Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Book Nook

We've finished up our Thanksgiving unit, and tomorrow we'll begin learning about Christmas Around the World.

But before I post our plans for that, I'm moving my Thanksgiving book list from the side bar for future reference.


Mayflower Nut

I found this simple activity at Scholastic. The kids enjoyed constructing and sailing their miniature models of the Mayflower, and we learned a bit of history and science in the process.

What You Need:
  • 1/2 of an empty walnut shell (I didn't have any on hand, so we collected some hickory nutshells from our backyard.)
  • a ball of Crayola Model Magic Clay(or a similar material) - 1/2" in diameter
  • 1 toothpick
  • a 1"x 2" rectangle of wax paper (I was out, so we decided to make little red flags instead.)
  • small, clear plastic cup or other container
  • blue food coloring (optional)
What You Do:
  1. Press the clay into the nutshell.
  2. Insert the toothpick through the wax paper twice. (Think sewing stitch.) This is your sail.
  3. Insert toothpick sail into the clay.
  4. Fill the container halfway with water. (You can put in a couple drops of blue food coloring to make it more "ocean-like" if you want.)
  5. Now try sailing your miniature ship in the container. If it floats, it's the Mayflower. If it sinks, then it's the Speedwell.
  6. Click here to learn more about the Speedwell. (Until this week I had never known that there was a second ship that started the journey across the Atlantic with the Mayflower.)
  7. You can also expand this project/experiment by testing different types of nutshells and/or clay-like materials to see what floats and what sinks.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Help Bring These Babies Home!

Please, please...I need your help! :)

Suzanne Mayernick is the Mom of four biological and three adopted children, one of whom is Josie Love, the most precious little girl from Uganda who tested positive for HIV.

The Mayernick family's story inspires me and makes me want to live a radical life of faith.

If you go to this link at SixSeeds before the end of November, you'll see Josie Love's story. You can read it (and be very blessed), skim it, or skip it. But...if you leave a comment at the bottom of the post, SixSeeds will donate 2$ to the adoption of two little Ugandan boys who are waiting to come home to their forever family (close friends of the Mayernick family).

Two dollars may not sound like a lot, but every penny counts when you're saving up to bring home your baby as soon as possible.

Thanks for taking just a couple of minutes to make a difference in the life of these two precious little ones and their family!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Making A Blessing Tree

This is a simple and fairly quick project to do, and it's a pretty reminder to count your blessings...anytime of the year!

Please join me over at The Homeschool Post to read more about it. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pack A Shoebox and Change A Life!

I'm short on time, but this is sooo important, so here goes!

Operation Christmas Child is an awesome ministry that we've participated in for years. It's fun, easy, and it makes an impact on our whole family while changing the life of a child somewhere on this planet.

Please, please take a couple of minutes to watch this video. (Make sure to turn off my music player at the bottom of the left sidebar, so you can hear the video.)

A Gift for Katje by Candace Fleming is an excellent book to read as your family puts together your box(es). Not necessary, but a great addition to the whole experience. :)

The deadline for dropping off boxes is Monday, Nov. 22nd. You can find out the location of the collection site nearest you and learn how to pack your box by visiting Samaritan's Purse. (And this year you'll be able to track your box and see where it goes...very cool!)

I pray that you'll feel moved to participate and change the life of a child this Christmas!

Blessings to you,

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Thanksgiving Study

I have so much to catch up on here, but tonight I thought I'd layout what we're doing right now...learning all about Thanksgiving!   This is one of my favorite holidays, and as much as I adore Christmas, I refuse to skip over such an important day in our country's history. So...no Christmas carols around here quite yet! :) 
We've done a couple of Thanksgiving units in past years, one based on Cranberry Thanksgiving and another focusing on the Native Americans, so this year we'll be spending a lot of time on the pilgrims, their journey, and their life at Plymouth.


Amanda Bennett's Thanksgiving Unit - I'm using this as a sort of guide for the topics I want to cover. It's a 4-week study and quite in depth, so we're just using bits and pieces of it. Her reading list is excellent, as well as her ideas for hands-on projects. I just love this lady!

Homeschool Share - An incredibly awesome go-to site for unit studies, printables, and rounding out just about anything we're studying around here! You've heard me sing its praises before. And did I mention that the oodles of amazing resources on their site are free? I try to love on the generous HSS team when I can by shopping through their Amazon links. :) Here are some of their Thanksgiving goodies:
  • Lapbook for A. Bennett's Thanksgiving Unit (Scroll to bottom for link to the PDF. Lots of great notebooking/lapbooking printables even if you don't have the unit study.)
  • Mini-books and other lapbook resources for the book Cranberry Thanksgiving (Lots of good stuff here even if you can't get your hands on the book.)
  • Main index of Thanksgiving books and printables
  • Unit Study and Lapbook for Goody O'Grumpity (Again, lots of good info. and printables even if you don't have the book.)
Free Thanksgiving Notebooking Pages from HomeschoolNotebooking.com
    • First Person video interviews with Miles Standish and others at Plimoth Colony
    • Sign up here to go on a virtual field trip of Plimoth Plantation via a live webcast on Tuesday, Nov. 16th. If you sign up, you'll also receive free historical fiction letters from characters of Plimoth Colony. I print them out, put in an envelope, address to my children, and place in our mailbox for them to receive - lots of fun and informative too.
    • Make a mini-Mayflower with a walnut shell. These look easy to make and fun to sail!
    • Sail on The Mayflower printable board game
    Plimoth Plantation's site:
    • Two recipes for authentic Wampanoag and Pilgrim dishes
    • Directions for two Wampanoag and Pilgrim games. (We made Fox and Geese two years ago and still enjoy playing it.)
    • Learn (and hear) how to talk like a pilgrim. 
    And of course, some Turkey Fun:
    We'll also be making a Thanksgiving/Blessing Tree. (There are tons of cute variations on this - just Google it.)
    Tomorrow I'll post our book list in my right sidebar.

    Hope you're enjoying this season!