Saturday, September 13, 2014

American Revolution Study

Once upon a time, I intensely disliked the study of history. I could hardly bear the thought of cracking open a history textbook. One thousand other things beckoned me to come hither - to spend my time with things more pleasant. As a homeschool mom, I had to overcome my fear of history boredom, for I witnessed early on that we had a young one who tended to perk up at the sight or sound of anything historical. Fortunately for me (and for him), most of our significant history studies have come from reading "living books" and completing fascinating studies by Brimwood Press... and Homeschool in the Woods.

When I gave our sixth grader an option of completing any special projects of his choosing this year, he asked for a) history, and b) the Time Travelers series from Homeschool in the Woods. These American history studies are the preferred favorite of our family's enthusiastic historian, Stephen (age 11).

Recommended for grades 3-8, The American Revolution offers an in-depth, hands-on learning experience comprised of 25 lessons that can spread across 5-10 weeks (or more). The study covers the politics and conflicts that launched our nation, including Colonial beginnings, the French & Indian War, problems leading up to the revolution, the Continental Congress, General Washington, women of the war, specific battles, important persons who fought for the cause of liberty, and more.  As part of this study, we investigated important documents such as the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution, which has tied in well with our memory work the first few weeks of this school year (and will tie in well again at the end of this school year).

While younger students would need more assistance with the projects, older students like Stephen are able to handle the majority of the unit study independently, which is the reason our family has been able to incorporate this into our school day. (Stephen is almost always the reason we embark on history studies as a family. He coordinates projects and readings. It's his passion. His passion is my blessing.)

Each lesson contains readings (text provided) and projects (detailed instructions provided), many of which are completed and stored away to include in a lapbook at the end of the study.  The advantage of this set-up is that you are slowly and steadily working through the projects over several weeks, and in the end you have an organized display (in lapbook format) of everything that has been completed.

This American Revolution Study begins with Jamestown, for which you can build a paper model replica.  {You can build this paper model for free by downloading the American Revolution sample!}

The study also includes factfile cards for learning vocabulary, people, and places,

a Battles of Revolution Map,

dioramas and other 3-dimensional projects,

and copywork pages featuring famous quotes from our founding fathers.

Other projects and activities include (but are not limited to):
  • 11 Lap Book Projects, including pop-ups and layered books on things such as George vs George comparison, Whig vs. Tory comparison, pie book of tax acts, tea troubles, women of the war, and important figures
  • Mitchell's Map
  • Shadow Puppet Play
  • "The Daily Bugle" Newspaper 
  • Franklin's experiments: music of glass, optics
  • Candle Dipping
  • Make a Haversack
  • Cut a 5-Pointed Star
  • Make a Colonial Flag Floorcloth
  • Colonial Recipes
  • Miniature Soldiers
  • Notebooking Activities
  • Accordion Timeline with Timeline Figures (photo at the top of this post)
  • "Tribute to the Revolution" Party

But our family favorites are definitely the file folder games!

In Taxation Frustration, we experienced the unfair taxes that were placed on the colonists, and we also worked with shillings and other units of money that were used during that time period.

Liberty at Last was a timeline-style game played with a die.  When we rolled a certain number, we drew a card, read the card, and proceeded to that point on the timeline.  This was a great visual to place various events in order, and it was a great review of the events and people of the American Revolution.

In Battle Blitz! we drew trivia-style cards to review the events/people/places/battles of the American Revolution. As we went around the board, we reviewed the order in which the battles were fought and were able to locate the place of those battles on the gameboard map.  

Let me just take a moment here to say:  The games in this study made for an incredible review of all we had learned. (Actually, to be honest, it was only a review for Stephen. The rest of us were learning by playing the game. But... it's remarkable that we could learn so much simply by playing the games!)

This study includes many projects that we did not complete. When we do a Homeschool in the Woods study, we pick and choose what is best suited for our family (or specifically, what's best suited for Stephen). Hence, we reduce the writing workload significantly (because he already has writing assignments in his Essentials of the English Language class). While history is his favorite subject, I can't say the same for writing.

This means we did not complete all the writing within the lapbook, nor did we do the newspaper writing assignments or copywork (because we use Prescripts for penmanship practice). This gives us something to come back to later to review, and review is an important part of our family's classically eclectic method of learning.

We also do not necessarily complete one lesson in a day. Sometimes we spend several days (or weeks) parked in a certain lesson; sometimes we skip around and complete projects out of order. The American Revolution includes a variety of activities so that you can custom-fit the study to the needs and wishes of your family.

The only drawback to the Homeschool in the Woods studies are that they are only offered in digital format (via CD-ROM or download). This means there's a time investment involved as you follow detailed instructions on how to print on white paper, colored paper, white card stock, and colored card stock. I usually print everything up front, which (I think) takes about an hour or so. (I always forget to time how long it takes!) But because Stephen loves these studies so much, it's worth the time and effort. 

