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


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


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


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


Pictures and facts about capybara
Capybara coloring page

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

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."

Friday, June 14, 2013

Missing Veee

Sadly, my friend Veee's blog disappeared during the big change at HomeschoolBlogger, so all of our collaborating posts have dead links now and her great blog is lost to the world. I'm so sad!  I hope she will get a new one up eventually, but she's cuddling an adorable baby, chasing equally adorable toddlers,  AND teaching a crew of her own,  so she may not get to it all that soon.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Summer Books!!!

The school year is wrapping up and it's time for Freetime FUN reading!  I'm reading through the Chronicles of Narnia with the four youngest Lambies and we will continue them.  When it's time to read, I announce loudly, "It's time to go to Narnia!" and they come running to resume our adventure.

I have several small books that I want to read with them this summer, but I also think it's time for Anne of Green Gables. I'll probably get the audio version and we'll listen as a family while doing various handicrafts.

My teens have their own books that they are enjoying.  EmBlem is enjoying the Wheel of Time series. GirlofGod is, as always, reading Sherlock Holmes, and also Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Vic is reading Percy Jackson and Trixie is devouring the Series of Unfortunate Events.  Polly is a big fan of the Magic TreeHouse books and will be beginning the Dear America series soon.  Jack and Missy are still learning to read, but enjoy being read to and looking at picture books.  Jack is *this close* to being able to enjoy a book on his own.  Troubles, who is ready for a new blog name, is reading "The Bears on Hemlock Mountain" and the Little Bear stories by Else Holmelund Minarik.

And Momma's current read? The Riyria Revelations.  I listen on the audiobook version as I walk in the morning, do outdoor chores, if the Lambies aren't helping, and sometimes while I cook. They have been very good!

What are you reading this summer?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Odds and Ends Regarding The Book House

I have been collecting My Book House books for a long time. I have need of just ONE more to have the complete set!  If anyone has a spare Volume 1 with a light green cover laying around, please let me know.  I looked through my new-to-me Volume 2 last night, just randomly reading bits and enjoying the pictures.

I so love the colors of vintage books. You just don't get them with reproductions!  Speaking of reproductions, Dover is reprinting My Book House. I have seen that the first two volumes are published and ready for purchase. Volume One Volume Two If you can't get the originals, these seem to be a suitable substitute.  I haven't seen them in real life to compare the quality of the illustrations, though.  Do use Amazon's "Look Inside" feature in the links above. They have nice samples available.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Common Core

I usually don't touch on political issues here, but please take a few minutes to look over these links.  The Common Core "education" standards that the federal government is quietly slipping into states is SO dangerous that I want everyone to be aware.  You most likely read this blog because you homeschool, but you have many friends, neighbors and family members who don't.  Please help educate them in this very invasive program.  The American people can stop these unConstitutional violations if we stand together and demand our God-given freedoms and rights be respected. These "standards" are being forced on all of us, even homeschoolers.  Many well-known curricula have complied already, unknown to their customers.  This must be nipped in the bud now.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Self-Motivated Desert Learning

If allowed, learning happens so naturally. My nearly eight year old Troubles is suddenly enamored with all things desert. If I had planned lessons on my timetable, they may or may not have produced some knowledge about the topic, but since it is self-motivated learning, it's ALL absorbed with enthusiasm!  He expressed interest in deserts last summer and we read a few books about them.  It's interesting how curiosity goes round and round.  

Some resources from this study:


You Tube:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

C is for Barbara Cooney

Today's author and illustrator is Caldecott award winning Barbara Cooney.  She's one of my favorites (I say that often, don't I?).  Pastels of the softest hues or delicate pen and ink details combine in her illustrations. She adapted and illustrated many old folk tales, so I read her often to my younger children.  

She was a born artist. Her mother was also an artist, so from her earliset days, she had access to the materials she needed. Her mother was a wise teacher: "She gave me all the materials I could wish for and then left me alone, didn’t smother me with instruction. Not that I ever took instruction very easily. My favorite days were when I had a cold and could stay home from school and draw all day long.... She was an enthusiastic painter of oils and watercolors. She was also very generous. I could mess with her paints and brushes all I wanted. On one condition: that I kept my brushes clean. The only art lesson my mother gave me was how to wash my brushes. Otherwise, she left me alone."

She's well known for Chanticleer and the Fox and Oxcart Man, her Caldecott books, but has over 200 books to her name!  Only Opal is one that touched my heart, and is based on a real girl's story.  I'd never heard of her story before reading Mrs. Cooney's book.

Miss Rumphius is a title that no one should live life without reading numerous times.  I love it.

Please go get a few of her beautiful titles from the library this week. You won't be disappointed! Also, make sure to visit Veee at Acknowledging Him. She's profiling an author whom I had never heard of before she told me of him.  I have all of his non-twaddle books now, on her recommendation. (Edited to add: Veee's blog host folded, so her blog is gone.  I'm truly sorry. It was a gem of a blog.  She posts on Instagram under Bibliobites. The author she had profiled was Bruce Colville)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Things I Wish'd I'd Known When I Started Homeschooling

The Libertarian Homeschooler, who has quite a following on facebook, is doing a series of great lists of things she wishes she had known when she started homeschooling. For my own reference, and your benefit, I am copying and pasting them here. I have not researched everything she includes, and may not agree with all of it, but want to have the list for future use.

