Revisiting First Form Latin from Memoria Press {Crew Review}

Way back on my 2nd year on the crew I reviewed First Form Latin from Memoria Press.  I was so impressed that I purchased two additional student work books so my three "big" girls could study Latin together.

Boobear wanted to revisit Latin.  She asked me if we could get a new student workbook so she could go through the program again.  Her timing was perfect. Memoria Press generously included a new student workbook in my Crew Leader package.   We already had the rest of the set and only needed the Student Book.

Memoria Press recommends First Form Latin for grades 4-9.  I think this age range works well if the younger students have completed Prima Latina or Latina Christiana.  I believe this to be an excellent introduction to Latin for students in 6th grade and older including adults.

The Complete Set of materials includes:

  • Student Text -- 9 x 7.5 inches.  Each of the 34 lessons are are concisely presented on a two page spread.  120 pages.  Includes 7 Appendices which cover things like Prayers, Latin Sayings, Grammar and more!
  • Student Workbook -  Full Size!  There are between 4 and 6 worksheets per lesson. It is recommended to do every workbook exercise. The Student book states "it's almost impossible to practice Latin too much."  Student Workbook includes Grammar Questions Appendix with instructions for Rapid-Fire Review
  • Teacher Manual --  Full size!   The Lesson plans have the student text inset. The TM also includes teaching guidelines. Like the Student Text the Teacher Manual includes several appendices.
  • Quizzes & Tests booklet -- Exactly what it says! Includes Quiz for every lesson and Unit Tests.  These are perforated for ease of tearing sheets out.  I love that feature!
  • Teacher Key --- This includes answers to the workbook sheets, quizzes and unit tests!
  • Pronunciation CD --  This includes all the vocabulary and grammar forms for each lesson. Very helpful when trying to do recitation!
  • Flashcards --  When I received mine originally they were in sheets.  These are very helpful for drilling!
  • DVDs -- In this 3 DVD set, instructor Glen Moore walks you through each lesson. I believe that the DVD was the only reason we were successful the first time. Boobear did re-watch lessons to refresh her memory. 

For how to use this more traditionally you can read my previous review of First Form Latin.  Be sure to also check out the other reviews currently being linked to the Homeschool Review Crew Blog.

I asked BooBear to share her experience revisiting First Form Latin.  Here is what she had to say:
When I was in high school, I did the First Form Latin program. I went through the course with my younger sisters at the same time and we would watch the lessons together and sometimes work on worksheets together or on our own. We would also drill vocabulary together. It was a wonderful bonding experience to study a foreign language together and helpful to have a study partner. When I went to college, I wanted to take more Latin as my foreign language in college, however, the way the courses were structured when I needed to take my language classes the 100 level Latin classes were not being offered. Instead I took German, but I found my Latin background extremely helpful. The way German’s conjugate verbs and their grammatical gender is similar to how Latin is. There were a lot of differences but understanding German grammar was much easier because I had studied Latin.
 Now that I have graduated from college I have wanted to get back into Latin, however, I took Latin close to 6 years ago and I need to refresh my memory. So, I am reworking through First form Latin. I have been watching the lessons which are all short and easy to get through. Because I am working full time now, I have less time than I did in highschool to study Latin. The way first form is structured that makes it easy to work through a lesson when I can. One of the things that I really appreciate that has changed since the last time I took the course is the student workbook. It is so much nicer to have it be spiral bound. The flat binding was very irritating to work with because it didn’t lay flat and it felt like you had to beat the binding into submission in order to get it to work with you. The spiral binding is great to use at my desk in my bedroom. I can move between that and checking any grammar or vocabulary in the student text without worrying about the student workbook trying to close on me. It is also convenient to take outside and work on Latin in the sun. Or in the case of my often messy desk, I have limited space and being able to have it lay flat and not be as spread out. The upgrade to spiral binding is best thing about this.
Completed Workbook Page from Lesson 3 -First Form Latin

Completed Worksheet from Lesson 4 -First Form Latin

Unlike BooBear, Turtlegirl moved on to Second Form Latin while still in high school.  She too found that studying other foreign languages were easier because of her Latin Studies.  Last summer when she got home from college, Turtlegirl began working through Third Form Latin.  I wrote about her experience using Third Form Latin.  She plans to continue on to Fourth Form Latin.