For this reason, I implore anyone reading this review to download and try the free sample(s) so you can determine if it is a good fit for you and your family. Click here to download the free American Revolution Sample, to view additional photos of completed projects, and to download the entire scope and sequence of this study! 

A final note:  Just as soon as Stephen wrapped up his study of the American Revolution, he pulled out The Early 19th Century Study... on a Saturday... as one thousand other things beckon him to come hither. I'm thankful for a child who stretches us beyond what I would normally plan to do, and I'm thankful for Homeschool in the Woods for making it all the more enjoyable.

To see other Homeschool in the Woods Studies we've completed:
Benjamin Franklin Unit Study (for grades K-2)
Renaissance & Reformation by Homeschool in the Woods

We received this product in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed herein are my own and have not been influenced by any outside source. 

Cycle 3 Week 7 Weekly Link-Up

The Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Weekly Link-up is a place for bloggers to share their ideas and activities with other CC parents and tutors for each week during Cycle 3 (2014-2015 school year). Unlike most weekly link-ups, this link-up will not be organized according to date but will be organized according to the week of CC. As such, these weekly link-ups will remain open for several months to accommodate for all the different schedules implemented by various CC Communities.  

This Link-Up is for Cycle 3:  Week 7

If you are looking for a different week, click here.

If you are looking for the Cycle 2 Weekly Link-Up, click here.
If you are looking for the Cycle 1 Weekly Link-Up, click here.

For bloggers who'd like a button, just copy and
paste the following html code into your webpage.

Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood

<a href="" target="_self"><img src="" alt="Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood" width="225" height="225" /></a>

Would you like to participate? 
For bloggers:  Feel free to share either 1) your plans for the week listed above or 2) what you did for this particular week of CC. When submitting your entry, please include the name of your blog or blog post and link directly to your post for the week noted in the post heading (so we can find it!) rather than to your entire blog. Also please link back to this page in your blog post so that your readers can check others' websites who are participating as well.  My hope is that this link-up encourages a feeling of community and friendship in the CC blogging world.

For non-bloggers:  Bookmark or pin this page and remember to visit the fabulous Cycle 3 blog entries that will be posted in the near future - all kinds of ideas for supplementing Classical Conversations. Check back often to see if others have submitted their ideas!

Bloggers:  By participating in this link-up, you agree that you will not post the words (in text, audio, or video format) of the history, science, timeline, or other specific wording found within the Foundations Guide in your blog post. You also agree to not post links to youtube videos, on-line Quizlet flashcards, or other material containing memory work sentences from the Foundations Guide.  Please do not post any material you have downloaded from CC Connected if it is not your own creation. You may include a reference to a specific file you have found useful by stating the name of the file so that it may be searched on CC Connected. This website strives to maintain the highest degree of integrity in honoring copyrights owned by Classical Conversations (or any other person or company, for that matter). Thank you for being honorable and trustworthy in your participation in this link-up!

This link-up is intended to be used with the Foundations Guide 4th Edition.  

For those receiving this in your email inbox, just click on the heading of this post to access the "Add Your Link" button or to access links that have been submitted. (But be patient, as it will take some time for bloggers to get their posts written and their links up!)

This will help all of us to easily find the ideas others have shared for each week of Classical Conversations! Thank you for participating!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Essentials Chart Mastery

After seeing our Memory Work Sticker Book and our Memory Work Mastery Chart,  a mom asked if we had a chart or other visual aid to track Essentials chart mastery.

Now we do, and you can download it.

Download the Chart Mastery Chart here.

You can color it in, use stickers, check the box, or come up with another creative way of using this chart.

I chose the tortoise & hare theme simply because it features a trail (the tortoise's trail), and that is one of the analogies used in the Essentials guide. I also hoped to show that we are not aiming for short-term memorization just so we can regurgitate and quickly forget what we "learned," but we are working towards long-term retention - a sometimes slow but steady mastery of all charts over the course of three years.

Do you have another idea for a simple creation? Let me know! Although I can't guarantee that I can pull it together, the idea may have a quick and easy solution.

A special thanks goes out to Samantha for asking a question that spurred an idea. Thanks, Samantha!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

We interrupt our "normal" routine for...

Our normal routine is shifting all askew for the next couple of weeks as we prepare for a performance in Cookeville, TN. In addition to our memory work, we've been finalizing the memorization of a few lines along with several songs and a bit of choreography. (Of course, by "we," I mean "they" because every time I try to "help" the boys with songs or lines, I'm not only corrected, I'm also laughed at. At least I am doing my part.)  By the way, the children in the above photo are some stellar friends of ours that are in a Classical Conversations campus in Cookeville.  If you are in the area (or within an hour or two drive), we would love for you to come to this play! I'll be wrestling with Levi and Isaac in the audience during all four performances, so you're bound to find us one way or another!

Now, for our week...

