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The Genial Hearth
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Archive for November, 2010

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.)