Because there are so many benefits to studying Latin, I encourage other homeschooling families to study Latin.  I recommend using the materials from Memoria Press.

In addition to offering Latin, Memoria Press also has a brand new Music Appreciation I course and brand new spelling programs:  Traditional Spelling I and Traditional Spelling II.  Watch my blog for how I am using Traditional Spelling I with Supergirl but in the meantime visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read reviews of the different Music, Latin, and Spelling programs from Memoria Press.

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Planning a Different Kind of Graduation Ceremony {Homeschool Diploma Review}

If you are a regular reader of my blog then you know that I have four daughters. Three of my beautiful girls have graduated from our home school.  The oldest has even graduated from a local university with her Bachelor's Degree.  My fourth daughter, who is actually my 2nd oldest is on her own path.  Medically fragile and developmentally delayed she's on the "we'll keep homeschooling as long as she keeps making progress plan" which means that she may never actually have a high school graduation.

When her third sister graduated she began to ask about her own  graduation.  We came up with a plan. When she finished Level C of her reading program or reaches the equivalent reading level she can have a graduation.

When I found out that the Homeschool Review Crew would have the option of reviewing the Cap, Gown, Tassel and Diploma package for kindergarten from Homschool Diploma I started thinking this could be the motivation we need to make this happen.

Supergirl isn't just mentally developmentally delayed.  She's physically delayed as well.  At 20 years old she is just at the beginning of puberty. She is tiny but would the K sized cap and gown work for her?  I checked out the sizing on the gowns and yes the largest size they offer, size 36, is for those who are 4'3" to 4'5".  The sizes are based on the actual height of the graduate from top of head to floor.  You will want to measure your graduate with the shoes that will wear for graduation as that will affect their height. Because of her short stature the gowns for older students graduating from high school would be far too big. I love that she gets to have a real cap and gown like her sisters did and that it fits her.

Ordering was super easy!  First pick your gown color.  There are three choices: Royal, White, and Red.  Supergirl wanted green.  She was disappointed that green, her favorite color wasn't an option.  She chose Royal because "Twinnie's graduation was blue."  For some reason Turtlegirl has become Twinnie. I mean they are twins so it makes sense but it's only been recently that Supergirl began talking about "my Twinnie."

After choosing the color, you are taken to a short order form.  For an additional cost you can choose an optional Kinder V-stole.  I choose not order one of those. I didn't order one for Turtlegirl when I ordered her cap and gown in 2016. Boo Bear didn't have one when we borrowed a cap and gown for her ceremony.

The Kindergarten Diploma is optional.  You can include it at no charge.  The design you receive may vary. It is a full 8 1/2 x 11 inches and it feels like magazine paper.  Mine arrived tucked between two stiff, thick pieces of cardstock for protection.  This is high quality and is definitely a keepsake to treasure.

Then you choose your size.  Gowns are sized by height.  Next select your tassel. They have 40 color combinations to choose from!  Guess what color she wanted.  Did you say green?  Yep. She wanted green. I talked into in a green and white one with a silver clasp. We got a 2018 charm.

Unlike the 8th Grade and High School Diplomas the Kindergarten Diplomas are not customized.  You must fill the name of the student and where it is presented and there is a line to sign and date it.  It is adorable.  I'm including an image of  the one on the website so you can see the another design as mine shown above is different.

The Kindergarten Diploma is available for purchase separately if you want the diploma but do not need a cap and gown.

I won't be giving the beautiful Kindergarten Diploma to Supergirl though because hers is not a Kindergarten graduation.  It's not a high school graduation so the Standard Diploma won't work and neither will the 8th Grade.  I am not sure what we will do but I will want it to be as beautiful and special as her sisters' diplomas are.

I do not know when we'll have her ceremony because it is a reward for reaching a goal. She's on her own timetable so it could be this summer or we could be looking at a Fall Graduation like some colleges do. I do know that Daddy will give a speech just like he did for the other three girls.  We'll get all dressed up and we'll go out to dinner.  We may even have an "open house" and invite a few close family friends to celebrate with us. She'll have her moment to celebrate her achievements of reaching an academic goal just like her sisters!

