Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Space Child's Mother Goose

Saturday, I received at my garage door (the UPS man comes through my garage to make deliveries- that's what happens when you live in a small town) a copy of The Space Child's Mother Goose.  I've been waiting to buy this for months.  I am so happy that it was rereleased, and that I saw it in a Think Geek catalog.  I've been randomly reading poems ever since.  My favorite, so far, is "Little Jack Horner", because it so suits my boy, Xavier.

Little Jack Horner
Sits in a corner
Extracting cube roots to infinity,
An assignment for boys
That will minimize noise
And produce a more peaceful vicinity.

Please note that the above link to Amazon is to an associate site.  If you choose to purchase this book during this visit, I will receive a little money.  The link to Think Geek is totally gratuitous.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

School Plans

I am way behind on my school plans.  We're starting school on September 7, and I usually have the entire year planned by this time.  This year, I haven't even got the first six week period planned.

I spent most of the evening working on my school plans, breaking only for dinner and a family movie, Flushed Away (Widescreen Edition).  My plans are starting to shape up, and I thought I would take a break and share some of them with you.  Here's what I've got so far:

Dominic- 2nd Grade:


Our Island Story  He'll be listening to this on audio via librivox.
This Country of Ours: A Classic United States History Book
The Discovery of New Worlds (Illustrated Edition) (Dodo Press)


The Little Duke
Joan of Arc


Tree in the Trail

Nature Study:

The Burgess Animal Book for Children (Dover Science Books for Children)

Poetry by Walter de la Mare, Eugene Field, James Whitcombe Riley, and Christina Rossetti


Selections from Tales from Shakespeare
Understood Betsy (This is already completed and one of our favorite books!)
The Wind in the Willows (Signet Classics)
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
The Twenty-One Balloons
Misty of Chincoteague (Since this is one of my favorite books, I'm anxious to see his reaction.)

There will be more history and biography added.  He also has a free reading list that will be exhausted via audio books while driving to and fro over the coming year.  Science will be done together with Xavier, and has not been planned.  Other subjects they will do together include geography, art, art appreciation, music appreciation, foreign languages, and "Living History Through Math."  He will be using Singapore for math, Spelling Power for spelling, First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind  for grammar, and The Complete Writer: Writing with Ease for writing.

Xavier- 4th Grade:


This Country of Ours: A Classic United States History Book
George Washington's World
Our Island Story Again, we'll be using the Librivox audio version, which is free.

Historical Fiction:

Across Five Aprils
Caddie Woodlawn
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Miracles on Maple Hill (I haven't made a final decision on this one yet.  It deals with a father coming home from war with emotional problems.  Quite frankly, I had a difficult time making it through the first chapter.)
The Trumpeter of Krakow


Poor Richard
Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution
The Story Of Thomas Alva Edison (Scholastic Biography)
First Flight: The Wright Brothers (DK Readers, Level 4)
Helen Keller (Scholastic Biography)
and a biography of George Washington Carver, although I'm not sure which one we have.


Minn of the Mississippi
Need more- suggestions?

Nature Study/Science:

Need more- suggestions?

Poetry by Alfred Lord Tennyson, Emily Dickinson, and William Wordsworth


The Age of Fable
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (Puffin Classics)
Kidnapped (Puffin Classics)
The Incredible Journey
The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow
Paul Revere's Ride  I love the illustrations in this version.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle
Old Yeller (Perennial Classic.)
All-of-a-Kind Family
One Thousand and One Arabian Nights (Oxford Story Collections)
Beowulf: A New Telling
Classic Starts: The Story of King Arthur & His Knights (Classic Starts Series)
The Canterbury Tales (Puffin Classics)Tales from Japan (Oxford Myths and Legends)

Xavier also has numerous free reading books that we'll listen to driving to and fro, and books that will be plunked down in obvious places for him to discover.

Gabriel- Grade 9:

You're going to have to wait on this one.  Besides the fact that this is already a long post, I haven't even got a clue about half of his plan.  I do know that I'm going to need suggestions for two poets.  I've already got Edgar Allen Poe and Robert Frost, but I need more.  Ideas?  He's reading a prodigious amount of American History this year, but we could use some suggestions for World History.  Also, any ideas for religious studies would be greatly appreciated.  He's going to be studying a different religion each 6 week period.  So far, I've got Judaism and Buddhism covered.  Any ideas for Christianity (specificity is fine- IE Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, etc), Hinduism, Pagan, etc, would be greatly appreciated.  The books should be on a high school or higher level.  Thank you!

That's it for now.  I've got to get back to Gabriel's plan.  My brain hurts!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


You can never be too grammatically correct, and because you should always use correct grammar, even on Facebook, I thought I would share this with you.  I like it.

Alot is Better Than You at Everything.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Desert of Maine

Family Photo Op

The first week of August, we went to Maine to visit Gary's family.

Desert of Maine

While we were there, we visited the Desert of Maine.  Did you know there is a desert in Maine?  Even though I lived in Maine for a year, and frequently visited Freeport since I worked for L.L. Bean, I didn't know there was a desert in Maine.  Even though my husband is from Maine, I didn't know there was a desert in Maine.  Then, I came across this article.  My family is all about the weird, so I read it.  Low and behold one of the sites was on our vacation!  I figured it would be a great learning experience for the kids, plus very interesting.

Moiste Sand

It was very interesting, but the tour was a little boring.  At one point they stopped the tram and showed us pictures while giving us the history of the tourist aspect of the desert.  I would have preferred more scientific information and it could have been given while driving.  I think the pictures would have been better put in the barn to look at after the tour.   I think it would have been wonderful if we had had time to walk on the trails.  We did enjoy ourselves, though.

At any rate, here is some information for you.

The sand was deposited by a glacier that moved through the area .  Over the years, the sand was covered with fertile topsoil.  Through aggressive clear cutting, farming, and overgrazing, the topsoil eroded and left the sand.

Sand Blasting

The winds blow fast through the desert, and trees get sandblasted.

Sand Blasting 2

Roots are covered and uncovered by the constantly shifting sand.

Tree Branches/Roots

In fact, in some areas, the sand builds up so slowly that tree branches get gently covered and become roots.

Nature Reclemation

Slowly, nature is reclaiming the land.


Topsoil is being remade by nature.  Decomposition and plant life is taking back over the desert.  In another thousand years there will be no desert in Maine, so go see it while you can!


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