Movie time with Moving beyond the page

If you have been following me, or reading about Moving Beyond the Page elsewhere ( the curriculum we primarily use) than you know that it is literature based. Throughout the levels your children get exposed to some amazing literature, a lot of them beautiful classic children’s novels that have stood the test of time.

I am a book lover and so are my children, but we love a well made movie as well.  I have tried to teach my children to always read the actual book first, if there is a movie out already. Often as a little reward they get to watch the movie afterwards, and their excitement and anticipation is so much bigger than with any other movies we just watch. It is exciting to me to hear their opinions, to see if their imagination was similar to what was shown in the movies and if they think the movie did the book justice. For example when my oldest first started reading Harry Potter.  I simply just had to sigh a little and nod in agreement when my daughter realized how much of Harry Potter they just had to cut out from the books to make the movies possibly. I know she loved the movies, and was amazed, but I know the books hold more treasures for her than the movies can ever show.

With MBTP you will come across many books that have been turned into a movie. And in some of the units you will be asked to watch the movie with your children, possibly write a comparison or opinion about the movie itself. I have not seen every one of these, and especially with movies, I google a lot to read some reviews and opinions. If there is some concern I obviously watch the movies before my kids get to see them. Just like with everything else, everyone needs to make their own decision if these movies are appropriate for their child.

 

Level 5-7

  •  How the Grinch stole Christmas

Level 6-8

  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day 2014
  • Pecos Bill

Level 7-9

  • Charlotte’s Web
  • The Whipping Boy
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall



Level 8-10

  • The sign of the beaver
  • Little house in the big woods ( TV show)
  • The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe
  • The BFG
  • Ben and Me
  • Holes
  • Mrs. Frisby and the rats of NIMH
  • Able’s Island ( short cartoon)

Old cartoon, might not be available anymore for purchase.

Level 9-11

  • Tall tales
  • My side of the Mountain
  • The Cay
  • Lucy Whipple
  • A wrinkle in Time ( in production)

Some info about the older movie here.

Some info about the older movie here. (Lucy Whipple )

 

Exciting news about the new movie here.

Level 10-12


  • The Giver
  • Tuck Everlasting
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry

Info about the movie from 1978 here, I could not find it on amazon for purchase but you might get lucky on YouTube.

Level 11-13

  • The Pearl (relatively bad reviews on this one, unfortunately )
  • The Hobbit
  • The Little Prince ( coming out 2016)

Level 12-14

  • Animal Farm
  • Watership Down
  • The Book thief
  • The adventures of Huckleberry Finn


DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a commission. You will not pay more or less when buying a product through my link, but you will help us to continue our wonderful journey of homeschooling, which we thank you for !
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Concept 3 Culture Studies 6-8

We are still knee-deep in our culture studies with 6-8 and are really enjoying this unit a whole lot. We found so many wonderful books, about cultures, traditions and the beautiful countries that it is hard to stay on track. But as always it is wonderful to see your child engaged and excited about the activities and it’s a great time to slow down a little with all the holidays happening around the world.

I have already posted about some of our activities before, here .We checked off a few other activities the last few weeks. It was great timing since the Chinese new year was really just being celebrated.

We painted our beautiful Chinese new year banners with good luck quotes. Both girls joined in the fun for this one. We did not have red paper so we just chose our long butcher paper and painted several coats of red paint until we got that deep red color. It took a while to dry. Then we chose our good luck charms and wishes. And last, we added a beautiful golden frame around it. The banners now hang  in the girls rooms !

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We also watched some great videos on Youtube again. I added several to my list , you can see all fiting for the 6-8 level here YouTube 6-8. This is just one of the ones about the ” Chinese New year “.

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We learnt a little more about the differences all over the world. The way people live, jobs, foods, transportation and religion. We were excited to hear that a co-worker from  Dad’s work was willing to answer a little interview paper about living in South Africa. We excitedly looked up even more foods and holidays from around the world.

Then, we really enjoyed the two books shown in the picture above.

We got extremely lucky with this book, because I found it used in a local bookstore for $3. I saw that it is still available in paperback on Amazon for a slightly higher price, new and would definitely still recommend it for that price.  It was even before we had started the concept, but it seemed like such a great addition to the culture studies. It really is an amazing book and could not be a better fit. It is beautifully illustrated and shows great details about the life in Japan.  A lot of words are even introduced and brought into the story, food, traditions, clothing and holidays. I was almost shocked to find that much detail in it, and my older daughter joined us once again for our read-a loud time. I thing this book will be read many more times.

