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Homeschooling, Music

SQUILT Music Appreciation Review

Last year we spent a semester learning about the orchestra, the instruments, and a few composers as well. We had a great time and I was able to put together my own curriculum that carried us through a basic introduction to classical music and the instruments of the orchestra.

This year I want to build on our foundation from last year and dive a little deeper into composer studies. But this time, I don’t want to have to create the study.

This time I want the plans done for me.

{This post contains affiliate links. See my full disclosure.}

I want something that is already well-planned but allows for flexible implementation. Because if you know me, then you know I am always following my own inspiration, but I need a solid leaping off point.

I had no idea what would fit the bill until I tried SQUILT music.

SQUILT music lessons are easy to implement music appreciation lessons that are perfect for your homeschool. Read my full SQUILT review and learn how we are implementing this curriculum. Continue Reading

Geography, Homeschooling

Around the World Stories

As my children and I study world geography this year, I am looking for creative ways to introduce them to different cultures and countries around the world.

I wish I could say that my plan involved tossing my kids in a plane and traveling to every continent so we could experience places and cultures first-hand, but that isn’t in the cards right now.

We will have to stick with experiencing the world in our own home using books, stories, and resources.

Around the World Stories will be part of our adventures and studies as we learn about people and cultures around the world. Continue Reading

Brave Writer, Geography, Homeschooling

Geography using Brave Writer

We are going to Learn Around the World this school year, and I am feeling inspired and a little overwhelmed with great ideas.

Most of that is due to our Learn Around the World Facebook group. The Facebook group is filled with inspiring homeschool moms who are sharing great tips and brainstorming resources.

This post was inspired when one mom began a thread with a question: Anyone pairing up Brave Writer books with the different countries?

Great question.  I decided to do a little research on the titles and sort the Brave Writer Boomerang and Arrow titles by continent and country.  They are available below and in the files section of my Facebook group as a downloadable PDF.


Explore Geography using Brave Writer. You'll find Brave Writer Arrow and Boomerang Titles organized by Geographic Location.

The following titles are used by Brave Writer for the Arrow and Boomerang Literature Guides. You can simply read them aloud to your family, or if you want to dig deeper into these titles, a literature guide for each of these books can be purchased in the Brave Writer store.

The books on this list range from a 3rd-grade level through high school. Please note that you should use your own discretion when it comes to the appropriateness of a book’s content for your family.

In addition, I recommend doing your own research to be certain that a title lines up with your educational goals for that particular country or continent.

I have listed titles that take place in a specific location or help the reader better understand the experience of someone who is from that country, even if the book takes place in a different country.

Geography Using Brave Writer

{This post contains Amazon affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure.}

North America

(USA not included as the majority of titles take place in the USA)

Anne of Green Gables – Anne’s adventures take place in Canada
Esperanza Rising – Mexico and California
What the Moon Saw – Mexico and USA
Mountains Beyond Mountains – Haiti

         

Asia

A Single Shard – Korea
Master Puppeteer – Japan
Sadako and 1000 Paper Cranes – Japan
The Big Wave – Japan
The Ghost at Takaido Inn – Japan
The Thing About Luck – Japan
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon – Chinese Folklore
Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze – China
Cracker! Best Dog in Vietnam – Vietnam (NOTE: content is about the Vietnam War)
Inside Out and Back Again – Vietnamese refugee flees to the US (Entire book written in freeverse poetry)
Same Sun Here – India (Immigrant from India in US)
I am Malala – Pakistan
Persepolis – Iran (Graphic Novel)
Sold – Nepal (NOTE: content is descriptive about Human Trafficking)
The Bronze Bow – Isreal

Europe

The Midwife’s Apprentice – Medieval England
Crispin: The Cross of Lead – England (14th century)
Shakespeare’s Scribe – England (Black Plague; Globe Theater)
The Inquisitor’s Tale – France
Echo – Germany (Three tales intertwine. One begins in Nazi Germany)
The Book Thief – Germany (Nazi Germany)
Diary of a Young Girl – Germany (Nazi Germany)
Number the Stars – Denmark (WWII)
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Russia (WWII)
Endless Steppe – Russia/Siberia (family taken from Poland)

Africa

Journey to Jo’burg – South Africa
Cry, The Beloved Country – South Africa
A Long Walk to Water – Sudan
The Red Pencil – Sudan

Oceania

Kon Tiki – Polynesia

Antarctica

Mr. Poppers Penguins – takes place in the US, but a penguin is involved.

South America

Secret of the Andes – Peru

If you want to print this out as a PDF document, then you can find it in the files section of the Learn Around the World Facebook group. I’d love to have you join us.

Traveling the world through literature is just one of the many ways to study geography without leaving your home.  Happy Travels.

RELATED POSTS:
Combine the Happy PLanner with the Homeschool Planner by Pam Barnhill.Using the Brave Writer Arrow Guides in like having a trail guide through the woods of Language Arts.

Homelife, Homeschooling

Happy Planning Your Homeschool Year

I wasn’t going to be one of those planner girls. You know the ones. The ones with the Happy Planners, piles of washi tape, and stickers.

Will. Not. Do. It.

Then, the allure of a pretty happy planner called to me and I found myself “just looking”. The next thing I knew, the friendly planner gal standing next to me introduced me to a fancy hole punch that would allow me to put any pages that I wanted into the planner.

Which meant that I could insert the forms from my homeschool planner into the pages of the Happy Planner.

Sold.

And that’s how I became one of those planner girls.

Plan Your Year Kit and the Happy Planner work well together for the perfect homeschool and life planner. Continue Reading

Geography, Homeschooling

Learn Around The World

When my 14 and 12-year-old daughters were 7 and 5, we spent two years studying the countries, stories, and cultures from around the Globe.

Learning around the World.

It’s been 5 years since our fun ended and I am feeling the itch to do it again. I want my boys (ages 10 and 8) to enjoy and learn from a similar experience.

So I did what I always do: I called a few friends and formed a group and together we are going to “Learn Around the World” with our kids this year. We will do all of our studies at home with our own children using materials of our own choosing. We’ll follow the same schedule and at the end of each continent, we will get together for a continent party. There will be music, food, crafts, and presentations.

I am so ready for this again!

It got me thinking that YOU might want to join us, so this is my official invitation. I’d love to have your family join us as we “Learn Around the World” this year. Continue Reading

Books for Mom, Homeschooling, Literature

My 2017 Booklist

The summer is coming and reading by the pool is a high priority on my agenda. I love to sit poolside with an iced tea (of course) while reading a good book.

In the spirit of the summer season, I decided to organize my reading list. Because it is so huge and I need to record it all in one place.

Will I actually read all of these books before 2017 ends?

Perhaps. But maybe not.

And that is okay with me because I’ll just put the remaining titles on a list for 2018.

Without further ado, this is “Mary’s Completely Ridiculous Amount of Books to Read Booklist” otherwise known as the “2017 Booklist”

My 2017 booklist Continue Reading