Early learning is where I side with the teaching tips from Ruth Beechick. I used her oral workbook, Language and Thinking for Young Children. It helped me in how to implement read aloud stories, poems, playing word games, singing, nursery rhymes, and stuff like teaching phone etiquette. Dr. Beechick also recommends doing math orally for through 1st grade. Allowing the child to discover math through manipulatives, not bogged down with symbols.
Here is a good book I found at the bookstore today: A Wealth of Wisdom: Legendary African American Elders Speak, edited by Camille Cosby and Renee Poussaint. The book is a collection of short essays from notable African Americans (poets, politicians, teachers, mothers, and more), including a brief biography of the person, then a first-hand account, in first person voice, of that person’s experiences and what he/she learned. Fascinating reading…I almost read the whole thing in the bookstore.I plan on reading about one person/week beginning this fall, and can already foresee so many tangents to which this reading will lead.
MIT offers many courses over the Internet, for free. Courses include videos of lectures, syllabus, and more. Courses are not for credit, just for the love of learning. My husband is working on a calculus course, which he says is fantastic, and I am beginning a biology course.
Here is a link to the list of courses: http://ocw.mit.edu/index.html
Here’s a nifty book we found at the library today — it is titled Peoples of the World by Francis Huxley, Blandford Press Ltd., London, 1964. the first 100 pages are an illustrated guide of cultures, along with a map of the regions. The last 100 pages defines how the author decided to group the cultures, their history, and the effect of factors such as climate and migration. Obviously, some of the science is woefully outdated, but the text is engaging and concise, and the illustrations are irresistible. There are some bare bottoms and topless women, though not pervasive, if you are on the lookout to avoid those types of things.
And here is a link about the author: http://lainginstitut.ch/cv/fhuxley.htm
We got the game Herd Your Horses and it’s quite a fun and educational game. There are 4 different games you play with the game board, one of them for one player and several card games you can play with the horse cards.
Thought I would share some gems we are enjoying:
Indian Sign Lanuage by Robert Hofsinde (Gray-Wolf), William Morrow & Co., 1956 — illustration and text guide to universal sign language used between North American tribes.
The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World; Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd, 2004 — an over-sized book offering country a two-page spread, including gorgeous photos, general stats, list of “essential experiences,” things to read/eat/drink/listen/watch about each country, a common phrase, “trademarks” (or what the country is best known for), and “surprises,” which can be a statistical anomoly or an odd distinction. A beautiful book.
Series about human anatomy by Seymour Simon, including Muscles, The Heart, The Brain, Bones, The Digestive System, published by Morrow Junior Books, in various years around 1998. I like these books because it is a nice blend of real science and literature — the books are great to read out loud, easily lend themselves to drama, but are not farsical or dumbed-down. Every other page is a photo or drawing.
Inside the Body by Guiliano Fornari, DK, 1996. A lift-the-flap book that engages and teaches all my kids, from my 3yo to my 10yo. Not graphic, all drawings, and lots of information.
Quest of Columbus by Ferdinand Columbus – the text is fantasic, filled with wonderful insights into Columbus the man, reflections that can only be made by someone with intimate knowledge of Columbus, the person. I have a degree in Latin American Studies, with an emphasis on early European encounters, and I never knew half of the stuff I am reading to my kids. Really, a great book.
Hope you all are having a good year, too!
Just thought I’d share a find. A fellow hser at church set out a give-away table with books. Found a real gem for my dd. It is a children’s cookbook by Unicef, The Little Cooks: Recipes from around the World for boys and girls. It shows a map of the world and the country whose recipes are included is highlighted. The step by step recipes are done in watercolors. All my kids have been introduced to other cultures through food, not just books, lol.
A Promise to Remember: the Holocast in the words and voices of its survivors by Michael Berenbaum & The D-Day Experience from the Invasion to the Liberation of Paris by Richard Holmes.
Both books are filled with first-hand accounts, and come with CD’s of the survivors telling their own stories, in their own voices. But, what is most interesting to me, was that just about every page has a fascimile of an original letter, diary, flyer, fake ID, etc. that you can take out and handle. The D-Day book includes quite a few “top secret” documents. It is very impressive, like visiting a hands-on library in your own home.
I read a few selections from the D-Day book, and am about half-way through the Holocast book; both seem to be well-written and easily accessible, without being simplistic or regurgitated.
