03 July 2018

New Zealand Fungi and Mushrooms ~ Nature Study

Daisy and I happened upon this handy poisonous mushroom guide while trying to identify some of the mushrooms and fungi Daisy had been photographing.
Cup Fungi - April 2018
Nature study doesn't need to be drawing or painting based to be successful - photography works beautifully in our home.

22 June 2018

June catch up ~ Homeschooling Highschool with Daisy

It's been a while since we've given an update on the progress being made in our home educating, highschool, space.

Daisy is making steady and good progress in NCEA Maths.  The lack of clear,  in-depth instruction, and then the volume of work given to complete does not match up; it's often a case of trying to find clear instructions of how to work the maths equations elsewhere.  Khan Academy is often a sanity saver!

Digital Studies is the NCEA subject she finds the most enjoyable and has completed these, pre-set, assignments in lately: Design a greeting card - we did laugh over this one as she does much better card crafting by hand, not digitally - design an advertising poster for a bake sale, and, design a certificate.

English and Literature:
Leroy adores Daisy's prescribed, and free, reading time - a perfect chase to snuggle up beside a stationary lap.
Jane Eyre ~ Charlotte Bronte  (1847)  Classic/ British Literature  
(Essentials in Literature 10)
Daisy got so involved in this book, and even though she is familiar with the storyline she enjoyed the unabridged edition so much more.  

Anthem ~ Ayn Rand  (1937) Dystopian    (sensual content at the end. we skipped that portion) Daisy has read this but hasn't crafted a reader response yet  (NCEA Reading Response required).

Fahrenheit 451 ~ Ray Bradbury  (1953)  Dystopian   NCEA Reading Response completed.  
We need to wait until Daisy has completed all 6 of her reading response papers before she can submit them for marking.  Daisy's English teacher confirmed she has met the rubric for this paper.  I'm thankful that her experience with NCEA, so far, has been smoother than Jays - he ended up with 3 different teachers in one year, and each approached rubric requirements differently.  

The House on Mango Street ~ Sandra Cisneros (1984) (I haven't pre-read this one yet.  Daisy said this has some boy & girl tension in the book, with the boys aggressively pursuing girls)

Other Books:
Matilda Bone ~ Karen Cushman   1300’s  gritty content. Historical Fict
A Parcel of Patterns ~ Jill Paton Walsh   set in 1665   Historical Fict.  Not for Sensitive readers 
Night Witches ~ Kathryn Lasky    set in WWII   Historical Fict   This book has some swearing in it, no f-bombs though.

Free Reading:  
The Trial ~ Charlotte M. Yonge
Ember Rising ~ S.D. Smith
Under Drakes Flag ~ G.A. Henty (audio. Jim Weiss)
Sherlock Holmes  (collection of stories on audio)
Mildred and Elsie: Bk3 ~ Martha Finley
Mildred's Married Life: Bk4 ~ Martha Finley
Daisy ~ Susan Warner
Daisy in the Field ~ Susan Warner
Vanderbeekers of 141st Street ~ Karina Glaser (younger years book)
The Cat of Bubastes ~ G.A. Henty (audio. Jim Weiss)
Tom Brown's School Days ~ Thomas Hughes  (see my review here)

For science we are continuing on with our own interest led studies:  Practical application with raising and selling livestock.   Daisy can only have the number of cattle and sheep that our small lifestyle property, 12 acres, can support each season.  During summer we had too much grass due to too much rain,  and even with topping the paddocks Daisy needed to bring in more livestock to keep the paddocks down - we don't make hay - so Char and Coal, two young steers were added to her paddocks.
(L) Bach and Mocha (Frnt)
As we don't like to feed out to a large number of cattle during the winter months Daisy is getting ready to onsell some of the cattle - via a cattle broker - and yes, we will be 'harvesting' one beast and a few sheep. 
The lake Dn dug for the property attracts a variety of bird life and we enjoy finding newcomers, like the New Zealand, or sacred, Kingfisher, above.  Dn rescued it, dazed,  off the road where he thinks it may have been sideswiped by a vehicle.
Aluminium frames fitted in.
Daisy has a part-time job, and is helping with our family's house build - which keeps a good chunk of her daylight, after schooling hours , busy.
This week she got to assist with putting in the aluminium window frames - we joke that together she and I are nearly as strong as one weak builder  - it feels like a huge sense of achievement, to fit the window frames into the bedroom you're going to sleep in.

