Showing posts with label Geography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Geography. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Books for Geography: South America

Well now I thought I had a post on this up here but apparently I do not. So here are some book I have decided to use to help us study some countries in S. America.

For the younger set:

Product Details
Biblioburro: A True Story from Columbia by Jeanette Winter 
Waiting for the Biblioburro by Monica Brown  

Product Details

We read the Waiting for the Biblioburro.  Very cute story and loved the art work.  We have owned and loved the Great Kapok Tree for years.  Lynn Cherry has many more books that are suitable for younger children,

thanks to the Planet YA site for this list!

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Island of Thieves (Josh Lacey):  My son loved it, I was like OK with it.  There is some content that is not obscene but kinda sassy and perhaps not for every child.  If you kid loves James Bond movies (or similar) and can handle reading about guns, mobsters and such, this would be suitable then.
The Disappeared (Gloria Whelan):  We both enjoyed this but it does talk of government murders and one character is in a bad jail/prison situation. A couple minor swear words included.
I Am a Taxi (Deborah Ellis): We enjoyed this story so much that we actually read the sequel.  The child (Diego) does get tricked into working for an illegal cocaine production, and does encounter cruel situations but I felt it was worth reading because this is a real issue for the people of Columbia.  
Origin (Jessica Khoury):  Even though my son balked about this at first, I "made" him push through.  It is more sci-fi than realistic but it was a descent story to discuss (immortality and what it takes to create that).  he thought it was weird but I think it was more that it was based on Pia (a chick) and not a dude.  LOL Nothing too terribly horrifying for a child to read.

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City of the Beasts (Isabel Allende) : I stopped reading it by first few pages of chapter 2.  The whole demeanor of the story line was very negative (the kid's mom has cancer and I understand a teen being angry but this was just over the top dumb) and then by the second chapter we have him conversing with some chick who is talking about smoking weed.  He admits he has done drugs/alcohol.  What?  This is a recommended book for teens?  Just because they are teens and prob'ly hear a lot of this stuff doesn't mean I want my kid reading this dribble. Yuck.
The Queen of the Water (Laura Resau):  This is based on a true story. It does have some abuse against the main character by her employer/talk of past abuse by the father toward the mother and children [which apparently really did happen]. The story centers around this young lady who is born into one world (of poverty) and gradually, through many events, merges into one of recognition, education and possibility.  It's more of a girl book. There are things mentioned that girls would understand and it comes from a young teen girl's point of view.  I didn't have my son read this.
The Motorcycle Diaries (Ernesto Che Guevara):  We started reading this but because I was the one reading aloud-it simply didn't work.  I gave him the option of reading it on his own-he opted out.  It is set up in diary form and tends to jump about a bit.  So since we didn't read past a chapter or so-I cannot truly speak on its content.  
First Descent (Pam Withers):  Some cussing and negative talk about ingenuousness peoples (by the grandpa)
which is in context of the story (he's from a "different generation") so if you go in understanding that-it shouldn't be too distracting.  In the beginning of the story, the kid (Rex) is pretty full of himself which is kinda funny but he is later humbled by the events in the story.

And there you have it.  I know there are a few more books that could be added but our year is done and we need to move on to Europe and N.A.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

African Art Project (Continent Study Activity): Papier-Mache Calabash

As part of our geography studies, I like to include some art projects that reflect those typically made in the countries found on that continent.  Since we began our study on Africa, we have been a bit behind in actually creating any.  Well, it was the holidays when we started, so that is my lame excuse.

Fear not-I have one to show you (pretty easy and fun too) and we will do a couple more before we complete this continent.

I checked the library and found The Kid's Multicultural Art Book by Alexandra Terizian.  Looking through, I thought the Papier-Mache Calabash bowl [page 102-105] would be a great activity for my son.  I had all the supplies too-which saved a run to the craft store.

Basically, you use papier-mache to layer newspaper over a bowl and then let it dry for each layer. After you have an amount that is thick, but not too thick-you will have the child paint a base color (two coats) to seal it.  After that, they can decorate it using typical geometric designs many African artists use.

