Books, Books and more Books

Ok, so I haven’t blogged since May! I could go back and talk about our trip to Boston, which was awesome! I could add pictures of all the many places we visited, but I have so many I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I could also tell you about the wonderful time we had in Orlando, but this vacation is more of a relaxing one for me where I do absolutely nothing!  The girls attend their favorite SeaWorld Camp, Louie golfs everyday, and I get to read on the porch overlooking a man made lake that is simply breathe taking. I love the sound of the water. I could then tell you about the amazing experience Gianna had at the camp she attended with her youth group, but that would be an experience for her to share. So, instead, I am going to pick it up from here.

As you know, I love to read. I completed Lavender, by: Jude Deverux while in Orlando. This was a fun book, very predictable. Boy meets girl, who is suppose to be in love with his brother, however, falls in love with him. At first, they have a love hate relationship, my favorite, because you just know they will wind up together. This book was part one of a trilogy, which I may or may not finish. I picked up part two at the library, but had so many other books on my list to read that I quickly returned it and I’m not sure that I will actually get to it…maybe next summer! :)

I completed Beowulf with Gianna, she seem to have enjoyed it more then I did. I found it to be a tough read and not really up my alley. She had no choice, it’s part of her reading list for the Fall. We are both reading Sophie’s World a novel about the history of Philosophy, by : Jostein Gaarder. By completing this novel, Gianna will get 1/2 credit for a Philosophy course and will be able to relate to the Philosophers of the time period she will be studying in the Fall. I’m really enjoying this book. I find the study of Philosophy interesting. I also began reading The Pilgrims Progress, by: John Bunyan with Gianna. This is also one of the books on her reading list for the Fall. We are both enjoying this allegory of a man that is on a journey to the Celestial City.

After going to visit Louisa May Alcott’s home in Concord, Massachusetts I became very interested in her life. I also became interested in her father’s philosophy on education, so I picked up a book on their lives called Eden’s Outcasts, by: John Matteson. Needless to say, I am in the middle of reading this book as well. As if three books at the same time wasn’t enough, I began reading a book on learning styles called, Discover Your Child’s Learning Style, by: Mariaemma Willis, M.D. and Victoria Kindle Hodson, M.A. This is a great book that has helped me understand my girl’s learning styles and hopefully will help me make their learning environment more conducive to their style of learning. As if that’s not enough, yesterday, I decided that I wanted to see the movie InkHeart. I read the book a few years ago, but never got around to seeing the movie. So, I decided to watch the movie, which of course, now makes me want to read the second book. Naturally, I went to my bookshelf and there was book two, InkSpell, by: Cornelia Funke. You guessed it, I began reading it this morning! :)

Can you tell how much I love to read?

Family update:

Louie is doing well. He continues with his role as Captain for the Miami Dade Rescue Training Bureau. Most of you already know he was dispatched to assist in Haiti with the Earthquake that occurred in January of this year. He has since traveled to Washington D.C. and Tallahassee, Florida (to name a few) to be honored for a job well done in Haiti. He and his crew were able to rescue 11 live people from the rubble. Louie was touched by the devastation he witnessed in Haiti in ways I can not even begin to describe. On his return from Haiti, he wanted nothing more then to spend time with his family. So, he booked us on a one week Caribbean cruise. We had a wonderful and restful time!

Gianna has recently recovered from a fracture to her right foot that she received on the very last night of our cruise. She was unable to dance for a month and has recently returned to her Ballet classes. Although she has decided that Girl Scouts is just not for her, she did complete and receive her Silver Award. This award is the highest award one can receive as a Cadette Girl Scout. Her project consisted of holding a 3 day Summer Camp for 2nd grade students in hopes of sharing with them her love of the ocean and sea animals. She did an amazing job! The children loved what she had shared with them. Gianna has successfully completed the 8th grade. She is continuing to school in the summer and God willing, will complete  9th grade by the Fall.

