8/31/12

The Bard for All Seasons: The Bible and Shakespeare Make a Great Team


Shakespeare can be a controversial topic in academics, even today, especially in the home education arena.  My, my,  how the Bard can drum up emotions in people, good or bad.  Most people have an extreme reaction to the writings of this one man, they love or hate, and not many in between.  Even some of my close friends have confessed to despising the writings of William Shakespeare, or seeing no spiritual value to reading such literature with their children.

Coming from a background in theater arts may have prepared me to see with a different view point in reference to the classical writings of William Shakespeare of Stratford.  The various beneficial aspects that the writings of the Bard of Avon bring to our homeschool,to me, far outweigh the misgivings to a some distasteful comedic moments, violence or disturbing content, which I am perfectly capable of avoiding and/or filtering for my family.  

The plays and writings of William Shakespeare are a "mirror into the hearts and minds of men".  Human nature.  The plays and sonnets that have stood the test of time are a testament to the truth that man is, indeed, sinful, and has a nature that does not change.  Human nature does not alter, even over hundreds of years of time.  What was true in Elizabethan England, is still true today.

In fact, I read Shakespeare and see clearly that his writings point emphatically to the folly of man, therefore; reinforcing our need for God's Word and for Christ as our Savior.  There is far too much to be gained from the study of Shakespeare in the safety of the home, and in my humble opinion, should not be overlooked as a great tool for teaching biblical character to  children.  I submit that Shakespeare is a valuable tool to Christian home educators, especially when partnered with the Bible for teaching.

What the Bard teaches, or reinforces, in our homeschool :

1.  Man is inherently evil at heart.  Man is sinful and in need of a Savior.

"And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world." John 12:47 KJV

2.  You can not follow your heart.  You must follow a moral code created not by men.  The writings of Shakespeare clearly communicate our need to follow the Judeao-Christian moral code set forth by God's Word.

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9 KJV

3.  Empathy with the mental, physical and emotional plight of others who are still "in the world", as we once were.

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23 KJV

4.  Although Shakespeare himself does not guide us directly to scripture or spell out the moral code, his writings clearly speak to the clear and unchangeable consequences of the actions of men.  People who make poor decisions and evil characters come to ruin and despair.  Hamlet. Macbeth. Iago. Take your pick of bad dudes in Shakespeare, and you will more than likely see that ended even badly for them all.
Hamlet examines deep and darker themes.
This play would be best left untouched until
High School.
5.  Shakespeare brings themes and deep moral issues that we can discuss with our children and help them to rightly relate the real world and its morals, or lack-thereof, to God's Word.  It's called Apologetics.  Use Shakespeare as a springboard for faith-building object lessons.

"And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;" 2 Peter 1:5 KJV

6.  Let's not forget the literary benefit to our homeschool.  Shakespeare was the definitive writer of the English language.  He coined phrases, added words to our dictionary (and a few hilarious insults).  The study of Shakespeare helps students to broaden their vocabulary, understand plots, genres and story lines, and think deeper about meanings in literature.


Is Shakespeare for you and your family?  That is every family's decision.  Careful consideration should be placed on the age of child you are instructing (we started at age 8 in our home), play selections, versions to be read and what you would avoid.  Once you have a base-line for study and are ready to start Shakespeare in your homeschool here are some great resources to pursue:
I will be sharing more about how we study Shakespeare in our home soon and have an exciting announcement in that general direction coming soon!

The show must go on . . . 


 
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Where we are at? 
FREEBIE Friday

Here are some more homeschool resources we recommend: 
Statement of Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The blog owner receives a smallportion of sales generated from these links, which helps to support this blog. The blog writer does not receive compensation for thoughts or opinions expressed on this blog. Thank you for your kind consideration.  


8/30/12

10 Lessons From Little House For The Entire Family

No matter the age of my children, they all seem to enjoy the "Little House" series.  Especially the Bug, who still envisions herself as our resident Laura, especially the part about being the "half-pint of sweet cider half drunk up".  I love literature that is living and applicable to every generation that encounters it.  I would certainly say that the writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder would certainly meet these criteria.  

If you haven't picked up a "Little House" book in a long while, then here are 10 Lessons For The Entire Family that you can learn from just reading together.  Perhaps this will give you good reason to read them with your family again, or for the first beautiful time.


