Sunday, February 28, 2010

Thrift Store Books

Look at our blessings this week!  I took a little one with me to help find some fun books and the other's were at home checking to see if we had certain books.  Goodness knows I can't remember all the books in the collections we have. :)

For me:
Quick & Thrifty Cooking
Busy Woman’s Cookbook
Household Survival Manual

We enjoy collecting the Great Illustrated classic books for the young readers. Brand new they are $10 a piece. We found three new books for our collection at 99 cents each:

Sleeping Beauty and other stories
Black Beauty
Little Women

Classic Mystery Books for kids:

Spies of the Revolution by Katherine and John Bakeless
The Mystery of the Pilgrim Trading Post (An old Weekly Reader book)

We collect Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy books. We found two Hardy Boy books:

Detective Handbook
#58 The Sting of the Scorpion

We love Classic Golden books and were excited to find these at 29 cents each:

Daniel in the Lion’s Den
Jack and the Bean Stalk
Little Red Riding Hood
Richard Scarry’s Best Balloon Ride Ever
The Lion King –the Cave Monster

Other Classics:

The Wind in the Willows illustrated Classic book
Treasure Island illustrated Class book
Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard
Charlotte’s Web (Thought we didn’t have it-ooops!)
Children’s Stories of the 1850’s
Tramp for the Lord by Corrie Ten Boom
Box Car Children #14 Tree House Mystery (love this series too!)
We were so lucky to find three Little’s books!
The Little’s Have a Wedding
The Little’s Have a Party
The Little’s to the Rescue

Love Disney books so we got:

Lilo and Stitch

Books to assist in our Family Education:

The Value of Believing in Yourself- about Louis Pasteur (love this series! Found this for 50 cents!)
One Small Square Seashore (even has pictures of seashells and animals and identifies each one) by Donald M. Silver
365 Science Experiments with Everyday Materials
Michael Faraday- father of Electronics by Charles Ludwig
Weather: How to Watch and Understand the Weather and its Changes

This one isn’t a school book, but we love the Far Side in our home:
The Cows of Our Planet by Gary Larsen

All this for $25, I was so excited! We just finished Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s Magic so the kids want me to start the Little’s Series. They love it so far. {smile}

Friday, February 26, 2010

Do You Have An Education?

No, I’m not speaking about a degree or initials attached to the end of your name. I’m speaking of a true education. The following two quotes define an education very well:

“The only purpose of education is to teach a student how to live his life-by developing his mind and equipping him to deal with reality. The training he needs is theoretical, i.e., conceptual. He has to be taught to think, to understand, to integrate, to prove. He has to be taught the essentials of the knowledge discovered in the past-and he has to be equipped to acquire further knowledge by his own effort.” ~Ayn Rand

“The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think—rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with the thoughts of other men.” ~Bill Beattie

Do you know about the past, the TRUE past, not just watered down facts from a history book? What about the past President’s and their wives? What about the lives and writings of great people such as Pope, Byron, Cervantes, Sir Walter Scott, etc.? Half a century ago everyone knew these people and all were familiar with their writings and many could even quote them.

One sign of an education is that one becomes less interest in trivial and mind-wasting topics such as what drama the latest star has gotten involved in or who broke up with whom in Hollywood. Those who value their education and by extension their minds are choosy about what they watch on television and how much they watch. They also are watch guards over how and what their children watch. The educated know that just like food feeds the body and either strengthens or tears down one’s health, the same applies to what one feeds the mind as in media: books, TV, music and internet.

Scientists have proven that those who are actively using their brains to learn new things tend not to acquire diseases such as Alzheimer’s later in life. The educated are always striving to improve their knowledge and enjoy learning deep, spiritual and thought provoking ideas.

The saying, “Great minds talk about ideas, average minds talk about events and small minds talk about other people” is true. Think of the conversations lately in your home, especially among the adults. What category do you fall in? Being conscious of what we are doing and saying is important in improving oneself. Once you become aware of what category you are in, hold yourself more accountable and if you should need to do some changing, make that change today.

Take a person off the street today and ask them what makes a person great. Many will answer things like: fame, fortune, influence (we’ll define as worldly influence), position, or status. Society has become ignorant to the fact that they are ignorant. Just because someone has power- like a president or king, or money, or worldly fame and influence does not make him great.

