Erie Canal and Locks

Erie Canal and Locks

Home School in the Woods, a fantastic hands-on history company, has begun offering a new type of product – a-la-carte projects from their history packs.Erie Canal project from HSITW

HSITW has an offer right now (don’t know how long the offer is good) for a project on the Erie Canal that looks simple and fun. So, I sat down and printed it out and put it together so I could show it to the girls. I had not idea just how much hands-on history would happen with that little project.

Miss J, age 8, was terribly interested. So we talked about the project, looking at the map, discussing the information inside of it, and how it would have been used. I also sang her the Erie Canal song that I knew. That settled it – more information was needed so she asked about whether we could find pictures or videos of the canals and locks.

We started out on A Net In Time, looking at the pictures of the field trip they took to Welland Canal.

Homeschool Coffee Break has a field trip discussion about visiting the C&O Canal, as well as a link to an earlier discussion about canals.

Then some videos and webpages:

The Erie Canal page has animated drawings of locks in use.

Here is a video of going through some locks:

This video is about the canal and about the mules used to pull the barges along:

A video of mules actually pulling a boat along:

And this one, not of the Erie Canal but a fascinating look at locks, even on smaller waterways:

So, with just a simple hands-on project from Home School In The Woods, we expanded our learning across continents and waterways, using maps, music, history, commerce, and more. Not bad for a Friday afternoon in the summer.

At Home.

Play – FMF

Today’s prompt for Five Minute Friday is PLAY.

GO –PLAY

Fun.
Laughter.
Shrieks of joy.
Hide and go seek.
Toys.
Swinging.
Running.
Leaping.
Dancing.
Friendship.
Togetherness.
A cup of tea.
Relaxing chats.
Sharing hopes.
Sharing fears.
Reminiscing.

As we grow, play changes. Play is innately constant, though. Play is always a way to enjoy, share, and grow. Through play, we learn. We experience. We sometimes hurt but more often have fun. But play is a necessary part of life. As necessary as food and water and sleep. For without play, there is no joy to the rest of life.

Play is not only for youngsters and it does not always involved dolls or trucks. Play is something that happens when we share life with another.

So grab a cup of tea and pull up a comfy chair. Let’s play.

At Home.

Circus Mirandus – Book Club

Book club:Ladybug Daydrams and At Home where life happens

Welcome to the Book Club for July, hosted by myself and Wendy over at Ladybug Daydreams. The book selection for this month was Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley. The back cover of this book says it all

Circus Mirandus back cover

If you do not like to include magic in your book reading, stop here. This book is all about magic. But it is not magic like anything you can imagine. Fanciful, imaginative, full of power and might – all good.

Many people have the idea of “seeing is believing.” But with Circus Mirandus, you will not see if you do not believe. This is the story of Micah and the amazing stories his grandfather Ephraim has told him regarding the Circus Mirandus. Micah loves to hear the stories of the magical circus his grandfather would tell him. However, those stories are few and far between now because his grandfather is very ill; he is dying.

Micah believes what his grandfather has told him and wishes more than anything to be able to call in the miracle that is owed to his grandfather from many, many years before. But can Micah ever visit Circus Mirandus? If he does, can he convince the Lightbender that his grandfather’s miracle is still viable and that it is time, now, to call it in? Micah must succeed. His grandfather’s life may well depend on it.

Cassie Beasley has written a wonderfully magical book that stretches the imagination and helps us to see what life is really worth. And, surprisingly, it may be exactly what we are expecting. Friendships formed over school assignments, struggling to help others really see, knowing just what someone needs and fighting hard to get it for them, finding forgiveness and getting your heart’s desire – these themes are found in the storyline and really endure Micah to the reader, as these are things the reader can relate to.