{ORIGINAL PHOTO CREDIT}
1.  Simplicity:  The Ingalls family consistently found pleasure reveling in the simple pleasures and blessings of life.  A new handmade doll on Christmas morning, an orange with a peppermint stick, maple candy and a Sunday picnic.
"The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple." Psalm 19:7 NKJV

2.  Contentment: Charles and Caroline taught their children early on to be content with the blessings they were given.  Not that envy didn't rear it's ugly head in Laura and Mary every now and again.  Their parents were loving, yet stern when redirecting these emotions.
"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content" Philippians 4:11 KJV

3.  Children need discipline:  Pa was thorough and consistent in disciplining his children, especially Laura, who still writes her father well and with fondness.  A child who is disciplined will grow a more confident adult.
"He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." Proverbs 13:24 KJV

4.  Self-Government: Weather the family was in the Kansas prairie or the woods of Wisconsin, it was business as usual in the moral training for the Ingalls' children.  Charles and Caroline taught the importance of governing one's self through every circumstance of life.
"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;" Colossians 3:23

5.  Obedience:  Weather to authorities, or parents or to God, obedience was expected in the Ingalls' home.  Expectations were clearly communicated, consequences clearly lined out and all were strictly enforced. 
"And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him." 2 Corinthians 7:15

6.  Endurance:  No matter the circumstance, Charles and Caroline, had the true pioneering spirit.  They continued on, no matter the difficulties.
"But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." Matthew 24:13

7.  Hope:  The Ingalls family continued to support one another throughout each of these stories.  The hope of a future together was enough to continue through the toughest times.  Loosing homes, children, crops and more, hope kept them from sinking.
"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance." Psalm 42:5

8.  Sacrifice:  Giving to other in time of need is a truly Ingalls' quality indeed.  Even more of an Ingalls' characteristic was to go without, so another might be blessed.
"I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good." Psalm 54:6 

9.  Thankfulness:  Giving thanks in all that is said and done, while giving glory to God appeared a natural occurrence in the Ingalls' household.
"Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people." 1 Chronicles 16:8

10. Family is our testimony to the world!:  We are the salt and the light.  When we are unified as a family and working together, we are giving testimony to the goodness and glory of God in our daily lives.  Charles and Caroline worked as parents to keep the heart string's of their children firmly tied to home and to God.  So much so, that decades later their middle child commemorated their efforts with one of the best loved book series in American history.
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid." Matthew 5:14 KJV

Happy Reading!
 
The Joyful Socks Mom 


Here are some more homeschool resources we recommend: 
Statement of Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The blog owner receives a smallportion of sales generated from these links, which helps to support this blog. The blog writer does not receive compensation for thoughts or opinions expressed on this blog. Thank you for your kind consideration.  

8/29/12

Notebooking, Subject By Subject: Math


We have used notebooking for a couple of years now and I have had a ton of questions from homeschoolers, family, and friends alike, about the process of notebooking we use.  I had a recent request from a special reader friend that set me to thinking, then inspired me, and then I began constructing!  

I wanted to spend some time sharing the process, construction and practical methods that we using in notebooking and will spend the next month reviewing each notebook we use in our homeschool, subject by subject.  Today we will be begin with Math, because it is my favorite a hugely important building block in academics.  (P.S.  There are some FREE math printables at the end of this post, so hang on!)

Notebooking in Math - this actually seems to be the subject that most people assume is the most difficult to notebook.  I would have to submit that it is, in fact, the easiest!  Here are a few ideas to use in Math Notebooking that may help to decode the process:

1.  Let your child copy the problems & DON'T buy the worksheets!  No matter what math curriculum you are using, notebooking will work for them all.  

Example:  We use a combination of "living math", Saxon Math, Life of Fred, Ray's Arithmetic  and Teaching Textbooks.  With ALL of these curriculums we employ the use of notebooking.  My children simply take notes during their lesson, copy the problems by hand and then complete practice problems in their notebook.  This process keeps them sharp and continuing to mentally process during each math lesson, and additionally (ha ha), it keeps us good stewards and NOT consumers.  (The less worksheets the better!)

2.  Use illustrations when completing math computations.  The example shown above is showing how we use multiplication in the Bug's notebook.
She has used communative properties, addition properties, illustrations and arrays to complete her multiplication.  IT'S NOT JUST DRILL AND KILL!

3.  Have your child create a Math Office or Math Resource section in their Math Notebook.  This helps them to govern themselves during the learning process and to go find the resources that they need in order to complete a math problem.  Here are some great resources we have used in our notebooks:
4.  Use notebooking to document and discuss great mathematicians and their contributions.  Here is a great post on using the book Mathematicians Are People, Too by Jimmie discuss and discover more about the great mathematicians from history.
eratosthenes1
Photo Credit:  jimmiehomeschoolmom via Flickr
5.  Create a Family Math Night scrapbook.  This is a great way to show enthusiasm during the learning process.  Take pictures during your Family Math Night and let your student notebook with scrap-booking and writing.  They can do example problems showing what they learned during Family Math Night.  They can also give written narratives explaining what they learned and what they enjoyed the most about the evening.


