Home School in the Woods is one of my favorite go-to places for history fun! I was so excited to review Project Passport World History Studies: Middle Ages, a digital product that comes with hours and hours of learning fun!
Since I had done another Project Passport (you can read my review of Project Passport World History Studies: Renaissance and Reformation here), I knew what to expect.
We made our scrapbook, started the luggage folder, and put our Scrapbook of sights together to fill later. That's how I will start all the Passport Projects we do in the future too. It just helps me to feel organized and ready to work.
I always like to start with reading a few good books aloud. Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle and A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver by by EL Konigsburg would be perfect to read aloud while we worked on the project.
Since this is a digital product, we printed what we needed and read lots of information right on the laptop.
While we listened to the audios, we did all our coloring projects. After we listened to the audio, we worked on creative writing projects, played games, and put projects together. This routine worked really well for us.
Let me give you an example.
Stop #4 is Called Everyday Life--The Family
We learn about Feudalism in the Text Stop #4
We listen to the Audio Tour: "Interview Among the Classes
While we listened to the audios we colored for our project
After listening, we wrote up 2 newspaper articles: "Arranged Marriage Announcements" and "A New Castle is Erected"
We also put the Medieval Structure of Classes together
The whole thing took us about an hour.
What I love best about this Passport Project:
Stop #19 is my favorite stop with the Code of Chivalry, Steps from being a Page to a Knight project, and making a Coat of Arms. Hey, I'm just a romantic at heart. Knights, castles, fair maidens, dragon slayers...
Zoos, Aquariums, Botanical Gardens, and Natural Museums allow children to see God's Creation up close, to learn more about all of His amazing creation.
Children love to see things up close, especially animals!
Our family has always enjoyed zoos and aquariums the most! There's something about see seals and monkeys play that always delights me! And I'm a grown-up!
The sad thing is that so many of those zoos, aquariums, gardens, and museums teach evolution and don't believe that God sent a worldwide flood in the time of Noah. It should not surprise us that people who don't know the Lord don't want to glorify the Creator of all things.
"Scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, 'Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.' 5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly" (II Peter 3:2-7 ESV).
Just because the world is misguided, doesn't stop us from teaching truth to our little ones. I love to show my children the truths about our Creator in the Bible. When I see a gorgeous sunset or an adorable animal, I remind whoever is around that we serve an amazing Creator! I want my children to look around in wonder at the world and all it contains; then, pause and praise God!
So, how can we visit these fun places and teach our children the truth?
The most important thing I can do to get my school year off to a good start is to dedicate the coming school year to the Lord.
Seek His Kingdom First
Jesus promised that if I seek first His Kingdom, then everything I truly need will be added to me. No good thing will the Lord withhold from me!
We like to gather as a family and pray for the year ahead. That includes everyone. Dad, Mom, teens, and littles all pray.
This is not a Hallmark moment; it is a battle in the heavenly realms.
Philippians 4 reminds us that instead of worrying, we can present all our requests to God. He will not only answer, but guard our minds and hearts with His peace.
You see, Ephesians 6 reveals to us that prayer is a weapon of warfare for the Christian.
God answers prayer!
Dedicate the coming school year to the Lord, but don’t stop there. Include Jesus in every school day. Bring every problem to Him throughout the year, from difficulty memorizing multiplication tables to constant bickering between siblings.
Surrender to Succeed
Do you have Christian Worldview?
Worldview is the set of ideas, values, and presuppositions through which you view the world.
Well, it’s like putting on a pair of sunglasses that color everything you see.
What kind of sunglasses do you wear?
Everyone in the world wears a pair of sunglasses through which they view life, people, and ideas.
Many people collect little pieces of their worldview over time through parents, school, movies, and friends.
A Christian worldview is based on the Bible. The Bible reveals God’s heart and thoughts—the way He views the world. A wise person will try to line up his worldview with what the Bible has to say.
