practicing for several hours a week this month. We are having way too many laughs while eating too much sugar (my kids thank-you, Lisa and Lori!) and having a marvelous time. This is the One-Act Play Festival that grew up out of a backyard drama camp over 10 years ago. 5 plays this year at a local University Theater, with lights, sound and lots of action. Fun times.

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Back to the Beginning.

By far the best news of the New Year was that one of our daughters was married. A sweet blessing for our family to start the year right!
They happened to pick Cub's birthday on which to tie the knot. Here they both are a few weeks before; beauty and the beast (or, at least, beauty and the photo bomber).

This week we started back. Back to school, back to work, back to busy. Play practice is well under way, CC Memory Master review is on high alert and we just go from dawn to dusk. We are completely loyal to our trusty chiropractor, as he has fixed our knees and lungs -which we love- but I was exhausted for 3 days after the last visit. Which is totally at odds with busy. Why does healing take so much energy (and money)?!
Festival of One Act Play practices are under way. Our play and our quirky, talented (which describes about every group of teenager-ishes) band of thespians met twice a week for a couple of hours, and we are having a blast. I finally found a decent play, devoid of questionable current issues, that has great humor, good writing and even some depth. The kids always amaze me with their creativity, talent and passion for fellowhip and good clean fun.

On-line classes this semester include another round of Learning Labs through Bridgeway Academy- this session: Myths and Fables- taught as a Humanities Class, and Intro to the Computer. Cub is also taking a government class on-line as part of a TOS Review. And Flower decided to go for Memory Masters.

So it was blizzard like and sub-zero and literally warmer in the Antarctic than in the Territories this week. You know you've raised some hardy pioneers when the kids voluntarily go out to play and temperature is 1 lone, solitary degree out. Cold it may be, but when the wind is not blowing, and the sun is shining, as it most often is, and there is snow on the ground, full of glitter and promise of new landscapes to explore, it's almost forgivable. Of course, I just write about it from the comfort of our warm household, with a cup of something hot in hand. I am so not from around here.

The goal is to finish Notgrass American History, which is excellent- excellent texts, unusual, intriguing history and amazing graphics and photos throughout. This is getting done by having Cub read 2 chapters to Flower and then Flower reading 2 chapters out loud to Cub.


@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Classical STEM

This week's Virtual Curriculum Fair is co-hosted by
Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

You can find out more about the Virtual Curriculum Fair here.
“If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is.” 
― John von Neumann

“On a plaque attached to the NASA deep space probe we [human beings] are described in symbols for the benefit of any aliens who might meet the spacecraft as “bilaterly symmetrical, sexually differentiated bipeds, located on one of the outer spiral arms of the Milky Way, capable of recognising the prime numbers and moved by one extraordinary quality that lasts longer than all our other urges—curiosity.” 
― David G. Wells

Science, Technology, Engineering, Math. Teach coding, get girls interested in all of these subjects. However you slice it, there’s a lot of focus on the logical and analytical brain functions these days. Many schools are cutting the ‘extras’ like art and music. While I firmly believe that students need to be well rounded and really

Math, Science, Logic, Discovering Patterns. We have a love/ hate relationship with some of these subjects and a total love affair with others. Either way, we spend time, energy and effort really getting ahold of the subject areas as much as possible.How does one make STEM Classical? Start with Memory work, teach logic, delve deeper. Are Humanities and STEM Studies at odds with each other. Hardly. And throughout history, never. Read about the lives of great scientists and you'll realize that some of the most revered scientists throughout history were also some of the most devout followers of Christ. Because good science is the search for truth, it leads naturally to Christ, who is the person of Truth. It's just good logic.

We do science experiments every week in Classical Conversations, using lab sheets and talking about the Scientific Method as we go. We memorize science formulas, definitions and systems every week. We also memorize math facts, icluding multiplication tables, squares, cubes, measurements and more. The kids get more into Logic as they hit Middle School.

Math is not really our first love, but we make it through quite a bit of it. The curriculums that are keepers, imho are Right Start, Learn Math Fast, Saxon, Life of Fred, Art of Problem Solving.
My best advice is to hire a Tutor once your kids get to a point of understanding that is beyond you. The first law of the teacher always applies and having a competent communicator who can clearly reveal the mysteries of math is worth real money.
 Logical Fallacies Poster $20
Find this amazing poster here. 