If you are looking for a High School Diploma check out my review from earlier this where where I discuss the Personalized and Standard Diplomas.  We have a few crew members who also reviewed Caps and Gowns and a few more who reviewed 8th Grade Diplomas.  Be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read about the other options for your homeschool graduates!

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Diplomas for your Homeschool Graduate! {Review}

Yes, my three big girls have all graduated from our home school.  In 2013 when BooBear graduated, we didn't have a beautiful professional diploma to give her.  We did a small ceremony and printed out a nice piece of paper to give her.  Her dad gave a really touching speech.

In 2016, the Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review a high school  diploma from Homeschool Diploma. I received a Personalized Diploma for Turtlegirl and I purchased a Standard Diploma for Boo Bear.

In 2017 Tailorbear graduated and  I had every intention of purchasing a diploma for her. My husband and I had talked about it.  We were so impressed with the quality of the diplomas and the service provided by Homeschool Diploma but I procrastinated. I kept putting it off and putting it off.  I am pretty sure I win the loser mom of the year award for not having it for her at graduation.

We then found out that the Homeschool Review Crew would have the opportunity to review Homeschool Diploma again. Tailorbear was excited when I told her that mom now had the kick in the pants to order her a diploma.  Did she want the Standard Diploma? Did she want the Personalized One?  We actually pulled out her sisters' diplomas and looked at them.  She said she didn't have a preference but I decided I preferred the options available with the Personalized Diploma.

Homeschool Diploma offers their High School Diplomas in two sizes 8.5 x 11 and 6 x 8.  We chose the larger size for each of the girls.  Homeschool Diploma also offers a savings when buying multiple diplomas. This is available for both Standard and Personalized and for both sizes.

Both diplomas can be customized with graduate information, location, date of graduation.  Both diplomas have a center seal.  With the Standard Diploma you only have three choices of embossed foil seals. With the Personalized Diploma you have those same three seals plus an additional choice of five engraved seals. There is an additional cost for the engraved seals.

Another major difference between the standard and the personalized is wording.  With standard you do not have a choice.  You can customize the personalize one with several different wording options. There are four options each with two to three choices.

The Personalized Diploma overs an optional Verse or Motto and customized signature lines.  The Standard version has two signature lines.  One is labeled Administrator and the other Instructor.  Withe Personalized for both Turtlegirl and Tailorbear we chose to put Administrator under both lines.

Either Standard or Personalized will give you a choice between Ivory and Cream paper but only with the Personalized will you be able to choose, for additional cost, optional hand calligraphy.  We did not choose the hand calligraphy for either of the girls.

For a small additional cost you can add an honors seal to either diploma. One of the things I loved bout ordering was the link to a chart to help decide which honors seal we should choose.  I was thankful that this was available for all diplomas.  While I could have gotten an honors seal for Tailorbear she chose not to have one.

Here you can see the High Honors seal on BooBear's diploma:

Both diplomas offer 7 colors and 8 designs for the cover.  Here is Turtlgirl from her 2016 high school graduation.  Yes she is wearing a cap and gown from Homeschool Diploma but sadly that particular style is no longer available. She choose a black cover.

For each of our girls we had a simple family only ceremony.  We decorated the house.  We all got dressed up.  The graduate got to wear a cap and gown.  Honeybear as Father and Principal gave a speech.  Each year those speeches have made me cry.  He would spend some time working on them jotting down things very specific to the graduate.

We are so blessed that Honeybear's parents could fly out each time to be part of the special celebration.  After the speech and the photos we would all go out to dinner at special restaurant. Graduation is a milestone event and we wanted each girl to have a special memory of the event.

These diplomas are very professional. Having a professionally done diploma is important. It's not just a piece of paper. It represents an achievement. It's opens doors for further education and meaningful employment. Thanks to Homeschool Diploma each of my graduates have a beautiful diploma to commemorate their achievement.

Homeschool Diploma offers an 8th Grade Diploma, and a Cap, Gown, Tassel and Diploma package for kindergarten. Looking for Graduation Announcements or Thank Yous? They offer those as well.

