Sunday, May 31, 2009

American Music

American music can trace it's roots from two distinctly American styles; blues and gospel music. I think that as Americans we should take time to familiarize our children with these two genres and their importance in the world of music. Charlotte Mason advocated teaching children folk music and this is the music of the folk of this country.

I am a big fan of early American country music which developed from gospel and was influenced by blues and the music of Irish and Welsh immigrants. I have found a wonderful set on youtube to teach specifically about this form of music. The set is comprised of clips from a BBC documentary, The History of Country Music. I recommend you look for this or borrow it from your library. It is excellent. If you would like to learn more about this style, check the links below.

Monday, May 25, 2009

What About Preschool?

I am in the minority in our country when it comes to preschool. I think that preschool as an institution is not necessary for the average child. We seem to have developed a national mindset that if children don't attend preschool they are destined to a life of failure. Many of my reasons for believing this is not true are here.

" As stated on "Children learn mainly through play, interaction with caring adults, lots of conversation, reading, and exposure to the bounty of life." This seems so simple that I think many parents wanting the best for their children and feeling inadequate to provide them, dismiss these things. I am often asked "what curriculum should I use for preschool?" To help in providing the recommendations just stated and to give you some ideas, let me make some suggestions.

Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready has a lot of great activities. It's just a book that is very inexpensive with activities I believe for every day of the year arranged by age. Simple, but fun and effective.

Letter of the Week is a free online curriculum that I used with my daughter. It is intended to be used in one year. This is a unit study with several subjects being taught around one theme, in this case a letter. Each week a particular letter is explored through music, poems and rhymes, books, snacks, character traits, math, science, social studies, art, games and field trips. And did I say it's free?

Another unit study curriculum that is very popular is Before Five in a Row. Although I have never used this, I have read the curriculum and used the book lists as a resource for good books to read to my children. That is the beauty of this curriculum to me, the wealth of really great books to introduce your children too. Reading to your children at an early age is a wonderful experience of closeness for you and them. Being read to at an early age is also one of the predictors of successful readers. And I'm happy to report that at 8 and 10 my children are both excellent and avid readers!

I have also used Learning At Home , a complete curriculum for preschool and kindergarten. This is a very full curriculum and probably much more than is necessary. If you feel it's too much you can adjust this as necessary. Ann Ward, the author of this curriculum, also has a book for second grade and a book called Learning the Classics at Home about teaching literature.
Most of all, don't believe that you can't teach your own child. Who taught them to eat with a spoon? Use the toilet? Tie their shoes? With the help of good tools you CAN teach your child.

We Remember

Leavenworth National Cemetery

It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

General George S. Patton

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Free Audio: Foxe's Book of Martyrs has a great free download this month. Check it out!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Free Homeschool Magazine Issue

I ran across this announcement that I thought you'd be interested in. Mark your calendars!

Did you know that, while many birds build the typical cup-shaped nest on top of a tree branch, other birds build and use a wide variety of nests, from hanging baskets to rock shelves to holes in trees and even a 50-foot wide 15-foot deep compost pile with carefully regulated warm temperatures? Come explore this fascinating topic in our latest issue of Creative Homeschooled Kids Magazine, now available on the newstand! With its focus on Nature (a unit study in every issue), Art (a full art course throughout the year) and Bible, this multilevel bimonthly magazine is sure to keep your children's learning interest going strong.How do you get a FREE full-color issue? Keep reading...

Don't miss our special 10-page section in this issue on celebrating Mother's Day, with ideas on how to celebrate the day and to love Mom in practical ways all year, along with a card-making activity and a Mother's Day story! We're excited to announce that on Friday, May 8, this current issue of Creative Homeschooled Kids Magazine will be FREE to all who visit! So mark your calendar and take the opportunity to download this issue FREE, and tell your homeschooling friends and family so they can get their free copy, too. (This is part of CurrClick's Mother's Day Giveaway, with 4-5 free products on their site every day for seven days from May 6 - 8th and May 11th - 14th.) Be sure to take advantage of this giveaway (May 8), and of 10% off ALL of our products during the Spring Back from Recession Sale (May 1-15).


James & Joy Marie Dunlap

LightHome Publications

The Homemaking Cottage Winner!

I'm really sorry that I didn't get out the winner to the Homemaking Cottage Giveway. My sister in law gave birth to a baby boy and the week was taken up with driving to see him and visiting. A baby is born only once after all!

Without further ado, the winner is Molly! I used a very precise scientific method of eenie-meenie-miney-moe to come up with a winner. I know you'd expect nothing less than careful science from me!!!