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Archive for October, 2011

Movie Review: The Mighty Macs

October 21st, 2011

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It’s 1971. Cathy Rush is a woman ahead of her time … and she’s about to embark on an adventure for the ages. A new era is dawning in the country and in collegiate athletics, where a national champion will be crowned for the first time in women’s basketball.

In the lead up to this historical season, major universities are preparing their game plans to win that first title. Meanwhile a tiny all-women’s Catholic college in Philadelphia has a more modest goal: find a coach before the season begins. Providentially, Cathy Rush is about to find Immaculata College.

Recently married, Cathy is dealing with the aftermath of a truncated playing career. While cultural norms would have her staying at home, she’s willing to do the hard work necessary to help her new team reach their goals—or perhaps she’s just trying to achieve her unfulfilled dreams through them.

From the beginning, her challenges are as imposing as the big-school teams Immaculata will face on the court. Cathy learns there is no gymnasium on campus, she receives little support from the school’s Mother Superior, and the school is in dire financial straits. To top it off, she may not even have enough players to field a team!

While it appears the Macs don’t have a prayer, all hope is not lost. With the help of Sister Sunday—a spunky assistant coach—and the support of a booster club of elderly nuns, Coach Rush creates a new game plan that just might bring the team—and the school—together.

Will this pioneer buck cultural norms and spur her rag-tag team to unexpected heights? Or will her hard-driving ways create a wedge between the coach and everyone around her? One thing’s for certain: there’s never been anyone like Cathy Rush at Immaculata!

LOVED it!

A movie you can watch with your preschooler  in the room  and your teenager across the couch and all enjoy it, and not have to fast forward any parts. I highly recommend this film for its fast paced story line and family friendliness.

It lays out the importance of family values and keeping faith alive. Even when struggles and obstacles pile up, this team pulls together and works toward their goal from day one: We will be #1.

It is in theaters starting today, and you will want to jump at this chance to see a movie that is rated ‘G’ and isn’t just a light-hearted kids’ movie. This is a true family film that adults will enjoy, will keep kids’ attention, provide a few laughs, and will offer some great talking points on the ride home.

Don’t miss it!

More info on the film:


Disclaimer: I received an opportunity to view this movie prior to its release in exchange for my honest review.

Movie Review: Snowmen

October 20th, 2011

I know you all like to be reminded that winter is just around the corner, right? Well, none the less, those of you with older kids might enjoy this film coming to select theaters this weekend.

Snowmen takes on bullying with the aim of stopping it cold, and helping those bullied to see the needs bullies have for a little acceptance as well. Three boys want to accomplish something unforgettable, even if they do rank among the “losers” of the school. When a disturbing discovery in the snow brings them temporary media hype they begin to crave a permanent name for themselves and seek out ways to land themselves in the Guinness Book of World Records regardless of the risk, and the continual threats of the school bully.

The boys’ parents, including your stereotypical money hungry car salesman and a recent transplant from Jamaica, add an interesting element to the character base in the film, as well as a lot of humor. You will laugh, often.

Definitely deserves the PG rating with a dad’s spelling of a profanity (same as saying it in my book), a couple glimpses of dead people, intense bullying (throwing ice balls, punching, tackling, heckling, threatening to cut/injure with skate blade in hand, etc.), and a suspenseful scene with a boy falling through thin ice).

The movie offers lots to talk about around the value of family, respecting other individuals, bullying, and making a difference in the world. Definitely important themes to discuss with your children.

I’m sure this is just the beginning of the holiday movie season, and this is a decent movie that older kids would be able to relax and enjoy.

a humorous and heartfelt coming-of-age story about three unlikely heroes and the winter that changed their lives forever. After a surprising discovery in the snow catapults three small-town boys into the spotlight, the best friends hatch a plan to be remembered forever by setting a Guinness World Records® title. Along the way, the trio battles schoolyard bullies, unites their community and discovers that – while fame may be fleeting – true friendship lasts forever. The film stars Bobby Coleman (Last Song), Ray Liotta (Wild Hogs), Bobb’e J. Thompson (Role Models), Josh Flitter (Ace Ventura Jr.) and Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future).

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Disclaimer: I received an online sneak peak of this film as a Homeschool.com tester from Mpower Pictures (Bella, The Stoning of Soraya M.)

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ICHE Young Adult Conference

October 18th, 2011
Join us at ICHE’s

Young Adult Conference!

November 12, 2011

9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. (Doors open at 8:30 a.m.)

Fellowship Church of Carol Stream Young Adults 18 years and older
Mr. Caner

Featuring Dr. Emir Caner

Don’t miss this opportunity!  Dr. Caner is a captivating speaker with a relevant message to tell!

His topics are:

- When God Drew Near:  A Muslim’s Story of God’s Grace (Isaiah 9:2-6).

- 10 Things Every Christian Needs to Know about Islam

- Reaching Your Muslim Neighbor

This conference is just $30.00 per family.

Those 18 and up are invited to attend.

In addition to challenging sessions, the day includes times for ……..

games, fellowship, and volleyball.

Bring a sack lunch, and stay for the delicious lasagna dinner which is available for only $7.00 per person.