I guess my son was feeling pretty patriotic, 
because his colors reflect our flag. 

Here are a few helpful tips:

**Cover your work area!  The papier-mache paste is messy!!
**Choose a medium sized bowl otherwise I think it will be too big for most.
**Let the puppy really dry before trying to pry it off the bowl (I suggest a plastic bowl as the base, so it will give a bit for ya) because it will be a nightmare to take off if it is still damp.
**Expect shrinkage (and no this is not a Seinfeld episode) as ours was very round after taking it off the bowl. Then I guess with the heat on-it shrunk. After a couple of days it warped to an elliptical-shaped Calabash.  We just laughed a bit then accepted it's new look.
**Have a few different widths for the paintbrushes to give the artist options.

And there you go.  Easy peasy-just a bit of time needed between drying and removing it from the base bowl.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Where we're at, a long Fall update for you

Since we started the new school year, we have been trying to get into some sort of routine.  It hasn't worked too well.  There have been doctor/dentist appts. to go to, which are necessary but they are time suckers. I am sure you understand that conundrum. Then of course, just dealing with every day life has been a challenge at times.  I still struggle with grief.  It sneaks up in unexpected places/times and will knock me back a bit.  I also have brain fog from it, so deep concentration or planning is almost unattainable. I am keeping a schedule book-but that really isn't enough. Some days are better than others.  So being consistent and thorough hasn't been our strong suit. None the less, I am determined to meet our basic goals and to do my best.  I have to be kind to myself (all things considered) and pray for the Good Lord to walk me through this valley.

What we have accomplished: 

*We finished the Asian continent for our Geo studies.  Wow! That had a ton of countries to cover and yes, we covered them all.

*We started Africa. I have set up a basic layout to follow to get it completed by the end of February. Well that's the plan anyway.

*We only have a few weeks left of the SL 5 program. I actually mentioned it in another post, but the basic 411 is that I have been saving the final weeks for when we started the African continent, because they cover it.  I also have a few extra books I found (via the library) to add to it over the 14 weeks it's going to take to complete Africa. Finishing the SL 5 series equates to us reading just about every book in that program!  And there are a lot of em!  The only ones we didn't read were the ones we have already covered, or are ones I want to read later.  So that alone is huge.

*We finally started the Route 66 Bible program. We had to wait until my hubby was able to resurrect my old 'puter that has a CD drive, which we need for the teacher's guide.  I will update you on that after we have used it for a bit.

I have a little snapper turtle from one of our Safari Toobs-
so we pulled it out and moved her along the map as we went.

*We completed our final book/map of Minn of the Mississippi, from Beautiful Feet Books Geography-A Literature Approach.

All four maps are now complete and on display in our classroom!

Some changes and improvements to our curriculum:

*The notebooking pages for geography were proving to be too time consuming and too ink "needy". So I went on the hunt and found a new notebook page that has the main info we need without being so intense.  I only had to add the capital of the country to list on the blank lines at the bottom. 

You can find it here at The Notebooking Fairy.

Image 1*After the rebirth of our old computer-I found the All-About-Homophones worksheets I have wanted my son to go through but couldn't for the past few years due to the demise of the ole thing. Yeah! So I printed off 3rd grade to about 5th so far. It goes to eighth grade, but frankly-any age is OK to work on it.  I have seen many adults make homophone errors.  So it doesn't hurt to have him go through them as a quick review [like 5-10 minutes a day] as well as introduce some I simply haven't covered. Whoops. I love All About Learning Press' products (they make the All About Spelling and Reading programs) and this beauty of a supplement is a great refresher to cover these words.

Ancient Achievements*I love reading other homeschooler's blogs and watching a variety of YouTube channels.  I was on Erica Arndt's channel watching her 7th grade curriculum video where she mentioned this nifty program-Spelling You See.  I explored the site, but currently don't have the funding to make a purchase. What I have done is downloaded the free level samplers I thought best met my son's skills and tried it out.  I like it. He doesn't seem too terribly annoyed by it either-which is a great bonus. Currently,  I'm having him color highlight the different parts on the copy work paragraphs in his Learning Language Arts through Literature workbook.  I make a couple extra copies of it beforehand and have him work through the week on it. If I see him improving his spelling by this method, I will find a way to get a workbook, but for now I am "testing" the waters here to see if it suits his learning style.