Some crew members reviewed high school diplomas. We even have a few who reviewed caps & gowns for their graduate.  Visit the Homeschool Review Crew Blog to read more reviews!

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Supergirl and Lazarus Saturday

Today the majority of Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate Lazarus Saturday.  For Western Christians today is Holy Saturday, the day after Good Friday and the day before the great feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior.

I've written about Lazarus Saturday before.  My last post that was just about Lazarus Saturday I shared the hymn Rejoice O Bethany because I had been mediating how how Lazarus's resurrection is a foreshadowing of Our Lord's rising from the dead but also meditating on how we are made alive in Christ.

Today though I experience Lazarus Saturday through the perspective of Supergirl.

It started on Friday:

From the backseat:  "When will we put Jesus on the cross?  Is that this weekend?"

Me:  "No dear.  This weekend is Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday.  But this week will be Holy Week.  The 12 Gospels service will be on Thursday"

** Note the service that is served on Holy Thursday evening in the 12 Gospels Matins.  We have 12 gospel readings that that us through the Passion of Christ and at the appropriate point  cross is brought out an an icon of Christ is  hung upon the cross.

Then this morning at church: "Mama!  Where is the purple?  I don't see the purple."

The cloths that line the altar and the stands are purple during Lent.  For Lazarus Saturday they are gold.  The priests and altar servers were purple during Great Lent and they switch back to gold for Lazarus Saturday.

I explain:  "Oh well Lazarus Saturday falls out outside of Lent.  Lent ended yesterday so today we have gold.  Do you know what color tomorrow will be?"

Mantha:  "Green!  Palm Sunday is green!"

She grins from ear to ear because green is her favorite color.

A little while later we are singing:

"As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."  She has two questions this time:

"Mama, will we see sing this on Pascha?  When do we put Jesus on the Cross again?"

She is really hung up on putting Jesus on the cross but I think I understand why.  You see if he doesn't go up on the cross, he can't come down.  He can't go into the tomb and he can't rise again.   She very patiently explains that he will live again.  He is living now and he will live again.

She also commented on the fact that we did not sing Rejoice O Bethany.  I told her that we didn't have enough choir members and we would listen to it on You Tube when we got home.  She then remarked, "but we'll sing it tomorrow."  Yes peanut we will.

From the second to the last verse of Rejoice O Bethany:

To Thee O Lord of Creation
We kneel down in rev'rence profound reve'rence profound
For all we who are dead in sin
in Thee, O Jesus are made alive
We are made alive!  We are made alive!
For all we who are dead in sin
in Thee, O Jesus are made alive!

For my readers who celebrate the resurrection of Our Lord and Savior tomorrow Blessed Feast Day!  For my readers who celebrate Palm Sunday tomorrow Blessed Feast Day!

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Captain No Beard ~ another treasure from Carole P. Roman {Crew Review}

A couple of days ago I shared about how Supergirl and I are using Carole P. Roman's Cultural Series as the spine for our geography studies.  Today I want to introduce you to another Carole P. Roman series:  Captain No Beard.

Carole P. Roman books and collections include the Cultural If You Were Me and Lived in . . . series, the Historical If You Were Me and Lived in . .  . series, Chapter books, Bedtime Stories, and of course Captain No Beard.  There are currently 10 volumes in this delightful series about a boy and his imagination. We do not own them all and we did not read them in order except that we did start with volume 1. I am going to introduce you to four of these treasures today.

Captain No Beard

The first volume is simply titled Captain No Beard but has a subtitle of An Imaginary Tale of a Pirates Life. In this book we are introduced to Captain No Beard, his cousin First Mate Hallie, Mongo the Monkey, Linus the lion and Fribbet the Frog.  We learn that Captain No Beard lives on an island and with his crew they sail the mighty frigate the Flying Dragon. A name he chose because it sounded scary.  We learn a bit of pirate talk and sailing terms such as "shiver me timbers" and "swab the decks."  The pirates are looking for treasure, run into a storm and encounter a mermaid.

Supergirl said her favorite part was when mom called out "You'll have to clean all this up before dinner," and then joined the fun by presenting them with a treasure of cookies.
"Did I hear you say you were looking for treasure?" She lowered a plate filled with golden cookies. "I come bearing doubloons. Just don't leave any crumbs, me hearties."

Strangers on the High Seas

I think Strangers on the High Seas is Supergirl's favorite.  I let her choose which 4 books to include in the review and she said "you have to do the one with the baby."   This book introduces a new crew member: Cabin Girl Cayla who just happens to be Alexander er um Captain No Beard's baby sister.  You can tell Cayla is new. She makes the mistake of calling Captain No Beard Alexander.  In this conversation we learn that Captain No Beard is in charge of Cayla today and he doesn't like it. But he and the rest of the crew learn that she is just as valuable a crew member as any of them when she says them from the strangers on the Shark Bait.  The book teaches in a gentle but fun way about stranger danger.  It's a great way to talk with young children about what to do if a stranger tries to talk to you and you feel uneasy.

Four of the books from the Captain No Beard series by Carole P. Roman

The Treasure of Snake Island

As a literature loving family I think The Treasure of Snake Island could easily be my favorite. A beautiful and colorful sunrise prompts Polly the Parrot to make an observation and from there the crew begins to ask Polly about books.  Captain No Beard pulls a treasure map out of his pocket and they are off to find the x that marks the spot.  They work together to find the x and dig until they find something. When they open the treasure chest they find the greatest of treasure: books!  "That there be the greatest treasure of them all, Captain!"

A Flag for the Flying Dragon

This one caught Supergirl's eye because of the baby on the cover. She noticed right away that this baby looked different from Cabin Girl Cayla.  I noticed that this book which is volume 9 in the series is thicker than the others.

This time the Captain is pondering A Flag for the Flying Dragon. He wants it to be perfect.  A new member has joined the crew and he doesn't have a job.  Each member of the crew has job.  First Mate Hallie swabs the deck.  Cabin Girl Cayla fills holes on the deck. Linus the lion polished a huge lamp and so on except for Zachary.  First he tries helping Mongo the Monkey and one by one tries to help each crew member but with disastrous results.  Finally Captain No Beard finds an important job for Zachary and he has a flag for the Flying Dragon.  Peace is restored to the crew.  "It was probably the most beautiful flag in the world. It united his crew."

Supergirl's Thoughts:

My favorite is the Strangers on the High Seas.  Captain No Beard was worried about his sister falling off. She said she would be careful but called him Alexander and Captain No Beard had told her to call him Captain No Beard. It's my favorite because I like the baby sister.  I like that Captain No Beard became Alexander again and the ship became his room and he called his mom the Admiral and asked her to report to the poop deck for a diaper change for the baby.
My next favorite is A Flag for the Flying Dragon because Cayla is in it and she is a big girl now and she has two cousins now on the crew.  Zachary joins the crew. He is a baby and his big sister is First Mate Hallie. They need to find something to do with Zachary.
I love the books and I love cuddling with my mom when she reads them.
Supergirl holding her two favorite Captain No Beard books

My Thoughts

I love these books. They are fun to read aloud and they remind me how important imaginative play is to children's development.  Play is work.  Even in these stories we see that children test out and explore real concepts in the safe place of their imagination.

I love that at the end of each book the Flying Dragon transforms back into Alexander's bedroom.   I love how mom is the mermaid in one book and the Admiral in another.

The concept makes me feel warm inside as I remember my own children and their imaginative play.  I've enjoyed snuggling with Supergirl and hearing her giggle as I say "arrrgh" or "shiver me timbers" and she fills in the rest of the sentence when I say "being a captain is . . . " she immediately responds "hard work." She loves that we have been taking time to snuggle on the couch to read and enjoy fun, not school related, books.  They've become part of our bedtime routine.

Carole P. Roman Award Winning Author

I recommend these books. If you don't have children in the 3-8 years old range you'll want these books available to read when babysitting or for grandchildren or nieces and nephews.

Quality children's books are timeless.  Carole P. Roman writes quality children's books be sure to check out some of her titles from other series such as Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump from the Chapter book series or Rocket-Bye from the Bedtime Stories.

Check out my reviews of these books from the Cultural Series: From the Old Schoolhouse Product Reviews:  If you Were Me and Lived in . . . {India, Kenya, Turkey From my blog: If You Were Me and Lived in . .  .{France, Mexico, South Korea, Norway}, and from earlier this week: If You Were me and Lived in . .  .{Germany, China, Russia}.

The Homeschool Review Crew reviewed different combinations of books from the different collections.  Be sure to visit them to read about more Carole P. Roman books!

Carole P. Roman books and collections {Carole P. Roman Reviews}

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Introducing Children to Culture Around The World ~ Carole P. Roman {Review}

I was first introduced to Carole P. Roman in 2013 when we reviewed first 4 books available in the If You Were Me and Lived in . . . A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World.  We fell in love with them.  I had the opportunity to review 3 more titles for The Old Schoolhouse Product Reviews and as a Crew Leader I've been adding to my collection.

We love the Carole P. Roman books and collections so I want to share a few more titles from her culture series with you.

These books are perfect when studying geography.  Geography is more than just learning where a country is on a map but also learning more about the people, customs, and culture of that country or region.  Our geography lessons go in fits and spurts but these If You Were Me and Lived in . . . books are my go to spines.

Carol P. Roman books are fantastic for introduction to geography!

We study geography in spurts alternating with spurts of history and science.  We do have a geography course that we are using and I chose If You Were Me and Lived in .. . China as that was one of the countries covered in our Year 1 course.  I choose If You Were Me and Lived in . . . Russia because we have several Russian families at church and our church has a rich Slavonic history.  I let Supergirl choose a third one and she choose If You Were Me and Lived in . . . Germany.  She chose it because "I was born in Germany!"

Each of these books follow a similar pattern. The first page is a map showing the country and the capital city. The next two page spread introduces the country and it's location in the world. Next you're introduced to the capital city.  After learning a bit about the capital city you then learn about children's name and from this point you learn about the culture and people from the perspective of "if you were . .  ."   These books cover children's names, and what they call your parents.  You'll learn about some of the places to visit and what kinds of toys and games children play.  You'll learn about the currency and the book introduces you to the kinds of food you would eat.  Each of the three we read for this review had information about an important cultural festival.

The books also introduce children to the language of the country and thankfully includes pronunciation guides.  I very much appreciate that these books have the pronunciation in right in the text as well as a pronunciation guide in the back.

If You Were Me and Lived in . . . Germany

We started our geography spurt with Germany because it was the one that most excited Supergirl.   With this book our tour guide is a little boy. The book is then told from perspective of if you were that little boy.  "When your Tante and Onkel come to visit, your sister always wants to take them to see Neuschwanstein Castle."  Later you read "you remind Papa you have to rush home to watch Fussball."

When I read about how Tante was born in America Supergirl immediately piped up with "She was born in America but I was born in Germany!"  She thought it amusing that the aunt was living in Germany but was born in America and she lives in America but was born in Germany.

We colored a German Flag for our Geography Notebook

When we read about Fussball she declared that she preferred basketball over soccer and wanted to know if they have basketball in Germany.

Germany is a little different from the other titles I've read in that it has a list of 5 facts about Germany. It presented as a report that the boy asks his father to help him with.

In addition to discussing the information presented in the books we colored a map of Germany and labeled a few cities and we colored a German Flag.  One of my geography resources has a great summary page with a map so we filled that out as much as we could from just the book and added all those things to our Geography Notebook.

If You Were Me and Lived in . . . China

Supergirl chose China to be next on mini-tour.  She said she would not want to live in China.  I couldn't get a clear reason why but I think it was because China has so many people.  She said "because I am shy."    I thought she would get super excited about the different types of food but she was more excited about the mentioning of basketball though she did tell me that she would be willing to try fried ice cream.

We did a coloring page related to China to go along with our book!

One of things I noticed right away when reading this book is that it has lot more text per page then the German and Russian books. China is very large with different climates and the food is different depending on the region. I love that Ms Roman addressed that by talking about a dish or two from each major region. I recognized the dishes and the style from Mandarin to Cantonese as well as Szechuan and Shanghai.  I love how she wove those all in using family.
When you visit your cousins in the south, you would enjoy a Cantonese dinner with stir fried rice with sweet and sour pork. Grandma, who might live in the southwest, would cook in the Szexhuan style, which would be very spicy and include a lot of chili peppers.
Yes reading that page made me very hungry and started a craving for some Chinese take-out.  Supergirl was immediately asking "what's for dinner?" 

