08 July 2016

Purchasing Bargain Sells off Fishpond in NZ

Being able to procure good quality, economically priced, books is always a blessing.
A while back a friend put me on to the better priced and second hand sales books on Fishpond - for us to not only purchase good finds, but onsell our surplus items too.

The added bonus; postage is free.
If you search for an item, I'll select Writing With Skill, Level 2: Student Bk by Susan Wise Bauer, and toss this simple visual up to explain.  (Someone pointed out that you'd need to type in Susan Wise Bauer to pull up her listing on Fishpond.)

I've also noticed that items I've been looking for, and tucked away in my wishlist, start going down in price the longer they are on Fishpond - I think this may just be on the items that people box up and send into Fishpond to sell on their behalf  - which is a wonderful purchase for the buyer, and no doubt a loss to the seller.
ALL the items we've purchased off Fishpond, this way, have been very good quality... and I'm particular.

Happy browsing:  and no, I don't have affiliate links with Fishpond.

05 July 2016

Our Week Ahead ~ 04 July 2016 (WW 1 Pt2)

This week gifted us with having just passed the halfway mark in our learning year.  2016 is going so fast, too fast,  when I look at the academic things we are hoping to achieve before the end of the year.

I thought other mums educating highschoolers at around  NZ year 12 (U.S. Grade 11) might be interesting to take a peak at Jay's English line up for this week.  He doesn't find the Te Kura format very inspiring; however, he has a very supportive and vibrant English teacher there  and me breathing down his neck  encouraging him here at home, so between the two of us we are managing to make the tasks more palatable.  He is also using Essentials in Writing Level 12 as it helps to break up the pace and give Jay some one on one writing tuition.

One of the TWTM moms gave some succinct advise for students that are proposing to carry on with further studies after highschool:  ensure you are giving your highschool student regular practice, every week, at expressing their thoughts CLEARLY on paper (in various styles of essays, research papers, etc..).

Daisy (14yrs old)  is also using Matthew Stephen's Essentials in Writing, and, Essentials in Literature this year and  both courses are a really good fit for her.  In her spare time she's also decided to try her hand at writing a book.   I don't know what it's about and am not to read it until she's done.  (She's currently at the 3,000 (approx) word mark, so it could be a while before I get to see any of the typed progress. )

History & Geography  
2:  Bp Early Modern Times:   Ch: 18 Russian Rev,  WW1 pt2 p.259-272 
4:  ITTC: Joseph Conrad ~ Heart of Darkness (1899) p.303

Mapping:   B.P  Wk 18   Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

History, Literature, & Book Basket:
1: Book Basket:  
o            3:  Winston Churchill ~ Severance
  4:  Outliers ~ Gladwell         

2:  Audio’s this week: 
 Christian Lectures (sermons)

1:  Literature Study:  Propaganda:  The Jews are To Blame ~ Goebbels (essay).     Week 2 of 4    
2:  Work on Reader Response, for Te Kura,  to above essay.      Week 1 of 2
3:  Complete first draft  on Courage vs Bravery.       Week 2 of 3
4:  Send Business Communication Letters,  draft copies, to Te Kura teacher.  Work on any rewrites required.

History & Geography  
2:  Bp Early Modern Times:    Ch: 18 Russian Rev, WW1 pt2 p.259-272 
3:  Kingfisher Encyclopedia  p.390-391  (Battles of WW1  1914-1918)

Wk 18   Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Review:  Countries of the World  Quizz (Lizardpoint)

History, Literature, & Book Basket:
1: Book Basket:  
1:  Mother  ~  Norris  
2:  The Keeper of the Bees ~ Stratton-Porter WW1   
3:  Winston Churchill ~ Severance

Free Reading

2:  Audio’s this week:
Christian Lectures (sermons)  

04 July 2016

52 Books in 6 months (Jan to June) ~ 2016

I usually publish one of these posts at the end of each year, but as we're only partway through 2016 and I'm already at the 52 books 'read' mark, I figured I would just post this now.
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 (or worthy) read, would definitely recommend
(5) = Excellent book, highly recommend

The next few were sip reads, from last year, so I added them here:
A: Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens ~ Debra Bell (3)   
Some good things here but, but much of the advice was either American-eccentric (grades/transcripts/ how to work towards getting into college) or just not relevant for our own family's, customised, NZ based homeschooling journey.  This could be a good read for NZer's using something like ACE (?)
B: Teaching from a State of Rest ~ Sarah Mackenzie (4++  completed.   Encouraging read. Totally recommend.)

