Thursday, November 19, 2009

Enjoying Old Fashioned Learning

Lately, I've really taken a liking to some of the old-fashioned books for primary education. It's interesting that probably due to the expense of printing back then the books are so concise and clear. Eoghan seems to be thriving from the McGuffey Readers. He likes the stories and illustrations that are definitely from a different era, but are not babyish like many of the emergent reading books available now. I also love the old language used in the stories and spelling books, words that have gone out of general use, but make it richer reading. Even the math book, Ray's Mathematics, uses old words - zero is said as "naught". Fun and inviting to wander into the old books used a century ago to educate the youth of America. I will post links to some of these old books and resources. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Highlights of our First Quarter 2009!

One of our current favorite blogs. . .

We check in daily with Jessica Watson's solo sail around the world blog. She's only 16 and aiming to be the youngest ever to sail solo around the world unassisted. Lots of educational little tidbits and excitement in her postings. Also great for the kids mapping skills. Here's the link to her blog: and her website is on the links section.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Simple Machines. . .

Today, we went to Samuel Morse's house in the Hudson Valley for a field trip. Both of the older kids had a lot of fun with their homeschool friends learning about pulleys and inclined planes, etc. They also learned a little bit about the famous former owner of the house as well as toured his gallery of paintings. I guess he was multi-talented as an inventor and painter! There was lots of hand-on learning, group discussion and partnering up for the lab work. A great class/experience all around. I'll post the link below to the house. Now they are both off to a library book club, Magic Tree House series. After spending the morning at the barn and the two meet-ups today, I'm exhausted:) But well worth the energy since the kids enjoyed themselves so much. Eoghan hasn't stopped talking about machines and all his future plans for robots, building radios, etc. so the trip left a great impression on him.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Orla has gone on a language craze! She has all of a sudden taken an interest in learning Japanese, Chinese, Irish and French:) Eoghan seems to prefer just sticking to Spanish. So the past 2 days I've heard all sorts of ways to say hello, thank you, etc. from all around the world. Since it seems to be her "thing" at the moment, I've helped her find fun ways to learn some of the foreign words. We subscribed to the hello-world website which has some fun learning games. Even more fun, I discovered a whole world of podcasts in itunes that has amazing audio and even videos for language learning - all for free! I was really astonished at the amount of stuff on itunes that people have taken time and effort to make for their podcasts. It's such a great thing to find a free treasure:) I added the link to hello-world on the link list below.

Our Pets

Just thought while I'm playing with the blogging tools I might take the time to introduce you to our family pets. The kids are huge animal fans (like their mother, NOT their dad:). We have a a quarter horse (allie), a bulldog (henrietta), a shih tzu (puff), 2 hamsters (peanut and thimbletack) and a fish. My daughter is trying to add to the family by researching irish wolfhounds and telling us one would make a very nice and very LARGE addition to the family! Photos of Puff with his "rock star" shirt on and Thimbletack.

Our First Post. . .

We have been really busy with our homeschooling this year! I thought starting a blog would be enjoyable for the kids to share with family, friends and their Clonlara school. We'll add lots of photos and school projects soon. Thanks for stopping by:)!