Monday, December 31, 2012

Trivium Tuesdays-Classical Link-Up #38

Happy New Year, everyone!  I don't know if everyone is on their computers on this holiday, but I didn't want to miss two weeks in a row, so we are going to give this a shot today.  I figure we might as well start the new year on a good foot! So...


Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  If this is your first time here, this is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.

Don't forget to visit the All Things Classical Blog Post Index if you are trying to remember a post that someone linked up or are just looking for encouragement or help on a specific topic related to Classical homeschooling.  I have organized most of the posts that you have linked up here at Trivium Tuesdays so that you can easily find posts on the topic you are looking for.  I'm hoping to work on making this a sortable list so that posts can be found more easily.  We will see how I do =)

This week I am featuring Highhill Homeschool's post about the 100 Number Grid.  I've always been intrigued by these number grids but have yet to use them.  Math isn't our focus right now, but I think I'm going to print out one of the FREE grids from Highhill Homeschool to have my son play around with.  I love how a child can visually see what is going on with numbers when they try different patterns on the grid.  I'm going to use the filled in grid, because it would take all of my son's energy to just write all the numbers and he wouldn't have anything left in him to color in the patterns!  Go ahead and check out the ideas that Highhill Homeschool shared!  I'd love to hear what other ideas you have for these grids too.




Now onto this week's link-up!

Here are the rules:
  • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling (any age children).
  • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
  • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
  • Please place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
  • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.
  • Remember, everyone loves comments =) So don't be shy, and tell someone if you liked their post!

I reserve the right to remove any link-up that does not have to do with classical homeschooling.         If you are a regular here at Trivium Tuesdays and have something to share that is a little off topic, but still would be an encouragement to the readers here, please still share it =)  I'm referring to people who are just trying to get their blog more exposure without following the rules above.

I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)

Happy Linking!



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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Top 10 Posts of 2012



It's the last day of 2012.  I want to thank each of you so much for visiting Living and Learning at Home over the past year.  It is always fun at this time of year to look back and remember...so here is a look back at 2012 for Living and Learning at Home.  Enjoy!




These little guys are my 'viral' post on Pinterest.  They are super cute corner bookmarks.  They are a great project for you and your kids!  Check them out...

Cute Corner Bookmarks  








This year I started creating copywork to use with my son, so I decided to make up ebook packs to sell.  This copywork pack for McGuffey's Eclectic Primer was my first and most popular so far.  You can check out all of the packs I have made at my new site Classical Copywork or check out the post dedicated to this pack....

McGuffey's Primer Copywork




This post was written in 2011, but it is my 3rd most visited post of this 2012...so does that count?  I'm going to count it =)  Here it is...

Cleaning Schedule Pages






Child in Church Archival Photo Poster Print 

This next one is a topic that is near and dear to my heart and I really enjoyed writing it.  I would love it if you would take a minute to read it if you didn't earlier this year...

Ultimate Guide to Keeping Young Children with you at Church






Here is a look at the curriculum we are using this year.  I'm happy to report that we are still using it! Ha!  We read a bunch of books that are not listed here, but these basic books are all still the same...

2012-2013 Curriculum





We do not use FIAR as our curriculum, but I know a lot of people do!  Some on you must like it since it made it into the top 10 posts of the year!  Here is a look at the FIAR lesson for The Story About Ping that we did with our homeschool group earlier in the year...

Five in a Row - The Story About Ping




This one is perfect if you are planning ahead for Valentine's Day.  We made a cute wreath out of popcorn and cranberries to feed our bird friends =)

Valentine's Wreath for the Birds





This is another one for this time of year (if you live anywhere like I do!)  This was a fun science activity that we did last year to learn about how much water is in snow...

Science Activity - Melting Snow




At the end of this past summer, my family moved into a new home.  We are so thankful to be here and it has been fun setting up house, including our school room!  Well, it's more like a half of a room, but it works for us right now...

