Geometry Drama

I had to give an inspirational speech this morning. It was one any movie, football coach would’ve been proud of giving. It wasn’t in front of a crowd or a bunch of VIPs. No, my speech had an audience of 1- my son.

Math is the thorn in my side, the cloud on my sunny day, the rain on my parade. I hate it. No, I loathe it. Elementary school math is cake! Give me the times tables any day. I knew geometry was coming. As soon as sophomore year began, I got a tremendous case of anxiety. Full disclosure: I passed the class myself, with a ‘D’. True story.

My son has always been a good student. He’s articulate and conscientious. Math has never been his forte, but he’s been a basic ‘B’ student. That is: until this year. Yesterday, my brave little soldier gave up. He threw up his hands and said he couldn’t do it. He’d checked out. As a parent, that’s the very last thing you want to hear.

So, this morning, he started his pity party and confessed that he felt stupid. I had enough. He may be struggling but he is definitely NOT stupid. So, I had to deliver an epic speech. I thank the Holy Spirit for providing the words. I explained to him that God has a purpose for him well beyond geometry. I reminded him that his goal is to go to college and become a youth minister.

I reminded him that he mustn’t give up. Giving up is a slippery slope. Once you do, it becomes a cycle of throwing in the towel when things stink. I don’t want him to venture into those waters. I didn’t raise a quitter. So, Mommy speech complete, we went online and found some quality tutorials.

Now, we know it won’t be easy and we know it’s going to be a fight. But, we are NOT giving up. Eventually, the year will end and geometry will be behind us. Hopefully, we’re going to come out on top. I’d love to see him excel at it and become this super, geometry whiz. But, I know that even if we don’t excel or fly through that he’s going to be ok. He will go on to serve the Lord in ministry. He will not quit because the Lord & I won’t let him.

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#Goosebumps2 #Sponsored Gummy Bear Slime Recipe, Science Experiments, Bonus Clips and More

#Sponsored I RECEIVED THE AFOREMNTIONED DVD IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. ALL OPINIONS ARE MINE. PIC AND INFO BELONG SOLELY TO COLUMBIA PICTURES AND THEIR ASSOCIATES.
Slappy New Year! GOOSEBUMPS 2 is now available on Digital and arrives on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD on January 15th from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment! Below, please enjoy a batch of thrilling science experiments that you should try with your kids at home, as well as a few awesome bonus features clips!!!
Click on Slappy’s Pic (above) to watch “BONUS CLIP: Slappy-oke: Take Me Out Of The Manuscript” !

Check back for a review & info about Goosebumps 2!

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: C is for Chickasaw: Wiley Barnes

SYNOPSIS: The award-winning children’s book C is for Chickasaw by Wiley Barnes walks children of all ages through the letters of the alphabet as it teaches elements of Chickasaw history, language, and culture. Each topic is introduced by two lines of rhyming verse, followed by additional information explaining its place or importance in Chickasaw culture.
Colorful illustrations familiarize readers with the style of Southeastern Native American art, and a question and activity section in the back provides a springboard for further discussion.
The C is for Chickasaw children’s book can be paired with its companion learning tools, the C is for Chickasaw app and the recently released C is for Chickasaw coloring book, to provide additional hours of fun while learning about Chickasaw language and culture
AUTHOR INFO: Wiley Barnes, Chickasaw, holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Oklahoma State University. He has spent nearly eighteen years forging a career in publishing, writing, printing, and graphic design, with the last eleven years at the Chickasaw Nation. During that time he has had the pleasure of working on a number of projects that promote Chickasaw culture and celebrate Chickasaw people. Barnes lives in Ada, Oklahoma, with his wife and two children.

MY THOUGHTS: What an absolutely fabulous idea! Wiley Barnes has brought children a way to learn Native American History quickly, efficiently and happily. Obviously, parents/educators know how much elementary age children love books that have a pattern or a rhythm. ‘C is for Chickasaw’ brings them this beloved way reading with a twist. While reinforcing their knowledge of the alphabet and including Native American history, you’re combining two classes in one great book. Adding the coloring book brings art into the mix while they’re re-reading the story! Brilliant!

I completely understand why it is an award winner. The colorful images that are on each page will catch even the youngest readers’ attention. Older, independent readers can benefit from the extra, more detailed text. The easy-to-follow, rhymes will allow for memorization. The knowledge that young readers will gain from ‘C is for Chickasaw’ is priceless. History books just don’t offer these same important and under-taught details. I give it 5 stars and highly recommend adding it to your homeschool library!
Further info can be found here.
*I received the aforementioned title in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.
**Pic & synopsis belong solely to the author/publisher.

