Candid Reflections

October 6, 2009

A Mock-Up of the Fertile Crescent

Filed under: Homeschool — candid reflections @ 9:14 am

We’re studying ancient history this year, and we’ve enjoyed our brief look at the Egyptians, Sumerians, and Assyrians.  We met with Wendy and her girls last week for a history activity day, and as usual, our afternoon was packed with fun! 

We were out to build a working model of the Nile River/Fertile Crescent.

First we formed a river from clay.


Then we lined the river banks with fertile soil, and sprinkled an outer layer of sand.  Next, we planted seed in the fertile soil, as the ancient Egyptian farmers did, and then stuck in a little red pyramid for aesthetic reasons.


Finally,  it was time for the annual rising of the Nile, so we filled the river until it’s banks overflowed, watering our seed. 


Finally, we feasted on succulent fruits most likely enjoyed by the ancient Egyptians.  Yum!


And a few days later we found that our river banks were fertile indeed!


September 8, 2009

hitTin’ tHe bOoks

Filed under: Homeschool — candid reflections @ 10:07 pm


Teacher’s Prayer
Author Unknown

Lord, Please help me teach them
To strengthen their voices,
bodies and minds,
To express their feelings and
control them sometimes,
To explore what’s near
and venture afar,
But most important to love
who they are.


January 12, 2009

Territories, Trails, & Expeditions

Filed under: Homeschool — candid reflections @ 1:41 pm

Did I mention that History is my favorite subject?  We’re making these not exactly proportionally accurate maps as part of our Westward Expansion study of U.S. History.  A little bit of salt dough for our mountain ranges and some water colors on cardboard, a great reinforcement for the kids as they listen to each lesson.   Today, we read about the First Transcontinental Railroad and they drew tracks across their maps.


December 10, 2008

Do You See What I See?

Filed under: Homeschool — candid reflections @ 3:37 pm

Now you do!


This was the view from my lap during our History lesson today.  Here am I, reading to, and surrounded by a group of kids working on knitting and crocheting Christmas gifts they hope to complete in time to give as gifts this year.  Gotta love it! 😉

September 2, 2008

A Little Boost of Confidence

Filed under: Everything Else, Homeschool — Tags: — candid reflections @ 2:12 pm

Every hero has it- a specific conduit to his source of strength; for Samson, it was his own long hair, Popeye ate spinach, and Batman put on a fancy cape. 

Well, I’m happy to announce that I’ve found the spur which nudges and stirs notions of strength and virility within my three little fellas.     













I’m so glad I’ve finally found it; the spinach for my little Popeyes… the capes for my little supermen… the stimulation they need to stand up straight and conquer the world.

And to think I hold such life giving power at the tips of my fingers… 



















Just look at them, they’re bursting with confidence… in their minds, there’s nothing they can’t conquer.  Notice that little twerp kissing his muscles!










School starts tomorrow.  I’m thinking, instead of stickers and bonus points, I’m going to carry around a pair of sheering scissors and a comb on my clip-board.  When they come across that math equation that seems near impossible, or the paragraph that they claim is just not within them, then out will come the clippers and Wha-lah!, instant confidence …the heros will emerge and the school work will be completed without the shedding of a single tear!  Why didn’t I think of this sooner???

School is gonna be a breeze this year! …either that, or my kids are gonna look like they picked up a case of mange.

June 15, 2008

Curriculum Picks

Filed under: Homeschool — Tags: — candid reflections @ 8:44 am

Here is my loot from the curriculum fair that I went to on Friday.

We’ll be using Rod and Staff for English/Grammar, and Institute for Excellence in Writing with the older kids.  My little ones like Sing, Spell, Read & Write for phonics, and we use Natural Speller for spelling.

June 14, 2008

The Stars and Stripes – Flag Day

Filed under: Everything Else, Homeschool — candid reflections @ 8:56 am

We’ve been studying the American Revolution in History.  We just read that it was at the Second Continental Congress of June 14, 1777, that the stars and stripes were adopted as the design for the flag of our United States – our first flag sporting 13 red and white stripes and 13 stars on a blue field.  The stars were “a new constellation” in the world’s nations.  

I arrived home from the state home-school-curriculum convention yesterday to find that The Historian had raised The Stars and Stripes from the attic window.  Our flag flies high today in honor of our great nation, and we remember the sacrifice from more than 25,000 Continental Army soldiers and the uncounted militiamen who gave their lives to fight for the independance of this nation that we call ours.























To honor our flag, Americans follow these practices:

  • Never let the flag touch the ground.
  • Raise it rapidly and lower it ceremoniously.
  • Fly the flag from sunrise to sunset (and never in bad weather), with the stars always in the upper left corner.
  • Fly it at half-mast in times of national mourning.
  • Display it on state and national holidays and special occasions-especially on Flag Day, June 14th.

June 4, 2008

Colonial Fun & Games

Filed under: Homeschool — candid reflections @ 6:50 am

In our chronological study of world history, we are currrently learning about the American Revolution.  We’ve recently developed an understanding of the colonists’ frustration over taxation without representation, and the formation of the “committees of correspondence” to keep patriots in all of the thirteen colonies in touch with each other.  We sat in our living room reading about the East India Company and their cornered market and taxed tea.  We read about the Boston Tea Party of 1773 and then appreciatively brewed ourselves a pot of tea.  We sipped from our cups as we considered the Sons of Liberty, dressed as Mohawks and throwing crates of cunningly taxed tea into Boston Harbor, all for the sake of principle.  The Historian (oldest son) speculated, “If the colonist’s didn’t want Great Britain dictating and using them to gain unfair profit, then how could the colonists themselves own slaves?”   Hmmm…history – contemplation… introspection… transformation …aint it great?

After we’d finished our tea, we got a group together and learned a game played by colonial children over two hundred years ago.

Skin the Snake

Stand in a line, one behind the other, with legs spread apart.  Each child should reach between his or her legs with the left hand to grasp the right hand of the person behind.  After doing this, the last person in the line lies down.  Everyone else backs up over him or her without breaking the chain of hands.  As each person reaches the end, he or she should lie down and let the line continue moving. 












We had lots of fun with you Rachel and kids, thanks!

May 28, 2008

School in Session

Filed under: Homeschool — candid reflections @ 11:42 am

March 12, 2008

Doing school.

Filed under: Homeschool — candid reflections @ 8:22 am


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