Thursday, September 29, 2011

Week 8 Review Crossword

Click here.

Notebooking and Lapbooking Pages
I just found this site today that has notebooking pages to correspond to each chapter of Story of the World! And, best of all, it's free! I've printed a couple of notebooking pages already but one caveat, there is a header and footer so check your print preview. I'm still going to have to trim the page since there is a header that I can't remove but I'm o.k. with that. These can be mounted on cardstock and will look very nice.
Keep calm and homeschool on.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Until today I was a lapbook virgin.  This was my first time.

I was scared just thinking about how much work it would be.  But really it was quite fun.  I am not qualified to tell you how to make a lapbook.

I can show you how we made ours.  By the way, he really got into this and even asked if we could do this for next week's history fact.  Woah.
 We started by asking the 5W's and a H.
Then we printed a bunch of pictures from the Internet.

 The hand drawn picture on the blue page represents the financial decline of France when the Huguenots fled.  If you click on the images (from the blog) they will become larger.
 My reluctant writer wrote a lot today.  It made me very happy.
We both learned much about King Louis XIV, Versailles, and the Edict of Nantes.

Sister just sat at the table and drew.  Isn't she cute?  Well, I wish she just sat at the table and drew...this picture was too cute not to post for your viewing pleasure.

HT: Living and Learning does lapbooks.  Check out her blog for more great ideas.

A Chance to Win $500

Home School Legal Defense Association needs your input to help them better serve you and the homeschooling community! Click on this link to their short, six-question survey and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a $500 Visa gift card.

Survey and drawing entries must be submitted by October 9. Winner will be drawn on Tuesday, October 11, 2011, and will be contacted by email. If we do not receive a response within 72 hours, a new winning name will be drawn. Must be age 18 or older to participate. By entering this contest, you agree to have your email address added to HSLDA’s email list. You may unsubscribe at any time.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Acids and bases for kids

NeoK12 has a number of videos on acids and bases, and here's a video presentation for kids by Here's an entire page of links for kids, flash player/interactive links, and links for teachers (scroll down here) including video clips, powerpoint presentations, and science games.

Louis XIV for kids has some helpful videos on Louis XIV to add to our history this week. Here's a photo of Versailles, his home.

You can try putting this week's memory work to the tune of the Hokey Pokey:
In sixteen eight-y five
The Sun King of France
Loui-is the four-teenth
revoked the e-edict of Nantes
causing the-e Fre-ench Huguenots
to flee the co-untry
beginning the finan-cial decline
(shout) of France!

"Give me Liberty" fill-in-the-blank

Here's a fill-in-the-blank with a few phrases from our Patrick Henry memory work.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Diet Coke & Mentos

This week's science fact caused my mind to jump to Diet Coke & Mentos.

The key is to get all the Mentos in the Diet Coke - quickly.

Because the eruption is quite spontaneous.

He wanted it to keep going, so when he found a Mentos on the ground he shoved it back in.

Over half the 2-liter spilled onto the concrete.  That's what I call bubbles!!

More fun: check out all the YouTube Mentos/Diet Coke experiments.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Endothermic and exothermic reactions that will get a reaction

Here's an interesting video for kids on an endothermic reaction being used in an Air Force lab to create fuel from aluminum and water!

If you're looking for an experiment this week, you can use the old baking-soda-and-vinegar experiment, but first, test the temperature of the vinegar first. Ask your kids to form a hypothesis of what they think will happen to the temperature when the baking soda is added, then measure the temp after. You can even do the experiment in a plastic bag and see if you can feel the temperature difference. (No, this is not my idea; credit belongs here.)

And this one offers definite "I love homeschooling" points: Use this experiment to make ice cream in a plastic bag and demonstrate an exothermic reaction! The reaction of the salt with the ice lowers the freezing point of the ice. Anyone else a fan of experiments you can eat? (Tip: They use milk in this experiment, but I've heard half-and-half recommended elsewhere.)

Here's one other exothermic reaction experiment using steel wool and vinegar.

Founding of Pennsylvania for kids has a photo gallery of Pennsylvania for kids. This site from has a landing page on William Penn with a lot of links: Did your kids know that Penn did hard time in the Tower of London? This site also had a lot of printables and information on Pennsylvania as a state, as did this page from apples4theteacher. Page 48 in the STOW Activity Book has a coloring page of William Penn's statue that stands on top of Philadelphia's City Hall; FYI, the city was founded by Quakers.

If your kids are interested in the Quakers, here's an article written to a late elementary level that would be good for research purposes.

Note: Here you'll find more than a week's worth of elementary-level lesson plans on colonial America.

