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Heroes of History: Daniel Boone Review

How to encourage a reluctant reader?

Put a fun book from the Heroes Of History series in their hands, such as Heroes of History-Daniel Boone from YWAM Publishing and let the fun begin!  The whole family will want to join in learning about the Frontiersman named Daniel Boone.

Heroes of History

Heroes of History has 28 books in the series.  It is a biography series of true stories of men and women who changed the course of history for the better.

Heroes of History series of 28 books includes:

Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom
Alan Shepard: Higher and Faster
Ben Carson: A Chance at Life
Benjamin Franklin: Live Wire
Billy Graham: America’s Pastor
Christopher Columbus: Across the Ocean Sea
Clara Barton: Courage Under Fire
Daniel Boone: Frontiersman
Davy Crockett: Ever Westward
Douglas MacArthur: What Greater Honor
Elizabeth Fry: Angel of Newgate
Ernest Shackleton: Going South
George Washington: True Patriot
George Washington Carver: From Slave to Scientist
Harriet Tubman: Freedombound
John Adams: Independence Forever
John Smith: A Foothold in the New World
Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Storybook Life
Louis Zamperini: Redemption
Meriwether Lewis: Off the Edge of the Map
Milton Hershey: More Than Chocolate
Orville Wright: The Flyer
Ronald Reagan: Destiny at His Side
Theodore Roosevelt: An American Original
Thomas Edison: Inspiration and Hard Work
William Bradford: Plymouth’s Rock
William Penn: Liberty and Justice for All
William Wilberforce: Take Up the Fight

Heroes of History-Daniel Boone

Paperback

224 Pages

19 Chapters

Ages 10 and up

Retail: $9.99 on sale for $7.50

Daniel Boone was a Frontiersman who lived from 1734 to 1820.  The stories in this book include events in his life in North Carolina, Kentucky, Louisiana and some of the many places (Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Missouri, etc) he journeyed in-between.  The book follows Boone from childhood into manhood as he sets out to find his own land and build a life for his family, and latter events in adulthood and the lives of his grown children and even covers his peaceful death in his daughter’s home.  The death’s of several of his children both in their youth and adulthood as well as the death of friends and his wife is also shared. Through out his life he helped many other settlers too.  He was very talented, a great hunter, trapper, and a master of survival skills.   He also had incredible courage and lived through many dangerous situations in the wilderness, as well as living through attacks by soldiers, and being taken captive by Indians.  He learned to survey land and helped develop huge regions of American wilderness.

Unit Study

In addition to these wonderful books, YWAM Publishing has also produced downloadable Unit Study guides for the Heroes of History stories.

These Unit Study Guides provide a wonderful curriculum option for families. They are flexible and can be adjusted to suit the skill levels of kids, and the different opportunities and resources families have for hands on learning.

The unit study is filled with loads of fun activities.  This curriculum is engaging and peeks kids interest with related history, geography, writing, culture and arts, and more woven throughout the books.  Kids can be hands on with Heroes of History Unit Studies and experience an important piece of the past!

The Unit Study guide contains discussion questions and answer key, teaching tips, hands on learning of various topics, and several PDF printables for kids to complete such as:

cross word puzzles,

biographical fact sheet,

hidden word puzzles,

historical time line,

maps,

and more.

Some of the hands on learning topics the Unit Study guide covers includes:

Chapter Questions / Reading Comprehension and Discussion:  There are six questions related to each chapter covering vocabulary, facts in the text, comprehension of story, and opinion interpretation.

Student Explorations:

Essay Questions

American History: war, government, land acquisition, boundaries, Native Indians, pioneers,

Geography : maps, study how to do a basic survey and plot out your neighborhood, 

Science and Medicine: learn about diseases of the day including TB and Small Pox and remedies they used to treat the diseases.

Setting Up Displays: butter churn, leather work, satchel, flint lock rifle, Native American beadwork, braded rugs, anvil, bellows, books about outdoor survival skills, Kentucky or North Carolina, books about Daniel Boone’s life, Boone’s family tree, items related to woodsmanship, items related to blacksmiths, leather moccosans, cross stitch samplers, quilts, hat made of raccoon skin with tail, wool blankets, oil lamp, maps of Boone’s travels, etc.

Arts and Crafts: make a fort, make a banner-plaque-or sign with a famous quote,  make a bound book, make a Boone family tree, draw a riffle and lable it’s parts, and give a demonostration how it works, create clay replica’s of animal tracks, sew an apron from a pattern, make a braided rug like the settlers, create your own beadwork like Native American wampum, etc.

Food: learn about wild food, make beef jerky,

Field Trip: visit a location, a carreer, or a factory related to Boone’s life in someway (a town where he traveled or lived, visit a farm, visit a reservation where Native American’s live or have a museum, visit a blacksmith shop, walk through a forest or go on a nature walk, talk to a surveyor or governor or road worker, a rifle manufacture, a hunter, a tanner, etc), visit a museum with displays from Boone’s life or time in history, also suggests if you can’t schedule a field trip or an interview or meeting with someone then plan an online virtual field trip or watch related videos.

Survival Skills : learn tracks and habits of various animals, go on a nature walk, spend time in a forest, go camping, learn to use a knife and a rifle, learn to weave, learn to use various tools used by Boone and settlers and the Native American Indians.

Creative Writing: journals, poems, letters, songs, make a pamphlet that could be used to attract workers to the Wilderness Road project,  etc.

Public Speaking

Drama/Audio Video: create a business presentation for the creation of the Wilderness Road project, create a mock website for a general store with 1780’s products, write and act out a play of Daniel Boone’s life,

Suitable for the whole family.

Our Experience:

We were sent a paperback copy of Heroes of History-Daniel Boone and the online downloadable Unit Study guide.  I asked my reluctant reader to give this book a try because I felt the outdoorsman/woodsman nature of Daniel Boone would appeal to him.  Daniel Boone is such an interesting character.

My 14 year old son would much rather spend time outdoors learning about nature and the bush, than spend his time indoors reading.  He does enjoy reading about various hunting, truck, and car reviews.  But to get him to like reading a book is a big stretch.  It is just not his thing.  So I decided that maybe he would enjoy reading outdoors in his element.  He has a campsite in the backyard that he made himself.  He eventually hopes to put up a hammock, but for now, he is quite happy with it.  I sent him out with the book to see if he would enjoy reading the first chapter.

The story of Daniel Boone appealed to him and this worked out perfectly!   He read enough on that first setting to peak his interest and has read a chapter at a time.  He has enjoyed reading in the van, on errands where there is nothing else to do, and he read some on his bed too which he seldom ever enjoys doing.  I am very thankful he enjoyed this book.  If you want to get a reluctant reader to read, find a subject that appeals to them and an environment they enjoy, and you just might find a solution!

Unit Study

My kids enjoyed this Unit Study very much.  But even more so is the effort put in by our reluctant reader. 

I was really pleased with his efforts and he didn’t flinch when I asked him questions about wheat he read and gave him assignments to complete.

Activities:

We participated in several fun activities during this Daniel Boone Unit Study adventure:

Survival Remedies:

Learn about wild medicine plants that were used to treat illnesses in the 1700’s and 1800’s.  For this we looked up plants online and in our handy field guide and went outside to see if we could find some of them.  We use essential oils made from a variety of plants for many applications.  We plan to make some tinctures and salves soon.

Plantain

Rose

Wild Strawberry

Pine

Clover

Dandelion

Survival Food:

Gather foods outdoors:

Some of the wild foods that we are able to find and some foods we can prepare with these wild plants around our yard and the edge of the woods during this unit study included pine needle tea, pine pollen and pine buds, honey suckle tea and jam, wild strawberry tea and jam, wild rose tea and rose petal jam, dandelion tea, dandelion coffee, dandelion salad, wild lettuce salad, wild grape leaves, wild onions, and wild garlic.  Later this summer we will be able to find wild amaranth, mint, wild elderberry, wild chicory root, walnuts, hickory nuts, pine nuts, cat tails, etc.