And here you go as promised.  My friend needed help with her kiddo notebooking skip counting.  Here are Skip Counting notebooking pages I made for her and am sharing with you.  Enjoy!
My Skip Counting Graph NB Pages FINAL


Happy Notebooking!
 
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Where we are at? 
Homeschooling on the Cheap!

Here are some more homeschool resources we recommend: 
Statement of Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The blog owner receives a smallportion of sales generated from these links, which helps to support this blog. The blog writer does not receive compensation for thoughts or opinions expressed on this blog. Thank you for your kind consideration. 

8/28/12

10 Salads That Look Beautiful in a Jar & Taste Even Better

So, have you seen all the fabulous photos of beautiful salads-in-a-jar that have been all over Pinterest?  I'm here to testify that they are as beautiful as the pictures and it ACTUALLY DOES WORK!

The concept is really simple.  You build your salad in a "Mason-style" jar.  Always put your dressing at the bottom of the jar to keep the lettuce from getting soggy.  Layer your meat and vegetables next, and then lettuce, cheese or garnish on top.  Close your jar and keep crisp in the refrigerator overnight or two.  When you are ready to eat, just shake it up and pour out on your plate.  This method works great for just about every salad you can conjure.   
These are the salads I built this morning
for the Co-op Teachers.
Here are some of our favorite super salads for your jars to hold:

1.  Oriental Chicken Salad - Love this salad! (Substitution: We don't use chow mien noodles.  Instead I fry up rice noodles in coconut oil and use that as the garnish.)
2.  Turkey Chef Salad - Our basic romaine salad with cheddar, hard boiled egg, sliced turkey and ranch (made with yogurt).
3.  Chicken Caesar Salad - Just your garden variety Caesar Salad with grilled chicken and this healthier dressing.
4.  Spinach Salad - We just throw your basics together: mushrooms, spinach, cheddar, purple onions, hard boiled egg, turkey bacon bits and this fabulous Honey Mustard Vinaigrette.
5.  Taco Salad - Simple Taco Salad with no carbs.  The kids and hubby can just add a few chips at the top.  We also use plain yogurt and salsa to garnish our salad.
6.  Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad
7.  Blackened Tilapia Salad - Better than Cotton Patch Cafe!
8.  Norwegian Salmon Salad - Great summer time cool down salad.
9.  Chicken Salad with Tomato (Substitution: We use Greek or Plain Yogurt, no dressing or mayo.)
10. Avocado & Corn Salad + we add grilled chicken to ours.



Hope you enjoy shaking up a few Mason jars too!

Happy eating!
 
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Where we are at? 
Top Ten Tuesday
Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings







Homeschooling on the Cheap 

Here are some more homeschool resources we recommend: 
Statement of Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The blog owner receives a smallportion of sales generated from these links, which helps to support this blog. The blog writer does not receive compensation for thoughts or opinions expressed on this blog. Thank you for your kind consideration.


8/27/12

Lessons From The Bee Hive eBook {Review & Giveaway}


Bees.  Unusual insects made by the Creator, to defy the laws of aviation and perhaps to teach us a few lessons.  In fact, Lessons from the Bee Hive eBook proves to guide you through learning science, language and even math, from nature's friend, the bee.

Morgelle hives 2
{PHOTO CREDIT}
This little gem of an eBook is a great unit study using real encounters with bees in nature as a spring board for learning, across the curriculum.  Carol Alexander from Lessons from the Homestead website, the author of this booklet, is a long time homeschooler with a driving passion to share her love for education and bees.  This little 18 page eBook is chalked full of lessons to utilize while home educating your child.
Eristalis Sp (famiglia delle Sirfidi) su fiore di tarassaco - "Pancia mia fatti capanna..."
{PHOTO CREDIT}
Lessons from the Bee Hive includes hands on science experiments, easy to follow online resources to printables, lapbooks and notebooking pages, online video links and resources to find at the library. This makes it a thrifty choice for starting your academic year.

This is a great little unit study, that is well written and easy to maneuver around any of your set curriculum.  This unit study is well suited for using with students that are at multiple stages of development, which makes it great for the entire family.

Wondering what science topics you will find in this eBook? - Basics about bees, honey crystallization, pollination, flowers, and even a bit about NASA.  In addition, you will experience learning opportunities in geography, math, art, language and home economics.  Carol is the author of this wonderful ebooklet, plus additional ebooklets that teach 50 lessons or more using the homestead as the back drop for many great hands-on learning opportunities.  Check out these additional titles: Lessons from the Hen House, Lessons from the Seed Catalog, Lessons from the Tree House.

