2018 Winter Olympics Study – activities and STEM challenges

Winter Olympics study

One of the things I have been noticing as my girls get older is that there just don’t seem to be as many resources shared for older students. It is not that they aren’t out there but it does seem that those in existence are being sold only. Sure there may be a single activity shared for free to encourage you to purchase the whole set but sharing an entire study for older students just doesn’t seem to be done often. In addition, I know that many older students are so involved in their courses of study, trying to meet hours or course credit requirements, that “other” things just get left out.

As a hope to fill a piece of this hole, I am sharing what I have put together with anyone who is interested. Use some of it. Use all of it. Use none of it. It is all up to you but here it is. No charge. Happy Winter Olympics!!

Click on the title below for the download.

2018 Winter Olympics

At Home.

Linking up with the Homeschool Review Crew weekly link-up.


I Sing the Mighty Power of God ~ hymn

We Sing The Mighty Power of God

Singing praises to God lifts my spirits. Songs like this bring even more joy for me – singing of the power the God displays throughout His creation. From the sun to the moon and stars, giving food and creating animals, the landscape, the vegetation – all come from God. This hymn is an acknowledging to God of His hand in every little thing on this earth.

“There’s not a plant or flower below but makes Thy glories known.”

Reminds me of the verses in God’s word that reminds us that everything on heaven and earth will proclaim God, even the rocks will call out His name.

Isaiah 55:12

For you shall go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
    shall break forth into singing,
    and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.


Revelation 5:13

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

Luke 19:40

He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”


At Home.

I Sing The Mighty Power of God

lyrics: Isaac Watts (1715)
music: Gesangbuch der Herogl, Wurttemberg (1784)

1 We sing the mighty power of God
that made the mountains rise,
that spread the flowing seas abroad
and built the lofty skies.
We sing the wisdom that ordained
the sun to rule the day;
the moon shines full at his command,
and all the stars obey.

2 We sing the goodness of the Lord
that filled the earth with food;
he formed the creatures with his word
and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how your wonders are displayed,
where’er we turn our eyes,
if we survey the ground we tread
or gaze upon the skies.

3 There’s not a plant or flower below
but makes your glories known,
and clouds arise and tempests blow
by order from your throne;
while all that borrows life from you
is ever in your care,
and everywhere that we can be,
you, God, are present there.

God’s Law – statute

God's Law statutes

A statute – makes me think of very thick, very difficult to understand legal books. Written in “legalese.” Those are full of statues, right? Legal definitions and laws are often referred to in terms of statutes. And that is right.

Statute: a written law passed by a legislative body; a rule of an organization or institution; (in biblical use) a law or decree made by a sovereign, or by God. (from Google dictionary search)

This last definition is labeled as archaic, old. But it is really the most up-to-date, relevant set of laws and decrees we need to know about.

God’s word was written down as law by those he chose. They wrote down the words He gave them. They did not choose what they wanted to write. So, when we look at the Bible, we should be seeing a law book.

There is definitely more than “law” in the Bible but we need to not be so quick to dismiss that which we should be living by. Laws are what we are given to help us be successful within a specific society. If you go to Canada, you abide by Canadian law. If you go to Iceland, you abide by their laws, their statues. So, why do we not so readily abide by the statutes, the laws written down by God, if we want to be a part of His kingdom?

I propose that it is that we have strayed and been led astray by some false teachings, which sound so nice that we readily agree to treat them as God’s law, His statutes. It is easy to do, isn’t it?

I am easily led by the Evil One to become relaxed in my approach to my life, to live according to what I want, what sounds good to me, what sounds nice or easy or pleasant. As a child of God, I am not to listen to that false teacher who is trying to lead me away from God.

Psalm 119 has many places where God has used the word statute (in the NIV). Looking at the theme among these verses I see a repetition. This repetition is a thing in God’s word, isn’t it? Could it be that I need this repetition because I am hard-headed? Don’t answer that, please. I already know that I am.