Daisy is working on crocheting Austin the Rhino out of the book Edward's Menagerie ~ Kerry Lloyd.  She's crocheting him in steel and cream, he looks adorable, I'll try to share a picture when he's completed.
Cardmaking is something Daisy continues to delight in doing, and it goes so well with audiobooks, lectures, sermons, or, music pieces she is wanting to listen to.   She's just made some really lovely engagement cards - which I won't share a picture of until the recipients have received them :)

12 June 2018

52 Books in 52 Weeks 2018 ~ Pt2

Part 2:  This post contains the books, #66 to #106, I’ve read or listened through in April and May 2018.

The number beside each book is my personal rating for the book, or audiobook, at the time of reading with the range being:
(1) = would not recommend,
(2) = some interesting aspects but not one of my recommended reads,
(3) = would recommend.
(4) = Really good, enjoyable, (or worthy) read, would definitely recommend
(5) = Excellent book, highly recommend

The next few are ongoing, sip, reads so I’m adding them here until they are finished:
A: How to Read Slowly  ~  James W. Shire (3)
B: How the Heather Looks ~ Joan Bodger    
C: The Christian Family ~ Larry Christenson (4)
D: Christian Living in the Home ~ Jay Adams (4) 
E:  The Invisible Child: On Reading and Writing Books for Children ~ Katherine Paterson

(As in previous posts, I haven't included the books I'm reading for my own extra-mural studies;  and,  the titles in green are ones I pre-read as possible reads for Daisy.  The numbers in blue, and location details are for a Brit Trip reading challenge I'm taking part in this year.)  
1:  KJV Life Application Study BibleThe Books of;  Psalms, Acts    (5+) the Bible linked is lovely to use!

66:  The Unknown Ajax ~ Georgette Heyer  (re-listen)  (3.5) Sussex/Yorkshire.  
A relaxing night time listen. I really appreciate the droll sense of humour Heyer has gifted Hugh with.

67:  Why Didn’t They Ask Evans ~ Agatha Christie (re-listen)  (2.5) Denbighshire, Wales / London.  Bobby and Frankie show shades of Bundle & Bill (Seven Dials) and Tommy & Tuppence.

68:  Sister Eve, Private Eye ~ Lynne Hinton  (e.book) (3)   USA   
I enjoyed the story about Eve, the murder mystery was a little weak -  definitely ranks as a bubblegum read. I don’t think I’ll be following the series any further
Extra content others may like to know too: I’m not sure how devout a nun Sister Eve is? (Her “calling to be a nun” crisis may be offence to Catholics?)  Drug taking. Adultery and divorce are prominent themes – Hinton shows the destructiveness both can bring. While two of the characters are involved in a homosexual relationship, the author does not detail any physical encounters.

69: The Labour of Hercules: Hercule Poirot ~ Agatha Christie  (2.5)  Berkshire/ “English village” / “Lyde Manor”/ “Mertonshire” / “Cranchester” / Devon / London

70:  Battles at Thrush Green: Bk4 ~ Miss Read  (3.5) Gloucestershire

71:  The Unexpected Guest ~ Agatha Christie  (4)   Wales

72:  The Valley of the Shadow: A Cornish Mystery Bk3 ~ Carola Dunn (4)  Cornwall

73:  Unashamed:  Rahab ~ Francine Rivers (5Bible-based fiction. Christian Fiction.  Favourite read this month!!