Perplexors have been our recent round a serious deductive reasoning fun, along with Dot Math.
And I found this cool game for Flower for Christmas Logic Squares because she blew through the Advanced Perplexors last year and is all out.
Games- play a game long enough and and you'll find winning patterns. Our favorites are Settlers of Catan, Risk, Blokus, Mancala, Ticket to Ride, Monopoly.
"Analyzing Logical Errors- Understanding the ways in which inductive and deductive reasoning processes work can help you to determine the truth and validity if your arguments, as well as roger arguments, and to identify and correct faulty reasoning" (29).
We do actually use Logic Curriculum, such as:
Fallacy Detective.
Traditional Logic
Intro and Intermediate Logic
And don't forget Latin, which is a great logic teacher- we have loved Memoria Press for everything, but especially the Latin program, complete with DVD's. Latina Christiana, First Form, Lingua Angelica, et al.

Good Science is the constant search for Truth, right? We love science, study it embrace it, read about it, and look for it. We do a lot of nature walks and study 'round here; we are surrounded by nature and have seen amazing things. Good science starts with observation and we have ample opportunities to observe. I love watching my kids develop as naturalists. Just today they spotted a Bald Eagle, several dear, pheasants- all while playing outside in the freezing cold.
Living in the country has afforded us the opportunity to see some amazing astronomical sites like the Northern Lights and phenomenal views of the Milky Way. I've mentioned NOAA and NASA web-sites over and over again, but it bears repeating because they are FULL of fantastic information. My kids are on these sites a couple of times a week, often hanging around Dr. Dh who is showing them some amazing space station arm movements or storm systems via satellite.

Other science curriculum we've used and loved:
The Tiner series.
Apologia- elementary courses like Anatomy and Physiology and then General Science in 7th grade and going through Phyics and Advanced Biology.
The Great Courses
Reasons to Believe Academy
Science Learning Labs with Bridgeway Academy; they also offer AP and DE high school science and math courses. The Science Labs have all been fantastic and count for a 1/2 high school credit.
Lego League is the ultimate STEM unit study. Great stuff.

Two science magazines we've read for years: Science News, Biblical Archeology Review. Both excellent. 

Check out my pinterest boards on these topics:
Pinterest Boards: CC Science
Homeschooling Math
Homeschooling Science

Be sure to check out last weeks VCF post on Playing with Words: Loaded Bullets. 
Next week will feature Social Studies and even more Science.

Co-Hosted by: 
Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Stacie @ Super Mommy to the Rescue
Lisa @ Golden Grasses

Other Bloggers
Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
Becky @ Milo & Oats
Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker
Amy @ One Blessed Mamma
Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Kristi @ The Potter's Hand Academy 
Hillary @ Walking Fruitfully 
Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity 
Susan @ The Every Day of Education 
Debra @Footprints in the Butter 
Jennifer @ a Glimpse of our life 
Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning 
Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool 
Renata @ Sunnyside Farm Fun 
Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun 
Chelli @ The Planted Trees 
Denise @ Fullnest 
Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break 
Laura @ Four Little Penguins 

Please visit the other participating blogs and enter any posts of your own on the topic of maths curriculum to this linky.

013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Loaded Pistols:Virtual Curriculum Fair Playing with Words

Words are loaded pistols. ~Jean-Paul Sartre
Words do two major things: They provide food for the mind and create light for understanding and awareness. ~Jim Rohn
This is my 3rd year participating in the Virtual Curriculum Fair and it's always a blast. Not sure what I'm talking about? Hop on over to Susan's blog: Homeschooling Hearts and Minds (whose is the brains behind the VCF) and find out all about it! 

If you have read Golden Grasses for any length of time, you know that we be bibliophiles 'round here and often have our noses stuck in books. If you haven't, welcome to the word nerd party! I have whole Pinterest boards devoted to Literary Love, Books Worth Reading, Writing. and Homeschool English and often post fun lit chat on Golden Grasses Facebook page. If you are looking to find a good book, want to talk lit or just get a little bibliophile understanding, you've come to the right place!

What does a book and writing loving Momma use to instill and ensure a tribe of fellow bibliophiles? So glad you asked! Check out my posts from posts from previous VCF years:
2013 VCF Word Play
2014 VCF Word Nerd Love

As my kids have gotten older, we've moved past phonics and the mechanics of writing. I still recommend AlphaPhonics- simple, effective, affordable- phonics for everyone. Writing with Ease and First Language Lessons are fantastic. Language Acquisition Through Poetry Memorization is a must have, bar none. Poetry Outloud for high schoolers. Grammar of Poetry for anyone 5th grade and up. And books. Tons and tons of book, on -tape, read out-loud and privately, shared, discussed, thought about and mulled over. Not just any books because I am not of the school that says, "at least they're reading." No. Good quality, make your brain work and your imagination soar quality lit. Throw in some fun, cause life's a party, but make them good words, which abound. Redemption is the greatest story that ever lived and books, even dystopian, must redeem or it counts as carp and to be avoided.