  • being blessed because I keep his statutes
  • rejoicing in the statutes and seeing them as great riches
  • being set aside from those who do NOT keep the statutes
  • statutes are a delight
  • holding fast to the statutes
  • being turned toward the statutes and away from selfish gain
  • speaking boldly about the statutes
  • being careful to turn steps toward the statutes
  • being brought together with those who understand God’s statutes
  • obeying the statutes and being preserved
  • pondering statutes, even when the wicked are waiting to destroy
  • meditating on the statutes
  • statutes are a heritage, a joy forever
  • being taught to understand the statutes
  • statutes are trustworthy and righteous
  • God’s statutes are going to last forever; they have been established that way

So much in Psalm 119 is there to encourage, to remind. God has not just thrown something together here – this has been created, established, planned.

God’s law – His statutes – are here for me, not for his control. They are here to preserve my life. To give me joy. To strengthen me in time when others are hurting me. To give me a reason to be still. To give me something worthy to think about, to ponder, to consider. To give me food for thought.

And in having these statutes, I have law, legal standards and rules to follow. You see, as a human, I need rules to follow. If I don’t have these rules, I will follow my heart and my heart is fickle. It goes wherever “feels” good right now. I need to have my head in control, knowing what God has given me.

So, I meditate on God’s law. And in doing so, I see God’s love. I see God’s plan. I see the strength that God has built into His creation, of which I am a part. I am built to follow statutes and so I do, God’s. God’s statutes give me guidance, strength, peace, and joy. A path to follow and a place to go. Heaven. I don’t want to follow any other path.

There is one, maybe two, weeks left in this study of God’s law. As we wind down, I am curious where God will lead me next. This study of Psalm 119 has been a very good one for me. It has certainly challenged my writing and the way in which I share my thoughts. Perhaps my writing has grown from it. Regardless, I have grown from it. And that is the purpose of studying God’s Law – to grow.

See you next Friday, Lord willing.

At Home.

Dawn’s Early Light ~ Book Club

Book club:Ladybug Daydrams and At Home where life happens

We decided a bit late for the Book Club selection for this posting but I did remember to share about it. Hope you were able to join us in reading this story.

Dawn's Early Light

Set in Williamsburg at the start of the Revolutionary War, this is a story of dreams, courage, bravery, and finding home where you least expect it. As we join the story, young Julian Day has just lost his father while crossing the ocean to America. He is met and cared for by those who were supposed to meet his father. These aristocratic but independent folks take Julian under their wing and help he find his way. Having never stood on his own two feet before, he is encouraged and strengthened by some good people who want to help him.

He learns what it means to be a teacher, which it turns out he really enjoys. In the process, he learns as much as his students but about a very different subject. They are learning spelling and geography and writing; he is learning how to handle himself, what he truly believes, what friendship really means, and how to stand for what is right.

The story takes us through several of the battles of the war that were important and we meet many of the important participants of the Revolutionary War – Washington, Lafayette, Jefferson, Greene, Patrick Henry, Francis Marion, and many more men and women who work hard to win independence from the tyranny of the King.

This historical fiction is the first in a series of seven novels by Elswyth Thane. She wrote this in 1943 after she spent several summers back and forth between America and England. Well researched and full of interesting characters, this is a story that is really quite easy to read but that will challenge you to think about your own beliefs on freedom and war.

The book I read did not have any discussion questions in it and I did not find any online already set up. Wendy has been busy handling life lately so I am forgoing writing any questions for this one. I just recommend reading this book. I would love to read the rest of the series but our library system does not have them. Perhaps I can get them elsewhere.

Join us in March for the next Book Club post. I am thinking it may be either Uncommon Type: some stories by Tom Hanks or The River Between Us by Richard Peck. Really, though, anything is up for grabs as we haven’t decided on anything yet. Both of these are on my “to read” list.

At Home.