74:  The Richest Man in Babylon ~ George S. Clason (3.5) N/F  (audio) 
recommended read by Jay.  He’s so pleased I’ve finished a book he appreciates so much.

75:  Buried in the Country: Cornish Mystery Bk4 ~ Carola Dunn (4)    
Very easy listening. I do wish the key characters that “moved in” together had made a commitment via marriage first.  Buried in the Country covers a topic about South Africa, and African students studying in England, that I knew next to nothing about. 
(Wondering why the author needed to inject a homosexual relationship into the story – these men would have been scarcely tolerated, and imprisoned, during the era this story is set in.  That aspect detracted from the book for me.)
Others may like to know there is some cursing in each book, no f-bombs. Bigamous relationship.

76: A Circle of Quiet ~ Madeleine L'Engle  N/F   USA  epukapuka copy. (4.5https://tuesdaysviews.blogspot.co.nz/2018/04/a-circle-of-quiet-madeleine-lengle.html

77:  Miss Seeton Sings: Bk4 ~ Heron Carvic  (2London / Italy/ Switzerland/ Paris
78:  The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry ~ Rachel Joyce  (? )   Devon / Bristol / Glouchesterhire/ Derbyshire/ Burmingham/ London/ Derbyshire/ Leeds, Yorkshire? / South Yorkshire/ North Yorkshire/ Durham/ Northumberland
The book contains some pretty raw, gritty, life scenarios and choices – “social and relationship issues” - and, the swearing sinks into f-bombs, which was easier to skip in printed format.   I’m struggling to give this a rating as I can't say I liked this book - I don't – nor is it a book I would recommend to my IRL reading friends, yet it's one of those books I'm glad I read it, as it's very thought-provoking and I know will stay with me for a long time… whether I want it to or not ;) 

79:  The Gate Keeper  (Ian Rutledge #20) ~ Charles Todd  (4) Audio  London/ Suffolk /Surrey/ Essex

80:  Miss Silver Comes to Stay: Miss Silver Bk16 ~ Patricia Wentworth (4)  Nottinghamshire

81:  The Zookeeper’s Wife ~ Diane Ackerman  (4.5)   N/F  Biography WWII
Having initially seen the movie first – which was not a love match for me - I was a little resistant to reading the book.  I’m so pleased I did, the book is a gem! 
82:  While We’re Far Apart ~ Lynn Austin  (3.5) WWII USA-centric  
Happiness is something that comes from our own hearts, not other people.

83:  First Lady: The Life and Wars of Clementine Churchill ~ Sonia Purnell  (4.5) p.448 Isle of Wight/Oxfordshire/Norfolk/Surrey/Essex/London/Kent/ Buckinghamshire. 
84:  Three Men in a Boat ~ Jerome St. Jerome  (3) (Classic)  London/ Chesire/ Buckinghamshire/ Surrey/ Berkshire/ Dorset/ Oxfordshire
85:  Waves of Mercy ~ Lynn Austin (2.5) epukapuka. Netherlands / USA 1800’s  
If I had known this was the first in a serial I would not have started it – drawn out, serial formatted,  historical Christian romance is not a favourite genre for me to spend my reading time on.  The historical portion of the book was very interesting though.

86:  The Listerdale Mystery ~ Agatha Christie (audio) (3) The Listerdale Mystery = London / “Philomel Cottage” (wildcard) / The Girl in the Train = Merseyside,  Hampshire/ Surrey/ An “English Village”

87:  Racing the Devil: Ian Rutledge Bk19 ~ Charles Todd  (4(Eastbourne) East Sussex / Kent/ Surrey

88: The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding: Hercule Poirot.  BBC Radiodrama ~ Agatha Christie (3) (wild card “Kings Lacey”, England)

89:  The Foundling ~ Georgette Heyer (book & audio) (4)  “Sale Park” (wildcard) / London / /Hertfordshire/ Bedfordshire/ Lancashire / Buckinghamshire/ Somerset/ Gloucestershire
I started out with the audio narrated by Phyllida Nash then, as I had to wait somewhere for Dd, I switched to the book and speed read it which, unfortunately, does wreck the enjoyment factor even when it is a repeat read.

