Ahhh . . . March, the month spring begins . . . my favorite season. I love seeing the new growth on the trees and bushes, the early bulbs that begin pushing up through the snow, the sunshine. Will it come in like a lion or a lamb?! That old wives’ tale is fun to talk about with your children….and you can discuss the Lion (of Judah) and the Sacrificial Lamb of God.
There are lots of great ways to spice up your school days this month! Dolphins, Dr. Seuss, the Iditarod, Pi Day, St. Patrick’s Day, waffles, and Van Gogh . . . wow, a wide variety of fun!
So, grab the calendar now and plan some ways to make your days count in March!
*Seuss graphic credit: Scrappin Doodles
Never fear . . . Superheroes are here!
If you have boys, you know that they LOVE superheroes! They live capes, tights, special powers, swords, light sabres, etc . . .
Megan at House of the Rising Sons found out just how much fun a Superhero study would be for her 3 school-aged boys and how easy it was to adapt this Kindergarten kit for her 7 and 3 year old. I love what she has to say about our boys wanting to be heroes:
“But wait, isn’t that what we want our children to become? Heroes!
Don’t we want our kids to grow up knowing and believing that God’s call on their lives is to love others,
stand up for the weak and be peacemakers,
all while trusting God and loving Him?”
As they discussed Superheroes, they were able to talk about their real life superheroes – their Daddy and their Heavenly Daddy – and how they love and protect them. They were able to go a step further and discover that they can also be heroes by standing up for their friends, showing bravery and becoming prayer warriors. Don’t you love that word? Warriors. That words puts all kinds of images in my mind, all of them with the same characteristics of a Hero.
I love the creative drawings and the imagination of the heroic actions of his Superhero – “Covered bad guy with goop and saved the people”.
All Superheroes must know their alphabet! Other things he will learn: following directions, colors, cutting, tally marks, but most importantly – how to be a real life Superhero!
Megan homeschools her 4 boys – 7, 5, 3 and 1. Her 5 year old has Pfeiffers Syndrome and a hearing disability, which you can read more about on her blog. Because of this, she teaches ASL along with their other studies. You can read more from her on Sign Language on her blog as well.
Have you used aHomeschool Share unit, lapbook, or resource lately? Have you blabbed it on your blog? If so, please link up to your blog post and let others read about your Homeschool Share adventures! Please link back to us too!
“It was the last day of our old lives, and we didn’t even know it.”
So begins Richard Peck’s Fair Weather, a wonderful story narrated by 13 year old Rosie Beckett. Rosie lives in the country with her parents, her Granddad, her big sister, Lottie, and her little brother, Buster. Rosie’s life is limited to her family’s farm, the one room schoolhouse, and an occasional trip to town. Her biggest excitement is wondering what will happen between her sister and the young man courting her, since her mother doesn’t approve of him. One day, though, a letter from her Aunt Euterpe arrives and her new life begins.
It’s 1893, and the entire world is abuzz with excitement over the World’s Columbian Exposition taking place in Chicago. Euterpe, their rarely seen or heard from aunt, invites Rosie, her siblings, and her mother to visit Chicago and experience “the wonder of the age.” This is the first time people have eaten Cracker Jacks or taken a ride on a Ferris Wheel. For many, it is the first time they’ve seen electric power lighting up the night sky. Rosie’s mother sends the children, but is going to send her ticket back. Granddad, a man with a mind of his own and a dog for a sidekick, thwarts her plans by taking the ticket and joining the children on their first trip to a big city.
When they arrive in Chicago, the contrast between life in the big city and life on the poor country farm is clear to all the travelers immediately. Rosie is astonished by how stiff and formal Aunt Euterpe is and can’t believe she was raised by her mischievous Granddad. Unintentionally at first, and later with great purpose, Rosie and Lottie begin to bring Aunt Euterpe out of her widow’s weeds and back into the land of the living. Their exploits at the fair are funny and enjoyable to read as Rosie recounts all the new sights, sounds, and smells around her. In the end, the Beckett family’s eyes are opened to the changes coming to their lives, both personally and globally.
Aside from being a great story, Fair Weather is also a good source of factual information about the 1893 Columbian Exposition. Photographs of the fair are included throughout the book to complement the descriptions of what Rosie sees. Peck has also written an author’s note about events that took place after the fair and its impact on our world. I read a non-fiction book about the Exposition years ago and was fascinated by the ingenuity and incredible work that went into this event. Fair Weather would make a great introduction to this time period.
I think this book would be best for fifth grade age and up. There are a few instances when Rosie notes the scantily clad dancers at the fair, though that is as much description as she gives, and sadly, we probably see much more at the pool now on a regular basis. In any case, you may want to pre-read it or use this as a read-aloud and edit as you see fit for your children. Also there is a recurring theme of things not being what they seem that may be better explored by older students. Lillian Russell, the famous actress, is scorned for being a “fallen woman” because she has been married three times. When Rosie and her family meet her, though, they realize she is kind and gracious and “everything that Lottie would like to be”—and Rosie feels the same way. Some of Granddad’s tall tales turn out to be true, and Lottie’s beau is not what her mother fears. Any of these situations would be great discussion starters for older students.
I have enjoyed many of Richard Peck’s novels, and Fair Weather is one of his best. It seems like the late 1800s sometimes is a brief mention in history books, stuck in between Reconstruction and World War I. This is a book that draws readers into the story and teaches them as well. I think that if you give it a try, you will not be disappointed!
Congratulations to our February Grand Giveaway winners:
Due to the lack of reply from 2 of our winners, 2 new winners have been drawn. Congratulations to:
Entry #99 Sara @ Embracing Destiny and
Entry #18 Cristi Schwamb
Please check your email inboxes for instructions to receive your prizes!
Entry #72 Michele G.
Entry #84 Magi M.
Entry #112 Rhonda-Mary E.
What do your children know about Presidents’ Day? As February 20 approaches, wouldn’t it be fun to learn a little something about the President’s job or specifically about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln? This is how Michelle’s family at My Blessings from Above celebrated the holiday:
Books they read that went along with their study were George Washington’s Teeth and So You Want to be President? The latter book lists trivia about some of the presidents that she included in their lapbooks. Michelle’s maternal genealogy is connected to one of the Presidents, so she included this mini book as part of their study. How interesting! Maybe your family is also connected to a President or a First Lady. Wouldn’t that be something?
You can find the Presidents’ Day lapbook at Homeschoolshare.
Michele and her husband Larry have 2 boys: Justin, 9 and Kaden, 5.
If you are on the homeschoolshare message boards, you might know
her as Michele NJ or Korea mom.
Have you used a Homeschool Share unit, lapbook, or resource lately? Have you blabbed it on your blog? If so, please link up to your blog post and let others read about your Homeschool Share adventures! Please link back to us too!