I love taking nature walks. I was noticing on my walks lately how many beautiful signs of spring had appeared. In addition to making observations, sometimes I enjoy gathering a few safe wild edibles for making teas and other nutritious foods too. Spring is the perfect time of the year to start hunting and gathering.
It is amazing to think about how the pioneers survived on many of these wild edibles, and they must have been so happy when spring appeared with new growth and wild foods to sustain them after the cold winter.
My kids are currently working on a Pioneer Unit Study about Davy Crockett and they just finished a unit study on Pine Trees. This was great timing for our spring nature walk and their unit studies to coincide together and enhance their learning experience.
Dandelion is beautiful, edible, and medicinal.
We love dandelion lemonade and dandelion tea. Dandelion has edible flowers, leaves, and roots. Every spring and early summer I gather as much fresh young dandelion leaves as I can to make fresh salads and stir fries and flower heads to make tea and lemonade.
Dandelion is a great substitution for cooked spinach. I like to chop up a handful and added into recipes that call for spinach. My grandparents ate dandelion leaves several times a week for their lunch and called it wilted lettuce. They used a source of fat like bacon in a skillet and when it was cooked they added the dandelion greens and cooked them until they were wilted. Grandpa always had fresh greens and garden produce all spring summer and fall.
In addition to using dandelion for tea, lemonade, and as a spinach substitute, we have made dandelion jelly and dandelion cookies in the past. I have never harvested the roots for coffee myself, but I have purchased pre-made dandelion coffee before and it tastes similar to coffee. I also personally use dandelion supplements in a capsule as needed to keep my kidneys and bladder in good working condition. The dandelion can help the body release excess water and stimulate urination. There is a time of the month when women’s bodies tend to store additional fluids and they feel bloated and the dandelion is an excellent resource for using a few days of the month for helping to reduce the extra water.
This year my goal is to make a dandelion syrup for multiple uses. I plan to can it and then keep an opened jar in the fridge for use by the spoonful as needed. It will be a great healthy addition to salad dressings, drinks, smoothies, pancakes, and more.
Violets are beautiful, edible, and medicinal.
Violet flowers are delicious and fragrant in salads, teas, and the leaves can be used as a substitute for cooked spinach and used in stir-fry. The flowers are often used as a fragrance and in soothing aroma baths. The roots are also used as medicine.
Wild onions, chives, and garlic plants.
The entire plant of wild onion, chives and garlic are used the same ways domesticated varieties are used both as a food and medicinal.
Pine buds, pine pollen, and pine needles.
Pine needles make a delicious citrus flavor tea full of vitamins, especially vitamin C. Pine buds and pine pollen are full of protein and an array of amino acids.
Sometimes I take these nature walks by myself, but most of the time, one or more of my kids want to go for a walk with me. We really enjoy these walks.
Walking around today, with the mindset thinking what the pioneers might of looked for and gathered for food and medicine made this walk even more exciting.
We also found beautiful butterflies flying above our head already. The weather was still too cool for much flight for them and they landed often to rest. We followed this one for quite a ways in the yard, bushes, and trees. It often stopped to rest.
The roses are leafing out and starting to bud. They also still have a few rose hips left from last season and we nibbled on these. They are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants, especially vitamin C.
The grapes had fully leafed out and bloomed fragrant yellow flowers before most of the other trees even had leaves or buds.
My daughter enjoyed collecting the fragrant flowers from the wild grapes that had already fallen to the ground.
Potentilla are also called cinquefoil and the leaves and flowers look similar to wild strawberries, but they have a yellow flower instead of a white flower. They have red fruit that looks like a strawberry, but they are flavorless. I would describe eating their fruit like eating a lovely red strawberry that tastes like water, no flavor and no aroma. The flowers, fruit, and leaves are edible in salads and the roots are used as medicine.
There were so many beautiful treasures to find. Some were so tiny you had to look very closely to see.
Beautiful patches of red and white wild clover has popped up everywhere. There are no blooms yet so I can’t tell which is the red and which ones are the white, but there are several varieties of leaf patterns in these plants. Some are more solid green with a lighter green veragation.
Other clover patches have leaves that are veragated with green and white.
Another patch has a yellow and green verragated pattern. So pretty!
Even in areas that seems dead or barely growing, little signs of spring flowers have appeared.
Now that it is spring, we need to start working on our gardens.
Today we removed weeds from the gardens and applied rich compost we made.
Spring surprise! A lovely patch of volunteer lettuce! This is going to be delicious in a salad!
Mint has returned too and is doing well.
We also found some carrots returning from last year. We harvested one and it was nearly 5 inches long already!
Barrel planters filled with pansies have made it through the late frosts. The flowers are stunning!
Is anyone in your home ready to graduate? If so, then you will want to check out the diplomas and graduating products available at Homeschool Diploma. As members of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew, we were sent a Standard Diploma in exchange for writing an honest review.
Homeschool Diploma has something for every graduate. They offer standard, personalized, and customizable gilded diplomas and covers for highschool, eighth grade, and kindergarten graduates in two sizes. You can choose diploma size options from an 8.5″ x 11″, 6″ x 8″, and you have the option to add on a portable wallet size to carry with you.
The Standard Diploma presents the basic information in a professional and attractive way. Listed on the standard diploma, you have your school name, location of school (optional), name of student, a statement about having met graduation requirements, High School Diploma, and the date of graduation, and signatures. You also have the option of choosing an honors seal, and one of 3 embossed graduation seals for the bottom area between the signatures.
The Personalized Diploma includes all the above plus: you can choose from embossed or engraved seals, it has 4 customizable wording options and include a special Motto or Bible Verse, and customizable signature lines.
