Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring Break

We had visitors in March!

First, my dear friend Pam came for a "girls weekend". We had a wonderful time reliving stories from the past.... Respect the vest Pam! We had a great time visiting Hot Springs, had tea parties, and wonderful husband grilled a feast for us. It was a major refreshing, at just the right moment. Thanks Pam!

Then, the Paider Pack came for Spring Break. They arrived on Palm Sunday (Happy Birthday dear Selah!) just in time to get in on the ground floor of..... BENTZ PLAGUE 2010!

Yes, we were cursed with another round of the yuck! I think anytime we have over 10 people in our home, we all get sick. This strain took out 16 of 17 people in it's wake. (Luke is the sole survivor!) The Lysol Fogger is now in production.

Hightlights of our wonderful time included, Selah throwing up onto Essie (who was buckled in her carseat...) did I mention this took place in the Church lobby right after the service?

Mr. P spent his first full day in AR on our bathroom floor... don't even ask!

Seth P. threw up on me during the middle of the night, but - I have a sick mind and actually considered it a "priviledge" that he loved me so much (therapy costs too much, so don't even bring it up!)

Josh B. made a mad dash for the bathroom - missing the easily cleaned tile floor by only inches... (You've got to be kidding me!)

Several others had the milder version and just wished we could throw up, but never got to.

And, Matt P. lost a retainer at Whole Hog - so, the vacation fun just kept on going....

I bet we won't see visitors this way again for a long while! But, I had a wonderful time while they were here and miss them all terribly! On the bright side, I got alot of laundry done, considering it was "vacation".

Friday, April 9, 2010

My First Curriculum Review!

Curriculum Corner
By Renita Bentz

For this Months review, I picked a Unit Study. Specifically, I choose to review a “Download N Go” by Amanda Bennett and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. I picked “Expedition Australia”.

Frist, for those of you who haven’t heard of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine– I STRONGLY encourage you to check out this magazine! In addition to a printed magazine, they have a wealth of information, inspiration, curriculum and an online store as well. It’s a curriculum lovers paradise! I promise you will find some real gems there, go to www.thehomeschoolmagazine.com and check out what they have to offer. (They even have a online Homeschool Expo upcoming… their freebies are more than worth the price of admission – and you can attend in your jammies!)

Back to the review, Download N Go units are in ebook format. You can pick and choose from many different topics. We choose to “Expedition Australia”. The unit is organized into a 5 day format. But, we used it a bit differently – let me explain. The weather in AR was beautiful in March (especially for a MN transplant!) and it was just too nice to do “real school” – don’t you agree? So, instead of scrapping school altogether – we worked through this unit together. We covered one “day” per week. The units are designed for “K-4” – but we easily integrated a Pre-K – 6th range of students. I think these units are the perfect solution for either a committed unit study family – especially if mom is short on time, or just to add some educational “spice” every now and then.

The unit is well organized. Each “day” – we studied a different feature of Australia, learned a new Australian word (who knows what a “nappy” is – just ask our baby Esther!), checked out the time and weather around Australia, and focused on an Australian animal (one of our favorite parts) each “day”. I was able to just pick up the computer (lucky we have a laptop!) and open the ebook and go! I loved how simple it was to dive into our subject – without any prep on my part. The ebook is filled with clickable links that make it super easy to work with. At the end of the unit, we had completed a lapbook with information on all the things we had learned! (I love lapbooks… maybe I’ll talk about them next month!). There were plenty more suggestions for additional activities and book suggestions (if we had wanted more…). To celebrate completion, we plan on cooking up an Australian feast on the “barbie”. One highlight for us, we saw a “Digeridoo” on American Idol – and, we even knew what it was!

This product is affordable at only $7.95 per unit. Check out www.downloadngo.com to see the topics. There are also several options to save money with packages of units. With plenty of topics to pick from, you could become the unit-study-mom you’ve always wanted to be – without all the prep-time-you-never have! I think we may have had one of our best months homeschooling this year – I guarantee, it was one our funnest!.