The View from the Classroom Window

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Old School Monday--THIS Monday!

Hello Vintage Moms!

Just a reminder that our next OSM gathering is this upcoming Monday, March 28 from 12-2:30 pm.  We are going to finish talking about China, and start learning about Japan--Laura is going to lead us in our Japan studies, and I think she is going to share some about the tsunami and ways we can help.  Please join us!

As always, please feel free to bring your lunch along, and since we have recently been frustrated by some of the supplies there in the classroom, we might want to bring back the Monday Boxes--everyone bringing their own craft kit with scissors, glue/gluestick, tape, markers, etc.  We will still use what the room offers, but it seems like often what we expect to find easily is nowhere in sight!  : )  I'll continue to bring the supplies we need for more specific projects.

Hope to see you all there!

lisa c.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Two resources I thought I would mention--multiplication and US history

Hello moms!

I just thought I would mention a couple of things we have been using in our homeschooling that our kids have really enjoyed:

1) Timez Attacks

http://www.bigbrainz.com/

Multiplication game you can download, in which your kid battles big ogres in underground tunnels (his character uses his multiplication skills to defeat them ; ).   The basic download is completely free, although you can pay for different "levels"--basically different scenery, maybe different characters to battle.  My kids are happy with the free version.

2) Liberty's Kids

http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Liberty_s_Kids_The_Complete_Series/70106132?trkid=2361637

Basically Saturday morning cartoons that teach kids about US history, specifically the American Revolution.  I like how they try to get a broad range of perspectives in the episodes, like showing how the British soldiers might feel, and what was going on with Benedict Arnold to make him a traitor.  At the moment they are instant downloads available via Netflix, which makes them really convenient. 

(If you have been holding off on getting Netflix, they have changed their plans, so now it is even more affordable.  We do the plan that is $8 a month, for which we get unlimited instant downloads and one DVD out at a time.  If you have the internet connection to support it, it is a fantastic educational support--so many excellent documentaries.) 

Please do share your favorite resources here too!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

And a book recommendation on Tsunamis in Japan

From a homeschool email:

Here is a book, 'The Big Wave' that might be helpful for children who are worried about Japan and the families there. It is a sad story about a boy who loses his family in a Tsunami in Japan but a wonderful story about healing (and how long it can take) written by Pearl S. Buck in 1948. Parents should preview first to see if they feel it is appropriate for their child.


Here is an NPR link about the story and a recorded excerpt from it (which I have not listened to)

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4254285

Here is the link for the book on Amazon for your reference but you might want to check to see if it is available locally.

http://www.amazon.com/Big-Wave-Pearl-S-Buck/dp/0064401715/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1300293700&sr=8-1


- Nancy  (a local homeschool  mom)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

re: Christian Youth Theatre

I heard really good things about the productions of Honk!  that went on just these past weeks--it is so great to have such opportunities for our kids in this area! 

Lisa L. shared with me this info about the production they will be doing next:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We are announcing our next show: Aladdin!


Auditions will be March 25/26 right after the first class of of our 2nd session on March 24th.


Forward this to anyone you think may be interested and have them visit our website: cytsantacruz.org

We will be taking our sign ups at that address as well.
 
--


Mary Jo Epperson

Area Coordinator, Shows

How Earthquakes make Tsunamis

Here is a good link if any of you want to follow up recent current events with scientific facts:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12739417

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sentinel article about Ocean Grove

Last one for tonight:

Here is an article that might be useful for some of you thinking about homeschooling in this area (and which I forwarded to all the grandparents to show them that we are part of a "real" school ; )

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localstories/ci_17604808

animals in the wild--caught on camera

Here is a fun (and fascinating!) site by the Smithsonian that features wild animals caught by camera traps (unmanned movement-sensored cameras). 

http://siwild.si.edu/index.cfm

Blog of sweet coloring pages


Another homeschool Mom just shared this in an email:

http://malbogen.blogspot.com/2011/03/mond-moon.html

It looks like a site where illustrators post black and white illustrations so that kids can color them in themselves. : )


*above image I assume is copywrited--the link takes you to its page.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

on learning second languages

this came in a recent homeschool e-newsletter:

See a chart on how our ability to learn a foreign language drops drastically as we get older.


The ideal time to learn a foreign language is by age 7 or at least BEFORE puberty.  This TED talk also includes startling research on how babies can and do learn foreign languages and a testament to the openness of children's minds :

http://www.ted.com/talks/patricia_kuhl_the_linguistic_genius_of_babies.html

The chart is 1min.30 sec into the talk.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Follow up to story of wise Chinese man--for you moms!

So, on Monday the story I read to the kids about the wise man who recognizes that all that looks good may not be good and all that looks bad may not be so bad was this story:


For those of you who were not with us, I read the story to the kids, and then we talked briefly about how there is Truth in this book, and in this way of looking at good and bad in the world, and since we trust that God is in bigger than anything bad, and He has promised to watch out for us, and He can and does redeem all bad things, we need to keep perspective when bad things happen to us in life.  That we might not know until heaven why certain bad things have happened to us.  That in the middle of something that looks very bad to us, God just might be doing something really Good.

That's the most muddled summary--I think (hope!) I was more lucid in my explaination on Monday!

But Moms, I saw this post today from an amazing young woman who is mothering 13 girls in Africa, and it is the perfect heart lesson to take those ideas from Monday to greater Truth.  Here is an excerpt:

Her life, it has been hard. She is in Jinja because she had to flee from the war in the North that tore apart her life and her family. Her son was shot last week by a soldier on the border of Uganda and Sudan and frail, little Jja Ja had made the 13 hour bus ride in the stifling heat and watched as they had lowered her last living child into the ground. The journey had taken almost a week and when she came back she found her grandchildren sick and even though her whole body ached from travel she still took them to the clinic and continued bending over her work so that she could make enough money to put food on the table. Now she is back and we are happy to embrace her and ask about her journey and ask how we can pray for her.


“What ever He wants," she chuckles.


I look at the joy that is spilling out of her wrinkled face and I repeat the words that she has spoken in my head and that doesn’t make sense. She is hurt and she is suffering and she is laughing about it and sparkling with beauty and radiating Joy.

That doesn’t make sense. Not to me. Not yet.


But she already knows what I am just learning. That even this, it is from Him. Even this, it is Holy ground. This thing that I label suffering, it is really Joy.

“Does disaster come to a city unless the Lord has planned it?” Amos 3:6

I live with these human eyes, and with these human eyes of mine I label. I label one thing as good and one thing as bad. I label moments as blessing or burden. And I forget that all this labeling, it is not my right, not my place, not mine to do. To declare what is a gift in my life and what is a curse is to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, to sit in the garden full of abundance and beauty and choose the forbidden. The knowledge of good and evil, that was never intended for me.  Could I, like Jja Ja Maria just quit my labeling and say, "Whatever God wants. Whatever HE wants!"



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This is the kind of thing this young woman writes all the time in her blog--I highly recommend anyone who appreciates Truth talkin' to "follow" her blog.

Love to you all this Friday!