This book is part of the selected books from MBTP . You can definitely tell that we are picking up the speed and things are getting more complex in some of the work. This book had a lot of detail as well, a lot of information to understand all at once. That’s why in many units you are asked to re-read these bigger books. Sometimes this seems boring to the kiddos, but then they often notice too that there were many things they missed the first time they read it. So this book had some great pictures included, as well as several great maps. Another book that will be useful for many studies ahead, I am sure. A good one for the library !

Instead of  “Final Projects”  in this Unit, we will be making our own little Guide books !

Questions and answers for using Moving beyond the page

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We have been using MBTP for quite some time now ( we did all of of 5-7, working on 6-8, some of 7-9, all of 8-10, and working on 9-11 with my oldest) and I often find myself answering a lot of questions and helping people with choosing if the curriculum is right for them. In the end I tell most people, unless you try it, you will probably not find out. But there are a few things to consider in making the first steps of figuring out if the curriculum is worth considering.  Now is a good time to consider buying a test unit. The spring fling will be happening more than likely in early spring time again and maybe, just maybe you have might up your mind by then if you want to order a whole year set and will be able to take advantage of the 10%. We would greatly appreciate if you order through our blog , it will not cost you anything extra, you are only helping another homeschool family out continuing our adventure of learning.

  • What is a literature based curriculum ?

A literature-based curriculum uses mainly “living books”. Books that are fun, engage your child in a real story instead of a textbook. You might find that you already own a lot of these books, a lot of classics are included in the wonderful selection for each level as well as many fun, historical fiction books.

(Historical fiction tells a story that is set in the past. That setting is usually real and drawn from history, and often contains actual historical persons, but the principal characters tend to be fictional. Writers of stories in this genre, while penning fiction, attempt to capture the manners and social conditions of the persons or time(s) presented in the story, with due attention paid to period detail and fidelity.)
My kids are bookworms and have been independent readers from early on, so this curriculum fits our needs very well and we have truly enjoyed just about every book. After all it is still a box curriculum though. A box curriculum is designed for many, many children all at the same time. It will not suit everybody and just because it is right for us does not mean it will be right for you.

You can find more about what  a literature based curriculum is here.

 

  • My child is still a slow reader ? Will this mean this curriculum will be a bad fit for us ?

Not at all. In the younger levels most often you are still encouraged to read the books with your child. Read aloud, talk and answer questions about the book together, simply share time together while learning. This way you also encourage and teach your child to study independently in the later levels, starting 9-11 the curriculum is directly addressed towards the student. Some parents still choose to read aloud during many of the later studies just because it is fun and builds a great connection between you and your children,it works wonderfully too, when you have multiple children doing the same level.

  • The daily lesson plan seems too much ! How can we make this work with all our extra activities ?

Even though Moving beyond the page offers a lesson plan for the whole year level I have talked to many people that just feel overwhelmed by it and have to tweak it. When I first opened the curriculum books, i felt overwhelmed myself and it took me a little while to make it right for us.  I have found that with most “box curriculum” you have to tweak it a little here or there, after all it was ” mass designed ” by someone else for many other people. I now plan once a week, read through the next 5-6 lessons ahead and see what activities seem right for us, and which we might just skip.  I have found that MBTP offers a good variety of different activities in each lesson, but not each one is a must and there is sometimes a bit too much repetition for us.

Then there is another way. You simply do not have to choose the whole years worth. The curriculum works well as a supplemental curriculum, or simply unit studies. You could easily pick and choose a few units ( even let your children pick) and just do those. Remember the beauty of homeschooling is that you can pick and choose. You can make it right for your family. Every one is different so there is never a one fits all solution.

  • Can I do levels with multiple, different aged children ?

Absolutely. Each level has a suggested age range, like 6-8, 8-10 and so on. Most often kids  will fit into the suggested  level. Reading can easily be done together in a group and many activities are enagging and fun for younger kids as well.  Most often if you follow the guided age suggestion and possibly do the placement test you will figure out if it will work .
Also many activities in the lessons have options. You can make it easier or harder. You can have your younger child work on an easier version than your older one, but they will still both have the benefit of learning from each other.

