inicio mail me! sindicaci;ón
The Genial Hearth
I’ve just put the kettle on, join me for a cuppa and a chat.

Quotes from Around Here

“I’ll have to practice my handstands, before I’ll be able to do my ram-jumping.”

Christmas Books

A Christmas Story by Brian Wildsmith is a pleasant (and visually appealing) retelling of the nativity story.
Under the Star by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Vlasta van Kampen is a Christmas counting book. This is well worth a repeat visit:-)

I don’t know that I’ll get the Story of Saint Nicholas by Mary Anne Kamols again, for a few years at least. Now that Puggle can read the last page for himself, I’d rather wait until he’s worked out the secret for himself (and by the time he has, I suspect we’ll have at least one more reader).

Glögg!

Welcome back!

It’s been a long time between drinks, as it were, but I’m back online again—ready to celebrate.
www.genialhearth.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/IMG_2565.jpg”>IMG_2565.JPG

This is the fruit (and some spices) that have been steeping in vodka to produce the spice infusion for this traditional Swedish Christmas drink. Of course the relative conditions are hardly typical of Sweden, so instead of warming red wine with sugar and adding this, I’m going to add a little maple syrup to the spice mix, and use as a cordial with chilled sparkling Shiraz:-)

God Jul! Shona Nollaig! Merry Christmas!

Geography: Format

First Monday: Location. (I’ve found a world map I’ll use, and just set him to find the country in the atlas, and identify it on the map)
First Tuesday: Flag.
First Wednesday: Language.
First Thursday: Animals.
First Friday: Music. (Folk songs/dancing)
Second Monday: Features. (Cities, Mountains, Rivers)
Second Tuesday: Famous People.
Second Wednesday: Language.
Second Thursday: Culture. (Currency, festivals, population, religion)
Second Friday: Art/Craft. (if there’s a related ‘My Family Feast’ episode, we’ll watch it)
Second Saturday: Food.

Books

Target for Hats!

I’m currently gearing up for the new school year… that’s pretty much occupying all my computer related time… But I’m hoping next week to return to more regular blogging—I miss it!

But, just because I had the same issue last year, it’s Target for hats (because I’m trying to avoid excessive branding, and I want hats with decent brims). But hats bought, socks bought, that’s all I’m doing for a schuletute this year:-)

Pile of Books

For a number of years, I’ve read of the idea of wrapping up a pile of Christmas books for Advent. This year, I realised we had enough books to do it ourselves!
Pile of Books

It occurred to me that I didn’t ever get to Cygnet’s Advent calendar last year. So last night, before hanging the others’, I did some work on his. I finished it today:-)
Advent Calendars

Preparing for French

prepping french
My task today was to prepare for French. We’ve been doing it with another family, but we haven’t returned to it since our trip. It was about time:-) Initially, we’ll re-do a number of activities (we’ll certainly re-do the topics!) So today, I simply had to print some sheets, find the animals, and print the words for a new carol:-)

Advent (December) Chain

I’ve been a bit hit and miss around here of late… I’m hoping that this next month will see me start to post more regularly again:-)

Anyway, I’ve just been prepping our Advent Chains, and thought I might as well upload the file here for other people to use:-) I print the first page on one colour, and the remaining two on another. Each child gets their own (I let them choose their favourite two colours), and they will make them over the next few days:-) (Depending on their age, I cut them with the paper trimmer.)

Enjoy!

Booko

It’s that time of year.
Time to start thinking about your books for the new school year, and for Christmas.
Two years ago, I discovered Book Depository—just after I’d ordered my books for the new year.
Last year, I discovered Booko—just after I’d done my book order for the year (although, given they didn’t include bookdepository.com, it wouldn’t have been as useful as it is now!)
I wonder what I’ll discover after I’ve done my orders this year?:-)

But Booko… what’s so good about it?

First of all, it’s Australian, so everything is in $A.
Secondly, they don’t actually sell books, they’re an aggregator. You put in the book you want, and it will find lots of places that sell it (all the big online places, but also Dymocks, Angus and Robertson, Big W, and some of the smaller online stores, Readings, Glee, Mosaic.)
Thirdly, it lists it’s availability in order of price—including shipping costs!
Fourthly, if you are looking for more than one book, you can put them all in your cart, and it will tell you the best place to buy the whole lot… still taking shipping into account!

And you can set up multiple carts, and make them public or not (so you can use them as wishlists…)

So, how do I use it?

I’m in the middle of doing my orders. I’ve made most of the decisions, but that this stage have only ordered the Anzac Day books (I figured the same ones were appropriate for Remembrance Day, so I ordered them for that). As I found books (either using name or ISBN, depending on whether I wanted a particular edition or not, usually though, I work on finding the edition I want first), I added them to a cart. Mostly, the best buy was seeming to be from bookdepository.com (as I’d expected), but when I started finding a number that were better from BetterWorld Books, I made a new cart (named appropriately, so I wouldn’t get confused!), and added them to that. I figure with the number I’m ordering, I’m happy to split it over two or three places.
Because the Anzac Day books are all Australian or New Zealand titles, they were unavailable from any of the big online stores. So I set up a cart for those (I didn’t give it a shop specific name though, because I wasn’t sure where I’d be ordering them).
Some of them ended up on multiple lists, because I had already added them to one when I realised it was worth making a new list. So it did mean I needed to be careful to go back and double check that I only had each book once!

You do then need to do another step of going to the specific sites and ordering the books. (If you only have one book in your cart, clicking on the shop link generally takes you to that book in that shop, so you just need to click order… but if you have multiple books it takes you to the homepage for the shop, and you need to go through and order each book separately. If you have a couple of tabs though, you can have booko in one, and the shop in the other and just click on each book in turn in booko which usually gives you the ISBN so you can search in the shop for it and press order. It is a little more work, but given how much it can save you, well worth it!)

