Moving beyond the Page HIGHSCHOOL 1

 

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What exciting news !! I have been out of the loop for so long, but I am totally getting back into the grove of things ( wait for another post later today ) Earlier I was cruising through facebook and saw this amazing announcement from MOVING BEYOND THE PAGE !! The rumors have been going around for a while that the team has been working on this , and now finally it is here  !! The first HIGHSCHOOL semester is now available and Semester 2 will be available in September !

I am beyond excited about this ! Even though we are still a few years away from this, I have been wondering what we will use later on.  After working through many levels of this curriculum I feel confident that MBTP works wonderful for our family ! I honestly think that now curriculum is absolutely perfect and you have to adapt, change, tweak things along the way. But MBTP works great for us and I am pretty sure we will keep going with it for a long time…. I am excited for the years to come !!

If you are curious about the curriculum itself, check out my other posts. I am hoping to catch up on many units and re-blog many of them in the next few weeks. If you have questions, leave a message 🙂

 

Happy Homeschooling !

Cloud and Wallfish { kids book review by 10 yr old }

Cloud and Wallfish

Cloud and Wallfish is a book about a boy and a girl during the time of the Cold War. Noah finds himself in a crazy and dangerous event when his parents decide to go on a trip to East Berlin. His whole life completely changes, and he has to forget his past of quiet, small-town living and take on a new secret identity. He also has to live by the new rules, like Rule #1: They are always listening!

The book was so well written that I felt that I, myself, was there. I was able to understand Noah and feel his fears. I loved this historic fiction novel and that it had true events and facts stored inside it. Some things were hard for me to understand, but it makes me want to learn more about this time. I loved the secret files at each end at the chapter; it helped me know more about what was going on. I would recommend this amazing book for people ten and up.

Cloud and Wallfish is a book full of secrets, codes, and friendships!

 

Parent note ” This was a really great book and I am happy my daughter picked to read this.  Since I am from Germany myself, this was a subject dear to my heart and I am always wondering how I can teach her more about this time back then. Since we also had the opportunity to travel to Berlin the year before, it was really great to have another opportunity to talk about many events. I think the author did a great job of keeping a certain mood and mystery in the book. It wasn’t necessarily an easy read ( not so much because of events in the story but more because of  the bit complicated story line and characters). I think my daughter really enjoyed it though and it helped her understand some of the history.

Book review Wordsmithy

When I was asked by Timberdoodle to do a review for  “ WORDSMITHY” I did not expect the little jewel I would indeed, receive.

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I had no idea what this book would really contain and honestly,  I expected a dry, boring manual on how to write books and was unsure how this would help us in our homeschool journey at all.  Since the author also has a religious background I was also wondering what role it would play in his suggestions.  After reading it, I am happy to share that this book is everything but boring and I recommend it for all parts of life and  for all types of people, young and old, secular or religious. In fact I believe we all can walk away with some great advise from this book.  So yeah, I was quite surprised to find myself reading through all the chapters from front to back in one evening !

The book starts with 7 strong tips on what you can do, how to live your life if you truly aspire to become a real writer. In each chapter afterwards the author Douglas Wilson, goes into details on how to accomplish those ideas. The tips he mentions are however very hands-on and true to life. In fact many of these I did not expect to find in this little book at all. The whole book is written in a beautiful, easy to understand and often even funny way. I could see that even teenagers or even well advanced ” tweens ” could already read this book and take away some wonderful advise… not only about writing but also about life in general…

 

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Suggestions like  ” get to know something about the world “, ” get out there, meet people, view sunsets, smell and see different parts of the world and collect real life experiences “, were in fact big reminders why we even homeschool and I loved finding it in this book.

While this book indeed does mention a lot of hands-on learning it also reminds us on the importance of books. And not only books that we read for pleasure but on occasion also books that inspire us to be better and greater writers. In fact all kinds and sorts of books. From dictionaries to biographies, novels to children and picture books and poems and writers manuals just like this one. Read from A-Z and then start over once more. Read it all !  And then, write things that stick out to you DOWN ! Keep a journal for all kinds of writing prompts and ideas.

