July 12, 2006

More Top Ten Resources: Literature

Maureen at Trinity Prep School is continuing her top ten homeschooling resources lists, now by category.  This Top Ten List is Literature.  I have to admit that I didn't do much other than narration with literature until I started Tapestry of Grace in February.  Therefore, my list is going to be some of my favorite online sources for public domain books and texts.  I do want to remind you to check these sites out before sending children to them.  Some of them have thousands of books, not all of which will be appropriate for children.


Classic Reader

University of Virginia Library Electronic Text Center

The Baldwin Online Children's Literature Project

The Online Books Page

Project Gutenberg

World Wide School


The Free Library

Arthur's Classic Novels

Bonus Free Audiobook Sites
(I know I'm going over 10, but I can't help it!):



Free Classic Audiobooks


Free Christian Audiobooks

If you would like to contribute, post your top 10 online literature resources and link back to Trinity Prep School.  Make sure you post a comment there so that everyone can visit your list.


July 7, 2006

Scheduling Chores

I have been busy working on chore and school schedules since I returned from Guatemala.  We will begin schoolwork again on Monday (July 10) without spelling, grammar, or science.  We will return to those subjects in September. 

This will be the first time that I school during the summer.  I'm actually looking forward to it, although I don't necessarily plan on doing it every year.  We began Tapestry of Grace Year 4 in February after being on a very light schedule for the first half of the school year.  After finishing Unit 1, I decided to shorten Year 4 so that I can begin Year 1 when my oldest is in seventh grade (this fall).  We did Unit 2 in 5 weeks, and we should be able to do the same with Units 3 and 4, finishing up before the end of September.  I plan to start Year 1 the first week of October, after a weekend campout with some friends.

I borrow heavily from Large Family Logistics for the chores and house managing ideas.  I worked on the chore schedules on Wednesday, and we began full swing on Thursday.  What I did before was put the chores in an Outlook calendar and print it, but the kids never looked at it, and it was difficult to check up and make sure that everything was done.  They are great about doing their chores, but I know that we can schedule the chores more efficiently.

This time I kept the calendar posted, but I also sat down with my oldest son and made a list of daily, weekly, monthly and biannual chores for the family room (which became his assigned room).  My second oldest and I did the same thing for the library and hallway (including the front entrance area), and I then did the bathrooms and back entry/stairway area, which my two girls will maintain. 

I took those lists and turned them into 1-page check-off lists for each assigned room (one for the Family Room, one for the Library/Hallway, one for the Bathroom/Back Entry).  I also created a check-off list for bedroom chores (daily, weekly and monthly).  I then used Large Family Logistics' Table Chore chart and Sample Kitchen Day (available in the Files section of their Yahoo group) and adapted them for my family. 

Everyone picked a color for their assigned room sheet and I printed everything out, posting the assigned Room Chores, Table Chores and Kitchen Day Chores on the refrigerator, and the Bedroom Chores on the kids' bedroom doors.  Each check-off list is in a page protector.  The kids check their chores off with a Vis-a-Vis.  I erase the daily checks after my inspection and approval.  I will erase the weekly chore checks at the end of the week and the monthly chore checks at the end of the month. 

We decided that Thursday will be our cleaning day, so yesterday we did our weekly cleaning.  We deep clean a different section of the house each week, which is when we do the monthly chores for that room.  The person in charge of the room will do the main chores, but we will all pitch in for the deep cleaning.  We will all work on the kitchen every week on Kitchen Day (I haven't picked the actual day of the week for this yet).  I plan on spreading the basement cleaning out over the month, so I still have to do that.  We all work together on the laundry.

I will post what the chore schedule actually looks like on another entry.  I want to try to format it so that it is easy to understand.

I worked on the summer school schedule today.  I will be done with that by Monday and ready to begin!  I will try to write an entry about that once we are settled into it (if it isn't time for the fall schedule).

Signing off for now...

In Him,
~ Andrea

July 6, 2006

Missions Trip to Amatitlan, Guatemala

Whew!  I'm back from the craziness of planning Vacation Bible School and a short-term missions trip to Guatemala!
The trip was amazing!  It was a youth missions trip, although only one teen from our church went.  This summer youth missions trip is organized every year by a pastor in the stream of churches that our church is affiliated with.  This missions trip is done in conjunction with an evangelistic crusade every year in various countries.  It was very well-organized; the pastor who organized it worked with the local Amatitlan congregations for almost a year to set everything up.
We put together programs using skits, testimonies, clowns, puppets, etc.  We passed out bracelets that we had made before the trip with colored beads explaining the plan of salvation.  We also used bilingual tracts and passed out flyers for the evangelistic crusade being held the last 4 days of our trip.  After our skits and testimonies, we prayed for salvation and healing.  I am awed at how God worked!  Being a part of leading so many people to the Lord in one setting was awesome!
We ministered in streets, schools, soccer and basketball fields, some poor communities, and even a factory.  One of our pastors had organized a food drive by having churches send money (spare change donations) down to Guatemala a couple of months before the trip so that the Guatemalan churches could buy food ahead of time to pass out.  That was one of my favorite parts of the trip: ministering to the poor. 
I could write and write about this, but I won't since this is supposed to be a homeschooling blog!  I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to be a part of God's work in Amatitlan, Guatemala.  We partnered with the local congregations for this trip, and I know that they will continue to see fruit.  Thank you, Lord for this wonderful experience!
If you are interested in seeing pictures, they are available here.


Top Ten Homeschool Resources on the Web

Trinity Prep School had the wonderful idea of listing your top 10 Internet homeschool resources.  Here is my list (not necessarily in order of favorite):

Tapestry of Grace
The site is very useful even if you aren't using the curriculum. Click on one of the year plans (the big pics of books) and choose a subject from the "Supporting Links" in the right sidebar for tons of great links!

The Basic Cozy Spelling Course

Living Math


KISS Grammar

Project Gutenberg

The Character Journal

Free Online Language Courses

Learning Through History Newsletter

Home Science Tools Newsletters Archive

Wow!  I could have added many, many more!  I tried to list links for a variety of subjects.