Total "shoulda, woulda, coulda" moments:

*Should have already done an artist (Monet).  Epic fail.  Goal:  week of Nov 16, start it.

*Would have loved to have ordered the download for Saxon Math Algebra 1/2.  Hasn't happened yet. We have been slammed with many unexpected misc. and medical bills.  So I have temporarily switched to Life of Fred Pre-Algebra in conjunction with doing the last few chapter of our previous Saxon book for review.  

*Could have been more diligent with daily schedules, which would have meant accomplishing more.  I tend to beat myself up over this.  But then again-seeing how much our family has been through this year and what we are still going through, I guess I am shocked at all we have accomplished. Seriously.  

I know there are more things I can add to this category-like winterizing, deep cleaning and various other things that simply have been chucked aside for now.  It is what it is.  I'm OK with that.  

And there you have it.  A very long post with snippets of our life of late.  I wanted to catch you up and let you know-we're here, we're chugging along and we're making due.  Sometimes, that is all one can do.                                    
A little "keeping it real" pic here.  This is our coffee table in the family room,  There are books/teacher's guides and more piled up next to the chair by the couch too. Oh, and I couldn't bare to take a pic of the classroom tables.  Those puppies are a disaster.  So know that this is the normal look for us during the week.  As long as the cat doesn't decide to chew on any of it-it's all good. :)

**FYI:  I borrowed product pics from the listed sites so you could get a visual on the product I described.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Continent Box: Africa

Our African Continent box is a bit lighter than the others.  I decided to not purchase/print any more of the food cards (for Africa, Europe and S.A/N.A) I was purchasing from the Montessori Shop.  I will do that once I have younger kids to teach. My son's age makes it so he doesn't really look them over, and although they are about $3 to download, there is also the ink/print fee and the laminating cost to consider-so it adds up.  For now I will just bank that into my memory "must dos" until I have more littles who will be much more enamored with said cards. Anyway-here is what we have in ours:

Contents for the African Box

*Animals from Scheich (found at various local stores).  

*3 Pyramid figure from the Around the World Safari Toob

*Sphinx from the World Landmarks Safari Toob

*Egyptian Sarcophagus Dig kit from the Dollar Tree  (you have to just keep your eye open for these little chip away the plaster kits-finding them is very random, they are not always available)

*Elephant and Lion pins found locally at garage sale

*African wood box via Ebay

*Coins via Ebay

*Stamps via Ebay and various collections

*African Animals cards: Target (dollar section) Flash Cards Animals of the World by Bendon

*Landmark cards:  Target (dollar section) flash cards by Creative Edge

*Postcards-given to us by friends

**I still need to build this box up-I want to add the African Village Safari Toob, and more trinkets from the various countries.  This is a work in progress.  I will def. add any updates once I have them.

We also have a nice place mat set and a gorgeous, hand-woven art piece (made by some local tribal women) my father-in-law brought back from S. Africa (just months before he passed away, so it is very treasured here) in 1998.  We spent a bit more money to have it framed in lovely African wood as well.  I will have those out on display for him to enjoy during our study.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Tiger Eyes Art Project for Geography

So as we move through our world geography, I try to find some fun art projects relating to the countries within the continent we are studying.  Currently we are on Asia.  We have made a wind sock and Origami animals so far.  I wanted something fun and different but wasn't sure what we would do next-until somehow, someway I came across this from the Crafty Classroom.  It's a really cool activity.

Tiger Eyes (India) 

I chose to do a Bengal Tiger and 
my son chose to make a White Tiger

Love this Two-Part Tutorial. I did notice the pics seemed a bit out of order when filling in the eyes, so read through it first.  We ended up adding the other colors prior to the black lines, then went back through it to adjust the look. This is an oil pastel project so you will need those and a nice pastel paper to complete it.  I only have a black construction paper backing on them right now because my card stock was not long enough.