When Daniel lived, folks depended on their gardens and hunting to survive. Some people had a few farm animals too, but many people did not have an abundance of animals or foods.  Hunting was difficult and not everyone had access to meat all the time.  If they didn’t grow their own food, then they would have to gather what wild food they could find to survive.  The kids decided to make a meal from what they went out and gathered outdoors. They gathered various greens and onion tops from the spring garden they planted.  Then they washed the greens and cut everything into small pieces.

Next they added water, salt, and seasonings and let it simmer for about twenty minutes.  The soup turned out delicious!

This was a valuable lesson for the kids.  If folks had other ingredients on hand, they would have certainly added them.  Foods such as potatoes, rice, dumplings, corn meal, butter, milk, cheese, edible mushrooms, or fresh or dried meat or fish would definitely increase the nutritional value of a soup like this.  I would encourage others to choose a source of protein, fat, and additional carbs to add in to your soup so it is more filling and satiating. Serving it with a slice of homemade bread and butter or biscuits and jam would also help round out this meal.  Bannock is similar to Indian Fry Bread or Flat Bread and would have been eaten with a soup like this.  But if you only had edible greens and herbs you gathered to put in this soup, you would still have the basics of many essential vitamins and minerals to help keep you nourished and survive.

Bannock

Bannock is basically campfire bread.  It is easy to make and take on the go or cook on the campfire.  Bannock is similar to Indian Fry Bread or Flat Bread. You can add baking powder (or buttermilk) if you want it to rise a little of the consistency of a pancake but this step isn’t necessary.

We made our bannock version in the style of THIN UNLEAVENED BREAD. Bannock or thin bread is made by mixing flour, oil, water, and salt together, let the dough rest a while.  Then flatten it with your hands or a rolling pin and cook on a preheated skillet or rock over a fire or the stove for a few minutes until it turns golden.  Then we added some optional dried raisins, cranberries, and cinnamon.  You can leave this bread plain or you can add any dried berries or herbs / spices you think will taste good.

Some people also wrap the dough around a stick and cook the bannock over the campfire.  It can be used as a bread, or as a crust for pizza and or as a pie type shell, cut into strips or squares and used a dumplings in broth, or use the bannock dough filled with other delicious ingredients before baking or frying.

The kids loved making these and they tasted delicious.

Gathering Firewood:

The boys looked for downed limbs for fire wood over the past several weeks and made quite a pile.    Then they used a saw and hatchet to cut the wood into small pieces for their camp fires.

Archery and Knife Survival Skills:

Learn to sharpen and use knives with a sharpening stone and leather, cut with knives, and whittle wood with knives.  All six of the kids learned these skills.

Learn to throw knives and become efficient to use in hunting.

Throwing knives is a lot of fun.  The boys read books and watched videos on how to do this and dad helped them build a standing target board to throw at.  All three of the older boys practiced learning knife skills.

Learn to use a sling shot archery for hunting food and self defense. We plan to get a long bow soon and we also plan to make a homemade bow.

Our 12 year old son has already created a wooden spear with his knife and a tree limb, practices throwing it, and takes it on walks in the woods.

He has started making his long bow.  He chose a birch limb for his long bow and debarked it and shaped it, but he didn’t get it completely finished for this unit study.  He is looking forward to practicing with this bow when it is done.

We have a cross bow the kids have practiced with before, but we didn’t get it out for this unit study either.

For now, the kids practiced using a sling shot and hitting a target in the hopes that one day if needed they could hunt a small animal or a bird for food.

They really enjoyed practicing these skills.

Learn to weave or braid with cordage:

We got a book and learning cards on how to tie various kinds of knots and what situations they are used for.   We also watched a video on how to make our own cordage with various plants and tree bark and use that to make a mat or rug for the floor or to sleep on.

The kids also used para-cordage and learned to make survival bracelets and handles for tools.  They learned how to store a lot of cord that can be used for survival purposes in a simple bracelet they can wear.

They made several useful items for all three older boys and mom and dad.  We plan to learn to braid a rug and weave a fabric mat, learn to harvest and use cordage made from plants and tree bark, as well as make more items with paracords in the near future.  I hope to get the kids an inexpensive paracord jig loom soon too.  Also the oldest son has requested a larger loom that he can practice making rugs and fabrics with.  He would also like to learn to make yarn from animal fur and learn to weave it into fabric too.

FORTS:

Learn How to Make a Model Fort with paper & hot glue and with sticks and hot glue.

Field trip to see a fort (scheduled for June).  We plan to take a trip to see a real fort from the 1700’s.  We stopped in to see one in May during this study but they were closed so we didn’t get any pictures.  We have visited three different forts in South Carolina a few years ago.  Then about six months ago, we also visited a 1700’s fort in North Carolina along the coast that dates to the Revolutionary War with the British and an 1800’s fort from the Civil War.   These field trips are something our family enjoys doing together.

My 12 year old son went out and found a branch he felt would make a good fort.  After looking at forts on the computer, he designed a blue print on paper with his measurements and a ruler.  Then he went outside and got busy cutting his wood to the exact lengths he wanted to build a fort to scale.

Next he hot glued the pieces together and as of this time of writing this review he has only finished one wall so far.

I will post a story about his fort and several other things all of the kids learn to make using inspiration from this unit study in future stories.

Rifle Skills:

The older three boys learned about using a muzzle loader, and all the kids had the opportunity to practice shooting with a BB gun.

Daniel Boone used a Flint Rock muzzle loader rifle.  We researched these rifles online.  We didn’t have access to this style of rifle, but we did have access to a center fire muzzle loader rifle and the kids got to learn how to use it.

Dad was given this rifle as a gift many years ago before we had kids.  He used to hunt deer with this gun.  It hadn’t been used in many years because he had left it with a relative when we moved years ago, and they recently gave it back to him.  So this was the kid’s first experience learning about a muzzle loader.

One big difference in this gun and the one Daniel Boone used is that instead of firing with flint, this muzzle loader uses a cap.

Dad taught the kids how to add black powder, load the musket ball, tamp it down, put in the cap, aim, and shoot at a target.

They wore ear plugs and were surprised how loud this gun was.  It also leaves behind a small cloud of smoke after it fires just like the guns in the old days did.  Dad said you only get one chance to get a deer with this gun because if you miss, the sound alone will scare them far away.

The muzzle loader rifle literally sounds like a cannon going off.  It is hard for me to grasp how Daniel Boone and men of the past lived with a muzzle loader gun as their means for hunting and self defense and fought with it in wars.  Muzzle loaders in my opinion take so much extra effort to lug around (the powder, the ammo, tampers, and the heavy gun), in addition to the extra steps to load the powder and ammo, and the loud incredible “BOOM!” it creates.  However, my husband and sons think it is great!

Daniel Boone and his family lived such an interesting life!  They exemplify the life and challenges many of the early settlers faced.  It took sheer courage for the pioneers and explorers to survive the dangers of the wilderness, war, setting up homesteads, growing crops, and the numerous almost daily altercations with wild animals and people during this time in history.

This is a fun book and unit study.  It is interesting to read and a testimony of human strength and courage.   I would encourage homeschool families to pick up a copy and enjoy this learning journey!

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Project Passport: The Middle Ages Review

Home School in the Woods offers top notch History based unit studies that kids and parents love!  They recently sent us HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages for our family to review.

Kids love to go on trips.  Why not take the kids on “a trip back in time”?  With this unit study your kids can pretend to take a journey, pack their bags and board a “time machine” right in your home to travel back in history to the Middle Ages.   On this trip, you won’t even have to hear the usual “are we there yet?”  This unit study journey is so much fun!

 

HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages

Format: CD or Download (Mac & PC Compatible)
ISBN: 9780984204144
Retail $33.95 Download
Retail $34.95 CD

Suggested grades: 3-8
25 Lessons, Go at your own pace.
Tons of Printables For Parent / Teacher and Students
50 Projects and Activities
Arts, Crafts, Recipes
7 Dramatized Audio Tours

Lessons and Printables

The CD includes directions and masters for over 50 projects and activities. There is a HUGE menu of files.  Also included are Travel Tips, teacher keys, Additional Resources (to enhance the learning), and a Quick-Stop Itinerary. Photos of completed projects, and a three-page travel planner to help the teacher plan the the schedule with upcoming topics and projects at a glance.