Circus Mirandus front cover

Discussion Questions (found on the Texas Bluebonnet Award 2016-2017 site)

  • The Lightbender owes Grandpa Ephraim a miracle. If you were promised a miracle, would you take it right then or ask to save it for later? Explain.
    I think I would take it right then. It would be incredibly hard to have such power at my fingertips and not use it. So many good things could be accomplished. Then again, I might ask to save it for later precisely because so many good things could be accomplished that I would want to think about them first and be a good steward of the opportunity.
  • Chintzy thinks there is a serious failing of character because she is not offered a snack. Of Jenny, Micah and Chintzy, which do you believe has the failure of character? Defend your answer.
    I think Chintzy has the failing of character. It is very selfish to expect to be offered a treat, a refreshment, or anything. Expecting to be treated the way you want to be treated is not very considerate. Now, at the same time, Jenny and Micah should have thought to be hospitable and offer some refreshment but I think their negligence can be overlooked in the circumstances.
  • Ephraim had to choose between the miracle of having his father home from the war or doing the right thing and have him stay and save lives. What would you have chosen? What does this tell you about Ephraim?
    I believe that I would have chosen as Ephraim did and have him stay and help many others, though that decision would be extremely difficult. This choice in the young Ephraim tells us that he is capable of seeing the greater good and has the character to understand it and desire others to be helped. He is generous and considerate and benevolent.
  • Why does the ticket taker say the quipu is not a ticket but an invitation? Which is better.
    The invitation is definitely better, though I am not sure why the ticket taker was able to differentiate. An invitation is better because you are offered the opportunity to join something, someone wants you there, while a ticket is you saying you desire to be there.
  • Would you have brought Jenny to the circus if you were Micah? Explain.
    Yes. Micah wanted Jenny there. She was his support and his confidence provider. She believed in Micah, even if she didn’t believe in the circus. Micah needed that support that she provided. And Jenny needed to be there for Micah so that she could have her mind stretched.
  • Ephraim says some of us aren’t brave enough to find our specialness and some of us make mistakes along the way. Explain.
    It takes a great amount of courage to be different, to be special, and to try the necessary new things to find just where that lies. In the process of trying new things, we will make mistakes. But eventually, we all find our uniqueness if we continue to search for it.

Circus Mirandus is a wonderful book that I definitely recommend. If you are looking for activities and discussion questions, here are some resources for you. We will be using this book as a read-aloud in a couple of months and I will definitely be using some of these resources and ideas.

Texas Bluebonnet Awards 2016-2016 – discussion questions, resource link list for many topics included in the book (war, knot tying, breathing difficulties, etc.), and a list of other books that might be enjoyed

Penguin Books – educator’s guide with lesson plans, ideas, and discussion questions

Storypath – a faith-based site that looks to connect faith to the book; includes some interesting questions and discussions

Circus Mirandus Ideas – not exactly sure where this one is from but this came up in a Google search; has some good ideas and is in PDF format

WILD(er) About Reading – links to the discussion questions that were used for their book club

This was a fun book. I hope you choose to read it. It was definitely enjoyable.

Please visit Wendy to see what she thought about Circus Mirandus.

Dragon of Lonely Island

Next month we will be discussing The Dragon of Lonely Island by Rebecca Rupp. I think I will be using the discussion questions found on the blog Sweet On Books.

At Home.

book club button 200

 

Your Will, God – Blogging Through the Alphabet

Y Your Will God

“Your will, God. Not mine. I want to follow your will.”

Some days that statement is easy. When I am walking a slightly sloping path, either up or down, it is easy to say to God “You will be done.” When the girls get along. When the news is good. When there are holidays, and fireworks, and parties, and family.

But, what about when that path is steep, rugged, harsh? Do we still say the same?

The answer should be yes but how much harder that yes is to say!

And what about when it is not me, myself, that is having to follow that steep, rugged, or harsh path? How do you pray that for others’ paths?

Maybe it is followed by “and please help me to accept Your will with grace and dignity.” Because really, how do you accept the diagnosis of leukemia for a 3 year old child that is so very precious? Or the fact that a 15 year old is facing medical procedures in an attempt to save his life, give him a quality of life that has been missing for years, yet he might not come out of it alive? Or face the reality of life after an accident? What about a future without your spouse, your other half? What about the children who have to move forward without their mom or their dad? Or any number of other scenarios that we don’t want to face or even think about?

