The Meaningful Winnie-the-Pooh {Book Review}

The following review is presented by contributing writer Geek Bug, as part of our Geek Squad Reviews project.

Book Title: Winnie-The-Pooh
Author: A.A. Milne
Illustrator: Ernest H. Shepard
Published: 1954
Publisher: Penguin Books
Pages: 161

Reviewer: The Geek Bug, 11 years old.

Winnie-the-Pooh is a fun and imaginative book.  Pooh and his friends go on hilarious adventures such as, trying to catch a huffalump. My favorite story in this book is when Eeyore looses his tail. 

The author, Mr. Milne, wrote Winnie-The-Pooh in a way anybody can understand. His tales show us good character traits in a laughable way.  He shows that working together is always a worth while work.  He also tells us what true friendship is. Simple. Meaningful.

At the beginning of this book, Mr. Milne is talking to Christopher Robin and telling him stories.  Throughout the book, Christopher Robin interrupts Mr. Milne to ask him questions about the story.  This makes it easy for all ages to understand what the author is trying to teach.

All of the stories in Winnie-The-Pooh  are fantastic.  They all teach lessons that remind us about friendship.   Winnie-The-Pooh  is a great book for all ages, but are certainly good for children ages four to eleven.

Winnie-The-Pooh  is the best book I've read in a long time.  This book is definitely worth the five stars I'm giving to it!  I love this book and hope you will too. 

RATING: 5 out of 5 Geek Stars

Contributing writer
The Geek Bug is a regular contributing writer to Geek Squad Reviews, and the youngest daughter of writer & editor, Heather Mac, the Joyful Socks Mom.  The Geek Bug is a fun-loving kid who enjoys reading, drawing, crafting, hand-knitting and more reading.  She has one sister, and three brothers, and is a home educated student currently in the sixth grade.  The Geek Bug is involved in her local 4-H club, competes in Horse Judging, and loves being part of the Silent Praise team at church. 

The Geek Bug - 
CURRENTLY READING: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by: J.K. Rowling 
NEXT REVIEW: Mary Poppins by: P.L. Travers

The Geek Squad Book Reviews project is a new column appearing exclusively on this blog, designed to encourage & promote family reading.  Our reviewers are both children & parents, giving you real opinions about classic books, living books & books they enjoy the most.  This column is designed to help you make a well-informed decision about what your family reads, giving perspectives of both children and parents.

Joyfully Learning with You,

The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitterInstagram & Facebook

** This post may contain affiliate links.  Thank you for your support. You can read my full disclosure policy here.**


Gifts For The Book Nerd Family

I guess as a bibliophile I have never understood the difficulties with gift giving.  Not to point out the obvious, but well ... Books!  My vote is, books are the best idea for gifting, as they are undoubtedly the only gift that keeps on giving.

In the spirit of giving books, here are some ideas for gifting to the Book Nerd & the entire Book Nerd Family. 

Books for Book Nerds & Geeks of All Ages:

Minecraft: The Complete Handbook Collection

• Lego Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World

Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy

• Doctor Who Encyclopedia (New Edition) 

• Sherlock Holmes (BBC Sherlock covers)

Star Trek The Next Generation: Technical Manual

Embrace your inner geek!
Let's face the facts, shall we? Book Nerds don't stop at nerdiness ... They are typically a bit geeky to boot, myself included. Check out our Etsy store & Instagram Feed for some amazing bookish & geek-inspired gifts!  Here a few of our novelty soaps:

Don't Judge a Book By Its Movie:
Here is a quick selection of movies that may actually please the book lover.

Miss Potter

Book Swag, is anything that improves or contributes to the pleasure of book reading.  Here are a few neat ideas:

• Bookmarks - Be kind to your books!
"Wands at the ready." with this bookmark that is sure to please those of us who love reading books about "the boy who lived".

This mug would top the list of any Sherlockian ... Like me! Hint. Hint. 

• Coasters that Speak Volumes
Say it loud, "I'm a Nerd, and I'm proud!" 

Any real Sci-Fi Book Nerd would be happy to partake of a beverage using this Imperial coaster set.

Now that you have all the Book Nerd gifts, here are some creative ideas for wrapping.
See more great gift ideas from my fellow iHomeschool Network bloggers:
Christmas Gift Lists II iHomeschool Network

Joyfully Learning with You,

The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitterInstagram & Facebook

** This post may contain affiliate links.  Thank you for your support. You can read my full disclosure policy here.**


Teaching French When Your Student Is More Motivated Than You

The Geek Bug, back in 2012 at age 8 years old,
with Terry Snow with YWAM Haiti

Some years ago our family attended an international night to support missionaries.  I expected an evening that would allow my children to learn, to explore, to find a great cause to support.  Please note the word, support ... Not dive in, head first.

I did not expect that it would create a lifetime vision for one of my children. That meeting one particular missionary, from one particular place would change all the plans she had for her life.  

