Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Final Three of Cycle Three


Our final three weeks of CC have been (or are currently) occupied by our nearly-transcontinental travels...

You could say that the final three weeks for us have been (or are currently) homeschool-ish. While we've seized plenty of learning opportunities, it hasn't been with our normal reading selections and math assignments. It's been with reading pamphlets and books about national and state parks, and visiting historical sites, and doing Jr. Ranger activities, and seeing geographic locations in real life. This would be why I've referenced one of our absolute FAVORITE picture books, Ish by Peter Reynolds. Any time we are doing anything (like learning to draw something new, or drawing the USA freehand, or drawing continental blob maps, or drawing the Great Circles of Latitude on a blank sheet of paper), we give ourselves a break from perfectionism and say that it looks, "ish." This book has provided a fun way to embrace the freedom of tackling new things without the normal fears of failure that can cause so much anxiety in children (and adults!). In fact, it's a favorite book of our entire community.

Not only that, "ish" is a great way to bare my often not-so-great cooking.

Okay, that was a long tangent just to explain that homeschooling has looked "ish" for us.  This means that we still have yet to read the following books from our reading plan. I just couldn't fit all these books in our luggage. (Unfortunately, we had to pack clothes instead.) But... we actually have already read these books because my children grab them as soon as they arrive in the mail (or we've owned them since the last time we were studying American history).

So, here's the truth:  We often fall behind on our own reading plan. But that's the plus of the Classical Conversations Foundations Program. There are 24 weeks of CC, which leaves another 12 weeks to "catch up" on anything that we missed (assuming you are on a 36-week schedule for your school year!).

Okay, so here's what the plan is for the final three weeks:


It's not easy to find books that gently handle an event like 9/11. That's why I love the picture books, The Little Chapel that Stood (bottom right), The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (bottom left), and Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey (top left). All three of these are fantastic. Our children love them. I love them.

Moving on to the study of the Constitution (Weeks 23 and 24), we have If You Were There When They Signed the Constitution, which covers the history behind the writing of the Constitution,  and Our Constitution Rocks, which takes you through every sentence of the U.S. Constitution and tells you what it means. (I've come across some books about the Preamble that I have not liked much due to the underlying political stance, so I just narrowed it down to these two books. And because they are both a bit long, it works out well to read them over the final two weeks of CC.)


To wrap up our study of American history and geography, we will re-read America the Beautiful, a beautiful picture book with several tie ins to our history sentence memory work over the course of the year.

Finally, we have a few items on our shelves for U.S. Presidents. Not pictured is the Presidential Scrapbook, which we've really enjoyed due to its simplicity, illustrations/pictures, and the built-in quiz. Stuck on the Presidents (bottom right) is good one for the sticker-book and timeline fans, and the The Look-It-Up Book of Presidents is a good overall reference for Presidents. Our boys also like So You Want to Be President? (left), but there are so many great books about the Presidents that it's hard to strongly recommend one over the other.


So that wraps up the plan for our final three weeks. As soon as we return home, we'll dive into preparing geography projects for our CC Community Geography Fair. After that, I hope to write about our adventures across the Great American Southwest, which is what we ACTUALLY did during Weeks 22-24. But I leave this here for those interested in seeing an inside look at the books on our shelves for the final three of Cycle Three!


Affiliate links are included in this post.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Making Connections


It's been an interesting few weeks here in the Ferrell household, and as we prepare for our big trip out west, I thought I'd wrap up what's been a-happenin' around here as of late.

It was another year where my husband and I were separated by thousands of miles for our anniversary, but the boys surprised me with "anavasary" (hard to spell) gifts. I am so thankful that our children love to celebrate our anniversary with us. I pray for their future marriages - and for their future wives. (That can be taken many ways... and it would be true no matter which way you interpret it! ha!) We talked a lot about marriage over the past week - what it means to sacrifice self for another, what it means for a husband to love his wife as Christ loves the church, what it means for a wife to honor her husband, what to look for in a future wife. These were precious talks with boys who mean the world to me.

