Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday's Five

It is 8:30 pm and I decided that I skipped last week and I really shouldn't do the same this week. This week's topic will be 5 random things.

1. I discovered a new and so easy brownie recipe. I made a pan, posted on Facebook, a friend wanted me to share the recipe, and instead I shared some brownies. I love having friends so close. I then had to make another pan as I am to take them to Away Day.

2. I am working on a 2,000 piece puzzle. I have never done one that big. It doesn't even fit on my table. I am slowly making progress.

3. We had snow flurries today and a few other times this week. Crazy weather.

4. This past week we learned to play Ticket to Ride. That might become my new favourite game.

5. I love getting up in the morning and seeing the sun shining. I am enjoying our long days. The sun rises at 5:35 and sets at 8:33.

Well, that is my five random things for this week. Now I need to get ready for tomorrow.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Dear Self,

A letter written to myself in 10 years.

Dear Beth,

Ten years have past where are you living now? When I was 40, I was in Asia and never dreamed of living in the USA for five years and then moving in England. So I wonder where I will be living in 10 years. I thin the more important question is not where I will be living but how I will be living. So keep living for the Lord, loving him and serving him.

My children will be 21 and 25. We will have made it through the teen years. I wonder what they will be doing, where they will be. My desire is that most of all they will know that God loves them and know God's grace.

With the children older I hope that means that my husband and I will have time to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee together and talk, explore a new place, or wander through a museum. Maybe we will read all those books that we have dreamed or reading. Most of all I hope we still laugh together, share our thoughts, and love each other more than we do today.

I will be 60 and getting close to retirement. My 50 year old self still doesn't feel 50 so thinking about being 60 is just causing me not know what to say. (pause) So at that age it will be a time of figuring finances towards retirement or whatever God has for us. I think the real thing for me to know at 60 is that I can still trust the Lord.

I have been young, and now am old,
yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
or his children begging for bread.
Psalm 37:25

Ten years seems like a long time. Each of those years is made of seasons and seasons of months and months of days and days of hours and hours of minutes and minutes of seconds so in the seconds of life, I want to be living for the Lord, loving the Lord and those around me, and trusting the Lord. I do think age has given experiences which allow me to see God and know him more so my desire is that in the next ten years I will know God more.

Life is exciting and an adventure. Enjoy each day. 


So what would you write to yourself in ten years? 

This was inspired by The Circle Linkup from In His Time.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

British History - Shelf of Resources

I love history. I think at one time I even considered majoring in that at university. History is a big part of our learning. Over the past few years I have collected a few books on British history. Now we are using them as we study British history together.

I will share some of the books that are on my shelves and how I am using these.

British History by James P. Sobaugh - This is a High School Level curriculum but I felt that it wasn't enough for high school credit. It has short sections to read, a page or at the most 3 and an essay question. J is answering the essay questions but I am giving him some additional work. I am using this book as my guide but have added more reading to it.

Kingfisher Encyclopaedia of British History -- This is available as one volume or small books for various time periods. This is easy reading with lots of pictures and illustrations.

Oxford History of Britain and Ireland - This is a bit deeper of a book compared to Kingfisher. I have assigned some readings from here.

Britannia is a book just full os various stories. It is in chronological order.

2000 Years of Christian Faith in Britain - This is a book that I recently purchased. We have just read a bit in this book.

Our Island Story - I have that on my Kindle but I have been reading bits of that.

I also have British Literature by James Stobaugh and my plan is to add some of that to our learning as we go through the various time periods. We have just gotten to the Anglo-Saxons today so we will add that. My thought is to be able to give credit for both British Literature and British History.

Those are the major resources that I am using. I have a few other books on the shelves that I reference and some that we will read as we go through history.

I am teaching this at a high school level and yet working to keep Miss K interested. I will say she is still talking about Boudicca so I do know that she is listening and learning.

Some of the things that I have added to this to give it a bit more learning and assignments are maps, timeline, important people, readings, and a few tests as well as the essay questions. I will also add some of the assignments from British Literature.

Map - each week we have traced one map corresponding to what we are studying that week. So the first week we did a map during Roman time. This will be a graded assignment.

Timeline - we are creating a timeline and just adding details as we are going through. This will also be a graded assignment.

Additional Readings - I have assigned J some additional readings. These are just to give him additional learning and to prepare him for further courses and reading assignments. These are not graded.

Important People - As we go through our course, we are creating cards of various important people that we are learning about. This is graded and will be graded based on variety of people, neatness, and number of cards.

Essay questions - James Stobough's book has essay questions. These are just short questions about a paragraph. I think it is good to do these questions but I feel that just grading on essay alone is not enough.

Tests - There are tests with the James Stobough curriculum but again these are all essay. I also feel that there are bits missing so I will be writing my own tests. Miss K wants a test so I will have to give her one.

I feel that with the additional projects and assignments that this is a well-rounded course that will help us to understand British history.

We have covered Pre-historic and Roman history. I will share a bit more specifics on those times.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Literary Inspiration

What inspires a writer? What gives the mental picture for a writer? In 1845 Charlotte Bronte stayed in Hathersage. Two years later the novel Jane Eyre was published. It is believed that North Lees Hall was the inspiration for Thornfield Hall. It is known that Charlotte visited this two or three times while she was in Hathersage. North Lees Hall was built around 1410 by Robert Eyre.

This weekend marks the 200 anniversary of Charlotte Bronte's birth. In celebration North Lees Hall was open for a few hours Saturday and Sunday. A friend and I went this afternoon. We have walked in that area before and see it from a distance.

The house was smaller than I thought. I imagined a large grand house but that is not the case. It  has been used as a holiday house for the past few years. There were just three bedrooms, a sitting room, dining room, and kitchen.

