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Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling

Friday, September 19, 2014 @ 04:09 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy

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With my determination to study more novels this year still firmly intact we just finished the book Paddle to the Sea by Holling Clancy Holling (originally published in 1941). This is an adventure that starts north of Lake Superior on Lake Nipigon. An Indian boy crafts a canoe with an Indian sitting in it. On the bottom of the canoe he writes “Put me back in the water. I am Paddle-to-the Sea.”

The story follows the canoe’s adventures as it travels through the lakes. The book not only has full colored illustrations on the right hand page but also gray scale images on the left hand page which add a lot to the information being read about. At the end of the book there is a double page map showing Paddle’s journey which really lets you imagine the magnitude of the trip. Paddle-to-the-Sea gets stranded a few times but when people rescue him they always read the bottom. At one point Paddle gets a brand new paint job with a new ‘plate’ on the bottom along with fresh ballast. Each place he visits, whoever finds him adds that name to the plate. One winter he lives with a lady close to Montreal who keeps him safe until the St. Lawrence River unfreezes again in Spring.

Does he make it to the ocean? Yes, but I won’t tell you the ending as I don’t want to ruin it 🙂

This book is VERY educational as along the way you will learn about different animals, the shapes that the Great Lakes remind folks of, the amazing amount of industry that was up there not to mention the fascinating fact that although fresh water, the lakes are in some ways very much like the ocean with huge waves, beaches, lighthouses and ship wrecks. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for every family’s library.

Want to do a more in-depth study with your children? Julie, over at Butterflies and Barefoot Lasses created a a wonderful set of FREE printables to compliment this book. As you can see below there is quite a variety and we did not do them all! Using these printables you will cover history, science, geography, writing etc. We did the book in 8 days – reading and studying a few chapters each day but you could easily draw it out longer.

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The only thing I switched out was the map. I wanted one with a little more detail so took a FREE one from FreeUsAndWorldMaps.com (scroll down the page to find the USA and Canada one) and cropped it to just have the north eastern US and Canada. Worked really well.

Your library will probably have this book but if not you can purchase it from Amazon or on Ebay.

Another adVENTURE of FREE, fun learning :)

Liz

Teach your child the story of the Erie Canal

Monday, September 15, 2014 @ 04:09 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy

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Recently we have been studying the book, Paddle to the Sea, a true classic which I will share more about later in a separate post. Today, as Paddle had now made it to Lake Erie, I thought it would be perfect timing to study the building of the Erie Canal. I have to admit that the prompting to study the book The Amazing Impossible Erie Canal by Cheryl Harness was not my own but came from Lauren Hill over at Mama’s Learning Corner. Lauren studied this book with her children and created some FREE worksheets as well as sharing some wonderful You Tube links all of which you can find here. All I had to do was purchase the book as our library did not have it.

The kids learned a lot this morning about how canal locks work and also enjoyed the song in the back of the book sung by Bruce Springstein. (See Lauren’s page.) Did you know that the Erie Canal was the longest canal in the world at 363 miles and had 83 locks! Now we just have to make sure we visit a working lock on our travels somewhere. Can you see a canal boat trip in our future?

Happy studying,

Liz

Sun and Fire!

Monday, August 4, 2014 @ 12:08 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy

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This year (yes we have started our new homeschool year) Daniel wanted to learn about space. Daniel is very much a kid who knows what he wants to learn for science and so we encourage that by providing him with the tools needed. (Last year it was the Titanic and snakes and in fact snakes are still very much on the agenda but Titanic is over.) We purchased the Apologia Exploring Creation curriculum for him. Recently he has been studying the sun and so today it was time for an experiment with Daddy to learn how to make fire with a magnifying glass! Great excitement but also a warning from Mom and Dad to never do this without adult supervision! It is very dry here right now and we certainly do not want to start a wildfire!

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Boys being boys, Daniel and Caleb are now out experimenting whilst Hannah has seen enough and is back inside! As Richard says, this experiment is also a good survival skill. It is a little smokey out there!

I should also point out that it is important to wear sunglasses doing this as the concentration of the sun is very bright and could damage the eye.

I am the first to admit that science is not my strong point. Yes I can read the text from a book and explain basic things to the children but that is as far as my ability goes. Richard, on the other hand, LOVES science and is really good at explaining the workings etc. We are so blessed that we compliment each other in this way in the homeschooling of the children. What’s your weakness? As a homeschooling mom/dad don’t be afraid of getting your other half involved. If you are both weak in a particular subject seek out help from an online class or someone in your community.

Liz

FREE James and the Giant Peach Study Guide

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 @ 08:07 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy

James and the Giant Peach Unit Study - Grades 1-5 - Cornish Heritage VenturesSmall

It is no secret that we enjoy reading books by Roald Dahl in this house. However finding study guides that are suitable for our children can be hard so when I wanted them to study James and the Giant Peach earlier this year I decided to tackle the job of creating a study guide myself. It turned into a mammoth task but one that all enjoyed once finished. I am now sharing it with you in the hopes that you too can make good use of it.