We have done diagramming- Our Mother Tongue, Mary Dalys Whole Book of Diagramming and this year Essentials at our local Classical Conversations Community. Cub (14), Flower (11) and I sit in and work hard each week, memorizing, diagramming, chart copy-ing and writing. It's good stuff. We are all learning a ton. The kids write about a paper a week- 20 papers in 24 weeks. Cub did a 3 day class with Andrew Pudewa this summer and Flower participated in a 3 day CC Practicum Writing Camp this summer -CC kids camps are some of the best ed value around- free classical ed training for parents to boot!

This year in Foundations we are studying John 1:1 -7- and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We have memorized this in Latin and English. We are people of the Word, baby!
We are studying Latin using First Form Latin.
We are studying German using Rosetta Stone.
We are studying the Grammar of the English Language using Essentials by Classical Conversations and how to write using IEW's American History Theme Book.
We are studying Poetry using the Grammar of Poetry and Cub just may participate in Poetry Outloud this year.

We are studying theater and projection and presentation by participating in CC's Foundations class (a presentation a week takes the fear right out of standing up in front of people) and Tantara, the local Festival of One Act Plays for homeschool high schoolers, as well as Drama Camp this spring.
Spelling U See for my spelling challenged mathy kiddo. Love this program!
Vocabulary gets studied every single day as we look up words, define them for each other, check synonyms, read, watch and google.

We study Shakespeare with regularity for several reasons-  and by several methods-by participating in Shakespeare Camp year  after year. We also use the Great Courses Shakespeare course, and our newest Bardology addition? This year we are reading outloud the, "Verily, New Hope" trilogy- a Star Wars, Shakespeare Smash up that is full of fun and serious laughs. Great stuff that will afford your kids access to Elizabethan language, Shakespearean thought, Iambic Pentameter and a whole lot of fun! You can search Golden Grasses for Shakespeare and come up with a ton of posts on Bardology.

We study the Bible because, like I said, we are people of the Word. The Word became Life and dwelt among us and His name is above all names, the name of Jesus. We study to know Him and to make Him known. Theology and Biblical studies are all part of what we study when Words come into play. We hope to be known as People of the Word. So we read the Bible and study it using various translations, several different commentaries, celebrating Biblical feasts and Holidays, gaining understanding in Biblical languages and cultures, history, geography and politics. Biblical Archeology Today and Jerusalem posts provide regular reading and discussion, along with keeping abreast of recent discoveries like Eliat Mazar's discovery of King David's Palace.

Take some time and read more posts on Word Play. And don't forget to link up!

Co-Hosted by: 

Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Stacie @ Super Mommy to the Rescue
Lisa @ Golden Grasses

We are being joined by these lovely bloggers:
Building a Foundation of Words by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Language Arts for 2015 by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses

Bible-Based Language Arts Resources by Tauna M @ Proverbial Homemaker

Relaxed Homeschooling: Language Arts in the Early Elementary Years by Brittney @ Mom's Heart

Loving Books and Words by Sarah@Delivering Grace

5 Language Arts Resources We Love by Becky @ Milo & Oats

Teaching Reading at Home: A Tale of 5 Readers by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset

A More Simplistic Approach to 7th Grade Language Arts by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

Language Arts Reading for Delight-Directed Learning by Susan @ The Every Day of Education

How To: Spelling Dictation by Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity

The World of Words in our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory

Unschooling and Words, Words, Words by Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun

Learning With Literature and Language Arts Resources by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road

Words and More Words! by Michele @ FamilyFaithandFridays

Language Arts in Our Homeschool (2014 � 2015) by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World

Our curriculum choices ~ Language Arts by Renata @ Sunnyside Farm Fun

The 2015 Virtual Curriculum Fair ~ Language Arts in Our Homeschool by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life

Loaded Pistols: Virtual Curriculum Fair Playing with Words by Lisa @ Golden Grasses

A Renewed Focus on Reading Aloud by Debra @Footprints in the Butter

Language Arts in our Classical / Charlotte Mason Homeschool by Sharra @ The Homeschool Marm

Logic of English Foundations: The Grand Prize Winner of Phonics by Chelli @ The Planted Trees

A Sentence a Day Teaches Grammar the Fun Way by Amy A @ One Blessed Mamma

Tackling Language Arts by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning

Middle School Monday - Lightning Literature and Composition by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

The Great Grammar Discovery by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing!Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Announcing the 5th Annual Virtual Curriculum Fair!

