“Mr. Puzzler” . . . Insisting He’s Not Still Sick!

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National Night Out

Last week, we went to National Night Out at our local park. Here is my favorite part!

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Funtastic Unit Studies: Science Unit Studies For Homeschoolers and Teachers . . . A T.O.S. Review

To say that I have never enjoyed science is an understatement. I was not very good at it in school, and feared teaching it to my kids. And then can the book Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers, by Susan Killbride, from Funtastic Unit Studies!

This is a large softcover book which runs 201 pages, and has 20 unit studies in it on different topics. The first half of the book is geared to younger ages, while the second half would be for when they are a bit older.

We chose a unit from the first half for a variety of reasons. It interested us, the needed items were easy to access, it had a lot of food involved (remember, I have all boys, lol), and we wanted to include the boys next door, one of whom is going into the first grade.

So you are probably asking ok, but what did you do and learn? Why is it “Funtastic?” Because I know you are aware by now that wherever possible, I believe learning should be FUN! :-)

We began by talking about teeth, and the various reasons it is important to care for them. We made homemade old fashioned tooth powder, and my boys then brushed with it, which caused them to appreciate more fully the tooth paste available today. They also learned not to use the homemade version more than once or twice, as it is very abrasive.

Here you see the only items going into the tooth powder:

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All mixed together:

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And here are the boys “joyfully” brushing their teeth with their homemade tooth powder which we flavored with vanilla, lol!

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We learned about the importance of calcium, and made our own calcium-rich snack. It called for milk and lemon juice, although we also added some roasted garlic and herb seasoning.

We began with a quart of milk which the boys took turns pouring. Side note, I was going to buy a quart of milk, and my husband pointed out that I could just measure a quart from the gallon jug in the fridge. Duh! As I’ve told you before, I am NOT the science and math parent here. lol!

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After, they stirred until it boiled:

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Once it boiled, we added the lemon juice and stirred for a minute or two more . . . and the curds began to separate from the whey!

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We drained it through a mesh colander, and this is how much we ended up with from the original quart of milk!

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We also learned about and made a snack rich in vitamin A, which included cream cheese, shredded cheese, and carrots. The boys took turns stirring it up . . .

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And then “The Artist” put on food handler gloves finished mixing it, and formed it into a ball!

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We also put together a healthy fruit salad . . .

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Once the boys next door got home from their summer day camp, we did some activities to see how germs spread. We used glitter so that they could actually visualize it.

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We also did an experiment with a little spray bottle and a piece of poster board to show them just how far the germs can actually go if you cough or sneeze without covering . . .

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For vitamin D, and also to talk about the importance of exercise, we went out doors for some fun!

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As you can see, they had a blast jumping rope and playing limbo. Below, even the neighbor boys’ dad got involved!

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I managed to get a quick video too! The neighbor boys’ parents are holding the rope.

Once we finished playing, the boys and I went inside to enjoy our healthy snacks!

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As a quick addition that I forgot to add to the original post, we went to Sam’s yesterday, and my kids tried the Healthy Choice fudge bars, after which “The Batman” pointed out that it went with our health unit. The rest of the time we were there, they were checking labels for the vitamins, etc. So great, they actually had remembered what they learned, and applied it in real life!

All in all, we had a great time, and you can, too! Check out this free Plant Unit Study, as well as the free Molecules Unit from the book. Both will give you an idea of how much fun you can have! With science! Who knew!

To read about what other members of the crew did with this wonderful book, please click the banner below!

Funtastic Unit Studies Review
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Heirloom Audio Productions: With Lee In Virginia . . . A T.O.S. Review

We were so happy to once again be given the chance to review an adventure from Heirloom Audio Productions!

This time, we were transported to a time in our own country’s history, the War Between The States. We received a double CD package of the audio drama “With Lee In Virginia.”

Given that so much is being discussed in the media regarding the War Between The States, I found this to be a very interesting time to be doing this particular review, to say the least!

This is a masterful G. A. Henty story, written from the point of view of Vincent Wingfield. Vincent is portrayed by ​​Justin Shenkarow, an actor I have never heard of. However, Wakefield truly drew us into this period of time in our history!

At the age of fifteen, Justin goes off to join the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia, in the Confederacy. Before this even happens, though, Justin, whose own family does own slaves, fights with a neighboring slave owner regarding his treatment of them. He later helps keep a family of slaves from that neighbor’s plantation from being split up, and helps the husband get to freedom.

All during the war, as Vincent is reading his father’s Bible, he is finding passages which cause him to feel much differently about slavery, though he continues to fight for the state’s rights and sovereignty as guaranteed in the constitution.

Along the way, Justin fights alongside the likes of General Stonewall Jackson, and General Robert E. Lee, as well as at least two of his friends who joined up with him. He even suffers betrayal at the hands of his former neighbor, after they have been captured, but Justin has a lot more fight left in him before the whole thing ends!

Some of the cast will be immediately familiar to many. Kirk Cameron, as General Stonewall Jackson, was really great! I remember him from all the way back in his sitcom days as a teenager! He has really grown as an actor. James Cameron (Kirk’s son) portrays Justin’s friend, Will Upton, Sean Astin is General Jeb Stuart, And Brian Blessed as G. A. Henty. There are many more, and I think you will find them to be wonderful in this audio drama!

Here is a little video to give you a bit of an idea of this program . . .

As I said above, this is an interesting time to be reviewing this program. I think it should remind us that we cannot “rewrite history” because it suits us as a result of political correctness. The War Between The States happened. Slavery happened. And yes, even if they were wrong in their beliefs regarding slavery, there were, in fact, many, many good and godly men on both sides of the war. In fact, history shows that slaves were held on both sides, too. This war was primarily about states rights. Listening to it during all of our country’s present turmoil SHOULD make one want to delve even deeper, not make one want to erase every sign of the side which lost.