  • I see a lot writing activities , worksheets and worry my child will not enjoy it ?

It all depends on you and how you will use the curriculum. Each lesson has a wide option of activities, some that might just be suggestions or little task for your area, like go outside to the park and find different types of habitats. Another day the activity will encourage you to go to the zoo, or go interview somebody in the community. Then there will be “worksheets” that go  along with the subjects, but they are often different than your average worksheets. They often require a little talk, additional discussion and inspiration to get your child started.  Also you will train your child towards independent research online. Many of these things were a big change for us at the beginning of homeschooling in general  (especially for my child that spend two years in public school) , but over time and a bit of guidance she learnt to work more fluently and independent on her own.

During some units you will come upon some really big activities (go to the Zoo, go to the beach, go to the museum )  that might just require a day of ” vacation”. Often this might not fit into your schedule at all, but it has opened us up to do more ” fun stuff” in general and we try to just make time. Some activities seemed ordinary at first and I thought about skipping them, but then when I thought about it a bit more I found that we so often do not pay attention to the little things and this activity will actually , really let us focus on THAT particular thing we are trying to learn, like going to the zoo and just watch one certain type of animals or even try to arrange a meeting with a zookeeper and have a long discussion.
Back in Texas we went to the Zoo every few months ,going to just see the birds for example seemed “ordinary” but how often do we end up at the zoo, try to do it all and are not able to give each animal its special attention ? How often do you go and really just watch the “hawks” for 30 minutes and try to study just them  ?

Sometimes there will be activities when you  are supposed to literally “interview” people. I am a shy person myself and honestly  often would just rather avoid conversation with strangers. These activities have gotten us out of our little bubble. They have brought us closer to our community and let my children even be in charge. We have not always been able to interview people for every subject suggested of course, but so often once we thought about finding the right person we were surprised who we found that could participate and have great information.  For example, when my little one asked one of our librarians back in Texas what he did in his job, if he enjoyed , what made him become a librarian etc…. She had the biggest and proudest smile on her face and still often talks about this little activity.

When we don’t find a matching person, there are always options. There are many books that describe people with different jobs, cultural backgrounds or experiences. Sometimes we even get lucky and find a great video on YouTube about it.

There are many ways you can make the curriculum flexible and very hands on.

  • My child is still struggling with writing in general. Can we make it work ?

Many studies show that especially for younger children, narrating and dictation are great tools for learning. If your child struggles at the beginning to form her own stories try to come up with ideas on how to make it easier. We use a white board or chalk board and often brain storm. Some activities in the younger levels only require a few words, while others might encourage your child to come up with a whole story. When we struggle with ideas we grab our pencils and colors and just try to make the lesson fun.

 

If you are ever curious about the curriculum, feel free to write me or the company itself, directly. I am only an affiliate with them and do not work  for them and do not necessarily earn much for anything I write about the curriculum, unless you click on the little links and actually order something.  But we have honestly enjoyed most of our time with it and I feel good about sharing our adventure and telling others about the curriculum itself. Everyone is different though and just like homeschooling itself, not everyone will like it. In the end you know your child and family best and can make the decision. I am only another homeschool mom, sharing our time of learning and living. If you are a little more curious about trying it, you can always order a test unit, try it and see if this will work out at all, instead of spending your money on a whole year level !

So long and as always, 

Happy Homeschooling

 

Coloring books, forming new habits as a family

colobookhomsdColoring books are the latest trend, and can’t deny that I love them too. They are addicting and just so fun. Finally we adults are allowed to color again,lol. 🙂 I must admit I never cared much about what others think, I always loved coloring and especially loved the early scribbling time with my kids. A time when they were just so amazed at how you colored or drew something and they just scribbled away not caring at all how it came out. It seems the older they get, the harder it gets. But I have always tried to tell them that there is no right or wrong with art especially.  Unfortunately my daughter struggled with this, ever since she visited public school.

What amazed me the most was that my husband even wanted to join us. I would have never thought that he would enjoy it as much. But as soon as I got my first coloring book and he saw it, he wanted his own, he said it would be fun to color together and talk and it would help him to relax. So we ordered more pens and pencils and he picked his own book.

