Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hip Hip Horray, Ben! x 3

Ben's troop had a Court of Honor last night. He earned his first THREE merit badges! He really felt proud of himself. He expressed a lot of fear and hesitation about tackling merit badges -- they seemed a HUGE jump for him compared to the Webelos badge requirements. He earned Citizenship in the Nation, Wilderness Survival, and Climbing. I think Ben would be hard pressed to pick his favorite, as he did such cool things for each: visited Gettysburg and DC for the Citizenship badge (he loves history), build a natural shelter to sleep in for Wilderness Survival (in the pouring rain, no less!), and spend a couple nights at a local climbing gym. He's looking forward to earning Snow Sports this winter, Family Life, and would really like to earn coin collecting as well (just need to line up a counselor for that one).

Monday, December 20, 2010

(Almost Perfect) Christmas Vacation - Day 1

1. Woke up early. Watched oldest leave for paper route. Started coffeemaker. Sipped down a mug of coffee. Went back to bed. Cuddled with several adorable sons.

2. Drank another cup of hot coffee.  It must be vacation, 'cuz it wasn't even 9:30 a.m. and I'd had two cups of hot (read:  not re-heated) coffee.  This never happens when school is in session.  I could get used to this....

3.  Made delicious pretzel chocolates with all the kids' help:

Very easy.  very yummy.
4.  On my third cup of coffee.  Still hot.  delish.

5.  Took lunch to eat with Daddy at his office.

6.  Home for Christmas movie.  Mommy may have taken a nap somewhere between the ghost of Christmas past and ghost of Christmas present. 

7.  Ate a wonderful dinner.  Broke out (not literally) Waterford crystal just 'cuz we never use it, and this seemed like as good a day as any.

I'm not sure what we could have done to make it more perfect!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Review: Good Morning, God

Apologia Educational Ministries send an adorable book for review:  Good Morning, God.    Written by Davis Carman and illustrated by Alice Ratterree, it is a simple, pleasantly repetitive reminder to children (ages 1-8 years) that God loves them all through the day, and that each day -- each part of the day -- is an opportunity to learn about and worship God. 

The forward of the book states:

Ideally this book will help your child fall in love with our heavenly Father by thinking about Him from sunrise to sunset.  The hope is that this book will introduce children to the simple and wonderful ways we can worship God daily and inspire them to enjoy the Lord with heir entire being all hrough the day.
The storyline takes place during a Sunday to Sunday week of a young child, probably preschool age.  Each day starts with "Good morning, God" and ends with a short, one-sentence prayer.

For older children, there is a daily Question and Activity devotional at the back of the book, meant to supplement the readings.  It is designed to help children consider how to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, strength and mind (Luke 10:27).  There are Bible verses to look up, so if you have a non-reader, you'll want to help.

I thought this was a lovely book with repetitive prose that delights young children and thoughtful questions to discuss with your children.  update:  I neglected to mention that the there are black-and-white illustrations for each day....and now Apologia has these available as a coloring book for $4.  You can view it on their website here.

If you are having trouble finding the book on the Apologia website, the ISBN number for the book is 978-1-935495-25-3.  I was able to see it on, but as of this review date, it was not in stock.

For more reviews on this resource, click over to the Review Crew Blog here.

Thanks to Apologia for the opportunity to review this book. In exchange for a complementary copy of the resource, I was asked to give my honest opinion about the book.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Review Crew: The Master Ruler

What a great tool the Master Ruler is.  Patented by Master innovations, LLC, this teaching ruler is great tool for teaching the fractional components of both standard and metric measuring systems.

The Company:  Master innovatons has created a number of unique tools to help classroom teachers teach math concepts of measurement, telling time, factions and angle measurement.  The products generally involve clear plastic overlays which break down compounds into their components -- and than can be put back together!

The Products:  I received both a metric and stadard Master Ruler, the Master Ruler Workbook, and a Marvels of Measurement poster (Love the poster.  I'll be making room for it on our school room walls over Christmas break):

The rulers themselves are made from clear plastic sheets.  They are bound together with colorful rings.  Each sheet of clear plastic measures out a specific measurement.  One layer for inches, one each for 1/2 inch, 1/4, 1/8 and 1/16:

On the metric ruler, there is one layer each for decameter, centimeter, and millimeter.

You can see video demonstrations of the products (for the rulers as well as clock, fraction, and angle tools) in use here.

My Impressions:  I really liked the ruler sets, and it reminded me of my sometimes failed attempts to teach the fractional inch measurements to my oldest son.  "No, Ben," I'd often hear myself say. "Not those lines.....these little ones.  Yep....Uh, no the next one over.  Yeah, that one...."    I can honestly say that these tools will make me a much better teacher of measurement for my next two sons.

After watching the measurement video, I was really impressed by the ability to use the rulers when I introduce fractions again.  I really appreciate when a product can be used more than just in one topical unit.  More bang for my homeschooling buck!

You can read more reviews at The Review Crew blog.

Thank you to Master Innovations for the opportunity to review their product.  I was sent the products mentioned above in exchange for my honest impressions of the product.  No other compensation was received.