Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Handwriting program

Well, after me personally loving Peterson Directed Handwriting - I came to realize that we needed a change.  Delta has been learning Cursive since Year 1 (starting with Cursive First, then adding in Pencil Pete, then changing to Peterson) - and whenever he needed to write anything other than copywork - he used a print that he was never taught.  On top of it, I had been working with Echo on doing the cursive for Peterson for months and months - and was unable to get a legible letter from her.

So I started the research again.

Well, looking at Penny Gardner's  book Italics: Beautiful Handwriting for children... the handwriting looked familiar.  I remembered years and years ago, when I was about 10 - my mom had some book on calligraphy - but in it was how to write beautifully in your everyday writing.  I realized that the "font" was very similar.  I had taught myself that writing back then - and so my handwriting is a mish-mash of the cursive taught in school, and the italics I learned all those years ago.

I looked at the samples in the book, and the videos available from Penny Gardner's website- and liked the simple approach to teaching.  It is very inexpensive, so we are giving it a try.  The kids seem to like video lessons, so I'm letting Penny teach my children.  We have done 3 lessons, and I'm happy to say that Echo is making beautiful, legible letters.  Delta is happy with it too.  I like that we can later add the joins to do an italic-cursive writing.  We will have to see if this translates to better everyday writing.

I also found various other resources for italic handwriting.  The other main resource the letters are formed slightly differently (and looks a bit nicer in my opinion...)  but I'm happy with Penny Gardner's version.  One great thing I found was a font (for the print version) - and a program that adds in the joins (for the cursive version.) - this will let me make my own copywork when desired.

So, here are the resources:   - the other main resource.  Has things like desk strips, basic lessons, warm up's.  Also the font/program.  I can't link to the sub-pages, so explore it yourself.  The font is under "The Italic Project", "Teaching Aids", "Software" - then look at each page under there to download, and get instructions on how to use it.  - Penny Gardner's ebook to teach italics. This site also has links for the videos.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Delta in his baptismal clothes
It is hard to believe how quickly time goes by.  Just a few short years ago, Delta was a babe in arms, and now here he is, 8 years old, accountable for his actions and choices, and already turning into a little man.

His little sisters are really looking up at him.  Foxtrot (age 3) has told me several times that she wants to get baptized.  I'm sure that another 5 years seems like forever for her.

I think that Delta is working hard to live up to his baptismal covenants too.  He is being even more helpful around the house.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Don't think about thinking. It's not on the test

Found this cool video and song from Tom Chapin called "It's Not on the Test".   It is mainly a statement about Arts / Music and other creative programs being removed from the schools.

See the website here:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

History Rotation 1

Creation to Christ

World History
A Child's History of the World (ch 1-41) - Hillyer Read 1 chapter a week, with a few weeks having an extra chapter.
On the Shores of the Great Sea (54 chapters) - Synge Read 1 or 2 chapters a week (avg 1.5)

Canadian History
no Canadian History - do Canadian Geography using Black Line Maps. [more information to come]

Here is a list of what we are doing this year.  I plan to add in other options and other years....

Years 1-3   

Boy of the Pyramid
Pyramid by David Macaulay
The Trojan Horse: How the Greeks Won the War
Our Little Spartan Cousin of Long Ago
Our Little Roman Cousin of Long Ago
Pompeii... Buried Alive!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Another Birthday!

Space Shuttle Cake
My young man has turned 8!  It is hard to figure out where the time went.  It seems like just yesterday that he was a tiny baby in my arms.

This Sunday he will be baptized.