With all our new plans for new habits and better living we agreed to Friday family nights. The kids voted for board games and movie nights with popcorn, but I think we will also switch it up with friday night coloring parties 🙂

This is my favorite coloring book right now. I love the Forest, it is my place to be. Forest animals and everything else that comes along with this subject. So this one is perfect for me.

This is the one my husband picked, pirate ships and treasures.. ahoy.. !

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Our kiddo’s have so many coloring books, that I have had to go through many times to get rid of some. You know the ones from toddler times, Sesame street, Elmo and co. It’s hard to let go but they have clearly moved on. They still enjoy the fashion design books a lot though, those are still high on their list.

My little one is obsessed with Africa, I know she would love this one so much.

This morning I saw that a new Harry Potter one was just released. I was so upset that some of these were not released before Christmas, lol.

There are so many cool ones out there, which makes it incredibly hard to pick. These are definitely on my list. I think no matter what you like you can find a suitable coloring book. If it’s Dr.Who, Harry Potter or Games of thrones…  I know just sitting together, listening to music and coloring away will be a great time to relax and maybe a good time to bring up certain things in conversation.

Yes, I am a fan of her books and have read a few. Coloring these while watching the show or listening to the audio book would be fun 😉

These are just so pretty !

 

Anyways, it is hard forming new habits, for yourself or the whole family. It will take a while to get into new routines, and honestly I am struggling with a lot of it. Every time I feel like I am getting on track something is out to get me and throw me off. A few weeks ago our oven broke and now this week everyone has been sick.  But that is life, I guess. And pretty much the reason why I want to form better habits. Something to fall back to, when life gets crazy 🙂

” Im a homeschooler” . Books that let your kid be proud about homeschooling.

Finding books for our kids, where kids are portrayed as homeschoolers, are still hard to find. But the good news is, they are becoming more. Slowly but surely more authors are picking it up, or homeschool moms themselves pick up the writing tools and create these books themselves. Especially for the younger kids more and more books are present that show another option than traditional schooling. I think it is wonderful and exciting to be able to show them the different option and it is so important to be able to show them, ” Look, this is okay ! There are others that live this way !

After all many of us get nearly “brainwashed” at a very young age. Maybe brainwashed seems like a harsh word for some of you, but let’s think about it.  Kids are being told about school at an incredibly early age, and it’s still being pushed upon us earlier and earlier. First it was only Kindergarten, now it’s ” timmy goes to Pre-K” and so on. That kids just stay at home before the age of 5 is becoming rarer and books need to show other options !

If you look at my girls ages, 6 and 9, most say they have probably outgrown the picture books age. But I don’t care. We still check out picture books from the library like crazy. And we still often buy must haves. Some of these are on my list of must haves…

Here is a list of all the new, recent books I have found :

Ippie’s a barefooted, band-aid covered, free-spirited eight-year old. She’s a lot like all the other kids in her neighborhood, except for one thing…Ippie doesn’t go to school. She has no teacher and follows no curriculum. So just what is Ippie doing all day? And how can she possibly be learning? Come spend some time with Ippie and find out. Written by former educator and current unschooling mom of four Nicole Olson, this ground-breaking story gives us a sneak peek into the world of unschooling through a child’s eyes.

‘Twas the first day of homeschool,” begins the poetic tale of a young child’s return to schooling. The story weaves through the exciting first day as the family enjoys a special time of learning, helping, and sharing together – interrupted only by a mischievous visit from Homeschool Elf who hides the children’s school supplies and sends them on a hunt to find the missing books, pencils, and more! In addition to the story text, younger children will enjoy trying to find the hidden Homeschool Elf peeking out from the book illustrations while older children are encouraged to interact with the story by answering questions related to the text and their own homeschool experiences. For those eager to begin their own Homeschool Elf tradition – a pattern of Homeschool Elf has been included at the back of the book. We recommend copying the pattern and cutting it out so if something happens to Homeschool Elf during the year, you will always have a pattern to replace him.

When a young kangaroo asks a lot of questions, her parents know it’s time to homeschool. The little ‘roo thinks there’s too much to learn, but her doubt turns into delight when she uses her driveway for a blackboard and learns she “Kandoo” all things through Christ who gives her strength.

I Am Learning All the Time is the story about 5 1/2 year-old Hugh as he begins the discovery process of what it means to not go to school. He reflects on life at home and life of his neighborhood friends, who go to school.

