December 21, 2012

Reason to Celebrate

 

September 15, 2012

September 17th is Constitution Day!!

Photo of the Constitution of the United States of America. A feather quill is included in the photo.The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America and is the oldest codified written national constitution still in force. It was completed on September 17, 1787.

On September 17, 1787 the delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the divinely inspired document they had created – The Constitution of the United States of America. 

Did you know?

In Sept 2010, Montpelier’s Center for the Constitution released results of a national survey conducted to gauge knowledge of constitutional principles. Although 79 percent of those surveyed said they understood at least some of the Constitution, only 28 percent of the 988 people surveyed said they have actually read the entire document.  In addition, the survey showed that older people know more about the Constitution and are more likely to have read it.  

Read about the study here and here. It’s quite enlightening and and also disappointing. Please don’t be part of the uneducated masses; we can make a difference by learning about the Constitution and teaching our families.

Check out WE THE PEOPLE – Getting to Know Your Constitution & for those who only have time for a day or so of study you can check out this lesson plan from icivics.org.

September 14, 2012

We The People - A Unit Study by Homeschool Legacy

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After having such fun with the Knights & Nobles unit study by Homeschool Legacy, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to try another of Sharon’s studies.  This time we chose a unit study that was more in depth – WE THE PEOPLE.  As many of you know we had started our study of government a while ago and I was creating it as I went along.  I eventually reached a point that I didn’t have time to organize and research this important topic.  Homeschool Legacy’s  8-week (once a week) unit study is just what we needed to stay organized and on track with our study.

Homeschool Legacy’s unit studies are literature based which I love!  And Sharon’s lists are absolutely fabulous!  We began by visiting our library online and requesting several of the recommended books.   Here are a few of our favorites by Jean Fritz. We read some and enjoyed others as audio books.

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We have studied The Declaration of Independence and also The Constitution.  WE THE PEOPLE took us right to the original sources shedding full light on the biblical truths this country was founded on.  Sharon makes no apology for her passion of The Constitution and I really loved it.  She is a patriotic woman through and through.  We got so wrapped up in the first two weeks we stretched them out a bit longer.  There are so many wonderful books to explore on the booklists included! And then as I was cleaning out some homeschool supplies, I came across several books I had collected that related to this topic as well!  It’s been book heaven around here!

Here are some of the treasures I had collected and forgotten about. They were great additions to the book list choices.  You can read my review of What Would the Founding Father’s Think? here.

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WE THE PEOPLE is designed for use by children in grades 4 – 12.  There are research projects, family devotionals, games for memorizing the Preamble and the Bill of Rights.  There are projects like making a ballot box, creating a collage, and building a timeline.  This 8-week unit study is biblically centered, and easy to use with no prep required (other than collecting your books).  If you have boys in Scouts they can earn their Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge and American Heritage Girls can earn their Citizenship in Government & Flag Badges.

We are taking our ballot box out next week to collect votes in our area. We are excited to watch the election process unfold. We have our electoral college maps ready for the November election and my kids now LOVE politics! They watched the national conventions and are looking forward to the debates.  This unit study has been a hit!

However, I feel I should leave you with this warning – Your children may become slightly obsessed with the political process and become disgusted when candidates step over their line of power.  Those same dear children may also point out the flaws in other’s political arguments and may even say things like  “If you’ve read The Constitution then you would know….”  I‘ve found a response that helps in such instances - I just smile and say “Knowledge is power”.  You are welcome to use it if the need arises.

(Disclaimer - I received this product free of charge for a review sharing my honest opinion.)

September 01, 2012

Homeschooling Tip: Tackle Two Tasks at Once

I often find that more than one task is calling for my attention at the same time.  Having to let go of one to attend to the other just puts me farther behind on my list of things I need to get done. And truth be told, because both things tend to be pretty important, it can be quite frustrating at times.  Perhaps you’ve felt this way?

Have you ever experienced anything like this at your house?