The Customized Diploma or Gilded Diploma includes all the above plus: 23-karat Gold illumination decorates the seal and school name, you can choose from 2 gilded seal designs, and gilding on the initial letter of the school name is included.
Affordable Pricing and Quality
Prices are affordable and start at $29.99 and up for diplomas based on the options you choose.
Here are a few product examples of the graduation diplomas and other products Homeschool Diploma has to offer.
They have lots of color options, and personalization of the cover is available if desired.
Laminated Wallet Size Diploma:
Eighth Grade Diploma:
Caps and Gowns:
They also have rings, shirts, graduation gifts, picture frames, announcement invitations and more to help you celebrate and share your graduation experience with family and friends.
I am impressed with Homeschool Diploma. They produce beautiful professional diplomas and graduation products. Equally impressive is their customer service. They are very kind and helpful. If you need guidance or have questions, or if you are like me and have not graduated a student before and I had lots of questions, they are very quick to respond and give you the guidance you need.
We were sent an 8.5″ x 11″ Standard Diploma with a nice Cover. We had the cover personalized to read the name of our school and my son’s name. We also chose the option to add a laminated wallet size diploma to our order so he can carry it with him. We were very pleased with the professional quality of the diploma when it arrived.
Though the Standard Diploma comes with less options than the Personalized Diplomas or Custom Diplomas, it was perfect for our needs. The website provides a questionnaire to walk you through each line item that will be on the diploma. The outcome of this process is a beautiful diploma to display.
The lines and wording on our diploma include: At the top of the diploma our school name in a curved arch, then we had the option of putting in the city and state of your school or leaving it off. Next is the name of the graduate. Next is a sentence about having met graduation requirements. This is followed by the words High School Diploma in large letters. Next it references the month and year of graduation. The last section is for signatures and seals. To the left and right at the bottom of the diploma is room for signatures, an optional honor seal, and in the middle of the signatures is the large diploma seal of your choosing.
I am thankful there are options for graduation for homeschoolers who desire to graduate. Some folks want a big ceremony, cap and gowns, extended family, a stage presentation, or a presentation at home and party with friends and family. Other folks may want or need to pass through this milestone quietly. Some folks with special needs or certain physical limitations may not be able to participate in large ceremonies even if they desired too. Other folks graduate at various times of the year, some in May, some in December or January, and some in the summer or fall and it doesn’t always fit in with a big ceremony or with schedules for extended family to join.
A beautiful thing about homeschooling in America is that you can choose. In America, you can choose where you will live, you can choose your career and how you spend your time, you can choose your faith and what you believe, you can choose if you will get married and your reason for raising a family, you can choose your reason for homeschooling or choose to send your kids to public or private school. In America you can choose your homeschool curriculum, and you can choose the details of graduation that fits both the needs and personality style of your student and family. There is no right or wrong answer, the correct answer is that it is fluid and it is what best fits your situation for your child and your family at that point in time.
My son asked me to keep his graduation simple. He doesn’t want to graduate with a group or be displayed in a public way. He did not want me to order cap and gown, or throw a party per his request. I doubt he would change his mind as we get closer to that time. He is a quiet fella who enjoys learning, and enjoys challenging his skills, but he doesn’t seek out attention or desire acknowledgement. Though he is kind and is the first one to help or come to the rescue, and is usually the first one to grasp a concept or complete his schoolwork, he never wants recognition. I couldn’t be more proud of him and the Godly young man he is. Even though his big accomplishment may not be filled with cap and gown and “pomp and circumstance” as it was when I walked across the stage in public highschool, and the way many of our homeschool friends graduate and might get together for a graduation ceremony, I am thankful that Homeschool Diploma offers these beautiful graduation diplomas to mark this milestone in his life and he can graduate with his own style. That is the beauty of homeschooling, that kids can reach their learning goals and develop their skills and character, and at the same time be themselves.
However you plan to acknowledge and celebrate this milestone, I would recommend Homeschool Diploma to everyone looking for a professional quality diploma for their graduate.
Check out this video to see a standard diploma:
Check out this video to see a wallet size diploma:
Homeschool Diploma, also known as Cornerstone Graduate Supply, Inc is a family owned business and has been serving the needs of graduates and their families since 2002. They take pride in their products and are quick to respond to questions and provide guidance as needed to help you customize your graduation products.
They also have quick turn around for orders and ship most of their products within 3 to 5 days of receiving the order. They share their mission statement on their website and state they are grateful for Christian education and their over all goal is to bring honor to Jesus Christ.
I am so glad to learn about this company through doing this review. They truly care about homeschool families and want to help them succeed and graduate their students. They know what they are doing and do it well. I highly recommend Homeschool Diploma to everyone!
Have you heard about Creation Illustrated? They are a magazine and curriculum publisher. The photography in their publications is amazing and some of the best I have ever seen. Creation Illustrated has been called “the Christian answer to National Geographic” because of the amazing photography in their magazines, their focus on Father God our Creator, and the faith filled stories they publish. I am sure you will be encouraged and inspired when you read Creation Illustrated.
Creation Illustrated is expanding and creating a new line of digital products and we have been asked to review two of their digital Creation Unit Studies. Creation Unit Studies are fun hands on learning opportunities that expand on stories that have been published in the Creation Illustrated magazines.
Creation Unit Studies cover a variety of subjects, are filled with fascinating information that points the student a better understanding of Father God our Creator, and they are affordable. They are easy to do and will help spice up the learning in your homeschool. They are currently on sale for $6.95. They have eight unit studies listed for sale at this time, and have plans for several more. The current list includes:
Badgers – The World of Badgers
Black Bears – Bear Essentials
Dragonflies – Dragons of Paradise
Joshua Tree National Park
Snow – Intricacies of Snow
We were sent Intricacies ofSnow Unit Studyand Pine Trees Unit Study from the Creation Unit Studies collection, and they are filled with fascinating information we want to share with you.
