Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Used Book Scavenging: Complete!

Just an update on my previous post Used Book Scavanging for 2011-2012 School Year.  I have completed my checklist of books to buy for the Sonlight Core D + E Condensed American History!  My grand total was $145.  I shopped at Homeschool Classifieds, Thriftbooks.com (which offers free shipping!), Half.com, and Wonder Book & Video. 

Wonder Book was having (and still is through the end of July) a buy one, get one free sale on all children's, young adults & religious books.  We have at least 3 stores in our immediate area and I shopped at each one to try to get the most I could.  While I was there I found a nice homeschool section and I was able to add a few Abeka readers to our study on American History. 

Homeschool Classifieds is my other favorite place to shop for used curriculum. I was able to find a used Instructor's Guide for $25 when I was ready to pay full price ($63) for it.

Considering our county has the highest number of homeschooler's in the state of MD I didn't want to rely on the library to have the books I needed when I needed them.  Even though we are regular weekly to bi-weekly library visitors, I just didn't want to have to go through the stress of tracking down the books and worrying about what to do if I couldn't find them, having to return them in time, etc.  I already pay exorbitant late fees as it is *slapping forehead*! It's such a relief to have all my books ready to go, and plus, I can resell the entire set when I'm finished. 

Now I just need to get all my other subjects! Ha.

One more month til school!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Good Read

Yesterday the kids and I went to the library and I picked up two of Ben Carson's books.  I couldn't decide which one to get and what the difference was between them.  I started reading Think Big and I'm about halfway finished. 

What a great book!  I highly recommend reading this inspiring story.  Not only is it inspiring because of Ben Carson and his standards for excellence in the midst of hardship but because of his mother's love and influence in his life- encouraging him to do his best in everything he did.  His mother, who was illeterate with a third grade education would constantly tell him he could be and would be the best in whatever he decided to do, after putting God first in his life.  What I like about her is she didn't drive him but she gently and consistently encouraged him by recognizing his achievements and telling him he could do even better, unleashing his potential.  He went from thinking he was the dumbest kid in his 5th grade class to then believing what his mother said was true and then excelling beyond his classmates in every area.

I really believe that because of his mother's prayers God placed the right mentors in Ben's life.  From elementary school all the way up to his career as a neurosurgeon at John's Hopkins there have been teachers who encouraged him to strive for excellence and that believed in him, propelling him forward.  I could go on and on.  Get the book, people!

I also grabbed his first book, Gifted Hands, and started reading it to the kids.  We are on the 3rd chapter and they are already hooked.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Good Smelling Fun

We've been inside trying to stay cool, doing a few experiments.  This time we made our own goop/slime.  I never knew how much fun the kids would get out of Elmers glue & Tide laundry detergent!  And, it smells good!

Check out all the fun we had:


It stretches

Jenna practicing her mind powers


It bounces

Love the face!

 I think you get the idea.  They had fun with this stuff.

**Side note: We first tried making this with RoseArt glue and Whisk detergent...didn't work.  Stick to the name brands for this one.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Two Things

I learned two things yesterday.

#1- I can scream like a rooster. 

Seriously.  Have your kid dash behind a car that's backing up in a parking lot and see if you can too.  It's amazing what can come out of you in a split second of panic. It sounded something like "OHJAREDJACARR!"

#2- Buying sidewalk chalk in the store really is the way to go.

We decided to do an art project: making our own sidewalk chalk.  Wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. I realize it would have been cheaper and easier to just buy our own but we wanted to experience making it ourselves. We also learned about exothermic reactions when we noticed the mix was warm after pouring it.  Pretty cool.

The downside: people on the videos and tutorials I watched really made it look like a piece of cake.  Probably because they were all making ONE piece of chalk.  Was I over ambitious to think we could make TWELVE? Apparently so.

We stopped after making 6 sticks and 2 balls.  Here's how they came out.  Don't laugh.

If you'd like to try to make your own, here's how we did it.

You will need:
plaster of paris (I bought a 4 lb container)
wax paper
plastic cups
plastic spoons for mixing
food coloring
toilet paper rolls
cookie sheet or covered surface

First, line your toilet paper rolls with wax paper.  Roll it up, slip it in and cut off excess. Tape to secure it.

Next, cover one end of the tube with scrap of wax paper.  Tape down.  This will be the bottom of your tube.

Repeat with all of your tubes, turn upside down and place on your cookie sheet.

Mix plaster of paris, water and food coloring.  You will have to play with the amounts. I never did get exact measurements.  Use about 8-10 heaping teaspoons of plaster and a little less than equal amount of water.  You want the consistency not to be runny, but not as thick as peanut butter.  You will get a feel for it when you try to pour it in your tube.  Add food coloring and mix well.  Pour into tubes immediately after mixing- it will harden fast!

As I mentioned above, you will notice the mixture becomes warm as it's turning into a solid.

Let dry for 24 hours.  Cut a slit in your tube and peel off wax paper. 

Have fun!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Used Book Scavenging for 2011-2012 School Year

For Reading and History this coming school year I'd planned to use Sonlight's One Year Condensed American History.  The first time I laid eyes on their curriculum I think I drooled.  Dancing in my head were visions of the UPS man arriving at my door with overflowing boxes of fresh, beautiful, good smelling new books. Seeing as how we are on a budget, however,  that just wasn't a practical way for us to go.  The price tag on the Core D + E brand new is $443.77---and that's just for reading and history. 

Thanks to the idea of my friend at Much Ado About Nothing I decided that I will buy the Instructor's Guide,  print a list of Sonlight's books from Core D + E, and let the scavenging begin.  I love hunting for bargains. 

In between trips to Goodwill (where I did find a few good deals) I have been waiting for our used bookstore's Buy One Get One Free sale----and this month it finally happened! Yahoo!!! I am happy to say that I am about halfway through my list now and I have only spent about $20.00.  I am super exctied.

Today, I plan to go back and finish up my shopping.  Wish me luck!

Monday, July 4, 2011

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

Frogs and snails and puppy dogs' tails!  That's what little boys are made of :)

I was baking in the kitchen this morning when Jared runs inside.

He says: "Mom! A snail!"

I grabbed my camera and went out to get a glimpse of this snail.  Sure enough, he went back into his shell right when we got there.  We hovered over him and waited for him to come back out.

Did you know that little boys are also made of silly puddy and Garfield comics?  Yep, they are...

...And puzzle balls...

He disassembled this puzzle ball and spent a good part of the day trying to get it back together.  It was quite the challenge.  He had to set it down a couple of times and walk away.  Then came back for a few more tries.


This is what little boys are made of...and so much more!

Happy 4th of July!