She has completed the following novels this school year:

  • Heidi
  • Shark Life
  • I Kissed Dating Goodbye
  • Love Off-Limits
  • Johnny Tremain
  • Taming of The Shrew (her favorite so far)
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Books and essays on her list to complete by the Fall are as follows:

  • The Scarlet Letter (currently reading)
  • The Red Badge of Courage
  • The Pit and the Pendulum
  • A Model of Charity
  • Through Gates of Splendor
  • Born Again
  • Ash Liv
  • Up From Slavery
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
  • The Glass Menagerie
  • The Song of Hiawatha
  • The Midnight Run of Paul Revere
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Thoreau’s Walden
  • Emerson’s Self Reliance
  • The Old Man and The Sea

These novels and essays are all part of her Challenge I curriculum for Classical Conversations. Her goal is to finish Challenge I and be ready for Challenge II in the fall. She is also completing the following areas of study:

American Government: all areas of the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, the Presidents, etc…

Economics: Whatever Happened to Penny Candy and The Money Mystery (Free Market Economics)

Latin: Latina Christiana I

Mathematics: Saxon 7/8

Philosophy: Sophie’s World

Science: Apologia’s Physical Science

Against her wishes and to please her father, Gianna will continue to play the flute in the Fall. :) She will be attending her first Prom geared for homeschoolers with her buddy Matthew and friends.  I promise to post pictures! She will also be attending her favorite SeaWorld Camp in July, where she plans on rooming with a friend she met last year from South Carolina. She will also be attending our Church’s Summer Camp in Daytona Beach with her friend Hannah. As you can tell, she is extremely busy and she somehow still manages to keep in touch with all her old and new friends on facebook!

Leanne is amazing! Although her schedule is no where near as busy as her sisters, she is as happy as can be. Her goal in life is to make everyone laugh! She is an amazingly talented young lady. She loves to draw Anime/Manga characters and would like to someday have a manga comic book published. She attended her first Anime Convention this Spring and was the happiest I have ever seen her. She owns more Anime/Manga books then anyone I know. She has taken to teaching herself Japanese. She loves to listen to and sing Japanese songs. How she does it, I haven’t a clue! :) She has read way too many of these types of books for me to begin to list them, so instead I will show you a picture of her collection:

Leanne continues to be a part of Girl Scouts and is in the process of earning her Bronze Award, the highest award one can earn as a Junior Girl Scout. She will bridge to Cadette in the Fall. She has been steadily memorizing her lines for her upcoming role as Dorothy of The Wizard of OZ. I promise to post pictures some time in September after the play.

As for her studies, Leanne has successfully completed the 5th grade with many of her studies being of 6th grade level. Among the many Anime/Manga books she has read, she has completed the following novels this school year:

  • Where The Red Fern Grows
  • A Wrinkle In Time
  • My Side of The Mountain
  • The Golden Goblet
  • Warriors

Other areas of studies:

Geography: United States – Draw and label all states their capitals, rivers, mountains and surrounding bodies of water. Memorize all states, capitals and state abbreviations

Grammar: Junior Analytical Grammar

Latin: Latina Christiana I

Literature: Alice in Wonderland

Mathematics: Teaching Textbooks 5

History: The Story of The World, Volume I

Science: Florida Science

Leanne is preparing for the heavy workload of the Challenge A curriculum through Classical Conversations that she will be working with in the Fall. She will also be learning a new instrument through a local homeschool band program that she will attend in the summer. So far it looks like percussion, but we will have a better idea after she tries the different instruments. She is looking forward to her SeaWorld camp in July. This year she will have two buddies with her at camp!

As for me, I continue to love homeschooling the girls. I feel as though I am learning right along with them. I love the time we share reading aloud on the couch in the middle of day. Especially when the weather is beautiful and we take our reading outside on the porch near the pool with the sound of birds chirping in the background! Aww, the beauty of homeschooling! I am truly Blessed!