A Peak into our School Room





Portrait of George Granville Leveson-Gower and His Family

The last one is from a series I have been doing since summer called the Early Grammar Stage Series.  The post that made my top 10 is about discipline.  Check out the whole series while you're at it =)

Early Grammar Stage - Discipline



I hope you enjoyed this look back at 2012 as much as I did!

I wish you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR and I look forward to learning and growing with you in 2013!

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hearing and Listening Re-Visited

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This past summer I wrote a series called Early Grammar Stage Focus.  In it, I took a close look at the article 10 Things To Do With Your Child Before Age 10  from Trivium Pursuit and challenged myself to do better in the areas that they highlight.  It is been a few months, and school is in full swing, so I want to check back in and see how I have done in each of the areas.  Each week I will re-visit one of the 10 topics, so come back next week for more!

 You can get this "10 things..." article plus SO much more information in the book Teaching the Trivium from the good people at Trivium Pursuit.

This week I am re-visiting the subject of hearing and listening.  The first time we talked about this, we discussed how reading out loud to our children is so important, especially when they are young!  The article above recommends reading out loud at least 2 hours a day to your children.  The article also talked about starting a history notebook and timeline (I'm not sure why it was under "hearing and listening.") If you want to take a look at this subject more, check out the article I linked to above, and also my first post Hearing and Listening.

At the end of our last discussion I set some goals for myself in this area.  This is what I wanted to work on...

 Goals:

  1. Consciously increase read-aloud time to 2 hours
  2. Not be so strict about making Trevor sit still while I read =)
  3. Begin a timeline
  4. Begin a history notebook

We have been very purposeful about reading out loud this year.  We start our day reading our history stories and sometimes character stories (like these stories about the Millers) during our circle time.  We will read fun picture books in the day as the kids ask for them.  Daddy reads the Bible at night during our family worship time.  This totals up to about an hour or so a day.  I really desire to do more, but honestly I just find it hard to get everything done that I want to each day =(  Do you feel that way too, or is it just me?

At the beginning of the year, I tried timing how long we would read, just to get the feel for how much we were doing.  I rarely do this anymore, but it was nice to see about how long each reading time was.  It's also hard to remember to start and stop the time each time, so it was rarely accurate!

I'm still trying to figure out goal #2.  I feel like when Trevor starting moving around or playing with a toy that his mind is gone.  I do find that reading to the kids while they are eating breakfast or lunch really helps, because they have to sit while they eat anyways, so why not listen to something while they sit there?  I'm sure he will grow in this area as he gets older, and I'll just keep trying to learn what works best for him.

We have begun our timeline and history notebooks!  I have paper taped to the wall right by where we do our school (well, where the kids sit down to do their writing).  It is low down on the wall so that they can see it and add to it easily.  We do not add to it daily, but only as we get to a major character or event in history.  At their ages, I do not want anything overwhelming, just a basic frame of reference for them.


There is more on it now, but here's what our timeline looked like after we studied Noah's Ark.


For the notebook, I just add everything that we do (that fits on a page) to a binder.  There are copywork pages, charts, drawings, etc. in the notebook.  When we do something larger, like dress up in time period clothing, I take a picture and will add it at the appropriate place in the notebook.  This is a neat book to look through and review all that you have learned through history!

So that is how we have been doing with our reading out loud!  How have you been doing?  Do you have a history notebook?  A timeline?  Any tips to share about how you do these things?


This post is a part of the following series:



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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Trivium Tuesdays-Classical Link-Up #37

Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  If this is your first time here, this is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.

Don't forget to visit the All Things Classical Blog Post Index if you are trying to remember a post that someone linked up or are just looking for encouragement or help on a specific topic related to Classical homeschooling.  I have organized most of the posts that you have linked up here at Trivium Tuesdays so that you can easily find posts on the topic you are looking for.  I'm hoping to work on making this a sortable list so that posts can be found more easily.  We will see how I do =)

I noticed that more of you were commenting on eachother's posts last week.  I think that is great!  Maybe it is because your posts were so good =)  Or maybe you were just in a commenting mood.  Either way, I really enjoy seeing the community here!