Dramatized Audio Tours

Also included with this study are 7 Dramatized Audio Tours.  These audio dramas are fun to listen to and take you right to the action!  What a great way to get your kids right in to the daily life of the past by listening to and take this journey with the “Knight in Shining Armor Tours”.  The tour guide is Agatha and the coach driver is Brian and they will take the kids on various errands and excursions.

Your kids will spend time at a town Festival Day, visit a monastery where they will hear the sounds of Gregorian Chant, or visit the Battlefield of Hastings, and they might catch a glimpse of Duke William of Normandy! Wow!

Topics

There is so much to do on this journey.  It is more than just learning HISTORY!  This trip is filled adventure, exciting events, fun people to learn about, and lots of facts about life from the past. Some of the topics in this unit study include:

Barbarian Invasions
Daily Medieval Life
Class Structure in Society
Towns & Guilds
Science & Invention
Education
The Arts
Church History
Castles
The Crusades
Knights
Vikings
Weapons
Battles
Wars
and a whole lot more!

Projects & Writing & Arts & Crafts & Life Skills

A “Scrapbook of Sights” for storing notebook projects
Creative Writing projects for Lapbook
Souvenir Craft Cards with a dozen 3-D projects to make
A Newspaper “The Medieval Times”
A “Snapshot Moments in History” Scrapbook Timeline
“Postcards from Famous Folks”
Viking Ship
Castle
Puppets
Catapult
Tapestry
Hat
Wreath
Mosaic
Stained Glass
Herb Salts
Rose Water
Coat of Arms
Cooking & Recipes
A “Dining Out Guide”
2 Board Games

And More…

What We Thought

One of the things we like most about homeschooling is the freedom to choose curriculum that interests us.  The curriculum style that interests us the most is unit studies.  It is our favorite method for learning.  Unit studies are our first choice because they are flexible, adaptable, and there is such a huge variety of projects and resources that make learning any and every subject fascinating.

The first step for me after we received our product download was printing the information.  This unit study comes with a huge amount of printables for the kids as well as instructions for activities and lessons.   The mom / teacher definitely needs to be organized and print the lessons out and put them in some sort of a binder or file so you can keep track of the journey and get the supplies and printables ready for the adventure.  Besides mom’s binder, a computer, printer, and lots of paper, each kid also need a binder and a couple of file folders, glue, colored pencils and crayons, scissors, etc.

Our trip back in time to the Middle Ages includes 25 “stops” (1 +/- hour lessons) at specific locations where my kids learn what life was like during this time in History.   We went at our own pace and did 2 lessons a week. We skipped around a bit in the lessons and are half way through at the time of writing this review.  This study should take us about 14+ weeks to complete at this pace, but I plan to stretch it out longer with some additional activities.

Here is a list of a few of the STOPS and PROJECTS we have made so far:

Stop 1: Laying the foundation / packing for the trip.

Create a “Luggage” Folder and Passport.

The next step is to help the kids make a luggage or a travel suitcase, and a passport for the journey.  They will re-use these items in future Project Passport studies you do.  The suitcase helps keep all their papers and projects organized on their trip so they don’t get lost.  Kids can use the completed printables they stored in their suitcase to create a Lapbook at the end of the journey that showcases what they have learned. Another step to prep was to print out the history timeline, news paper, and scrapbook of sights so we were ready to add in tidbits along the journey.

The “prep” work and the first “stop” (lesson) was the most challenging for me as I learned to print out everything and make the “storage” or “foundation” projects of the unit study.  After that, it was easy to look at the organized lesson plans for the day and follow the plan.  The rest of the lessons take about an hour or less to complete.  All of the lessons and project instructions, crafts, and recipes are provided in the unit study and are easy for the kids to follow.

Stop 4: Everyday Life – Family and Class Structure

Firewood & Fence & Farming:

While learning about Class Structure and the Feudal System of land tenants (Serfs and Peasants) working the land for the land owners (Lords), we found ourselves wanting to know more about the daily life of the Serfs and Peasants who raised food.  We have a long way to go yet, but a few of things we focused on so far was “fuel” to cook and heat with, tools, and fencing to hold animals in a designated area.

A two worksheets are provided as well as an audio tour for this section. Since we like homesteading and farming, we decided to add more hands on projects learning about how people farmed / homesteaded during the Middle Ages to our study. We will be adding in more learning in this section in the future.  We plan to learn how to build a replica of a dwelling, how to lash boards together, how they started fire with friction, fishing with nets, butchering, growing harvesting storing and grinding grain, growing a vegetable and herb garden, etc.  These are skills that will be invaluable to these kids in the years ahead and help them connect their learning about the lives of people who lived in the past.  Tweaking a lesson here or there is the great flexibility that we love about unit studies.

Since we have been using this study during the months of January and February we focused on homesteading projects from the Middle Ages that were done this time of year.   These projects fit right in perfect timing to our study.

Chopping and gathering firewood and building and repairing fence was a common practice in January and February for the Serfs and Peasants.

January and February was also spent repairing hunting nets and repairing and building traps, sharpening tools, making utensils etc.    So we worked with the kids on learning how to sharpen a pocket knife and we also took the kids to the lake and they made their own small bait traps and worked on their fishing poles when they got snagged and lost their lines.

While researching how the Serfs and Peasants farmed the land, we learned that the most common form of fence used in small scale farming in the Middle Ages was called a “hurdle”. It is built of a “waddle” or woven fence panel made of upright posts and willow (or other flexible wood or vines available) woven in between the posts.   The next kind of fence used the most was hedges and stone fences or walls were also common if enough stone was available.  All of these fences were used to keep livestock in a boundary, either a small pen or a small field that was on crop rotation with livestock.  The fence or hedge held livestock penned in, or it held them out of gardens, graveyards, and orchards.

We could of made a small replica of the waddle fence panels and may still do this, but one of my sons likes to “build big”. Since he did not have the flexible material on hand to weave in and out of his posts he tried another method to make a simple fence panel about 5 feet long made of upright posts.

Of course 5 feet of fence isn’t enough to keep animals in, so this panel would have been combined with several more panel sections to create an actual fence.   These paneled fences would have been joined together to create pens for milk cows, ox, chickens, pigs, and sheep.    He used a small ax to make the panel and it was very obvious to the kids that just creating one panel was a lot of work.  Folks who farmed or homesteaded in the middle ages had to work very hard to do even simple tasks.

Stop 5: Everyday Life – Clothing and Food

Herb Bread:

When making the recipes, you can cook these in your modern kitchen, fire place, or outdoors.   We did some of both. We wanted to try cooking over an open flame/hot coals for a more realistic experience.  It is a lot harder to cook outside, build a fire, prep and cook the meal, bake bread, etc than it is to make this in today’s modern kitchen.   It was fun to try it out both ways.

Pictures of our creating our Herb Bread:

This bread was so delicious!  Some of the kids ate it plain, some ate it with butter, and some ate it with strawberry jam.   My husband loved it too!

Everyone wanted second and third servings of this delicious bread.  The crust and texture of the bread came out amazing!

My son also wanted to try topping his slice of bread with honey.  Every way they tried it, they enjoyed it.

 

Barely Stew

For the stew, we changed the recipe to fit what we had on hand. That is how the people in the Middle Ages did it too.  If they had an ingredient they used it, if not they substituted.  This is a good exercise in helping people to be flexible, content, and make do with what you have on hand.  Here is a picture of what the kids put into their stew.

He ate several slices with butter and then wanted to try it out with strawberry jam.

Outdoor cooking with Herb Bread:

This was another “extra” we added into our hands on learning.  Folks cooked over a fireplace in the Middle Ages.  We decided to make our “Middle Ages fireplace” kitchen in the back yard with some old bricks laying around and cook a few meals listed in the “Dining Out Guide”.

We made the fire place big enough to accommodate two fires or two cooking areas.   Two of the boys made their fires to the best of their ability to see who could heat up their bricks and get their fire just right for cooking first.   These two are competitive.

It was well after dark before we could get the fires to die down enough to cook on.