After dinner, the evening is full of fun opportunities you won’t want to miss.

Each year we have to shoo people out the door because they don’t want to leave.

Sign up now for this popular conference at  http://www.iche.org/forms/2011-young-adult-conference-registration-form.

You’ll be glad you did!

Location -

Fellowship Church of Carol Stream

130 Shawnee Drive

Carol Stream, IL 60188

Questions?
(847) 603-1259

Location
Fellowship Church of Carol Stream
130 Shawnee Dr
Carol Stream, IL

Interactive Whiteboards

October 17th, 2011

I have seen these whiteboards at work in a handful of classrooms and they are simply amazing. If you are looking for a major techy upgrade for your homeschool room it might be a consideration, or more likely a great purchase for a co-op. The applications for this type of tool are endless! I know I have a couple strong visual learners that would love this kind of addition.

As a homeschooler, you’re probably looking for new and exciting ways to keep learning alive in your family. Keeping students connected to your lessons is key to a good learning experience. If you are looking for a great piece of technology to add to your classroom, you may want to consider an interactive whiteboard.

Promethean Activboard+2

An interactive whiteboard is typically a wall mounted flat screen that projects your computer’s display. The whiteboard becomes interactive when you use your finger or a stylus to manipulate the contents of the flat screen via remote tablet. You can mark answers, move items or perform whatever functions are needed.

A Dell interactive whiteboard could be the right choice for your classroom needs. You can use the whiteboard to teach any subject. There are interactive whiteboards that provide basic features and come as a wall mounted unit. As with most computer based equipment, there are many upgrades available, including an interactive whiteboard that is portable, with a large viewing screen, a built-in projector device and even a two-sided dry erase board attached along the side of the interactive board for additional notes to be displayed. This top of the line unit can revolutionize a regular classroom into a super learning environment.

With a Dell interactive whiteboard, you can provide a dynamic learning experience to keep the attention of even the most distracted student. Students expect to be engaged during educational exercises. You can provide the interactive component with Dell’s whiteboard and the associated software. You can even provide sound to keep your student’s attention on the board.

Interactive whiteboards are taking education to a new level with technology we only dreamt of a number of years ago. The days of overhead projectors are gone, and even Power Point presentations are becoming less important because of this amazing technology. If you are struggling to keep your students glued to the subject at hand, you should definitely consider an interactive whiteboard system. Students need visual and interactive stimulation to keep them engaged while learning, and this type of system has become an incredible way to do just that. Being successful at keeping students engaged is not only rewarding for the student but also for the educator.

~ Guest contributor

Homeschool speaker in Lake County

October 15th, 2011

Received this info from a reader (thank you, Shannon!):

Free Lecture for Home Schooling Parents

On Monday Oct 17th at noon, Dr. Jeremy Fritz will presenting this free
lecture for home schooling families, “Home Schooling Struggling
Learners”.

Brain Balance Logo

Gain a deeper comprehension of your child’s struggles using a brain
based perspective.  Learn specific strategies that you will be able to
implement into your home school academics and activities, which will
contribute to your child’s successful development.

This free event will take place at the College of Lake County, 1120
South Milwaukee Ave in Vernon Hills.  To reserve your seat for this
event please call 847-821-1328.

Dr. Jeremy Fritz is a functional medicine practitioner with an
emphasis on Childhood Neurobehavioral and Developmental Disorders.  He
is a board eligible Chiropractic Neurologist with the American
Chiropractic Neurology Board and a certified Clinical Nutritionist.
Dr. Fritz is the executive director of the Brain Balance Achievement
Center
in Vernon Hills.

Where: College of Lake County
1120 S. Milwaukee Ave
Vernon Hills, IL 60061

Email: info@brainbalancechicago.com

Website: www.brainbalancevh.com

Phone: Cindy Adams at 847-821-1328

Enjoy it!

October 6th, 2011

Finding ways to enjoy this weather? You know it will be a L-O-N-G time before we see a stretch like this again so I hope you are taking every possible advantage of it. It’s supposed to stay gorgeous through Tuesday, so there is still time to take those lessons outside, grab a good book (or science class . . .) and picnic at the park, plan a spontaneous field trip, bike ride, or let your kids decide. Of course, lots of schools are off for an extra long weekend, so you won’t have the place to yourself like usual, but you can’t complain when it’s 75 in October in Chicago.

What are you planning or already done to enjoy these days?


If you need a few ideas . . .