I think one of my Bible class students hit it on the head tonight when he prayed “please let us accept the answer you give with grace, knowing that complete healing will come through you.”

Yes. Let us accept Your will, God, with peace, with grace, and with the hope that comes only through you. We will continue on in the begging place, knowing that You hear our prayers and that You do answer, according to Your will. We pray for complete healing for those we love but we pray for Your will to be done and the grace to accept that will peacefully.

At Home.

Please visit A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool and link up your ABC posts.

 

Quick festive dessert

Want a fun, easy dessert for this evening? Here you go . . .

Easy Festive Dessert

I made a sugar cookie recipe and baked it in a bar pan until done. Now, you can just do that according to your normal, favorite recipe. Or you can go buy a roll of sugar cookie dough and roll it out in the pan. Or you can do what I did: modify a recipe so everyone in your family could eat it.

My modification? Instead of flour, I used a half and half combination of Pillsbury Gluten-Free flour blend and almond meal/flour. I chose the half and half because with the Pillsbury brand, I have found the cookies crumble really easily. Adding the almond flour really adds some strength and some flavor.

After the cookie was cool in the bar pan, I made the icing. I combined one block of cream cheese, 1/3 cup of butter, 1 tsp vanilla, and enough powdered sugar to get it to an easily spreadable consistency (about 2 1/2 cups).  {My girls have approved the icing. In fact, they would have enjoyed just eating it all by itself but thought it was really good with fruit dipped in it as well. So that’s another way you could use this. A bit thinner and use it for fruit dip. Hmmm. . .}

Spread that over the cookie as thick as you want.

Add fresh fruit. I added washed and dried blueberries and strawberries.

We will eat it after lunch. Yum!

Enjoy!

At Home.

I shared this recipe with a LinkUp at A Net In Time, so you can hop over and read some other great recipes… I know there is a great one for Lemon Loaf and one for cookies that are flour-free!
Recipe Link Up

 

Happy Independence Day

A quick note to say that I hope you have a wonderful Independence Day, even if you aren’t American and celebrating it today. We sent the oldest giggly girl off on a mission trip first thing this morning and then we will head over to eat some hot dogs with family for lunch. Dinner will probably be with our city’s celebration while waiting for the fireworks over the Bosque River around Baylor. At least that is the plan.

We never know, though, do we? That is a daily reminder as we have had so many that we cherish that have been in pain for one reason or another. Plane crash took the life of a man I attended school with and his son. Husband of a dear friend passed away unexpected, leaving her and her two children to grieve. Sweet boy is in the hospital awaiting testing, hoping to rule out some very serious conditions. Another young man we care about is going to be undergoing some serious medical treatments, the outcome of which is unknown. Many others have lost loved ones recently and we think of them daily. Many others are worried, or hurting, or lost.

Each day can create quite a surprise. That is why, on this Independence Day, I am not only celebrating America’s independence but mine. God has given me a place in this country where I can worship Him and Him alone. I have no fear and know that He is in control. While I pray for peace and healing on this earth, I know that God has the plan in place and that He is giving peace to those who seek Him. Whether peace and healing come on this earth or not, they will come. God is our provider and I rest in that knowledge.

At Home.

eXercise and eXcitement – Blogging Through the Alphabet

X exercise excitement

I was just going through some pictures from a couple of weeks ago and found these images of the girls playing on the tires playground at a local park. They made me smile so I thought I would share them as a reminder to us all that we are never too old to have some fun. Often people seem to think that once a kid hits about 10 or 12 they don’t want to play at the playground anymore. My girls all get excited about heading out to a playground (providing it isn’t too hot!) and getting some exercise.

X tire playground

 

X tire exercise

At Home.

Please visit A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool and link up your ABC posts.

%d bloggers like this: