Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Back to the Classics 2016

Back to the Classics 2016

This is my first time participating in a book challenge, and I'm really looking forward to it!  Here's the link to the blogger hosting this challenge.


Here's how it works:

The challenge will be exactly the same as last year, 12 classic books, but with slightly different categories. You do not have to read 12 books to participate in this challenge!

  • Complete six categories, and you get one entry in the drawing
  • Complete nine categories, and you get two entries in the drawing
  • Complete all twelve categories, and you get three entries in the drawing
And here are the categories for the 2016 Back to the Classics Challenge:

1.  A 19th Century Classic - any book published between 1800 and 1899.

2.  A 20th Century Classic - any book published between 1900 and 1966.Just like last year, all books MUST have been published at least 50 years ago to qualify. The only exception is books written at least 50 years ago, but published later.

3.  A classic by a woman author

4.  A classic in translation.  Any book originally written published in a language other than your native language. Feel free to read the book in your language or the original language.

5.  A classic by a non-white author. Can be African-American, Asian, Latino, Native American, etc.

6.  An adventure classic - can be fiction or non-fiction.

7.  A fantasy, science fiction, or dystopian classic. Dystopian could include classics like Animal Farm or 1984.

8.  A classic detective novel. It must include a detective, amateur or professional. This list of books from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction is a great starting point if you're looking for ideas.

9.  A classic which includes the name of a place in the title.  It can be the name of a house, a town, a street, etc. Examples include Bleak HouseMain StreetThe Belly of Paris, or The Vicar of Wakefield.

10. A classic which has been banned or censored. If possible, please mention why this book was banned or censored in your review.

11. Re-read a classic you read in school (high school or college).  If it's a book you loved, does it stand the test of time?  If it's a book you disliked, is it any better a second time around?

12. A volume of classic short stories. This must be one complete volume, at least 8 short stories. Children's stories are acceptable in this category only.

Drum roll, please!!  So, here is my list of books for each category.  I reserve the right to change or substitute a book if necessary, but I will make sure and  note it if I do.  I will review each book that I read--to clarify, I'm not promising to read every one of these books this year, but I'm going to do my best!!

1.     1.        A 19th Century Classic - Persuasion

2.  A 20th Century Classic -  Puck of Pooks Hill

3.  A classic by a woman author - Middlemarch

4.  A classic in translation. -  I Promessi Sposi and/or The Leopard

5.  A classic by a non-white author. – A Raisin in the Sun

6.  An adventure classic King Solomon’s Mines

7.  A fantasy, science fiction, or dystopian classic.  Animal Farm

8.  A classic detective novel. The Murders in the Rue Morgue

9.  A classic which includes the name of a place in the title. - Cranford

10. A classic which has been banned or censored. To Kill a Mockingbird

11. Re-read a classic you read in school (high school or college). - Little Women

12. A volume of classic short stories. Just So Stories

Happy Reading!!

Monday, July 27, 2015

The new year has begun!!

We are OFFICIALLY Ambleside Online homeschoolers!  We started our 2015-2016 school year today and I couldn't be more happy.  My youngest just started Yr 1 in AO and is doing Math Mammoth for math.  She loves it all so far!  I was blown away by her very first narration on "How the Whale Got His Throat" from Kipling's Just So Stories.  The older girls are settling in pretty good.  I'm sure it will take a week or two to work the kinks out and get everything flowing nicely, but I am extremely happy so far!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

We're Almost There!!

Yay!!  After months of planning, dreaming, searching, studying, doubting and then having my conviction renewed that this is the right thing for us, we are just four weeks away from starting Ambleside Online!!  It's been a crazy ride, but I think I've about got everything pulled together.  Their math is supposed to be delivered on Tuesday, and the last couple of books are coming from Amazon.  We went with Algebra and Geometry from Math-U-See after extensive research and I think (hope) it will be a good fit.  I haven't liked the algebra we used this year, but wasn't able to switch it out.

We're doing year round schooling, so we're still in school right now--the older ones are finishing up the last of their science and math--but starting July 27th we will officially be in the 2015-2016 school year and officially using AO.  I can't wait!!