The first post I want to feature today is called Law,  Grace, and Classical Education from Golden Grasses.  Lisa shares with us thoughts about the purpose of all this education.  She has children that have already graduated and some that are still under her teaching, and she talks about following the mold of going to a traditional 4-year college...or not.  I love the perspective she brings on why we are teaching our children history, Latin, literature, etc.  I am always encouraged to think when I read Lisa's posts and I know you will enjoy it too!  If you didn't read it last week, take a minute to check it out now!

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The next post I'm featuring is Four Habits that Have Made a Difference from Harmony Fine Arts.  Barb takes a look back over her years of homeschooling and shares with us four habits that she has built.  It is a very encouraging read and I agree wholeheartedly with what she shares (that's not to say that I have perfected the habits yet!)  If your school days aren't running as smoothly as you'd like, take a minute to read Barb's post.  I know you will be encouraged and hopefully pick up a new trick or two!







Now onto this week's link-up!

Here are the rules:
  • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling (any age children).
  • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
  • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
  • Please place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
  • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.
  • Remember, everyone loves comments =) So don't be shy, and tell someone if you liked their post!

I reserve the right to remove any link-up that does not have to do with classical homeschooling.         If you are a regular here at Trivium Tuesdays and have something to share that is a little off topic, but still would be an encouragement to the readers here, please still share it =)  I'm referring to people who are just trying to get their blog more exposure without following the rules above.

I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)

Happy Linking!

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Monday, December 17, 2012

How Grapevine Studies Saved Christmas

I am usually completely prepared for Christmas.  Now, I'm not talking about presents and parties, I'm talking about teaching my children about Christ's birth.  Typically we spend time each day celebrating Advent, learning how everything lead up just right to Jesus coming into the world.  Last year I made up ornaments and had readings and activities for each day.

This year I dropped the ball.

I don't know what my problem was...holiday busyness, too much school work going on, laziness?  I don't know, but I can tell you that we haven't even lit one candle or done one reading this year.  It's not that we are not reading the Bible or worshiping Christ, because we are, but we are not continuing the memory-making tradition of advent.  Here's to hoping that it goes better next year!


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Traceable Birth of Christ?


When Jodi from Granola Mom 4 God told me about Grapevine Studies Birth of Christ study I was excited!  What is even more exciting is the new component of the study offing traceable stick figures!   If you are not familiar with Grapevine Studies, they offer Bible lessons for children of all ages and your children learn by drawing stick figures as they go!

If you have a preschooler, you have probably seen many drawings of 'stick people' that consist of a large circle with spokes coming out of it for arms and legs...and each figure looks exactly the same.  Hey, at least they are enjoying themselves, right?  What is great about this new Grapevine Birth of Christ study, is that your preschooler can trace already done stick figures while you are reading the Bible passage that goes along.  If you have older children, your preschooler will feel like they are fitting right in!



Even a toddler can 'trace' along!



My preschooler diligently tracing while he is listening.


Why I'm Loving these Traceable Figures


Lately I have been trying to think of something for my 4 year old son to do to help him focus while I read to him.  Reading aloud is a big part of what we do for school and I know he is capable of listening, but he is also a squiggly little boy.  I've heard some people advocate letting their children do something quietly (color, play with legos, etc.) while they listen to a story, but my son's mind would be off into another world if I let him do that.  I like the concept, but it wasn't quite right.  After using these Birth of Christ studies, I'm seeing the genius of drawing stick figures.




The pages are so simple, no distracting pictures or flashy words to take away from the Bible reading.  Tracing the stick figures takes great focus for a preschooler, keeping their mind from wandering to distant lands.  Also, what they are doing is on topic, reinforcing what they are hearing.  My son knows he is drawing Mary (or Joseph, or an angel, etc.) which keeps his wandering mind on the fact that we are reading about Mary (or Joseph, or an angel, etc.)