Learn to quote people and use their wonderful words in your day-to-day talk and then writings and look up all the great recommendations of other books that Wilson points to at the end of each chapter.

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I loved reading the take-aways at the end of each chapter and my own personally take away from this book is, that this book truly deserves to be in every homeschool household. If you do not think your kids are ready to read it on their own their own quite yet, just start reading it for yourself and be an early facilitator and show your children ways on how they can improve their writing !

Timberdoodle has always surprised me in the last few years of the creative choices and options that they have put into their curriculum boxes. Go check it out !

 

Back in the game

Well hello there. It has been a while that I have written a true update/ blog post. Well summer has been incredibly busy. Trying to make new friends, start and finish a renovation, start a new business, create homeschool groups, explore Oregon and stay in touch with old friends. It really has been a lot but somewhere in the middle between all of it I think we are finding our flow once again.  There are many crazy and uncertain facts and things happening right now but we are trying to make the best of it….

On Monday we officially started our ” new homeschool year “. The little one started  ” MBTP 7-9 and my oldest is still deep in 9-11 with MBTP,  so theoretically 2nd grade and 5th grade. After a few weeks trying to speed things up, worrying that she would be behind.. i decided to just keep going in our ( her ) pace… The curriculum is build in an awesome way, that we really are not behind. It is so deep in knowledge and created for gifted kids, that I am not worried about starting her in a few months… ( she just turned 10). Homeschooling gives us these freedoms to make things work for us, and I have finally reached that point to use these advantages for us ALL THE WAY !!! The rest I just shrug off and I will not have  silly discussions about these kinds of things anymore…

The beauties of homeschooling… the freedom..  Something I would never ever let go off again. Not many people understand it that have not fully homeschooled. It is one thing I would never want to give up again ! So really, I just wanted to wish everyone a happy new start into the new school year and hope everyone feels refreshed, encouraged and ready to encourage those little minds to explore, play, love and learn !!  Happy Homeschooling !

 

 

Bella & Harry Series ( Book review )

 

We were in a super rush to head out the door for the library again today and just last minute, I remembered to get a picture of these guys. So not the best picture, but hey.. you do what you gotta do 😉 !!

The Bella and Harry series was a lucky grab a few weeks ago and we were pretty excited that our small library actually had quite a few from this series. This was our second grab already and we enjoyed each one of these.

They are clearly  for the younger audience ( 5 and up ) but if your child loves travel stories I think just about every age would still enjoy these. I know my almost 10 year old had fun reading these with her little sister. They both just love these little Chihuahuas !  We have studied many countries through homeschooling in many great details and I love adding little fun stories in between just to recall some of the basic facts, these were perfect for that !

The little puppies travel along with their family to all kinds of amazing places in the world and get to have little adventures. Each page is beautifully illustrated and very colorful. The story is brought to life in fun ways with little dialogues between the puppies as they travel through each city and full of great educational information.

They would be a wonderful addition to anyone’s library, educational, inspirational and just a whole lot of fun !!

 

Check out some of the other books from the series, maybe Bella and Harry have already visited the city you have on your next travel plan !!




Read with dad ! *contest time*

In honor of Fathers day I am having a fun, little contest over on my facebook page !

During the month of June, post a picture on the wall of your kids reading WITH DAD !! postable_info_header (1).jpg

Let Dad take over Storytime at home, yes he CAN make that time ,and the kids will  ❤ Love ❤ it !

The girls  recently read two of Roald Dahl’s books front to back with their Dad, and they loved it so much. Charly and the chocolate factory will forever have a special place in their hearts, because Daddy read it with them. I know it is hard sometimes to make this time, really we are in the middle of renovations.. working almost till midnight every night..but reading to them is so incredibly important and this time will never come back ! Spending that special time with Dad is awesome, plus it gives you MOM’s a little break as well 😉

So let’s to this, let’s get Dad’s involved and let them take over the bed time stories, if even just for one night !

Come to my facebook page, share my page on your wall for others to get a chance and help me spread the love for literacy !! Post your picture of your kids reading with their daddy here and possibly  win an awesome Usborne book !!!

