Archive for April, 2013
How many of you like to read? How many of you like to read good books?! The more I research some of the classics the more I realize how poor some of the new literature is. I have often told you that we use our local library on a regular basis. Most times I have a list with me when we go so that we are not spending hours searching there but can instead just quickly & efficiently pick up all the books we are wanting. Even though I have researched most of the books there are many times that I am appalled when I start to read them. Some of them are just plain “cheesy” with awful story lines & chronic humor that isn’t even funny, others are just pathetic. Last week we brought home a book that I thought was going to be really good only to discover in the first chapter the parents lying to the child & having no remorse. What does that teach our kids?! Now don’t get me wrong – we also get some great books out from the library & enjoy reading them many times if they are picture books. This week we are reading Chester Cricket’s New Home by George Selden. This book was written in the 80’s so not old enough to be a classic but certainly not modern. It is wonderful. The characters just come alive in your mind & there is also a good storyline.
SO as I have been researching some homeschooling websites of the more classical nature I came across Project Gutenberg & have gotten really excited. They have over 40,000 books available to download. Of course not all of them are suitable for children & nor do we have the time to read that number of books BUT there’s more than enough to keep us satisfied for a LONG time. I personally like to hold paper in my hands when reading so am downloading the ones we want & then printing them double sided. (There is an option to download them to a Kindle etc .) I found some 50c folders at Walmart that hold a pretty decent sized book & they are flat unlike binders. This is important for us planning on moving & needed to be as efficient with space as possible.
OH & I should say that all the books are FREE which is fantastic!
What was the first book we downloaded? How many of you like fairy tales etc? A website called An Old Fashioned Education recommends Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books. These were written/compiled in the late 1890’s/early 1900’s. There are several in the series & they are large. We are reading the Yellow Book right now & all of us are loving it. The stories are original, not watered down & Daniel can’t wait each day to hear what story is coming next. Hannah doesn’t have the greatest concentration skills but most times will sit still & listen. Why are you reading about witches, wizards & fairies you ask? Good question. Although some of these stories do contain these characters the greater lessons in them are teaching obedience, consequences of disobedience, perseverance etc. They are not watered down like many of today’s fairy tales.
Tonight I have downloaded the animal stories by Thornton Burgess. I have never read any of his writings but found the recommendation on another site, The Baldwin Project, so thought I would investigate. Looking forward to starting tomorrow with The Adventures of Reddy Fox.
Are we still going to visit the library? Absolutely, as many of the books are not available online & so the local library is a great way of getting great books for very little cost. (We pay a yearly fee of $25 which is peanuts compared to what it would cost to buy all the books we read.)
Happy reading everyone 🙂
Fraction Flashcards & Pigs
How many of you have children that are struggling with the concept of fractions? Well I have found a great resource for you 🙂 Daniel was doing a workbook on fractions earlier this week & really was not getting it. Halves, yes, but when it came to dividing a circle into thirds that really threw him. Let’s admit it, dividing anything into an odd number of segments is hard. SO that sent me to the computer to search for something to help him. No matter if your child is homeschooled or in public school if they are not grasping fractions then this may well help you. I found a site called Math Salamanders & on there they had all these wonderful Fraction Flashcards:
Michelle & I spent a good part of yesterday printing, cutting, laminating & cutting again but we now have a great resource that we can use for all the little ones here as they get to the fraction learning stage. If you do not have a Laminator I really advise you to get one. We have one that takes full size sheets. Yes the sheets are not cheap but I have used it SO much in our schooling. It only takes one child to spill a cup of juice & ruin all your hard work. Once laminated the item is protected & no matter how sticky it might become you can always wipe it off. We actually have a card game here, Zoo Mania, that is no longer manufactured. It’s a great game & so I took the time to laminate all the cards. Now we can play the game without the fear of someone ruining it!
SO what does all the above have to do with pigs you ask?! Nothing to most folks but to us, quite a lot! LOL! Today Michelle & I processed 6 halves of pork! Each time we do this we seem to learn something to make the process easier & today was no exception. We have a reciprocating saw that we use when doing the butchering but not until today did I think to bring it indoors & use it on the joints! Duh! I took the back legs i.e hams & cut them into two for good size roasts (we don’t bother to brine them), took a good lot of meat off of the front legs along with all the other “scraps” for sausage & put the bacon (from where folks in the USA get pork chops) to brine. The bones from the front legs are now cooking in a big stock pot with seasoning & I will pull all the meat off in the morning to use in pies. Michelle ground the sausage, seasoned it, put it through the grinder again & packaged it in 2lb packs. She made 45lbs of sausage. The pigs were not full grown albeit still a good size but with all our traveling coming up we wanted to get the job done & finished. Where was Richard you ask? Well he brought all the halves in, one at a time as I finished one up & in between times was outside cutting up wood for the fire. This time last year we were baking here but this year has been totally different. Apart from the odd day, we are still burning wood 24/7 so have to keep cutting fresh to keep us stocked.
All in all a busy but productive day. That cooking pork smells SO good 🙂