Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Math Antics

J age 11 is struggling with his math, getting slower and slower and making less and less effort, so today I asked what was making him not want to do his math.  He said it has gotten too hard, he wants to go back to an easier book.  Well, having gotten this far it seems a shame to go back, so I decided to look and see if I could find an internet lesson on the place value we've been working on that seems hard to him.  Up came a video by Math Antics you can see  Youtube to find particular videos or use their website. We did Math Antics - Place Value and Math Antics Decimal Place Value. A few minutes later he was cheered and enthused and back at his math book saying, "I'm already on number 5 and this is easy!"  So if you're needing a bit of a change and a little tutoring in a given Math topic, try Math Antics.  

Friday, January 27, 2017

Blackwater Ben and The Broken Blade

   We've just finished the two books by Minnesota author William Durbin, The Broken Blade and Backwater Ben. The Broken Blade is about a young man who goes to work as a Voyageur when his father is injured and unable to work for their family and Backwater Ben is about a boy who works for his father who is a head cook in a logging camp in the early  1900s.  Both books give a good feel for the challenges men faced in these jobs.  They are written with realism and a bit of humor.  Both feature jobs with really rough men but are presented cleanly.  My Great Grandfather was a cook in a lumber camp in Northern Minnesota and we love visiting Lake Superior so both these stories feel like part of our own local heritage.  Both are great historical fiction.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Herein is Love - Genesis by Nancy Ganz

We began our study of history this year at the beginning again.  I chose as our main text, the best book in the world, the Bible (which happens to be an original source).  I had a copy of The Greenleaf Guide to Old Testament History that we had used years ago and I've used that some, but I also found this wonderful commentary for children - Herein is Love: Genesis, a Commentary for Children.  We just finished Genesis and are ready to start Exodus (with her accompanying commentary for that book).  We read the passages from the Bible first (usually a chapter from Genesis or Exodus and an accompanying Psalm or New Testament passage as well). Then read Nancy's commentary!   I love this pastor's wife's writing!! She is VERY insightful and has a beautiful way of telling the story.  My children haven't minded hearing the story a second time as she retells it.  The second half of the book is a Teacher's Guide and includes memory verses, crafts, visual aids, review questions and field trip ideas for each lesson.  I highly recommend this resource.