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Upcoming release OXFORD Roald Dahl Dictionary

With the upcoming new movie release of the BFG Roald Dahl’s books are everywhere again. Oh how I love it. I love that these classic books are coming back out of the corners, getting new beautiful, updated covers and kids are getting excited about reading them. My little 6 year old has discovered more and more of his books in the last few weeks. She has read



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Well, she still needs to read the BFG. Since it is part of the MBTP curriculum in 8-10 we went back and forth deciding if to read it now or later with the studies, but we figured it is more important to just read it before the actually sees the movie. And there is no way I would make her wait that long to see the movie ! We are beyond excited to go see it in the theaters, I think it will be one of our highlights for the summer !!

With the girls upcoming birthdays in summer I have been on the hunt for fun things already. Yesterday I came across a fun new upcoming release !!

Oh how fun will this be !?! Roald Dahl really has an amazing talent with words,so often i hear the girls just laugh out loud and giggle over his fun stories and the amazing word plays he has created. When you read his books, you really step into a whole new world. You feel the characters and get to know them. Each of his books has won a special place in our hearts ! I know this little dictionary will be so much fun to use and bring back many of the crazy words Roald Dahl uses in his books :))

Review

“It’s hard to find the right word to express our levels of excitement around the ‘Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary.’ Squacking? Jumpsquiffling? Gigantuous? Roald Dahl’s inventive, playful use of language is such a key element of his writing, whether he was using existing words in his own mischievous way or inventing extra-usual new ones. It is wonderful to have this dictionary compiled with such expertise, passion and wit by Dr. Susan Rennie and the team at OUP. There could be no more fitting way to pay tribute to Roald Dahl in the year of celebrations for his centenary. Best of all, as a fully-functioning dictionary for readers and writers aged eight and above, I hope it serves as a swashboggling source of inspiration for a whole new generation of storytellers.”
— Luke Kelly, Managing Director of the Roald Dahl LIterary Estate and Roald Dahl’s grandson

About the Author

Susan Rennie, Quentin Blake, Roald Dahl

Susan Rennie has worked on many dictionaries for both children and adults, including the Oxford Primary Dictionary, Oxford Primary Thesaurus, the Oxford English Thesaurus for Schools and the New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. She also writes books in Scots for children, and has translated the first Scots edition of Tintin. Susan is currently a Lecturer in English Language at the University of Glasgow where she teaches lexicography and the history of Scots and English.

{Usborne Books & More} Intro 2

My first 12 weeks with Usborne have just flown by. I have learnt so much in those 30 days and my love for books has grown and our inventory has grown immensely as well . My kids are beyond excited to finally have such a great supply of books again. After our move it has been such a change, and I so thankful what this company has offered us. I thrilled about the possibilities to work with our community, charities and kids in general.. things I have always been wanting to do and now I can do them, the way I want. The library is being difficult about volunteering ( because I would like to bring my kids/ homeschooling you know etc. )  and they can’t allow it. Which I find incredibly silly, since my kids would read anyways. But I understand policies are policies.

I am sharing lots of fun news and updates about the books on a special facebook fanpage, so make sure you check in here once in a while. Every Friday I will *feature* a special book or book series there and hopefully in the feature do giveaways and special deals and tons of other stuff ! I have so many fun ideas ! It’s an exciting time and I am thankful that it keeps my mind busy and away from our renovations a little 🙂

Have you heard of Usborne Books & More ? – I am still “shocked ” to meet so many here and there, that have never heard of us, but also even more thrilled when I can tell them all the wonderful and exciting things about the books. It’s like a whole new (book)world. lol.  In the last 30 days I have come across so many wonderful books in our inventory that I didn’t even realize where part of our inventory . With Kane Miller being part of Usborne Books, the inventory is seriously huge ( nearly 2.000 titles) !!

I will do my best to also feature many books on here as well and I would love, love, love to know which one of you is an ” Usborne Newbie” or an ” Usborne Old-Timer” 🙂 ! Or if you are curious about a book, maybe I could feature it next Friday ?? TELL ME BELOW !!

