Friday, July 25, 2014

Random 5 on Friday -- July 25th

1.  It's still really hard to see down into the nest to see the baby birds, but we can definitely hear their little chirps when we check the mail.

2.  We just had our parents/informational meeting for co-op.  The kick-off picnic is in about a month, and then co-op starts back up!  Elliott is so excited, he's asked a few times this summer when we get to go back.  He's not really a social butterfly or anything, but he enjoys the classes.

3.  There's a local curriculum swap tomorrow.  I'm excited for it.  As long as I can find the place.  It's in a little town that I don't really know at all, so it should be fun.

4.  My husband bought a one-month subscription to ancestry.com to see what else he could find in his family tree, so I'm definitely planning to do some more digging, finally, after the fun Genealogy Revelations experience I had.

5.  We have a few interesting homeschool reviews coming up, so stay tuned!  Mathletics, Essential Skills Advantage and Under Drake's Flag are on the list.  So enjoying the blessings of the Schoolhouse Review Crew!





The Pebble Pond



©2011-2014 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mom Made Us Write This in the Summer {book review}



Mom Made Us Write This in the Summer

Mom Made Us Write This in the Summer
Author:  Ali Maier

This is a cute book.  It is written in journal style by Max and Maggie, 10 year old twins.  Over the summer, their mother gives them a journal with specific rules--they can write about anything, but they must write a specific number of times and follow a few other instructions.  According to Max and Maggie, the worst part is not that they have writing assignments during the summer . . . the worst part is that they have to SHARE their journal!  They are allowed to respond to each other's journal entries, provided they follow mom's rule of being polite.

What ensues is a comical and creative retelling of their summer together.  The fonts are different for each child, so you can easily tell who is currently writing.  We learn why Max doesn't usually like zoos, why Maggie is not a good babysitter, how they feel about getting in trouble, and at the end, we learn what Max and Maggie learned from their writing experience over the summer.

There are some things that might make a parent cringe, like talk of bodily functions.  (Though admittedly, it is in reference to zoo animals.)  I know it's typical boy funnies, but it's the type of talk I discourage in our home.  It's not a book I would assign for school reading, but it could work for free-reading.  It certainly has kid-appeal, and looks perfect for approximately 3rd-5th graders.

I would suggest this book for independent reading, not as a read-aloud.  The reason I say this is because Max and Maggie are constantly doodling and commenting on each other's entries, and the notes in the margin make it difficult to keep the flow of the story if you're trying to read those aloud.  It is much better suited for independent free-reading, because the reader can follow the notes and drawings in a way that makes sense for them.  Because of this, my kids aren't quite ready for the book.

Now, as far as the concept of a shared journal--I love it!  I did this in middle school with a few of my close friends. We kept a spiral notebook, and we'd pass it back and forth on the school bus or in the halls, and it was just a fun way to keep up with each other!  It's definitely a great idea for helping kids rediscover the lost art of writing for personal pleasure.  For siblings, I definitely think it could be used to try to work out sibling rivalry issues and promote positive sibling relationships.


For more information about the author Ali Maier, to see the new releases or to purchase the book, check out the website Mom Made Us Write This or their Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest pages!



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©2011-2014 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

Friday, July 18, 2014

Random 5 on Friday

1.  Now that I'm starting the 2nd trimester, the desire to cook and eat real food is BACK!  So far in the last week or so I've made chicken Alfredo with roasted broccoli, cashew chicken over rice and summer blend vegetables, pasta salad, brown sugar and basil pork chops, and Vegetable Quesadillas.  I'm pretty sure that's more variety in one week than we had the whole three months prior.


2.  The bird's nest in our paper box belongs to an eastern bluebird.  We are waiting on the eggs to hatch, and from what I've read, we should be getting close.


3.  We have been enjoying the mild weather the last few days!  It's been nice to spend some extra afternoon hours outside.


4.  Eleanor, as much as she loves her hair brushed, does not love hair bows.  She would prefer to walk around with her hair in her eyes all day.


5.  It's time to start "planning" for school again.  When I say plan, I really just prefer some general goals and an outline with notes and ideas, rather than a detailed plan of attack.  I don't want stifling structure and schedules and checklists.  I do like routine, but I want one that allows for flexibility.







The Pebble Pond


©2011-2014 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com