The kids learned it takes a long time to build a hot fire, heat their bricks, then let the fire die down to hot coals to bake bread.

We did not have a dutch oven pot or any “Medieval pots” to cook the bread in so we improvised with foil and shaped the foil like a pot and a lid.   The kids used the same herb bread recipe we had made in the house, and this time they put it in the foil pot we made and placed it on bricks we put in the hot coals to bake.

This is the finished bread from the outdoor fire.  It tasted delicious, though it looks misshapen or funny!  With more practice, they will be able to shape it better.

We sliced it up and lathered it with butter and some of the kids had strawberry jam with it and it was delicious!  The outdoor fireplace bread tasted just as good as the bread we had baked in the house in our modern stove oven.

We would like to try to create some pots from the middle ages to cook food in again.  We might make some clay pots and try firing them in the fire in the future.

Porridge

This was a common food eaten by peasants and surfs during the Middle Ages.   This is also a common breakfast food my kids are familiar with.  We have it once or twice a week.  It is very nutritious!

Stop 6: Everyday Life : Community

Field Trip Castle:

One of the fun activities in this lesson is to build a replica of a castle. Included are directions to build a castle with sugar cubes.  But my kids wanted to build one that will last and they can actually play with when they are through building it, so we are budgeting out money to buy a hobby brick kit to build one.  We also have a wooden castle the kids have played with for years and the kids often build small castles with Legos.   We pulled out our pictures from a while back when we actually took a field trip to see a real castle.  The kids remember this well and talked about it as they learned about castles in this unit study.

Stop 7: Everyday Life – Crime, Punishement, Entertainment

Jousting and Fox and Goose Game

This section was really interesting to the kids because one of the suggestions is to play indoor and outdoor games: checkers, chess, horseshoes, marbles, dice, board games, capture the flag, tag, games with balls, and physical training activities to become a knight, etc.    They also learned about a competitive game knights and warriors played to prove themselves in a challenge called Jousting.

Stop 13:  Medicine and Disease

Herbal Salt:

“Medicinal” herb salt.

Herbs and super foods were “medicine” in ancient times.  Folks who knew how to use strong herbs and oils and salt survived some of the darkest diseases in history.  Nowadays, petrochemicals are used to make synthetic medicines.

Though it is sad how many people died of the plague during the Middle Ages, learning how to make your own herbal remedy was an interesting lesson to explore.  This is a subject we are very interested in.  We have spent some time in the past learning about herbs used for healing.  We have made elderberry extract, tinctures, various kinds of honey, teas, and several herbal remedies over the years.  This study gave simple instructions for creating an Herb Salt that is just salt and dried herb(s) of your choice that can be used both in cooking and health care.   We made an herbal remedy with oregano, basil, parsley, garlic, and sea salt for this project.  Whenever one is feeling down, you can stir a teaspoon of this into hot water and drink it to restore minerals and act as an antibiotic anti fungal.   You can add a touch of raw honey and lemon juice for even more benefits.  We also rub the herb salt mixture into meat before cooking, or use it to season broth or other foods or put some in your bath water too.

We would like to create an actual “Herbal Apothecary” someday.   We are in the process of learning how to do this.  We have a good start with herbs, salts, essential oils, and dried super foods that ancient people in history knew how to use to support the body.

Stop 22:  Battles, Wars, Conflicts

Catapult:

During this journey, the kids learned about ancient weapons that were used during warfare.  One of those weapons was a catapult.  We built our own catapult variation with the instructions supplied.  We substituted some of the supplies listed.  We built our catapult using twigs, a pocket knife, rubber banks, and hot glue.   It turned out fantastic and worked perfectly.

It is amazing how sturdy this catapult is and how well it works!

Now the boys want to build a big life size model.  Oh boy!

One of the boys also built a Lego catapult.  He had a battle with his Lego men.  This catapult worked very well too.  Do you know how hard it is to find a Lego that was flung across the room?

Swords:

Dad helped the kids make wooden swords a while back.  They had a lot of fun making them.

It was fun to have their own sword and compare it to the weapons used in the Middle Ages unit study.   The 12 year old made a paper hat for a king, draped a blanket on as a cape and pretended he was in a heated battle with the others to protect his kingdom.

Someday they would like to make an actual shield to go with their sword. They would also like to make a long bow and set up an archer range.  They have shot bows and cross bows before.  But they are interested in making their own primitive long bow now.  They have been researching how to make it, but we haven’t built it yet.  I just hope no-one gets hurt with all these battles they like to act out.

Stop 25: Final Stop – Packing Up

Lapbook

Lapbooks are one of our favorite projects.

The Lapbook is the last lesson #25 in the Project Passport Middle Ages, but we decided to put ours together as we went along for the purpose of this review so our reading audience could see it in action.

We are about half way through with the Lapbook at the time of writing this review.

We still have a ways to go to finish this study of the Middle Ages and in addition to the recommended activities, we are adding some “extras” into our study as we find the time.   These additional activities will add a few more weeks onto our hands on learning.  The kids are really enjoying this unit study.

Because this is a flexible unit study, you can go faster or slower and pick and choose which lessons you want to complete.  For example if you speed up to 3 lessons a week, and do all of the lessons, you can finish this study in 8 weeks, or if you slow down and do 1 lesson a week on the journey, this unit study will last a full 25 weeks.   We chose to go at our own pace, plug in the activities we were interested in, added in a few additional ideas we researched, and customized the study to fit best with our family’s interest and schedule.

Check out this video that explains even more about Project Passport unit studies.

Home School In The Woods offers free samples of audio dramas and lessons and much more.  Be sure to check out their free samples on their website.  We love their History Timelines too!  Home School In The Woods is a great resource for homeschool families.   We highly recommend all of the great products at Home School In The Woods.

Homeschool In The Woods

Be sure to check out all of the great products from Home School In The Woods.  And be sure to check out all of the HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Studies series including their latest “Ancient Greece”.  They will have “Ancient Rome” available soon and are adding new products all the time. 

Social Media:

Be sure to check out Home School In The Woods social media sites for all the latest news and product updates.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/homeschoolinthewoods

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hsinthewoods/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/b/109711152019235885312/+Homeschoolinthewoods

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HSintheWoods

You Tube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrKq6iLty2fpB6R6ZpcUb8A

Homeschool Review Crew:

Be sure to check out what other families on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using Home School In the Woods HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport Studies in their homeschool.

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Jesus Rescues The Lost

If you would like to motivate and encourage your kids to learn stories from the bible, I would encourage you to read Bible stories with your kids and make the stories into Unit Studies.  Unit Studies are cross-curricular and subjects (such as math, history, art, science, language, etc) follow a central theme and are adaptable so they are great for teaching all ages.

For example, if you are learning about apples, all the curriculum subjects will have an apple theme.  You might do apple math, or apple science, or apple history, or write a poem about apples, etc.  Unit Studies are hands on,  they can be as simple or specialized as you design them to be, and they help children retain what they have learned.  You can teach preschool, elementary, middle and high school all at the same time by varying the level of difficulty of the worksheets, experiments, and reading materials.

This school year we are doing lots of Unit Studies with a bible story theme. Each Unit Study is different, with different themes, but they all center around a theme that came from the bible.  For example, if we are learning about musical instruments, we might choose the ones found in the bible, or if we are learning about castles or fortresses, then we can choose a story or few stories in the bible that mention this and then build on our learning about the history and construction of fortresses.  Perhaps we want to learn about the eyes and we focus on sight and the brain, calculate vision, learn about colors and light,  the disease of blindness, and the miracles of healing sight of the blind that Jesus did.

If you have younger kids, an easy teaching resource like the illustrated The Beginner’s Bible from Zonderkidz is a wonderful way to get started.   It contains 90 Bible stories at an affordable price of $16.99.   They also have The Beginner’s Bible Website for families and teachers to use with lots of coloring pages and activities for free to compliment the stories you are reading.

A quick search on the interenet will provide you with lots of other ideas you can add to your Unit Study as you build it such as more free printables, lesson plans, craft and recipe ideas, etc. and you can use many of the printables to create lapbooks or keepsake notebooks of their projects too.