90:  A Fine Summer’s Day: Ian Rutledge Bk17 ~  Charles Todd  (3) London/ Kent/ Surrey/ Wiltshire/ Dorset /Cumbria /Yorkshire/ York/ Somerset/ Buckinghamshire/Devon/ “wildcard” = Beecham

91:  Hunting Shadows: Ian Rutledge Bk16 ~ Charles Todd  (3.5)  Cambridgeshire/ “Wriston” (wildcard) in the Fens/ Suffolk/ London

92:  The Case is Closed:  Miss Silver Bk2 ~ Patricia Wentworth (audio)  (4Bedfordshire

93:  Tom Brown’s School Days ~ Thomas Hughes   (book & audio) (5) (Children’s Classic) Warwickshire/  Oxfordshire/ Berkshire/ Wiltshire. 
The narrator, Jamie Parker made this an absolute joy to listen to.
If you find it hard to navigate through books that reflect a Victorian era, Christian-based worldview you may want to skip this one. 
94:  A Cold Treachery: Ian Rutledge Bk7 ~ Charles Todd  (4.5)    Cumbria   (Including a  sensitive-issue heads up: this story centres around the tragic shooting of a family, parents and their young daughter and newborn twins.  The oldest child, a son seems to have escaped being shot and the solving of the case brings to light the traumatic events surrounding the mass killing. )

95:  North and South ~ Elizabeth Gaskell (book & audio)  (5) (Classic) Manchester/ Cornwall/ London  http://tuesdaysviews.blogspot.com/2018/06/north-and-south-elizabeth-gaskell.html

96:  The Barefoot Investor: The Only Money Guide You'll Ever Need ~ Scott Pape (currently a 3)   N/F   The crude jokes and crass language on the audio got to me in the end. I don’t require modern slanged, potty-mouthed, sarcasm to keep me entertained, nor as an inducement to keep listening to a book on finance.  Humour can be witty without having to sink into crassness.  I might have to borrow a library copy so I can skip the “land-fill” and concentrate on the helpful financial suggestions – those portions of the book are very good.

97:  The Confession: Ian Rutledge Bk14 ~ Charles Todd  (3) epukapuka  Essex / Norfolk/ London/ Oxfordshire  The authors seem to drag this story out.  I think the story could have been told without a need to create pages to read.

98: The Silent Pool: Miss Silver Bk24 ~ Patricia Wentworth (audio)  (3) Herefordshire   Extra content others may like to know about:  Wentworth gifted the murderer with a borderline personality.  Adultery (emotional and physical). 

99:  A Death in the Dales: Kate Shackleton Bk7 ~ Frances Brody (audio)  (3) North Yorkshire      Content extra,  a violently abusive father forces his daughter to live as his incestuous “wife’.  (No graphic details, just the situation being discussed)
I wasn’t happy with the twist the author gave to Kate’s courtship.

100:  Death in the Stocks ~ Georgette Heyer (audio) (3) Buckinghamshire

101:  The Red Door: Inspector Rutledge Bk12 ~ Charles Todd  (3) (epukapuka)  
Lancashire/ Suffolk/  Essex/ London/ Lincolnshire/ Kent/ Durham/ Cambridgeshire/ Dorset/  Worcestershire/ Cheshire/ Hertfordshire

102:  False Colours ~ Georgette Heyer (audio) (3.5)   Sussex/ London    I really enjoy the story of the twins, but with each consecutive read I dislike their mama more and more.
103:  Elizabeth the Queen ~ Sally Bedell Smith (audio) (4)  (663pgs.  Chunkster)  N/F Biography  London/ Scotland/ Norfolk/ Berkshire   http://tuesdaysviews.blogspot.com/2018/06/elizabeth-queen-sally-bedell-smith.html

104:  A Red Boyhood: Growing Up Under Stalin ~ Anatole Konstantin  (3)  N/F (epukapuka)   though the writing quality is a little uneven the content was interesting enough to keep me reading.

