Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Beautiful Feet Books: Lewis and Clark

As we finished up the American Revolution/Colonial studies with Beautiful Feet Books Early American History Primary, it then moved into a short study of Lewis and Clark.  It looks as if BFB cover this time period in more depth with some of their other studies aimed at older students, but to add to this time period we rowed Warm as Wool to give us a glimpse at the earliest pioneers moving from the northeast.  It went with a field trip, so we rowed it first.

Genevieve Foster

The study uses just a portion of this book, about three chapters.  We completed it in one week.  The lessons cover the purchase of the Louisiana Territory, Lewis and Clark's journey, and a later chapter covers The White House and The Star Spangled Banner.  The boys found the reading interesting enough.  I think they actually liked the last chapter the best.  I added a YouTube video of The Star Spangled Banner after we read about it, so we could listen and discuss.

There was only one simple notebooking assignment.  They didn't feel like coloring--it was the first week back after two weeks off

Sacagawea by Lise Erdrich 
illustrated by Julie Buffalohead

I chose this specific book about Sacagawea because I saw it on Birchbark Books when I was looking for authentic Native American books to add throughout the year.  I figured that would be a good place to start for "recommendations" and I saw this book and knew it would fit well with this portion of the study.

We really enjoyed this book.  The beginning talked about the different spellings and pronunciation of her name.  The story itself gave us a little bit more insight into what her young life would have been like, as well as more information about the journey with the Corps of Discovery.  The Afterward gives us three theories on what happened to Sacagawea.  Most historians believe she died young, while two oral traditions from Native tribes have her living to a more elderly age.  Emory really liked pondering the different scenarios, but of course he preferred to believe she lived a long life.

This is a beautifully written and illustrated living book and I am so glad I added it.  It compliments this study very well!

Next up ~ I'll be combining the Abraham Lincoln unit with Who Owns the Sun? and They Were Strong and Good from FIAR for a look at slavery and the Civil War.  

©2011-2017 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Manhood Journey {review}

As the parents of two boys, my husband and I were intrigued by the Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit.  This is a program for fathers and sons, published by Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio.  This program is designed to give boys (ages 8-17) the tools they need to become Godly young men.  While it is designed to be a mentorship between father and son, I'll preface this review by stating that it can be used by any man who has a "fatherly" role in a boy's life, such as stepfather, grandfather, uncle, or another trusted mentor.  The program, and I, use the terms father/dad and son, but I fully recognize the importance of other men in a boy's life.  I'm only using these terms for simplicity, and because that is the relationship in which this program fits our situation.

The Starter Kit contains:
Group Discussion Guide
1 on 1 Discussion Guide
DVD of the introductory videos for all six modules
10 Maprochures
Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You by Kent Evans
Father's Starter Kit | Manhood Journey

There are two discussion guides.  The Group Discussion Guide is designed for the leader of a Manhood Journey group.  It is full of ideas for opening activities each week, as well as discussion questions, suggestions for keeping the dialogue going if participants are unwilling to open up at first, verses to discuss, closing prayer and father/son homework.  There are blank pages for notes as well.

Then there is the 1 on 1 Discussion Guide.  While it can be used with multiple boys at once, it's designed to use with just a couple of boys at one time, so Dad can really get to know his son and have personal discussions with him.  It is designed so that it can be used in conjunction with a Manhood Journey weekly group meeting.  You will see the references between the two guides.  However, it can be still be used without going to weekly meetings, and there are simple instructions for this as well.  It has an introduction to the program and discusses how to use the guide as a starting point for discussion, learning together and prayer, rather than an agenda or "lesson plan."  Each week starts out with A Word to Dad, to prepare him for the upcoming week.  There is a reference to review the group meeting (it's suggested to skip these references if you are not participating in group sessions), along with more than enough discussion questions.  There are activities sprinkled throughout, such as working in a Manhood Journey Notebook (to become a spiritual journal of sorts), hands-on activities, and games.  Some of these activities seem lighthearted on first glance, but lead to deeper discussions.  There are also verses that can be used for more exploration.  The reason so many activities are included is so that Dad can choose the most appropriate discussions/activities for their son.  I really appreciate the versatility and adaptability of this program in that respect, because it allows my husband to meet my son where he is emotionally and spiritually and go from there.

Wise Guides: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You was written by Kent Evans, cofounder of Manhood Journey.  The book encourages you to find Godly men who are full of wisdom and experience that can benefit you, and to learn how to learn from them.  Mentoring is practically a lost art, but can be an invaluable tool for helping a person grow in so many areas of their life.  This book could certainly be used separately, and would make a great read for young men leaving home for the first time as they are entering college or the workforce.

