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A is an Acoustic Tongue Drum

Hello! Today, and for quite a few up coming weeks, my writing will be a bit different than normal.  I will be writing an alphabet post like my brothers.  It looks fun!  So after going through many “a” options I decided my first alphabet article would be A is Acoustic and it is about my new tongue drum.

A is an Acoustic Tongue Drum  

 

First, I’d like to share the google definition of acoustic. It means:

a·cous·tic
adjective
  • relating to sound or the sense of hearing
  • (of music or musical instruments) not having electrical amplification.

The picture above is my Tongue Drum. Right about now you are probably asking “What is a tongue drum.”  Well, it is a dome-like saucer that has slits or indentions cut or hammered into it. Each drum sounds different and it depends on the size of the slits or indentions. There are also two types of pan drums I know of, depending on whether they have indentions or slits. The drum with indentions is commonly known as a handpan while a drum with slits is commonly known as a tongue drum.

I was first introduced to a Pan drum when my mom showed me a video of a guy named Daniel Waples playing a handpan, The way he played it was amazing and the music was even better! After I saw that first video I started looking around to see how much they were. We were shocked to discovery that the handpan he was using was $2,000 or more! We started looking for alternatives and found the Tongue Drum. They were $400+ dollars.  For my birthday my mom really wanted to surprise me with one! However, she was scared I would not like the one she picked out, so she asked me to look at it before my birthday to see if I really wanted that and only that for my birthday! The one she found was a beautiful nebula design and I loved its sound. Since it was on Ebay, she bid on it and we watched and waited. We ended up purchasing it for an extremely low price $220 dollars!!

I was surprised by how quickly I could play the instrument. I was literally playing it on the way home in the car. I am really enjoying this instrument and It has a wonderful sound. When I first started I was playing sequences of up to three notes, now I’m playing 3-4 notes at a time! Below is a video of me playing it!  

I hope you have enjoyed my article, and my music!

See ya’ soon

5 Hands-On Field Trip Ideas for Memphis TN

There are just so many wonderful field trip destinations, but I’ve decided to write about 5 Don’t-Miss Field Trip Ideas for Memphis TN.  As most of you know, we are Montessori-ish homeschoolers, so we prefer  hands-on experiences to help create active learning opportunities.  So, that is the aspect that I’ll be focusing on for my field trips list.  For each Field Trip destination I have provided their address which is hyper-linked to MapQuest.  (Note:  If you have not used MapQuest lately, you need to check them out.  Their directions now include landmarks and “if you see xyz, you have gone too far” directions!  When I am traveling to unfamiliar territory, I love having landmarks to help me know I’m still on the right road!)  Also, all the pictures link to the website of each field trip destination.  I have not linked hours nor days of operation because they are seasonal and subject to other variables I can’t track.  And, lastly, I provide a phone number.  Worse-case scenario, you can call to see if they are open!  So, let’s to those field trips!

Memphis Hands-On Field Trip Ideas

1.  Memphis Zoo.

 2000 Prentiss Place. Memphis TN 38112.

(901) 276-9453.  Memphis Zoo

With 3,000 animals on over 70 acres in the heart of Memphis, the Zoo is always the top of my list.   And I’m not the only one that thinks the Memphis Zoo is fantastic… In 2008, the Memphis Zoo was ranked America’s number one zoo by TripAdvisor.com. In 2009, the Memphis Zoo was rated the top zoo in the country in a national survey by Morey Associates!  My favorite exhibit is the giant pandas.  Memphis is one of only four zoos in the United States that have giant panda residents full-time!  And just for a bit of interesting trivia, you know the lion roar heard at the beginning of the classic MGM movies?  That was  recorded in the old Carnivora Building at the Memphis Zoo and featured one of the Zoo’s lions, Volney!

The Memphis Zoo is also very homeschool friendly, even hosting Homeschool Academy, a week long homeschool program for interactive learning!  To bring a trip to the Zoo alive, you can approach from various perspectives.  The most obvious is a zoology perspective, but you might also want to study geography and the animals of a certain country.  Or you could study biomes and why certain animal characteristics would fit each biome better and then identify the animals with those characteristics.  Or how about studying camouflage and how animals might hide in their environments.  Finally, it can be a writing activity and they can record their zoo trip in a field trip journal!