I will be back on Friday with some fun Usborne book features ! So stay tuned and don’t forget to stop by  Julia’s Book Corner !!

Here is a picture of the box I received when I first signed up with Usborne Books & More. It was a great value and we love every and each book ! If you want to learn more about becoming a consultant ( we could be team mates !!! ) or just want to check out the amazing inventory follow me this way please 🙂

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I wonder.. ( book review )

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I am trying to get out of our morning slump and it has been so hard with the renovations going on and summer slowly knocking on the door. I did not want to spend all summer on renovations on our house and I really did not want to spend our real first summer in Oregon catching up on school stuff. We are not really, really behind ( but my A- personality type, list keeper and goal setter in me, tells me I am / we are).We finished all math curriculum way early even..but… I am good at creating stress for myself. You know –

Anyways. We hit the library at least once a week and bring home tons of books. The girls spend tons of time reading and I almost feel left out. I don’t make as much time as I should to still read with them, the 20 minutes here and there or bed time reading goes over in a blurr and I long for the couch …  So I want to give our morning reading baskets a new chance.

I think I will dedicate another whole post to morning baskets because it is such a beautiful routine to work into your homeschool.

The first book we actually picked from our basket this morning was ” I wonder” and it was so incredibly special and beautiful that I literally wanted to post about it right away ! I clearly have been out of the loop, since this book has been out for several years..

When I saw it at the library I figured it was special and it would be a great fit for my ever asking children. One fact of motherhood and especially of homeschooling that dazzles me continuously  are the questions they ask and the things their little minds truly wonder about….  ” Why do are there stars in the sky ? Why do we have to eat ? What was the first flower ? Why is there gravity ? Where , how , what and when… ?!” I have learnt to appreciate all these questions though ❤

This book, with all it’s beautiful pictures is a great conversation started and a beautiful way to put their minds at ease. While I encourage my children to start finding answers on their own, do their own research through books and the internet, I still want them to know that sometimes, just sometimes, it is okay to not  know know the answer to EVERYTHING… that some things on earth are still, even today, are still a mystery…. I want them to know that even scientists still do not have the answers to many questions about our world, planet and so on ! It’s good to be curious, to explore and also just be amazed and believe !

The book clearly hits more of  secular believes, it mentions science and a few short explanations but it does not talk about religion or God, so if you are looking for religious aspects to be explained this is probably not a good fit.

While the book is targeted towards 1 year olds and up, I think it’s a lovely story for older ones as well. When we get older these questions come up a lot more, and the mind wonders … i know ate age 6 the questions really started coming. While the book does not give exact information on how to answer the questions, its lovely to explore together, and also dream a little.. and just live life sometimes without knowing ” everything”.

I am not sure if a 1 year old would even understand the story line of this book. While I think it’s a beautiful story to share with any child,  if I would could select the age range of my readers I would select Kindergarten age probably 🙂

9-11 A house of Tailors ( Immigration)

We are still playing catch up with 9-11 MBTP but are enjoying it big time. This is another Unit she has once again been looking forward to and so have I honestly. The books included with this lesson are incredible.

As a photographer myself, old photographs always enthrall me. Like I said, I enjoyed this unit a lot myself. The first two books go with the social study unit Immigration.

And we also added

And of course this is the main book for the literature unit.

There are also some great video’s suitable for this age range. I added a few to the list.

During one of the lessons you will also visit and tour the Ellis Island museum. Isn’t it amazing what we can do with technology nowadays ? The links are provided in the curriculum.
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/immigration/tour/index.htm

And you will also get a glimpse of how immigrants lived in the tenements.
So much good stuff on these websites alone.
https://tenement.org/education_lessonplans.html

I sure wish we could take a trip to NY right now and see some of these historic sites, luckily this fun family has taken many trips for us and its always fun watching and exploring with them. If you have amazon prime you can watch this episode for free ( you might find it on youtube as well)

There are also some big writing assignments in this unit and be ready to put aside some time for the the artsy projects, like making a hat pattern and making a quilt at the end of the story !

We ended the unit with an amazing final project, a story quilt about the house of tailors !!

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