Embarking is the name of this study, and it is the first module in the full Manhood Journey program.  The Maprochure is a little brochure that you might give out to perspective group members about the full Manhood Journey program.  It has a "map" of the full program on one side; while the other side has descriptions of the remaining five modules: Clean Hearts, Working Well, Standing Strong, Manhood Myths, Leading Lessons.  Each module lasts six weeks.

Overall, we feel this is a great tool for fathers or other men to use with their sons or young boys who need Godly male influence in their lives.  It opens the door for discussion on many topics, and if you are doing the fully journey with a group, will allow boys to find other young men that can hopefully be a good influence in their lives.

Father's Starter Kit | Manhood Journey
To find out more about this study, you can read the rests of the crew reviews or find Manhood Journey online.

Manhood Journey

City on a Hill
Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit {Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

©2011-2017 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Sneak Peak: ArtAchieve

Have you heard of ArtAchieve before?  I will have a review coming soon, but I wanted to give you a little sneak peak!

The Czech Cat

We've started using the Entire Level I, but I thought I'd share this lesson with you now because it's completely free.  The cats were done by a 10 year old, 7 year old, 4 year old and an adult.  Well, the 4 year old didn't draw hers, we did it for her, because she wanted to coler with us.

After three lessons, I'm impressed.  It's a good balance between step-by-step instructions and giving the child encouragement to be creative.  They actually offer a few other basic lessons for free, so I'm sharing about those now, because it gives you a chance to try out the free lessons and come back at the beginning of May to see what we think after we really dig in!

The Hungarian Insects in progress

Homeschool Coffee Break

©2011-2017 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Five in a Row: Warm as Wool

This post contains affiliate links.

When going through the Five in a Row units, admittedly, Warm as Wool is not one that I would have initially jumped at the chance to row.  However, I was looking at a master list of FIAR books by date and geographical location, and realized that a book set in the early 1800's in Ohio would tie in perfectly with a group field trip to a history museum dedicated to the founding of Ohio and early pioneers!  Our group would also be offered a special class that would tie in, and I knew I could tweak our Revolutionary War study to make the timeline work for us.  You can't get more serendipitous!

Beautiful Feet follows the Revolutionary War with a one week study of the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark, before it moves into a lot of time on Abraham Lincoln, so I knew this would also be a good row to bulk up that general time period.

The book is about the Ward family - mom, dad, and three young children - who travel from Connecticut to Ohio.  Betsy Ward spends the cold, harsh winter dreaming of buying sheep so she can have warm wool to keep her children warm.

Social Studies
I always try to start with geography, so we can review it throughout the week.  We printed a US map and traced their journey as described in the Prologue.

Of course, we placed our story disk on Ohio, where the story took place.

Covered/Conestoga wagons, Pioneers, Westward Migration 
Our field trip was part of a homeschool group field trip.  The museum is dedicated to the founding of our area, which just happens be part of the northwest territory that was explored after the Revolutionary War and preserves the history of westward migration and area pioneers.  We had three classes and a self-guided tour before/afterwards.

More specifically, one of the classes that had been scheduled for our group was Transportation: how to fill a Conestoga wagon!  Considering the general time period and this class fit so well with the book, I couldn't resist!  We learned the difference in the Conestoga wagon and the Prairie Schooner.  The Conestoga was a massive, curved (she described it as a smile) wagon used primarily in the early 1800's.  The curved ends would have kept things in the wagon in the more mountainous regions.  These were not the same wagons used in the westward migration, however.  Prairie Schooners were the smaller, "box" shaped wagons, often converted farm wagons.  Conestoga's were too heavy for the prairies and would get stuck in the dirt/mud, but smaller wagons would be able to travel the longer distances.

The museum had a conestoga wagon on display, and I believe she said its as the earliest known one in the state.  They knew quite a bit of the history of the particular family that had traveled to Ohio from Pennsylvania with it.  We learned how it was made, the things that might fill the wagon when a family traveled, and the tools they used on the journey.  We learned that everyone walked, because there was no room to ride in these wagons.  Father might stand on the side on a board, and really young children would be carried, and they averaged 12-15 miles per day.  Everyone had jobs, and she did a great job of describing the jobs in relation to the girls/boys by age.  A 7 year old boy might walk behind the wagon and grease the wheels with tar, while a 10 year old boy might try to hunt rabbit for stew.

After we walked around the wagon and looked at everything the family might have taken with them and where everything was located, they were given cards for a memory game.  There was a taped off section on the floor, the size of the wagon, and each child had to go to the spot on the wagon where their item was located.

How fitting, one of the boys got a spinning wheel!  There was one on display in this room too.

Beautiful Feet doesn't really cover Westward Migration and the mid-late 1800's in-depth at this point (there is a separate course on Westward Migration) so we used this row and the covered-wagon connection to just glimpse into that time period.