105: The Toll-Gate ~ Georgette Heyer  (audio) (4.5) (repeat listen. A favourite Heyer story even though it’s more kissy/romance-y than many of her books)  Derbyshire

106:  The German Girl ~ Armando Lucas Correa (audio) (2.5) N/F  Biographical Fiction, parallel stories 1939 & 2014  http://tuesdaysviews.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-german-girl.html 

14 May 2018

My Blog's Name in Books

There is a book reader's meme that is doing the rounds just now.  It's about books so I'll play ;)
Here are the guidelines:
Spell out the name in your blog using words from the titles of books in your TBR/wishlist piles.
Which means that I haven't read these books so I am not sure of any content issues; or,  if I even like them.
I've purposely not used the same books for either of my blogs; and, yes, audiobooks and picture books do count as real books on this home educating blog (-:
More book titles can be viewed on my other blog, Tuesday's Views, which has its own post detailing My Blog's Name in Books.

Pop a link to your book post in the comments section, or if you don't have a blog feel free to join in by sharing your User Name in Books.  (Any excuse to share book suggestions ;-) )

How the Heather Looks 
Brother Francis: The Barefoot Saint of Assisi
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Torty and the Soldier: A Story of a True WWI Survivor (NZ Picture book)

Irena's Children: A True Story of Courage
Night Witches: A Novel of WWII  (teen)

Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust
The Invisible Child: On Reading and Writing Books For Children
To Destroy You is No Loss
Ember Rising: The Green Ember Bk3

28 April 2018

A Small Glimpse at a Homeschool Graduates Reading List

Sometimes when home educating students graduate that's the last we hear of them; well, not until they get engaged, or married, or having their first child :)
Jay is not doing any of those things ;0)    He is doing self-directed studies - no set university courses for him - and is studying diligently.  As a family, we are continuing to work on building our new home and that keeps us all busy outside of learning hours.
Home educating has definitely gifted Jay with the drive and passion to be a lifelong learner and it's encouraging to see him set up reading schedules, makes my planner's heart skip, and create course outlines and end goals.  I have to add though, that the 2 years we spent doing some schoolwork via Te Kura was not fun for him, or me.  It drains all the joy out of learning when you don't gel to the way lessons are being taught (not much teaching happens with Te Kura's course work) and the content is presented in the driest, dullest traditional schooling format.  So for others that feel like they are going through teeth pulling times with their highschool level students, be encouraged: most people work with much more enthusiasm over tasks that are centred around something they are keenly interested in.  It's where we are with Jay now.
Here is a small glimpse into the reading area of his self-directed studies.

Jay’s Reading list for 2018
Classic Literature
The Book of Proverbs (KJV: Life Application Bible)
The Art of War ~ Sun Tzu
The Prince ~ Niccolo Machiavelli
Communist Manifesto ~ Karl Marx
Books That Have Made History: Books That Can Change Your Life ~ TGC.   J. Rufus Fears (audio)

Communication / Literacy
Building a Better Vocabulary ~ TGC.  Kevin Flanigan   (audio)
Speed Reading for Dummies  ~ Richard Sutz

Business Biographies
Elon Musk  ~ Ashlee Vance
Hatching Twitter ~ Nick Bilton 
The Everything Store ~ Brad Stone

Business / Management/ Economics / Personal Finance
The Law of Success ~ Napoleon Hill
Think and Grow Rich ~ Napoleon Hill (audio)
Managing Oneself  ~ Peter F. Drucker
The New Case for Gold ~ James Rickards
How Google Works ~  Eric Schmidt
The Rise of the Robots ~ Martin Ford