Fun with Bleach

My neighbor asked me to take pictures of the process, so I decided to turn it into a tutorial.  For a birthday present, we bleached a t-shirt.  On purpose.  (How many have I ruined on accident with bleach?)

First, start with freezer paper.  It has plastic on one side, paper on the other.  We used the number 7 as our stencil, but you could use anything!
 Cut out a piece of freezer paper the size of your stencil.  Put them both on a lighted table.  What?  No lighted artist's table?  Me either.  I just held them up to a window to trace.
Cut out your stencil then iron it onto your fabric.  Dry heat for about 20 seconds, until the plastic is fused to the fabric.
Because the shirt was ringed, and I wanted the color to stay true around the neck and sleeves, I covered the rings with tape.  Then give a spray bottle of full-strength bleach to your child and let them squirt away.
Once the shirt is drenched with bleach, pull off the freezer paper.  Toss the shirt in the washer.
Last year for John Isaac's 6th birthday we made a bleached shirt.  A few years ago, I used freezer paper to make some art for John Isaac's room.  It's a fun, cheap way to decorate - or make a shirt.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Freely Educate

Thank Cheryl Wagaman for this tip: just posted a special from scholastic that is  a $1 special this week on ebooks, and freelyeducate has a coupon for $10 off. Lots of ebooks to choose from. Enjoy!

It appears that you do not have to purchase anything to take advantage of the offer.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Week 6 review crossword #2

Week 6 review crossword #2

Chemical reactions

If your kids are hungry for more chemical reactions, this page from TLC has a list of chemical reaction science experiments for families. This brief video also demonstrates an exothermic chemical reaction, as in one that actually creates heat--a fire!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Elephant Toothpaste

I show you this experiment with a bit of a warning. If you choose to do it, be sure to have enough supplies on hand to do it again. If you choose not to have enough supplies on hand to do it twice, your kid will be severely disappointed and pester you until you get more.  Don't say I didn't warn you. (Yes, this is a home school blog and I just used a double negative.)

It's a really fun experiment that exhibits this week's science fact, particularly exothermal reactions.
Start with an empty water bottle, add a big squeeze of dish soap, a few lot drops of food coloring (we should have used more color).  Then pour 1/2 cup or so of hydrogen peroxide.
In a smaller container mix about 1teaspoon or more yeast to about 2 tablespoons of water.  Then pour the water/yeast into the hydrogen peroxide.
Observe.  Kid is saying, "cool!!!"

Oh yeah baby.  Mom is scoring points.
all you need now is an elephant - to brush its teeth.
He was happy until he realized we were out of peroxide.  Boo.  At this point be sure to feel the bottle.  It is warm.  Exothermal reactions at work.

Related and a couple of fun videos within - It's a Boy's Life: Chemistry and Lines.  This video in particular is worth watching.


Norman Rockwell Exhibit

Tours of the exhibition In Search of Norman Rockwell's America will be held Tuesday - Sunday at 1:30 p.m., until Sunday, September 18 at the Arkansas Art Center.  However, it is perfectly fine to view the art without the tour.  Sometimes I am hesitant to go downtown because of fear of the unknown.  Let me reassure you that it was easy to access and parking was also easy.

We went today and listened to the docent. Of course all docents have something different to say, ours was average at best.  The (free) exhibit was definitely worth the trip downtown.  In the gift shop you can buy the book that inspired the exhibit.  I think it would be a great gift for a Norman Rockwell lover.  I was really tempted to buy it for my dad; I still might.

 These pictures were taken with my phone (and were totally against the rules)...but below you can see an example of the art exhibit. On the left is a modern day photograph of a mother sending her daughters to school.  On the right is a Rockwell painting of a boy coming home from camp.  Kevin Rivoli's photojournalism was captured spur of the moment, none were staged.  Whereas Rockwell often staged his portraits, then painted from a picture.  Some of the images were quite patriotic and moving.

Rockwell wanted to preserve images of "every day America" and Rivoli wanted to prove that Americans are still very much the same.  I noticed though, the modern mother was not wearing a dress, apron, or a wedding ring (left hand not shown).

 As you may be well aware, Rockwell was commissioned for several pieces for the Saturday Evening Post.  The below picture was considered "too scandalous" for print.  The son expected his father to curse after hitting the golf ball so he was covering his ears.  My how times have changed.  :)  The accompanying photographs were of little boys golfing.  I was impressed at the detail of expression on both figures' faces.
 If memory serves me rightly, this exhibit will be traveling around America for ten years.

The children's favorite part?  The waterfall outside.