I had the brilliant idea of using one book shelf (5 shelves) for our school books for the year, but I'm running out of room!!  Their required reading for the year mostly fits on one shelf, but the free reads are overflowing--especially for the oldest two!  I know they don't have to have all the free reads, but I've been able to make great finds at a local used book store, and they're such good books I don't want to leave any out except for the Science Fiction or Tolkein/Lewis books.  (I know, most think they're wonderful, but we don't and they're not an option here.)    My dream is to have a library/school room with tons of bookshelves.  Right now I have them in multiple rooms, so it would be nice to have them in one central location.  How do you organize your books for homeschool?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Seasons of Grace

Life has become....interesting lately, with more on my shoulders than ever before.  I went into it with my eyes open and nonchalantly assured every one "I'll be fine!"  Satan, of course, knows just how to get at me and attacked with a vengeance.  It seemed as if something could happen, it did!  I felt like I was getting hit repeatedly with no time to recuperate from the first hit.  I had nothing to fall back on--except  God.  My friend, that's enough!!  The song comes to mind "When Jesus is All That I Have, He is All That I Need"!  Yes, trials will come.  Businesses will claim non-payment when you know you've paid (fixable, but takes much time and effort during a time when everything else is going wrong!), bathroom lights will threaten fire, teaching algebra will still make you want to pull out your hair and let's not even talk about the 6 year old and the sudden block when it comes to counting by 5's!  Migraines will come, sciatic nerves will pick the worst times to scream at you, and things will come up that you don't even want to talk about.  God is there for you, though, holding you through the trials of life--if you let Him--and you can learn so much from him.  I think my husband said it best last night when he said, "The Lord has a great opportunity to teach us both some things in this unique situation."  How true!  You know what the great thing is?  Not only are YOU learning, but so are  your kids!  Kids are aware of way more than we give them credit for.  The see all the stuff going on, and they're watching how  you deal with it.  If you fall apart easily, usually they will as well.  What a great opportunity to show them that all of our talk about faith and trust in God isn't just TALK, but TRUTH!  What are you teaching your kids?

Monday, November 24, 2014

For the ladies at Ambleside Online....

Here's the requested pics of my two old books I found today! :-)  For anyone not on Ambleside, I took some books to a used bookstore in my town today and got some credit to use.  I was buying books for next year (Les Miserable, poetry by Keats & Byron, Beowulf and more) when I found an 1899 copy of Scott's "Lady of the Lake" and a 1911 copy of Kipling's "Under the Deodars: The Phantom Rickshaw: Wee Willie Winkie".  Yay!!  Here are the books.

The Lady of the Lake


What's your favorite book deal you've gotten recently?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Now in Unit Two

Well, we finished the first unit of Year 1 in Tapestry of Grace and are starting the third week of unit 2.  I have to admit, I'm somewhat disappointed.  I was under the impression that there would be more "living books" and that has not been the case.  More books than not have been the dry, textbook style, and my kids are NOT enjoying that part of it.  There are a few good books, but not near what I was looking for. 

I started looking for something to move Little Bit--my youngest--to next year and found Ambleside Online, a Charlotte Mason homeschooling site.  It's totally free other than the books, but a lot of them can either be read or downloaded online for free--and it's totally based on living books!  I really struggled as I didn't want to move the older kids yet AGAIN, but ultimately, it was decided that starting next year, all of the kids will move to AO.  I've been collecting books as I can as I definitely prefer hard copies to e-books.  We have a lovely used bookstore here in town that will let you trade in books for credit or cash.  I got a nice stack of books there Saturday.  I was thrilled to get a hardcover (with dust jacket still intact!) copy of "The Story of Painting" by H. W. Janson that most of the girls will need next year for only $1.50!!  I've found a couple of good websites for used books where I can get a lot of books for $3-$4 including free shipping, so that is a blessing!

Speaking of Little Bit, she's doing great in school.  She's officially up to counting to 19 (in her workbook--she can count much higher on her own) and adding up to 6, and very rarely gets her answers wrong.  She's reading more and more.  Tuesday she'll finish the first of three workbooks each in Phonics, Reading and Penmanship.

Munchkin (DD 12) is doing good.  We had some issues with Math early on, but things are going much better now.  She is dialectic level, so her books seem to be a bit more interesting than the older two, but she's definitely excited about moving to AO next year.

Bluestocking (DD 13) is moving right along.  We've moved her to 9th grade this year as she was doing so well.  She's taking Pre-Algebra (TT) in half a year before moving straight into Algebra I.  She completely tested out of almost the first half of the Pre-Algebra book.  She's loving Biology with Bookworm (DD 14).

Speaking of Bookworm, she is also enjoying Biology this year, which is nice as Science is not one of her favorite subjects.  She's really looking forward to Anatomy either next year or the year after, but Chemistry is NOT exciting her at all!  Algebra I has it's ups and downs.  She's trudging through it.  Bookworm and Bluestocking are both really looking forward to AO next year as well. 

How is your school year going so far?

Monday, October 27, 2014

FREE Geography Course!!

FREE Geography Course from Brookdale House!  "Drawing Around the World: Europe" is yours for free just by clicking the link below!  Over 250 pages, this looks like a great resource for you homeschooling mamas.  Enjoy!!