Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Free Math Worksheet

Hi - I hope that all went well today with your homeschooling!

As I sit here on the sofa, I look out my window and see the sunshine reflecting off the snow and watch smoke curling out of a fireplace chimney. It is just happy and cheerful out today.

Well, maybe it's just me feeling happy and cheerful today!

Anyway, Nathan and Ryan have been into "codes" lately. And we've been passing back and forth papers with messages and a code to crack. We do give a hint as to the pattern of the coding, but you still have to think about it.

When sharing one with their Dad, Wade said, "You know, when we were in highschool, your Mom would write me notes in code that I had to figure out."

I had completely forgotten about that! Poor Wade...he must have really liked me to spend hours trying to figure out the code and the letter I had written! I didn't even give him a clue as to the pattern of the code.

Do your kids like codes? Well, today I created a simple one that just takes addition and subtraction knowledge to cover a range of elementary ages and have posted it on the Homeschool Cookbook home page for anyone to use:
http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

So, if you have little de-coders running around your house, print this sheet and let them have some fun, practice math, and end up with a Scripture to memorize or just talk about.

Sincerely,Laura Bankston

P.S. Get your instant math de-coding activity when you visit Homeschool Cookbook at http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com (Don't delay...I won't be leaving this up forever :-) )
P.P.S. If you know of any other homeschoolers, forward this to them - or the link - so they can print their de-coding worksheet too.

Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: Homeschool Cooking in a Box and the Homeschool Cookbook. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Reprint Permission Requirements: Intact bio, Active hyper-link, and notifiication (click here) of article name and reprint location link.


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Roe vs. Wade 32nd Anniversary

This weekend we had a rather somber church service. A service remembering the anniversay of the Supreme Court decision of Roe vs. Wade.

And, of course, an occasion like that gets me thinking. Thinking about all the statistics of what has happened in America since that decision. And the importance of teaching our children the value of life.

For those of you with older children, here are the links to information I've used this week:

http://www.roevwade.org/rvw1.html - yearly abortion statistics. The number of abortions has increased so much that there is one every 24 seconds.

http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/index.html - info on abortion techniques

http://www.standupgirl.com/inside/index.html - the most amazing COLOR photos of early fetal development

http://www.standupgirl.com/inside/embryoscopy/index.html

http://www.3d-us.org/eng/nomedic.htm - photos and scroll down to the bottom for MOVIE of 15 week old baby and a 32 week old baby - 3D no less! Oh, and video of a YAWNING baby.

http://www.abortionfacts.com/literature/literature_921ms.asp - developmental facts of fetus by days and weeks

http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/facts/abortionresponses.html - debating right to life
'In 2000, more children died from abortion than Americans died in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf Wars combined'

http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/facts/abortionstats.html

Today, I hug my children. I thank God for them. Today I pray for those pregnant teens and other women who are in emotional distress, for comfort for them, and for guidance to lead them in the way of adoption. Today, I pray for our country and for the oportunity we have to reverse Roe vs. Please take a moment right now to do the same. Thank God for the people who fight for the rights of these unborn infants just as we would fight for justice if someone took the life of our born children.

Sincerely,
Laura Bankston

Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: Homeschool Cooking in a Box and the Homeschool Cookbook. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Reprint Permission Requirements: Intact bio, Active hyper-link, and notifiication (click here) of article name and reprint location link.


Thursday, January 20, 2005

Time Consumed with Arguing

No matter where you go in America...

No matter how good people have it....

No matter what thought or philiosphy someone is trying to convery....

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Some people just love to argue!

Just think about it. What are some of America's top radio broadcasts? Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura, etc.

People just love to get riled up about stuff, blow it out of porportion, act like victims, and miss the whole point of everything.

They call in just to argue - with points that don't follow any logic - some truth, but a lot of stuff that everyone can see doesn't make any sense except for the people flappin their jaws.

However, fortunately, there are some poeple who aren't like that. People who like controversial issues brought up. People who like to have facts pointed out that they may have not considered before.

People who know that there are additional things to learn in life.

People who know that the only way things are going to be improved and changed in this life is if people take a stand and unite and use a collective voice to make themselves heard.

So for those of you out there - and you know who you are - who daily improve thier lives with information. You are the ones that make the world better. The ones that make your life better - and better for those you live with.

Everyone else....you can try to do the same. But if you decide to just keep on arguing, that's okay too. It provides entertainment for the rest of us!

Sincerely,
Laura Bankston

P.S. In life, you can sit and watch things go by; attack everything that goes by; or evaluate, expereince, and learn from what goes by. Which are you?

P.P.S. If you're the type of person that likes to experience, grow, and learn, then share that expereince with your kids right now! http://www.kidsrecipeclub.com


Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: Homeschool Cooking in a Box and the Homeschool Cookbook. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Reprint Permission Requirements: Intact bio, Active hyper-link, and notifiication (click here) of article name and reprint location link.


Monday, January 17, 2005

Indoor Sidewalk Chalk Fun

Need some winter (or maybe rainy day) indoor fun?

My kids love to do sidewalk chalk; and since Maegan turned three this summer, it was really the first summer that she got into it too.

Everyday she was asking to go out and 'do chalk', so this winter has been particularly hard for her.

She keeps going to the drawer with the buckets of sidewalk chalk, asking to 'do chalk'.

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1. Chocolate French Silk Pie - the super easy, scrum-delicious recipe that was a big hit at our Thanksgiving friend/family gathering

2. Savory Pumpkin Custard in the Microwave - with an optional homeschool homework assignment to earn a cooking certificate

3. Snicker's Fudge - great layered candy recipe, enjoyed by all ages. Includes assignment to earn 'candy making' certificate

4. Snow Ice Cream - from 2 - 200 - you're never too young or too old to enjoy this one!
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So, a couple of days ago, one of our art acitivies was to draw a snow scene with white chalk on dark blue construction paper.