I think the steps might have been original. The circular staircase goes all the way up to the roof.

The view is amazing. I live in the most beautiful part of England.

Throughout the house there are bits of things referenced in Jane Eyre. Now I want to sit and read Jane Eyre again.

It was a fun afternoon and I am glad that we were able to go and visit the inside.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Two Years Ago

Two yeas ago we packed all our suitcases and a few extra boxes to be shipped. Two years ago the kids and I left Seattle flying all the way to England. Two years ago we arrived in England to begin our ministry here.

In the past two years I have learned so many things.

1. I have learned that just because it is raining it doesn't mean you need to bring in the laundry because by the time you have it down it will stop raining.

2. I have learned to make a cup of tea with milk for friends, for the piano teacher, and for all kinds of occasions. I have learned to drink a cup of tea with a bit of milk. My drink of choice is still coffee.

3. I have learned that coins have value and you can use them for parking, groceries, bus fare, and even a handful can be used to pay Brownie subs. I am sure the leader loved have £5 in coins but that is what I had. There are eight coins in use and they are used versus the four coins that are used in the US.

4. I have learned what swede is, have eaten it, bought it, and even cooked with it.

5. I have learned the many uses of the word pop. I"" will pop down to the shops and buy some milk. "Pop a signature on this document and we will be finished." "Pop in if you have any questions." "I will pop you on hold."

6. I have learned to drive on the other side of the road. I took driving lessons and passed the test.

7. I check the diary to see if I have anything on that day and then mark it in my diary.

8. I have learned that I wear trousers.

9. I have learned to shorten words. That is brill or fab. I wonder if the subs I pay for Brownies are subscriptions. Subs were due this week for Brownies.

10. I have added some new cookbooks to my shelves -- Mary Berry, Delia, and Jamie Oliver.

11. I have learned to go outside and enjoy the sun while it is shining.

12. I have learned that the best place to be is exactly where God wants you even thought at times it might be difficult. I am thankful for the past two years of being here where God has led and provided for us.

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A+ Interactive Math - TOS Review

Math has been a struggle for Miss K. If you have read my blog for long,  you will know of various things we have used and tried and there are still struggles. I was excited to have an opportunity to try the Math Mini-Courses from A+ Interactive Math.

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}

A+ Interactive Math is a multi-sensory interactive math curriculum. The goal is to help students improve their grades. The lessons include visual, voice, and text-based instructions. They offer complete program for math grades but one of the new things that they offer is Mini-Courses.

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}

We reviewed the Mini-Courses, which focus on a specific aspect of math. These courses are not as long but give a great opportunity to see how your child responds to this type of learning or allows the student to focus on some specific areas that need help and improvement. Some of the Mini-Courses include the following topics:

  • Elementary Fractions
  • Counting and Identifying Numbers
  • Place Value and Number Combinations
  • Naming, Comparing, and Arranging Numbers
  • Early Elementary Addition
  • Early Elementary Subtraction
  • Elementary and Middle School Multiplication
  • Elementary and Middle School Division
  • Tables, Charts, and Graphs
  • and more

The Mini-Courses have between 10 to 35 lessons.

For this review I selected two Mini-Courses that I thought would be areas that would help Miss K. I selected Place Value and Number Combinations and Early Elementary Addition. I was not sure that Miss K completely understood place value and I know that addition needs more work. That is evident when I asked her what 10 + 10 equals and she told me 11.

I found it easy to set up the account. There is a parent account and a student account. The work is all done on the student account.

We did math four times a week. There is a short video and then some interactive questions. At the end of the questions there is a certificate. Miss K has a collection of the certificates. She loved printing them and putting them in her math box.

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}

For me one of the benefits of doing a computer based program is giving Miss K the ability to do it on her own. I enjoy having a few minutes to just wash the dishes while still being aware of what she is working on. With A+ Interactive she was able to login herself but needed help in finding the lesson that she was on. I then needed to change the status to complete.

Each lesson began with a teaching time, which was audio and visual. After the teaching, there were some practice questions about 7 to 10 questions. The video could be played again if needed. There were also additional worksheets that could be done online or be printed.

So after using this for a few weeks, what were the results? The program kept her attention. Each day she was excited to do her math and even more when she could get the certificate she had printed. We didn't have a sudden memory of all addition facts but we did discover one thing that helped and continues to help -- the addition table. Why have I never heard of that before? That is in our math box to help with math facts. I was pleased with A+ Interactive Math. I think the idea of Mini-Courses is a great way to experience the program and how it works for your child. Genius idea!

Read what other Mini-Courses others have used and their experiences with those courses.

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}

Crew Disclaimer

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Friday's Five

Five signs of spring

I love spring. I love the change of seasons, the hope that warmer weather is coming (okay, I live in England so maybe there isn't much hope for hot weather but I will take warmer), the newness of spring.

Lambs in the fields are a sign of spring. I love walking along the fields and seeing the lambs scampering, hearing the baa's of the lambs looking for their mother, and watching the mothers care for their young.

Daffodils all around - I am amazed at all the daffodils that I have seen. Some are neatly planted and some are growing wild. I think daffodils are one of the first flowers to appear here signalling the beginning of spring.

The buds on trees - Sometimes you have to look close to see the buds but they are there just getting ready to burst open.

Spring clothing - It is always fun to get out the spring clothing. Miss K is modelling her Easter outfit. 

The sound of the birds - I wake up in the morning and hear the birds. I know that spring has arrived. The other day Miss K and I were at the park and it was noisy as the birds were up in the tree. You can see the nests from previous years.

Just a few of the signs of spring around here. What signs of spring do you see?

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