I enjoyed all of the ideas provided by this eBook.  I am currently beginning to use these ideas for planning our early spring curriculum and use this ebook along with our Nature Study.  Although, I am not sure that I am brave enough for the all-out hive!  Try Carol's eBook today for just $3.99 and begin getting dirty and learning, together.

Carol J. Alexander, the eBook author, has graciously agreed to give a FREE copy of her eBook, Lessons from the Bee Hive, to one of my fortunate readers.  Use the Rafflecopter below to enter to win this great little eBook for your family.
* I recieved a copy of this ebook from the author for review on this website.  I was not compensated in any way for my opinion of this product.  I have attempted to give my accurate and honest opinion of this product.
 
The Joyful Socks Mom 


Here are some more homeschool resources we recommend: 
  • Notebooking Success - Get started Notebooking today with this wonderful eBook.  Jimmie gets an A +++ from this home educator.
  • No "Falling" behind on Homeschool organizing! Get the Weekly Homeschool Planner today!
  • Bright Ideas Press - The curriculum that Moms Love! Home of the Mystery of History.  Our entire family loves learning together with this curriculum!
Statement of Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The blog owner receives a small portion of sales generated from these links, which helps to support this blog. The blog writer does not receive compensation for thoughts or opinions expressed on this blog. Thank you for your kind consideration. 



S.H.A.P.E.ing the Week Lunch Menu - Week #3


This is a weekly update post for those of my readers that attend the S.H.A.P.E. Academy homeschool cooperative.  For my regular readers, this is a local Christian classical cooperative in our area.  I cook there, as the "healthy" lunch lady, 3 days a week.  I serve the students hot, fresh meals and my kids get to eat with their friends.  (Just in case my readers are going, huh?  Now you know.)

Greetings to all you S.H.A.P.E. families staying healthy with us in the Lunch Room!  Here is a look at the lunch menu for week #3 at cooperative:

MONDAY, September 4, 2012
REGULAR LUNCH OPTION - 
Bean & Beef Burritos, Chips & Hot Sauce, Cheese, Lettuce, Fruit & Cinnamon Sticks

GLUTEN FREE OPTION -
Beef Tacos, Chips & Hot Sauce, Cheese, Lettuce, Fruit & Baked Cinnamon Apples

HEALTHY OPTION -
Taco Salad, Salsa, Cheese, Black Beans, Baked Cinnamon Apples

WEDNESDAY, September 5, 2012
REGULAR LUNCH OPTION - 
2 Slices Pizza (Pepperoni, Hamburger, or Cheese)
Salad
Cinnamon Sticks
(Extra Pizza - $1.00 for 2 slices, $1.00 EACH additional slice)

GLUTEN FREE OPTION -
Crust-less Pizza (Pepperoni, Hamburger, or Cheese)
Salad
Baked Cinnamon Apples

HEALTHY OPTION -
Crust-less Min Quiche, Garden Salad, Fruit Smoothie

THURSDAY, September 6, 2012

REGULAR LUNCH OPTION - 
Baked Potato Soup, cheddar cheese, turkey bacon bits, fruit & rice krispie treat

GLUTEN FREE OPTION -
Baked Potato Soup, cheddar cheese, turkey bacon bits, fruit & rice krispie treat 

HEALTHY OPTION -
Baked Potato Soup, Garden Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, Greek yogurt

ALL LUNCHES SERVED WITH YOUR CHOICE OF THE FOLLOWING BEVERAGES:
Bottled Water, Sweet Tea, or Milk

*LUNCHES MUST BE PREPAID TO SECURE MEAL SERVICE*
Please message me with a comment below and I will send you my mailing address so you can order before school begins.  ORDERS received ON the day of lunch purchase will be charged a late lunch fee.

Children who do not bring their lunch will be given a Sacked Lunch: PBJ Sandwich, apple and bottled water - $2.00 will be billed to the parent.

Please let me know if you have any menu questions.  I will be happy to help.

Have a super S.H.A.P.E. week!
 
The Joyful Socks Mom 


Here are some more homeschool resources we recommend: 
  • Notebooking Success - Get started Notebooking today with this wonderful eBook.  Jimmie gets an A +++ from this home educator.
  • No "Falling" behind on Homeschool organizing! Get the Weekly Homeschool Planner today!
  • Bright Ideas Press - The curriculum that Moms Love! Home of the Mystery of History.  Our entire family loves learning together with this curriculum!
Statement of Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The blog owner receives a small portion of sales generated from these links, which helps to support this blog. The blog writer does not receive compensation for thoughts or opinions expressed on this blog. Thank you for your kind consideration. 