2.  Children’s Museum of Memphis.

2525 Central Ave.  Memphis, TN 38104.

(901) 320-3170.

No list of hands-on field trips in Memphis should exclude the Children’s Museum!  It is a fun and very interactive private museum with ever-changing learning activities.  The site says it is for children 1 – 100,CMOM but I would say once you reach upper elementary, the exhibits are “babyish” and your children will tell you so (as mine have)! Some of the things that we find so unique about our Children’s Museum is the ability to fly an airplane or drive a firetruck!  Honestly, this is very high on my don’t miss list of Memphis!

3.  Pink Palace Museum.

3050 Central Avenue.  Memphis, TN  38111.

(901) 320-6320.

The history of the Pink Palace Museum is quite interesting even before you get on site!  The palace was built by the Piggly Wiggly grocery store magnate ClarenceThe Memphis Pink Palace Museum Saunders.  He named his 36,500 square-foot house “Cla-Le-Clare” after his three children.  Memphians nicknamed it the “Pink Palace” because it appeared pink due to the pink Georgia marble exterior.

The museum focuses on cultural and natural history of the Mid-South.  It presents history through engaging exhibits, dioramas, and audio-visuals. I was a bit skeptical about my boys liking this museum, but they were fascinated and have asked to return many times.   But with exhibits that include such intriguing items as a shrunken head, I really should not be surprised they enjoy returning!

3a.  IMAX Theater.

3050 Central Avenue.  Memphis, TN  38111.

(901) 320-6320.

Yes, this is the same address as the Pink Palace Museum and no, this is not a mistake.  The only IMAX Theater in the Mid-South is also housed at the Pink Palace Museum!  So, I’ve added this field trip as being a part of my number three field trip (is that cheating?)!IMAX Theater But, this IMAX Theater is different … it is only one of three in the WORLD with a movable screen that is four stories high!  I’m telling you, this IMAX experience makes viewers really feel like they are part of the action!

The movies change out about once per quarter or so.  We are about to visit before Mid November again to go see Journey Into Amazing Caves.  My middle son is fascinated with Blue Holes and caves, so this will be a great field trip!  The only downside is the theater is only open three days a week (Saturday – Monday).  And the best movies are only shown on the weekend…. so they are not very homeschool friendly!  But that won’t stop us from being a frequent visitor!

3b.  Sharpe Planetarium.

3050 Central Avenue.  Memphis, TN  38111.

(901) 320-6320.

Deja vu!  Yes, you have seen this address once (or twice) on this list.  Believe or not, the Pink Palace Museum is also home to the Sharpe Planetarium.   It is a 130-Sharpe Planetariumseat theater-in-the-round, which uses planetarium technology to project star fields, visual images and patterns on a domed ceiling.  The Sharpe Planetarium is now open Tuesday through Saturday.

Images are projected on the domed roof of the Memphis night sky and common constellations are located and pointed out.  The planetarium’s projections change every quarter or so, which keeps the night sky pretty current for what constellations you see each season.

4.  The Metal Museum.

374 Metal Museum Dr. Memphis, TN 38106.

(901) 774-6380.

The Metal Museum in Memphis is the only institution in the United States that is exclusively devoted to the advancement of the art and craft of fine metalwork…Memphis Metal Museum so it is truly one of a kind!  The museum has exhibitions that rotate in and out throughout the year, as well as permanent exhibitions.  But the thing I LOVE the most about the Metal Museum is the hands-on aspect.  They offer classes for you to learn metal working and make your own items!  They offer many different choices for these classes  from afternoon ones to weekend long workshops.  For this Montessori-ish Mama, this is one of the most fascinating museums in Memphis to visit (and certainly the most unique of them all)!

5.  Mud Island.

125 N Front St. Memphis, TN 38103.

(901) 576-7241.

Mud Island is another venue in Memphis that has multiple things to see and do here.  One thing my children love is the Monorail to get to the Island.  Mom is not so wild about it and would prefer to walk the sidewalk above it.  It’s only 1/3 of a mile, after all!  The first to see on the island is the Mud Island River Park, with it’sMud Island primary feature, the Riverwalk.  It is an exact scale model of the Lower Mississippi River (scale is 30” =  One Mile) and is one of the most unique representations of the river Mark Twain loved to write about in Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. If you visit during the warmer weather, they also have peddle boats in the “Gulf of Mexico”!  