LEGO Gary and Brandy sharing a cup of coffee offshore Brazil.
Our schedule has been quite interrupted as of late, but before I get into that, let me share with you some books we've been reading...


To tie in with our memory work for NATO and communism, we read the picture books The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain (Caldecott Honor Book) and Christmas from Heaven: The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bomber, both of which give a good glimpse into the effects of communism.  (The price of this one has recently increased; there are other great books about the Candy Bomber, so be sure to do a search to find one that's more affordable). Due to the boys' fascination with espionage, David also read Spies! (DK Readers, Level 3: Reading Alone).  Our read aloud was Tree in the Trail, which we thoroughly enjoyed! Who would have ever thought reading about the life of a tree [on the Santa Fe Trail] could be so intriguing? It's not surprising, though. Holling's books are some of the best living geography books I've ever come across:



The illustrations are so fantastic, and each page is loaded with interesting facts that tie in history and science as well. It was fun to compare our Geography Trivium Table with the illustrations in the book. [What's more, we are traveling along this trail a bit on our big trip!]

The following week (Week 20) our reading selections included The Amazing Impossible Erie Canal and the song "The Erie Canal" from The Children's Treasury of Virtues. This song is a favorite of our children. They first learned it three years ago as they listened to their Wee Sing America CD.


Once again, we matched up our reading with the trivium tables.


Reading geography-related stories is especially helpful for David (our rather-linguistic, not-so-spatial reasoner) for memorizing geographical locations. 

For history, we enjoyed reading about school integration through the eyes of Ruby Bridges - both through a simple reader Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story (Scholastic Reader, Level 2), and through a longer read-aloud autobiography Through My Eyes


We loved comparing the Rockwell painting, "The Trouble We All Live With" (from In Search of Norman Rockwell's America) to the same image in the reader and to the photos of the real Ruby Bridges. This Rockwell book has been fantastic for studying art alongside history this year!


We even used In Search of Norman Rockwell's America as we continued into Week 21's memory work on astronauts walking on the moon...


Okay, so we have gone a bit overboard with space books in our home, but we've collected these during our Cycle 2 studies of astronomy (and just because our children are fascinated with astronomy).  Most of these are readers:  Spacebusters: The Race to the Moon (top right), Space Heroes: Amazing Astronauts (middle right), Moonwalk: The First Trip to the Moon (Step-Into-Reading, Step 5) (bottom right), and Neil Armstrong (Rookie Biographies) (middle left). My children also enjoy the Graphic History series, so we have The First Moon Landing (Graphic History) (middle left). 


The readers were great, engaging books for our 3rd-grader, but my favorite of all these books were our two read-alouds, Look to the Stars by Edwin Aldrin (a longer illustrated picture book, bottom left) and Who Was Neil Armstrong? (top left).  It's great reading the words of someone who has actually stepped foot on the moon, and the Who Was... book includes illustrations that help to understand some of the details of the Apollo 11 Mission.

So... that's what our reading looked like. We didn't quite finish all the books because...


...$1,000 worth of Usborne books arrived (which I got for FREE with my hostess/consultant rewards from my Usborne Launch/Facebook Kick-Off Party), and our children read about myths and legends and science and art, and all sorts of other stuff that was NOT memory-work related. So, it was time to set aside my plans and let them devour the books they desperately wanted to read. I've got so much to say about the Usborne thang, but I will save that for a time when I am not traveling the United States with my family.

Other things that happened in our lives in just three (or four) weeks...

...the boys made a zip-line for the dump truck.


...one of the windows in our home was shattered into a bazillion pieces due to... a rock hardness experiment.


...David learned to cook quesadillas.


...Stephen Thomas Edison presented his final Faces of History paper.


...Tommy and Jo and the Kids from Mega Verses visited our itty bitty church (what a blast!)


...I proofed David and Levi (who are not ready for the real thing just yet) with this Memory Work Sticker Book.


...the boys introduced me to the scrabble-type game Quirkle.


