Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Informal Reading Assessment



Everyone likes to have an idea of how well their child is reading. I found a nice little assessment page that will help you find the approximate matching grade level for your child's reading skill.

You simply have the child read the column of words and mark when they make a mistake.  After reading to a certain threshold (which is explained in the directions), you have their reading level. Simple!  I plan to do this over the next week with all of my young readers.

Informal Reading Assessment

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Overall Boys

This is a sweet little Primer I found at a thrift store. The Overall Boys and the Sunbonnet Girls were quite popular in the 1900's and far beyond. In fact, in the 1960's, my grandmother made a Sunbonnet Girl quilt for my baby sister who, sadly died at 6 weeks old.  I have that quilt now and it is precious to me.  I tucked each of my babies with it. The original copyright on my book is 1905, with a later copyright date of 1915.

The Overall Boys follows Jack, Joe, Tim and Ted as they explore their world. The text is not dumbed down and the Boys have REAL adventures!


Like the Sunbonnet Girls, their faces are hidden by their hats much of the time. 


Don't you just love the bodysuit swimwear?


Boys will be boys and have FUN!


My copy included this precious inscription, which documents my copy as being given as a birthday gift in 1919.

What a great find!  I love visiting thrift stores and discovering treasures.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Incredible Crafty Paper

How's this for a handicraft?  This entire video, sounds and all, was created with paper.  What incredible creations could your children dream up with paper today?  Inspire them!



The Human Body (stop-motion!) from kellianderson on Vimeo.

For those less interested in innards and guts, perhaps quilling would be more to their liking?




Don't think that simple paper and glue isn't enough to capture your child's imagination on a rainy winter afternoon.  Get crafting!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Playing Pick-It

One of my favorite things to do is pull out a game that we haven't played in a long time. I spied Pick-It in our game closet and decided to bring it out today.



This is a simple game that you can easily make at home.  Five small sticks (like matchsticks) and cards that show what position into which you try to build the sticks.  There are levels of play, from simply matching the pictures, to having a hand of five cards of building possibilities and having to move only one stick to make it match.  It can be played by one player as well as a group.

This works on fine motor skills, perception, memory, patterning and more. It's a great way to spend some time together and build skills!




Tuesday, November 5, 2013

When Hannah Var Eight Yar Old



It's been a while since I did a vintage book review. I came across this story when it was mentioned on a Homesteading board on Facebook.  It is the story of Hannah, an eight year old Swedish girl who later immigrated to America.  It was published in September 1915, written by Katherine Peabody Girling and beautifully illustrated by Alfred James Dewey. There's little information available on the author or illustrator, but what work I saw of the illustrator was beautiful!

Sweet Hannah is a young woman worthy of praise!  Her mother is ill and she needs to step in and step up, and she does a marvelous job of it. This is a bittersweet short story of a mother's great love, a daughter's faithfulness and the sturdy hardiness of the immigrant people who made our nation great.

Here's the complete book, with original illustrations, to enjoy with your children!

When Hannah Var Eight Yar Old


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Two Weeks of Unusual Animals Mini-Units

It's school time again!  Hooray!  My younger set (grades 3-5th) expressed interest in unusual animals the other day, so I made a bit of an overview study for them to enjoy the first two weeks of school.  We are doing Chemistry/Physics this year as our main science focus, but I don't want nature study to take a backseat. There will be a few of these types of studies thrown in throughout the year. These are short little studies, perfect to do in those short bits of free time in between other activities.

Two Weeks of Unusual Animals

Sloth

Sloth Facts
Bathtime for Baby Sloths
Mouldy, Buggy Sloth
Sloth Coloring Page


Aye-Aye

Aye-Aye Fact Video
Aye-Aye Coloring Page
Aye-Aye Facts


Blobfish

There's very few authentic pictures of blobfish.  Here they are in an album.  Click the right side of the picture to move to the next one. I couldn't find an authentic video clip of a blobfish in it's habitat.
Blobfish facts


Platypus

Platypus facts
Platytpus video clip
Platypus coloring page
Platypus (Step Into Reading)
Kindle book with over 50 pictures: (free at time of posting)

Echidna

Echidna video clip
Echidna facts
Echidna Coloring Page


Yeti Crab

The Discovery of the Yeti Crab
Yeti Crab facts
Yeti Crab Swarms
Yeti Crab Snack
Scientific paper of Yeti Crabs, with detailed outline drawings


Capybara

Pictures and facts about capybara
Capybara coloring page
Capyboppy


Sea Spiders

Sea Spider facts
Sea Spider Coloring Page (make the picture larger scale before printing)
Sea Spider video clip


Sea Pig

Sea Pig Facts
Sea Pig video clip (note that it is sped up 10X!)






Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor


Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor
Excerpt

Even before the list was published, the British marked down every member of Congress suspected of having put his name to treason. All of them became the objects of vicious manhunts. Some were taken. Some, like Jefferson, had narrow escapes. All who had property or families near British strongholds suffered.

Francis Lewis, New York delegate saw his home plundered—and his estates in what is now Harlem—completely destroyed by British Soldiers. Mrs. Lewis was captured and treated with great brutality. Though she was later exchanged for two British prisoners through the efforts of Congress, she died from the effects of her abuse.