Friday, September 9, 2011


I was very graciously told this morning that I am a week ahead on our memory work. Which, you know, is good, because here at home I was behind on being ahead. :) If I have led you astray, enjoy a week off a week late!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

One more explanation of the English Civil War

This video with pictures and text was a good explanation of the causes of the English Civil War, and certainly helped my student's teacher understand.

Memory work help: English Civil War

This week's history fact may be helped with the tune of O Christmas Tree:

In 164-2
the English Civil Wa-ar
was fought be-tween
King Charles the First
and Pa-a-arliame-ent
ending with the execution of
the king and es-tablishment of
the Commonwealth led by
Oli-ve-er Crom-well.

Monday, September 5, 2011

English Civil War for Kids

YouTube has this two-part video series (about 9 minutes each) on the English Civil War,some selected portions of the movie Oliver Cromwell put together, and also a four-part compilation of David Starkey's documentary on the British monarchy, focusing on Oliver Cromwell and the Civil War (more well-done, in my opinion, than the two-part series above, but only slightly more interesting). Here's a page by the BBC to explore various aspects of the war.

If you're wanting to renact the warring sides with army men or, well, your kids, here's some basic info to help as well as a fun word find and some maps.

Scripture memory songs

Do Not Worry - Matthew 6:25, 26 & 34aThere are a number of mp3s that may help with our memory work: From Steve Green's Hide 'Em in Your Heart Vol. 2, there's Matthew 6:19-21 and 6:25,26,34a. Seeds Family Worship also has Matthew 6:20-21 ("Treasure" from Seeds of Purpose) and 6:31-34 ("Seek first," also from Seeds of Purpose). If I'm doing my math correctly, that doesn't leave many verses left without music! Nice.

More helpful resources

Periodic Table Shower Curtain - EVA vinyl
Amazon has a few periodic table placemats that may be helpful for the memory work coming our way. The Periodic Table of Elements Activity Placemat
I haven't tried the board game Periodic Quest, but it seems to have high reviews. Of course, you can always get the Periodic Table shower curtain on Amazon. Nothing says "I'm a homeschooler" like a Periodic Table shower curtain, now, does it?

America: The Story of UsThe Boston Tea Party (Pilot, Part One)Also, for Netflix subscribers, I'd personally recommend America: The Story of Us produced by the History Channel and Liberty's Kids: The Complete Series, both available to Watch Instantly. The former is a twelve-episode live-action reenactment of American History (PG level violence, for the most part). Liberty's Kids (rated TV Y7) is an animated cartoon that used to air on FOX and tells, through 40 24-minute episodes, the story of the Revolution. My kids love it, and have never role played American history so frequently!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Silence by Endo (Japanese Historical Fiction)

SilenceThinking about Japan this week caused my mind to venture back about four years ago when I was in a book club.  We read Silence by Shusaku Endo.  It was a book that really made me think - on many levels - intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally.

To keep from reinventing the wheel, here's an exerpt from Amazon's webpage (that says it's from Wikipedia).  I've bolded the main part.

Silence (沈黙, Chinmoku?) is a 1966 novel of historical fiction by Japanese author Shusaku Endo. It is the story of a Jesuit missionary sent to seventeenth century Japan, who endured persecution in the time of Kakure Kirishitan ("Hidden Christians") that followed the defeat of the Shimabara Rebellion. The recipient of the 1966 Tanizaki Prize, it has been called "Endo’s supreme achievement" and "one of the twentieth century’s finest novels". Written partly in the form of a letter by its central character, the theme of a silent God who accompanies a believer in adversity was greatly influenced by the Catholic Endo's experience of religious discrimination in Japan, racism in France and debilitating tuberculosis.


Seeds Family Worship aides

Totally Tots has quite a few printables to go along with the Seeds Family Worship CDs. I haven't compared what she has with the CC memory work but thought it would be a wonderful resource no matter what.

In September

At the library:

The first and third Mondays at Thompson: Chess Club for ages 5-18 from 4-5pm (race home from Comm. Central.  :)

Starting this Tuesday, Sept., 6 at 2:30 at Terry - just for homeschooled elementary students - Book a Trip with Dewey.  They ask that you register to reserve your spot.

Arkansas Skatium homeschool skate day:
Starting THIS Tuesday, Sept., 6 from 2-5pm.  Ice skating from 2-3:30 then roller skating until 5. It's the first Tuesday of the month, through May.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Week 5 review crossword

Week 5 Crossword

K4 and K5: Big Bird in Japan

Younger students may enjoy the breadth of Japanese culture they find in Big Bird in Japan (it's a YouTube video, so plan accordingly :).