Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Kingfisher Atlas of World History ~ Book Review

The Kingfisher Atlas of World History by Simon Adams has become one of our main homeschool resources. This revised edition is truly a "stunning visual journal through human history from ancient times to the present day" as the subtitle tells us!  

In our homeschool this year, we have studied Early Modern times and we just started Modern History. We have been able to further our studies with this book. 

The Kingfisher Atlas of World History is divided by time periods: 

  1. The Ancient World 
  2. The Medieval World
  3. Exploration and Empire 
  4. The Modern World 

Table of Contents 

Each map page includes an introduction and timeline, as well as the individual information by locations. Each map is filled with interesting information and we enjoyed taking turns reading each aloud. The information snippets are a perfect size, not too big but still giving a lot of detailed facts. It is wonderful to have this visual resource and be able to locate events we are studying. 

In each section, there are also additional topic pages, these are fascinating with many photographs and illustrations. Celeste and I had read about the Industrial Revolution in our lessons and really enjoyed reviewing that time period through this page, as well as seeing the photograph of the spinning jenny machine! 

You can find the Kingfisher Atlas of World History at:

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review from Raincoast Books. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on our personal experience. Your experience may differ. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Me...A Homeschool Conference Speaker?

This month's topic for the Canadian Homeschool Blogging Team is "Conference Chats", meaning what would we write about if we were to do a presentation at a conference.

If I had been asked to write about this last year, I am not sure I could have! One year makes a huge difference though, as I was asked to speak at a conference next July! I will be one of the speakers at the Brave Writer "Be Good To You" Retreat in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am so excited and looking forward to this! It will be a new experience for me and since I love Brave Writer, I can't imagine a better opportuntiy! 

I will be conducting a workshop about nature study and journaling. My kids and I have enjoyed studying nature as part of our homeschooling, as well as documenting some of our findings. My two oldest kids and I did a lot of nature study and documenting. Even tough Celeste enjoys being in nature and observing it, she isn't as interested in the documenting part, so more recently I choose to keep my own nature journal, for my own enjoyment. It has been very enjoyable and a habit that I can see I will continue for years to come. I am also not giving on Celeste and hope that my practice might inspire her at some point..

I am just about to start writing my workshop notes. I have been organizing my thoughts for the last couple of months and now I am ready to write my presentation in more details. I plan on including a hands-on experience, with the group going outside in nature, experiencing a little nature study and collecting a small sample to take back to the meeting room. I can't wait to sit with everyone, to journal and draw, maybe even paint a little. 

I like practical things and simple instructions. I also enjoy knowing the why behind things, as well as the benefits of doing them, so I would include my thoughts on these. I will be talking about the importance of spending time in nature, ways to inspire and include children of all ages during nature walks, and some fun ideas for activities. 

Because I love books, I will be sharing a book list of my favourite nature study guides and inspiration-filled books I have come across. There are also several websites and apps worth mentioning. An explanation and demonstration of a few basic items that would be useful to carry along during a nature study walk will certainly be part of it too. 

You can read more about this topic of conference speaking from other members of the Canadian Homeschool Blogging Team at The Canadian Homeschooler. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Journey North Mystery Class 2016 ~ Our Guesses!

Scott Kelly's view of the Earth from the ISS ~ photo from NASA

Now that the deadline has passed to submit our Mystery Class guesses, I can share them with you here! Journey North Mystery Class is a super fun and free yearly educational activity that we have participated in for the last 9 years. The idea is to find 10 mystery classes around the world by tracking the sunrise and sunset information for each, calculating longitude, and finally using extra clues to finalize the locations. For us, it is like a big treasure hunt around the world each year!

Here are our guesses for this year's 10 mystery classes:

1. Launceston, Australia 
2. Tromso, Norway
3. Atlanta, United States of America
4. Porto Alegre, Brazil 
5. Ljubljana, Slovenia 
6. Denpasar, Indonesia 
7. Havana, Cuba 
8. Port Lockroy, Antarctica 
9. Hangzhou, China 
10. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 

We will find out if we were correct on April 29th, then on May 6th we will meet the actual Mystery Classes! It  is a lot of fun each year to see who participated and sent the clues for us to find! 

Monday, April 25, 2016

31 Reasons We Love Homeschooling

I am a guest blogger today at Ana's blog "They Call Me Blessed"! Come read my reasons why I love homeschooling and while you are there check out the past entries by many awesome homeschool moms! 

The idea from Ana is genius! She invited many homeschool moms to write a blog post giving a reason why we love home education. Each day from April 1 to May 1 equaled to a new reason! It has been interesting and wonderful to read each mom's reason. 

Here are the links: 

31 Reasons We Love Homeschooling - This is the "home" with all the links and biographies of each mom that has participated in this blog party! 

Home Education = Connection + Exploration + Uniqueness (my post)