The next feature to explore on Mud Island is the Mississippi River Museum.  The museum is made up of 18 galleries that show the history of the Lower Mississippi River Valley.  The exhibit cover the early inhabitants in the valley to modern day transportation and contain over 5,000 artifacts; including two full size boat replicas which you can board and explore.

For more Fun Field Trips Ideas Around the World, see the growing list at Hip Homeschool Moms.

 

 

Our Middle School Classroom

When my boys were young, we had a full Montessori elementary curriculum and classroom with very hands-on materials to assist with their learning of abstract ideas.  Now that they are abstract thinkers, our middle school classroom has morphed along with them. As you will see, Montessori Middle School and High School classrooms look VERY different. Once your students have passed the need for those beautiful works (see my post about when I fully mourned the passing of this fabulous stage), it’s time to move to a more traditional curriculum and classroom.  It still has the Montessori educational philosophy at its core with lots of hands-on experiments and exploration, but all grown up! 

Classroom Pictures

Montessori and the Outdoor Classroom

One aspect the older classrooms have in common with the younger classrooms is that our classrooms are everywhere. Wherever there is a teachable moment THAT is the classroom.  This is foundational for the Montessori curriculum. Montessori starts teaching botany at the age of three in the early childhood classroom and with the customary Montessori approach of being very hands-on. So we have always spent a vast amount of time outdoors, on our farm and in our community exploring not only botany, but astronomy, zoology, physics, chemistry, geography, photography, art, and the list goes on and on.  So the outdoor classroom has always been intricate to a functioning Montessori environment.

Montessori Inside Middle School Classroom

The inside classroom is where you will see the most dramatic changes taking place. Our classrooms look more like a library or study now. The boys are at the age where they are doing a lot of research, so we have a ton of books! We still spend a lot of time in the kitchen conducting experiments, studying geography via cooking regional dishes and using the kitchen table to spread out on. 

Must Haves for a Middle School Classroom

Some of the pieces we could not live without in our Middle School classroom are:  

  • Computers and Printers (I still require about half of their research to be done in books);
  • Research Books with lots of biographies, World Books, How to books, etc;
  • Comfortable chairs to spend hours reading;
  • Kindles for the vast amount of books;
  • An animal to love and have full responsibility of its care — we have two red-eared slider turtles, one in each classroom and lots of cats.  Gage has started a business raising chickens (Deluxe Clucks).  This is very much a piece of the Montessori middle school curriculum.  Teaching them, via the farm environment, how to earn a living, run a business and care for animals.  
  • Science equipment — microscopes, prepared and clean slides, dissection equipment, measurement equipment;
  • Storage areas for all the materials, reports, art works, etc. they are creating!  
  • Games, games and more games — educational games, thinking games, strategy games, we love to play games!

The Rest of the Story and Pictures

If you are interested in seeing how a Montessori Middle School works and what we use for curriculum, be sure to read my post here.    

I created two slide shows, one for each environment!  I hope you enjoy seeing how a Montessori Middle School Classroom works.  

Here are a few pictures from our outdoor space, where so much of our time is spent!

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Here are a few pictures from our indoor spaces. You will see, we use the whole house!

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I hope you have enjoyed getting a peek into our middle school classroom! If you have any questions about how we do something, please leave a comment!  If you are interested in seeing other classrooms, be sure to visit Hip Homeschool Moms the week of September 16th for more classroom pictures from the team and our readers!  There will even be a linkup where you can share your own classroom!  

Remember to walk your faith and not just talk about it… be a blessing to somebody today!  James 2:14-26

Until next time…. 

 

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Start the Homeschool Year Strong

Start the Homeschool Year Strong

 

I would sure appreciate you visiting Hip Homeschool Moms to check out my FIRST post as an HHM contributor (and co-owner) … Start the Homeschool Year Strong!!! I have never written for another site, so this was a bit nerve wracking 🙂 I’m sure I will get accustomed to writing over there … but it was not easy THIS time!  

I did share something over on Hip Homeschool Moms that I never thought I would share anywhere! Our curriculum spreadsheet through highschool for each of my boys. It is something I put together years ago and modify as I need to. It’s not the prettiest spreadsheet I’ve ever created, but it is a work in progress!  

I would LOVE to hear your feedback so be sure to leave me a comment! Until next time… focus on being a blessing!  

