Archive | January 2015

When the Class Needs a Re-do!

I feel like lately this is some VERY good advice when anyone feels overwhelmed or like the day is just not going right. So today I cut and paste and send a HUGE thank you to Brave Writer for her sage advice.

Six ways to start your day over

It doesn’t matter if it is 10:00 in the morning, or 2:00 in the afternoon, or five minutes before bedtime. You can start a day over at any point in the day. When it’s all going wrong—from sibling pokes to spilled orange juice to “Where is the math book?” to the dog peeing on the carpet AGAIN—you don’t have to wave the white flag and collapse into a quivering heap (though you TOTALLY have my permission to do that now and then—it‘s cathartic!).

You can declare that the day is in reboot and begin again. Here are six ways to reset the temperature in the home. Let’s count down to the most effective reboot practice.

6. Change rooms.
Move homeschool to your bedroom and do everything on the big bed. Toss pillows and blankets to everyone and put workbooks on clipboards. Cuddle the baby.

5. Get outside.
Bundle up and go for a walk with everyone. Or send the most rambunctious kiddos outside to find a pine cone or gather a bucket of snow to bring home to boil (for no good reason except to have a task) or to run six laps around the backyard.

4. Brownies.
They fix everything. (Keep a mix on hand for those days and resort to it.)

3. Have a shouting fest.
Everyone gets to scream for 2 whole minutes (set a timer) at the top of his or her lungs while jumping up and down and punching the air. Repeat. Until exhaustion.

2. Play music.
Dance. Sing. Wiggle. Involve stuffed animals. FaceTime mom/dad at work so s/he can see you.

And the number one reboot:

1. Poetry teatime.
Any time of day. Stop the math books, wipe up the orange juice, throw a few mugs on the table, grab the poetry books, and settle down. It changes everything. Promise! Every time. And you will feel like you did school, which counts for something.

I will say if not poetry a good story is an amazing calmer as well… I think I need to keep an eye out for some special mugs to make our teatime a reality! IMAG1255

Playing Santa… a Book Review

Well oops, I had this review written up BEFORE Christmas and totally blanked on the posting… anyway… enjoy.

Well, even before Thanksgiving Christmas is already starting to pop up all over the place. What better than a Christmas story on a quiet afternoon? Playing Santa by H.Y. Hanna is from the Summer Beach Vets series. A Christmas story centered in Australia. Quite the change from the traditional snowy weather tales.

A story of lucky circumstances, the woman at the center of our story is a young lady who grew up in foster care. She is gifted with the once in a lifetime chance to fly to Australia and house sit for a kindly couple she helped out of a tough spot back home in the US. For a short period of time she is in charge of a lovely house including rather large car and a very pampered kitty.

A lucky find of a box full of puppies in need of care and homes and wheels are put into motion for romance. A handsome vet who is filling in temporarily at the local office actually is her wealthy temporary neighbour. There are moments of minor suspense… most notably including a spider! (not my favourite part of the story) A nice, sweet romance, a little misunderstanding and some interesting side characters to bring flavour.

While not the first in the series, I do believe this is another book where you can actually read it as a stand alone. Also called the Escape Down Under series.51RhsBcrODL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

Mystery Ranch… A Boxcar Children Review

Well we are still trucking along on the Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner. Book number 4 or Mystery Ranch was a lucky garage sale find for us… we had it on hand and everything! So as soon as we got done our book 3 review (HERE) we moved onto this one. So please enjoy our review. As always, be aware that Gavin CAN let spoilers slip. I do not censor him when I type up his review.

I actually read this book in one sitting at the hair salon. It was a nice escape from the noise while I was stuck sitting down. I would say this is the shortest read (for me) so far. But the story is no less entertaining. There is the usual mystery, a new location and interesting characters to meet as well as the same basic 4 children and dog with their loving grandfather.

I think this is the first time I had Gavin question what something was listed in the book. An ore that came up had to be discussed but as usual the illustrations were fun (though our cover was more modern the illustrations inside were not and a lot more interesting.). I can honestly say it is not a hardship to be required to read this and have a discussion with Gavin. I am also looking forward to book 5 which we could only find on ebook form at our local library.

Now for Gavin’s opinion:

GAVIN

It is a really good book because they put a lot of effort into the mystery. I would read this book again. I did not know the answer to the mystery until I got to the last bit of the book. I like this series. I still enjoyed the second book (HERE) the most. My favourite character in this book was Benny with his dog (Watch) because Benny is funny and Watch is cute.44dd68f77275b8282b922ace2373b0ca