So what does make a person great? The answer includes but is not limited to: morals, religious conviction and belief, personal ethics code, and education. Years ago I read a book about one hundred key great and important people throughout the ages. They all had their own struggles and trials, but each great man and woman had one main thing in common-a true classically based education, most had a self taught classical education. Their education was acquired through the reading of classic books. Through the classics they learned to think deeply, attain self-mastery, and to discover and live their mission in life.

The saying “All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten” shows just how low our society has come. Sure it is meant to be humorous, but is it really? Really what we should be saying (and most importantly-living) is “All I really need to know I learned from the scriptures and classic books.”

Sadly, few today understand the classics. Walk in any Barnes and Noble or Borders books and you will see shelves full of cliff notes and other books with (someone else’s) interpretations of classic works. These books completely defeat the purpose of the true unabridged classic book. We cease to learn and grow when we are looking for someone else’s take on a classic book. The purpose of the classics is to inspire and teach your very core, the person that you truly are. They remind us through other’s experiences and lives whether ill or well lived. We don’t have a long enough life to experience everything so learn from other’s examples, especially the examples of truly great people. This is what happens to those who strive to get a true classical education. One cannot help but become a better thinker and most importantly a truly great person.

Shiloah Baker is a mom of seven, pregnant with #8, married to the man she's madly in love with. Exercise is her vice. She runs a The Homemaking Cottage and homeschools. In her spare time she sews, crafts, writes and reads. Join us at The Homemaking Cottage Deluxe Edition for 1057 ways to improve your home and family!

And don’t forget to join our ezine for more free ideas. Free Homemaking Newsletter

Galley Book Shelves Made of Rain Gutters

Children learn through their senses: smell, touch, taste, see, and hear. When it comes to books, children love the bright colors, smelling them, looking them over and over again, many times tasting them depending on the age, and listening to them read to them over and over again.

A recent problem we discovered in our home was how we were storing the books for our little children. We have many bookshelves full of books in our home and one large one for all the little kid books. Fortunately our children love to read. Unfortunately, they pull the books out of the shelves all day long. This isn’t because they are choosing to be little stinkers- it’s because they want to read and it’s not fun when you’re a kid picking out a book from the spine! Little kids want to see the front- or like my little tot- the back to see what books in the collection we still need to buy.

When I discovered galley shelves made of inexpensive vinyl gutters, I was thrilled! It was the perfect solution for the problem! The children could have shelves that look nice in the house (not ghetto) and best of all; they can see their books from the front or back depending on how they put them on the shelves. They are always accessible and the shelves encourage reading with the books flashing their bright colors and pretty pictures.

To make these shelves in your home here are the directions:

Vinyl Gutters (Price ranges about $6 a gutter)
Circular saw or hacksaw.
2 hangers per shelf- 3 if you plan to make them long
Long wall screws
Left and right end caps
Tape measure


Decide how many shelves you want and how long each one should be. Mark it on the vinyl gutter and cut with either a hand saw or circular saw. Sand the edges if you wish. With a wet washcloth wipe down the debris left from cutting.

Decide where you want the shelves. Some good ideas are in family areas of the home and next to beds with enough space to safely roll under them.

Slide on the gutter hooks; use two for smaller shelves and three for long shelves. Slide each hook/hanger to the end of each side. Screw the hooks into the wall. Add end caps, gluing into place if you want them more permanent.

Allow the kids to line up the books on the shelves and you will find more reading going on than ever before.

Shiloah Baker is a mom of seven, pregnant with #8, married to the man she's madly in love with. Exercise is her vice. She runs a The Homemaking Cottage and homeschools. In her spare time she sews, crafts, writes and reads. Join us at The Homemaking Cottage Deluxe Edition for 1057 ways to improve your home and family!

And don’t forget to join our ezine for more free ideas. Free Homemaking Newsletter

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Beauty of a Classical Education

After learning all about bears my four and three old were overheard having this conversation:

3 year old, "I'm scared of the bears in Colorado."
4 year answers, "There's no reason to be scared because number one, it's winter time and bears hibernate during winter, remember? And number two, Colorado only has fuzzy bears."