As you will see, once you have downloaded the file, there is more than a study of James and the Giant Peach included. We also studied each of the characters, even taking a “trip” to New Zealand for the glowworm!

It is suitable for grades 1-5 but could easily be adapted for older children.

Another adVENTURE of FREE, fun learning :)

I look forward to hearing what you think.

Liz

Before, After and In Between

Sunday, July 13, 2014 @ 09:07 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy

Great for PreK, these latest Math worksheets from Mama’s Learning Center are colorful and great practice for those new “counters” in the house.

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Another adVENTURE of FREE, fun learning :)

Liz

HUGE “Pay What You Want” Sale on at CurrClick

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 @ 08:07 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy

Most of us are in full swing of summer activities but I am sure many of you, like me, are already thinking of next year. In fact, although we are taking time off here and there we are continuing to school through this period. When I received notification of the “Pay What You Want” sale over at CurrClick I simply had to go take a look! It is an AMAZING deal! There are many, many publishers partaking in this offer which ends July 9th, 2014 so you have a few days to browse and stock up!

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I LOVE a great deal but try to restrain myself to what I know we are going to use! LOL! Our bank balance would really suffer otherwise! This is also a great opportunity to try out a new publisher and see if you like the products they produce. We certainly have our favorites but I have already found a new one that we are going to try.

Happy shopping and planning,

Liz

FREE Asian Animals Cut and Paste

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 @ 10:06 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy

I printed this out for Hannah and Caleb to do this morning and whilst I wish the author (WriteBonnieRose over at Missional Call) had used “real” animal pictures instead of cartoon ones to go with the backgrounds, it was still a fun project and all the kids and I learned something.

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None of us had ever seen a hairy rhinoceros before! On the author’s blog you will find links to all five animals discussed and that is where I got the “real” picture of the Sumatran Rhinoceros. I think the backgrounds are fabulous so if you have a budding artist they may even want to draw/paint their own animals in. Thanks Bonnie Rose!

Another adVENTURE of FREE, fun learning :)

Liz

Two Different Perspectives

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 @ 10:06 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy

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I told you yesterday that I was going to start the Creative Line Designs with the kids today. Well it turned out that I only did it with Hannah but she really enjoyed them. As we did this particular one, as she finished coloring hers, she said she thought it was like a butterfly so commenced to fill in the butterfly, grass, sun etc.

I could see that too but wondered what else I could imagine mine to be. How about a road leading into the sunset which reminded Hannah of the Wiley Coyote cartoons.

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Liz

Creating Line Designs

Monday, June 2, 2014 @ 08:06 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy

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Some curriculum ages quickly, others like I am going to share with you today are as relevant now as they were 15 years ago when we were first started homeschooling Michelle and Michael. Creating Line Designs by Randy Womack at Golden Educational Center is an excellent resource for teaching your child not only how to accurately use a ruler but so much more:

  • Visual-Motor Skills
  • Visual Memory
  • Visual Discrimination
  • Following Directions
  • Right Brain Functioning
  • Personal Respect

Last week I came across Book 4 as I was cleaning out. This is suitable for grades 4-7 and we used this with both Michelle and Michael. As I looked on the date of the copyright (1985, renewed 1994) I really doubted whether I would be able to find the first books in the series to use with Daniel, Hannah and Caleb. Guess what? They are still in production! You can purchase them new at several online places but also can find them used which is what I did.

Due to these being line designs, the books can never age. I was really excited to receive both Books 1 & 2 in the mail today. There are 4 in the series with 20 activities in each one. The best thing is that they are reproducible (the pages are perforated for easy removal) so once you have outlaid the cost one time, as long as you copy and save before using you NEVER have to outlay for the book again. I LOVE it when companies allow this as it really helps keep the cost of homeschooling down when you have more than one child. (Thank you, Randy!)

Once your child has completed the pattern they can then get creative with coloring it. Book 1 is for K-1st and then they progressively get harder. Here is a sample from Book 2.

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SO guess what we are going to start tomorrow? I am SO excited! I do recommend that you work on the same worksheet alongside your child so that they are seeing an example of what it should look like. You’ll have as much fun, if not more, than them! I have copied Book 1 and will start Book 2 once I have finished “chatting” with you 🙂

Liz

FREE Bee Worksheets from Itsy Bitsy Fun

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 @ 04:05 PM
posted by Liz Pomeroy

Bees

Many of you may well be taking a break for the summer months. Our choice, as a family, is to homeschool all year around so that we can take off whenever we want PLUS we have found that our children do much better with a daily routine when we are home and don’t have “other” stuff going on. Even if you are taking a break, you may still have some days where the kids want to do some learning activities. Don’t refuse them! Willingness to want to learn is precious and should be encouraged. This will also keep their minds active so that you do not have to reteach everything once school starts up again!

With that in mind, why not take a look at these FREE Bee Worksheets from Itsy Bitsy Fun. They are suitable for preschool through first grade. Just so you know, I did spot the spelling error (scrambeled instead of scrambled) but have checked the rest of the documents and they appear OK. Use it as a good opportunity to see if your child can see the misspelled word.

Another adVENTURE of FREE, fun learning :)

Liz