Friday, January 30

It's Magic (Doris Day)

UPDATE :  The regular Magic Tree House series will continue with Shadow of the Shark, due to release in July 2015, and Balto of the Blue Dawn, due to release in January 2016.

If you're a fan of the Magic Tree House series, you're going to want to check into Mary Pope Osborne's newest series!  These books are a little bit longer, and include more facts and photographs at the end of the story.  The first book in the new series is Danger in the Darkest Hour.

The magic tree house has taken Jack and Annie back in time to England in 1944. England is fighting for its life in World War II. Before long, Jack and Annie find themselves parachuting into Normandy, France, behind enemy lines. The date is June 5. Will the brave brother and sister team be able to make a difference during one of the darkest times in history? They don’t know, but they have to try!

The kids were bummed when they realized that the original Magic Tree House series was ending after Soccer on Sunday, but we ALL were excited to see that there will be more, older-kid adventures in the Magic Tree House!

The Little Passports World Edition has several different World War II activities built into its European countries.  We pulled back out the ones on France, Italy, Germany, Poland, and Great Britain while we were reading this book.

We will study World War II more than once, but with this particular unit we focused on D-Day in Normandy and the aircraft of the period.  The unit below is specifically for those topics.

Airplane-Specific World War II Resources :

Check out all of our We Were There unit studies!

Friday, January 16

Melt With You (Modern English)

Homemade Chocolate Candies

These are super simple to make, and can be customized to your favorite flavor!  With Valentine's Day around the corner, this is an easy project to do with the kids.

Supplies :
Directions :
  • Put water in your main pot and turn on high.  Allow to boil.
  • Place the double boiler inside the pot, and put the chocolate square in there.
  • Give it a few minutes to begin melting.  Stir occasionally.
  • Allow to melt completely, then put in drops of your essential oil, to flavor the chocolate.  Stir well.
  • Carefully spoon the chocolate into the molds.  (This is a mom job.)
  • Place onto a cookie sheet and put in the freezer to harden.
  • After chocolate has cooled, pop out the candies!
  • We store the chocolate in the fridge for a longer life.

Saturday, January 3

Pretty Good Year (Tori Amos)

A Pretty Good Year

Road-schooling is such a fantastic way to educate!!  Just check out what we've been up to this past year...


After spending the holidays in sunny Florida, the new semester began in a cold and icy Polar Vortex.  We thought that it was the perfect time to study the Arctic and Vikings!  We also took some time at the beginning of the month to look back at the previous year's trips to Arkansas, Arizona, California, and New Mexico.  Our 2014 journey began!


This was a tough month - there were no trips on the horizon and everyone was fed up with the cold.  Cabin fever was setting in, and we decided to turn to our favorite subject to beat the doldrums.  The Lego Ninjago unit study was born!  We studied Asia, practiced our karate, and dreamed of warmer days...


We spent most of the month in Kansas, learning about the Swedish culture, President Eisenhower, and the spaces underneath our earth...  Back at home, we found an awesome place to learn about the skeletal system and looked for Frozen ideas for the little one.


We had an extra special treat when a family friend (who is now an astronaut) gave us a lengthy, behind-the-scenes tour at NASA!  Back at home, we studied Oklahoma history, re-enacted the Land Run, and started a unit on oceanography.


The days got longer and warmer, and we headed north to Michigan, where we studied Dutch culture, worked with a paleontologist, found the biggest museum we'd ever seen, and studied the fur trade industry and President Ford.  Warmer days also meant outside field trips at home!


What a month!!!  We drove for two days to the New England area, where we hit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Niagara Falls, Ben & Jerry's factory, Fort Ticonderoga, and the sweetest little village!  We studied the War of 1812, maritime history, and the maple sugar industry.  A full day in New York City proved to be enough for a lifetime, and a long weekend in Boston provided inspiration for many months to come!! 


Still out on the June trip, we wound our way into Pennsylvania, where we explored Amish country, visited Gettysburg, tasted the history of chocolate, and walked in George Washington's footsteps.  We headed home, where we finished the oceanography unit and began studying magnetism.  The garden was high, so we dug into the heat of summer canning!

After hitting up some good garage sales and surviving bad days, we headed back north to escape the summer heat in Wisconsin!  We studied the logging industry and learned how to make cheese.   Since we were in the neighborhood, we skipped over to Minnesota and found some...unique...museums!  The seasons were changing already, and we came home with ripe apples for making applesauce.  But eventually the {school} bell tolls for us all...


After helping a local organization, we stumbled upon a local retreat, where the boys got into all things Mountain Men.  We continued speech class, wrapped up our study on Egypt just in time to hit the road for another long one; this time we began at the Space & Rocket Center.


Heading north from Alabama, we explored the Blue Ridge Mountains, visited Biltmore House, and wound our way to the coast.  Once there, we studied lighthouses, the Lost Colony, wind patterns, and the Wright Brothers.  Just a bit further up the road, we stopped off at Colonial Williamsburg and the Naval Yards of Norfolk before heading home.


Back at home, we launched into the study of Rome and a geology unit, prepped for Thanksgiving, and started planning our Thanksgiving trip.  A whirlwind trip to Southern California put us at the opposite shoreline, where we learned the history of Air Force flight.


No trips this month - it's time to hibernate for the winter!  We started our holiday baking, geared up for the RACK program, spread cheer, and made awesome gingerbread ornaments.  School continued around the celebrations, and we ended the year on a positive note.  

Here's to a fabulous new year!!