Sometimes Christians don’t realize that their worldview is based more on secular ideas and morality instead of the Bible.
The Bible speaks to all of life. The Bible speaks to every subject.
Theology/ Who is God?
What do you believe about God?
Let me share with you what the Bible has to say.
God Is. He exists. He has always existed. God is One and exists in Three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
God created everything that exists, seen and unseen, out of nothing. He spoke and it came to be. He is personally involved in His creation. His creation is accountable to Him. God is Holy. God is Love.
Life is more than what we can see in the natural world. There is a supernatural realm that is unseen. Angels and demons wage war in that supernatural realm. Christians are seated with Christ in this heavenly realm.
We please God with faith. We access grace through faith. Faith is a gift from God.
"Let's see subs, tunnels..." I began.
"You mean trenches," Jimmy interrupted.
"Yes, trenchs. Let's do subs and a trench sundae for lunch," I decided. That would be fun!
We were studying World War I, as part of our HIS Story of the 20th Century world history course.
I didn't think the kids would enjoying eating rations, so we decided to be symbolic.
We would eat subs because submarines, or subs, played a big part in World War I. Remember the sinking of the Lusitania?
The kids loved the subs, but the real hit was the Trench Sundae!
Would you like to make your own Trench Sundae?
Here's how we did it!
What fun to study the USA with Crafty Classroom. We were so excited to download our USA Activity Bundle Pack. The check-out and process of downloading was so easy. The USA Activity Bundle Pack includes 3 e-books: USA State by State Activity Notebook, USA State Bird Art Cards, and USA 50 State Mazes.
As soon as we downloaded our USA Activity Bundle Pack, we immediately got to work printing the first pages we wanted to use. We started with our home state and the states closest to us: Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. We downloaded their pages from the USA State by State Activity Notebook. We also printed the mazes from each of those states from USA 50 State Mazes. Finally, we printed mockingbird page from the USA State Bird Art Cards e-book.
This is how we put it all together in a geography lesson. We started with a large USA map and found all three states. We found the capitals: Tallahassee, Montgomery, and Alabama. We found rivers and lakes, cities we'd heard of and cities we hadn't. We spent a lot time exploring the large map.
Next, we read a book on Florida from the library and filled our our Florida notebook page and completed the map. We decided to make our mockingbird (Florida state bird) art card next, coloring in our bird with colored pencils. We decided to make a list of all the places we had visited in Florida and another list of all the places we wanted to visit in Florida. Then we made a citrus fruit salad with Florida grapefruit, oranges, and tangelos. We followed the same format for Georgia (peach cobbler) and Alabama (banana pudding).
I love historical fiction, so I was so excited to read The Heart Changer by Jarm Del Boccio, a middle-grade (ages 7 -12) story set in Bible times, on my Kindle. Knowing she is a fellow teacher at SchoolhouseTeachers.com made me even more excited!
I read the book first on my Kindle. I read my Kindle each evening before I fall asleep and found this book easy to use on my tablet. I was so nervous when Miriam was kidnapped and so sad about her being separated from her family. You see, right away I was swept up emotionally in the story set in the Middle East. I loved Miriam who trusted the Lord, yet struggled with doubts sometimes. It was exciting to learn about the workings of an Assyrian household. The household was headed by Naaman, a commander in the Assyrian Army. On a raid through Israel, Miriam is captured and taken home to be a servant girl to the Commander's wife. She leaves behind her loving family in Israel to become part of a wealthy Assyrian household. When the Commander comes down with leprosy, Miriam tells him about the prophet Elisha who is able to heal people with the power of God. Well, you know the story from II Kings, but Jarm brings it alive in a fresh way to her readers.
The story moved quickly. I loved reading it. Beyond adventure, there was spiritual application. Miriam grew closer to her Creator King, the God of Israel. The book was encouraging and inspiring.
We also read it together and found it just as exciting. Everyone liked it!