...and then it was time to pick up Gary from the airport. WOOHOO! He brought home something extra special:


a Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood guitar! One of his co-workers down in Brazil apparently builds and customizes guitars. Just beautiful!

Finally, I had someone ask me what reading and schoolwork looks like in our home. I've got some random pictures to share...


... we usually hang out in pajamas when we have nowhere to go. (Minimizes laundry.)



And... below, David shows us how to make a word sort with All About Spelling, which is our favorite spelling program. I know some do not like the manipulatives, but it has been perfect especially for David and Levi. What's more, I have learned so much from this program!


So... here's a hodge podge of our lives over the past month. If this post seems haphazardly thrown together, it kind of is. I started it at 12:00 AM before our 4:30 AM wake-up to catch a flight to Los Angeles. And now I am finishing it in Las Vegas as we head to the Monster Jam World Finals. Over the past month, we have made so many connections to our memory work with great books - and now we are doing the same here in real life as we tour the Great American Southwest. I can't wait to share with you our adventure over on this side of the country!


Affiliate links are used in this post. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Cycle 3 Week 24 Weekly Link-Up

The Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Weekly Link-up is a place for bloggers to share their ideas and activities with other CC parents and tutors for each week during Cycle 3 (2014-2015 school year). Unlike most weekly link-ups, this link-up will not be organized according to date but will be organized according to the week of CC. As such, these weekly link-ups will remain open for several months to accommodate for all the different schedules implemented by various CC Communities.  


This Link-Up is for Cycle 3:  Week 24

If you are looking for a different week, click here.

If you are looking for the Cycle 2 Weekly Link-Up, click here.
If you are looking for the Cycle 1 Weekly Link-Up, click here.


For bloggers who'd like a button, just copy and
paste the following html code into your webpage.

Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood

<a href="http://www.halfahundredacrewood.com/search/label/CLASSICAL%20CONVERSATIONS%20CYCLE%203%20WEEKLY%20LINK-UP" target="_self"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8xi8bDwVCGU/U0VOzqTjmfI/AAAAAAAAI6I/h-ImkCVhRn8/s1600/CC-weekly-link-up.png" alt="Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood" width="225" height="225" /></a>

Would you like to participate? 
For bloggers:  Feel free to share either 1) your plans for the week listed above or 2) what you did for this particular week of CC. When submitting your entry, please include the name of your blog or blog post and link directly to your post for the week noted in the post heading (so we can find it!) rather than to your entire blog. Also please link back to this page in your blog post so that your readers can check others' websites who are participating as well.  My hope is that this link-up encourages a feeling of community and friendship in the CC blogging world.

For non-bloggers:  Bookmark or pin this page and remember to visit the fabulous Cycle 3 blog entries that will be posted in the near future - all kinds of ideas for supplementing Classical Conversations. Check back often to see if others have submitted their ideas!

Bloggers:  By participating in this link-up, you agree that you will not post the words (in text, audio, or video format) of the history, science, timeline, or other specific wording found within the Foundations Guide in your blog post. You also agree to not post links to youtube videos, on-line Quizlet flashcards, or other material containing memory work sentences from the Foundations Guide.  Please do not post any material you have downloaded from CC Connected if it is not your own creation. You may include a reference to a specific file you have found useful by stating the name of the file so that it may be searched on CC Connected. This website strives to maintain the highest degree of integrity in honoring copyrights owned by Classical Conversations (or any other person or company, for that matter). Thank you for being honorable and trustworthy in your participation in this link-up!

This link-up is intended to be used with the Foundations Guide 4th Edition.  

For those receiving this in your email inbox, just click on the heading of this post to access the "Add Your Link" button or to access links that have been submitted. (But be patient, as it will take some time for bloggers to get their posts written and their links up!)

This will help all of us to easily find the ideas others have shared for each week of Classical Conversations! Thank you for participating!


Sunday, March 15, 2015

CC Cycle 3 Usborne Book List


And... for those who are wanting to follow up their American history et al studies from this year, here is a much shorter list of Usborne books related to Cycle 3 of Classical Conversations (which covers American history & geography, human anatomy, chemistry, and origins along with basic math and fine arts).