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: Picturing America: Thomas Cole and the Birth of American Art: Hudson Talbott

SYNOPSIS: The story of an immigrant from England who arrived in America 200 years ago and – through his passion for art, landscape, and the Hudson River Valley and the Catskills – came to define America’s visual identity and set in motion an artistic legacy that continues to impact art and culture to this day. A major international exhibition of Cole’s work, organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, is now on view at the National Gallery, London.

Thomas Cole pictured for the world an America that would become known as “America the Beautiful.” Until then, there was not a clear succinct image of our country. In the process, he became a pioneering advocate for environmentalism, raising the alarm over industrial destruction of our landscape long before there was an environmental movement.

Hudson Talbott has written and/or illustrated more than 25 books, including Newbury Honor Book Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson, ALA Notable Book Leonardo’s Horse by Jean Fritz, and We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story, adapted into an animated film by Steven Spielberg, starring the voices of John Goodman, Jay Leno, and Martin Short, among others.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hudson Talbott is a resident of the Hudson Valley and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill, NY. In many ways, Picturing America is a companion book to Talbott’s River of Dreams: The Story of the Hudson River, which was named the New York State Children’s Book of the Year in 2009.

MY THOUGHTS: There is so much to love about this book! For homeschoolers, this book touches on multiple classes. Art (of Course), geography, & history are all part of Thomas Cole’s story. Students will also experience a biography about an immigrant who worked hard for his success. Those who are looking to get into a career in art or excel in the subject will find Mr. Cole’s story inspiring and worth their time.

Younger students will marvel at the stunning pictures. Mr. Cole was beyond talented. His vision of American is one worth imitating. He found it beautiful and desired for the landscape to remain rural. This is the perfect resource to discuss the Industrial Revolution, immigration, and art history.

Brick-and-mortar students will definitely benefit from having a seldom discussed artist’s biography. It would be a unique book report and/or history project. Even parents/guardians will love this book. From the pictures to the story itself, this book is phenomenal and gets 5 stars from me.

*I received the aforementioned title in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

**Pic & synopsis belong solely to the author/publisher.

#Sponsored Book Spotlight:Build Your Own Chain Reaction Machines: Paul Long


SYNOPSIS: Be inspired by the amazing artwork of renowned cartoonist, engineer, and inventor Rube Goldberg, whose wacky, imagined machines accomplished tasks by taking the most complicated route possible. In this entertaining and instructive book, mechanical engineer and educator Paul Long gives instructions for making devices using ordinary objects in ingenious ways. Create machines that flip a switch, squeeze toothpaste, dispense candy, and more.
On sale October 16. Watch an example here.

MY THOUGHTS: As our school year begins, homeschoolers are challenged to find engaging, educational and fun ways to teach STEM. Thankfully, books like this provide ample opportunities to incorporate it. Among the many ‘pros’ that this book brings are its 12 projects. That’s 12 days of STEM teaching. Our author, Paul Long, knows his machines as he is an engineer & educator. Having a background such as this provides a unique insight homeschoolers may not have had before.

A huge plus, in my opinion, is that these machines use everyday objects in their construction. Students can begin to see STEM/STEAM in the world around them. Along with the project itself, additional, topical information is provided making it easy to combine classes like Science & Art. We also have the fact that the book itself is unique. It is the only how-to book currently available on the topic.

Brick-and-mortar students will also identify with and be able to accomplish building these machines. With Science fairs and projects soon to come, it will add an additional learning component to their coursework. Books such as these are timeless and a sound investment to your home library. It is marketed to ages 10 & up, but younger students can benefit from their older counterparts’ involvement. I highly recommend it!

*Pic & Synopsis belong solely to the author/publisher.

