Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Happy Prince And Other Stories by Oscar Wilde

We've been reading Oscar Wilde's works for our homeschool literature , particularly The Happy Prince and Other Stories.  The book pictured above contains 9 stories. The first story, The Happy Prince, is the most famous. The story: A golden statue of a prince sits high above the city. Everyone looks up at it and thinks that it seems so happy. A swallow meets the statue ,which is of the late "Happy Prince". The statue houses the soul of the original prince, who in reality has never experienced true happiness. He explains to the swallow that he is very sad, as he can look down and see the suffering of the people. He never understood their suffering before. The statue convinces the swallow to help him by picking of his golden cover and taking pieces of gold to the poor. I won't ruin the ending for you, by
but I can assure you it is (very,very) sad, yet strangely beautiful.

My other favorite story from the book was The Remarkable Rocket. It is a wonderful example of personification, as Wilde does an amazing job making a group of firecrackers seem real. In the story, a bunch of fireworks are chosen to be set off for an enormous celebration of the prince's wedding. The smaller firecrackers are happily visiting amongst themselves when a large firecracker arrives. He brags about himself, what a great noise he will make when he is shot off, etc. When the time comes for him to be shot into the air, things don't go as planned. What make this story so enjoyable is the attention to detail Wilde puts into all his stories. He does not use so many words that it seems like overkill, but he uses just enough so you can picture it in your mind's eye. Below is an animated video from YouTube that follows the story EXACTLY. We enjoyed it very much.

Image credit :
Video credit:

Friday, June 28, 2013

Back to Homeschool Magazine Review

I've been a big fan of BTH magazine for a year now, and I write many articles for it. But today, I realized something very important. I forgot to tell my lovely followers of this! :)
The magazine is free, and sent straight to your email bimonthly. It's filled with stories, book, movie, and game reviews, jokes, poems, essays, and educational articles all written by homeschoolers JUST LIKE US! You can submit anything you've written to it. I write for the magazine's writer's board, which is a neat oportunity.
One of the main reasons I recomend it is that there is a wide variety of articles. The magazine always has a theme- fairy tales, sports, famous people- so there's always something for everyone. To read back issues before subscribing,  click here. The magazine is totally free, and there are no ads.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Math, Doing Hard Things, & Life; A Random Post

Math.Where shall I begin? Math and I go way back, but we are not exactly friends. We don't really understand each other. ;D Okay, so maybe Math isn't a real person. But I think if we could meet face-to-face, we might get along a little better.
However, I've had a bad attitude about math. Declaring "I don't understand this!" and bursting into to tears isn't going to help me.  : ) We've been reading the book Do Hard Things, by homeschooled Christian teens, Alex and Brett Harris,  and it is an amazing book. The book explains that if you quit something just because it is hard, you're not living up to your God-given potential. People often focus on things that are easy - "I'm good at _______( insert skill here), but I just don't understand  _____ ....." -That's the wrong mentality, and it's one I've had about math. The world tells you to focus on your strengths, and that's a great idea, but what happens to the things you aren't so good at? You'll gradually get worse, and slowly even forget some skills. The cover of the book explains the purpose is to encourage "a teenage rebellion against low expectations." How many time have you heard  "You're just a teen." OR  You're homeschooled, you wouldn't understand what I mean."OR "This generation is going nowhere" ? Even worse, have you noticed people expect very low things from teens?  Have you ever heard: "You're so much better that the rest of the kids here,"? The book says:  if being better than those kids means you don't do all the bad stuff they do, are you really doing anything to be better? Alex and Brett explain "Be known for what you DO, not what you DON'T do."   To go to their blog click here.
I strongly suggest you read  Do Hard Things . It's changed the way I look at math, compliments, other people, and the world in general. And, even better, the book is filled with diverse real-life examples of teens 
( including homeschoolers too, which is nice) that have done hard things. And the examples aren't always elaborate.  It might be that someone simply got out of their comfort zone by calling a stranger on the phone, or it might be that a boy campaigned against human trafficking and spoke at the White House. It teaches small steps to big change. Well, that's my spill. Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it? Comment! :D

