Sunday, January 25, 2015

VCF- The Shadow of Divine Perfection

The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection. ~Michelangelo
This weeks VCF is hosted, once again by Susan at Hearts and Minds 
and by yours truly, 
Lisa @ Golden Grasses

Art and Beauty. I am an art lover from way back and a closet artist still. Art is de rigour in our home and we engage in artistic pursuits of all kinds.
I'd like to dispel the first myth about art and creativity out there- it's all just fun, creative expression. That is, of course, one aspect of art, and not one to be overlooked. But art at the level of the masters- be they literary are of a medium, such as paint or clay or dance- requires discipline and sacrifice, like anything else. 
Our kids learn to draw as they learn to read-using Drawing Textbook, Draw, Write Now and Mark Kistler's fantastic materials. They are fundamentally acquainted with drawing pads, prismacolors and paints, along with craft, DIY and building materials. Drawing pads and poseable art figures happen often. Cartoonists and illustrators biographies such as Bill Watterson and Peet inspire and challenge.

We've had the good fortune of having terrific art teachers, clay courses, arts and crafts wtih professionals Zigrid, Jannell and Ana through co-op, Tutoring Center and Art classes. We've made the sacrifice in terms of drive time and memberships to participate in these endeavors because learning to appreciate and create art is a gift that will last our kids a life-time.

Classical Conversations gives us 4 6 week art units- the first on the fundamentals of drawing, the 2nd on Tin Whistle and Music Theory, the 3rd on Great Artists and the 4th Introduction to the Orchestra. It's just enough to whet the kids appetites for more. Flower has spent the week replicating the project we did in class last week, working with water colors for the first time and discovering that the brush and the medium change the outcomes.

While the grammar of art- which is drawing, regardless of what medium one prefers or ends up with, -always drawing, is familiar to my kids from the time they can hold a pencil, going over the vocabulary and basics of drawing (i.e. OILS), is not redundant and boring. Rather, it is a reiteration of what they know and a cementing of knowledge that allows them to have these tools at the ready.
We've been involved in a big-time house re-building project since our house fire 5 years ago and our kids have learned to dry wall, grout, paint like pros, sand, polyurethane While house building skills might seem boring, there is a real art form to mudding and taping drywall successfully, and laying out a kitchen and finishing a basement. These skills are easily translated into cash, either as one upgrades their own home on the cheap, or in the case of Feeche, who at 20 makes a living wage doing construction and landscaping as a full time college student. (You can see our house re-build under the Tear Down to Build Up posts).
Landscaping is a whole seperate art form and one we tackle each year as drought or flood or whatever on the Praire takes place. We've done some hardscaping, to the point that all of the kids know how to lay a brick path that will last, move trees and shurbs successfully, grow enough food to eat out of a garden for a summer and plant enough flowers to decorate the house and have enough material to draw and paint and dry to keep color and scent in their lives beyond the growing season. House and porch plants are de-rigour in my life and our enclosed porch is full up during 3 seasons and the dining room houses the overflow in the winter. Green and growing things are art at its finest.

Flower took Architecture with Brick Building this fall through Bridgeway Academy Leanring Labs. they went over 7 of the 20 architectural fundamentals- great hands on class that ended with her crafting her multi-level dream house out of legos for the final. It re-iterated many of the art concepts that she knew, but in a new way and applicable to a new field.

Legos and Mine-craft are perennial favorites 'round here and this Christmas saw a couple of boxed sets delving into mine-craft building. My kids build for hours on Mine-craft and I don't mind. They read and listen and study hard and this is a great, creative reward that allows their left and right brains to work together on a project. And I love the fact that my 3 kids living at home, with an age span of 8 1/2 years will gather together to build or chat or share their latest creation. They are sharing the creative process and that is real beauty.

Open ended toys and craft material can't be beat for demanding that kids take the initiative with creating things: legos, blocks, playmobile, dolls, craft supplies, sand and water, tons of manipulative's, the great outdoors and good stories and you have the basis for creating anything.