Creation Illustrated: Intricacies of Snow Unit Study
Intricacies of Snow
Creation Unit Study
17 Full Color Illustrated Pages
Teacher’s Answer Key
Primarily for grades 5-8, but younger grades can use with assistance or modified.
Lessons and Contents:
Reading Resources (page 3)
Educational Videos (page 3)
Writing & Penmanship (page 4)
Vocabulary & Spelling (page 4-5)
Bible Study (page 6-7)
Science (page 8-9)
Math (page 10)
Geography (page 11)
Art (page 12)
Puzzle (page 13)
Teacher Answer Keys (page 14-17)
and Other Fun Facts.
Example of Student Worksheet:
Exampleof Teacher’s Answer Key:
Creation Illustrated Magazine Winter ’18 Edition:
Winter ’18 Digital Edition of Creation Illustrated contains articles and beautiful photographs that correspond with the Intricacy of Snow Unit Study.
In addition to reading through the unit study and magazine articles, the unit study also contains a lot of suggested reading and research links and suggested videos to watch. When students finish this unit study about snow, they will have a better understanding and appreciation of snow and a better understanding of Father God and his creation.
Creation Illustrated: Pine Trees Unit Study
Creation Unit Study
16 Full Color Illustrated Pages
Teacher’s Answer Key
Primarily for grades 5-8, but younger grades can use with assistance or modified.
Lessons and Contents:
Reading Resources (page 3)
Educational Videos (page 3)
Vocabulary & Spelling (page 4-5)
Bible Study (page 6)
Geography (page 7)
Science (page 8-9)
Math (page 10)
Writing & Penmanship (page 11)
Art (page 12)
Puzzle (page 13)
Teacher Answer Keys (page 14-16)
and Other Fun Facts
Example of Student Worksheet:
Creation Illustrated Magazine Fall ’17 Edition:
Creation Illustrated Fall ’17 Digital Edition contains articles and beautiful photographs that correspond with the Pine Trees Unit Study.
In addition to reading through the magazine articles, and unit study worksheets, there are also suggested reading and research links, and suggested videos to watch. There is also an identification worksheet in the study that is great to use for taking a field trip, or a hike into nature to see the trees up close and identify them. When students complete the Pine Tree Unit Study, they will have a better appreciation for these trees and how they have impacted our lives, and a better understanding about Father God and his creation.
We were sent the digital Intricacies of Snow and Pine Trees unit studies and the corresponding digital magazine editions, Winter ’18 and Fall ’17, of Creation Illustrated.
We have completed the Pine Trees Unit Study, and have started the Intricacies of Snow Unit Study. We focused on the Pine Trees Unit Study for the purpose of this review.
We have experienced the end of winter and beginning of spring while doing this unit study. You can see the snow on the pine trees in the two pictures posted above. Though the winter was cold where we live, we got very little snow, and it was usually gone within a day of falling. In hindsight, I wish I would have focused on the snow study before the pine study as it would have been nice to have had snow actually on the ground that we could experience while studying it. I will post how our snow study went soon.
Here are some pictures of our nature walk we took to identify pine trees in the forest. We saw a variety of trees and lots of wildlife too.
We found pine buds full of pollen as well as fully intact pine cones on the same trees.
We harvested some of the young pine buds and pine needles for making recipes and several pine cones for crafts.
My kids enjoyed participating in this study, and the older kids did all of the worksheets, and the younger kids did a few of the worksheets.
We found an insect hiding in this pine tree. We also found bird nests, and lots of spiders (not pictured) that like living in pine trees. We saw several squirrels check for food in the pine trees and jump from tree to tree playing tag with each other and shaking their tails.
We investigated pine cones, pine buds, pine needles, and tree bark up close.
We also found some wild grape vines that had climbed some of the tall pine trees in the forest and were starting to bloom with bright yellow flowers. The winding vines and yellow blooms were beautiful and smelled amazing, and were such a contrast to the tall pine.
Here are some examples of my kids worksheets and activities from this unit study:
Further The Learning:
Though we have finished the Pine Trees Unit Study, I plan to stretch this learning out further over the next several weeks this spring and into the summer. I plan to add in a couple of building projects for the older three boys using pine lumber from the local lumberyard.
They have been learning woodworking skills using pine over the past year or so and they are getting better and better with their creations. They helped make a workbench table from pine lumber during this unit study. You can see the frame of the table in this picture. They have completed it since I took the picture and use it for a workbench for making handcrafts. They are enjoying it very much. They have been making lots of woodworking and leather projects on it.
They also helped make loft beds from pine lumber for their rooms last summer. They love their beds and they had a lot of fun learning to work with wood.
They are also learning bushcrafting skills. They are familiar with looking for dead pine trees in the forest, and they cut and chop these dead trees into smaller pieces for firewood. We plan to learn to make “fat wood” with pine for fire starting and make several primitive traps too. We have several templates and kits ready to make.
All of my kids enjoy whittling. They usually just work on a stick and whittle away at the bark and usually focus on getting one end to a point. The younger kids sit with daddy outside, and enjoy passing the time whittling. The bigger boys have developed their skills and whittle when ever they want and don’t require being supervised like the younger kids. The younger kids are only allowed to have their pocket knife while being supervised for safety.