The stories in The Beginner’s Bible are written in a simple to understand way and include colorful illustrations that engage the kids and keep their interest.   So I wanted to use this as the foundation of the Unit Study learning projects and built additional materials I found into our learning adventure.

Jesus Rescues the Lost Unit Study & Lapbook

We took advantage of all of the free printables and suggested activities from The Beginner’s Bible Website.   They have lot of resources to choose from including two FREE sample curriculum lesson plans.  They sell a curriculum kit too.  We do not have the kit, but the free lesson plans give you a great teaching format to use to build your own lessons.

I printed out the free lesson plan called “Jesus Rescues the Lost” and created our own unit study.   These resources are made especially for The Beginner’s Bible and help kids understand the stories and truths even more as the activities engage more of their senses (listening, coloring, drawing, eye hand coordination, decision making, etc) in a hands on way.

I made a “Bible Teaching Binder” for myself, and a “Bible Lapbook” for the kids with all of these wonderful free printables.   On the front of the binder I put the suggested reading schedule.   Inside the binder I put the printalbes and any lesson plans I find or create myself.

I keep all of the Unit Study and Lapbook materials in a basket, with pencils, crayons, markers, glue, etc with our Bible so we can easily set this up for our learning time each day.  I also put in any other resources we will be using that relates to the story such as a science experiment, crafts supplies, recipes we will make and other activities, and other books related to the subject we are learning.  There are lots of varieties of ways you can set this up easily so if you don’t like the basket idea, then you could put the printables in folders or daily workboxes or use another method that works in your home.

My binder is huge and will hold all the lesson plans from the Unit Studies I create using The Beginner’s Bible.  I added dividers to help me stay organized.  I kept the first section inside the binder for the Unit Study we are currently working on.  This is where I put a copy of the free lesson plan “Jesus Rescues the Lost” in my teaching binder.  The lesson came with 8 pages of free lesson plans!   Next, I added in various coloring pages and other printables and craft ideas and directions.  I will use the additional sections in the binder the same way for more lesson plans as we create more bible themed studies.  I plan to have about a years worth of plans in the binder by the time we are finished.   The kids will have completed about 30 Unit Studies and 30 Lapbooks by the time we are finished.

The “Jesus Rescues the Lost” Lesson Plan suggested reading three of the stories from The Beginner’s Bible and watching a video, a list of several “Bible Verses” to read from a regular Bible, and a “Memory Scripture Verse” for the kids to memorize, as well as a helpful “Teaching Point” to focus the lesson on.   The lesson plan provided me with a master supply list for activities, and suggested optional supplies for craft projects (we made sheep puppets and a shepherd staff), printouts, and a skit for the kids to act out with props, and a take home family page.  You could spend a week on this lesson, or take three weeks while focusing on understanding one story each week.

The Unit Study in Action

Jesus Rescues the Lost Unit Study based on the illustrated stories in The Beginner’s Bible and the free lesson plan and suggested printables from the website:

Bible Reading and Speaking:

Read 3 bible stories outloud:  “The Lost Sheep“; The Good Samaritan“; and “The Lost Son“.

Audio Video Observation:

Watched the Free Video for Lesson Plan#23  Jesus Rescues the Lost.

Watched a video about the modern life of sheep in Idaho. This video goes over many different things such as economics, land management, herd management, wool, and contains interviews with the sheep farmers too.

History:

Learned about the history of shepherding sheep.

Math:

Counting: Younger kids counted cotton balls to represent sheep’s wool.

Graphing: Older kids learned to make a graph that followed the sale price of sheep over a period of time.   They also made a graph for the lambs showing the amount of food the sheep eats compared to the rate of growth.

Science:

Learned the major body parts of sheep.

We found this worksheet on Page 23 of a 4H manual we found online and it has worksheets for different animals.

http://www.ohio4h.org/sites/ohio4h/files/d6/files/publications/documents/4H_959_Chapter_2.pdf

Learned nutrition and health care of sheep.

Writing:

Practice writing pages.  Here my youngest son is practicing the letter “P” from the story of “The Lost Son” about the prodigal son who wasted his inheritance and ended up in a pig pen and later returned to his father who welcomed him home.

Additional letters to practice are: J (Jesus), R (rescue, redeem), L (lost), I (inheritance), H (healing), S (Samaritan, shepherd, save, and sheep).

We also practices spelling the word “sheep” with this printable.

https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/sheep-handwriting-worksheet-0

Older children could practice rewriting the entire story on notebook paper, or writing it in cursive for additional writing practice.

This is a cute writing page you can add to your Lapbook or notebook.

https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/sheep-notebooking-page

Arts and Crafts:

Colored print out pages from The Beginner’s Bible website that correspond to the stories we read.  In this picture, my daughter is coloring a page from the story “The Lost Sheep”.

Created paper sheep puppets with printouts included.  You can glue cotton balls onto the sheep (younger kids can practice counting the cotton balls) and put construction paper on the back and attached to a popsicle stick, and the children can hold onto the stick to retell the story. You can also glue the printout to a toilet paper roll and that helps the sheep stand up on their own.

Lapbook:

We used two folders and some glue and created a Jesus Rescues the Lost Bible Story Lapbook to store their finished learning activities.  If we continue to create lapbooks like this for the entire illustrated Bible, combining two or three stories per lapbook, the kids will have 30+ Bible Unit Studies and Lapbooks for the year.

Building Diorama:

The last step in our learning adventure of Jesus Rescues the Lost, was to create a Lego sheep and shepherd diorama and use them to retell the bible story of Jesus (the shepherd) looking for the lost sheep (us).

 

Building with Legos or other building blocks to create scenes from a story you have read is so much fun.

Movie Creation:

I hope to have time for the older boys create a movie with these props they made where they can record their own retelling of the story.  They love to make stop motion animation movies with Legos.   We ran out of time to make the movie, but I hope we have it completed soon for a followup story.

Optional ideas to include in this Unit Study are:

Field Trip ideas: take a field trip to a sheep and goat farm

Crafts and activities ideas: that would make this project lots of fun such as make a donkey, horse, pigs, a farm, a special ring, a shepherd staff, create a money bag, etc.  Older kids would have fun creating (sewing or crafting) costumes to use to retell one of the stories.  Perhaps they could also wear the costume and retell the story to a homeschool coop class or at a family gathering.

Math ideas: you could practice counting sticks to make a fence or pig pen, or count money in a money bag.   Perhaps they could figure out a pretend hospital bill for services and supplies used for the injured man.

Science and Health ideas: You could also learn about health by making a first aid kit or herbs for healing supplies to care for the wounds of the injured man and nurse him back to health.  You could learn about bacteria and healing wounds and learn the feed rations, nutrition, and digestion for pigs, sheep, and horses.

Cooking: You could also throw a feast and serve guests to represent the father welcoming home the prodigal son.  You could research meals that were served to back in bible times to include in your feast.   You could wear the costumes you made or decorate the table with the crafts and props you made.

Be sure to check out my review story of The Beginner’s Bible and also the Noah and the Lego Ark story for more great ways to encourage bible learning with your kids.

There are so many fun ways to create a Unit Study with this illustrated Bible as the central foundation for your themes.  I am very pleased with how this has turned out and I think this is a wonderful way to learn.  I think Unit Studies and Lapbooks are a special way for kids to share what they have learned, and store the worksheet pages they have completed.

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Brinkman Adventures Season 3 Review

We took a day trip last week and enjoyed listening to the newest audio drama release from  Brinkman Adventures.

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The Brinkman Adventures: Season 3

5 Hours of Adventures

Recorded on 4 CD’s.

12 Episodes

Each episode is approximately 25+ minutes long.

For ALL Ages

Retails for $27.99  (purchase by donation only, whatever amount you feel led to give)

MP3 download version also available.   See web site for more details.

What is included:

These are short stories told in audio drama style of mission trips taken by real missionaries. They are full of suspense, daring escapes, and total reliance on God for provision and safety and making a way where there is no way.   They are inspiring and faith building.   They challenge you to believe and share your faith in Jesus Christ, to believe in the God of the impossible, Jehovah, and his love for mankind.

These stories are full of the kind of exciting adventures my kids loved!

