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The Genial Hearth
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Archive for Home Education

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

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:-)

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.)

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.

Hit With a Revelation!

Puggle was sad last night, when he realised he didn’t know how to play ‘From the shores of Montezuma’ (The Marines’ Hymn) on the piano, one of our folksongs from last term. It proved very popular (well, after Grandad sang it:-) ).

This morning, I was looking for sheet music to simplify the process:-) (He’s playing around with the piano… he’s worked out how to play a variety of his recorder songs on it, but only looking at the right hand:-) ) My ear is not great, and I’d rather he had a good example to keep coming back to:-) I did my search, and what did I find (or rather, be reminded of)?

The composer was Jacques Offenbach. My kids love their Offenbach:-) We listened to a number of his pieces a couple of years ago (including the Can-Can:-) ), and they were a real hit. And I can guarantee that if any of his pieces come on the radio, my kids will dance in their seats (even though they haven’t heard who it is:-) )

It’s no wonder the song was so popular:-)

Taking Over the World

Puggle has had a plan for a while. He intends (with his friends, the oldest of whom is 8) to re-build the Roman Empire (he was very taken with our studies of Rome last year, Story of the World is wonderful:-) ).

Tonight, I asked him what he’d do when he had the Empire re-built. He told me, “Keep the Barbarians out, obviously… Of course, it might be rather hard, because it’s quite small.”

He then decided that it might be more sensible to take over the whole world. “But then people might try to kill me. I may need to ponder some more on this.”

(He’s also very taken with Asterix. He was asking earlier whether Julia Gillard would be carried around on a shield like Chief Vitalstatistix. When we said we didn’t really think so, he suggested Kevin Rudd probably would have… He seemed kind of disappointed that we didn’t think that was very likely either:-) )

ETA. Paddington has just told me the reason he intends to re-build the Roman Empire is so that Susan Wise Bauer [the author of the series] will write more books:-)

The Road to Gundagai

There’s sheet music and a collection of .mp3s here (although, it only seems to include the chorus… you can here the whole thing here and here.)

The Road To Gundagai
There’s a scene that lingers in my memory –
Of an old bush home and friends I long to see –
That’s why I am yearning
Just to be returning
Along the road to Gundagai –

There’s a track winding back
To an old-fashioned shack
Along the road to Gundagai –
Where the blue gums are growing
And the Murrumbidgee’s flowing
Beneath that sunny sky –
Where my daddy and mother
Are waiting for me
And the pals of my childhood
Once more I will see.
Then no more will I roam,
When I’m heading right for home
Along the road to Gundagai.

When I get back there I’ll be a kid again –
Oh! I’ll never have a thought of grief or pain –
Once more I’ll be playing
Where the gums are swaying
Along the road to Gundagai –

Tam Lin

You’ll find the sheet music, melody only here and the .mp3 here.

Tam Lin
O I forbid you, maidens a’
That wear gowd on your hair
To come or gae by Carterhaugh
For young Tam-lin is there.

There’s nane that gaes by Carterhaugh
But they leave him a wad;
Either their rings or green mantles
Or else their maidenhead.

Janet has kilted her green kirtle,
A little aboon her knee;
And she’s broded up her yellow hair
A little aboon her bree;
And she’s awa’ to Carterhaugh
As fast as she can hie.

When she cam to Carterhaugh
Tam-lin was at the well
And there she fand his steed standing
But away was himsel.

She had na’ pu’d a double rose
A rose but only tway,
Till up then started young Tam-a-lin,
Says, Lady, thou’s pu’ nae mae.

Why pu’s thou the rose, Janet
And breaks thou the wand?
Or why comes thou to Carterhaugh
Withoutten my command?

Carterhaugh it is my ain,
My daddie gave it me;
I’ll come and gang by Carterhaugh
And ask nae leave at thee.

Janet has kilted her green kirtle
A little aboon her knee,
And she has snooded her yellow hair,
A little aboon her bree,
And she is to her father’s ha
As fast as she can hie.

Four and twenty ladies fair
Were playing at the ba’
And out then cam the fair Janet,
Ance the flower amang them a’

Four and twenty ladies fair
Were playing at the chess,
And out then cam the fair Janet,
As green as onie glass.