Another conversation they had while playing:

3 year old, "Let's put all the Panda bears in the raccoon family."
4 year old, "No, we can't do that. Don't you remember that scientists have changed their family? They used to be in the raccoon family and now they're in the bear family."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

On My Reading List This Week

I'm thoroughly enjoying:

The Anatomy of Peace by the Arbinger Institute
Healing Feelings from Your Heart by Karol Truman
The Coming Aristocracy by Oliver DeMille

What are you reading?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Re-Evalue America Presentation by Dr. Brooks: My Notes and Experience

Dr. Brooks and his wife plan to make it around the country with a goal to share their message to at least 1 million families. If you get a chance to have them in your city, I encourage to you take advantage of this powerful and free lecture. It is life changing!

I was blessed with the opportunity to take my husband and second eldest daughter, whom I felt needed some inspiration for learning.

The speaker, Dr. Brooks, is a former president of George Wythe University in St. George, UT. The following is a quick bullet point synopsis what he speaks about in this meeting.

• The Five Founding American Ideals and How to Be An American

• Summary of the State of American Education

• Solutions for a Nation in Crisis

• The Moral Center of Families

• 3 Steps to Reviving American Confidence

• An Introduction to The Cycle of Freedom and How America Measures Up

• Defining Education

• An Introduction to A Thomas Jefferson Education: The Science of Building Americans

• The 4 Phases of Learning

• The Real Story of the American Founding

• The Proper Role of Government

• The 7 Keys of Great Teaching

• The Rise of Social Leadership

• The Secret Roles of Mothers and Fathers

Some things that really stood out to me during the meeting were:

How our society values skills over virtues such as schooling over education.
We don’t know that we don’t know. The Federalist papers were written for the Newspaper. Farmers and everyday citizens were the ones reading these. He had comments from people that they had poor grammar back then with run on sentences. Dr. Brooks reminded them that we had to shorten sentences for our day and age because people couldn’t comprehend the high quality English language. It’s not that they had run-on sentences- it is that we {as a society} are ignorant. Most importantly, we DON’T HAVE TO BE. We begin by getting our own liberal arts education. If you don’t know how to do it, that is where TJED steps in. Go to the classics, my friends.

When he got to the area of fathers and mothers I was so thankful to hear what he said. Everyone knows the primary role of a mother. Today we have lost the role of father- no one even knows it. We all guessed things like: provider, comforter, etc. None of them was correct. The role of fathers is to praise and honor. WOW. How powerful and how true it is.

Books he highly recommended:

Wild at Heart by Eldridge
Oxford English Dictionary- all volumes
5000 Year Leap, a Miracle That Changed the World by W. Cleon Skousen
A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille
A Leadership Education, Phases of Learning by Oliver and Rachel DeMille
The Coming Aristocracy by Oliver DeMille
A Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens by Oliver DeMille and Shannon Brooks

Just as I was thrilled to be at the meeting and learn and grow, I was most thrilled to see my husband and daughter as inspired. I bought the books I didn’t have and my daughter grabbed the one for teens and has been reading it excitedly since we came home with it. He encouraged the parents to read it, but I will wait my turn as it thrills me to see her gain the inspiration for the purpose of TRUE education.

Afterward, I was most excited to meet some local mothers just starting TJED or some who had already been doing it. We are planning get-togethers and I can’t wait to get a colloquia started again. In the meantime, I have been re-inspired and have a renewed sense of what direction I’m headed- raising leaders.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Unit Study: Ancient Greece

It's been a while since we've done an unit study, but I've been wanting to make another go at one since we all loved them so much. The next three months will be spent studying Ancient Greece (and a touch of Rome).

In compiling this list I went to many resources and I'm sure the list will continue to grow as I research. My good friend Linda (remember the book lists?) was a huge resource especially for the classically based books. Here is our book list for the study of Ancient Greece in a unit study:

