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Happy Birthday, M.K. Rawlings

August 8

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896-1953).  the celebrated American author of The Yearling, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939. (edelweiss)

Although The Yearling is the most common of Rawlings work among home education curriculum sites, according to the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Society, Rawlings lead an interesting life in which she developed into her writing.

“It is so easy for me to live their life with them, that I am in some danger of losing all sophistication and perspective. I feel hurried sometimes, as though I must get `written out’ in this country within the next few years, because so much is no longer strange or unusual to me” (45). In this statement she is showing the strong empathy she developed for her Cracker friends which she would eventually convey to her fictional characters. Her vision would culminate in The Yearling, which powerfully evokes the scrub life she lived with the Fiddias and other scrub friends, including Cal Long and Barney Dillard, who taught her how to hunt and fish, identify plants and animals, and survive in the wild. In the 1930s and early 1940s, Rawlings would make use of this material and write her famous Cross Creek-area works Golden Apples (1935) and Cross Creek (1942) and her big scrub novels, South Moon Under (1933) and The Yearling (1938), the last of which won her the 1939 Pulitzer Prize and fans worldwide.  ~ Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Society

The Yearling

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Recommended Reading Level:  RA: 3-A R: 6-A

Parent/Teacher: Advisory/Discussion Level

Recommended Curriculum/Literature Guides:

  • Veritas Press: Sixth Grade Literature
  • Ambleside Online: Year Pre-7
  • Total Language Plus: Study Guide Grades 8, 9, 10

Personal Notes:  I am intrigued by Rawlings history in Florida, and the writings that came from it.  Unfortunately, not many of these are considered Juvenile Fiction or Young Adult Fiction.  I recommend reading Cross Creek or The Sojourner to review their suitability.  There are a variety of Short Stories, Poetry and Letters if you would like to learn more about Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.

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Happy Birthday, Odie!

August 8

And just for fun, we’d like to wish Odie a happy birthday!

Odie first appeared in the strip on August 8, 1978; the date is considered his birthday. He was originally a pet to Jon Arbuckle‘s roommate Lyman, but Lyman disappeared from the series after about five years.~ Wikipedia

Have a great day!

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Happy Birthday, Betsy Byars

August 7

Betsy Byars (1928-? )  Well loved children’s author who wrote many family themed books. “Making up stories and characters is so interesting that I’m never bored. Each book has been a different writing experience. It takes me about a year to write a book, but I spend another year thinking about it, polishing it, and making improvements. I always put something of myself into my books — something that happened to me. Once a wanderer came by my house and showed me how to brush my teeth with a cherry twig; that went in The House of Wings.” copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved. (edelweiss.com)

Betsy Byars is a Newbery Medal winner and a National Book Award winner. Her books have appeared on the best books lists of the American Library Association, School Library Journal, and American Bookseller, among others. (amazon.com)

Multiple Biographies – LibraryPoint   Autobiography

Many of Betsy Byars’ titles have been in print for some time.  I recommend searching through her Author page on your favorite book/ebook site.  See below for just a handful of Byars’ books, great for the whole family.  RA: K-A  R: 3-6

Tornado is included within the Sonlight Grade 3 Readers list, and Heart of Dakota’s Emerging Reader Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory and Bigger Hearts for His Glory.

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Happy Birthday, Barbara Cooney!

August 6

photo found on pinterest

Barbara Cooney (1917-2000) was a renowned children’s book author and illustrator who published more than 100 books. Born in Brooklyn, NY, she lived much of her life in Maine and focused often on the culture and landscape of that state, and her artistic style portrayed a rural New England full of peaceful tranquility. A two-time winner of the Caldecott Medal, she was the recipient of countless other honors and distinctions, and was declared a “Living Treasure of the State of Maine” in 1996. She once said, “Of all the books I have done, Miss Rumphius, Island Boy, and Hattie and the Wild Waves are the closest to my heart. These three are as near as I will ever come to an autobiography.” (edelweiss.com)

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Notes: Cooney’s illustrations became an integral part of telling the story in classic children’s picture books.  Folktales and fables, and few original works by Barbara Cooney create an extensive read-aloud, reading library for any family.  RA: K-A  R: K-A