After we go through the whole lesson, there are review questions.  Instead of asking the question straight from the page, I have my son so back and look at each picture, read the caption, and tell the story back to me (building his skill of narration).  At his level, we are working on him telling the story back in complete sentences instead of fragments...or robot noises =)

There are seven lessons in this Birth of Christ study, so if you dropped the ball on Advent like I did, Grapevine Studies can save Christmas for you too!  This would be perfect to start sometime this week, leading right up to Christmas day!  Or if you have big advent readings and activities planned, you could have your child do these lessons while you read from the Bible on the appropriate days.

If you want to get started right away, you can get the Beginner level or the Multi-level for just $4.95!

If you have patience to wait a few days, enter the giveaway below to win a copy for yourself to use this Christmas!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Family Worship Re-Visited

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This past summer I wrote a series called Early Grammar Stage Focus.  In it, I took a close look at the article 10 Things To Do With Your Child Before Age 10  from Trivium Pursuit and challenged myself to do better in the areas that they highlight.  It is been a few months, and school is in full swing, so I want to check back in and see how I have done in each of the areas.  Each week I will re-visit one of the 10 topics, so come back next week for more!

 You can get this "10 things..." article plus SO much more information in the book Teaching the Trivium from the good people at Trivium Pursuit.

This week I am re-visiting the subject of family worship. The first time we talked about this we discussed what family worship is and some ideas for how it should be done.  If you missed it or want a refresher, take a quick look at my first post on Family Worship.

At the end of our last discussion I set some goals for myself in this area.  This is what I wanted to work on...

Goals

  1. Be there!  Stop being lazy and go sit at the table with daddy and Trevor.
  2. Include Mackenzie (this requires that I do goal #1 first =)
  3. Include singing?
  4. Include responsive prayer

I am please with how we have done since I set these goals.  First and foremost, I am thankful that we have been consistent with these times.  Each night before bed we gather (usually on the floor in the family room) and read the Bible together.  Daddy reads, asks questions, and reviews with us.  99% of the time I participate now and Mackenzie is fully engaged too!  She is able to answer simple questions and remember which book of the Bible we are reading from.

We have not added singing or 'responsive' prayer to this time of family worship, but the kids and I memorize songs during our morning circle time and I am happy with that.  We do pray together as a family and it is really neat to see my 4 year old picking up phrases from listening to my husband pray.  He says that he is going to be a pastor...also a fireman...and a 'worker' man (that's what him and Mackenzie can pretty much anyone who does a physical job).

We have also been studying through Genesis for our ancient history studies for school, so we have been getting lots of Bible time in.

How have you been these past few months with coming together as a family to worship God?  Have you tried anything new this year?  Are you struggling in this area?  Do you not think it is a priority?  Do you have a good pattern that works well?  I'd love to hear about it!


This post is a part of the following series:



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Monday, December 10, 2012

Trivium Tuesdays-Classical Link-Up #36

Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  If this is your first time here, this is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.

Don't forget to visit the All Things Classical Blog Post Index if you are trying to remember a post that someone linked up or are just looking for encouragement or help on a specific topic related to Classical homeschooling.  I have organized most of the posts that you have linked up here at Trivium Tuesdays so that you can easily find posts on the topic you are looking for.

Seems like most everyone had Christmas on the brain last week =)  It's a great time of year, isn't it?  Praise God for sending his son, Jesus!

This week I'm going to take the opportunity to introduce my real-life friend, Jessica.  She has recently been working on her blog, My Teacher's Name is Mama, and linking up here at Trivium Tuesdays!  Last week she linked up her post about December Toddler Homeschool.  If you didn't click over to her site last week, take a minute to go and introduce yourself!




Now onto this week's link-up!

Here are the rules:
  • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling (any age children).
  • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
  • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
  • Please place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
  • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.
  • Remember, everyone loves comments =) So don't be shy, and tell someone if you liked their post!

I reserve the right to remove any link-up that does not have to do with classical homeschooling.         If you are a regular here at Trivium Tuesdays and have something to share that is a little off topic, but still would be an encouragement to the readers here, please still share it =)  I'm referring to people who are just trying to get their blog more exposure without following the rules above.

I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)

Happy Linking!