A fun, compelling story narrated by Hugh about his life at home. Full of bright, eye-catching illustrations with realistic (and realistically messy) scenes from family life. Your children will love and identify with the characters in this book.

Whether your child is homeschooled, unschooled or schooled, the positive approach brings understanding and similarities into focus, creating confidence in your children no matter what your family s educational choice is.

This story helps to uncover the unknowns of homeschool life. It is great book to share with your child if their friend or neighbor decides to homeschool. Your child s worries will melt away as they begin to understand what homeschooling is and that they can still be friends with their homeschooled friends.

You can feel confident about the positive nature put into the creation of this book in every way!

Drawing from his own childhood experiences, Jonathan Bean takes the autobiographically inspired family he introduced in Building Our House through the special rhythms and routines of a homeschooling day. For young Jonathan and his sisters, Mom is the teacher and a whole lot more, and Dad is the best substitute any kid could want. From math, science, and field trips to recess, show-and-tell, and art, a school day with this intrepid, inventive family will seem both completely familiar and totally unique. Includes a selection of family snapshots and a note from the author

And here are a few books for older Kids

Nellie appears to be a normal nine year old girl. But Nellie is not normal. Nellie is an amazingly gifted scientist who lives in a family of amazingly gifted scientists. One day, her brother, Niles, who is eleven, teases her (as all respectable big brothers do). This time, however, Niles goes too far when he tells Nellie that girls are silly and no woman has ever changed the world. This sets off a spark of an idea in Nellie’s most amazing mind and sends her down the path to create a time machine and meet wonderful women who made a mark on the world. First stop, Amelia Earhart! With a few bumps along the way and a government agency out to steal her technology, Nellie and Niles are in for an incredible adventure!

With her first step off the airplane and into the sunny tropics, ten-year-old Jess McConnell begins an adventure. She and her parents are spending five months at an archeological dig of ancient Maya ruins in the Central American country of Belize. It’s Jess’s first time out of the United States. It’s her first time being home-schooled. And it’s her first trip without her older brother and sister to keep her company. Yet Jess is excited to explore a new place on her own. She’s ready for adventure and anxious to discover just who she is. When Jess meets a new friend and is invited on an eco-adventure, she makes some real discoveries-about the wonders and the dangers of the Belizean jungle, about the people who have lived there since long ago, and about herself. The “True Story” section at the back of the book focuses on a girl from Florida who spends every summer in Belize with her archeologist parents.

Announcing Book #1 in the first series about a homeschooling family. The Wrights travel the USA in an RV. Each month brings them to a new state with a new educational theme to explore and play with. They prove that learning can happen all the time, anywhere, and that being with family is fun! Meet Aidan, age 7: Boisterous and joking all the time, this sporty boy knows how to have fun! Meet Nadia, age 11: Curious and fiery, this intellectual girl can always find out answers to even the most difficult questions. Meet their parents: Harrison, a writer and linguist expert, and Stephanie, a telecommuting computer expert; ready to adventure with their children. Meet Prince Pumpkin III, turtle extraordinaire: This 50 year old little guy is holding on tight, as the family RV and a mysterious device take him on an adventure no turtle has ever gone on before. Explore an Arizona desert cave with the Wrights as they begin their trip. What will Aidan and Nadia discover? This series is Wright on Time.

Good morning, where is my coffee ?

Do you ever feel like you did not get ANY sleep at night ? That’s me today.

I mean, I go to bed at a somewhat decent time ( okay, I’m still working on those habits) but  I fall asleep rather quickly most times. I don’t toss and turn. But lately I dream a lot again. Dreaming is fun and for a while I was addicted to read all about dream studies, and got every book that I could find, this goes way back to before my husband and I were even married.

When he got deployed to Iraq, back right at the beginning of the war, there was no way we could keep in touch. No email, no phone calls, letters would take forever. There was no way of me knowing how he was doing. It was an awful time, a time I will never forget. One morning, I think it was nearly about a week after he left Germany I dreamed. I dreamed that he whispered in my ear, that he was okay, that he misses and loves me and would call me as soon as it was possible.