One of my older sons has really taken a liking to whittling. He enjoys sitting outside by himself, whittleing, with the quiet sounds of nature. Sometimes he sits on the back porch and sometimes he sits on a bench he made in the forest. He cut several pine branches to size, about 24 inches, and using cordage to attach the cut pieces to a tree that has two trunks with a gap between them, he created a bench seat with a ladder back that goes up the tree. He can climb up to have a look around if he wants too. He loves to sit in nature and whittle. He has progressed into carving with pine, cedar, and birch trees. He requested some chisels and has made some lovely wooden spoons. He has made about six different spoons of different sizes and different purposes, and he has made walking sticks, and made a lovely walking cane with a handle. He has whittled, chiseled, shaped, and sanded several projects by hand with the wood he collected from the forest.
All of the kids really enjoy working with their hands, learning life skills, practicing those skills, and learning to make different projects they find interesting.
To further the learning even more, I am planning to do several additional art, cooking, and science projects with all of the kids, lap booking pages about pine trees, and a “Pp” letter of the week project for my youngest son to reinforce what he has learned about pine trees and pine cones too.
I also plan to use the knowledge we gained in this unit study about pine trees and apply it to an American History unit study we are also working on about a fronteir man named Davy Crocket. Learning about pine trees and their special place in history, and use as a food and medicine and building materials, as well as the impact on economics of the pine tree lumber industry on the people, will go well with the American History study we are doing.
My kids have enjoyed this unit study. I appreciate the biblical worldview of the curriculum and the beautiful photography and stories in the magazine.
I definitely recommend Creation Illustrated magazines and Creation Unit Studies for homeschool families. It is easy to download the digital PDF files and put them in a binder, read the magazine articles online and click through the related links and watch a few videos, grab your bible, and complete the worksheets. Older students can do these studies independently and younger students can do the studies with help from parents and older siblings.
We have had subscriptions to Creation Illustrated in the past, and had it for several years. It was a regular part of our homeschool learning. We have also reviewed their magazine for our readers several years ago, way back in 2012. I regret that I let our subscription expire when we moved a couple of years ago. I have been so inspired again by the magazine while doing this review that I plan to purchase a new subscription, and purchase more of these unit studies, and I would like to order several back copies of the magazine too. These make wonderful reading for my family, and inspire us in our faith. These make lovely gifts for extended family and friends and church libraries too. These would be wonderful to benefit communities and leave as reading material in offices around town too.
I would recommend Creation Unit Studies and the Creation Illustrated magazines to everyone!
The latest edition Creation Illustrated Spring ’18 has just been published.
Creation Character Building Lesson: Service and Ministry –by Terry & Jean McComb
New Coloring & Photo Contests for all ages
Photo and Coloring Contest winners
Study Guide, Spring Family Fun Activities
Poetry: All Creation Sings –by Bret Suarez
I found this 2015 video interview of Tom and Jennifer Ish. They are homeschool parents who began publishing Creation Illustrated in 1993. That is over 25 years! What an accomplishment for the kingdom of God! Only God knows how many people, perhaps millions, have been inspired to draw near to him because of this ministry. This interview is filled with fantastic information about the mission of Creation Illustrated and it’s worldwide outreach.
Try before you buy:
If you would like to try it out before you buy, Creation Illustrated offers a FREE digital edition of their magazine, and a FREE unit study on Fragrance which includes the corresponding digital magazine too. Be sure to check those out.
Keep in touch and up to date on all the latest news and products through the Creation Illustrated social media links.
I have enjoyed teaching courses to kids at homeschool get togethers, church, 4H, and parks for many years. Sometimes these meetings are bible studies, other times they are classes held a local Homeschool Coops or Community programs.
On this day, I taught a Lego Adventures Bible Story class. We had a great time of learning, activities, and growing our faith. The kids learned about the fourth day of creation, when Father God created the Sun, Moon, and Stars. They also learned a little bit about man’s attempts at space exploration, man’s theories about space, and the differences in asteroids and comets.
I used a wonderful book called Purposeful Design to teach this class. I made a binder of lessons to go along with the book and also used a few printouts and coloring pages I gathered from free sources online. For props to teach the class, I brought a bible, earth in space puzzles, space flash cards, lots of Legos, space exploration mini figures, and I made a space exploration discovery bin. I brought enough items x 2 so that I could divide the class into two teams for a friendly competition too.
Space Flash Cards
For our bible learning, we studied the fourth day of creation. This is when Father God created the sun and moon and stars and put them in the firmament we call “space”, and created time and seasons (seasons are not just a change in the weather, but God designed them to be special appointments with Father called seasons when we have special feasts known as holidays or holy days) on the earth.
“God said, “I command lights to appear in the sky and to separate day from night and to show the time for seasons, special days, and years. I command them to shine on the earth.” And that’s what happened. God made two powerful lights, the brighter one to rule the day and the other to rule the night. He also made the stars. Then God put these lights in the sky to shine on the earth, to rule day and night, and to separate light from darkness. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. Evening came and then morning—that was the fourth day.” Genesis 1:14-19
The kids learned several vocabulary words and terms. I provided them with crossword puzzles, question and answer sheets, and coloring pages that related to their vocabulary words.
Sun, Moon, Stars, Asteroid, Comet, space shuttles, space pod, rockets, rocket fuel, space ships, satellites, space center, astronaut, gravity, rover vehicles, robotics, science experiment, space exploration, planets and their moons, Earth, Saturn, Mars.
We divided into two teams. Each team was given the exact same team kits. Each kit contained, an Earth in Space puzzle, space exploration props, black construction paper, and a box of random Legos.
We had two competitions also. The first was putting together a puzzle of the earth in space. The second competition was building a space exploration diorama and space exploration vehicle to explore Father God’s creation in the firmament.