Ancient Greece! (crafts and fun projects)
The Odyssey
The Librarian Who Measured the Earth
The Odyssey for Boys and Girls By Alfred J. Church
Ten Boys Who Lived on the Road from Long Ago to Now by Jane Andrews
History News: The Greek News by Anton Howell
The Story of the Golden Fleece
The Last Days of Socrates by Plato (Me & Scholar Phase)
Ancient Athletic Games
Time Warp Trio: It's All Greek to Me by Jon Scieszka
Time Warp Trio: See You Later Gladiator by Jon Scieszka
The Spartan by Caroline Dale Snedeker
Theras and His Town by Caroline Dale Snedeker
Theras The Story of an Athenian Boy by Caroline Snedeker
The Buried City of Pompeii: What It Was Like When Vesuvius Exploded (I Was There) by Shelley Tanaka
Detectives in Togas by Henry Winterfeld
The Wanderings of Odysseus by Rosemary Sutcliff
Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff
Lantern Barriers by Rosemary Sutcliff
Ancient Greece (Interfact) by W. Wharfe
Tales from Greek Mythology by Katharine Pyle
If I Were a Kid in Ancient Greece: Children of the Ancient World by Cobblestone Publishing
Children of ancient Greece by Louise Lamprey
Lightning Thief Series by Percy Jackson
The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
Mythology by Edith Hamilton
Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes by Edith Hamilton
Greek Myths, by Ingri & Edgar D'Aulaire,
Famous Men of Greece, by Haaren & Poland


Usborne's Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece
National Geographic Almanac of World History

David Macaulay's World of Ancient Engineering

Notice the Change

Hey TJED blog readers,

Please take note that we now have a domain address for this blog! I hope this is easier to remember when surfing the web!


Friday, February 5, 2010

Classic Kids Book List That EVERY Child Needs: List Four

This is part four in the series as the book lists I have to share are VERY long. Keep checking in for new lists. Some of these books you may or may not recognize from your own childhood. One thing I love about book lists is being reminded of good books I may have forgotten about. Time to rekindle some pleasant memories and make new ones with our children today.

Here is the next book list:
Dragon Rider

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
The Rose in my Garden by Arnold Lobel
Taka and his Dog by Edna Walker Chandler
Sailboat Time by Maj Lindman

Series Books:

The Littles Series by John Peterson
The Littles
The Littles Take A Trip
The Littles To the Rescue
The Littles Have A Wedding
The Littles Give A Party (originally issued as "The Littles Surprise Party")
The Littles and the Great Halloween Scare
The Littles and the Trash Tinies
The Littles Go Exploring
The Littles and the Big Storm
The Littles and Their Amazing Friends
The Littles Go to School
The Littles and the Lost Children
The Littles and the Terrible Tiny Kid
The Littles and Their Amazing New Friend
The Littles and The Scary Halloween
The Littles Have a Happy Valentine's Day (adapted from The Littles Have a Wedding)
The Georgie Series by Robert Bright

Young Readers:Georgie
Five Little Monkeys with Nothing to Do by Eileen Christalow
Bear Snores on by Karma Wilson
A Frog in the Bog by Karma Wilson
Billy and Blaze by C.W. Anderson(Good beginning reader)
The Seven Chinese Brothers by Margaret Mahy
The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord
Pickles to Pittsburgh by Judi Barnett
Froggy by Jonathan London
The Island of the Skog by Stephen Kellogg

TJED is based on Classically based books and mentoring. Start buying and reading the suggested books and see which ones will work for you and your family library. For those who missed where I got these book lists, I received from a good friend who is well versed in classic books for kids and has a house filled with bookshelves full of classic books for children. Several afternoons she had me come and copy down the titles so I could start my collection. Thank you, Linda! Happy reading, everyone!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

10 Most Famous and Successful People Who Were Homeschooled

Homeschoolers sometimes don’t get as much as credit as students who attend traditional schools do, but the truth is, their education can prepare them to be just as competitive in college and in the real world. In fact, some pretty important people in business, entertainment, science, politics, and literature were homeschooled at some point in their lives. Just check out our list of 10 of the most famous and successful people who were homeschooled.

Venus and Serena Williams: Tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams have won championships and tournaments like the US Open, French Open, Sony Ericsson Open, Australian Open, and Wimbledon, sometimes more than once. The sisters — just 29 and 28 respectively — have also been rewarded for their hard work with endorsement deals and celebrity-level access to award shows and special events around the world. When they were young, the Williams sisters moved from Saginaw, MI, to Compton and then West Palm Beach, CA, where they were homeschooled by their father Richard. Until they were teenagers, the girls studied tennis under Rick Macci, but in 1995, their father took over their tennis training too.