- Grab your library card! Not to actually check out books, although that would be fine, too — rather to use the Museum Adventure Pass. These can get you into some great outdoor spots:

Chicago Botanic Garden

With its world-renowned plant collections and displays, it is one of the country’s most visited public gardens and preeminent center for learning and scientific research.
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe IL, 60022
Hours: 8 am – sunset, everyday. Extended hours early June – Labor Day 7 am to 9 pm. Christmas Eve – close at 3pm.
Website: http://www.chicago-botanic.org/
Admits 1 Vehicle – Limited to one car per use. No commercial vans or buses

Brookfield Zoo (Chicago Zoological Society)

A world leader in animal care, conservation, and education, Brookfield Zoo is celebrating 75 years of fun this year!
First Ave. and 31st St.
Brookfield IL, 60503
Hours: Jan. 1: Daily 10 to 5; April 4: Weekdays 10 to 5, Weekends 10 to 6; Memorial Day thru Labor Day: Daily 9:30 to 6 (7:30 pm on Sundays); After Labor Day: Weekdays 10 to 6, Weekends 10 to 6; October 25: Daily 10 to 5.
Website: http://www.czs.org/czs/Brookfield/Zoo-Home
Admits 2 (Passes are valid for Brookfield Zoo only and does not include parking or admission to any internal exhibits or attractions, such as Dolphin Show, Butterfiles Children’s Zoo, Temporary exhibits, Motor Safari, etc.)

Cantigny Park

In addition to vast formal gardens and picnic and camping grounds, Cantigny offers two history-rich museums: the Robert R. McCormick Museum and the Cantigny First Division Museum, fascinating for children and researchers alike.
1S151 Winfield Road
Wheaton IL, 60189
Hours: 10am – 5pm (Memorial Day – Labor Day); 10am – 4pm (Labor Day – Memorial Day): Closed December 24, 25 and 31 and all of January.
Website: http://www.cantigny.org
Admits 1 vehicle – Limited to one car per use.

Two others that are only partially outdoors, but both are situated on land with walking trails as well:

Graue Mill and Museum

An operating water wheel gristmill and homestead dedicated to maintaining a bridge between past and present.
3800 York Road
Oak Brook IL, 60523
Hours: Open in 2010 through November 14. Tuesday though Sunday 10am to 4:30pm. Mill closed for the winter season. Reopening on April 12, 2011 through end of program.
Website: http://www.grauemill.org
Admits 4 (2 adults and 2 children)

Lake County Discovery Museum

Offers the fun of a big city museum, close to home with its permanent and temporary exhibits including an 11-foot Mastodon and the world’s largest collection of picture postcards.
27277 N. Forest Preserve Road
Wauconda IL, 60084
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Website: http://www.lcfpd.org/discovery_museum
Admits 2 (passes are valid for general admission only. Not valid for use during public programs and special events where special admission rates apply)

- Morton Arboretum — We just spent a memorable day here with my parents. Unfortunately it is no longer a part of the museum adventure pass program, but I would recommend it as a field trip, although not a cheap one. We were able to enjoy the day with their annual membership which also got us a free tram ride. I could fill a whole blog post with this great trip. This location used to be for gardeners and tree lovers. Not so anymore. My kids love the children’s garden and could spend all day climbing around the tree fort, the rope “spider-web,” splashing in the streams, getting lost and found in the maze, and chasing bugs. If you go — bring a change of clothes and a maybe even a towel for each of the kids if they are the adventurous sort. Also, this was my first time on the tram ride and really enjoyed it. It is an hour long (don’t know cost . . .) and gives some great tips about what you should be sure to see and do while there. If you take the ride grab a map and take notes during the tour so you will remember all the info the guide shares and where he tells you to come back and when. Great info, but no way I could retain it all.


- Klein Creek Farm: Corn Harvest, Oct. 8-10, 2011 | 10:30 am – 3:30 pm

Help to pick, shock, shuck, shell and store the corn that will feed the farm’s cows and sheep over winter. Activities ongoing. All ages. Free. Registration not required. Call (630) 876-5900.

- Lake County Forest Preserve is having a free Fall Festival: with guided walks, games and wagon rides surrounded by some of Lake County’s loveliest fall color.

Meet at Ryerson Welcome Center.

When: October 9, 2011
1:00pm – 4:00pm
Where: Ryerson Conservation Area (Riverwoods)
Ryerson Woods Welcome Center
(Riverwoods)
Who: All ages
Cost: Free

No registration required.


Hopefully that gives you some inspiration in addition to orchards and pumpkin patches that are always fun (and mobbed) this time of year as well. Whatever you choose, enjoy making the most of these next few days!

Freebie of the Day — Download from Homeschool Adventure

October 6th, 2011

You already know about the great deals at Homeschool Freebie, right? If not, this is first to let you know about that great online resource.

I got an email reminder from a friend (thanks, Carol!) about this great opportunity for today . . .

Greetings,

It’s been quite a day–getting ready for PhilosophyAdventure.com be featured on http://www.homeschoolfreebie.wholesomechildhood.com/, where 40,000+ readers will have the opportunity to download a sample lesson from our curriculum.

(Perhaps I should say, “It has been quite an education.”)

I am especially grateful to the families currently enrolled in the on-line and live classes at The Chapel. They have given me grace and time to tend to all these preparations, and they are teaching me much about how to refine the curriculum. (They are both diligent and brave!) I am also grateful to Doug Smith and Geoff Farrell, who both went above-and-beyond in coaching me through many details, and Sara Pearsaul for her editor’s eye.

Please pray our website holds fast without technical mishap and that the Lord is honored. I am very much in awe as I watch Him move in our lives. I wonder where He will take us…?

Thanks for being a part of our journey and upholding us in prayer.

Stacy Farrell

Writer / Speaker / Teacher

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