Big Book Push Gone Bust

Did I say that?  Well, it’s true.  My end-of-the-year brain child, the Big Book Push, was a bust.  The only book I read this month that was actually on my TBR list for this year is the Jamie Langston Turner selection Winter Birds (my thoughts here).  Oh, and I’ve also finished Turner‘s beautiful novel Some Wildflower in My Heart, but I haven’t written it up yet.  I’ve just been savoring it.  My two big failures are A Tale of Two Cities and my plan to read something, anything by Wendell Berry.  I just stalled out in the middle of Two Cities.  I haven’t given up on it entirely, but there’s no way I’m going to finish it before November’s out.  😉  I like the idea of trying to finish it in audiobook, if only I can motivate my lazy tired self to go to the library to check it out.  I actually had decided on Nathan Coulter as my next selection by Berry, but for some reason, my order got hung up at Amazon.  I think it was the Thanksgiving book I was trying to order.  Although the Thanksgiving book was purportedly “in stock,”  it became more and more obvious that we weren’t going to get it by Thanksgiving.  I attempted to cancel the order, but it ended up that I could only cancel certain books (Nathan Coulter being one of them).  I ended up with a set of easy phonics readers for Lulu, but no Wendell Berry.  Bah. Oh well.  It’s just as well.  I probably would’ve gotten sidetracked by other, easier reads, anyway.  (Reviews forthcoming, I promise!)

Someone remind me not to undertake a big project of any kind when I’m dealing with the first trimester of pregnancy!  🙂

Have any of you succeeded in whittling down your TBR list lately?  Do share!

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Superior Scribbler Award

Thanks to my friend Janet who blogs at Across the Page, I am joining the ranks of 1200+ bloggers as a recipient of the Superior Scribbler Award.  I am honored to be included in such a lengthy list of what I can only assume are well thought-out, interesting blogs.  (It’s something I aspire to and perhaps achieve a small percentage of the time.)  As a recipient of this award, I am given the charge of passing along this award to five of my deserving bloggy friends and of reproducing the rules of the Superior Scribbler Award here on my blog.  First, the rules:

  • Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
  • Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
  • Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

And now, the more difficult part:  presenting this award to only five other bloggers.  Here goes:

That’s a lot of bloggy goodness, folks.  Enjoy!

Oh, and thanks, Janet, for considering me worthy of the title!  🙂

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Gymathtics

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I received the DVD Gymathtics to review for the TOS HomeschoolCrewGymathtics is an exercise DVD that incorporates basic math into the exercise routine.  The exercise leader is an adult female and she leads a group of children from approximately age four or five through teen.  The exercises themselves are appropriate for children of all ages (at least in varying degrees), while the math targets 2nd through 5th grades.  The exercise program is divided into four sections:  shape stretches (warm up), counting calisthenics, pattern power, and a wind-down.  The DVD lasts approximately thirty minutes.

I really have mixed feelings about this program.  My children are too young to understand most of the math, but I was curious to see whether or not they would be interested in participating in the exercises.  They have exercised with me before when I’ve used exercise videos.  This time, Lulu was not interested in doing this in the least (although to be fair, she has had a difficult week after having dental work done on Wednesday, and this probably had something to do with it), but Louise was willing and mostly happy to participate.  Many of the moves were ones she was not coordinated enough to do, but she had fun. 

The following are what I consider the positives of this program:

  • The idea of introducing mathematical concepts in such a setting is both unique and appropriate.  Many of the moves one does during exercising (i.e. geometric shapes, patterns, etc.) are related to mathematics.
  • The use of children of multiple ages in the program is good.
  • The leader’s voice is positive and encouraging, almost cheer-leaderish (which can quickly become a negative in my book, actually).
  • Diagrams accompany the mathematical concept that is being introduced in a split-screen format so that the exercise rhythm is not lost.  (Go here to see what I mean.)  Because we have a TINY (10″ or so) television, this was somewhat of a problem in terms of viewing for us, but for most people it probably would not be problematic. 

And now, the negatives:

  • In my opinion, the exercise leader does not always adequately explain or “coach” the moves.  I am rather uncoordinated, so this is important for me.  Especially on the calisthenics section, sometimes I’m not too sure I could adequately follow all the moves.
  • While the idea of incorporating math into an exercise session is a good one, I’m not sure that the whole idea would be effective or useful over the long haul for how long one would expect to use an exercise video.  In other words, I think the repetitiveness of the concepts might get old.
  • I would hesitate before spending $24.99 on something that I’m not sure would get a lot of air time at the House of Hope.

At the age my children are, routine, programmed exercise is just not right for us right now.  However, if your children are older, this might work for you.  Visit the Exploramania website is learn more about Gymathtics, or visit the TOS HomeschoolCrew blog to read more reviews of this program.

This product was sent to me free of charge for review purposes.

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