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Philosophy Adventure Giveaway and Launch Party

philosophy adventure 4

 

I am excited to tell you about a new Homeschool Curriculum called Philosophy Adventure by Stacy Farrell at Homeschool Adventure Co. I was asked to be a part of their launch team and I am thrilled to have found this curriculum. So, welcome to our Philosophy Adventure Giveaway and Launch Party! I was given a digital copy of this curriculum, in exchange for my honest opinion and assistance in finding those pesky little typos that sneak through the editing process (as all of us bloggers know oh too well).  I do not and will not receive any compensation for my review other than the curriculum mentioned above!  Be sure to read to the bottom of the post where you can register to win a free digital copy of the complete curriculum!  

So, Let me introduce you to Philosophy Adventure. It was written by Stacy Farrell and is designed for students in the 6th – 12th grades.  We will be using this curriculum next year with our 8th, 7th and 4th graders.  It will be a little stretch for my youngest, but we will be able to modify it to fit his skill set.  Philosophy Adventure™ helps our children cultivate and defend a biblical worldview by teaching them how to write skillfully, think critically, and speak articulately as they explore the history of philosophy and the impact of ideas.

I know “Philosophy Adventure” sounds like it is all about philosophy, which is overwhelmingly not Biblical at all, but I can assure you it’s much more than just a curriculum about philosophers!  The study examines the pre-Socratic philosophers, what they taught, thought, what and who influenced their thinking and who they interacted with.  But most importantly, it introduces their teachings from the perspective of how does it fit with a biblical worldview.  So, it asks the question and our students answer…  how does each of these philosophers’ view match or conflict with a Biblical worldview.  Although this material can be used for our children to work independently, I think it is far more valuable as a tool to provoke thoughtful and deep discussion for the entire family!  

Philosophy Adventure 2

As most of your know, we have a Montessori slant to our homeschool environment.  One of the foundational principles of a Montessori education is that of being life long learners.  Ironically, Stacy mentions in the introduction:

We consider ourselves students rather than scholars.  Life-long learners.

AND, not only is Stacy’s educational philosophy in-line with our Montessori leanings, but there are also Memory Cards that we fully intend to use to create a board game; a timeline that shows not only the philosophers, but also is color coded to show the Rulers, Prophets, Biblical Heroes, Scientists, Literary Works and Major Events of their time; Map and geography work; a Write, Think and Speak Journal; and more!  It meshes so well with the way we homeschool!  I know this is so much information to absorb!  Download a sample lesson and see what you think for yourself!  I will give a full review in the next couple of weeks, but I really wanted to introduce you to the curriculum and tell you I already love it!  Here is their promotional video that does a great job at giving you a quick preview of this wonderful curriculum!

 

Here is what is included in each lesson of Philosophy Adventure:

  • Meet the Philosopher where we learn the philosopher’s story
  • Sections for in-depth study where the students Write, Think, and Speak about what they are studying
  • Geography and Map studies
  • The School of Thought associated with the philosopher
  • And finally a Contrast section which provides primary source materials (or secondary if primary is unavailable) from the philosopher, and the “Biblical Worldview” where the text discusses if the philosopher’s ideas align with a biblical worldview.

Along with the primary text, a Student Workbook and Teacher Resources are included. The Write, Think and Speak journal is in the Student Workbook, along with Map work, writing and speaking checklists and Vocabulary.   In the teacher resources’ section are the memory cards, timelines to print, and the quizzes and answer keys.

Philosophy Adventure is available in several different formats:

  • Complete Set of Printed Text and Student Workbook with Resources CD – $89.95

  • Reader with Resources CD (includes digital rather than print edition of Student Workbook) – $69.95

  • Digital Edition of Reader & All Resources on CD $49.95

  • Digital Download Edition – $39.95

 PA Giveaway

 

 

Be sure to subscribe to their newsletter so you can be notified of updates and new volumes of the curriculum! 

Now for the fun part… we have been given a digital download, including reader, student workbook, and teacher resources to give away to one of our readers!  Good luck!!

 

Philosophy-disclaimer

2012-2013 Homeschool Curriculum

 

We have homeschooled now for four years.  This is our 2012-2013 Homeschool Curriculum.  Prior to homeschooling, our boys attended a small local private Montessori school, where I was on the board for the school. Our boys have reached the point of thinking and working abstractly, so most of the Montessori materials are no longer used in our curriculum. So what do we now?  Come & see!!