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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What This Homeschool Mom Wants for Christmas


Kristen, over at Teaching Stars, is holding a really neat homeschool wishlist link-up called Dear Santa.  What is on your wishlist (related to homeschool!) this year?  Just write up a post about it and link it up to Dear Santa.  Then hop over and see what everyone else is wishing for!   Here's what I'm wishing for...

Ever since I got my hands on the Young Reader's curriculum from Heritage History, I've been debating in my head whether I want an e-reader or not.  I really don't love the idea of reading on-screen (though I know many of you do!) but it is definitely an easy solution.  I just can't convince myself that I want one badly enough to spend the money on it.

Then Kristen linked up a post to Trivium Tuesdays (a classical homeschooling link-up here at Living and Learning at Home!) about book-binding and I was hooked on the idea! 

Kristen has the book binder from Binding Books Beautifully.  It is a completely manual method that harkens back to the way books used to be bound.  I love it!  The only thing I do not like about this is having to make the covers (cover board with fabric).  If I'm missing something and there is another way to do a sturdy cover with this method, please let me know!

PhotobucketBut then I started thinking..."Is this the best way to bind books for my purposes?"  I want to balance cost, efficiency, longevity, and the ease of doing this.  Also, it has to be a machine that I won't tire of using.  Heritage History has hundreds of books just ready to be printed and bound (or read on your e-readers for you fancy folks ;) so I'm envisioning a bookshelf full of bound books for my family to read for many years to come.



Zutter Bind-It-All
So I started browsing on amazon.com and found this nifty gadget that seems to be marketed at scrapbookers, but the end result is the same as fancier book binders I've seen, so I don't see why it wouldn't work for me!  It is called the Zutter Bind-It-All.  It punches holes into papers and then fits them with an "O-wire."  I like that it looks like the puncher can go through chip-board to make the covers. The negative here is that you have to keep buying the O-wires to actually bind the book.  At about 37 cents a piece (when you buy in bulk), it's more expensive than the string used for manual binding, but it's really not that bad.



Carl Brands Spiral Binder
Another Heritage History fan, Jodi from Granola Mom 4God, uses a Comb Binding Machine to bind her books.  Her post, Binding Books: Why and How, is fantastic so check if out if you have any interest in this process! 

I like the way that Spiral Binding looks, but the machines are pretty pricy.  Would a cheap one like this Carl Brands one do the trick?

So many options!  If you have any experience with book binding PLEASE help me out!  Are any of these options worthwhile?   Do you have any favorite methods or machines that I didn't mention?  Are any of these specific machines terrible?  And most importantly, who's buying me a book binding machine for Christmas???  I'm really not picky.  I'd be more than happy with any of these!  =)

Remember to stop by Teaching Stars to find out what great items other homeschool moms are wishing for this Christmas!


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Monday, December 3, 2012

Trivium Tuesdays-Classical Link-Up #35

Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  If this is your first time here, this is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.

Don't forget to visit the All Things Classical Blog Post Index if you are trying to remember a post that someone linked up or are just looking for encouragement or help on a specific topic related to Classical homeschooling.  I have organized most of the posts that you have linked up here at Trivium Tuesdays so that you can easily find posts on the topic you are looking for.

This week I am featuring Silly Sentences Sight-Word Flashcards from Teaching Stars.  Kristen just always has such fun ways of teaching her girls in a hands-on way.  They always look like they are having such a great time learning!  If you have little ones who are learning to read (or about ready to start) read this post!  She gives so many great ideas for beginning readers!




Now onto this week's link-up!

Here are the rules:
  • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling (any age children).
  • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
  • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
  • Please place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
  • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.
  • Remember, everyone loves comments =) So don't be shy, and tell someone if you liked their post!

I reserve the right to remove any link-up that does not have to do with classical homeschooling.         If you are a regular here at Trivium Tuesdays and have something to share that is a little off topic, but still would be an encouragement to the readers here, please still share it =)  I'm referring to people who are just trying to get their blog more exposure without following the rules above.

I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)

Happy Linking!

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