This set contains 4 Disks.  Stories on each disk include:

Disk 1

  • Ep. 01 – God’s Mule.
  • Ep. 02 – Mountain Mover.
  • Ep. 03 – Silent Ambassador

Disk 2

  • Ep. 04 – Translating Trouble
  • Ep. 05 – Man-Up
  • Ep. 06 – Acorns & Oaks

Disk 3

  • Ep. 07 – A Saint’s Story Pt 1
  • Ep. 08 – A Saint Story pt 2
  • Ep. 08 – A Saint Story pt 2 (2)
  • Ep. 09 – Untouched

Disk 4

  • Ep. 10 – Busy Bees and a Bullhorn
  • Ep. 11 – Missionary Tourist Pt 1
  • Ep. 12 – Missionary Tourist Pt 2

How We Used The Brinkman Adventures, Episode 3:

We enjoyed these CD’s so much!  We took it with us on a day trip to enjoy the beauty of the fall and listen to amazing stories (testimonies) of God working in peoples lives. The kids were on the edge of their seat the whole time we listened to these stories on our trip.  They wouldn’t let a moment go by when one disk ended, they immediately wanted me to put the next disk into the player.

Fall Afternoon

I know we will listen to these audio drama’s again and again.   We have been audio drama fans for many many years.   When our children were very little we first began listening to christian missionary CDs and audio bible dramas for kids.  It is such a fun way to learn to listen and go on an adventure by listening and imagining all the places and people and events being described.

Here are a few examples of the fun stories we listened to:

In the first story, Ep. 1- God’s Mule, the missionary Tomas, secretly transports bibles to closed countries and has to rely on God to help in big and small ways to accomplish this impossible task that could land him in prison or even killed.

In the second story, Ep. 2 – Mountain Mover, another story about Tomas, he secretly smuggled 4,000 bibles in 14 years, then 5,000 bibles in one trip, and 10,000 bibles in another trip in 100 suitcases that the authorities never opened and their machines broke just as he and his team approached the lines to be inspected.  God showed his power in mighty ways to protect Tomas and make a way for the impossible.

In the third story, Ep 3 – Silent Ambassador, a young girl named Evyline becomes a kid with a mission.  She puts a kids club together and organizes the collection and filling of 200 shoeboxes of supplies for Operation Christmas Child.  When they learn about what she has done, she gets to become an Ambassador for the charity and travel around the country speaking on their behalf and also travel to the Dominican Republic to deliver the charity’s 100 millionth shoebox.

Story after story, 12 stories in all, each one will inspire you and your kids to live bigger and bolder and more outrageous for God.  They will encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and trust God to do the impossible to help you spread the news of his kingdom.

Further the Learning:

Play It Out:  One of the best parts of being a kid is getting to play.  Role play, active play, imaginative play, you name it and play is just fun and a great way to learn.  My kids were so inspired by the stories, they wanted to act out some of the adventures at the park.  We had been on the road for several hours and were headed back home but decided to stop and let them stretch their legs and their imaginations.  This was a great opportunity for them to imagine crossing bridges, climbing mountains, escaping dangers, and reaching areas of the world with the gospel.

Fall at Park

Map It:  Print out or draw out a world map.  Have the kids locate where in the world the mission assignment takes place.  Then have them learn more about that country and the culture of the people who live there.  If it is known what country or state the missionary came from, have them mark that too.  They can then find out what it cost to travel to that country, live there, and what kind of finances a missionary would need to complete the assignment. Perhaps this will inspire them to help raise money for missions.  At the bare minimum it will expand their understanding of the geographic locations of different peoples around the world.

Art It: Draw It/Color It/Paint It.  This activity does so much to help a person’s mind understand and remember the story.  We have found this activity to be very inspirational.  You can start with a blank page and let the kids draw the story, or give them a printed coloring page (many free ones available online) and have them color either during or after the story.

Unit Study: We loved these CD’s so much that we are going to go around the world in 12 weeks with them. We are going to create 12 mini unit studies and take 1 audio drama a week and listen and study the country the missionary went to and the people who live there.  We will fill in a map, make a timeline of events, make a recipe, a craft, and pray for the missionary and people they are reaching every day that week.  We will start on a small scale and do this for 12 weeks, one missionary story a week,  starting in January.

Curriculum:  There are so many areas you could incorporate these stories on CD with your curriculum: Bible, Language Arts, Culture Studies, Geography, History, Travel, Politics, Religion, Public Speaking, etc.  I would like to create some lesson plans and put something together for next year for a year long missions focused curriculum.  Perhaps we can turn Brinkman Adventures into a year long missions unit study, or keep it to the 12 weeks and fill in the rest of the year with their other audio volumes 1 and 2.  I found some great resources online for kids to learn about missions including worksheets, crafts, and lots of activities.  Also on their website are short written stories about each missionary and more information about their real life experience.  Brinkman Adventures also offers a curriculum called Ignite for ages 8-12 for $49 suggested donation.  This looks really good and may be an option for folks who don’t have time or feel comfortable to make their own lesson plans.

Invite Friends: I could really see this as a 12 month course and do this with a homeschool coop either in a local area or online with other families.  It would also be great to do with a bible study and with a youth group.   If doing with a bible study or youth group, I would definately check into Brinkman Adventures pre-made curriculum.  I am considering putting an online coop together and get several other homeschool families together on this with us, each family getting their own CD’s, and then we can follow some lesson plans to further the learning and put our faith in action, and finally do a blog hop online where all the families can share our experiences together. Let me know if you want to participate in this project.

Stay tuned for a future updates on this project.  Perhaps we can get missionary companies to offer a give away here or perhaps we can even help them raise funds for their missions outreach and needs.  Let me know if you want to participate in this adventure.  I think this has the potential to be life transforming if we can catch the vision for it!

Social Media

Be sure to follow Brinkman Adventures on their social media links for all the latest news and product updates.  They currently offer three volumes on CD sets with amazing missionary stories.  They also have a pre-made curriculum with lesson plans called Ignite that looks great.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Brinkman-Adventures-152895116079/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BrinkmanAdventures/videos/

Brinkman Adventures Season 3 Review

Check out what other homeschool families on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using Brinkman Adventures in their home.

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Sam The Minuteman Study Guide Review

What is a Minuteman?  That is a very good question, and it has a lot to do with American History.

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We recently reviewed Sam The Minuteman Study Guide by Progeny Press to learn more about these important people and their role in American History.

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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

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Sam The Minuteman Study Guide

For Elementary 1st – 3rd Grades

42 pages

e-Book PDF download

Retails $11.99

Table Of Contents

  • Note To Instructor
  • Synopsis
  • Background Information
  • About the Author
  • Before You Read Activities
  • Vocabulary
  • Cause and Effect
  • Word Pictures
  • How the Author Creates Mood
  • Looking At The Story
  • Important Words to Remember
  • Thinking About the American Revolution
  • After You Read Activities
  • Additional Resources
  • Answer Key

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.

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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.

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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)
  • Crossword Puzzle
  • 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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Minuteman received notice (image source)

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.

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Sam and his dad are in the Minutemen Militia. Story retold with Legos.

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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).

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Coloring Paul Revere as he rode out from Boston on his horse to warn the Minutemen the British were coming.

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Who were the Minutemen?  Wikipedia

Geography Map

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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 

History video: the Force Of Citizens

History video: Minutemen Militia from “History of the US Constitution”.

Visit the Minutemen Historic National Park

Volunteer with Friends of the Minutemen

American Revolution Lapbooking Pages

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.

American Minutemen (image source)

American Minutemen (image source)

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.

Social Media

You can follow Progeny Press on their social media sites for all the latest news and product updates.

Facebook: http://facebook.com/ProgenyPress
Youtube: http://youtube.com/progenypress
Twitter: http://twitter.com/progenypress

Progeny Press Review

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Knights and Nobles Unit Study Review

Want to take a trip back in time? What time in history would you choose to travel too? I asked my kids this very question and they wanted to travel back to the Middle Ages, a time of Knights, Nobles, Kings, Queens, and Castles.