I am very thankful that we stumbled blindly into a Montessori school! It has been a complete blessing to our family and continues to be … it is how we approach learning, education and life in general. So, although we have very traditional homeschool material now, our approach is still firmly grounded in the Montessori pedagogy.

 

#1 (oldest son) 7th Grade:

Exercises in English G
Grammar / English: Loyola Press Exercises in English G
Writing:IEW / Beautiful Feet Geography Study
IEW Beutiful Feet Geography Literature
Literature: GA Henty Books (Cat of Bubastes) and Jim Hodges Study GuideCat of Bubastes
Spelling: All About Spelling 3-5All About Spelling 3
Vocabulary: Loyola Press Vocabulary in Action GVocabulary in Action G
 
Algebra: Video Text Algebra II (CLEP when complete!)VideoText Algebra
World History / Geography: Mystery of History IIMOH 2
American History / Geography: Paths of Exploration /Trail Guide to LearningPOE TGTL
Civics: God and Government Volume 1God and Government 1
Science: Apologia Physical ScienceApologia Physical Science
Logic: Fallacy DetectiveFallacy Detective
Foreign Language: Croghan Language Academy SpanishCroghan Language Academy
Economics: Starting a Micro Business for Teensmicrobus-workbk
Physical Education: Soccer, Karate
Scripture Studies: Torah, Writings, Prophets, NT
Electives: Art, PhotographyVirtual homeschool group name

 

 

 

(Middle Son) 6th Grade:

Grammar / English: Loyola Press Exercises in English FExercises in English F
Writing:IEW / Beautiful Feet Geography Study
IEW Beutiful Feet Geography Literature
Literature: GA Henty Books (Cat of Bubastes) and Jim Hodges Study Guide Cat of Bubastes
Spelling: All About Spelling 3-5All About Spelling 3
Vocabulary: Loyola Press Vocabulary in Action EVocabulary in Action E
Creative Writing: IEW / Beautiful Feet Geography Study
Algebra: Video Text Algebra I (CLEP when completes II!)VideoText Algebra
World History / Geography: Mystery of History IIMOH 2
American History / Geography: Paths of Exploration /Trail Guide to LearningPOE TGTL
Civics: God and Government Volume 1God and Government 1
Science: Apologia General ScienceGeneral Science
Logic: Fallacy DetectiveFallacy Detective
Foreign Language: Croghan Language Academy SpanishCroghan Language Academy
Economics: Starting a Micro Business for Teensmicrobus-workbk
Physical Education: Soccer, Karate
Scripture Studies: Torah, Writings, Prophets, NT
Electives: Art, PhotographyVirtual homeschool group name

 

 

#3 (Youngest Son) 3rd Grade

Grammar / English: Loyola Press Exercises in English DExercises in English D
Writing:IEW / Beautiful Feet Geography Study
IEW Beutiful Feet Geography Literature
Literature: GA Henty Books (Cat of Bubastes) and Jim Hodges Study GuideCat of Bubastes
Spelling: All About Spelling 3-5All About Spelling 3
Vocabulary: Loyola Press Vocabulary in Action DVocabulary in Action D
Creative Writing: IEW / Beautiful Feet Geography Study
Teaching Textbooks Pre-AlgebraTeaching Textbooks Pre Algebra Montessori Measurement (EDUTC)Edutc Measurement    Montessori Area and Volume from Houston Montessori Center
World History / Geography: Mystery of History IIMOH 2
American History / Geography: Paths of Exploration /Trail Guide to LearningPOE TGTL
Science: Apologia Exploring Creation Zoology 3Exploring Creation Zoology 3
Logic: Fallacy DetectiveFallacy Detective
Foreign Language: Croghan Language Academy SpanishCroghan Language Academy
Economics: Starting a Micro Business for Teensmicrobus-workbk
Physical Education: Soccer, Karate
Scripture Studies: Torah, Writings, Prophets, NT
Electives: Art, PhotographyVirtual homeschool group name

 

Note:  Items above are linked to my Amazon affiliate account.  The very small amount of money that we make from our affiliation with Amazon is used to augment our curriculum needs.  Photos are shared from Amazon.

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