For those who are landing here on my website for the first time, I recently embarked on a new adventure as an Independent Consultant of Usborne Books & More to fulfill a dream I have for our family. On our Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood Facebook page, I have compiled an album of Usborne books related to Cycle 3 (click here for that album), but here it is in list format!

Click here to download the Cycle 3 Usborne Booklist!

Cycle 3 USBORNE BOOKS Reading List
American History & Geography, Anatomy, Chemistry, Fine Arts


Wk
History Topic
Picture Books, Readers, Activities, Reference (Grade K-6)
all
American History General
1
Columbus
9- 10
Mid-1800s, Slavery
11- 12
Civil War
16
Immigrants
Sticker Dressing Country Estate 1900-1920 Fashion
Sticker Dressing 1920s Fashion
17-18
World Wars
First World War Sticker Book
See Inside the First World War Flap Book
Submarines
Warships
Animals at War
War Stories
The Story of the First World War
The Story of the Second World War
First World War Cards
The Second World War Cards
The First World War
21
Astronauts


Wk
Topic
Picture Books, Readers, Read-Alouds
Geography
All
Geography

Science
All
Science - Reference
1-12
Overall Human Anatomy
13-18
Chemistry
All
Latin
Fine Arts
1-6
Drawing
13-18
Great Artists
The Children’s Book of Art (contains nudity)
19-24
Orchestra & Composers
Math
All
Math

This is not an exhaustive list of Usborne books, but this is a large number of the books available that correlate in some way to our memory work for Cycle 3. This list has not been reviewed or approved by Classical Conversations.  Subscribe to CC Connected to download documents that have been created by Classical Conversations for Classical Conversations users. Visit this post for more info about CC Connected. 

If you'd like a reading correlation for The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History, Melody from And Here We Go has made one for us! Click here to visit her site and download it!

If you're curious about some of these books, I am slowly but surely putting together review videos for them. One that may especially be of interest is this See Inside Flap Book video, as well as this inside look at the First Thousand Words in Latin. [Yep, some GENUINE entertainment here, folks! You don't want to miss it!] If you have questions about specific titles, please let me know!

Okay, y'all. This is really important to me. There are many Independent Consultants for Usborne Books & More in CC communities across the nation, and I never want to interfere with the customer relationships that those consultants have already established where they are. Please, if you already have a relationship with a consultant, please continue to do business with her. If not, I'd love to be the one to help you find just the right books for your family! 

Thanks for supporting Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood!

Other posts you may be interested in:

Saturday, March 14, 2015

CC Cycle 1 Usborne Book List


I recently embarked on a new adventure as an Independent Consultant of Usborne Books & More to fulfill a dream I have for our family. On our Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood Facebook page, I have compiled an album of Usborne books related to Cycle 1 (Click here for the album), but now I have it in my signature long-list, book-buffet format!

Download the formatted list by clicking here.

Cycle 1 USBORNE BOOKS Reading List
World History & Geography, Biology, Earth Science, Fine Arts


Wk
History Topic
Picture Books, Readers, Activities (Grade K-3)
Longer Illustrated Books and Reference
(Grade 3 and Up)
all
Ancient History General

The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History
Encyclopedia of the Ancient World
The Usborne Internet-Linked Ancient World
Time Traveler
1-2
Old Testament

1-2
Ancient Egypt

Time Traveler
3-4
Ancient Greece, Greek Mythology, and 7 Wonders
Time Traveler
Usborne Internet-Linked Greeks
Book of Greek Myths
Greek Myths & Legends
5-6
Roman Empire
Time Traveler
Romans
Roman Britain
7
Ancient India
8
Imperialism, India, Gandhi

9
Ancient China; Confucius

10
Japan, Shoguns


11& 12
Byzantine Empire;
Muslims/Turks, Crusades, Muhammed, Ottomans 
Time Traveler
13 & 14
Africa: Kush along Nile, Berbers, Songhai, Timbuktu, 
Zanje, 
Zimbabweans 