Homeschool Legacy

Homeschool Legacy offered us the opportunity to review their Knights & Nobles Once A Week Unit Study and travel back in time to learn about life in the middle ages. We were excited about doing this unit study and learn more about this period in history.

Knights and Nobles Unit Study

Knight and Nobles

4 Week Unit Study
Retails for $14.00 for PDF eBook download and $18.95 for printed version
Grades 2-12
Biblically centered
Easy to do
Merit Badges for Boy Scouts and AHG

This unit study is divided into 4 weeks, with an option to stretch it to five to host a Midevil Feast. Each week is laid out for you with suggestions for books to read, videos to watch, and activities to complete.  Lots of options for books and videos are given, and you can pick and choose which ones you are interested in, and what works best for your schedule and family’s needs.

The basic schedule for each week is:

Monday: add in reading and read aloud to your normal school routine

Tuesday:  add in reading and read aloud to your normal school routine

Wednesday: Eliminate your normal school routine,  and add in add in the family bible devotional, individual book reading and the family read aloud, and various unit study activities in science, history, writing, art, math, etc.

Thursday: add in reading and read aloud to your normal school routine

Friday: normal school routine, plus complete your reading and read alouds, go on a field trip, or host a family game night.  Each week also concludes with a fun “Stump your dad” trivia question for kids to get their dad’s involved too.

How we used this product in our homeschool:

Before getting started, the kids made a timeline on notebook paper to keep track of events and famous people from the middle ages they would learn about along the way.  We also looked over the list of books, and made a list we liked and found web sites and videos we wanted to include too.   I did a lot of prep work, and we made personalized folders, and I printed off several coloring pages, word puzzles, and other helpful things I found on nternet searches and placed them in the folders to use through out the study.  We turned these folders into a kind of lapbook, but had the advantage of three whole punch in the center to hold papers like a notebook, and also pockets on the inside of the folders to hold loose projects too.  I’ve included a few pictures of the kids working in their lapbooks, but I will create a separate post to go over the lapbooks in more detail in a future story, be sure to check back for more info.

Week 1: Castles

The kids watched David Macaulay’s Castle and Cathedrals PBS video documentary on Youtube. They learned a lot about castle and church architecture, and history of the church.  I wasn’t quite ready for the kids to learn some of the darker things of church history like greed, power, unbiblical agenda’s, and evil government control over the church, etc. but they did gain an understanding on the scope of the architecture and scale of the building projects and that was the main goal.  We had some long discussions about church history following those videos. Specifically why it is best for the government not to run the church and how greatful we are that our ancestors came to America to be free from that kind of control.

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We explored some other videos that were more suitable for younger kids, and easier to understand.  My kids are elementary and middle school aged.  There are several other really good videos on castles, and some great ones with virtual tours of the Biltmore Castle in Asheville, NC.  We used to live close by the Biltmore, and we would see the castle nearly every day as we drove past it on the highway.  But now it would be an 8 hour drive to get there, so we were not able to travel to see it during this review.

We loved creating our own castles, both model castles and virtual castles.  We watched videos to increase our knowledge of how to make them.   This short 1 minute video was another really easy one for the kids to understand, and helped them create their own castles.  We made physical castles and virtual castles on their favorite online game called Minecraft. This was a really good learning exercise for them.

We also explored some web sites about specific castles and a really good one with lots of information about castles in many countries was called Great Castles.  On this site, the kids learned about castles in Ireland, England, Wales, Germany, and many other countries and also could choose coloring pages of the famous castles to print and color.

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We took a field trip to Loveland, Ohio to see the LaRoche Castle.  It was a rainy spring day with a chill in the air, and kind of fitting to go see a castle on a day like this.  You can read more about our field trip and what we learned on this excursion in a seperate story.

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All of the kids colored their own castles.  We searched famous castles online, and they picked out their own castles to color.  The younger kids had easier castles to work with and the older kids had very complicated and detailed realistic castle drawings to work with.

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The kids also designed castles with Legos, paper, boxes, and other building materials. My oldest son also made 3D models from paper and a popup castle too.

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They also played chess at home, chess at the LaRoche Castle field trip, and they played several historic games from the Middle Ages at the LaRoche Castle too.

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My kids love Minecraft.  Building a virtual castle was a lot of fun.  After learning about blueprints and building with architecture drawings, we found a wonderful Minecraft castle tutorial online to expand the learning even more.  The kids practiced math and spatial skills, building to scale, and had a great time creating their virtual castels.

 

Week 2: Kings and Queens

We read about King Arthur and the Knights of the round table.  Some of this chapter’s learning took place before the Middle Ages, such as studying King Solomon, the greatest king that ever lived.  We had fun learning about the life of kings and queens and nobility.  We read the book of Esther in the bible and studied Queen Esther’s life and heroism.  We also read about King Solomon, King David, and King Josiah.  I found coloring pages online for each of these Kings and Queens and the kids had fun coloring them and then put them into their lapbook folders.

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We watched several movies including: One Night With the King (Queen Esther and King Xerses), AD TV series, The Final Inquiry (Roman soldier who investigates the story of Christ’s death and resurrection for the Emperer of Rome just before Rome fell and the middle ages began).

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My oldest son loves oragami and researched making some paper art pieces.  He made pop up castles, and he also made a crown.

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The kids learned about how letters were written in all capital letters and had no spaces between words until a scholar from Charlamaine’s Court invented lower case letters, spaces, and punctuation.  Letters were very hard to read before.   We also learned about a style of calligraphy writing called Versal Manuscript, and the kids made their own personalized bookmarks.

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Week 3: Knights

This week the kids learned about Knights in shining armor and weaponry.  They learned about body armor, swords, archery with bows and arrows, and catapults.  They learned about great nights like the Three Musketeers and Ivanhoe and learned about coat of arms, and having a code of honor, a list of virtues one pledges to live by.

As Christians, our code of honor is the standard of the bible, no more, no less.  They decorated their own coat of arms and wrote out their own code of honor.

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We have built catapults in the past, and they are a lot of fun.  We have several sitting on display on shelves in our house.  We also made them in the past for our Lego and Robotics club and had teams shoot them into a wooden castle.  We have bows and arrows and the kids have had a lot of practice shooting them too.  Two of our sons have been out hunting deer with them in the fall of the year too.   But this time learning about weapons of the Middle Ages, we wanted to make a sword.  We had seen some wooden swords for $20+ each at the castle we visited, but did not want to pay the high price for them by the time we bought one for each child.  We also checked on buying them online, but by the time you paid for shipping, wooden swords were going to cost around $20-$25 a piece.  If we bought a sword for each child (we have six kids) it was going to cost us at least $120 or more.   Instead we we decided we could make them ourselves.  We were able to purchase 1″ x 4″ x 8′ boards which costs less than $5 a board.  Each board produced 3 wooden swords that were 32″ long each. This made the cost of each sword less than $2 a sword for the materials.

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Week 4: Life in a Manor

This week was just as much fun as the previous weeks.  We learned about life in a manor, midevil games and story telling.  We made up a fictional historical story and drew out the story in a series of pictures.  We learned to juggle.  We looked up the history of various last names (surnames) and how they relate to a person’s occupation during this time in history.

My kids love to bake, and we decided to learn more about the history of baking during middle ages.  One fun food we enjoy today that was invented then was the pretzel . My kids love pretzels!  Wikipedia has a lot of information about the history of the pretzel.

We loved this adorable read aloud book about Walter the Baker and making pretzles.

We live on a homestead, and our kids have a lot of experience with farm animals, growing food, caring for the land, etc. They also learn carpentry skills with their daddy who has been in construction for over 27 years and is a very skilled craftsman. I hope as we head into summer we can find some additional hands on activities to do like blacksmithing and metal working, masonry, etc. I am hoping my big boys will help me cast some garden projects with cement and stones too. It is fun to learn about different kinds of skilled trades and broaden our experience as we learn new skills.

We watched some rennissance festivals and movies on Youtube.  The kids really enjoyed learning about Robin Hood who became a hero because he gave money that he took from the rich to the poor peasants in the villages.  We don’t believe in stealing, and story this opened the door for many more discussions, and just because someone becomes a hero to one group who has been mistreated or discriminated against by those in power, they can still be a terrorist to other groups, which we still see in the world today.  Later the kids had fun climbing trees, playing tag, practicing their fencing skills with their wooden swords, and acting like Robin Hood.