Birds Unit Study


I know I have hinted and outright mentioned the birds study that Miss J was doing. She just finished it up. It came about because of her fascination with birds and wanting to learn more about different birds. She has been interested in birds since we did a birds book a few years ago. Since we read Look Up!, we have kept our binoculars on or near the kitchen table, which is where we can easily view the birds in the trees out back. We often grab them and study the birds that we can see and we really enjoy watching the cardinal family that comes back every year. This really factored into the decision to create a study, just for Miss J, the focused on birds. She has loved it.

birds unit study

My first resource is a bird study from Memoria Press titled “What’s That Bird?” When a local education store was cleaning out a couple years ago, I was able to get the old version of the teacher guide for this for a buck-fifty. I grabbed it. We used it to help us study the feathers, wings, migration, and more. It was a good overview of birds. We did not use the additional information in this study as it was geared quite a bit higher than 3rd grade.

We also watched Flight: The Genius of Birds, a video from Illustra Media. This video focuses on the dynamics of flight, what is required for birds to be able to fly, and how God’s design is perfect. The videography is just stunning in this video and we enjoy watching it. We learn quite a bit each time we rewatch.

We also checked out a bundle of bird books from the library and spent some time, early in the study, focused on nests, parts of the birds, feathers, and more. We used most of these books in conjunction with the pages from the Memoria Press guide we had.

The website All About Birds was a daily use. It has a good search engine on it so Miss J could easily search the type of bird she needed for that day. The information was thorough, yet accessible for one her age. It included identification, habitat, and food information, along with nest and egg details. There are bird calls to listen to and videos of the birds. This was a really good site for our study.

two page layout

I have a file from Homeschool Copywork that has coloring pages of birds. We printed these full-size and placed them in a three-prong folder. Each bird is identified. As she studied each bird, she colored it according to the images on the web site.

We also have a membership to NotebookingPages.com. This resource had a blank notebooking page for birds. I downloaded it and printed it out with four copies of it per page. Miss J would fill in one for each bird and then tape it to the back of the picture of the bird that she colored. There are several other page types on birds available in their science section. This resource is invaluable when creating your own unit studies.

The last thing I included in her study was copywork from John James Audobon. She studied a biography of him early on last fall and so including some of his most famous statements is a great way to keep him and his contributions in mind while benefitting her cursive work. These came from Homeschool Copywork.

bird quotes

This was a simple study that has given her lots of information. It has also been really easy to tie in with other work that we are doing, such as a study of the book “Bears on Hemlock Mountain.” It is not uncommon for us to be out and about somewhere and for her to state “I see a (whatever kind of bird).” We talk about it and she enjoys telling us how she knew what it was.

This is just one way in which we strive to encourage our girls’ in their learning and an example of what I wrote about for the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair week 3.

At Home.

O – Middle School Books ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet


We are making steady progress, aren’t we? All the way to O now.

One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

This is a very touching story about Ivan and his friends. Ivan is an gorilla who was captured and kept in a glass enclosure at a mall. Told from Ivan’s point of view, we experience his life, and that of his animal friends, as a sight for humans. Ivan focuses on the people watching, television, and creating art. Seldom remembering home, he spends his years living this life and barely remembering his old one in the jungle. Then, he meets Ruby, a baby elephant who was taken from the wild, and he now has much to think on and remember.

Miss E highly recommends this story and has read, and reread, it a number of times. We have also listened to it as an audio book on a road trip. It was difficult to listen to for the first time since we were unfamiliar with the characters but it was worth persevering through because the story was extremely touching. A definite recommend.

There is also a website for the book that has a little bit of background.


On the Wings of Heroes

On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck

Yes, this is another one by Richard Peck and we all enjoyed it, too. Set during World War II on the home front, Davy Bowman has heroes in his life – his dad, who is brave and admired by everyone, and his big brother Bill who flies B-17 planes in the war. Davy wonders how to live up to all that is going on around him and seeks to find ways to help out. From air raid drills to scrap metal drives, the war on the home front is hard and confusing and boys grow up in a hurry.





