Bella Learning For Me

There as some things that I’ve wanted to learn how to do or about for almost 20 years now. Things that since my hands are full with teaching my own children I thought I wouldn’t have time to study till they were at least teenagers.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve woven some of what I want to learn into our daily lessons, nature study and most things history are favorites of mine along with social studies and geography. But there is more that I’ve wanted to learn and especially in the early years and sleepless nights of babies I all but gave up. But since we have discovered fun-schooling I’ve been taking a little more time for my own lessons.

It’s amazing how much more my own children want to sit and work on learning when they see mama doing it. When they hear me passionate about a new subject and narrating to them or drawing doodles about the subject. All those things they are getting to do in their journals.

This post does contain affiliate links at no extra cost to you and only to things I enjoy.

I’d like to say we have been doing this for a while, but really I didn’t get somewhat serious about my mom-school time until I sat down to do Dyslexia Games with them. And then today, yes just today a lazy Saturday morning with no place to go and nothing to do and no fun fiction to read I dug into one of the other books on my shelf.

This is a book that begs for me to take notes, to do copy work, to look up how to say phrases and study history and cook food. This book asks for its very own “unit study” of delight directed learning… for ME. What is the name of this magical book that is inspiring me to put together a basket just for me? La Bella Lingua and while I would love to give you a full review, I’m only a few pages into the second chapter so I cannot yet.

So now I am looking at what I can put in my Bella Basket, besides the book and google. Today I asked google “how do you say ‘fart’ in Italian” because I have a 10 year old boy and he wanted in on my searching for Italian words.

  • This isn’t a mom journal so if your teenager is all things Italian like I am, this could be a good one for them too. I really like the Steampunk cover because it reminds me of Leonardo De Vinci. High School Journal with Steampunk cover. PDF or this one would be nice too, I really like how the spelling pages are set up. I can imagine writing the Italian word on one side and the translation on the other.
  • Under the Tuscan Sun. Do not be fooled by the movie, the book is wonderful and just wonderful! But don’t blame me if you want to eat all the Pine Nuts after reading it too.
  • The about book has plenty of recipes to keep me busy in the kitchen but I wouldn’t mind adding a book by Giada to my collection. (My daughter loves watcher her food network show as much as I do.)
  • The Poetry of Michelangelo an Annotated Translation. I bought this book in my early 20’s, it’s still a favorite of mine!
  • Renaissance Coloring Book. Generally I’m all about the impressionists but as I delve into more things Italian I cannot help but be drawn to the artists of the Renaissance
  • Kids Animated History with Pipo. My husband and I actually have been watching this via Amazon Prime.
  • YouTube Learn Italian. This gal is really fast, but so far I enjoy her the most.
  • I’m always on the hunt for more games to play, and card games happen to be a favorite. I’m excited to try this one.
  • And of course, movies like this one to inspire you to keep you wanting to study till you can buy the tickets to travel. This one with English subtitles is a favorite as well, when the main actor received his Oscar I cried for joy with him. To this day its the only Oscars I’ve enjoyed and I’m so happy its one that I watched.
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Review: Kathleen The Celtic Knot

It wasn’t till I finished the last page that I noticed that Kathleen The Celtic Knot was an American Girl book. It also happens to be the first American Girl book I have ever read and I am looking forward to reading more of this Girls of Many Lands Series.

I picked this little book up pre St Patrick’s day as part of my goal to pre-read more books for my kids. This is just the sort of book I would have loved as a 12 year old and while the library has it listed as a 5th Level Advanced Reader, because of maturity of some content I will wait until my little ones are 12+.

Reading this book, I felt transported to 1937 Ireland and could easily imagine my like was Kathleen’s. I learned much about the culture, history and even Gaelic. The book includes a glossary that I reference often after I discovered it and clarified some unknown words or terms; and it includes a brief history of “current” Ireland with some color photos.

I’m expecting that some Step Dancing and having embroidery kits on hand for Celtic Knots will take the simple pleasure of this book to the next level. Oh, and maybe a loaf of Irish Soda bread too.

A Living Geography That Takes Your Family Around The World

Seriously I have nothing but the best things to say about Around The World Stories. Yesterday (St Patrick’s Day) we listed to 3 stories from Ireland. Then today at lunch (left over baked potatoes) we listed to the last story, The Potato Fairy. You should have seen the extra happy faces when I pulled out the coloring pages that the folk at Around The World Stories included with the story.

Since we first started listing they have upped their game with their Make It Interactive section that is included with each story. It has everything I would want to take the story to the next level with the ease of clicking on a link. No Pinterest searching needed…but if I did want to take it further, well they have Pinterest Boards too.

These stories not only teach us about other countries and cultures, but they are full of moral choices and inspiring characters. Characters and stories my children ask to hear again and again.

Well, the one story was not going to cut it today and while they requested to listen to the Ireland stories all over again. We had nothing on the agenda so I suggested one of the new Asian Stories from China instead. China was met with more giggles, and requests for another. Since we were not focusing on “lessons” today I let them listen to a Denmark story as well that included a trip to Lego land. Not to shabby for a Sunday afternoon.