I bought the books for myself; my kids are too young for most of it, but I will use the books when they are teen-agers.
At our house we recently read, “Along Came Galileo” by Jeanne Bendick, published by Beautiful Feet Books.
At any given time we have a book we are going through daily that becomes our favorite. I usually keep the favored book aside and read from it last, a little bit like a cookie after lunch.
I would estimate the best reader for this book is about 10 to 12 years old. I am far older than that and I learned a lot about the inventions and many changes in Galileo’s life. Of course you can read it aloud to younger children.
I am recomending Bendick’s book because it is very good, easy to read and because you are focusing on one man’s life there is a lot of retention. It’s simply a very lively book. Highly recommended.
I was at the book store, in the history section, and spotted this: “1215 The Year of Magna Carta” I already knew I was going to buy it when I saw that it was written by: Danny Danziger & John Gillingham one of which wrote “The Year 1000″ which was (and is) a really good book.
This remains my favorite Latin Reading program, the only newsworthy thing is that the internet has made it much more accessible than it was in the early to mid 90′s when I first used it. In those pre-Google years one had to contact the company by phone. Things have changed.
Below are 2 links to Ecce Romani as mentioned yesterday on a CM loop.
The books are now available on Amazon as well.
I didn't use graded readers with my oldest dd, I just had her read easy readers from the library. I put her back in public school for 2-3rd grade where her reading suffered. It wasnt until I found the Rod & Staff readers that she was challenged and her reading and comprehension improved.
With my youngest I used an online version of McGuffey’s Primer after she got through phonics.
I would just copy off a new lesson when she was ready and had learned all the words. She has continued with the McGuffey’s but I have the paperback set now.
[and for French]
and a pdf file reading list (there is one for Spanish, too): www.susangrosstprs.com/FRENCHREADINGLIST.pdf
and here is pdf file that has language resources for teachers: www.state.nj.us/njded/frameworks/worldlanguages/res.pdf
Complete with illustrations. There is a way to print out without the “moral” at the end of each if you use the customize button and delete them so you can let your child figure it out.
Found a book through http://www.linnean.org/ but it isnt published yet.
We read about Karl Von Linne (Carolus Linnaeus) and his system in an old Grolier’s Popular Science encyclopedia, “The Roll Call of Living Things: How the World’s Animals and Plants are Classified”. The article also included a general breakdown of the animal and vegetable kingdoms (fauna and flora), the main phylums and some classes, subclasses, orders, etc. I dont think we pursued it any further.
I was going through my old college books, and found these gems from art history, titles Artists on Art. There are two volumes, divided by centuries. Here is the second.
It is interesting to read quotes from the artist, or letters/commentaries on the artists, in their own era.
I just bought a library discard, that is a gem. It is titled Children are Children are Children: an activity approach to exploring Brazil, France, Iran, Japan, Nigeria and the USSR, by Ann Cole, Carolyn Hass, Elizabeth Heller and Betty Weinberger, illustrated by Lois Axeman; Little, Brown and Company, Boston-Toronto, 1978.
I can’t find it used on the Internet, though I did find it used as resource in this book on Amazon.com.
The statistics are outdated, but each country has very accessible activities, from presentations to games to cooking to sports and more. Every project that I have looked at uses very simple materials, things that I already have around my house, which makes it an easy pick-up-and-use book (always the best in my house). It includes geography, topography, climate, history, culture, etc.
Sure, it has activities and all, like about a hundred other social studies books. But, what I like about this one is the language. It is conversational without being preachy or dumbed down. Frequently, the authors say, for example, “pretend you are an explorer in the Amazon…,” or “can you imagine what it would be like to be a pioneiro…,” or “next, try a trip up to Brasilia…” The writing really engages your imagination and and peaks curiosity. It reminds me of Mr. Rogers on a more sophisticated level.
The illustrations are quaint, too. No photographs, all hand-drawn in hues of black and rust. A really nice book, if you can find it.
The title is “A Biblical Home Education.” Dr. Beechick just posted on the Basically Beechick yahoogroup. The book helps you match the content subjects with the Bible and then on to skills that help in learning the content subjects. She says, “We have too many subjects today because we teach so many skills separately, in isolation, when they really belong with various contents.”
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