  • Miss Rumphius (written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney) AmblesideOnline Aux
  • Island Boy (written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney) AmblesideOnline Aux
  • Eleanor (written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney)
  • Roxaboxen (illustrated by Barbara Cooney) Five In a Row: Volume 4 Literature
  • Chaucer’s Chanticleer and the Fox (illustrated by Barbara Cooney) AmblesideOnline Yr 2; Veritas Press: Easy History Readers 4th grade
  • Ox-Cart Man (illustrated by Barbara Cooney) AmblesideOnline Yr 0

 

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Columbus Set Sail on this day in 1492

August 3

Columbus set sail from Spain on this day in history in search of a direct western route to Asia.  Between what he did and did not accomplish, Christopher Columbus’ exploration is the stuff from which legends are made.

Although Columbus Day is in October (see my post) for when he landed in the Bahamas, there are many ways in which to study Columbus’ voyage to the Americas.  I love this statement about not “realizing the great scope of what he did achieve.”  I think when we look back and attempt to identify what we accomplished, maybe our legacy is not what we realize.

 

During his lifetime, Columbus led a total of four expeditions to the New World, discovering various Caribbean islands, the Gulf of Mexico, and the South and Central American mainland, but never accomplished his original goal—a western ocean route to the great cities of Asia. Columbus died in Spain in 1506 without realizing the great scope of what he did achieve: He had discovered for Europe the New World, whose riches over the next century would help make Spain the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth.  ~  Read more from the History Channel

Activities, curriculum and books, oh my!

A quick search on Amazon or B&N will provide a variety of sources for discovering the Explorers, and especially Christopher Columbus.

If you are looking for something fun for today, for ages 5-13, I recommend A Journey Through Learning’s Christopher Columbus Express (lapbook), which can be downloaded from CurrClick.  A general search on CurrClick will produce a variety of downloadables and original text books, like Christopher Columbus’ Journal from Brandenburg Studies (FREE).

Many of these books should be available at your local library.  You can do a search from home on worldcat.org to see if those books are located near you.

Recommended Historical Fiction

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Holling C. Holling

In honor of Holling C. Holling’s birthday today, I wanted to share a great curriculum and the books!  It’s my “What would you recommend?” post and the new “Once Upon a Time” birthday posts all rolled into one!  So Happy Birthday, Holling!

August 2

Holling C. Holling (1900-1973) – Born in Jackson County, Michigan, in 1900, Holling Clancy Holling graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1923. He then worked in a taxidermy department of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and spent time working in anthropology under Dr. Ralph Linton. During this period, he married Lucille Webster and within a year of their marriage accepted a position as art instructor on the first University World Cruise, sponsored by New York University. For many years, Holling C. Holling dedicated much of his time and interest to making books for children. Much of the material he used was known to him first hand, and his wife, Lucille, worked with him on many of the illustrations.(edelweiss.com)

RA: K-A R: 2-A 

I was first introduced to the Holling books with Paddle-to-the-Sea.  Then another homeschool mom told me about Beautiful Feet’s Geography: A Literature Approach.  The format is perfect for studying each book individually, but using the geography maps and activities to demonstrate how they all work together to illustrate American history.  The curriculum is recommended for Intermediate grades 4-6.  The curriculum and readings can be completed across multiple grade levels as read-alouds, then assigning additional reading and map work for older grades.

Recommendations:

  • Shop Local! – As a bookstore manager myself, I highly recommend shopping your local homeschool resource store. They work really hard to be there for their homeschool families year round! (Help us update our Store Locator with your favorite store! Fill out a Contact Us form!)
  • Shop HER Distribution!  Paddle-to-the-Sea  Seabird  Minn of the Mississippi  Tree in the Trail
  • Shop the publishers directly! Beautiful Feet Books (#affiliate) Publishers and authors work hard to create great educational content.  Support them directly by shopping on their sites.
  • For the out-of-print, hard to find, and random pieces of the recommended resources, I’m including Amazon pictures and links. By clicking links into Amazon Marketplace, I do earn a small commission based on your purchase. It doesn’t change the listed price, it just supports my glorious book addiction.
  • Local Library: utilize your local library and inter-library loan for the hard to find, out of print books.  Also, many books can be used in place of others based on their subject.

And don’t forget to have fun with it!  Enjoy!