(As in previous years, I won't include the books I'm reading for my own extra-mural studies;  and,  the titles in green are ones I've pre-read as possible reads for the children.)  
  1. The King James Bible: The Books of;   Luke,  Ephesians, Corinthians   (5+)
  2. Mrs. McGinty's Dead ~ Agatha Christie (content issues, not handing to Daisy) (2)
  3. The Clocks ~ Agatha Christie (3) 
  4. Murder on the Links ~ Agatha Christie (3)  (okay for Daisy)
  5. Hallowe'en Party ~ Agatha Christie (1)     meh!  A birth father plans to sacrifice his daughter.
  6. Lord Edgware Dies ~ Agatha Christie (3) (content issues. Not for Daisy.)
  7. Sparkling Cyanide ~ Agatha Christie  (3)  (okay for Daisy)
  8. Murder is Easy ~ Christie (2)  (psychotic killer.  Not for Daisy)
  9. Miss Marple's Final Cases ~ Agatha Christie, BBC dramatised  (2)
  10. Fallen into the Pit ~ Ellis Peters   (3)   (not for sensitive readers)
  11. The Chimes ~ Charles Dickens (1)
  12. Artists in Crime ~ Ngaio Marsh   (-)   (content issues!!!  However, I want the children to study the beautiful 'artistic' prose in the first chapter.  They won't be reading the rest of the book.)
  13. A Surfeit of Lampreys ~ Ngaio March  (3+) content issue with the way the victim was murdered.  Jay is reading this as part of his 'golden era' mystery writer study.)
  14. The Great Escape ~ Paul Brickhill (WWII)  (4)  (profanity in the later half of the book)
  15. The Land ~ Mildred D. Taylor (3+) 
  16. Glimpses of the Truth: The Wycliffe Translation ~ Jack Cavanaugh (-)  dropped
  17. Weapons of Mass Instruction ~ John Holt (4) 
  18. Bake ~ Allyson Gofton (4)
  19. The Boy on the Wooden Box ~ Leyson (4)
  20. Outliers: The Story of Success ~ Malcolm Gladwell  (3)
  21. Agatha Christie at Home ~ Hilary Macaskill (2)
  22. Brave New World ~ Huxley (1)                     (loaded with s3xual content issues, including interaction amongst children- very Freudian.   Ends with a drug induced mass or.gy and a suicide.  This is not a book I'd want to just hand to my teens.   We are more than able to - and do, have - discussed any of the issues detailed in this book.  We won't be scheduling this book as a high school read.) 
  23. 1984 ~ Orwell (1)                        (I found 1984 a disturbing read.    Too many content issues to be used as a reader for our teens;  some profanity,  and detailing physical relationship problems, and s3xual pleasures Winston embarks on.  Includes sadistic torture and a seriously depressing!! ending.   I loathe books with those sort of endings.  Not recommending this as a read to those in my immediate circle.   Grinning ....  I think I must be one of the few people in the universe to have taken a serious dislike this book.  )
  24. Fahrenheit 451 ~ Bradbury (3)  this makes for tame reading after the 2 books above, still contains content issues others may wish to know about, which are implied , rather than exemplified - woman tries to commit suicide, dysfunctional marriage, totalitarian state which murders people, protagonist uses a fire torch on his work colleagues - but!  the story ends with hope!  We selected this as one of the dystopian reads for Jay.)