At the end of the competition, we had a time of “Show and Tell” where each team gave a brief explanation of what they created and how it would be used based on what they had learned.
After our lesson, we went outside for some friendly games.
It was a great time and the kids had a lot of fun.
Then get your kids busy reading, building, and re-telling bible stories! Check out The Beginner’s Bible, or another youth bible you have on hand, for an easy to use resource for kids. This is a great way to build family time together and a great way to incorporate daily devotions into your kids learning. Your kids will have so much fun interacting with the bible stories and building props and seeing the stories come to life!
Noah’s Ark is a great story to retell with Lego’s because just like your child building with blocks of different sizes, Noah was also a builder and he built a big boat with different sizes of wooden boards. In addition to building the largest boat ever created, called an Ark, Noah was also a husband, a father, and the “ultimate prepper” and “homesteader” and he had to store feed and safely house and care for a huge amount of animals as well as his whole family for an entire year on the floating zoo-boat /house-boat called the ark. The story of Noah and the ark can be found in Genesis 6, 7, and 8. As they read the bible, kids will learn about the man called Noah, his faith in God, and also about righteousness, judgement of sin, and God’s plan to save a pure remnant of the human race that were willing to put their faith in him.
God told Noah it was going to rain, and it would become a flood that would wipe out every living thing on the earth. Noah was instructed to build a big ark (boat) and he was given the blueprints with detailed instructions to create it. He built different size pens inside the ark and he was given instructions to save two pairs of every wild animal, three pairs of every “clean” animal, seven pairs of animals that were to be sacrificed, and to also save his family including his wife, three sons, and their wives, by loading them all onto the ark before the start of the worldwide flood.
God told Noah that people had become evil and violent and he must cleanse the earth and wipe them out with the flood. He could no longer stand to live with mankind and watch their evil deeds. God caused the earth and sky to give forth water for 40 days and nights to flood the earth. But God promised to protect Noah’s family and anyone righteous who had faith to believe in God. God gave Noah the plan. He gave him the specific dimensions, told him what wood to use, and how to build it and save his family and the animals. His sons helped him build the ark, but the rest of the world mocked him as he worked and preached and did not help him.
Noah preached and preached to the people about God and the coming flood, but no one believed him and they did not turn from their wickedness and did not worship God. They had never seen rain or a flood before. They did not care about doing right. They did not turn away and repent of their wicked sins. They did not want to trust that Noah had heard the truth from God. They thought Noah was out of his mind to believe a God they could not see, and believe in a flood and rain that had never happened before, and work so hard to obey God and build a big boat.
If you don’t have Lego’s on hand, make your boat with paper, or other recycled materials you have on hand, or use other toys your kids might have in their collections. Besides building a boat, they might have mini characters, and animals, trees, etc. they can also use. Perhaps they can also create items to represent the weather changes, the flood, and make a rainbow too. You can use as many props as you want to add to the effect of retelling the story.
Another wonderful way to use this learning opportunity is Language Arts (have the kids read, re-write the story), Science (weather, engineering, physics), Arts and Crafts (create Noah’s Ark themed art and craft projects), Math (how many legos?, build to scale, use grid paper and draw their own blueprints to scale, etc), Geography (draw or color a map of where Noah was from and where the ark landed), Movie Making (use props and make stop motion animation), Unit Study and LapBook, and have the kids Share their project with Grandparents, Neighbors, and Sunday School class too. There are lots of ways this method of learning can be used and incorporated into your curriculum.
Your kids will really enjoy this activity. In addition to building up their faith as they read the bible, kids can relate in a hands on way as they put the story in action and retell the story with their own mini-size boat.
Here are a few Noah and the Ark themed videos we found:
Noah and the Ark Bible Story Animated by Beginner’s Bible
Noah’s Ark Lego Movie Trailer
Arts and Crafts
Noah Preschool Paper Plate Craft and Story
If you don’t have a printed copy of the bible, check out Bible Gateway for a digital online version. You can read it from your computer and your phone and digital reading devices.
You can choose from several languages and several versions to use. They also offer free bible studies and a free verse of the day they will email you if you desire.
A Minuteman is an American Citizen who is ready to defend his/her person, family, property, neighbors, town, state, and country with just a “minute’s notice”. There is an interesting fictional story that helps kids learn about these defenders and their role in history called Sam The Minuteman. This story is about a boy who’s dad was a Minuteman when the colonies were still occupied by Britain. This study guide helps you dig deeper into the lives of people, their character, family and community dynamics, and their faith as well as the battle they fought for independence from Britain.
Sam The Minuteman Study Guide
Sam The Minuteman Study Guide
For Elementary 1st – 3rd Grades
e-Book PDF download
Table Of Contents
Note To Instructor
About the Author
Before You Read Activities
Cause and Effect
How the Author Creates Mood
Looking At The Story
Important Words to Remember
Thinking About the American Revolution
After You Read Activities
How We Used The Sam The Minuteman Study Guide
We received a PDF download of Sam The Minuteman Study Guide to review in our home. I printed the study guide and put it into a three ring binder. This study guide was a great addition to our study of American History this fall.
To complete this study guide, you will need a computer, an email address, and printer, as well as the book Sam The Minuteman. The book is easy to find at local libraries or for purchase through book stores, or even easier is to find it as a read aloud on youtube where you can listen, watch, and read along with the word in the story.
When you purchase the study guide, you can either print off the whole study guide and put into a three ring binder, or have it bound, or you can just read it from the computer screen and print off what pages you need as you go along in the study. This is so flexible and will fit with just about everyone’s needs.
