Sunday, March 9, 2014

50's and 60's- Unit Celebration

One of the benefits of using Tapestry is the Unit Celebration.  It has closure and review to a season of learning.  One of the jokes of studying is that you're never finished. There is always MORE to learn. Yes, there is.  However, with Tapestry of Grace cyclical education, we will be back and able to absorb more at a higher learning level.  (*TOG rotates every 4 years)

How to plan a Unit Celebration?

1)  I gather a good date and location for everyone EARLY.  It is amazing how we homeschool moms can fill a calendar.

2)  Gather different options for the time together.  In the beginning of each unit there is a chapter called the Unit Introductions.  It goes over the scope and other very useful information. I like to look at their ideas for the Unit Celebration. (I can't provide a link because it is copyrighted information)

3) I then utilize the Forum.  This online group is for Tapestry of Grace community.  In the forum, you can scroll down to the TOG year 4 redesigned (in our case) and then click on the tab that says TOG year 4 Unit Celebration.  Unfortunately there is very few ideas/links for Year 4 (Year 2 has tons).

4)  Then I just ask the other ladies what they would like to do after writing down some suggestions.  Knowing the co-op and my kids, it was easy to suggest the following line up for the Unit Celebration.  Then delegate the responsibilities to the families based on interest.

5) Prepare.  We took some time during the co-op history time to practice and prepare for the end of the unit celebrations.

What it looked like?
We started with name tags on our backs.  I found them easily from the People section on each week unit.  We played the game of 20 ?'s.  The students & parents had to ask yes or no questions to narrow down who they were.

We then had Poetry recitation from two students from Langston Hughes.

Merry-Go-Round by Langston Hughes

Where is the Jim Crow section
On this merry-go-round,
Mister, cause I want to ride?
Down South where I come from
White and colored
Can't sit side by side.
Down South on the train
There's a Jim Crow car.
On the bus we're put in the back—
But there ain't no back
To a merry-go-round!
Where's the horse
For a kid that's black?

I Dream A World by Langston Hughes

I dream a world where man
No other man will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom's way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black or white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free,
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the needs of all mankind-
Of such I dream, my world!

Then we had excepts from two famous speeches Frederick Douglass during the 4th of July speech and Sojourner Truth "Ain't I a woman". These both came out of the read aloud book The Civil Rights movement for Kids by Mary C. Turck.

Then we had a special drama from 10 American History plays for the Classroom by
It was full of police, waitress, and Woolworth store managers.  Some came dressed up.  They did a great job of the reenactment.

A little break showing the a hand jive and some era music.  

Then capitalizing on the soda fountains, we made italian sodas with soda, cherry flavored syrup, ice, and cream! Yummy!

While the younger kids were sipping on their drinks, we had two reports from the older students on Zora Neale Hurston and the Cuban Missile Crisis.  

I hope you gleamed some insight into what a celebration is and how much fun it can be.  

Monday, March 3, 2014

Book Sorting, Buying, and Wishing Help is right around the corner...Actually right NOW!

I love Tapestry of Grace.  It is full of great books.  However, I can't afford all of them.  Thankfully, I utilize the library all year long for the majority of our books.  However, since my little secret is out (Tapestry is GREAT), other wonderful homeschool moms are using the library.  I don't want to get into a battle of the books, so I need to have on my shelf the literature books (because those are dependent on the worksheets).  I also would like to have the history books that are used for more than 4 weeks.

Confession again, I had a little bit of book money to start stocking up on the books for next year. I love looking at used or the quaint little bookstore called Fireside Books in Palmer, but in the first week of shopping---I ORDERED THE SAME BOOK TWICE! In the past, I also have ordered a book that was already on my nice little shelf.

Not again.

I read reviews, blogs, and customer comments, and decided I was going to put my smart-phone to work (an ipad will do the thing as well).  I bought "Book Crawler".  This app allows me to scan the barcode on the back of the book or manually enter in my older books.  Then it is not only searchable, but my entire library is in my grubby little hands if I am tempted to "repurchase" a good deal at the local thrift store.

Reality, it takes about 1 hour per large bookshelf to enter in the books.  It was painless. I learned to make sure to "tick" or select the slide key called OWN when you scan a book.  Then it places a nifty little check mark by the books I own.

I also can enter my next years books. I just don't mark OWN.  Also, I can add a custom category on a book.  For example, I added a category called TOG 1 (for Tapestry of Grace year 1) or you could add Son 3(for Sonlight grade 3).

You also can push this little blue button on any book that you entered and it will automatically tell you if it is in a library close by.  With another click, you can place the book on hold.  Yes, it is that simple.

To use between two devices (iphone/ipad) I just signed up for dropbox and then push a button and my database is shared.  So, if I am done, I export my database (one button while online).  Then when I open the app on a different device I "import" my database.  That way I don't ever loose my books, and I have the same list of books I am working with.  They "Book Crawler" just opened a desktop app to work online as well.

I love sharing books.  When you open a specific book, you can also tick a LOAN button and type in the person you loaned it to.  I love that.

Hopefully, I will be able to not purchase the same book twice, know what I need with a click of the button, and be able to share my books and not wonder who I loaned it to.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Surgery on Sale?

I have an upcoming surgery for spring break. It is not life threatening but, it is getting to the large size and needs to be removed.

God has taken me on a long road regarding my short-snippy attitude with medical personnel.  It is not the actual caregivers (nurses or doctors) but, I have had an short-tempered erruption on more than a few medical billing personnel.  My ugly face came out.  It wasn't pretty and often it hurt or destroyed my testimony for our Lord.

However, after looking at some of the reasons of my anger/frustration I was humbled by my lack of faith in my Jehovah-Jireh (my provider) God.  Not to say the USA medical billing and outrageous prices do not need a serious overhaul, but, my choice to believe and behave like a child of God dosesn't mean I need to make other peoples job miserable.  My anger doesn't bring out the righteousness that God desires.  God holds me responsible for the way I speak and love others.  (even medical billing).  

Since I am a "cash" patient (which means I have no insurance), I have the privilege of calling all the hospitals, surgical centers, to find out the cost of my procedure.  So, in a way, I get to go shopping.

In my shopping, I found my surgery ON SALE.  Yes, you read it right.  But, Alaska Regional Hospital when I called on 2/27 said that this operation/day surgery would be 75% off if I book it by 2/28.  I really couldn't believe it, but it was true.

So, just for your knowledge the difference in prices were quoted to me as follows.

For the use of the surgical room:

Mat-Su Regional Hospital $20,000 to $40,000 (with a 20% off if I pay upfront)
Anchorage Surgical Center $6700
Providence 15,000-27,000
Alaska Regional Hospital $2000

I still need to pay for the anesthesiologist $1600, labs ($unknown), and surgens fee $5600.

However, we are using Christians Healthcare Ministry and we trust that the surgery will be shared with others. If you sign up for Christians Healthcare ministry we get a free month! I would be glad to share how it works.