When we received our package, I looked inside and saw that the separate CD’s were different colors, one blue, one grey. Perfect, right? We listened to the first disc one day, and the second disc another day, to give time for thinking about the story. Interestingly, my kids, especially the one who thought it would be boring (“Mr. Loquacious”) because it wasn’t a movie, was the first to say “oh boy, I can’t wait to hear what comes next!”

We are in an interesting position to be reviewing this one, as two of my kids, “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler” are black, teen boys. I work very hard in today’s climate to help them learn that this does not give them a pass if they do wrong, as so many appear to believe, judging by the media.

“Mr. Loquacious” wanted to know things such as “would he be a slave if he were alive back then?” along with “would we be allowed to be adopted by you?” So we talked a lot about things like that, as well as going off on (little) rabbit trails regarding how laws didn’t allow black men to vote until way later than this part of history, in fact, even in the north, black children were not allowed to go to school with white children until the 1950’s, and the fact that there were many other ways of keeping them separate as well.

Along with the audio drama, we received an mp3 download version of the audio drama, the With Lee In Virginia Ebook (Henty’s original story with new color graphics), the official soundtrack, a study guide and discussion started, and A beautiful, printable copy of the inspirational quote from Robert E. Lee to his son.

Although we have the study guide, we found a lot of discussion starters just listening, as I told you above, so I will save the rest, and do a further in-depth study as my kids are better able to get more into the guide.

This is a wonderful, wonderful program. I love G. A. Henty stories, and Brian Blessed is masterful at the portrayal of him! I wholeheartedly recommend this, along with both of the other Heirloom Audio programs (Under Drake’s Flag and In Freedom’s Cause). We can barely wait until Heirloom Audio brings out yet another adventure!

To read what 99 other crew members thought of this audio drama, please click the banner just below!

With Lee in Virginia Audio Drama Review

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Baptism!

Two of my boys, “The Batman” and “Mr. Loquacious” received assurance of their salvation while away at teen camp. They returned home on a Friday, and were Baptised the Sunday morning after.

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They are very happy to be definitely assured! We do not teach (or believe in!) a “one, two, three, repeat after me prayer for salvation, and they both felt that was all they had done when younger. We can definitely see differences in them, and they are paying more attention, learning, and trying harder to keep a good testimony. :-)

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Project Passport: Ancient Egypt . . . A T.O.S. Review

Although our family had had one (very good) experience with the company Home School in the Woods, we had never seen any of their “Project Passport” products.

I was intrigued at the idea of trying out Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt, because my eldest son, “The Batman” is very interested in ancient Egypt.

We received this program as a digital download for review purposes, though it is also available in a CD version. The download version allows immediate satisfaction for those of us who suffer from delayed gratification syndrome, though, so I was glad to receive it in that form! :-)

When I first received my download, I was extremely overwhelmed. Home School In The Woods provides so much in this study! It is meant to be an eight to twelve week study, but we are tweaking it somewhat, in order to accommodate “The Batman’s” special needs. Also, our tendency of going off onto rabbit trails when something interests us or we have a question that has been raised by something we read in a study.

Passport Project: Ancient Egypt is put together as if your student is going on an actual trip, beginning with creating a passport and a luggage folder. Each “lesson” is referred to as a “stop” on the trip itinerary.

With each “stop”, we are given the following:

1. An itinerary

2. Reading material

3. Color pictures and printables of projects

4. Dramatized audio tours

According to the Scope And Sequence, by the end of this study your student will have covered many things, such as:

  • History and Social Studies
  • Language
  • Geography
  • The Arts

For more detail, you may read the scope and sequence in its entirety here

With “The Batman”, I am really taking my time on this study because I didn’t realize it would be so intense for him. He has anxiety problems whenever he feels as though he isn’t getting something “perfect”, even when I tell him it doesn’t have to be perfect. Also he has serious problems with handwriting because of his lack of fine motor skills. However, he really loves the reading, and he enjoys the audio “tours” as well.

We’ve not yet attempted the 3-D projects; we are working up to that. Plus, he and his brothers were away at youth camp for a week. We will be doing them, though. Also, I promised him he would have help; when he looked at the complexity of the 3-D projects (for him) he got scared of even trying.

The very best thing about Project Passport: Ancient Egypt in our opinion is the Lap Book! We LOVE Lap Books! Anyone who has been reading here for long has seen pictures of beaming faces when my kids were showing off a completed Lap Book. :-) In fact, the Lap Book is what I am using as “The Batman’s” incentive to do the different projects.

Wherever possible, I am allowing him to type rather than hand write. If it is not possible, then he dictates and either his brother “The Artist” or I will copy what he wants written down. This is just one way of tweaking any study for a special needs child.

We will also, as I said above, help him with any of the 3-D projects he chooses to do. One thing he thinks will be fun is making the “newspaper,” so I am looking forward to working with him on that.

Here are some shots of “The Batman” reading the text during a lesson:

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As I said above, he really doesn’t mind the reading involved; in fact, he quite enjoys it. This thrills me given that when we adopted him, we were told he would probably never be able to read, etc . . . Homeschooling has done wonders for him and for our other kids, and Home School In The Woods is a company I would very heartedly recommend to any homeschooling family . . . whether you have special needs children or not.

To read what other Review Crew members thought of this and other Passport Projects, please click on the banner below.
Home School in the Woods Review
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Final Night of VBS . . . Do You “Sense” The Theme?

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Wordless Wednesday at Life at Rossmont

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