The Geek Bug was then only 7 years old, and already possessed a ardent want to support missions and humanitarian aid to Haiti.  She had already organized a little penny drive & "adopted" a little doll that she said was a Haitian orphan. She named him David. 

But, that night after meeting the YWAM Haiti director, her fervor for the people of Haiti was ignited all the more.

We challenged the Geek Bug to utilize her new found passion into motivation.
We helped her to plan ways to support her vision. Like the photo below, where she made yarn dolls to support her missionary. 

Missions Project Thumbnail

We encouraged her to learn French, instead of Creole, as she would easily be able to adjust when she was older.  I began gathering resources and taught French to her, megerly, but consistently.  In two short years, she has surpassed her instructor & longs for more.

The importance of learning French has not been a fly-by-night fancy for the Geek Bug.  It is as important to her now as it was after that night exploring Haiti missions.

Mommy's enthusiasm, however; is wavering. 

She was thrilled to begin utilizing this online class to help extend herself beyond her instructor's current state of understanding & lack of enthusiasm. (I am hanging my head, with a little shame) 

We have been enjoying Middlebury Interactive Languages: French, level 6.  Obviously, we needed a French course that was well-suited to our family's learning needs, and Middlebury has met them all.  

• Versatile 
• User Friendly
• Conversational Instruction
• Enjoyable 

In addition to her formal courses, the Geek Bug has enjoyed utilizing the Middlebury app.  The app provides her with a variety of enrichment activities that she enjoys using in between her lessons online.

• The Middlebury app includes an interactive French dictionary that includes audio pronunciation.

• Discover famous landmarks of France with some lovely photography.

• The app also has a lovely video on French Castles.

Now is an excellent time to be thinking about teaching foreign language and choosing something that suits your students needs.  Middlebury is affordable and has an offer for home educators with a 10% discount, use code: HomeschoolFirst10.

Middlebury is also hosting a giveaway for homeschoolers right now!  Enter to win an online course for learning a foreign language from Middlebury.  You will have an opportunity to select the langauge and level of your choosing, a value of $119. 

Enter here ---> Using this Entry-Form

• Come and join the iHomeschool Bloggers as Middlebury is featured in a Twitter party on Oct. 9, 2014 
• Middlebury Interactive Languages will also be featured at the iHomeschool Hangout on October 16th, with panelists discussing teaching foreign language in home education.
Be sure to follow along with Middlebury Interactive Languages. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Joyfully Learning with You,

The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitterInstagram & Facebook

** This post may contain affiliate links.  I received a complimentary course for the purpose of reviewing this service.  I have received compensation for my time, however; all opinions are mine.   Thank you for your support. You can read my full disclosure policy here.**


Geography Rocks: Notebooking With North Star Geography

Implementing our newest homeschool book, North Star Geography, while maintaining our "Charlotte Mason-styled" mold has been an almost seamless transition.  Many of the methods we employ in our daily routine have been easy to maintain while beginning to use our new geography book, and the many resources that come with the printable CD-Rom.  If you missed my previous Geography Rocks post, you can go back & take a look.
Notebooking is one means of documenting our journey in learning.  

This method has continually been employed in our home education experience.  When we notebook we are more organized, more creative, remember more, have better tools for review, express ourselves better, and apply ourselves to learning in a more self-educated fashion.

My students tend to take their time in producing their work in notebooking.  They respond well to the creation-based work that is employed in producing a notebooking page.  

So, while the North Star Geography printable CD-Rom comes loaded with wonderful worksheets; maps, quizzes, note-taking sheets, activities, memory work and more; I opted to continue using the notebooking method that works well for us.  This was no problem since North Star Geography is a versital book.

We began by using the schedules and activities suggested in the  North Star Geography printable CD-Rom.  Here is how I am making North Star Geography work with our notebooking method.

I print only what I need: 
  • Schedule
  • Activities (the activities are pick & choose . . . there is NO WAY to do them all!)
  • Maps for current lesson
The rest of the resources I have tucked away for utilizing with our notebooking assignments and ideas.  This has worked wonderfully. 

I simply review the North Star Geography CD-ROM, provided with the book, and assign notebooking assignments using the worksheet suggestions for quizzes & note taking.

This still allows my student the ability to "tell me what they know" without trying to extract specific information, whilst allowing some creative reign over their own work.  This is still important in our home schooling method.

As you can see, creativity is important to each of us, and  North Star Geography has helped us not just maintain this, but to build upon it. 

I contribute this to the author, and his uncany ability to communicate a love and passion for his subject ... Geography!  When we love what we do, our enthusiasm can help to motivate others.  That is why we are sticking with North Star Geography

Joyfully Learning with You,

The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitterInstagram & Facebook

** This post may contain affiliate links.  Thank you for your support. You can read my full disclosure policy here.**

Be on the look out for our journey as we complete a new resource from Bright Ideas Press, North Star Geography.

North Star Geography & WonderMaps Combo