We've done "let's paint runaways"- which are rather like paint by numbers except that a lot of painting technique is learned. Our girls have especially enjoyed these, but our boys paint as well.

Of late, the kids interests have turned to photography, stop motion and videography. We've encouraged this by seeking out information such as Crystal Creek Media's course, School house Teachers, Stop Motion kits through JM Cremps and some professional vidoegraphy equipment.

Youtube shorts and the Music guys feature predominately in our lives as plucky comic relief and a break from our day jobs. Through friends we've just discovered Andrea Ruie, and have favorite musicians, and folk music that we listen to regularly.

We count humor as an art form and frequently watch our favorite comediennes such as Tim Hawkins, Michael Junior and John Branyon. We've provided our kids with joke books and cartoonists for years and we often recount favorite comic strips, or favorite characters, as if they were old friends, as indeed, they are. (Just try to take Lucy or the Red Baron or Calvin away from me!)We can often be found quoting movie lines, taking memory work on e step farther. The telling of a joke and the delivery of a punch line are encouraged as the art of laughter and sharing the joy of it is something I want all of my kids to leave home with.
Theater has been a part of our lives for well over a decade now and currently takes the form of Tantara (Festival of One Act Plays), Drama (1 week in the spring) and Shakespeare (1 week in the summer) Camps every year. Our kids now how to perform-be that for entertainment or persuasive purposes and do so with much creative flair. Weekly presentations at Classical Conversations teach the kids how to present a clear concise something with a beginning, middle and end in 3 minutes. That, my friends, takes tenacity and skill.

I've taught writing for over a decade and it is one of my true loves. It takes logic and discipline and empathy, compassion and a vocabulary of sorts (or at least ready access to synonym finder). Poetry is an art form in and of itself and I love Language Acquisition Through Poetry Memorization for pre-K on up, The Grammar of Poetry form 5th=high school, Poetry Outloud. Teaching our kids the form of poetry teaches, as all good creativity does, discipline and expression- allows them to touch base with great minds throughout the centuries and demands compassion for people and places beyond themselves.
Dance, of course. We've not had the time or resources to pay for private dance lessons but our kids have taken ballroom dancing lessons for years, which culminates in a formal dinner dance each spring for area homeschoolers. You can't get much better than that for good, clean fun!

And of course, being around babies and the elderly teaches our kids creativity. Children are the one creative process that we can truly collaborate with God on and being around little ones teaches our children that the little things matter and the world doesn't revolve around them. The elderly take the creative process outside of our personal circle and allow the kids to have compassion on those with
 (hopefully wisdom), but again, perhaps, frail bodies. Compassion and empathy are two powerful tools we can give our children if we hope for them to be truly creative.
VCF 2014 You Gotta Have Art!

The Art of Organization�or How Clutter Almost Ruined My Homeschool by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
The Shadow of Divine Perfection by Lisa @ Golden Grasses
Relaxed Homeschooling: Fine Arts in the Early Elementary Years by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Fine Arts {Art Appreciation, Art, Composer Study Hymn Study} for 2015 by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Adding Sparkle to Home Education by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
And All the Extras by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Teaching Art Using the Bible by Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker
Art In Every Subject by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Letting Art Just Happen in Homeschool by Amy @ One Blessed Mamma
Missing Art? by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset
Do YOU Have Time for Extracurriculars? by Michele@ Family, Faith and Fridays
Fine Arts in Our Classical / Charlotte Mason Homeschool by Sharra @ The Homeschool Marm
The Science of Beauty for a Delight-Directed Daughter by Susan @ The Every Day of Education
Seeking Beauty: How we Tackle the Arts in our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Learning To Appreciate Beauty With Fine Arts Resources@ As We Walk Along the Road by Leah@ As We Walk Along the Road

Join the party and link up with your favorite curriculum for creative endeavor!

@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!

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!