Activities We Did In The Sam The Minuteman Study Guide
Make Homemade Butter (in the story they ate homemade bread and butter). Recipe for making butter provided in the study guide. We purchased cream, put it into the stand mixer (because shaking it in a jar takes to long) and made our own homemade butter. We used to do this every week when we had our own fresh milk from our cows. We also made homemade bread, and made biscuits on another day, to eat the butter on.
Historical Timeline (dates and headings provided in the study guide)
Worksheets: Vocabulary Words
Worksheets: Several “Question and Answer” worksheets throughout the study guide.
Bible Study: Several scriptures and question and answer were listed and encourage character and understanding of the Christian faith.
Worksheets: Coloring Page of the Liberty Bell
We used several online resources to complete the study guide through Progeny Press, and also to learn more about this period in American History.
Crossword puzzle and worksheets from Progeny Press Sam The Minuteman Study Guide
About the story: Sam The Minuteman
The story book is historical fiction. The characters are made up, but are based on historical facts so it is a great addition to any American History study. Reading this story will help kids understand and relate to people who lived at this period in American History and America’s fight for independence and birth as a nation.
screenshot of Sam The Minuteman read aloud on youtube
We have a copy of the book, but we also found the book as a free read a loud on youtube (read by Stories with Sarah), and this was a perfect option for us. The kids had fun hearing another child read the story aloud and following along. This is a great option for those folks who don’t own their own copy, don’t want to go buy one, or who have kids who are fascinated with everything on digital media like my kids.
The read aloud is only a 10 minutes long and the kids can read right along with Sarah as she reads the book on the video. In addition to the book, we added in watching several other videos about Minutemen and read through the wikipedia explanation, did coloring pages, made a lapbook, and more too. These activities really helped the kids appreciate the learning material and activities, and deepen their understanding in the Study Guide even more.
screenshot of Sam The Minuteman on youtube
The main character in the story is a boy named Sam Brown who lives with his mother and father on a farm in Lexington, Massachusetts. America has not become a nation yet and is still a British colony, but has formed it’s own local governing proclamations. The people living in the colonies are upset because of the increased taxation and trade regulations placed on them by Britain, and the increased presence of British soldiers and governors the King has sent to enforce the new regulations.
screenshot of read a loud book on youtube
During the story, Sam experiences the beginning of the war. He sees British soldiers from Boston pass through his town as they trying to keep orders for the King, and he feels the frustrations of his father and neighbors. Then one night, the church bells ring and wake Sam and his family and this is the signal to his father that it is time to go and defend his freedom.
They meet with other men and learn that the British soldiers are marching to Concord where the colonists have hidden weapons. Then Sam goes with his father and the other minutemen to try to hold back the British and give the Americans time to defend their supplies and hidden weapons. One of Sam’s friends gets shot, but survives. Eventually the Minutemen Militias grow stronger in their fighting skills and are able to drive off the British soldiers.
Additional Resources We Used To Further The Learning:
We love turning everything into an expanded unit study. That is what I love about study guides, they spark your curiosity and invite you to dig deeper. We expanded our learning with several additional fun activities including videos, reading, Legos, cooking, life skills, and more to learn about this fascinating period in American History. We would like to take a field trip too. Several years ago, we went to see some Revolutionary War History in Charelston SC, another trip to Kings Mountain where the Mountainmen (Mountain Minutemen) fought a battle with the Brittish Soldiers, and another trip we went to a Revolutionary War Museum and State Park with a Ford (where the militia crossed the river). We are also creating a lapbook to hold our completed the Sam The Minuteman Study Guide activities, and additional projects we did while learning about Minutemen Militia.
Legos: I have 6 kids and 5 of them are boys. We love building with Legos and it just makes learning fun! We recreated and retold the story and the events we learned in the study guide with Legos. The kids set up a village and a house for Sam’s family, and showed him and his dad riding a horse out to meet the other Minutemen to fight with the British soldiers coming down the road.
Sam and his dad are in the Minutemen Militia. Story retold with Legos.
Coloring Page Paul Revere (notified the Minutemen the British were coming and then rode out to the army to notify them the British were coming to take away their weapons and subdue them).
Coloring Paul Revere as he rode out from Boston on his horse to warn the Minutemen the British were coming.
Geography and History video: The American Revolution in 9 minutes. This was our absolute favorite “quick” video that explains the history and geography of the war, and best of all it is told with stick figure animation. This is much more fun for kids to watch than other history videos. The kids also have fun watching a grade school class retell the events in a video they made called American Revolution.
History of the part time militia known as Minutemen
It is amazing what you can learn from history and how it applies today. A Minuteman is a person who is ready to handle trouble at any minute. Formed in 1645, these homegrown militia men were to be ready within 30 minutes of being warned and carry with them three days provisions of food, shoes for both snow and regular weather, and weapons. They played important roles in history from 1645, 1750, 1774-1776, through the Civil War (mountain men), and beyond. The government passed the Militia Acts of 1792 by Congress requiring all citizens to arm themselves with a musket, a bayonet, and no less than 24 bullets. The Militia Acts of 1903 passed by Congress states that 1) the organized Minutemen Militia will become the basis of the National Guard and 2) a provision that states able bodied citizens ages 17 to 45 are to take up arms to defend themselves and the country.
We actually learned there are Minutemen Militia (also known as Watchmen Militia and Family Protection Group, etc) today all across this great nation we live in that are ready on a moment’s notice. The Discovery Channel produced a documentary about them. They meet together in groups and are trained to use weapons, and secure resources such as food, water, and have supplies on hand to last from several weeks to several months. These groups are made up of people from all races and from all walks of life from mechanics to librarians to students, etc. The documentary followed men and women from across the USA who get together and practice drills in Florida, Indiana, and Arizona for combat in the event the government cannot protect or help it’s citizens. That kind of circumstance could happen when mobs breakout in the cities, such as when natural disasters happen (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods) and folks are without resources, nuclear meltdowns or if there is an EMP or asteroid that takes out communications and infrastructure, and during racial tensions in inner cities and mobs breakout, as well as illegal drug smugglers coming across the borders, and with mass shootings and terrorists attacks.