That night, one of the other soldiers wives called me that she got a call that they are all okay. Since I was not even married to my husband back then it was hard to get official news and in no way was I expecting any news from anyone. So I was incredibly thankful, that he was able to arrange this back then. A few days later he was able to reach me through a satellite phone. I will never, ever forget this time.

So dreams and I have a love and hate relationship. I have had some really horrible dreams back when I was even younger, a lot of stuff from school I probably processed through them.  Last nights dream was a bit different, lol.

I woke up with neighbors chasing us, jumping our fences with signs and screaming in front of our front door :

RENOVATE THIS HOUSE ! RENOVATE THIS HOUSE ! RENOVATE THIS HOUSE !

Renovations are big on our minds lately, but I had no idea that much 😉 Do you ever have crazy dreams ? What was your silliest dream, lately ?

Anyways, I hope you are enjoying your coffee, have a wonderful Friday and a good start into the weekend !

BLOGGER RECOGNITION AWARD

 

So exciting, Mommylanesadventures nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award. Thank you so very much !

I really love these little awards. It really means a lot to me that I have nearly over 80 people here connected to our blog, and it is really starting to feel like a little community.

 

With that said, I want to seek out to a few new connections and nominate :

  1. http://niagaramommy.com/
  2. https://nanayisms.wordpress.com/
  3. http://mummadiaries.com/
  4. https://naturallyfundays.wordpress.com/
  5. http://tenderfootmom.com/
  6. https://whereisthevillage.wordpress.com/
  7. http://ameliesbookshelf.com/
  8. https://byfordsbooks.wordpress.com/
  9. http://imnotahippiebut.com/
  10. http://sleepdeprivedinseattle.com/
  11. https://myhomeschooledkid.wordpress.com/
  12. https://whatwillshereadnext.wordpress.com/
  13. http://peacefulmumma.com/
  14. http://castlerockhomestead.com/
  15. http://herenowus.com/

 

These are the rules:

  1. Thank the person that nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  2. Nominate at least 15 bloggers of your choice. When considering a fellow blogger for the Versatile Blogger Award, keep in mind the quality of their writing, the uniqueness of their subject matter and the level of love displayed on the virtual page.
  3. Link your nominees and let them know about their nomination.
  4. Share seven facts about yourself.

 

7 Facts about myself

  • I still bite my fingernails ( horrible habit, started in school, so hard to get rid of it)
  • I hate making phone calls, especially to people I don’t know….
  • I love making lists…
  • I learnt English, Latin and French in school..
  • I nearly drowned during a vacation in Italy as a child, but my brother saw me and rescued me…
  • Travelling more around the world is one of my biggest wishes…sigh
  • Astrid Lindgren is one of my favorite authors…

People around the world Culture Concept 3 6-8

After we finished Concept 1 of 6-8 I felt like I needed to change things up a little. I always try to look ahead, what each level from both kids will be dealing with and saw that Concept 3 would line up pretty well with the third Unit from Concept 1 from 9-11 .  In 6-8 you will be learning a lot about culture with your little one and it was one of the units and concepts she was most excited about. So, I figured why not.  It matches up wonderfully with the Tall Tales from 9-11 and the Myths and Folktales from 6-8.

After a little bit more research I also found tons of books our library actually has for these. For a small library, our library had hundreds of books with Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Mexican, Native American tales. I think I spent nearly an hour going through all of them and brought home a huge stack of nearly 100 books. In my defense, our library is actually renovating and trying to empty their room while they do it 😉

When we did the little activity page of different kinds of transportation in the world, Venice came up. And when you remind your child about Venice, she will want to read the OLIVIA goes to Venice book. It’s one of her favorites. So we all hung out together and enjoyed this silly but also beautiful story of Olivia Goes to Venice.

Then we explored Mexico a little bit more, made some musical instruments and read some more in this book.

This book is from the previous year actually, but it is one I pull back out so often. It always reminds us that life around the world is so diverse and often so different, yet there are so many things we all have in common. The book does a great way of telling the stories of some of the kids that are portrayed in the book.

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Also we have cooked a whole lot this week. We made a whole lot of Mexican food, bought sushi and also tried our luck with Chinese noodles. Actually it all turned out rather yummy, everyone was so inspired and excited to help  and eat that I pretty much forgot to take pictures. We also made some fun mexican instruments and listened to all sorts of music, thank you YouTube.IMG_20160202_1851515_rewind

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We had also found this Cat in the Hat book at the library and it was a great way to cover a lot of Holidays quickly. Not very detailed information but a fun intro about many different cultures, one of those books she can easily read over and over again on her own without much needed extra explanation.