15
Slave Trade, Henry the Navigator, Colonial Africa 


16
Aztecs, Olmecs,
Mayans 


17
Aztecs, Cortes and Montezuma


18-19
North American Indians; Mound Builders;
Anasazi; Adobe Villages

20
Mexican Revolution, Pancho Villa 


21-22
Canada; Cabot; Champlain; French & Indian War; Hudson’s Bay Company

23-24
South America; Brazil; Bonaparte


24
US Presidents


Wk
Topic
Picture Books, Readers, Read-Alouds
Geography
All
Geography

Science
All
Science - Reference
1-12
Overall Biology & Nature
5
Invertebrates
6
Vertebrates
7
Animal reproduction
8
Seeds plants
9
Plant parts
Science with Plants
Science Activities Volume 2 (Combined volume includes Science with Plants)
Gardening for Beginners
10
Leaves & leaf parts
Science with Plants
Science Activities Volume 2 (Combined volume includes Science with Plants)
Gardening for Beginners
11
Parts of flower
12
Plant systems
Science with Plants
Science Activities Volume 2 (Combined volume includes Science with Plants)
Gardening for Beginners
13-24
Earth Science
13
Parts of earth
14
Kinds of rock
15
Highest mountains
16-17
Volcanoes
18-19
Oceans
22
Weather fronts
All
Latin
Fine Arts
1-6
Drawing
13-18
Great Artists
The Children’s Book of Art (contains nudity)
19-24
Orchestra & Composers
Math
All
Math

This is not an exhaustive list of Usborne books, but this is a large majority of the books available that correlate in some way to our memory work for Cycle 1. This list has not been reviewed or approved by Classical Conversations.  Subscribe to CC Connected to download documents that have been created by Classical Conversations for Classical Conversations users. Visit this post for more info about CC Connected.

If you're curious about some of these books, I am slowly but surely putting together review videos for them. One that may especially be of interest is this Usborne Greek Myths Comparison video and an inside look at the First Thousand Words in Latin. [Yep, some GENUINE entertainment here, folks! You don't want to miss it!] 

If you'd like a reading correlation for The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History, Melody from And Here We Go has made one for us! Click here to visit her site and download it!

My Usborne site is TheUsborneBookFarm.com, where we grow readers all over the place (since I can't seem to grow much of anything else on our farm here in middle Tennessee). If you happen to like too many books for the budget, I'll be glad to set up an eShow or Facebook party for you. Just let me know, mmmkay? 

Okay, y'all. This is really important to me. There are many Independent Consultants for Usborne Books & More in CC communities across the nation, and I never want to interfere with the customer relationships that those consultants have already established where they are. Please, if you already have a relationship with a consultant, please continue to do business with her. If not, I'd love to be the one to help you find just the right books for your family! 

I am currently piecing together our specific book selections and reading schedule for the coming year.  Our actual Cycle 1 Reading Plan will contain a much more reasonable and manageable list of books. The reading plan should be ready and posted sometime in April!

Now, a special note:  I just want you to know that Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood will continue to be about homeschooling, parenting, my family, Classical Conversations resources, and... well... just anything that I've always done over here. Really, maintaining HHAW takes a higher priority in my life than my new Usborne business because it means so much to me to help others in their homeschooling journeys. Having said that, it has taken me a bit of extra time in these early weeks to get the Usborne business off the ground before we take off on our big trip out west. Although I will be posting relevant and helpful Usborne book reviews on HHAW from time to time, the majority of any Usborne-related propaganda will be over on my new Usborne Book Farm Facebook page. So... I'd *love* for you to *like* it if you're on Facebook and you're interested in finding out about books, books, and more books (above and beyond CC-related resources). Thanks so much for your support in this. I have shed some happy, overwhelmed-with-emotion tears from your incredible encouragement. Thank you! 

In His Grace,

Brandy 


Other posts you may be interested in:
CC Cycle 1 Planners
CC Cycle 1 Booklist (not Usborne)
CC Reading Correlations: Story of the World, Mystery of History, Scholastic