Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Classical Music on the Web

Here are some great sites you can use when you are studying classical music, or you just want some music for your mp3 player!

One of the best is Classic Cat. It is a frequently updated database with links to other websites where the MP3's are stored. Look up a composers name, and you will find all the works that are available for download. Then there is free music from the US Air Force Bands here. They have a lot of great marches and patriotic songs, classical, jazz, and ceremonial music.

If you need some help teaching your classical music units, turn to Classics for Kids. You can read and listen to stories about the composers, and hear streaming audio of some of their great works. Dallas Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony have good websites with games and activities for kids.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bubby's Birthday Cake

Here is little Bubby's cake for his second birthday. He loves Thomas. I don't know if he has ever watched the entire show, but he loves the songs and dances to them. He always recognizes Thomas and gets excited if he sees pictures at the store, so I knew we needed a Thomas the Tank Engine cake.

I used a 13 x 9 cake for the base, and the Wilton Choo Choo Train pan for Thomas. This train is not really meant to be Thomas, so I had to modify it a bit. I was happy with the way it turned out. I decorated the train separately, and it was on it's own cake board, which was larger than the base of the train. I covered the cake board up with stars, and it ended up looking nice, sort of like the train was up on a little platform.

If I was doing it over again, I would make the face first. I did it last on this cake, and it was much harder, because I was so afraid I was going to mess up the rest of the cake.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Writing Assignment Ideas

Here are some writing prompts that I came up with for those days when the kids need a break from the ordinary copywork, dictation, penmanship workbooks, etc. I tried to come up with things that were fun, matched their interests, and would inspire them, rather than just being another assignment.

Feel free to use this list for your own school, but you'll probably want to tweak it for your own kids and their interests:

Writing List
  • A letter to Grandma
  • A letter to ________(favorite relative's name)
  • A letter to Grandpa
  • A letter to ________(a friend)
  • A letter to Mama
  • A letter to Daddy
  • Something you dreamed
  • Write about a movie you like
  • Write about a TV show you like
  • What would be a good TV show
  • Write a Bible story that you heard
  • Tell about somewhere you went
  • Tell about somewhere you want to go
  • Story in which someone learns something important
  • Story in which someone learns something silly
  • Story in which someone helps a friend
  • Story about finding a surprise
  • Story about planning a party
  • Story about doing something kind
  • Story about kids making something
  • Story about a pony
  • Story about a stuffed animal that comes to life
  • Story about a TV character
  • Story about _______(name of sibling)
I also had to write a second little list. Sometimes kids want to write a letter, then they don't know what to say.

Things that can go in a letter
  • Tell something you like about the person
  • Tell a story that happened this week
  • What is ________ (your sibling) doing right now?
  • Tell about something you had for a snack or dinner
  • Tell about something that is outside
  • Draw a picture and tell what it is
  • Tell about something that is your favorite _____ (book, food, tv show, etc)

Week 11 - Review

Our week has been very similar to last week.

Bible: We are still in 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, and Isaiah.
History: We are reading our George Washington biography.
Readers: Peanut finished the book A Llama in the Family, and began A Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla. She really enjoyed the first book, but the second has not grown on her yet. Our strategy is that I read the first chapter to her, which helps her to get a feel for the book. Then she's on her own for the most part.
Junior read The 18 Penny Goose. This was a good book. It had a girl as the main character, and sometimes he does not like a "girl" book. However, this one was not really girly. And it was based on a true story.
For an extra read-aloud, Peanut and I are reading Black Beauty. Junior and Dad are reading an old Hardy Boys book. I don't really keep up with which one they are on, but this is an enjoyable part of the day. We usually do it before bed, and that feels like you are getting to stay up a bit later!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tot School: Bath

Tot SchoolGo here for my Weblink Wednesday post.

This was birthday week for Bubby, who turned two, and I guess I won't call him Baby Bubby anymore. He IS my baby, but he's getting to be such a little kid, I know he doesn't think of himself as a baby. *sniff, sniff*

I was busy, and didn't get a lot of school-y pictures, but I caught a couple, so I will share them. He gets a kick out of playing with this water toy. We got it from Discovery Toys, but that was years ago for the older kids, so I think they must not have it anymore. It is really fun, and we have gotten a lot of play out of it.

I'm finding that the hour that the big kids are in band is a great time for Bubby and I to hit the library. Here, he has found a puzzle to play with. It is fun to watch him as he figures out a new puzzle, you can just see the little wheels turning in there!

If you want to see his cake that I made, see this post.

For more Tot School, visit 1+1+1=1, and say a little prayer for them, as their family is needing a special touch from God.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Podcasts for teachers

As a homeschooling mom and a Sunday School teacher, Karyn Henley resources have been very helpful to me.

The other day I visited her website, and she is offering free podcasts of her ChildTalk seminars. Each podcast is about 25 minutes long, and they are divided into categories. The original seminar handouts are included on the website.

I have listened to four of them so far. They are very helpful, and full of practical information that you can use this week. She goes developmentally through the different ages, and includes faith development. I believe they are geared toward teachers, but they would be very helpful for parents as well.

For more Web-link Wednesday, visit Homeschooling With Encouragement.