Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Math: Life of Fred

Life of Fred (LOF) is a math program for elementary through college level mathematics.  Bella started working in it a few weeks ago and I am more and more amazed with every lesson that we read together. 


Let me start by saying that even if you don't homeschool you should get these books for you kids or even grandkids!  They are fun and easy use.

LOF is written in the form of a novel or a very simple picture book.  Each lesson starts with a story about Fred, a 5 year old professor of mathematics at KITTENS University.  Through Fred's adventures mathematical concepts are presented.  The books are non-consumable so you can use them with mulitple children or even use them again for review (as the other suggests.)

Let me show you what a lesson is like.  In the first lesson of Apples Fred wakes up early and there is a picture of a clock.  Fred talks about time and addition of numbers.  More advance math topics are also introduced such as 4y+3y=7y (by starting with 4 trees plus 3 trees is 7 trees!) At the end of each lesson is a section called "Your turn to play" aka exercises. There are only a few problems mostly ranging from 3-5 problems. On the next page are the answers as well as more information.  In the following lessons other subjects and topics are discussed too: science, number theory, days of the week, months of the year, weather, morals, organization, friendship, and more! 

There are10 books are the Elementary series, 3 books in the Intermidiate series, 5 books in the Pre-Algebra series, 4 books in the High School series (as well as answer keys and extra practice books), and 3 books in the College and University series (answer keys additional.)

The only thing that might be a problem with this series is the lack of drill for students that need it.  The author states that practicing of facts can be done through games and flashcards.  Some students need more practice then that but you can find simple books even at the dollar store to cover drill.

At first I was worried that Bella would not understand the material or be bored or that everything would go right over her head.  I am amazed every day how much she retains from the story we last read even if it had been a week since we did a lesson!  It is almost always the lesson she wants to do first when we start school!


*I was not paid for this review nor did I recieve my book as a gift.  I purchased the books for Bella's math curriculum and had to share how much we love them!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Chicken Divan

Gram's Chicken Divan - slightly altered

My Gram made her Chicken Divan for a banquet the other day and it was so good that I asked her for the recipe!  It turned out that she had already given it to me at Christmas time in a recipe box that she gave everyone!  I had to alter it a little as Bear can't eat soy.  Here it is!

  • White sauce or 2 10.5 oz cans of cream of chicken
  • 2 cups of cooked chicken or turkey
  • 20 oz of cooked broccoli
  • 1 cup of American cheese
  •  3/4 cup of mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt (to taste esp. if using white sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
Combine first 7 ingredients in a greased baking dish (you may mix it together first or layer it putting the white sauce and cheese on top.) In a separate bowl combine melted butter and bread crumbs to make topping (you can also use crushed potato chips instead.)  Sprinkle on top to cover.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the bread crumbs brown. Serve as is or on top of rice!

To make this dish soy free we used white sauce, canola based mayonnaise, and matzo bread crumbs.

Bear really liked it!  He kept saying I like broccoli!!!! Bella only had a bite but she was not hungry.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Science: Clouds

This week in science we studied clouds.  We read from Bella's science book, World God Created, about clouds.  We also had two library books that were about clouds.  They were a little long and wordy but she enjoyed them.

We made a craft of clouds with cotton balls.  Bella and I made different clouds by pulling the cotton balls apart and glued them on.  Then I wrote the names of each cloud and she traced them.

I went searching for a science experiment having to do with clouds.  Here is what I found on Ehow:

  • Clear glass
  • Metal tray
  • Ice cubes
  • Hot water (I think boiling works best)
Take the metal tray and and put the ice cubes on it to make the tray cold.  Put the hot water in a glass.  Give the water a swirl while putting the tray on top of the glass.   You may even have to swirl the glass with the tray on to improve the effect.  If you look close you can see that the steam from the water has started to form a cloud!  When you take off the tray you can see it rise!  Here is a video of us doing the experiment!!! (Excuse the messy table in the background!)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bella's Birthday Dress Part 2

It only took me two weeks but I finally got the buttons sewn onto Bella's birthday dress!!! (The pattern came from craftiness is not optional it was called The Anna Dress  She chose neon butterfly buttons.  I put three and I think it looks very cute!  I must say I HATE button holes!!!!  I would much rather do loops but I did the button holes and they came out fine. The dress was longer but I took up the hem 3-4 inches and I love the length now and Bella did not even complain!  Here are some pictures!!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Book Club Book: Persuasion

I am in a book club and week meet once a month on Friday's to discuss a book (and chat and chat and chat!)

This month we read Persuasion by Jane Austen (my book choice!) I started reading it on my Kindle (which I love) but decided I wanted the real thing.  I own a copy but the library has the cutest little copy of it so I borrowed it to finish the book. This copy is so small that it is smaller then a 4X6 card and only just over half an inch thick! I want the whole set in this printing!

 Persuasion (Collector's Library)

Here are a few quotes that I loved!

He had, in fact, though his sisters were now doing all they could for him, by calling him 'poor Richard,' been nothing better than a thickheaded, unfeeling, unprofitable Dick Musgrove, who had never done anything to entitle himself to more than the abbreviation of his name, living or dead.

... Captain Wentworth, withough saying a word, turned to her and quietly obliged her to be assisted into the carriage.

