Thursday, August 13, 2009

Gearing Up for Another Year

Yep, it's that time again...I'm looking forward to this year and Beyond...well, that's a play on words if I ever heard one. I meant "and beyond this year" however, I am also looking forward to using "Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory" (from Heart of Dakota) this year! Too funny!

We haven't quite finished with Little Hearts, so we'll start with that, then turn to Beyond when we are done. In addition to Beyond, we'll use the program (by the same publisher) called Drawn Into the Heart of Reading (DITHR). I was able to get my book brand new but at a wonderfully reduced price! Yay! The teacher's book is so much bigger than I thought it would be! It is about the same size as the Beyond manual. In DITHR, the parent guides the child through nine different genres: biography, adventure, historical fiction, fantasy, folk tales, non-fiction, humor and realistic fiction. The manual is good for grades 2-8, so you do get alot of use from it. The student books are full of worksheets, graphic organizers and reading planners.

I gathered all the books I've collected so far, and took photos! This is the set of books that I will read aloud to my kiddos, as part of the story-time aspect of Beyond. These books do also coincide with the genres in DITHR, but if I chose not to use DITHR, I would still be reading these great books:

I've collected some books from more than one category choice. (Heart of Dakota has choices for boys, girls and classic - sometimes I just couldn't resist getting them all! lol)

I have: Helen Keller (this was my book when I was a child!) Squanto: Friend of the Pilgrims, Sword in the Tree, Little House in the Big Woods, (not pictured, but on it's way is The Cabin Faced West from Paperback Swap). Also I have The Cricket in Times Square (brown book) Charlotte's Web (isn't it a great size? Goodwill for 99 cents!), Ginger Pye, The Key to the Treasure (on it's way from Paperback Swap), The Railway Children (a gift from my good friend to my daughter for her 1/2 birthday - see this post for that story.) Oh, let's see...we also have In Grandma's Attic, A Bear Called Paddington, Mr. Popper's Penguins, The House at Pooh Corner (big blue book - yard sale 50 cents!) and All-of-a-kind Family - I couldn't resist reading the first two chapters of this one! I also have Phoebe and the General, which has since been renamed to Phoebe the Spy and was removed from the book list because it is out of print...but I have it! I also have Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle...this one is not on the list at all, but I think it will be fun to read.

Then, for dd to read-aloud to me, we have these books:

Amelia Earhart: Young Air Pioneer (this was gifted to me by a lovely lady on the Heart of Dakota forum who had finished with it! So Sweet!), Stone Fox, Dolphin Adventure, Hannah, Pioneer Cat, The Littles, The Storm, Treasure of Pelican Cove (on it's way from Paperback Swap) and The Secret School. Books I still need are Capyboppy, Who's That Stepping on Plymouth Rock? (will borrow this one from my good friend) and One Small Square: Backyard (may substitute this one as it is hard to find free! lol) The two books that are recommended for the folk tale genre I decided not to use...I have a large workbook that is all folk/tall tales and I think we will just finish that, even though the stories are shorter...we could do one each day, I think.

Now here is a question for all you HOD users out there...when you have two kiddos the same age who are supposed to be doing the you have them take turns? read separately? OR since my granddaughter can read at home to her parents, should I send the book home and have her read there? I'm curious what your answer would be...please leave a comment.

*Ü* Blessings,

Monday, August 3, 2009

Happy 1/2 Birthday

I know...I know...most would probably think this very silly of me! My dd's birthday is in December...right between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That is a hectic time of year for everyone. However, this past December, Maine saw a lovely ice storm come through that knocked power out in our area for three days. Well, it just so happened that one of those day was supposed to be dd's 6th birthday party.

I consoled her with the promise of a 1/2 birthday in June, when the weather would be nice and she and her friends could enjoy some outdoor games. She was pacified...I thought she would forget...(should I feel guilty for that? lol)

She did not forget...and along about the end of May, when she realized June was coming soon...began to pine away for her party.

We finally held it at the end of rained almost the entire month of June. (Who feels like celebrating when it is so gloomy outside?) We decided on a princess/dress-up tea party. My oldest daughter had dd spend the night with my granddaughter the night before (her first ever sleep over!) so I was able to go shopping for goodies and come home and decorate without her seeing anything! My ds5 helped me decorate in the morning...he blew up ALOT of balloons! I hung streamers, and we prepared the games. I decided to forgo the cake and ice cream since this wasn't her actual birthday...but did the tea table very fancy, and found fancy cookies to serve along with fruit and cheese cubes.

First the girls entered the "boutique" and got all dolled up:

Then we made paper fans:

(my dd is the one trying hard NOT to smile in those last two photos...heaven forbid she show any emotion! lol)

Then we played Kiss the Frog Prince: (dd loved this game, and actually smiled for me - not a pretty smile, but a smile nonetheless.)

Then came refreshments...yum, yum! This is the only shot of our school table all fancied up and the girls actually looking at the camera, lol!

Here's a close up of the smiling 1/2 birthday princess:

Lastly, she opened her gifts, and then the girls had some time to play with them:

*Ü* Blessings,