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Happy Birthday, Herman Melville!

August 1

Herman Melville (1819-1891), born August 1, found early success with stories inspired by his adventures in the South Seas. His fortunes declined with the 1851 publication of Moby-Dick, now recognized as a masterpiece but scorned by Melville’s contemporaries. The author was obliged to work as a New York City customs inspector and died in obscurity, three decades before the critical reassessment of his work. (Edelweiss.com)  In addition, Melville published additional works of poetry; his first on the Civil War, Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War.

 

(click image to see more information) 

Recommended Reading Level: R: Grades 9+ RA: Grades 8+ For younger ages, try the Dover Thrift Edition.

Parent/Teacher: Advisory/Discussion Level

Recommended Curriculum/Literature Guides:

  • Sonlight: American Literature Core 400
  • Veritas Press: Omnibus VI 1st Semester Primary Reading
  • Ambleside Online: Year 10
  • Literature Guide: Sparknotes available

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From Sea to Shining Sea: Children’s Activity Book Ages 5-8

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"She was capable of suffering... that was the price of sentience." - Stephen Baxter, Proxima

From Sea to Shining Sea: Children's Activity Book Ages 5-8

Author: Peter Marshall, David Manuel, Joan M. Schmidt
Pages: 72
Category: Coloring books
Publisher: Revell
Subject: American History
Publication Date: 1996

Purchase this title at:

Description
Five- to eight-year olds will experience history in the making as they travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific with circuit riding preachers, explorers Lewis and Clark, and Indian guide Sacagawea. Along the way, theyll feel the winds of revival, ride the currents on the wide Missouri, and jostle over troubled trails with covered wagon trains. Pencils, crayons, and active imaginations will turn these games, mazes, puzzles, and pictures into a window on Gods grand design for the land of the free.
Notes
Coloring book for children ages 5-8. Great activities while reading the history. The histories come in both Adult and Children versions. They are great read alouds.
*Baker Publishing was the original publisher, but I am unable to find it in NEW print. The third-party (#ad) links may be the only options at this time. I will update if I find differently.
May also be available at your local homeschool store.
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Information on Speech and Debate

via Speech and Debate for High School | texashach4homeschool

Wanted to share information on Speech and Debate.  You can see my entire post by clicking the link above.

Many times I get asked what is required for High School.  If your child/student is in 8th or 9th grade, you want to have a general idea of what they want to do.  Will they go to college?  Into what interest/degree area are they leaning?  Do they have a college they want to go to?  Are they interested in Dual Credit college courses?

study.groups.tips_.from_.college.studentsAll of these answers are important so that you can plan their High School education.  In general, the state education agency has a list of required classes needed for graduation.  The state may also have a list of requirements for homeschool families.  Once you have a list of these courses, you can start to investigate your student’s college and major interests, and their corresponding degree plans.  For example, my son is interested in a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics at University of Texas at Dallas.  In order to plan his dual credit courses at the community college, I printed the required courses for the degree plan.  Believe it or not, English credit was not required.  So I can plan to have him complete his last credit (of 4 total) of English either at home or through the college.

One credit that is required for High School is a semester credit of Speech.  For UT-D, they require a Rhetoric credit, which appears to be a step above a Speech credit.  As my son is not a confident public speaker, I have been researching options for completing this credit at home or through co-op.  If you have a student that might excel in this area, you may be interested in Speech and Debate clubs.

To help with this topic, there is a great article through Great Homeschool Conventions on the 8 Benefits of Speech and Debate/Why Speech and Debate by Suzanne in 2015.

  1.  If you would like to complete a Speech curriculum at home, I recommend starting with Rick Green‘s Power of Purposeful Communication.  You can get the Combo Pack as well which includes his Living with Purpose. (I do not receive any commission for this recommendation.)
  2. Check your local homeschool group for Speech co-op classes and/or clubs.  In North Texas, we have DFW Speech and Debate that offers Summer Camps and Clubs It is important to investigate what is available in your area, as they have early registration deadlines in order to participate in the next year.
  3. In addition, the NMA (the Leadership Development Organization) produces a Leadership Speech Contest every year with monetary prizes.  The NMA has local Chapters and Councils that can assist you in getting connected.  They have their local contests in early Spring, so usually deadlines to participate are in January or early February.  Winners can then go on to compete nationally, fully supported by the NMA.  In North Texas, you can e-mail our local contacts: Jean Christopher or the Nokia Speech Contest Chair Peter Burns.
  4. Check out your local homeschool convention (This Crazy Homeschool Life 2018 List).  Many times, they have a Leadership or Speech and Debate group for the weekend that works with high school students.  It’s a great opportunity to discover talents and skills, as well as looking great on the high school resume!
  5. As mentioned above, registering for the Speech course through the local community college, is a great way to get High School and College credit simultaneously.