I will be teaching Latin in Leanne’s Challenge A class at Classical Conversations. Latin, who would have ever thought I would be teaching Latin! I am very excited about this new journey! I am looking forward to the FPEA Florida Homeschool Convention at the end of this month. This is my time to rejuvenate and prepare for the following school year. :)

I look forward to continue being a member of the Board for our Parent Support Group, Girl Scout Leader and soon to be Latin Tutor. My goal for this coming year is to participate in the Disney Princess Marathon next Spring. So I will be training for this marathon throughout this coming year.

Wow, you don’t realize how busy you actually are until you take the time to reflect on all that you have done and are preparing to do!

Until my next update, Ciao!

Megacon 2010

My youngest daughter is a huge fan of Anime and Manga comic books. She can read 2 or 3 in a day. She loves to spend her spare time drawing Anime and Manga characters. We actually have to put a time limit on the time she spends reading and drawing these characters. If anyone is familiar with these books, you would know that they can range anywhere from books written for “all ages” to “mature” in content. So, we have to keep a close eye on what she is wanting to read. She is aware of this and complies with our rules. She has even turned down books that were given to her, because she knew that her Dad and I would not agree to her reading them. We were very proud of her decision to follow through on what she knew was the right thing to do.

She has been asking to attend an Anime convention for quite some time. So, I decided to do some research and find the closest convention to where we live. After much prayer, we decided that I would take her to the Megacon convention that is held in Orlando, Florida with the stipulation that we would leave if I thought it was inappropriate for her or if I felt uncomfortable. One of the big deals about attending these conventions are the costumes. Apparently, people spend months designing and sewing their costumes. Leanne decided that she wanted to be “Maka” from her favorite book, Soul Eater. We began by shopping at a local thrift store for pieces that she could use to assemble her outfit. We had her jacket and skirt made by a friend, she and I worked on the boots and she and her Grandfather put together her weapon. By the time we were done, she looked amazing! Although, she entered a contest and did not win, she had a wonderful time! As did I! It was wonderful to see a bunch of people, adults and kids alike, dressing as their favorite costume and just having fun! We are looking forward to attending next year.

Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge

I am so in on this challenge! I love to read books and then go see the movie. I love that as you read the book, you imagine your characters and scenery one way and then you see it on the movie screen and say, “What? That is not at all the way I would have pictured the town!” Or, “No way, they picked her for the main character?” On rare occasions, like with the Harry Potter books and movies or the Twilight books and movies, do they (in my opinion) get it right!

Ok, here are the choices for this challenge:

  • Matinee: one book/movie
  • Double Feature: two books/movies
  • Saturday Movie Marathon: four books/movies
  • Film Festival: eight books/movies
  • Festival Jury Member: ten books/movies

I am going to go for the Festival Jury Member: ten books/movies! Here is a list of the books and movies I plan to read and see below.

If you want more information on this challenge or you care to join me, head over to Ready When You are, C.B. and sign up!

  1. Dear John, by: Nicholas Sparks
  2. Eclipse, by: Stephanie Meyer
  3. Ramona and Beezus, by: Beverly Cleary
  4. InkHeart, by: Cornelia Funke
  5. Eat, Love, Prey
  6. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows – Part 1, by: J.K. Rowling
  8. Narnia: The Voyage of The Dawn, by: C.S. Lewis
  9. Gulliver’s Travels
  10. The Eagle of the Ninth
  11. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows – Part 2, by: J.K. Rowling

Home schooling is on the rise in Florida

It seems that home schooling is becoming more popular in Central Florida. I came across an interesting article that was published in the Orlando Sentinel. It seems more and more parents are choosing to home school their children. Many basing their decision on not being able to afford private schools anymore. Others are simply unhappy with the education their children are getting. Whatever the reasons, it is safe to say that homeschooling is not for everyone. It is a decision that should not be taken lightly. It is a lot of work, but so worth it!