Another book that worked perfectly with this lesson is

This one really does an amazing job at telling about all holidays all around the world and if you are looking for even more extra ideas and crafts this one is a must !

We ended up this lesson by researching a bit more online and also watch some more travel kids. My youngest was really in awe with Venice that day and since it is also Februrary, the time of Carnevale, we really enjoyed ” travelling” through the world a little bit more.

They have so many great video’s that give kids a fun, quick way to introduce them to different cultures. It’s one travel show my kids don’t get bored of.

I am really excited about the rest of this unit 🙂 It is full of discovery, fun crafts and lots of room for exploration !

Tomorrow we will start reading this book and I am curious what places and traditions we will discover !

Working on new habits

Hello February. Once again you have arrived faster than I thought. Your buddy January was a fast moving month for sure. For the new year I did make my personal resolutions this year and I also choose a word.

GROW

It seemed to be a good, fitting word for so many paths in my life right now. So many fields I want myself and us to grow in. Even my husband agreed it would be a good fit for the whole family.

Most of all I want to grow more happiness in our home. I want us to grow more together, working together, living together. I want to connect more.
I want to extend and exceed and grow our horizon while we explore the North West, our new home.
I want to grow this house into our new home.
I want to grow my horizon by reading more, started working on my own reading log  and promised myself to read at least 50 books.
I want to grow friends in our new place, for myself and our family.
I want to grow my cooking skills.
I want to grow my blog.
I want to grow healthier habits in our family life.
And I might just want to grow another baby.
I want to grow into being more me, again.

The list is long, but it seems right. Taking the time and actually thinking of how I could accomplish some of these goals was important. What can I do to make some of these things happen ? Some are of course more obvious than others, like the very last one, lol, but there is a lot of thought behind all of these as well. A lot of thinking processes involved and time to grow into some of these ideas and they are not easily done in a minute. Let’s face it, starting new habits is hard.

Gretchen Rubins latest book Better Than Before has helped a lot to learn about my habits this last month. I am still not done with the book, even though it is a quick read I am still struggling making time for my habit of reading. I want to make time for it so badly and yet it is so hard.
Nevertheless a start is a start. And the first steps are done, and it feels great.

Growing a happier me, is not something done in a day. I guess a lot of us try to work on this subject daily, maybe for years,and  it might never fell “finished”.
Finding out what makes you happy is a good start, though.

I have noticed that scheduling and planning is a key in making my life easier and with that happier. I bought the Planner .

And it turned out to a be great tool to make my resolutions happen.

Every Sunday now I sit down and make my plan for the next week for our homeschool activities, play dates, apointments and so on. I also make our meal plan, grocery list, library list.
The journal has room for daily, weekly and monthly goals. Just writing these down and being reminded daily has helped me work on them.

I also took a few steps in building new friends, which required me to jump out of my bubble more than I really like, but it turns out it makes me incredibly happy when I make these jumps. I opened a new homeschool group in our area, started talking to different organisations in town for meeting places, and committed to our new Lego group by purchasing a HUGE amount of Legos.

I also worked a lot on the blog this month, which was rewarded with great feedback and a lot of new subscribers.

My meal planning also turned out to be a huge help, even though big stones were pushed into my way. First this month our water heater broke and then the day after our oven.
Trust me, you don’t know how much you rely on an oven until you don’t have one.
I had to scrap half of my list. And I instantly felt stressed again, trying to figure out once more, what to cook. It turns out most times, I really enjoy cooking. It makes me happy providing good food for my family and it even is exciting to try out new recipes. It’s just the daily recurring fact on what to cook that drives me crazy.
Our oven repair has turned out to be a huge ordeal, dealing with the insurance company and local electrician. Very frustrating especially when your husband could fix it himself but you rely on their time, money and agenda. But this is a different story and I really just wanted to emphasize on how much this meal planning has really helped.

How have your new years resolutions gone so far ? Are you sticking to any of them  ? Is it hard for you to make the changes  ?

I still find it hard to stick to many of them, but I can see that some of my ideas are working and that all by itself is inspiring to keep going.