Monday, February 28, 2011

Anna Hibiscus

Anna Hibiscus is the first book in a series created by Atinuke. This book has been chosen by Usborne as the book of the week. You can listen to the podcast from the Children's Book Center for a brief review of the book along with the authenticity of the author's depiction of Africa. You can also take a lengthy look inside the book here. If that is not enough for you read the review at Walking Brain Cell's blog.

Crocodile Attack

Crocodile Attack is the first book in the Extreme Adventure series by Justin D'Ath. Reading Review recently reviewed this book, here is a small sample of what Conan Tigard had to say.

"Boys will really enjoy this series. Girls who like a lot of action will enjoy it too. After all, the series is called "Extreme Adventures." I can tell you that the story is quite extreme and the book is stuffed full of adventure and dangerous situations. Anyone out there that is an adrenaline junkie will love this book."

For the full review visit Reading Review.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Usborne Books & More wins Homeschool Award

Recently Usborne Books and More has been bestowed the honor of two awards from the homeschool community. Both awards are Practical Homeschooling Reader Awards it is regarded that this award is the highest honor from the homeschool community.

The first award is for Usborne's Art Appreciation catagory, Usborne books came in third place for this catagory. The second award is for the science catagory, Usborne recieved the Honorable Mention award for Elementary Science.

Various art titles from Usborne.

Various science titles from Usborne.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Black Histroy Month Inventors

One of the up points of homeschooling for me is to be able to give my children factual information concerning history and science. Especially when it comes to those who have contributed greatly, but are left out of traditional text books.

I knew there were many African Americans who contributed in the way of their inventions. When my daughter was studying inventors we went to the library to look for books. Do you know that not one of them listed any African Americans in them. For instance it was an African American by the name of Garrett Morgan who invented the traffic light along with the gas mask. These are important inventions for the way we live, but very few people know this.

I was also aware that it was African Americans which gave us the comb, vacumn cleaner and the flint utilized in light bulbs today. Today I learned they are also responsible for a variety of contributions concerning the railroad and we owe the cell phone to them as well.

I was going to end, but I have need to encourage you watch the video below to learn about the first female millionaire.

Find out more about African American inventors and their inventions.

African American inventors study

Extensive list of links for inventors including African Americans

The importance of studying black inventors and article and activity.

Another great site with links

Coloring pages

Pre-schoolers learn about black history month and African American inventors

Black inventors match game for iTunes download for Mac and PC

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Three Point Paragraph

I believe that being able to write legibly is just as important as reading to understand is. A good time to start a child out with writing is in fifth grade. The three point paragraph is easy to write and the child can utilize any topic they wish. I find with my boys the process goes smoother and easier when they write about their interests.

Once the topic has been decided encourage the child to brainstorm. This is where a writer determines what to include in their writing. Since this is a three point paragraph discuss with the child or have them write down what they would like to discuss. This does not only have to be three ideas at this point.

Utilizing graphs for brainstorming can be not only useful, but fun. It allows the child to explore the many aspects of the topic. While there are many graphs available online you or your child could easily customize a graph. Once the topic has been established open up Word or any other document you utilized and add clipart to the graph. This will make it more personal, fun and can be incorporated into a portfolio.

Now it is time to decide which three points will be utilized to write the paragraph. the child will also need to determine what one important fact they want to mention about each point.

I have a reluctant writier who I sit with and work through the process. We have fun being silly and coming up with silly things. This just makes the process more fun and less daunting for him. Sitting with him and working through the steps makes it easier for him to understand the process of writing the three point paragraph.

Easy steps for writing a three point paragraph.

Graphs to utilize when brainstorming

Brainstorming web