Good Night Everyone! Oh, and remember to:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

One chocolate chip

This is a little haiku I wrote about a chocolate chip. I was making cookies the other day, and I spent a little too long observing a chocolate chip... We've been learning about a haiku in my language arts- you know, first you use 5 syllables, then you use seven syllables, then five again. I had to write about a common cooking ingredient, so I picked a chocolate chip:

                     One chocolate chip
                            so smooth, tiny, round. but now
                                            it's melted in my hand

4-H State Roundup

Thursday I went to State 4-H Roundup at Texas A&M University. It was HUGE. There are 254 counties in the state of Texas, and at least one   4-H club from that county is at State. So, of there are ten kids from every county, that's 2,540 4-Hers. Which makes for a crazy, hectic, and fun week. :) I participated in a Healthy Lifestyles Invitational Contest with two really good friends of our family.
My Healthy Lifestyles team with our prizes! 
The Healthy Lifestyles contest is when you study 8 classes of facts, and place them.It's like Livestock Judging or Consumer Decision Making in a way. I'll explain:
You study things like teen driving safety, the My Plate, how to understand a nutrition label, things of that nature. Then you have a scenario you place. For example:

John is not supposed to drive past his curfew, which is midnight. Which one of the following should he do if Bob wants a ride home, and it's 11: 30 p.m ? He doesn't want to break the law!

Confusing? You bet! But, luckily, if you've studied the packet, you know which laws are important for him to follow depending on his age and what he should do. You place all the classes according to what you feel are the best options. So if you think option 2 is the best, 4 is okay, 1  is poor, and 3 is bad, you'd bubble in 2,4,1,3 on the scantron. Then your team has to give a speech.My team placed third, and one of the boys on my team won 1st high point individual! I'm  so  proud of my team, and I hope to try this contest and more again next year!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy 8th Birthday Andrew!!

Today my littlest brother, Andrew, turned 8! He was born on June 17, 2005.
This is me (at almost 7) holding him for the first time!!

Aww... :D
 Looking at the pictures above, I can't believe they were taken eight years ago. I mean, I remember every detail of going to see him in the hospital right after he was born, buying him a little shirt in the hospital gift shop,when I held him, I remember my dad saying "Use BOTH hands!!".... Sheesh. I feel very old.  He's such a fun person. I love reading or playing games with him! For his birthday, I got him the newest Magic Treehouse book, and a package of sour gummi worms, which he will hopefully share with me. :D
Happy Birthday, Andrew!
 Check out his blog at !!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Candy Striping

Monday I had a really unique opportunity as a  hospital Jr. Volunteer. I got to volunteer in Day Surgery, instead of working the floor. ( working the floor just means I attend to patients in rooms-bring flowers, newspapers, coffee,etc to them, and wheel 'em  out when it's time to go home.) I worked in surgery and surgery waiting. I was able to do this thanks to a super nice lady at church, who is over surgery volunteers.The hospital I volunteer at uses volunteers as a go between with patients patients and the patient's families. Our job is to keep the family informed on what's happening in surgery, where the patient will be, and when they can see him. We also make the families as comfortable as we can, which means we make coffee, give directions to the cafeteria, and assist them in any way possible. It's especially interesting for me, because I want to be a pediatric ENT or orthopedic surgeon, and many of the patients are children with ENT related problems.

  Both floor and surgery volunteers deliver medical charts to Med. Surge 1 &2, ICU, and IMC. This is always fun, because you see what's going on in all the different departments. Our hospital is fairly small, but it's big enough to get lost in, and part of my job is showing people where ambulatory care and radiology are. The cutest part of the job is definitely getting to present new babies with little baby food spoons that have the hospital name engraved on them. We had five babies last Tuesday, and I got to give them the little spoons. :) It's funny, but wherever I go in my candy striper uniform, people are like"Oh, my goodness! A candy striper! I haven't seen one of those in years!" I love being able to tell them about my experiences. Do any of y'all volunteer at interesting or unusual places? Then you should comment and tell me all about it!