Monday, December 12, 2016

Weekly Wrap-up and Currently Reading - Dec.11, 2016

My first weekly wrapup and currently video on my youtube channel. I need to start looking for a better recording camera. :)
What are you reading?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November Book Haul 2016

I went book shopping again. Don't worry I used trade in credit for these.
After last week's Classics bookshelf tour I realized two things.
First thing is that I still have some classics packed up in one of these totes. There are about 13 BIG totes full of books waiting for our basement to one day be done so they can go back on bookshelves.
Second that I my classic's collection is pretty small and missing some books I really should own and have read. I am working on a list on goodreads of classics I need and I bought some while I was out.
I also picked up a few other books too. ;)
Any suggestions for classics I need to pick up?
Here is a link to my goodreads books I want to pick up:
And here is the link to the shelf of ones I know I own:
I'm pretty sure I don't have all my books on that list.. but that is a task for another day.
Let me know what I need to add to my classic's collection!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

2016 Classics and Old Books Bookshelf Tour

My first bookshelf tour. I chose my Classics and Old Books bookshelf to share with everyone.
What books should I add to my classics shelf? I know I need to expand and read more classics.
I also think I must have more in a tote because I remember a few that weren't on the shelf. Opps.

Friday, November 18, 2016

October - November Birthday Book Haul

My birthday was Halloween and since my family says I am impossible to buy for.. they gave me gift cards.  Works for me.  So I spent those on BOOKS.  Of course I did.  Here are the books I picked up.  This is my first actual youtube book haul so be gentle..
Have you read any of these?  Any book recommendations?
Follow me for more on youtube.  I do book and homeschool videos.  :)

Friday, November 4, 2016

Review: The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I just finished the last page and I don't know what to think about this book. In a way I hated it.  I hated how it drained me.  The language was awful.. but I know that real life is that way. The cussing, the teenage boy hormones, the depression.. they are all part of real life. It just makes me sad reading it. I struggle with the point of this book. It is just a weekend in the life of a confused, angry teenage boy who has been expelled from one of many private schools.  There is no plot.  Its very character driven.  You get to know Holden.  You see his weaknesses and strengths.  Although he drinks, cusses, smokes, runs away from school, gets expelled, he has a good side that you see through his love of his little sister.  It was refreshing after the depressing chapters to see how he treats Phoebe.  He redeems himself in the end.  I wonder if he is just boxed into being what he doesn't want to be and is lashing out.   Since his parents are rich he is expected to be and act a certain way.  He obviously doesn't want to or he wouldn't have been expelled.  Given caring parents that took the time to see him for who he is and encourage those interests could of lead to him achieving something rewarding.  The ending didn't really leave me with the impression that it would happen that way.
The book is listed as one of the books recommended for 11th graders. I hesitate to hand it over to my son but I can see how it would be relateable. He has anger and anxiety issues so he would (I imagine) feel a connection to Holden but I won't know until he reads it.

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Review: The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

The Invisible ManThe Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a required reading choice for my 11th grader this year. He chose it. I read it first in two days then he read it a couple chapters a day. I found it very interesting. He found it a little slow in some parts. It lead to some interesting conversations about whether the main character was mad to begin with or went mad because of the invisibility. My son said in the beginning that having that power would be amazing. Being able to do what you want, when you want. By the end of the book, he said he would only like to be invisible if he could control it. I'm sure the main character felt the same way.

At first I felt sympathetic towards Griffin and how frustrating it must of been to not be seen and to be open to the elements. His actions though toward the end squashed those feelings. I do think the author had fun playing with the emotions of the reader (as H.G. Wells is very good at).

As a child of the 90s I remember a movie of a similar nature of this book but I can't find it. I think maybe my memories of what it was and if it actually followed the book are off. If I can find it, I think it would be a nice addition to reading this together. If you know which movie I am thinking of, please feel free to comment below. I think I would still like to see it.

This is a great book for young adults and adults alike. If my 10 year old shows some interest, I will let her pick it up.

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Learning Japanese Series - Part 1 - Materials

This year my 5th grader has decided that she wants to begin learning Japanese.  I'm both excited and scared.  I have no knowledge of Japanese beyond counting to 10 and saying hello.  This is a new experience for both of us.

 After much research and a couple different purchases, we decided that this looked like the easiest and best option for her to begin with.
Japanese from Zero Book 1.
This book is a series.  As you complete the book you can go on to the next level.  Here is a link to the whole series if you want to check them out.  He also has a Korean series.
Japanese From Zero Series
ALSO to make it even better the series has a youtube channel with great content relating to the lessons.  You can find it here:  Japanese From Zero! Youtube Channel

Along with this book we use various Japanese youtube videos and different programs.  The first is the free version of a program called Byki 4 Express.  We are not affiliated with them.  It was just one of many programs I researched.  Below is a screenshot of what it looks like when you add it and add your students.  You can add multiple students which I liked.  It keeps your progress separate.  At this point I haven't decided if I want to purchase the full program or not yet.  

Byki 4 Express

Another resource I've just discovered through our local library system is through the website 

Our library offers a free membership to card holders.  Most library systems offer a membership through some language resource website so its definitely worth checking out.  I've only just found it so I can't share any input on it.  I can review it later after we use it for a while if anyone is interested.

Here is a screenshot of what it looks like.  My favorite part is that it isn't a program so there is no downloading.  Just open the page and get to work.  

Now that is the material we use or will be using. Next part of this series will be more about what we have actually been doing.  You can see some of the ideas of how we incorporate Japanese into day to day activities.   I do hope you will come back to see more of what we are doing.

And I would LOVE to here what you are doing in learning a new language.  IF you are learning Japanese and want some company, feel free to let me know.  Leave us a link in the comments if you have any good websites, books or if you've written a blog about learning japanese.

Thanks for reading!