**I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: Marvelous Makeable Monsters: Sam Haynor


SYNOPSIS:What can a makeable monster do? They motor, inflate, wobble, drool, soar, and one can even do push-ups. Add a pair of wings, subtract a tentacle… The best thing about these monsters is that they’re part experiment, part imagination, and 100% customizable. Author Sam Haynor draws on his experience with the San Francisco Exploratorium, Oakland Toy Lab, GoldieBlox, and designing STEAM curriculum to create projects packed with fun features.
On sale October 9.
MY THOUGHTS: There is so much to love about this book. First, its author. Sam Haynor is a STEAM curriculum builder. Who better to give homeschoolers STEA advice?! There are 21 experiments! That’s a lot of STEAM material for your classrooms. If utilized in a daily format, that’s 21 days of STEAM lessons. Plus, you could mix and match your classes. Science & art for example.
These are safe projects. Independent workers can spend their time exploring STEAM concepts while working alone. Younger kids may need a little assistance, but, they will be using independent working skills like their older counterparts. Or team up 2 students for a leadership/team building exercise. But, don’t forget the FUN!

If you aren’t a homeschooler, this book can still apply to you. There’s no reason a brick and mortar student couldn’t benefit from these projects. Perhaps with a Science Fair approaching or a rainy weekend. I applaud any project that doesn’t involve iPhones or having to take a bank loan for pieces to build it!

Sam Haynor has done a fantastic job keeping tabs on the quickly evolving STEAM system. Take advantage of the knowledge he’s acquired and invest in a book you’ll use for years to come!

US MSRP $17.99 https://www.amazon.com/Marvelous-Makeable-Monsters-Projects-Occasionally/dp/0760361010
https://www.facebook.com/QuartoKids/
*I received the aforementioned title in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.
**Pics & Synopsis belong solely to the author/publisher.

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: Creative Adventures in Cursive: Rachelle Doorley

SYNOPSIS: Who knew handwriting could be so cool? Write with glue, string, markers, paint, and icing and develop a signature cursive style with TinkerLab’s Rachelle Doorley in Creative Adventures in Cursive!

Where has this book been all my life? From the moment I opened the first pages and saw the cursive warm-up doodles, I wanted to be a kid again.
Barbara Rucci, Art Educator, Founder of Art Bar, and Author of Art Workshop for Children: How to Foster Original Thinking with more than 25 Process Art Experiences

Creative Adventures in Cursive gives kids of all ages ideas for practicing writing skills, then guides them into cursive creativity. Doorley has concocted 22 fun and colorful ways to use script to make posters, present school projects, design monograms, create greeting cards, decorate book bags and t-shirts, ice cookies and cakes — writing in script with everything, including fabric markers, pastry tubes, string and yarn, and of course brushes, pens, and crayons. And as educators will attest, writing in cursive provides cognitive benefits in spelling, memory, reading comprehension, language skills, and overall academic confidence. Practicing cursive carries similar benefits when drawing; once you learn the basic shapes, you can play with it by creating your own personal style. Cursive is a wonderful means of self-expression and an essential form of communication—don’t let it be forgotten!

This guide to joyful handwriting takes the curse out of cursive and reconnects young writers’ hands with their eyes and minds. […] The nearly lost art of handwriting is recovered here with countless activities and exercises designed to excite and engage young learners.
Steve Seidel, Director of the Arts in Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

About the Author:

Rachelle Doorley is an arts educator, community builder, and founder of the popular creativity blog TinkerLab. She is also the author of TinkerLab: A Hands-on Guide for Little Inventors, published by Roost in 2014. Rachelle studied costume design at the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked on Hollywood films before finding her true calling as an arts educator. After teaching elementary and middle school art, she earned a master’s in arts education from Harvard, and then oversaw museum-based and education programs in Massachussets and California. Rachelle lives with her family in the beautiful San Francisco Bay area, where she teaches art, visual thinking, and creativity. She enjoys her sketchbooks, taking her kids on adventures, good friends, kawaii drawings, breakfast, hand-drawn letters, hikes in the woods, and ocean air.

MY THOUGHTS: Cursive writing is fast becoming an art like calligraphy. Most curriculums, that I am aware of anyway, aren’t including it. But, honestly, it is a beautiful form of writing. I love the idea of utilizing it to make special creations. Sending greeting cards is also becoming a lost form of communication so I love the included activity of making cards featuring cursive.

This is the ideal, rainy/snowy day book of activities. Any one of the designs can be altered to accommodate even the littlest hands and who doesn’t love homemade gifts? If you are looking for ways to incorporate cursive writing or fun, mess-free art classes into your homeschool day, gift yourself a copy of this book. These are also ideal, inexpensive Sunday School/VBS projects. Suggest a copy to your Children’s Minister, too.

I highly recommend it for its fresh ideas and ease of use. 5 stars.