The Virtual Curriculum Fair is here again! Woohoo! It starts this coming Monday and includes amazing blogger friends who will be sharing their curriculum choices for 2015.
  1. January 5th---Playing with Words: the Language Arts---includes phonics, reading, writing, grammar, spelling, speech, literature, etc., etc., etc. Latin and foreign language studies could also go here.
  2. January 12th---Discovering Patterns: Mathematics, Logic, and Science---includes anything to do with mathematics, mathematical thinking, numbers, arithmetic, symbolic logic, critical thinking, and math-y sciences (physics, chemistry, etc.).
  3. January 19th---Exploring Our World: Social Studies and more Science---includes history, geography, world cultures, worldview, biology, botany, geology, etc., etc., etc.
  4. January 26th---Seeking Beauty: the Arts and Everything that Brings Beauty to Our World---includes any of the arts, handicrafts, but really ANYTHING at all that adds beauty to your homeschool.
Co-Hosted by:
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses

 Every Bed of Roses   

We are being joined by these lovely bloggers:
Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Becky @ Milo & Oats
Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset
Hillary @ Walking Fruitfully
Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Denise @ Fullnest

You won't want to miss it!

 @Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Word for the Year- JOY

I have had a word a year for several years now. Words like Abundance, Occupy, Steward. These words have been a  call to action; a call to courage, because I often get discouraged and lose my way focus.

This year it's

Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you. 
Isaiah 12:6
Let's face it, life is hard. It is full of challenges at every turn. People, places and circumstances can cause us to be bitter and spiteful, and justifiably so. I know myriads of people, in the church and out, who are on anti-depressants just to get by- and I don't blame them. If I wasn't such a stoic, hard headed German with a bizarre physiology I'd be downing them like candy myself. Life is depressing.

But in the midst of this world, this world whose ruler has designs on the people of Zion that include, but are not limited to death, thievery and destruction, God calls us to have JOY.

I'm not a natural at Joy. I'm a natural at melancholy, cynicism and bitter disbelief. I hate to admit it, but there it is.

But I found something this fall that I'd lost a couple of years ago- the ability to laugh. And, Oy vey, it was a good thing. Like, I had cracked the dusty, bitter shell of hurt and anger and betrayal that had threatened to define me. And then I laughed some more. And then I started seeking out opportunities to laugh- you know, like how I used to. Finding jokes, telling jokes, You Tubing Christian comedians, pranking my kids, telling funny stories. We started laughing as a family again- really laughing. Not the kind of laughing you do right before you cry, but mirthful laughing. What JOY to watch the faces of the people I love full of the LIGHT of laughter. We've laughed and discovered that contented feeling of joy within. And every now and then we've been at a place of true joy, and laughter has bubbled forth.

For Christmas this year,  Dr Dh and I did something extravagant and purchased an  arcade sized air-hockey table. It ranks as one of the best presents ever. We have already spent hours around it laughing and cheering and finding JOY in the simple pleasure of a goofy arcade game. Yea, it's just a goofy thing, but it's fun and it's laughter inducing and those simple prompts of laughter and fun have reminded us, reminded me, of what a great place joy can be.

Joy- the deep abiding assurance and rest that God is for us, that the world and it's dark portents can never harm us, that God makes all things new. Yes, please.

What is your Word for the 2015?

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Blog Wrap-UP

This year of blogging looked a lot different than in years past. Even with that I managed to post 19 Curriculum Reviews and 2 Author Interviews, along with 3 Series- The Virtual Curriculum Fair, the Working Woman's Guide to Homeschooling and 5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials, as well as severeal posts on Classical Conversations. Please let me know if you have ideas for other series or posts, questions about homeschooling, memory work or why to memorize a timeline!

Virtual Curriculum Fair
Godly Patterns in Homeschooling- How to teach Math, Logic and Patterns
Word Nerd Love - Language Arts
World Exploration- Social & Physical Sciences
You Gotta Have Art- Teaching Beauty

Golden Grasses: 20 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Homeschooling
By the Numbers
5 Ways Classical Conversations Rocks
5 Simple Steps to Memorize Effectively
7 Reasons You Should Blog if You Homeschool
20 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Homeschooling

Golden Grasses 5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials- Program #homeschool #education #goldengrasses
5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials 
Get With the Program

Golden Grasses Working Woman's Guide to Homeshcooling #workingwomen #homeschooling #beextraordinary #workhomeschool
The Working Woman's Guide to Homeschooling
Your Compelling Reason
Just 4 Things
Be Extraordinary
Flow, Grow and Tools
October 2014Golden Grasses: Classical Conversations during the rest of the week #classicaled #homeschool #classicalconversations
Classical Conversations
CC During the Rest of the Week
CC During the Rest of the Week- What's Mom Got to do with it? 
CC Review Games
5 Ways CC Foundations Rocks
Scientific Discovery
CC Community Day
Copywork as a Tool

Golden Grasses: A Midsummer's Night Dream #classicaleducation #Shakespeare #homeschool #theater
Joeseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat
Midsummer's Night Dream

How to Create a Unit Study
Virtual Field Trips List

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!