Abraham Lincoln: Sixteenth President of the United States Abraham Lincoln was also the first Republican president and pulled the country through the Civil War, ending slavery. Today, Lincoln is widely regarded as one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history, but he grew up with much humbler roots. Lincoln famously lived in a one-room log cabin in Kentucky and only attended 18 months of formal school. Lincoln mostly taught himself under the guidance of his stepmother Sarah Bush Johnston and the local library.

Andrew Carnegie: Scottish business magnate Andrew Carnegie immigrated to the United States when he was a boy in the middle 19th century. He grew up in Allegheny, PA, and began working at just 13 years old, his only real education coming from his uncle back in Scotland. Though he had a history of working his way through menial jobs, Carnegie was eventually sponsored by the Colonel James Anderson, who allowed Carnegie and other promising teenagers access to his extensive library. Years later, Carnegie continued to foster relationships with academics and writers, but he is best known for building the Cargnegie Steel Company, which later became U.S. Steel after a merger. At one point one of the richest men in the country, Carnegie is also recognized through institutions like the Carnegie Corporation of New York and Carnegie Mellon University.

Booker T. Washington: Teacher, author and community leader Booker T. Washington was born to slaves in Virginia in 1856. Nine years later, Washington and his family were freed after the Civil War ended, and he worked in West Virginia salt furnaces and coal mines until he was able to attend college at the Hampton Institute, despite not having been able to go to formal school as a boy. After graduating, Washington attended the Wayland Seminary so that he could become a teacher, but Washington ultimately went on to become the first president of Tuskegee Institute. Washington was also known as an influential organizer in the African American community for his peaceful, diplomatic leadership.

Woodrow Wilson: Woodrow Wilson served as President of Princeton University, governor of New Jersey and of course as 28th President of the United States, from 1913-1921. As President, Wilson started the League of Nations, which set up a foundation for the United Nations, and helped Europe in its formation of the Treat of Versailles after WWI. Before his life in politics, Wilson was an academic, attending Johns Hopkins for graduate school, and teaching at Bryn Mawr and NYU Law School. But as a child, Wilson struggled with learning and could not read until he was 10 years old because of his dyslexia. Wilson’s father — a professor at Columbia Theological Seminary in South Carolina — took over his studies for the most part until he went to college.

C.S. Lewis: Writer, critic and theologian C.S. Lewis is considered of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century, and even taught English alongside J.R.R. Tolkien at Oxford University. But the Belfast, Ireland, native was homeschooled by tutors until he was sent away to a boarding school after his mother’s death.

Joseph Priestly: Joseph Priestly made huge contributions to theology, politics and science, and is considered the father of modern chemistry and the inventor of soda water. Born in 1733, Priestly spent time with his grandparents and later with an aunt and uncle after his mother died. He was a gifted child, and after gaining a solid education in the Westminster Shorter Catechism, entered school to prepare for the ministry. Priestly eventually became very ill and dropped out of school and was tutored in many languages like French, Italian, Syrian, Arabic and German, as well as philosophy, science and math.

Frank Lloyd Wright: Iconic architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed some of the most well-known buildings in the country, including the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, as well as many homes constructed in the Usonian style. When he was young, his mother — a trained teacher — brought home Froebel Gifts, special building blocks designed to help children learn on their own. Wright taught himself using these tools and eventually attended high school, but it is not known whether or not he graduated. He enrolled in the University of Wisconsin – Madison, but dropped out after one year.

Albert Einstein: One of the most famous and influential thinkers of all time, Albert Einstein, is credited with discovering the special and general theories of relativity, relativistic cosmology, quantum theory of atomic motion in solids, and many more scientific theories and laws. Born in 1879 in the German Empire, Einstein eventually moved with his family to Munich, where he attended a Catholic school. But when he was ten, the Einsteins fell on hard times and paid a Jewish medical student named Talmud to tutor Albert in math, science and philosophy.

Pearl S. Buck: Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning author Pearl S. Buck is well-regarded in American and Chinese literary circles for her short stories and her novels, including The Good Earth, which is taught in many schools today. Buck was born into a strong Southern Presbyterian family in West Virginia but at just three months old, moved to China where her parents had been missionaries. Buck grew up in China and was tutored in Chinese and English during The Boxer Uprising. Buck attended college in the United States, but eventually moved back to China, where she wrote some of her greatest works.

*This article was printed with permission courtesy of Online