August 26, 2011

Life of Fred: Butterflies

Life of Fred is the new buzz in all my homeschool circles. I took a look at them when I went to my local homeschool store.

Life of Fred is...interesting. The story line is so "out there" that it really does capture the mind of my most imaginative, math-lovin' kid.

The homeschool store was all sold out of the first Life of Fred book: Apples. So we started with what they had: Butterflies. So far I don't think it's mattered too much.

It reminds me a bit of our "hippie unschooling" days. It's learning all wrapped up in a fun make believe story.

Here are some of the lessons from the book:

One Yard = 3 Feet
Numbers that Add to 9
Counting by twos
Reading 5:10 on a Clock
Facts about Butterflies
Chrysalis vs. Cocoon
Parentheses and Brackets
Christina Rossetti
Sheet Music for “But Not Alone”
Domenico Fetti’s Archimedes Thoughtful
Exclamation Points
Bad Things about Sugar
One Good Thing about Sugar
Marvin Stone’s Invention of the Paper Straw 1888
Orion’s Belt
Why Not Every Three Stars Can Make a Triangle
Reading 5:55 on a Clock
Book Signings
Why You Can Not Walk In a Room
Deliberate vs. Inadvertent
How to Say Toenail in German
Ordinal Numbers
Half Past Six
A Nebula is Not a Star
Light Years
The Alphabet Game
A Dozen
P.M. (post meridiem)
Sheet Music for “The Crash of the Bell Tower”
Quotation Marks inside of Quotation Marks
A Baker’s Dozen
Spine of a Book
Lie vs. Lay
Whole Numbers
Cardinal Numbers
Trillion, Quadrillion and Quintillion
States that Begin with the Letter M

Saying Thank You
Virgil’s Aeneid
History of Pizza
How to Set a Table.

So far we are on chapter 5. I think we will definitely continue on with the next book, "Life of Fred: Cats."


August 22, 2011

New Family Member

We still have a lot to learn about caring for our bearded dragon. He is definitely the most unusual pet we've ever kept.

He's getting used to us.


August 20, 2011

Lemonade Freedom Day

How American can you get than a child's Lemonade stand? It's right up there with apple pie and watermelon.

August 20th was dubbed Lemonade Freedom Day. People across the country took part in the nationwide protest. Sadly many were arrested or tagged with enormous fines for operating a food service business without a permit, license, and proper insurance. 

Participating in free and voluntary trade with willing participants is not a crime.

Forbes Article: Lemonade Freedom Day

Lemonade Freedom Day Blog

I love my small "Mayberry Town". The cops honked and waved. No one approached them or made them "cease and desist." I only wish more people also patronized their small business.

The kids had some good clean fun and learned the timeless lessons in marketing, economy, supply and demand, and that dirty word: entrepreneurship.


August 16, 2011

The Help

Some friends and I started a book club this summer. One of the first books we read was The Help.

The book was written from three perspectives. Skeeter is a recent college graduate who starts to question her way of life and people around her. Aibeleen is a maid who takes care of the white children of her employers. She loves them but moves on when the children start to tell the difference in skin color. She's soft spoken but not easily trampled on. Then there is Minny. She doesn't take any "crap" from her employers and doesn't mind telling them where to go. She isn't afraid of much and speaks her mind freely.

I loved each character and thought the story-line was great. Some argued that this book made light of the Civil Rights movement. I disagree. I think it is a good look at what some of these women would have said of their employers if they had an outlet such as the writing of The Help provided them. It centered around the injustice and mistreatment of these woman who raised the white children of the South as well as their own. There was a lot of good stuff that happened in that era. There were a lot of loving relationships, including the love of a child for the nanny that raised her.

Our whole group loved the book and anticipated the movie release.

This was one of those rare instances where I loved the movie just as much as I loved the book.


August 11, 2011

North Carolina Sunrise


5am Adventures

It's the middle of August and time to see the Perseids. Because the moon is also nearly full, visibility is best just before dawn in the northeastern sky.

The kids woke me up at 4:30 am to get ready. We hopped into the car to head out away from city lights. However, we were disappointed by the intense cloud cover.

Our trip was not completely bust. We decided to head to the wildlife viewing area to watch the sunrise and "see what we could see." We were not disappointed.

The weather was cool and breezy. I brought along plenty of coffee. We are going to be okay here.

A blue heron stopped by to check us out. He watched us for quite a while.

Calvin spotted this very cool beaver dam. No sign of any resident beavers though. I think they must not be early risers.

The sunrise was full of spectacular color. Every time we looked up, the sky was different.

We spent a very relaxing morning spying on nature at the crack of dawn.


August 9, 2011

Broken Electronics Playground

My 12 year old stereo went kaput. Rather than just toss it, I gave it to the boys. They took it apart, played with the circuit boards, and stripped the wires. Total destruction = every boy's dream.


August 8, 2011

First Day of School

It's that time of year again.

Everyone is excited. New subjects, new supplies, new books, Krispy Kreme and chocolate milk for our kick off breakfast. Life is good.


August 1, 2011

Summer Mondays

Most of our Mondays were filled with friends, swimming, library trips, and Sonic Happy Hour treats. What better way to beat the heat?!