  25. How to Read Slowly ~ James W. Shire   (it's become a sip read.  I  prefer this title over How to Read A Book ~ Adler, any day.)
  26. The Giver ~ Lois Lowry (3)  lent itself to indepth conversation
  27. Gathering Blue ~ Lowry (-2)  The series really starts to take of with 'mystical/inner spiritual powers' in this book.  I had Daisy read and discuss this series with me.  
  28. Messenger ~ Lowry (2) 
  29. Son ~ Lowry (2)   ends quickly with  quite a few questions about characters/communities in the other books unanswered.
  30. Cat Amongst the Pigeons ~ Christie    (a repeat listen.  okay for Daisy)
  31. Spiders Web ~ Christie   (a repeat listen. not for Daisy)
  32. Journey to Munich ~ Winspear (audiobook)  (2)   (content issues for me.  The author has the main character discussing past "lovers" like favoured clothes once had and then discarded :-/  )
  33. To Kill a Mockingbird ~ Lee (4) 
  34. A Doll's House ~ Isben  (1) feministic.  Isben was definitely successful in creating self-centred, shallow characters that the audience will dislike.  The main character, a mother,  abandons her children to go and "find" herself   ... with the excuse that once she finds herself she'll be a better mother.  Ends in a suicide.
  35. False Witness ~ Randy Singer (2)
  36. The Great Gatsby ~ Fitzgerald (3) hedonistic, non-religious life style.  Adultery, greed, murder.  Jazz era.  Good book for discussion about what the meaning of success and happiness really is.  We've chosen to edit out the sensual 'romance' portions before handing to our children:   our children, our choice.
  37. There's a Sheep in My Bathtub ~ Hogan (3)
  38. Honey for a Woman's Heart ~ Hunt (3+)  
  39. Own Your Life ~ Sally Clarkson (4++)   I really appreciated this book, definitely rates as literary balm for the 'soul'.  Christian content.
  40. The Nickle-plated Beauty ~ Beatty (family read aloud)  (4-)
  41. Why Shoot a Butler ~ Heyer (3)  (not for Dasiy)
  42. The Reluctant Widow ~ Heyer (3+) (historical mystery.  okay for Daisy)
  43. Tramp for the Lord ~ Ten Boom (3++)
  44. Alas, Babylon ~ Pat Frank (3++)   edited out the sensual/s3xual portions
  45. The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax ~ Dorothy Gilman (3++)  (1: One of the Foreign characters says, "What the h3ll?: a bit.  2: Another lives her life by personality driven astrology (star signs).  3: There is a clairvoyant gypsy reading palms et..   No s3xual/sensuality based encounters, or obscene profanities.)
  46. Night ~ Elie Wiese  (4) Some content issues. Sober, emotive,  heart rending read
  47. The Elusive Mrs. Polifax ~ Gilman  (4-) 
  48. Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station (3+) (includes buddist teachings, and, a physic)
  49. The Secret School ~ Avi   ( 3)  (A story Daisy thought made okay reading, so I went through it too☺)
  50. Duplicate Death ~ Heyer (3+)  (not for Daisy)
  51. The Dragonfly Pool ~ Eva Ibbotson  (3++)   (recommended by Allie and Elise)
  52. The Lifegiving Home ~ Sally & Sarah Clarkson (4)