As a homeschooling mom, I see historical fiction as a treasure that brings other times and places alive for my children. I love finding excellent works that will add to my children's understanding of ancient times, especially biblical history. This book is a perfect addition to our home school library!
"What a beautiful book!" I gushed as I looked through His Mercy Endures Forever Psalm 136 by Kathleen DeJong from Reformed Free Publishing Association.
I showed it to my grandson Rusty.
"Will you read it to me right now?" he asked politely. We sat down and read it together. It was the third time I had read the book, but I was thrilled to read God's beautiful Word and enjoy lovely artwork all the way until the end. Rusty loved it, too.
His Mercy Endureth Forever Psalm 136 by Kathleen DeJong is a beautifully illustrated picture book. The words on the pages are straight from God's Song Book, or the Psalms of The Holy Bible.
This psalm is unique in that it has a refrain after every phrase. "O Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!" is the opening line followed by the refrain, "His mercy endureth forever."
"O give thanks unto the God of Gods" followed by the beautiful refrain, "His love endureth forever!"
On and on the psalm/song goes speaking of God being worthy of praise, doing wonders, making the heavens, bringing Israel out of Egypt, parting the Red Sea, leading the people through the wilderness, giving the Israelites their land, and feeding all living things. After each exultation of God's amazingness, the refrain resounds: "His Mercy Endureth Forever!"
All Christians need to read this picture book, to look at the beautiful illustrations as they read the inspiring words that pierce our hearts, reminding us of the power and majesty of a Holy God who chose to show mercy to us because He loves us. How thrilling!
Peaceful Family Vacations
I looked back on all our family vacations since we were married in 1984 and evaluated them with the peaceful quotient. Some have been so peaceful and refreshing. While others--well, let's just not go there.
Interestingly, it doesn't seem that busyness is a factor. Last year we went on a tour of Italy and every day was jam-packed with activities. We fell into bed each night exhausted. However, we laughed, we enjoyed one another, we were kind to each other, and everyone agreed it was a refreshing time.
As I pondered what makes a vacation peaceful, I came up with some factors that surprised me. In peaceful family vacations, we all had similar expectations and shared common goals. There might have been surprises (like arriving at a cabin where every single door was locked), but for the most part, we were all on the same page and everyone felt an ownership of the trip. Mike and I weren't just dragging the kids along.
Over the years, we've stayed with family, cabined in the mountains, condoed on the beach, toured a country where we didn't speak the language, and done the Disney thing. Some of those trips have been spent swimming in the hotel pool, playing games, or walking along the beach. Others have been spent at museums, art galleries, and cathedrals. Yet each different kind of vacation has the potential to be peaceful or not-so-peaceful
Here's what has helped create a peaceful vacation.
"It's just because you think Robin Hood can do no wrong!"
Everyone laughed. We were teasing Victoria who was hotly defending Robin Hood's behavior in The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood. In answer that Robin Hood was a thief, Victoria defending him saying, "He was returned money the government stole from people to the people who were stolen from."
There was more laughter and we started discussing some of the other characters. We were enjoying our bimonthly book club, as part of our American Literature and Research class.
Our book clubs had included lots of laughter and some emotional moments where tangents took us to emotional issues of our lives or what was going on in the world around us. We compared characters to people we knew, talked about characters we loved, and how we wanted to the ending to be different.
As we talk about what we liked and didn't like, plot, tone, mood, setting, worldview, and theme, we found ourselves digging deeper into books than we ever had before. There was just something about talking together that often led to deep analysis. We always had fun together even if we didn't like the book a lot. Book clubs, after all, are friendship builders.
Best of all, book clubs actually motivated students to hurry and finish the book so we could all discuss it together. I embraced book clubs over book reports because I wanted to build an enjoyable lifetime habit in my children's lives. I wanted them to read because reading is fun, interesting, entertaining, and a privilege.
How Book Clubs Work