William Floyd, another New York delegate, was able to escape with his wife and children across Long Island Sound to Connecticut, where they lived as refugees without income for seven years. When they came home they found a devastated ruin.

Philips Livingstone had all his great holdings in New York confiscated and his family driven out of their home. Livingstone died in 1778 still working in Congress for the cause.
Louis Morris, the fourth New York delegate, saw all his timber, crops, and livestock taken. For seven years he was barred from his home and family.

John Hart of Trenton, New Jersey, risked his life to return home to see his dying wife. Hessian soldiers rode after him, and he escaped in the woods. While his wife lay on her deathbed, the soldiers ruined his farm and wrecked his homestead. Hart, 65, slept in caves and woods as he was hunted across the countryside. When at long last, emaciated by hardship, he was able to sneak home, he found his wife had already been buried, and his 13 children taken away. He never saw them again. He died a broken man in 1779, without ever finding his family.

Dr. John Witherspoon, signer, was president of the College of New Jersey, later called Princeton. The British occupied the town of Princeton, and billeted troops in the college. They trampled and burned the finest college library in the country.

Judge Richard Stockton, another New Jersey delegate signer, had rushed back to his estate in an effort to evacuate his wife and children. The family found refuge with friends, but a Tory sympathizer betrayed them. Judge Stockton was pulled from bed in the night and brutally beaten by the arresting soldiers. Thrown into a common jail, he was deliberately starved. Congress finally arranged for Stockton's parole, but his health was ruined. The judge was released as an invalid, when he could no longer harm the British cause. He returned home to find his estate looted and did not live to see the triumph of the Revolution. His family was forced to live off charity.

Robert Morris, merchant prince of Philadelphia, delegate and signer, met Washington 's appeals and pleas for money year after year. He made and raised arms and provisions which made it possible for Washington to cross the Delaware at Trenton. In the process he lost 150 ships at sea, bleeding his own fortune and credit almost dry.

George Clymer, Pennsylvania signer, escaped with his family from their home, but their property was completely destroyed by the British in the Germantown and Brandywine campaigns.
Dr. Benjamin Rush, also from Pennsylvania , was forced to flee to Maryland. As a heroic surgeon with the army, Rush had several narrow escapes.

John Martin, a Tory in his views previous to the debate, lived in a strongly loyalist area of Pennsylvania. When he came out for independence, most of his neighbors and even some of his relatives ostracized him. He was a sensitive and troubled man, and many believed this action killed him. When he died in 1777, his last words to his tormentors were: "Tell them that they will live to see the hour when they shall acknowledge it [the signing] to have been the most glorious service that I have ever rendered to my country."

William Ellery, Rhode Island delegate, saw his property and home burned to the ground.

Thomas Lynch, Jr., South Carolina delegate, had his health broken from privation and exposures while serving as a company commander in the military. His doctors ordered him to seek a cure in the West Indies and on the voyage, he and his young bride were drowned at sea.

Edward Rutledge, Arthur Middleton, and Thomas Heyward, Jr., the other three South Carolina signers, were taken by the British in the siege of Charleston. They were carried as prisoners of war to St. Augustine, Florida, where they were singled out for indignities. They were exchanged at the end of the war, the British in the meantime having completely devastated their large landholdings and estates.
Thomas Nelson, signer of Virginia, was at the front in command of the Virginia military forces. With British General Charles Cornwallis in Yorktown, fire from 70 heavy American guns began to destroy Yorktown piece by piece. Lord Cornwallis and his staff moved their headquarters into Nelson's palatial home. While American cannonballs were making a shambles of the town, the house of Governor Nelson remained untouched. Nelson turned in rage to the American gunners and asked, "Why do you spare my home?"

They replied, "Sir, out of respect to you." Nelson cried, "Give me the cannon!" and fired on his magnificent home himself, smashing it to bits. But Nelson's sacrifice was not quite over. He had raised $2 million for the Revolutionary cause by pledging his own estates. When the loans came due, a newer peacetime Congress refused to honor them, and Nelson's property was forfeited. He was never reimbursed. He died, impoverished, a few years later at the age of 50.

Of those 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, in each case with brutal treatment. Several lost wives, sons or entire families. One lost his 13 children. Two wives were brutally treated. All were at one time or another the victims of manhunts and driven from their homes. Twelve signers had their homes completely burned. Seventeen lost everything they owned. Yet not one defected or went back on his pledged word. Their honor, and the nation they sacrificed so much to create is still intact.

And, finally, there is the New Jersey signer, Abraham Clark.
He gave two sons to the officer corps in the Revolutionary Army. They were captured and sent to that infamous British prison hulk afloat in New York Harbor known as the hell ship Jersey, where 11,000 American captives were to die. The younger Clarks were treated with a special brutality because of their father. One was put in solitary and given no food.

With the end almost in sight, with the war almost won, no one could have blamed Abraham Clark for acceding to the British request when they offered him his sons' lives if he would recant and come out for the King and Parliament. The utter despair in this man's heart, the anguish in his very soul, must reach out to each one of us down through 200 years with his answer: "No."

The 56 signers of the Declaration Of Independence proved by their every deed that they made no idle boast when they composed the most magnificent curtain line in history. "And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."