Sound Speech Student Text

I would like to recommend Bob Jones Sound Speech.  This text has been successfully used in our co-op for a Speech class.  They currently do not have it available on a streaming class.

A Beka Books also has a Speech for Today (Amazon Associate link to used titles) course that is available on their streaming list.

 

 

If you have suggestions for Speech and Debate opportunities, please feel free make recommendations in the Comments section.  Thanks so much!

 

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Columbus Day

It’s Columbus Day!

Are you excited?  Or are you uninspired?  Did it sneak up on you, and now you wonder what can you possibly do at this point?  Well, I’ve gathered together a few books we have on hand at the CERC Bookstore, and a few more quick and easy resources.  Your local homeschool bookstore and/or library should have some of these books on-hand.

Depending on your current homeschool history curriculum, you can choose how in-depth you wish to tackle the subject of Christopher Columbus and the Exploration of the New World.

Resources

Many of the books and resources I will be listing come from Nothing New Press’ All through the Ages: History through Literature Guide by Christine Miller.  For today’s purposes, I will share a couple of recommended titles, but you can check out this great resource on the Nothing New Press site for future studies. ($30.95 paperback; $20.95 ebook).

  • Ship by David Macaulay (RA/IR: all ages K+) – You can not go wrong with David Macaulay books.
  • Voyages of Columbus by John D. Clare (RA: K+; IR: 6th+) – Living History book.  Well written.  Great Series.
  • Christopher Columbus by Stephen Krensky (Step into Reading Step 2 Gr. 1-3)
  • Pedro’s Journal by Pam Conrad (RA: K+; IR: 4th+) – Loved this as a read aloud.
  • I, Columbus: My Journal by Connie Roop (RA: K+; IR: 3rd+) – Easy read with pictures.
  • A Book of Discovery by M.B. Synge (Yesterday’s Classics)(IR: 7th+) – check your local homeschool bookstore.
CurrClick
*affiliate link – Columbus Day

If you are a first time visitor, you are about to find out that one of my favorite sites for a quick and easy Unit Study is CurrClick.com.  You can type in any subject or idea, and there is at least one resource or unit study available to download and print.  For today’s purposes, you can find multiple resources for “Columbus Day” or “Columbus”.  They have resources and crafts for all ages.

  • History Pockets: Explorers of North America from Evan-Moor (EMC 3708) is a fun project based resource if you want to spend more time on Explorers.  Graded for 4-6th, it’s a great hands-on supplement to any text on Explorers, while providing educational text which can stand alone.  You can find this resource at most teacher or homeschool stores, as well as in whole or in part at CurrClick.com.
  • Notebooking Nook – great printables.  Love their images – you will find Columbus Day in their October Notebook.
  • M.K. Harllee produces a variety of materials.
  • Hands of a Child produces a variety of materials for LapBooks – recommend for 4th+.

Additional Texts:

  • Exploration of North America Coloring Book from Dover
  • Explorers Who Got Lost by Diane Dreher
  • The World of Columbus and Sons by Genevieve Foster

As always, have some fun!  There can be joy in the learning!

  • Shop Local! – As a bookstore manager myself, I highly recommend shopping your local homeschool resource store.  They work really hard to be there for their homeschool families year round!  (our Store Locator List is growing – if your local homeschool bookstore is not listed here, please recommend them!)
  • For quick access for Columbus Day, check out your Local Library!
  • Shop the publishers directly!
  • For the out-of-print, and hard to find pieces, I’m including Amazon pictures and linksBy clicking links into Amazon Marketplace, I do earn a small commission based on your purchase.  It doesn’t change the listed price, it just supports my glorious book addiction.