Review Thinking Tree Spelling Time C Journal

So the kids are playing freely with their dramatic imaginations when all of a sudden Pumpkin is pretending one of there characters is from Belgium. To which we all have a fun fact sharing time and it ends with him pretending to be the little boy peeing fountain that Belgium’s like to dress up in costume. Oh, if only I had gotten that photo!

And then because we had recently just enjoyed learning as a family about the Netherlands with Stories From Around The World, we were able to talk about the Netherlands being north of Belgium and that one of the languages they speak is the same. “They don’t speak Belgium, they speak German and French and Dutch just like Jasper!”

The study of Belgium wasn’t a country I wrote up in our lesson plan, but it is a place included in the Spelling Time C Journal Pumpkin is working on. And if I had any thought that maybe we should be doing something else, the last few minutes of their play confirmed that this journal is the perfect choice for us right now.

I shared more here about how Pumpkin is using this journal as part of his Minimalist Learning Plan for this year. But because we are so loving the journal I thought it deserved it’s own post.

This post does contain affiliate links, but as always, only to things we love.

From A-Z there are 26 animals for nature study, hello science! There are 26 musical instruments, music history and appreciation right there…perhaps some play if I’m feeling brave. And 26 places! Countries, cities or states in such variety with only your child’s interest to limit what you are learning about them. And then there is advanced spelling words, vocabulary, creative writing, coloring and drawing too. This Journal is a gold mind!

This journal really is the perfect addition for us to our family symposium and math fun-schooling and language arts. It provides just the right amount of research of a variety of subjects to provide a feast of knowledge. The lessons are as short or as long as you and your child wish to make them. And if you have younger siblings there are corresponding journals A & B that go along well with it if you wan to include them. Personally, we are enjoying working this journal into our one on one time each week.

Now, you may note that this journal that we are using is for ages 10 and up. Well, Pumpkin is not 10 yet but I’m not asking him to do this journal all on his own. We do work on it together, sometimes he writes his facts other times I write them for him while he dictates to me. He watches videos, reads books or uses read to me books from Epic for his research. If we are unable to find anything from those sources we have, mama will take to google and read content to him.  We are both enjoying this timing together and it’s been a great way to gently teach him how to research on his own.

I had originally thought we would do one letter a week, but because we Slow Loop and Roadschool it’s taking longer then that. But since we are not really using it for spelling that works well for us. If you are also looking for something simply to expand your child’s interest base and the core journals feel a bit overwhelming to you and them I suggest giving this one a try. It might be just what your child needs to inspire their own delight directed learning and prepare them for a core journal like this Minecraft one on our shelf.

 

 

Travel the World in a Basket

Geography is a pretty natural subject for us to study while we roadschool, in fact making sure we had room for our globe was a must when choosing our home. But I’m still so often tempted to try and eek out some stand alone geography time because I remember having that in school.

Want to know what I don’t remember from school…geography! To quote Cloe (any Pitch Perfect Fans here?) “I failed maps.” I don’t want that to be my kids but I don’t want to just drill them all the time to make sure they know were places are. I want them us to have a real connection with the world around us.

Five In A Row first helped me see the easy of teaching geography to my children. I’ve since applied that “read about it and find it” on the map to EVERY STORY WE READ! Its been wonderful and easy and such a quick way to make meaningful connections with the world. After all PEOPLE are the most important part of the world. (But don’t forgo animal stories when teaching the world as well, they work really well for my youngest to make geographical connections.)

However, I still like to have some “geography” reference books handy. You never know when we might become fully engrossed in a new country because one of the kids found some food they wanted to try in The Usborne Round The World Cookbook. (Scones anyone? My oldest is ready to take us on a culinary tour of the world with baked goods.)

This post does contain some affiliate links, but as always only to things we love.

A common theme in the world of fun-schooling is “baskets”. We don’t have a lot of room for them in our traveling abode but I still like the idea of them. I have a few Dollar Tree baskets left over from our house day, so I’ve re- purposed them in our RV. And since space is small I rotate the subjects they hold. I made up our Geography basket  past week.

In our basket:

I also have my eyes on these for when we need to spark some more interest.

FYI our globe isn’t as fancy as the one above, but it’s on our wish list because its totally drool worthy. But fancy isn’t needed! This globe is just as good…and if you don’t have one in your home I strongly suggest you get one. Its amazing how familiar even the youngest two are with the world just from “finding where we read”.

 

Let’s Go The Story Of Getting From There To Here: a book review

Are all children natural explorers? I’m not sure, but in my family they are. So the book, Let’s Go The Story Of Getting From There To Here by Lizann FLatt, was a wonderful read for us. From the Ice Age to Aerospace it is a playful, presently written look at how people have traveled in America from its start. USA history and geography rolled into one fun volume that gives a smart overview of  our transportation and exploration history. I would strongly suggest this book as a gentle introduction to US history or a supplement for the younger kids when big brother or sister are studying the subject.

If your children are like mine I also suggest a USA and World map in addition to a globe. I scored two large laminated maps in beautiful muted colors at Costco this summer for only $14.99  something I hear are a regular find so keep your eye out. We have the U.S. Map up in our family room and the Wold map in the children’s bedroom. This has provided hours of imaginative play for my little treasure hunters and a nature understanding of geography that I know I didn’t have at their age. If you are homeschooling or not, I suggest adding this wonderful tools to your home.

***This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links I may receive financial compensation. That means more books for me to review for you!***