As you can imagine, Maegan was tickled pink to see the sidewalk chalk come out.

But bless her heart, if she didn't give me a great idea when she put her construction paper on the floor to color - make our our indoor sidewalk to color with chalk.

It's very easy to do.

Just tape together some squares of white or colored construction paper to make your own 'indoor sidewalk'. then let the kids have at it.

The downside? It's a little messy. But, after being cooped in for a long time and having tons of energy, you may be willing to trade a little mess for some sanity :-).

Sincerely,
Laura Bankston

P.S. Have friends or family with home school children cooped inside? Send them this fun indoor sidewalk idea and have them sign up for their own daily tips at http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

P.P.S. Give your kids an 'after the holidays' surprise gift. Neverending cooking fun with an ongoing supply of brand new recipes to download. http://www.kidsrecipeclub.com/

Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: Homeschool Cooking in a Box and the Homeschool Cookbook. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Reprint Permission Requirements: Intact bio, Active hyper-link, and notifiication (click here) of article name and reprint location link.


ABEKA Science Text Contains False Information

I think Nathan's favorite subject right now is Science. He always has been fascinated with how things work and what makes things happen. And I like Science because it provides such a perfect opportunity to incorporate Biblical truth.

And, in my endeavor to have every subject surrounded and encompassed with God and Scripture, I use many of ABEKA's textbooks. And, as you may have already guessed, one of them is Science.

So, this year we are going through Exploring God's World 3 and having a great time doing it.

However, this week, in our study of plant life, I was reading to Nathan from the lesson on seeds and spores. As I do sometimes, I was reading and kinda thinking about other things, so I wasn't really paying attention to the words as much as I should have been. And I read a small paragraph without really comprehending what I was reading until that last sentence, "

"...yeast spores make our bread rise. Without them, we would not have bread for toast and sandwiches.”

I stopped.

"That's not true!" I exclaimed in disbelief. How could they make such a blatantly false statement?

Sure, most of the bread that is available for purchase - and even home made bread for that matter - is made with yeast.

But that doesn't change the fast - YOU CAN MAKE BREAD WITHOUT USING YEAST!

Now, you may not have even thought about it before, but trust me, I live it. And so do probably hundreds of thousands of other Americans who, like myself, are allergic or intolerant to yeast.

And, we still have bread - without yeast.

In fact, the bread that I eat can't have wheat, yeast, gluten, or egg white. But, even without those, I still have bread. And I can even purchase mixes to make bread without any of those ingredients.

My point?

It's not so much the issue about the bread. It's the issue of accurate information.

Our children have little sponges for minds. They accept and believe everything that they are told. They accept and believe everything from books too. I mean, really. How many of you have had to deal with the issue of "reality" when watching T.V.? They believe everything on T.V. is true too!

So, it's important to teach our children that things in books are not necessarily true. People write books and people make mistakes - and some people try to deceive you and get you to believe things that you shouldn't.

That day, Nathan and I had a large discussion about this matter of a book having information that is not true.

And, what else might not be true? You better believe that you won't catch me again reading to my son and not paying attention!

But the other issue on my mind? Getting the text book corrected. How long has that false statement been in the science text? How many kids have been reading the material on their own and think that you have to have yeast to make bread? Has anyone even caught this inaccuracy and addressed the issue?

And since I'm not one to let things go, I sent the following e-mail to ABEKA customer service:


"Who would I need to contact about erroneous information in the 3rd grade science text?
Thanks so much. Laura Bankston


Page 41-Exploring God’s World 3-“yeast spores make our bread rise. Without them, we would not have bread for toast and sandwiches.” This is not correct information. I’m allergic to yeast and have yeast free breads all the time. This information should be corrected to, “Without them, we would not have 
.(something that has to be made with yeast, or the same tasting bread that is commonly bought in stores). Most states have laws that textbooks must contain accurate information"

Yes, most states have laws that text books must contain accurate information. This is usually a state law that applies to even public school texts. So, as a parent, you have a right to address the false information presented in public school texts (such as the appendix being a "vestigial organ". Science has already proven that the appendix has a purpose and is important).

So, I sent my email, wondering if I would get a response. And today, I got one. But, it wasn't what I was expecting....

"Dear Mrs. Bankston,

Thank you for your suggestion regarding the science text. We will keep this information on file for our next reprint.
We appreciate your interest and prayers as we attempt to provide quality in textbooks for Christian schools and home schoolers."

Sincerely,
LuWanda Bowman
Education Consultant

Thanks for my suggestion????

Since when is correcting an error just a "suggestion'??? There should be someone admitting that it is an ERROR and can MISLEAD children and that it will be presented for REVISION. And, in the meantime, each text should have an INSERT or a STICKER of the ERROR.

If you are a user of ABEKA and are concerned about this complacency regarding an ERROR in a science text not only used by many homeschoolers - but is being read to students in Christian schools across this nation, then please contact ABEKA with me and let them know that FALSE information, no matter how "minor" is NOT ACCEPTABLE. Period.

ABEKA Contact information:

LuWanda Bowman, Education Consultant - bowman@abeka.com

ABEKA Fax
U.S and Canada 1-800-874-3590

Write:
A Beka Book, Inc.P.O. Box 19100Pensacola, FL 32523-9100, U.S.A.


And, may I encourage you to pay attention to the curriculum that you use. Make sure that it is accurate and truthful. And, by all means, don't accept anything less than that!

Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: Homeschool Cooking in a Box and the Homeschool Cookbook. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

Reprint Permission Requirements: Intact bio, Active hyper-link, and notifiication (click here) of article name and reprint location link.