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Feast

We have not completed the feast of the study yet.  We plan to host a feast as soon as we can. I’m not positive what we have decided for our theme, we are kind of leaning toward calling it Dinner with the King.  Dad will serve as King.  But we may call it something different and focus on peasant life, or skilled trades, etc.   We are looking forward to having fun with this.

We have watched several videos about food and read web sites about food from the Middle Ages time period.   One resource is History For Kids – Medieval Food.   We plan to host a feast soon, and set the table with fancy table settings and enjoy a meal as if we were in the castle eating with the King.

We have planned our dinner menu, we just need to set a date.
Rotisseri Chicken
Hunter’s stew (deer meat, carrots, onions, served on plates or bowls made of bread).
Salad
Tray of nuts, fruit, and cheese.
Peasant Bread / Barley Pancakes / Crepes / Pretzels   we might make all four varieties or just one.   (can be made from any oats, millet, buckwheat, rye, barley)
Pouridge (made from any oats, millet, buckwheat, rye, barley), not sure exactly how I plan to do this, but the Native Americans made theirs with berries, grain (like corn), and maple syrup, so I think I can find a similar recipe from Europe using these other grains from the time period.  If not, this dish may turn into a cobbler or something similar.
Custard Pie (we plan to make dad’s favorite Sugar Cream Pie)

Ideas suggested in the unit study for entertainment will be: a mime game called Charades; also Chess; and each child will prepare a joke to share.

There are so many wonderful things to study about the Middle Ages that we have decided that we are not done.  We want to learn more.   We are going to continue learning more through out our summer and take this time in history much slower and study even deeper than we did during this 4 week unit study. I think planning to spend a whole semester or even two semesters doing unit studies about this time in world history and church history would make an awesome school year for middle and highschool kids.   This unit study was a good and quick opportunity to get our feet wet.  Now we want to take our time and learn even more.

Check out Homeschool Legacy for more adventures!  They have many to choose from!

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You can hear the creator of Homeschool Legacy, Sharon Gibson, talk about how to use her Once A Week Unit Studies on this Youtube video interview.

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/homeschoollegacy?fref=ts
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Twitter: http://twitter.com/homeschoollegac

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Hewitt Homeschooling Review

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Hewitt Homeschooling has some great products for homeschool families. We are reviewing My First Reports: Bugs and Worms by Hewitt Homeschooling, and we are learning lots of great information and having fun at the same time.  If you are in the process of putting your curriculum choices together, I would encourage you to add products from Hewitt Homeschooling to the list.

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My First Reports

One unique product Hewitt Homeschooling offers is a curriculum supplement called My First Reports.  My first reports uses a step by step approach to help elementary age children learn about a subject they are interested in and write a report about it.

Skills used in My First Reports include:

Research
Organizing
Sorting
Writing
Penmanship
Vocabulary
Reading
Critical Thinking

There are several My First Reports to choose from and they are geared for different ages, but all are flexible and can be used for grades 1 – 8 depending on the skill level of your student.

My First Report: Music
My First Report: Transportation
My First Report: Weather
My First Report: Me
My First Report: Famous People
My First Report: Wild Animals / Large Mammals
My First Report: Wild Animals / Small Mammals
My First Report: Pets/Farm Animals
My First Report: Bugs and Worms
My First Report: Birds
My First Report: Reptiles/Amphibians
My First Report: Plants
My First Report: Solar System
My First Report: Marine Life
My First Report: Olympics
My First Report: Outdoor Activities
My First Report: Sports
My First Report: My State
My First Report: Eastern United States
My First Report: Western United States
My First Report: Middle United States
My First Report: Southern United States
My First Report: Lewis and Clark Expedition
My First Report: Focus On The World

You can purchase My First Reports individually for $8.95 , or buy 14 titles as a bundle for $69.95 and save nearly 40% off retail.

 

Our Experience:

Bugs and Worms

We chose My First Reports: Bugs and Worms for this review.  It is designed for kids in 3rd – 4th grades, but can be used for younger students in 1st-2nd grades or older students in 5th-8th grades too.  My First Reports: Bugs and Worms contains 52 pages including reproducible forms, worksheets, suggested reading and resources, and a unit study.

When we received the packet from Hewitt Homeschooling, I placed the pages into a binder.   The pages come already hole punched so you can put it into a three ring binder for convenience, or into your students completed notebook if you desire.  I am a unit study “collector”, or perhaps a unit study nerd might describe me better.   I guess and I love being able to insert them into a binder and keep them for future use.  If someday I pass along our schoolroom to my own grown kids, or to another family, hopefully all the unit studies we have acquired or created over the years will be easy to just grab and go because they are arranged neatly in their own binders.  You could fill a whole book shelf with them.  Ooohhh Awwhhhh.  Yep, I am a unit study nerd!

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We were very excited about this curriculum.  This package covers information about 12 different bugs and worms:

Grasshoppers
Flies
Ants
Bees
Fireflies
Crickets
Ladybugs
Spiders
Caterpillars
Butterflies / Moths
Dragonflies
Worms

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Unit Study Approach

This set is designed to used for 12 weeks, in a unit study method, covering one bug or worm and corresponding worksheets and suggested activities per week.  Being a unit study, many different ages of kids can enjoy it, and it is cross curricular for many different subjects and covers:

Math
Reading
Social Studies
Music
Art
Language
History
Science
Health
P.E.
Bible
Suggested Field Trips

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During the process of learning about a bug or worm you will also do many activities mentioned in the accompanying unit study.  For example, various activities to choose from might include:  geography you will take a map of your state or a region and list bugs found there.  Younger students might cut out pictures and paste them on the map and older students would likely create a map and write a list of various insects identifying  them and their locations or to add in an art aspect, they might sketch them too.  In the bible they would learn about insects mentioned in various verses.  For reading and literature they would read various books, magazines, news articles, and poems about bugs.   For Language you would learn insect vocabulary words and spelling of each insect, as well as answer the report questions on the worksheets. You might create word puzzles and give an oral report too.  For Math, you put the insects in order based on a category such as length or color or weight ect.  Perhaps you could make a graph for comparisons.  You might calculate speeds and distance traveled or the amount of food they eat.  For Science you will make comparison graphs for body characteristics, learn about habitats and how to classify, catch-observe-release different insects when you are studying each one, etc.  One suggestion is to build a wormery when you study the worms section.  For art and science you might make a kite and then for P.E. you would go outside and fly it.  Also for P.E. you would take a hike through your neighborhood or a park to look for insects and study where they are found, what they sound like, etc.  For music you might study and recreate the sound of various insects, sing songs about insects and songs about creation including songs and praises to God.  Art has so many suggestions like making a spider web, visiting an art museum, making collages or mosaics, sculptures, and various crafts.  Field tips ideas include hikes or nature walks in various locations like parks, nature preserves, zoos, museums, the insect section of the library, a honey farm, or other farms where insects are used in some way, nature store, etc.

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While learning about each “critter”, my 3rd grader completed a worksheet for each bug we learned about.  The worksheet includes a picture of the bug, its class and scientific order, vocabulary words, and several questions to research further.   He is encouraged to write complete sentences when answering the questions.  When the week of learning about the insect is complete, and he has answered all the questions, he can transfer that information into a finished report by using his answers to help create paragraphs for a report about the insect he is writing about.

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I have always loved the hands on aspect of Field Trips.  My kids love the adventure and learning outside the classroom / house.  We took a field trip two weeks ago to the Creation Museum to learn more about the history of insects and see various species in their collections.

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This is a great curriculum resource and I would encourage other homeschool families to work it into their learning adventures this school year.  My First Reports would also be a great adventure for summer school, Sunday School, or afterschool learning adventures too.

Social Media Links:

You can follow Hewitt Homeschooling on their social media to keep up with all the latest news and updates.

Facebook
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https://twitter.com/HewittOnline

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Hewitt Blog
http://hewitthomeschoolingresources.blogspot.com/

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