Yes; he had done it.  She was in the carriage, and felt he had placed her there, that his will and his hands had done it, that she owed it to his perception of her fatigue, and his resolution to give her rest.  She was very much affected by the view of his disposition towards her, which all these things made apparent.  This little circumstance seemed the completion of all that had gone before.  She understood him.  He could not forgive her, but he could not be unfeeling.  Though condemning her for the past and considering it with high and unjust resentment, though perfectly careless of her, and though becoming attached to another, still he could see her suffer, without the desire of giving her relief.  It was a remainder of former sentiment; it was an impulse of pure, though unacknowledged friendship; it was proof of his own warm and amiable heart, which she could not contemplate without emotions so compounded of pleasure and pain, that she knew not which prevailed.

He will sit poring over his book, and not know when a person speaks to him, or when one drops one's scissors, or anything happens.

"MY DEAR ANNE - I make no apology for my silence, because I know how little people think of letters in such a place as Bath.  You must be a great deal too happy to care for Uppercross, which, as you well know, affords little to write about.

And of course the love letter!!!

I can listen no longer in silence.  I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach.  You pierce my soul.  I am half agony, half hope.  Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever.  I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago.  Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death.  I have loved none but you.  Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant.  You alone have brought me to Bath.  For you alone, I think and plan.  Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes?  I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine.  I can hardly write.  I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me.  You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others.  Too good, too excellent creature!  You do us justice, indeed.  You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men.  Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating in...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Bella's Homeschool Curriculum Update

We homeschool and Bella started Kindergarten in the fall.  We have made lots of changes and used lots of thing so I thought I would share what we are using right now!

Language Arts
  • Lost of leveled readers and books from the library
  • Progressive Phonics - a free phonics program that can be printed, used on the computer or transferred to a tablet or smartphone that uses humor to engage the student.  Bella LOVES these stories and has been most receptive to this out of all the phonics programs we have tried.
  • Primary Phonics Readers by Educators Publishing Service
  • Hooked on Phonics - Only occasionally for the list practice when she need extra help and their books.  We got K-2 for $10 each at a local consignment shop.
  • Bob Books - Bella likes to read these on her own!  Most of the time she refuses to do independent reading so this has been a big help in that!  We borrow them from our library and she picks those out every time we go! These where a GREAT first book to help her feel proud of herself
  • Building Spelling Grade 1 - She is on list two and loves it.  It has encouraged her to try writing more on her own.
  • Handwriting With Out Tears - The only handwriting program that my daugther has not faught me on!
  • Life of Fred - We just got the first two elementary books and Bella LOVES them!  They are math lessons told through humorous stories. They do recommend that if your child needs the repetition you find a separate "drill" method for math facts which she needs but we have stuff to cover that.
  • Rod and Staff - We are using their blacklines for extra drill practice.
  • Flashcards - we need to do more flashcards practice!
  • My America and My world by Abeka - Just starting this.  It is a grade one History and Geography reader.
  • Non-fiction books from the libary
  • The World God Made - Science through Creation. Simple format with suggested actives in the lessons.
  • Non-fiction books from the library
  • My First Message - A devotional Bible for kids.  Bible has been the hardest subject for me to find what I want to use.  For now we are sticking with just the bible stories.
  • Will update with the title
  • We Sing
  • Lots of kids songs and rhymes sung throughout the day

Bear is doing Abeka's Nusery Crafts and their 2 year old books.  He has just started.  He is also doing some things from Tot's School.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Birthday Dress

Bella just turned 5 year old!!!! Among the long list of presents she has asked for she said she wanted a new dress.  As I love sewing I decided to make her one!  At first I was going to find a pattern at the fabric store but then decided that did not feel right.  I started searching some blogs and found a great pattern for a dress called "The Anna Dress" at Craftiness is not Optional!  I also decided that the dress was not going to be a surprise because I wanted it to fit Bella right.

I went to the Joann Fabrics and got this green fabric with white and pink flowers. (The picture is not quite as true a green as the dress is.)

Bella helped me draft the pattern and (when she was interested) handed me pins.  She also was my gopher as I kept having her go get things for me!

In the end the dress turned out way longer then I planned but Bella won't let me shorten it!  At least she loves it!  I did not have the buttons for the dress on her birthday so we turned the dress around and closed it up with a safety pin.  She picked out some buttons but I have not had the chance to sew those on the dress yet! We went to the butterfly museum and I took the following pictures while there. (The ribbon is a birthday girl pin not part of the dress!)

Here she is hoping a butterfly will land on her hand! (Shortly after this picture she became scared of butterflies and spent the rest of the time scared!)

I will post an update when we add the buttons!

About me and this blog


I created this blog as a way to share with the others all things I do as a mom and diversions from being a mom!  I like sewing, crafting, teaching my kids, reading, cooking, baking, shopping, watching TV and movies, walking, jogging and doing things with friends.

I have two children Bella and Bear! (Yes those are nicknames!) They are so much fun!  Most of the time!  They love arts and crafts, cooking, playing outside, and gymnastics! They are full of energy and keep me on my toes!

I am looking forward to sharing with you the projects I have been working on and the things the kids and I have been doing!

My first blog was to share a few events pertaining to my daugther.  My second blog was a sewing blog.  I have brought those posts over to join this blog!