(It’s also in beta for DVDs, although I haven’t found that quite as successful yet. The equivalent of ISBNs aren’t as widely used, so it’s harder to identify precisely what you’re after.)

Just My Type

We do copywork. I made the decision to teach cursive first (sadly after I had made my sandpaper letters and moveable alphabet:-( ) I’ve been making do with the typefaces that I have on my computer (I looked at the available copywork making pages online, but I’m not a fan of D’Nealian or Zaner-Bloser, and I’m fussy about the ‘arrangement’ on the page… at the stage Puggle is at, I want to be able to have each line of text followed by the lines for him to write on, rather than having a block of text at the top followed by the space for all his writing).
So, I decided I was going to have to do it all manually—set up the lines on the page, so I could just add the typing. But I figured if I was to be going to the effort of setting up the lines on the page, I should see if I could find a typeface that really suited me. (I had chosen Snell Roundhand, but the lowercase s was completely wrong!)
So I did a search. I found all sorts of scripts that were possible, then I found the ‘school’ category. And in there I found Écolier! It’s one of the French school scripts, and is closer than anything else to what I was looking for. And best of all? It comes in a set that includes the plain typeface, a dotted version, and two that have guide lines included! Now, I don’t have to fiddle with lines, I can just size the text appropriately for the child, put in blank lines where they need to be (which will have the guide lines included, at the appropriate size!) and then press print!
Beautiful copywork sheets with our current texts providing the words:-) Now I want to remake my sandpaper letters:-)

(Edited to add the site I used to find it, in particular the Script->School category. There are many font sites out there, so it’s worth trying a few. My only issue with what I have is that because it’s a free typeface, some things are unavailable. In the one we’re using, it’s quotation marks (although it does have apostrophes, so I’m using two of those), but in all the others, it also misses out ‘o’s. They do appear on the screen, but they don’t print. I am still trying to find a non-trial version, but it works well enough for now.)

Graphic Novels for Kids

Puggle loves Asterix:-) We have plans to start him on Tin Tin eventually. But I was really excited to read last year Melissa Wiley’s two posts from Comic-Con about Graphic Novels for kids:-) A discussion today reminded me to look them out, and I’m linking them here so I can find them more easily:-) She also posted about this year’s con here and here.

My Inspiration!

The Virtual Quilting Bee is getting closer to the end! I’m nearly the last to send my fabric!sept2010

I finally had it all packaged up in preparation for sending out, when after sealing all the envelopes, I realised I hadn’t actually included any information about why I chose it:-)

I used to do bellydancing. During that time, I fell in love with the Moorish aesthetic found in places like the Alhambra, and the wrought iron work of some of the room dividers (I was also teaching metalwork at the time… so the work involved was really obvious!), and henna.

The two fabrics remind me of those images. The brown one particularly calls to mind henna designs, as well as Alhambran arches. The floral is reminiscent of some of the room dividers (sadly, I can’t find any images of the ones that particularly struck me!)

(Not that you need feel obliged to use this information! But given I was attracted to them for a particular reason, I did want to share:-) )

How To Vote

For those who haven’t seen it elsewhere:-) I found this site really useful when preparing to vote in the upcoming Federal election.

It allows you to view the preferences parties have selected, or make your own personalised How-To-Vote card to take along with you.

Even better, it has links to each party’s website and their wikipedia page (or whatever page can be found for those not in a party). In WA, they covered every group, with the exception of one ungrouped candidate. Took a while to go through each of the links, but it’s a great resource for checking out all those little or similar named parties, to be sure you’re voting for!

Cygnet Chatter

He now has definite (and independently used) names for his siblings! He’s been wandering around the house, calling for Puggle (2 syllables, just missing the middle consonant… “EEh-un!”).

Choco-Hoto Pots

A number of years ago now, Paddington and I had finished watching whatever we were watching, and as we switched off the TV, we caught siight of Nigella Lawson on Oprah… making some dessert. We detoured a bit, and kept watching. It looked fabulous, so we then searched online until we found this, which seemed to be the right recipe. We decided pretty quickly, that the quantity was excessive. Every time we made it, people extolled its virtues—but could only stomach about half (I think one person in the first half dozen times managed to finish a whole serve:-) ). Since then, we’ve halved the quantity, and made it go further:-)

I haven’t made it in an age, but I took them tonight to our (homeschooling) ‘Mum’s Coffee’ (our monthly “professional development”:-) ). We did dinner, so I volunteered for dessert, so I could do these again:-)

Choco-Hoto Pots by Nigella Lawson
Serving Size: 4

butter, for ramekins
3/4 cup chocolate chips, dark
113 grams butter, unsalted
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar, caster
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips, white

Place baking sheet in an oven preheated to 200°C. Butter four 2⁄3-cup ramekins and set aside.
Using a microwave oven or double boiler, melt together the semisweet chocolate and the butter. Set aside to cool.
In a separate bowl, combine eggs, sugar and flour. Add cooled chocolate mixture, and mix until blended. Fold in white chocolate chips.
Divide mixture evenly among ramekins and place on baking sheet. Bake until tops are shiny and cracked and chocolate beneath is hot and gooey, about 20 minutes. (12 minutes for smaller serves.) Place each ramekin on a small plate with a teaspoon and serve, reminding children (and adults) that the ramekins and chocolate are hot.

Notes: A half quantity, divided into 4/5 is actually a workable serving.

Next entries »