“We need to progress in the education department today, but when I look in my laundry room, I see the neglected mountain of our blessings (referred to as laundry by some).  I could ditch school work, or let the mountain grow taller but both of these leave me feeling unhappy. They both need to be done.”

OR

“I woke up crampy today, and my hormones are vicious.  I struggle just thinking about making it through our planned school work for the day. I just want to go to my room (with chocolate) and cry or take a nap or both.”

OR

“We’ve had way too many outside obligations lately and now at lunchtime, I find that I really need to grocery shop and bake bread. Oh wait… the dishes I need are in the dishwasher.  Ugghh”

Examples like this seem to be never ending, but when I remember to work smart, I can prevent the frustration and feel good about our day.  These are the resources I’ve found to be sanity savers, progress makers, and frustration preventers -

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This list enables me to accomplish two tasks at the same time.  I’m trying to remember to use it more often. 

Here are a few ways that we have used this list over the past few weeks:

Just today, we resigned to folding and putting away the laundry (those are the parts I really don’t like).  We all worked together while taking advantage of an AUDIO BOOK.   We listened to And Then What Happened Paul Revere? by Jean Fritz. Our thoughts were lost in the story while hands kept busy getting the job done.

On another day, we fixed some healthy snacks and curled up on the couch and employed that lovely tool known as the DVD.  We watched Johnny Tremain (after reading the book).  We’ve also enjoyed episodes of Liberty’s Kids, A More Perfect Union and Various School House Rock videos.  Can you tell we are studying American History? DVDs are great for those days when it’s just hard being a girl. 

Yesterday, I sent my oldest to the store with the grocery list, so the younger two and I could tackle some other things.  This luxury won’t be available much longer as my oldest is leaving on his mission before long. However, when we do take shorter trips to run errands, we take advantage of CDs.  We can add in some works of a composer we are studying or of music we’d like to learn or a fun tune to learn some concept for to commit something to memory, the elements on the periodic table, for instance.  We’ve already pulled out our Classic Piano Christmas CD.    

All it takes to tackle two things at once is a trip to the library.  If you are blessed to have an online ordering option at your library, take advantage of it.  It’s wonderful!

Can you think of any other great additions to this list? 

If so I want to know about it! 

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Update:  This was written (but not completed) some time ago when my oldest was still at home.  He is now serving a mission for two years for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

August 13, 2012

Notice – 8 days

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July 16, 2012

Spring Reading

Reading-Log-SpringI realize it’s July and I am just now posting the Reading Logs for Spring.  Somewhere along the way, I sort of lost track of Mattie’s reading. Between all the library books and the Kindle I can’t hardly keep up with her.

Mason's Log

  • I Wonder Why Castles Had Moats

Mattie's Log

  • Half-Moon Investigations
  • Ella Enchanted
  • Mary, Queen of Scots (Royal Diaries)
  • One Dog and His Boy
  • I Wonder Why Castles Had Moats
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society
  • Black-Eyed Susan
  • The Fairy Rebel
  • The Big House
  • Time Cat
  • The Easter Cat
  • Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms
  • The Hessian's Secret Diary
  • Betsy's Winterhouse
  • Orphan Journey Home
  • The Inheritance
  • The 39 Clues Book 1
  • Orphan Train Children: Lucy's Wish
  • The Night Fairy
  • Fairy Realm: The Last Fairy-apple Tree
  • Fairy Realm: The Charm Bracelet
  • Fairy Realm: The Flower Fairies
  • Fairy Realm: The Third Wish
  • Fairy Realm: The Magic Key
  • The Mystery of the Cupboard
  • The Hobbit
  • The Mandie Collection Vol 6
  • Fablehaven Book 4
  • Fablehaven Book 3
  • The Mandie Collection Vol 2
  • Fablehaven Book 2
  • Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forest
  • Olivia and the Read Live Pet
  • May B.
  • Birthday Pony
  • The Rose Horse

Read Alouds

  • Crispin: The Cross of Lead
  • Alchemy & Meggy Swann
  • The Midwife's Apprentice