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Our Printables

It would give me great pleasure to know that others have benefited from the work I've done.  
Supporting other families in their homeschooling/parenting endeavors is one of the few ways I can minister to others at this point in my life.  It gives me great joy to share my work and to make this small offering of myself... all for the Glory of God.  My hope and prayer is that you are equipped and encouraged by my feeble attempts at writing - and that the few creations I have made for our own family will bless yours as well.  
I offer this little list of personal creations (a work in progress) as my gift to you.  You are free to print any of my downloads and to use any content on this website.  I absolutely, positively delight in sharing my work with others!  I offer everything I create for this blog for free, but please do not copy and re-post our blog content as your own work.  For more information, refer to my Terms of Use.

If you find anything here share-worthy, I humbly request that you link to this page (or the respective blog post) instead of to the direct downloads. Thank you!

Celebrating Holidays

Birthday Parties
Monster Truck Party - Food and Game Labels
Construction Party - Nail Labels for Pin-the-Nail-on-the-Hammer (Click here for pictures.)
Construction Party - Pin-the-Nail-on-the-Hammer (Click here for pictures.)
Construction Party - Food Labels - Yellow-Orange Fill (Click here for pictures.)
Construction Party - Food Labels - No Fill (Click here for pictures.)
Construction Party - Play Zone Labels (Click here for pictures.)
LEGO Party - Lego Brick Favor Box (print on colored cardstock)
Mario Party - Food Tags & Game Signs

Continental Blob Maps
U.S. Geography States & Capitals File Folder Game

How to Make a Botany Book & Botany Tree ID Notebooking Page

English Grammar/Essentials
Pronoun Match-Up Game
112 Model Sentences Blank Chart (Just one quadrant of chart)
Oral Question Confirmation Drill - Mastering Questions 1-4
Verb Anatomy Blank Chart (Just one quadrant of chart; "Tense" should say "Form."  File to be updated.)
Essentials Chart Mastery Visual
Sign of the Beaver - Identifying Stylistic Techniques Page (Click here for unit study details.)
Classical Memory Work Notebook Printables

Latin Conjugation File Folder Game
John 1 in Latin Copywork
Latin Conjugations Memory Aid: Keeping the Tenses Straight
Latin Alphabet Coloring Book and Pronunciation Flash Cards
"Making" Clouds with Latin

Homeschooling - General
Well-Trained Mind School Day Schedules
Our daily schoolwork checklists (.doc)
School Schedule /  Checklist
Chore Chart Cards (for use with 100s Pocket Chart)
Classical Christian Education slide
Book Log

Memory Work Review Games
Memory Work Review Game - Dice
Memory Work Review Game - Fillerup
Memory Work Review Game - What-to-do-how-to-say-it
Memory Work Review Game - Who Gets to Say It

Triangular Multiplication Fact Flashcards
Classical Memory Work Notebook Printables
Math Multiplication Drill Sheet (Place in page protector)

Tell me about the Alamo (our made up history sentence)
Assembly Line Valentines

Pocketful of Prayers
Family Prayer Chart

Fine Arts
Upside Down Drawing - Owl
Upside Down Drawing - Cattails
Perspective Drawing Template (Fold and use guidelines for drawing)
Perspective - Beach Balls (Objects are smaller as they approach horizon line)
Perspective - Country Road (One-Point Perspective Template)
Perspective - Train Template (One-Point Perspective Template)
Fine Arts Notebooking Packet for Cycle 2
Fine Arts Notebooking Packet for Cycle 3

Book Club/Unit Studies
Nim's Island Unit Study Lesson Plan and Lapbook
Sign of the Beaver Book Club/Unit Study

Classical Conversations Homeschooling & Tutor Planners*
Tutor Quarterly Planning Sheet
Cycle 1 Weekly Planner - Single Page Layout
Cycle 1 Weekly Planner - Double Page Layout
Cycle 2 Weekly Planners
Cycle 2 Literature Reading Schedule
Cycle 2 Story of the World Match-Up
Cycle 2 Booklist
Cycle 3 Weekly Planners
Cycle 3 Planners with Reading Plans (and Story of the World Match-Up)
Cycle 3 Correlated Reading Schedule
Cycle 3 Weekly Planner - Weekly List / Goals Layout (pdf)
Cycle 3 Booklist

Memory Master Proofing
Memory Work Sticker Book
Memory Work File Folder Chart
Memory Work Mastery Chart

Classroom Management & Character Awards
Attentive Award
Being-on-my-Spot Award
Courteous Award
Diligence Award
Stoplight Behavior Visual (write student names on clothespins & attach)

Math Projects & Other Stuff (from my former middle and high school math teacher days)
Student Math Autobiography Sheet
Biblical Timeline Project
Decimal Project
Fibonacci Project
Functions Project
Recipe Project
Statistics Research Project
Statistcs Project (6th grade)
Statistics Project (7th grade)

*This site is independent of Classical Conversations® and was not created and is not maintained, supervised, approved, authorized or endorsed by Classical Conversations®. While this site is intended to complement the material presented in the Foundations Guide, 4th Edition from Classical Conversations®, the materials were not prepared by and are not approved for use by Classical Conversations® as part of their sanctioned educational model. You may visit the Classical Conversations® website at, and find approved supplemental materials