You Wouldn't Want to be an American Pioneer! by Jacqueline Morley


Language Arts

We went through the book looking for similes, and tried to listen for them in other books we read.  We also completed this Simile Self Portrait.

Prologue, Author's Notes, Book Jackets
We discussed these elements throughout the week.  Emory insisted that I read the Prologue with every reading.  I think he really felt like it was part of the story.

Additional Literature
Dandelions by Eve Bunting
Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson
Going West by Jan Van Leeuwen

The books were relevant to the themes of traveling by wagon or "starting over" in a new place.


Imagination and Facial Expressions
After discussing the lesson, we used a cartooning book from the library and a Blank Face printout to make our own facial expressions.

We read about sheep in a non-fiction book about farm animals, watched some sheep sheering videos on YouTube and did a notebooking page.

Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates
This is a great living book that ties in well.  I used it as a lunchtime read-aloud for the kids.

Math - The math lesson was fairly simple, relating to the flock of sheep, basic addiction and subtraction.  We just did it orally during one of the readings.  Nothing fancy.

Overall, it was a simple, but fun and engaging row.  After this row we took a school-break, then returned to Beautiful Feet for the short unit on Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark.  From there it goes into Abraham Lincoln.  You'll see some tweaking of that as we also study the Civil War with Five in a Row.

Eleanor is starting to join in more for some of the activities, so I think she's really ready to dive into Before Five in a Row at her level, and I can't wait to start fresh with it!

©2011-2017 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Five in a Row - Paul Revere's Ride and the American Revolution

This post contains affiliate links.

I didn't initially plan to re-row any books when we decided to add FIAR back to our schedule, mostly because there are so many we haven't rowed.   However, Paul Revere's Ride just fit so perfectly into our history studies, and the boys didn't really connect with it the first time around; I thought they'd enjoy it more with additional context.  Plus, it would help me pace out our history schedule to make it align with an upcoming row and field trip.  So it made the most sense to row Paul Revere's Ride for two weeks and use the BFB books as go-alongs, picking and choosing which notebooking activities would be most beneficial.

Language Arts
I read the book a few times through before this lesson.  I expanded on the manual's lesson, and talked about how this particular poem is called a Narrative Poem, because it tells a story.  We talked about other books we've read that are narrative poems.  (Madeline is a great FIAR example.)  Then we read another poem by Wadsworth, There was a Little Girl, and talked about how vastly different they were.  I wanted to show them how poets can write in different styles.

Poetic/Creative License
It's a well-known fact that Longfellow took some liberty with the facts.  We discussed this, but also watched this video, 11 Things You May Not Know About Paul Revere.

We talked about how fog is a type of cloud, discussed when we see fog around the river, and read about different types of clouds.  I printed the types of clouds for descriptions, and we made our own examples.  They used a bit of black watercolor paint to darken their clouds.

We also looked for different types of clouds outside.

I know Eleanor was paying attention to this lesson, because the next day she colored a picture in a coloring book, with black clouds.  They were storm clouds!

I typed up a quick "worksheet" with the riddle from the manual and a couple more related problems on it.  Emory isn't quite to the point of borrowing needed for the math suggestion in the manual, but Elliott worked the problems on the dry erase board and talked through them for Emory, so it was a good introduction.

Social Studies
We talked about the use of signals, per the manual, as well as the art lesson on light.  Since the poem describes the use of lights as signals, we made Tin Can Lanterns for fun.  Sorry, no pictures right now (I'll try to update), but they're easy to find online.  The boys had fun hammering nail holes, that's for sure!

Geography - Boston, Thirteen Colonies
We reviewed the geography for this book.

Paul Revere
I read Paul Revere, Son of Liberty to the boys while they made a Paul Revere from Famous Figure of the American Revolution.   They made several others with the history portion of this study below too.  I was surprised at how much they liked them.  Sometimes they were neat, detailed and accurate in their coloring, and sometimes not, but they enjoyed them.

Additional:  Paul Revere Coloring Page ~ Crayola

History: Revolutionary War, George Washington, Famous Historical Documents, etc.  
This was all tied into the Beautiful Feet Books: Colonial Studies and American Revolution study.  I used those books over two weeks as the go-along books, and we did some of the notebooking exercises, but you can see the full book list and in-depth historical study on that post.

Emory also read those George Washington: Our First President and Sam the Minuteman readers.  Elliott is working on a separate writing program right now, so we ended up not finishing The Arrow over the Door, but I skimmed it and thought it looked very interesting for giving an authentic Native American perspective.


We ended this time period in history here, and transitioned into the early 1800's.  We had a field trip opportunity that would line up the book Warm As Wool, so I decided to row that and then go back to Beautiful Feet Book for the Lewis and Clark study, which all took place about the same time.  I'll be sharing all of that soon!

©2011-2017 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.