Just like they were through out American History, these modern day Minutemen Militia are ready at any minute to handle any trouble that arises to defend our towns and people from threats of danger. Approximately 30% to 70% of Americans are legally armed depending on what part of the country you live in. The nationwide average is about 80 million gun owners who own at least one registered gun, (there are between 280-310 million guns), or approximately 1 out of 3 households are armed. These registered gun owners are willing to protect their homes, family, friends, and neighbors from attack from those who would attempt to cause harm to life, liberty, and the pursuit of freedom in our country.
Progeny Press has created a great study guide to get young people interested in American History using a simple story with characters they can relate too. Would you like to learn more about the Minutemen Militia and the American Revolution? Then you might want to go on this learning adventure, and check out this great study guide from Progeny Press, and perhaps your family will be inspired to be a part of the Minutemen in your local area and will gain a deeper appreciation for the sacrifices so many have made for the freedoms we enjoy today.
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The Heroes of History series contains approximately 20 volumes of fascinating history of real life heroes. Some of the great men and women covered in these books includes the lives of: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Billy Graham, Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Ben Carson, Laura Ingles Wilder, etc.
Heroes of History are ordinary men and women (many who faced poverty and disadvantages in their youth), who over came challenging circumstances and changed the course of American History.
Heroes Of History
Retails for $9.99 and is on sale for $7.50
This book covers the story of Billy Grahams Life including his youth, his acceptance of Christ as his savior, his family, and life long ministry as a world wide evangelist.
Unit Study Guide Cover
Unit Study Curriculum Guide
Retails for $9.99 and on sale for $7.49
This unit study guide corresponds with the paperback book. It provides structured questions, vocabulary words, and activities for each chapter to help the student dig deeper into the story. It also contains the answer key and a few printables such as maps, a timeline, and a fact sheet about his life.
Unit Study Table of Contents
How We Used This Product In Our Home
We were sent the Heroes Of History paperback book and the corresponding Unit Study Curriculum Guide to review in our home. This curriculum is filled with fascinating stories about Billy Graham’s life. He is considered “America’s Pastor” and is loved by millions of people in America and around the world.
Billy Graham (source Unit Study Guide)
There are so many details from his life that you just have to read the book for yourself to grasp the big picture, but I think this sums up this amazing journey: Billy grew up on a dairy farm in North Carolina. God took him on a life long journey from those humble beginnings to become an evangelist who has preached in 185 countries reaching over 200 million people with the message about Jesus Christ and eternal salvation. It is amazing how God used a farm boy in an amazing way to expand his Kingdom.
My children are enjoying learning about Billy Graham’s adventures growing up and his life working for the Kingdom. The story starts our when he is about 12 years of age and goes through many of his memories growing up and my son was hooked to read about his boyhood.
The unit study guide contained about 5 printables (located in section 2) and the rest was of the guide (section 1) was structured questions about each chapter in the book and a few activity ideas. We liked a couple of activity ideas in the guide such as creating an itinerary for Billy Graham’s Travels and computing costs for airfare and travel etc. And an idea to watch one of his speeches from the 1960’s and compare it to a speech from the 1990’s for example and see any changes in his presentation of his message. Also an idea to learn one of his speeches and then repeat it yourself as a speech was a cool idea. But otherwise, the guide really needs some tweaking and some fun activities added for kids. So my suggestion to other families would be to come up with your own activity ideas to make this part of the learning fun.
Fact sheet from unit study guide.
My Personal Experience with Billy Graham
When I was about 13 years old, I went to a Billy Graham crusade in Kansas City, KS. It was life changing for me. I dedicated my whole heart to Jesus that night. I sat on the edge of my seat in a huge stadium filled with people and knew Mr. Graham was speaking just to me. I had given my heart to the Lord when I was 8 and was baptized with water at the Open Door Baptist Church. When I was about 11, my father’s church felt I needed re-baptized “into” their church, the Church of Christ. Not much changed for me at that time, other than earnestly seeking God as my home life was not so great. But when I was 13, and sincerely seeking God for answers in my life, I met a man who had the answers. His name was Billy Graham. He had a confidence and an assurance of who God is that I had never seen or heard in any man. That night I went forward at the Billy Graham Crusade and dedicated my whole heart to the Lord, I was filled with a fire for God. A passion. It was life changing for me and I never doubted my salvation or God’s love and his hand on my life ever since. He has guided me and held me close and watched over me and I love him more than life itself.
I know there are millions of people like myself that God placed Billy Graham in our path. He has been a blessing to me. When we lived in North Carolina, we lived about 40 minutes from Mr. Graham’s campus near Asheville, NC. If you are ever in the area, I encourage you to go and visit the museum and campus. His son carries on the ministry’s vision today and runs a world wide outreach that is the hands and feet of Jesus meeting the real needs of people called Samaritans Purse. If you are looking for a ministry to pray for, financially support, or volunteer with, please put this one at the top of your list!
Thank you Mr. Graham for your obedience and dedication to obey Jesus and share the message of the Kingdom of God with me.
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David and Goliath Lego Adventures at Homeschool Coop.
We had a great time learning about robotics, physics, faith, and retelling a story using Legos at homeschool coop.