If You Were Me and Lived in  . . . Russia

Russia did not give as much information about climate as China did but it did acknowledge the vastness of the country and pointed out that there are nine different time zones.

We looked at photos on the internet of St. Basil's Cathedral and talked about how maybe Fr John visited it when we traveled to Moscow.  She didn't recognize any of the Russian names though I know we have a Maxim.

When we  read about piroshky in the book I thought of the deep friend bread dough stuffed with ground beef, onions, and cheese.  We get these at the State Fair.  In my mind they are different from pierogies which are more like little dumplings.  Piroshky is pronounced the same as pierogie.  When we talked about how we always eat pierogies on Christmas Eve Samantha wanted to know if we could have them for Pascha.  I didn't tell her that she could try caviar next week.  It is a Slavic tradition to eat caviar on Lazarus Saturday which is the day before Palm Sunday.  In case you ever want to know: the orange caviar is not so good.  The black caviar? Much better.  Different fish; different taste.  Just sayin'.  I think I'll be skipping the caviar this year.

Using These for School

Depending on how much you want to add or how deeply you want to explore you could do one book a week.  Here's my ideal layout:

Day 1:  Read the book.  Take time with it.  Pause and look at the pictures and discuss the book.  Ms. Roman includes questions like "can you guess what do you think a wawa is?" or "Do you have a game like that too?"

Day 2:  Do some map work.  Find the country on the map or explore a globe.  Color the country on a map.  Depending on age and interest of student you can mark mountains, bodies of water, and major cities in the country.   You could also color a picture of the flag or save that to do the next day

Day 3:  Using the internet or other resources explore a topic from the book such as learn more about the Great Wall of China or try a food from the country.

Day 4:  Do a craft or coloring project or if you didn't do the flag do it here.

Day 5:  Read and enjoy the book again.

These are fabulous, fun, and educational books.  They can be simply enjoyed on their own and Supergirl loves to just look through them.

Another fun and educational series are the If You Were Me and Lived in . . .  historical series.  We'll be adding If You Were Me and Lived in . .  . Colonial America to our American History Studies.  We also enjoyed If You Were Me and Lived in . .  . Renaissance Italy.

Carole P. Roman has written many other books such as the Captain No Beard series, Bedtime Stories, and even a couple of beginning chapter books.  Be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog and scroll down to read more reviews!

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It's Tuesday Mama!

Today like many other weeks Supergirl looked up at me and said "It's Tuesday Mama!  You're supposed to call your mom."  And like many weeks since October she goes on to say "but you can't cause she's gone."

Sometimes I can't tell if she brings it up because she misses my mom?  Maybe she brings it up because it was part of the routine we had.  She very rarely got to talk to Nana on the phone but she was always very excited when I told her that yes I would tell Nana about this or that or the other thing that Supergirl was convinced that Nana needed to know in order for all to be right in the world.

It's been a couple of weeks since she commented on it being a Tuesday and that I call my mom on Tuesdays.  I don't know if is because something made her think of her Nana today.

Sometimes she'll see me crying and she'll say "you miss your mom don't you."  Yes, peanut I do.  A lot.

She continued her conversation with "who will do school with me if you die?"   Huh?  I tried to brush it off.  "Well let's just not have me die ok?"

"but Mama,  I'm just saying what if you do?"

"Well maybe Turlegirl can do school with you then."

"But mama, she's already away doing her own school."

I saved by the bell.  The timer of the microwave dinged and her Pirate Killing Soup was heated through.

We all grieve in different ways and sometimes I forget that my children are grieving too.  It doesn't help that today is the 3 month anniversary of the funeral.  I wonder if she had some type of internal timer.

We all miss her.  The girls miss their Nana.  I miss my Mama.  Memory Eternal Mama.  I love you!

 My Mama with Tailorbear and Supergirl May 2000