Orphan Train AdventuresOrphan Train Adventures by Joan Lowery Nixon


The original series of seven books are our favorites. Telling the story of orphans who are sent west during the 1800s, this series of books is historical fiction at its finest. Gripping stories of children who are pulled away from their homes in the east and placed on trains going west to wherever someone claimed them, these books bring the struggles families to light. The Kelly children’s trip and lives are chronicles in this series.

Miss L recommends this series and enjoyed it very much. She also enjoyed reading it aloud to her younger sister. When books bring people together, you know they are good!


Our Only May AmeliaOur Only May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm

Based on the life of the author’s own great-aunt and found in her diaries, May Amelia is a character as big as the land she lives in – the state of Washington. Set in 1899, as a pioneer, May Amelia has a large family – seven brothers. And she is the only girl. Really – the only one ever born in the new settlement. Her family works hard and May Amelia finds adventure everywhere she turns. The problem? Her family wants her to behave like a Proper Young Lady. That is really hard when life is so full of fun and adventure.

This book, and its sequel, popped right out of Miss L’s mouth when we got to the O books. She really enjoyed this one. Set in a favorite time period and with a girl who is all adventure, it isn’t surprising that Miss L enjoyed these. Even better is that it is based on real-life. While not a straight biography, it is a good read full of history.

So that is it for the O books this week. Do you have any to add to our list?

At Home.


The ABC linkup is not up for this week yet but when it is you can find it hosted by Hopkins HomeschoolDoodleMom’s Homeschooling Life and Biblical Womanhood.

My previous posts in the series:

A – All-of-a-Kind Family and Adventures of the Little Wooden Horse
B – Ballet Shoes and A Bear Called Paddington
C – Counting by 7s and Cheaper By The Dozen
D – Door In The Wall & D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths
E – The Endless Steppe & Ella Enchanted
F – Family Tree & Fog Magic
G – Great Turkey Walk & The Great Brain
H – Half Magic & Horse Diaries
I – Indian in the Cupboard & Island of the Blue Dolphins
J – Journey to America & Julie: An American Girl – 1974
K – Kite Fighters & Key to the Extraordinary
L – Little Women & Long Way From Chicago
M – Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle & Mistakes That Worked
N – North Child & Number the Stars


Come, Thou Almighty King ~ hymn

Something I find inspirational is all the different titles that Jesus is given in the Bible. This song echos many of those titles for God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Almighty King

Incarnate Word



Ancient of Days

Spirit of Holiness

Spirit of Power

One in Three

sov’reign majesty

The first three verses each are focused on one of the parts of the Trinity. The fourth verse brings them all together as the whole that they are, complete separate and together.

Just a few of the names of the king over us but what a wonderful reminder of whose we are, the one who created us, and the thanks we should have for our creator. We should sing of his praises forever and this song is happy, joyful, praising the Father and the Son. And, as it closes,

And to eternity – Love and adore.

That is my hope. That you will know your savior, that you will love and adore Him for all eternity, following his will and his commands, that we might meet in heaven one day.

At Home.

Come Thou Almighty King

Come, Thou Almighty King

lyrics: source unknown (1757)
music: Felice de Giardinin (1716-1796)

(You can listen to it at Great Song Chapel. This singing does not include verse 3 and the last verse has a few words different.)

  1. Come, Thou Almighty King,
    Help us They name to sing,
    Help us to praise:
    Father, all glorious,
    O’er all victorious,
    Come and reign over us,
    Ancient of Days.
  2. Come, Thou Incarnate Word,
    Gird on Thy mighty sword,
    Our prayer attend:
    Come and Thy people bless,
    And give Thy word success –
    Spirit of holiness,
    On us descend.
  3. Come, Holy Comforter,
    Thy sacred witness bear
    In this glad hour:
    Thou who almighty art,
    Now rule in ev’ry heart,
    And ne’er from us depart,
    Spirit of pow’r.
  4. To the great One in Three
    Eternal praises be,
    Hence evermore:
    His sov-reign majesty
    May we in glory see
    And to eternity
    Love and adore.
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