The Marines’ Hymn

There’s a midi file and information here. There’s an .mp3 here, although it only has the first and second verses (and according to wikipedia, the last line of the first verse is wrong). There are many instrumental recordings with enough verses, but I haven’t found a vocal with all three. You can see sheet music here.

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli,
We will fight our country’s battles
In the air, on land and sea.
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean.
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.

Our flag’s unfurl’d to ev’ry breeze
From dawn to setting sun
We have fought in ev’ry clime and place
Where we could take a gun.
In the snow of far off northern lands,
And in sunny tropic scenes,
You will find us always on the job—
The United States Marines.

Here’s health to you and to our corps,
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we’ve fought for life,
And never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven’s scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.

Composer Study, Dorothea Term 2010

This term’s composer(s) are Edvard Grieg and Jean Sibelius.

I have made some playlists. Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 (weeks 1 and 2), Grieg’s other pieces and Sibelius’ Finlandia (weeks 3-9), and Sibelius’ Symphony 1 and 2—from which we’ll choose one (weeks 11-14).

There are child-sized biographies found at the Classics for Kids site (Grieg and Sibelius). There are podcasts (six minutes each) available covering Grieg, Peer Gynt (and associated worksheet), incidental music (including Peer Gynt), Scandanavian Composers (including both of them), and Halloween music (apparently includes Grieg, but I haven’t listened to it yet).

This is what I’ve found so far, but I’ll come back and add a couple more bits (I hope!) before the end of the term:-)

(Feel free to add any links you have in the comments!)

Copywork

I just wanted to put in a plug for the AOCopywork list. If you’re doing copywork, and are reading any of the Ambleside Online book suggestions, you’ll find copywork already selected (there may still be a couple of books not done). (You will need to join to be able to access the copywork.) There are generally a couple of possible examples from each chapter (the examples are selected within fairly strict parametres… so if you’re reading it at a different level to the AO suggestion, it may not be as helpful… but if you are, they should be an appropriate length, and use appropriate grammar and vocabulary).
I joined a couple of years ago, and selected copywork for a couple of books (Swallows and Amazons, and Anne of Green Gables), thinking it was a way of contributing back to the homeschooling community who had already provided me with much food for thought:-) But until now, I haven’t used any… But Puggle has reached the stage where he’s got a grip on his letters, and is ready for something a bit more meaty—and we’ve just finished ‘Little House in the Big Woods’ (and he’s loved it!) which is one of the Year One suggestions:-) A perfect match:-)

Classics for Kids

This is one of those sites that keeps turning up in my reading. And I keep clicking over, meaning to explore…

Well, today I did! And they have Composer biographies! (Hitting the main points, but not too long for my little kids, not going into details I don’t want to explain yet!) And little podcasts (6 minutes) on composer related topics! Of course, the topics are not on our current composer, but I’ve subscribed, and eventually, we’ll end up with something useful:-) And in the meantime, we can listen out of order:-)

There’s more to see, but it’s definitely worth a visit:-)

Singing Updated

I’ve just gone through the Songs We Sing page, and added in the last few (8? 9?) months worth of songs:-( That was a little overdue!

I’ve also retconned the list. We didn’t do Battle of the Boyne, because I could find nothing to help me learn it! So I’ve replaced it with The British Grenadiers (which is along a similar line, and a tune we already know!) I had in mind it was one of the Ambleside songs, so I was keen not to swap it out, but I was mistaken:-)

Paper Dolls

The new topic we’re doing for French is clothing. So I thought it would be a fun idea to find paper dolls for the kids to dress. Ideally, I wanted some they could colour themselves. I found I was rather overwhelmed with options! Eventually though, I found this collection which seemed to work:-) I collected them together on a couple of sheets, and we gave them to the kids.

They loved them! We were quite surprised at just how much they did:-) (I knew Puggle was looking forward to working with them, because we recently started reading Little House in the Big Woods, and in the chapter we read just recently, Ma Ingalls had made paper dolls for Laura and Mary. And Bilby too, just because of the doll aspect, I think.) The bigger kids kept working with them for most of the rest of the afternoon, and Puggle got them out again as soon as we got home:-) All together, they were a great success. I plan to print out some more blanks for them, just to have around:-)

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