Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Studies in Art and Nature - Great Book choice

The book A Nest for Celeste is about a mouse named Celeste who ends up the pocket pet of a young boy who works with John James Audubon.  The story explains how Audubon got the great paintings of the "in flight" birds.  
This living book through the story of this young mouse's struggles in life - shows the time period where the conservation of animals was not a priority.  "Not unless you are a mouse that is."  My children both a Kindergardener and a 2nd grader especially enjoyed the art work on every page.  Truly a book to enjoy reading together with your children and a great study in the time period of this great american painter.    I enjoy books on American figures that don't try to show them as perfect men - but as a product of their time.  This book is a great tale of a young mouse and a historical look at John James Audubon.   Well written, interesting, and beautifully illustrated book.   Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

American Sign Language - MY choices for teaching ASL!

Since, I am a Child of Deaf Adults (CODA) and hold a certification as an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter.  I thought you might be interested in my choice for teaching your children ASL.

For the elementary crowd keep it fun!
Signing Time Season 2: Vols. 1-3
Signing Time - does just that.  It keeps it fun while teaching a lot of fundamental vocabulary.  Their website has a lot to offer.  See the links below.  They also have two series.  The first series focuses on vocabulary.  The second series focuses on putting it all together.

Signing Time Website
Sign of the Week

Search Amazon.com for signing time dvd set

For older children I recommend

ASL University - it is put out by a Deaf ASL teacher that has created this free website to learn ASL.  It is spot on and will give any student - young or old a great start in learning ASL.

The other part that you need to truly learn ASL is a community of Deaf people to use it!  You will never truly know the language until you can "read" a Deaf person signing to you!  This is the challenging part.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Egypt: Books we are reading - 1

So right now we just did a Vacation Bible School that was centered around Egypt.  It was a great time!  So needless to say since we are starting Ancient History this year in our homeschool I have been reading lots of Egypt books to the kids.  I'll be posting what we have read and others that I would love to read in the next month.

Today we read Pharaoh's Boat, by David L. Weitzman.  It was an interesting book about one of the two boats built and then buried next to the great pyramid in Giza for Cheops.  Not only is it a good book about Egypt, but also goes into great detail about how the Egyptians made boats all without nails and the great detail that goes into archeology.

We also read a short book called Kids in Ancient Egypt, by Lisa A. Wroble.  This book seems to be currently out of print, but if you want a short book about Ancient Egypt it is pretty good.  Check your local Library, there is a line of the "Kids in" book series.
Kids in Ancient Egypt (Wroble, Lisa a. Kids Throughout History,)
Mummies and Pyramids (Usborne Discovery), by Sam Taplin.  My son and I enjoyed reading this porch outside selling lemonade.   The internet links are also a lot of fun.  Mummies and Pyramids (Usborne Discovery)

Another great Usborne book is from the See Inside Board Book series.  We have quite a few of these.  The See Inside Ancient Egypt, by Rob Lloyd Jones.  These books are a lot of fun.  My son particularly likes the page where a guy is falling off the Pyramid and is yelling Aghh!  He has been taking these two books to bed
each night.

The VBS program we do is put out by GROUP.  It has really driven home that the worlds in the Bible are true historical accounts of things that happened long ago.  The only thing better would be a real trip to Egypt to see the pyramids in person!

Timeline: website find of the century!

This timeline site is great!  HISTORY CENTRAL

World History, American History, Biographical history and that is just the beginning.  If you wanted a good timeline site I think I have found it. 

The only thing annoying about this site is the adds that scare you with the sound level of them that say you are selected to win - yadda, yadda.  Just ignore it or turn your computer on mute before you go there. 

Why, another blog...

Growing up with Deaf parents I grew up as a cross cultural kid though I didn't know it at the time.  The world was something I explained to myself and at times to my parents.  We hearing people are strange sometimes.  In college I thought a communications degree sounded great but I wasn't sure what I would do with it and decided to get my teaching license in social studies with an emphasis in Geography and minor in journalism.  This way I could do something with communication but be centered in a place.  Once out of college I ended up getting my interpreting license as an American Sign Language interpreter.  Something I once said I would never do.  Interpreters are eclectic people we know a little bit about a lot of different subjects.  So this blog is going to be about my bunny trails on the internet.  Each of my blogs serve a distinct purpose.   The journalist in me is liking the change to write about different topics of interest in their respective places.  We'll see what happens!