Friday, July 29, 2016

Glimmer Girls: Miracle in Music City by Natalie Grant

In this third title in the Faithgirlz Glimmer Girls series by Natalie Grant, Miracle in Music City, the Glimmer Girls are at it again—looking for a mystery to solve. Gloria wants her daughters to learn they aren’t too young to make a difference, so she gets them involved in her annual benefit and auction. But as things often do with the trio of smart and sassy sisters, they get themselves and their nanny Miss Julia involved in a lot more than just helping mom raise money for a worthy and wonderful cause.

In Miracle in Music City, twin sisters Maddie & Mia and their little sister Lulu try to make a difference for their friend Ruby, who is homeless.  Ruby's dad is not the same since he had to sell his guitar to provide money to feed his family.  This lead the sisters into a mystery about a famous musician's stolen guitar.  
My 10 year old daughter read this book and loved it!  She now wants to read the other two books in the series.  She loved how the girls shared her love of music, liked to dance, and were her age.  She enjoyed the mystery and humor in the book. 
I loved that the book was about girls who had younger girl interests and were not trying to be sophisticated young women.  The book moved along, and I enjoyed learning about Nashville and the music industry.  

This books is marked as intended for girls 8-12 years old and I felt that was an accurate assessment.  Having two girls in this age range, I can say this is a hard age to find books for where the story is about girls their age who are are not rude to their parents and are respectful to each other.  I can recommend his book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Friday, July 22, 2016

The Tightwad Gazette for Homeschooling on a Budget

  
This is truly one of my favorite books of all time!  Really.  If you are trying to save money. . you need this book.   Though it is not specifically about home education, it tells you amazing ways to save money.  I believe that Ms. Dacyczyn would have been an awesome home educator.

I discovered Amy Dacyczyn (pronounced like "decision") about 20 some odd years ago.  I remember when she was putting out a newsletter called the Tightwad Gazette.   We were so poor when my husband was in graduate school we would travel to the library to read the newsletter.  Which of course had to stay in the library.  Well, unless someone stole it from the library which did happen frequently in Atlanta, Georgia.  But, I do remember someone writing a note where the stolen newsletters should have been located that said, " Taking The Tightwad Gazette newsletter is not being thrifty, it is stealing. "  I still laugh when I think of that.

The Complete Tightwad Gazette is a compilation of her newsletter.  She never wrote the same article twice.  Impressive.  She discusses ways to be thrifty,  She was an interesting person, and her book is an excellent resource.  You probably will not want to do everything in it, but there are plenty of good ideas to get your started.  Some will find her ideas radical, but it depends how much you want or need to save money.

I found this interview of Mrs. Dacyczyn.  It gives you a little insight into her world.  I hope you enjoy it!
~ Becky




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Friday, July 15, 2016

The important things. . .

Our oldest son is autistic and we are currently in the process of looking at group homes for him.  We went to look at one the other day.  I walked in and and I honestly was appalled.  The place had window air conditioners, and there was a big space I could fit my hand through to the outside next to the unit.  I asked the house manager and she was like "oh... we hadn't noticed that".  The place smelled moldy, the air conditioning unit in the room we were looking at did not work, the place was filthy, the carpet was disgusting, and she had not bothered to wipe the table we were all sitting at to talk.  When we left the apartment the house manager accidentally pulled the handle off the door.  Clearly the handle had been broken for some time but she acted like she had no idea this had happened.  Remember they get state and federal money to keep these places up and staffed appropriately.  I was taken aback.



But, then I got to thinking... there are at least five other hourly workers here.  She is in charge, and there are three people in charge above her.  Has someone not noticed that things are so bad?  I know at one time they were better because our case worker had seen the place five years ago and it was fine.  Didn't someone think to report this?  Didn't someone think it would be a good idea to clean?  Didn't someone notice that there was a big hole that birds and insects and rain and snow could get through?  Did this not bother anyone??

Then I thought about our home education (stay with me).  All those skills we teach our kids every day.  We have them do chores, we teach them to be polite, to right wrongs, tell us when things are broken, and to treat people with respect and dignity.  All of those skills that somehow can seem less important in the rush to do math problems, correct spelling, or write a well thought out paper.

But at the end of the day, doing more math problems really would not right this situation, or even correct spelling.  No one from the CEO to the hourly worker had enough sense to look in on this building that is falling apart and say, "Hey, things are not good here."  People with disabilities should not have to live in squalor.  No one should.

So as you go about your home education day, correcting your students, reminding them of the importance of good habits, teaching them to care for all people, and instilling values in them, remember that this is important work.  Sometimes it feels like we battle to instill good study and work habits and almost never get to academics.  But, that is not true.  All the work you do all day is valuable.   Sometimes it seems like we have to get through work habits and how we treat others to get to the real issue of math.  I believe that is not true.  There are really important skills that lead to helping our child complete work.  We can not see teaching those as less important.  They are crucial not only to our children, but those around them in the future.

Who knows.  Maybe someday your student will be the one who stands up for someone who can not stand up for themselves. They will remind others to be on time, and show them what a hard worker looks like.  And luckily, they will also be able to do the math to show them the cost of neglect.

~Becky

photo credit: over you via photopin (license)

Friday, July 08, 2016

You Can Dot It Too! Homeschool Families Share their Stories!

 I came across the book You Can Do It Too!  25 Homeschool Families Share Their Stories and I was absolutely intrigued by the title.  I wrote the editor Lorilee Lippincott and asked for a title to review and share here.

The book exceeded my expectations.  It is filled with stories of many different families including big families, small families, families on bikes, unschooling families, families who follow a classical model, families who homeschool preschoolers, high school students, and everyone in between.

I am hoping this will be a book that will help others see that homeschooling can be a great option for their family. The book states: “We are not going to tell you what is best for you or your kids because we don’t know you or your options. The goal of this book is to let you see the nuts and bolts of what homeschool is and make sure you know it is an option for you.”  I love this sentiment.
The editor asks each family a variety of questions that help you get to know them better.  Everything from "Why did you decide to Homeschool?" and "What does your typical day look like?"  to "What animal does your child remind you of and why?"  There is truly something for everyone in this book.

I found myself renewed from reading the book as a seasoned home educator.  The book reminded me that everyone does not always have great days homeschooling, but it is important to remember daily why you have chosen to home educate.  I enjoyed seeing the variety of ways families home educate.   I am incorporating some of their ideas into our family.

It comes in  Kindle format or Paperback.  You can check them out on Amazon. 






Here is a list of the families included in the book in the order they appear.
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Friday, July 01, 2016

Happy 4th of July and Ohio Festivals




Happy 4th of July weekend! One thing I love about Ohio is that there are so many festivals here year round.  One day I discovered this great brochure about Ohio festivals, and learned there is an Ohio Festival and Event Association.   




 They advertise festivals from May through December.  Everything from Pike County Dogwood Festival to the Ashland Balloon Festival ending with the Dalton Holiday Festival.  There are many choices. This web site, Ohio Festival.Net, also shares festivals, but includes reviews. 

So, hopefully you will enjoy your summer in Ohio, and maybe visit a festival nearby!