Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Business of Building

Proverbs 14:1 gives us wisdom for a lifetime: "Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands." Although the Hebrew word for "house" and "home" is the same, "home" is the preferred word here. A house is not always a home and this verse speaks of home building; the knitting together of family and the day-to-day routine of creating a happy and comfortable place for a family to live.

The woman is accountable to God for the condition of the home; she sets the mood and maintains the atmosphere inside the home. In fact, when our husband (or anyone else) walk in the door and looks around, we have revealed what we have been doing in response to God's call to us to build and manage the home. What do people see when they enter your home? Do they find calm - or chaos? Peace - or panic? Palace - or pigpen? Evidence of preparation - or procrastination? How we take care of the place, the people, the checkbook, the clothes, etc. is very telling.

If we are not in the business of building our home, then we are tearing it down like a foolish woman. Search your heart and your home. Are you a wise woman or a foolish woman? Look around your home, make a list of the things that need to be added, repaired, set up, etc. so that your home is a refuge. Then, each day, do one thing to build your home.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Veggie Macaroni Salad

Here is another recipe that I have made gluten-free!

Ingredients for Salad:
2 cups uncooked gluten-free macaroni
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 hard-cooked egg, chopped

Ingredients for Dressing:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon honey mustard
1/8 teaspoon celery seed

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. In a large bowl, combine the macaroni, tomato, peas, cheese, celery, and egg. In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. Pour over macaroni mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Bob Jones Writing & Grammar

As with all Bob Jones materials, the course integrates Christian themes and references. Teacher's Editions contain daily lesson plans and answers to the student worktext exercises. Student worktexts are consumable and are centered on different themes at each grade level.

Grade 2 - Teaches basic parts of speech and includes steps involved in the writing process. Specific writing assignments include giving instructions and descriptions of objects, characters, and settings.

Grade 3 - Reviews parts of speech previously learned, adding pronouns. Studies and reviews antonyms, synonyms, homonyms, and correct use of verbs. Introduces paragraph composition and development.

Grade 4 - Reviews parts of speech and teaches recognitions of noun and adjective functions in sentences. Provides practice with sentence formation, including expanding and combining sentences. Attention is given to proper paragraph construction, including supporting a topic sentence and writing supporting details. Students write personal narratives, letters, research reports, acrostic poems, and more.

Grade 5 - This course pairs strong grammar instruction with writing assignments such as compare-contrast essays, persuasive business letters, diamantes and sense poems, study and reference skills, personal narratives, book reviews, research reports, and plays.

Grade 6 - Begins with review of sentence types and then reviews the parts of speech as found in different types of writing. A writing chapter follow each grammar chapter to provide a link between the two. The student will write a personal narrative, newspaper editorial, instructions, a research paper, historical fiction, compare-contrast essay, free verse, limerick, and a cover letter.

Grade 7 - Focuses on mastery of several parts of speech and five basic sentence patterns. A variety of writing assignments help hone composition skills. Also includes lessons on language origins and development.

Grade 8 - Reviews all skills presented in grade 7, then completes instruction of parts of speech, giving special attention to verbs, adverbs, qualifiers, and conjunctions. Emphasis is on essay writing, beginning with lessons on proper paragraph construction.

Grade 9 - Each chapter combines review, practice, and writing starting with a review of sentence patterns in Chapter 1 and parts of speech in chapters 2-8. Chapters 9-15 focus on the mechanics of writing, library skills, study skills, and composition skills. Different types of writing are incorporated into each chapter, including compare/contrast, personal experience, research essay, poetry, a devotional, personal response to literature, writing for the media, recording an oral history and letter writing.

Grade 10 - Provides ample expository and descriptive writing opportunities with a variety of assignments. Mechanics are not neglected, as the course significantly expands students' understanding of phrases, clauses, agreement, and pronoun reference. Students develop writing strategies such as sentence expansion and reduction, coordination and subordination, and correct use of parallelism.

Grade 11 - A strong emphasis on writing the research paper, beginning with writing effective sentences and effective paragraphs according to specific guidelines. Emphasizes on clear, direct communication in descriptive figurative language, fictional narrative, and personal experience essays. Parts of speech and sentence patterns are briefly reviewed, and new sentence skills are introduced.

Grade 12 - Briefly reviews grammatical concepts already covered, then moves on to new material. Focus is on principles of effective writing in all forms: description, narration, exposition, and persuasion. Composition assignments include writing a research paper, literary analysis, narrative poem, hymn, interviews, and more. Includes test-taking strategies and college application essays.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Right Brain vs Left Brain

The concept of right brain and left brain thinking developed from the research in the late 1960s of an American psychobiologist Roger W. Sperry. He discovered that the human brain has two very different ways of thinking. The right brain is visual and processes information in an intuitive and simultaneous way, looking first at the whole picture then the details. The left brain is verbal and processes information in an analytical and sequential way, looking first at the pieces then putting them together to get the whole picture.

The right brain and the left brain have two different functions. The left brain is also referred to as the digital brain. It controls reading, writing, calculations, and logical thinking. The right brain is referred to as the analog brain. It controls three-dimensional sense, creativity, and artistic senses. While we have a tendency towards one way of thinking, the two sides of our brain work together in our everyday lives.

Because left brain strategies are most often used in homeschool curriculum, right brain students sometimes feel neglected. If you have a child who is right brain dominant, you will find them come alive when you use right brain teaching strategies with them! Dianne Craft has developed many right brain teaching products to help make learning so much easier for the right brain student. And Tony Buzan has written the book "Use Both Sides of Your Brain" to help make learning easier through mind-mapping techniques. By activating the power of both the right brain and the left brain, students will be able to retain knowledge better and become proficient in any subject.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Time Management

So many people ask me "How do you do all that you do?" And my answer is quite simple "I am a planner". I have used good time management skills for years and would love to share how I do all that I do as well as how I reestablish my priorities through time management.

#1 Plan in detail - I have a datebook and write everything down in it (church, school, dance, soccer, piano lessons, meetings, doctor appointments, weekly infusions, etc.). I've found that the more you plan, the better you manage your time and the more you achieve.

If you use a datebook faithfully every week, you can quickly develop a habit of planning. Color coding your activities can help you identify time problems early and help you reestablish priorities. Try using these colors: Blue for church commitments, Red for family activities, Green for work commitments, Purple for personal time, Pink for doctor appointments, and Black for housework.

#2 Create a daily "to do" list - Keep your list in your datebook. Remember, writing things down relieves the stress of trying to remember everything!

#3 Develop a routine - The experts say "Trying to do the same thing at the same time every day conserves and generates energy. It conserves energy by cutting down on indecision. You perform menial tasks by rote. It generates energy through habit - the habit of expecting to make phone calls, plan the meal, read the paper, attend a class, or go to a meeting - at a particular time." Try to put as many tasks as possible into a routine.

#4 Keep moving - Remember the principle of momentum "A body at rest tends to remain at rest, and a body in motion tends to remain in motion." Keep moving and you can cross off one more thing off your "to do" list!

#5 Say no - Learn to say "no" to things that do not directly pertain to your priorities.

Unless you plan, you cannot manage your time. So "Plan Your Work & Work Your Plan"!