A Day In The Life @ Mac Homeschool In INSTAGRAM

Everyday is a new day, by the grace of God!  This is especially true in our blessed little homeschool.  We have been back to "full-time" homeschool for 3 weeks now (we go 3 days per week during the summer months).  I am super excited about this academic year and thought my faithful readers might like a (less than perfect) sneak peek into our homeschool day. 

5:30 am - 6:00 am Mom wakes, starts essentials - laundry, dishes, COFFEE! (2 cup limit)
6:00 am - 6:30 am Mommy quiet devotional time.
6:30 am - 7:30 am Additional lesson preparation, Blogging, Writing, Projects, Housework and Social Networking.  I SET THE TIMER!!!
7:30 am - 8:00 am Wake the kids, begin family Bible devotional.  Kids proceed to rooms for personal devotional time.
Squeaker leading our Scripture Memory time.
Scout leads our family devotional time in the morning.
8:00 am - 9:00 am Breakfast, P.E., walking, weights, personal hygiene, chores
Scout whipping up his "famous" 2 spice eggs.
Turkey Bacon, Cantaloupe, Greek Yogurt & Eggs.
Morning exercise, round the neighborhood P.E.
Joyful Socks the power walker - PLEASE ignore my tacky shirt.  
The Squeaker took this candid shot and I DO NOT 
wear this shirt in public.  Just wanted to share a 
picture that wasn't of my SOCKS!
9:00 am - 9:30 am Circle Time & Daily Activity Time
Singing hymns during Circle Time.
The Squeaker recites the morning blessing for this month.
"The LORD bless you and keep you . . . "
9:30 am - 10:30 am Grade Specific Academics
Big kids during reading time - hiding out under the Scout's homemade tent bed.
Math time notebooking with the Bug.
Saxon Math with Dive CD time for the big kids.
Phonics review with the Bug.
10:30 am Tea Time 
Usually we don't skip, but we were behind today.  It is what it is.

10:45 am Nature Walk Focus today: Poetry 
Rudyard Kipling
11:15 am Spanish

11:45 am MORE Grade Specific Academics

12:15 pm Dinner.  Everyone helps with preparation and set up.  Today we had Almond Butter Stuffed Dates with Chocolate Chips, Salad, Carrots & Honey Goat's Milk Cheese.  Yum! (well, we think it's yum anyway.)
The Bug peeling and cutting carrots.

Squeaker stuffing dates.
12:45 pm Outside Play
My favorite view from my backyard.
Bug's outdoor kitchen is her favorite play space during outside time.
1:00 pm Grade Specific Academics
Mommy Cooking for Co-op
Gluten Free Baked Chicken strips for the kids at co-op.

1:30 pm Essay Time

2:00 pm Projects, Spelling & Grading
Everyone has different assignments during this block time.  We rotate everyone's schedule.  One student helps with grading, another student has time to work on any school projects and the other student independently practices their spelling tiles.

2:30 pm General Science for Scout and Squeaker  & History for Bug
Scrapped today - everyone was tired.  Pick it up tomorrow morning after Circle Time.

3:00 pm FREE TIME

6:00 pm Supper with the Big Daddy (a.k.a. as dinner if you're from up north).

7:00 pm Boys to scouts, girls to handicrafts . . . Mom?  Forget the laundry - I must blog!

9:30 pm Bedtime
Mom & Dad date night & couch talk

10:00 pm Blogging, Writing, Reading (if I am truly blessed that day!)

SO, that's our day from start to finish, without the tiny details.  Some days it turns out just right, some days not.  We are on God's grace one hundred percent.  What does your day look like?  As long as you can sign His name at the end of each day, then I suppose the rest probably doesn't matter so much.

Have a Happy Homeschooling Day!

 
The Joyful Socks Mom 


Where we are at?

Not Back to School Blog Hop








Here are some more homeschool resources we recommend: 
  • Notebooking Success - Get started Notebooking today with this wonderful eBook.  Jimmie gets an A +++ from this home educator.
  • No "Falling" behind on Homeschool organizing! Get the Weekly Homeschool Planner today!
  • Bright Ideas Press - The curriculum that Moms Love! Home of the Mystery of History.  Our entire family loves learning together with this curriculum!
Statement of Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The blog owner receives a small portion of sales generated from these links, which helps to support this blog. The blog writer does not receive compensation for thoughts or opinions expressed on this blog. Thank you for your kind consideration.