Monday, December 26, 2016

I'm going to give you a Bear Hug! by Caroline B. Cooney

I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug!, written by bestselling author Caroline B. Cooney, is a playful and comforting bedtime book that imagines all the wonderful ways a child might give and receive a hug.
Whether it’s a big bear, gasp for air, knock over a chair hug or a wet and drippy, slimy, slippy fish hug, children will giggle their way through all the imaginative examples. Cooney’s sweet and simple rhymes encourage playful interaction between parent and child and ultimately help them wind down before they snuggle into bed and drift off to sleep.

I was excited to open the sweet picture book I'm Going to Give You a Bear Hug!  written by Caroline B. Cooney and illustrated by Tim Warnes.  It is a beautiful hard back children's book with endearing illustrations. The end papers are covered with precious little bear paw prints.  The story is all about hugs and compares hugs to animals all the while subtly telling the reader it is time for bed.  It is appropriate for children 4-8 years old.

I am in love with this book!   I'mGoing to Give You a Bear Hug is simply very fun to read.  You want to curl up next to your little one, hug them while smiling and laughing as you read this book.  The illustrations are perfect.  Not too cutesy, but so endearing.  I found myself smiling while reading this precious story to my to five year old son, and my eight year old wanted to join us as well.

The book was a good reminder to me as a parent to hold my kids a little closer, hug them, and enjoy them.  Times goes so fast.  I highly recommend this book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> 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 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Repost:How to Teach Music

On a happy note, let's talk about resources for teaching music.  I am musically challenged so I am always thinking of new ways to help expand my kid's musical horizons. publishing has a wonderful Music Appreciation Program.  It introduces children to seven different composers and includes biographies, a teacher's manual and music CDs.  It can be bought individually or as a set.  We are using it with some of our children next year.  Here are some more thorough reviews if you want more information.

Classics for Kids is a wonderful web site for teaching kids about classical music.  The web site features music, videos, lesson plans, and newsletters you can sign up for.  It is a wealth of information.

The History of Rock and Roll looks like a great unit study. It is described as "an excellent unit study to pair with your study of American history, from the post World War II era through the civil rights era and beyond. It is virtually impossible to separate the progression of rock and roll music from the rapid changes that took place in American culture from the late 1940s through today. 

 Music for Homeschoolers will assist parents in designing high quality musical experiences for their children.  

I also love the Piano Guys.  They put together music videos with classical music while playing in interesting locations.   The song Frozen with Vivaldi is below. 

They also have a YouTube channel called Behind the Scenes where they tell how they made the video.

Some places to get you started.

Some affiliate links. 

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Books we love. . .

I am thinking about shopping.  Maybe it was all the online shopping I have done this past week.  So for this week's blog post I thought it would be fun to share books we love in our family.  Each year my kids receive several books as gifts at Christmas.  I enjoy getting new books for them, and I want them to have books they treasure as gifts.  Here are some favorites from our house. . .Clicking on the books will take you to Amazon.

Read this to my four year old each night.  He can recite it now.  Love that!

A compilation of Thomas stories.  The original stories by Rev. Awdry.

My daughter insisted on including Narnia.  And the picture book for younger kids.

My tweens and teens love this series.

Hank the Cowdog is an absolute favorite at our house.   People are crazy about Hank.  Ages 8-11, but my older kids still love to read them.

Young adult fairy tale books by Melanie Dickerson.

We love Lego!

I am reading this.   It is about a special needs family.   One of the best Christian books on disabilities I have read in a long time!

Great photography book!

What books do you love?  Let me know in the coments.

This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Math Competitions

'Tis the season to think about math competitions!  I have a student who really enjoys math and solving challenging problems.  (I also have students who are surviving math, and not so into it.)  Over that last few years I have attended several math competitions, and the following are two that I recommend for high school students.

OCTM (Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics) has a state-wide competition.  Here is place to find more information.  

The American Mathematics Association offers the AMC 10/12.  This is a 25 question 75 minute exam.    The AMC 10 and AMC 12 are the gateways to bigger AMA competitions including the AIME (American Invitational Mathematics  Exams), USAMO or USAJMO (USA Mathematical Olympiad or USA Junior Mathematical Olympiad). 

A great way to prepare for the AMC 8, 10 or 12 is by using  a program called Achievable. This link takes you to their program.  This program also does a great job explaining how the AMC tests work. AMC scores are asked for by many top colleges.  This program will help you achieve a better score.   

These tests are not as easy to get into as home educators, but it is possible.  The easiest thing to do in the state of Ohio is to try to take it at a college.  Below are places that gave the test last year.  It might be worth it to write them if you are interested.  You can request to take it at a location of your choice but you must have a proctor not related to any student, have the test in a public location, and be approved by the American Mathematics Association. 

Clark State Community College
570 East Leffel Lane
Springfield, OH 45505
United States
Kanesha Hall

1911 W 30TH ST
CLEVELAND, OH 44113-3401
United States
Jon Barker

The Ohio State University, Department of Mathematics
100 Math Tower
231 West 18th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States
Aurel Stan

University of Findlay
1000 N Main St
Findlay, OH 45840
United States

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Veteran's Day Resources

Today is Veterans Day!  This is a great day to share with our students about veterans and how veterans have served our country and each of us.

I have gathered a few helpful resources and books to share with you.  The Medal of Honor Heritage Center has many great resources on those who received the medal of honor.  The Scholastic Teacher site has great information on Veterans Day and includes lesson plans, books, and many wonderful resources.

Below are some books I like that you might enjoy as well.  If you click on them it will take you to their Amazon page.  Further down is a short video on Veterans from USAA, an insurance company for veterans and their families.  I found it very moving, and a nice overview of Veterans for all ages.

Video from USAA:

To all our veterans I want to say: Thank you for serving!