I chose the bible passage of 1 Samuel 17 for our lesson. This bible passage is about David going to visit his brothers who were in the Israelite Army. They were on the front lines in a battle against the Philistines. The Philistine Army had a warrior named Goliath. He was a giant of a man standing very tall and he was very strong and covered in metal plated armour, and no-one could defeat him in battle. He often said bad things to the Israelite Army and made fun of their God. He challenged them to a fight and if they could defeat him, his army would be their slaves, but if he defeated the Israelite who fought him, then the Israelite Army would be the slaves of the Philistines. David overheard this challenge and the horrible things Goliath said against God. David saw that everyone in the army was afraid, but he was not afraid and knew God would help him defeat the enemy of Israel and the enemy of God. David accepted the challenge to fight Goliath. He trusted in the Lord to help him. He chose five flat stones from a river bed and put one of the stones in his sling, swung it around, and let the stone go into the air. He had learned to fight off animals like wolves, lions, and bears that tried to attack his flock of sheep so he was very good with the sling shot. The stone hit Goliath in the forehead and killed him. David had trusted in God to deliver him from Goliath, and he defeated the enemy of Israel and the enemy of God.
The kids used Lego’s to retell the story. We also set up a robotic Goliath with Lego WeDo. The Goliath robot is built with Legos, pulley gears, worm gear, lever, motor, axle, and movable joints. The kids programmed the computer software program to tell Goliath to stand up and to sit / fall down. They can time his movements and change the speed, as well as program sound effects. They had Goliath stand up and growl his threats to the Army, programmed the sound of David, and his stone hitting Goliath, and then also programmed cheering by the Army after Goliath is hit with the stone and falls forward. It is really neat how you can program sound effects to go along with the robot’s movements.
Everyone took turns manipulating the computer software and retelling the story with Legos. They also take apart the giant and rearrange the location of motorized lever attachment to learn how placing this in different positions, and rearranging the software commands caused the giant to move (or not move). They could re-engineer the set up and try out different ideas. They also completed a coloring page about the battle between David and Goliath and a vocabulary word puzzle.
We also did some physics science in the gym. We used rubber bands for sling shots. We used a large basket placed several feet away on the floor as the target. We took different kinds of balls (cotton, pompoms, foam, and rubber) to learn what materials would be more accurate to hit a target. The kids learned about trajectory, mass, stored energy, kinetic energy, and how to aim at a target. They learned that the more dense their ball was, and the further back they pulled their sling shot, the better and faster the object was able to hit the target. The kids also spent time playing in the gym. They played basketball, tag, hide and seek, and raced each other all around. The gym is such a great place to do a variety of learning, skill building, and physical activities.
Logos are a great teaching / learning tool that can be used in so many fun ways. I love teaching and learning with Legos. I have taught Lego and Robotics Academy Club and several workshops with homeschool and 4H kids in North Carolina for several years, and I have missed it terribly since moving last summer. I hope in the near future I will be able to host Learn It Build It workshops again in the community, and also start a Lego and Robotics club again and perhaps eventually have teams that can compete in First Lego League. But right now, started a new class called Lego Adventures and I am blessed the local homeschool coop has invited me to teach these great kids, and we can learn about science-technology-engineering, and robotics, and use bible stories to build their faith in the Lord. Be sure to check back each month for more Lego Adventures.
My kids had a great time making homemade apple pies at the homeschool coop! They love to see friends and play games, but baking has a special place in their heart. They absolutely love to cook (not clean up dishes though), and I think baking is their favorite. When they heard we were going to bake apple pies, the were so excited, it is all they talked about for days.
They washed and peeled lots of apples. They peeled the apples with both a hand peeled, and a machine peeler. For the hand peeler, they stood over the sink and their peelings dropped away as they scraped the peeler against the skin of the apple. This was a lot of work, and fun to do with one apple, but their arms quickly became tired to do very many this way. The machine peeler does three actions all at once as the children turn the handle. It peels, cores, and slices the apple into long spiral slices and is called an Appel Peeler Corer Slicer. It gets right to the point! It seriously cuts the work of preparing apples into an easy task of just putting the apple on and turning the handle!
The kids learned to make homemade pie crust from flour, water, and shortening. They blended these together with a hand-held cutter. As they pressed the cutter into the flour mixture, it broke it down into itty bitty pieces like small crumbs. Eventually the whole thing works into a soft ball of dough almost like play dough.
Next the kids rolled the dough out on the counter with a rolling-pin. They placed extra flour on the surface of the counter so the dough would not stick and was easy to flip and turn to roll again.
When the dough was thin enough, they placed the dough over their pie pan and cut away the excess that hung past the edge of the pan. Then they learned to crimp the edge of the crust to make it look pretty and also to prevent shrinkage.
Next they filled their pie shells with sliced apples, cinnamon, sugar, vanilla, salt, and butter. They rolled out more pie dough, and cut it with a pizza cutter into strips. They topped the pies with strips of dough and made designs. Some made a lattice design, others made their initials of their name, or some made hearts and others made butterflies, and one also topped their crust with a crumb topping and more cinnamon and sugar. They could design the top however they wanted too.
The pies baked in a hot oven at 375 degrees for about 35 to 45 minutes until they were golden brown. All of the pies turned out beautiful. Each one had a unique personal touch made by the kids.
I loved seeing and smelling all of these pies baking at once. Thankfully we had two ovens available to bake all of these pies so they could finish about the same time.
While the pies baked, the kids got all hot and sweaty in the gym. They actually took turns peeling apples, making dough, making pies, etc and the kitchen adjoins the gym, it so the kids played in the gym off and on between turns in the kitchen. This worked out perfectly! Man I wish I had a gym at home adjoining the kitchen! Just imagine all the pies and exercise we could get done! Ha, ha! I could go for a double oven baking area too!