20 June 2016

Our Week Ahead ~ 20 June 2016 ( World War I pt 1)

This is a no frills post, just copying and pasting portions of what we'll read together as a family,  and Daisy's history and literature line-up .
We're about to start our last 'official' home educating study of World War 1 and we're wanting to inject a decent focus on New Zealand and Australian soldiers and nurses - especially since we have 'family' that served, and died, during that war.  I'm not listing everything that we're using.

All:  Luke 13+

Classics of British Literature Lecture  
3:  Poetry Study:  TGC : Classics of British Literature ~ L44:  Great War, Great Poetry

4:  Short Stories:   Katherine Mansfield  (NZ author)
The Doll's House  (1922)
5:  Dvd:   ANZAC's 

History & Geography  
1:  Story of New Zealand ~ Basset
o   Ch:14  The Growth of a Nation p.150-160

2:  Bp Early Modern Times:      
o   Ch: 17 WW1  pt1 p.250-257a 
3:  Kingfisher Encyclopedia
o   p.388-389  (Start of WW1  1914)

o   Biblioplan  Wk 17    WW1
o   Review:  Countries of the World  Quizz (Lizardpoint)

History, Literature, & Book Basket:
1: Book Basket:
o   1:  Corrie Ten Boom  ~  Benge (missionary)
o   2:  The Keeper of the Bees ~ Stratton-Porter (WWI)
Nice Day for a War by Matt Elliott
o   3:  Nice Day for a War ~ Slane  (1914-18) N.Z  (site)  

2:  Audio’s in June:
The Harvester ~ Stratton-Porter
I am David ~ Holm

13 June 2016

Our Week Ahead ~ 13 June 2016 (Recent Book finds for Daisy)

 A week or so back I posted about praying to find some extra reading for Daisy and we're being blessed with more books and audio titles happening into our space.  So thankful!
(Others looking for books suggestions do look in the comments section on this post;  Allie & her daughter, Elise, kindly ♥ typed up some of their favourite books.)

On a recent trip to Palmerston North we found:
Eight of the Betsy-Tacy books   We've read the first two during our earlier years using Sonlight's readers.
A Season of Gifts ~ Richard Peck
Cyrano ~ Geraldine McCaughrean     easy reading
A Little Bush Maid (bk 1) ~ Mary Grant Bruce
From Billabong to London (bk 4)  ~ Bruce 

Other books:

Code Talker ~ Joseph Bruchac     Recommended by some Sonlight forum moms.

Mother ~ Kathleen Norris

Small Acts of Amazing Courage ~ Whelan     recommended by Allie

Mary Emma and Company ~ Moody  (Daisy's just completed this and really enjoyed it)

The Harvester ~ Stratton-Porter

I'll only list the history topics we are reading about, along with any new reads in the book baskets, otherwise the Our Week Ahead portion of my posts can get a little long.

Our Week Ahead
Jay and Daisy are both reading Biblioplan's history text and ITTC.
With English writing and lit, Jay is about to start working on a Reading Response to Goebbel's essay (propaganda) The Jews Are to Blame, and has nearly completing a Te Kura booklet on Business Communications.

All:  Luke 13+

History & Geography
Hymn:  Nearer, Still Nearer  ~ Leila N. Morris (Then Sings My Soul Bk 2 ~ Morgan p.237)     
Artist:   Mary Cassatt

1:  Read Alouds:   
o   Winston Churchill ~ Severance (1847-1965) U.K
o   A Season of Gifts ~ Peck

3:  Poetry Study:  TGC ~ L44:  Great War, Great Poetry

History & Geography  
2:  Bp Early Modern Times:  Ch: 16 p.230-235a,  237b-238a
3:  Kingfisher Encyclopedia:  p.386-387  (World at A Glance 1914-49)
4:  ITTC: The Makers of The Modern World  p.295 - 298

Review:  Countries of the World  Quizz (Lizardpoint)

History, Literature, & Book Basket:
1: Book Basket:
1:  Corrie Ten Boom  ~  Benge
2:  The Keeper of the Bees ~ Stratton-Porter

2:  Audio’s in June:
The Harvester ~ Stratton-Porter
I am David ~ Holm
Mary Emma and Company ~ Moody (completed)

02 June 2016

Random Pet Post ~ June 2016

This post will only interest pet loving people
Hatched December 2015
 From a cute ball of yellow fluff , above, to well grown, in just 4 months
These Royal Palm Turkeys do create chaos in our back yard ;-p
Notice the pure white one to the left, extreme rear, we're not sure what breed she is.
 Count the Cats
This one is for Tracy :-D   
Lady Penelope, aka Penny, (tabby marked burmese) and Chess (seal point burmese) often snuggle (??) up this way.  Penny is rather Garfield-ish, and it amazes us how Chess just carries on sleeping when she flops down on top of him