1. You don't really "need" a curriculum.

2. More pajamas.
3. White boards.
4. The Great Courses
5. LearnLiberty
6. Tom Woods's Liberty Classroom
7. Ludwig von Mises Institute
8. Foundation for Economic Education
9. Maren Schmidt, Understanding Montessori newsletters
10. Sugata Mitra
11. Whatever Happened to Penny Candy
12. Project-based learning
13. No, really. You don't need a curriculum.
14. Grammar Island
15. Okay. If you feel more comfortable having curriculum in your house, buy it but know that you'll end up using it as a reference.
16. Children never really start or stop learning. 
17. Very few people ever do the entire year's work. 
18. They will learn better, faster, happier without a lesson.
19. Lap books? Not required.
20. Children aren't projects, they're people.

1. They'll spend more time 1-on-1 in one day at home than in an entire week of school. Chill out already. They're good.

2. One child will learn to read at 5, the other child will learn to read at 8. Neither one is "behind".
3. Books that tell what children "should" know at different ages are good for starting fires and little else.
4. If you don't teach him to add and subtract, he'll do it himself.
5. Some children don't learn to read with phonics. No matter how invested you are in phonics.
6. Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes
7. Children of the Code (google it)
8. Don't let your first three negative homeschool co-op experiences dissuade you. There's one out there that will work.
9. The Philosophy of Liberty (youtube)
10. You don't have to teach art. You can farm that stuff out.
11. Get. Out. Of. The. House.
12. Ask the child how he would like to organize his learning.
13. To my children, adult yelling = big kid having tantrum
14. To my children, adult using physical/emotional pain = bullying
15. You aren't nearly as important to the learning process as you think. Really. They'll do most of it in spite of you in the end.
16. They need your company far more than your instruction.
17. Modeling is required.
18. You'll get it wrong. Does that really surprise you? Get over it. Get on with it.
19. Find some outside-the-family mentoring relationships for the child.
20. That book/curriculum/latest and greatest doohickey at the store/expo/convention looks really nice. It's going to gather dust.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Fun History for Kids


Taking a break from books can be a very refreshing thing.  Playing at a topic is every bit as effective at teaching as reading!  The Libertarian Homeschooler recently shared this link on Facebook.

Primary History

I can't wait to let my Lambies browse around, play the games and see where their interests take them. There's so much great information here I just HAD to share! Of course I will be nearby with book suggestions to further explore their newfound engrossments.

B is for Hilda Boswell

Hilda Boswell had an enormous impact on my childhood daydreams.  My mother bought me a book in a thrift store when I was but 4 or 5.  It was called "Hilda Boswell's Treasury of Children's Stories". It quickly became my very favorite book. I still have my beloved, worn out copy. They were published only in the UK, and everyone who has one loves it, so copies are scarce. I watch Amazon regularly for a better copy, but they run around $40 minimum and I, so far, I haven't clicked BUY.   Her illustrations in this book are incredible.

I have several other fairy tale and nursery rhyme books of hers as well, that I bought as an adult. They are also beautiful, but don't touch the quality of the drawings in "Children's Stories".

This illustration is from "Through the Fire" by Mary de Morgan.  I just read this to my Littles as I prepared this blogpost. They loved it as much as I do.   The link is to the text of the original story, which was abridged somewhat in Hilda Boswell's version.

This awesome illustration is from the first story in the book, "The Story of Fairyfoot" from "Granny's Wonderful Chair" by Frances Browne. This was my first-favorite story of all time.  The detailing in the fairies faces, the carving of the chair, even the breeze ruffling the curtain....ah, dreamland for a young Mommaofmany!  

This is from my second-favorite story, The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde.  Even when I was young I recognized the eternal meaning of this story.  What a picture of love!

The Pied Piper got its turn being graced by her watercolors, along with other favorite characters. Don't you want to join the children in their frolic in Fairytale Land?

She also did many nursery stories with which I was not familiar. Have you met The Naughty Elf? I never had before getting this book.

You can read a chapter of C. S. Lewis' beloved "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe", illustrated by Ms. Boswell here.  She called it "Lucy's Adventure in Narnia". I don't have a printed copy of this, so I am thrilled to have found this online scan!

You can never go wrong by adding Hilda Boswell's works to your library.  I hope I've introduced you to a new favorite! Make sure to go over to Acknowledging Him for Veee's favorite "B" author or illustrator!

Friday, January 18, 2013

A is for Ardizzone

My friend Veee is also profiling her favorite authors or illustrators, so after reading here, pop over to find out her pick at Acknowledging Him

My choice for the "A" post is Edward Ardizzone. I've posted a little about his works before.  I am always struck by the beauty of his watercolors.  The fuzzy edges and wiggly lines make me feel that even *I* could draw like him, if I tried. It just looks so homey and natural.  Of course, he was a master illustrator, winning the Kate Greenaway Medal for Tim All Alone and numerous other awards.  No one could REALLY draw like he did!

He was able to capture the spirit of childhood in his drawings.  The emotions that emanates from his work are warm, comfortable and inviting.  I love the old fashioned styles and stories that he illustrated and feel like I *dream* in Ardizzone at times.   

Wouldn't it be great to have your child content at pulling a wagon full of babies around and be satisfied? Our children have so much technology around them at all times and are not content any longer. I miss the days of Tim.

Let's give out children a view of childhood that they haven't had and is HARD to get in our time.  Simplicity. Contentment. Adventurousness. Wide open for dreaming and doing.  Go to your library or Amazon and start enjoying Mr. Ardizzone's world today! 

Monday, January 7, 2013

A New Series Announcement

My friend Veee over at Acknowledging Him and I are beginning a new series of posts together. We're each going to blog about a favorite author or illustrator.  We're going to start with an "A" name and continue through the alphabet, until we've each introduced you to 26 of our favorites.  We're not telling each other who we chose to profile each time, so I'll be as eager as you are to read her posts!  We'll have our first posts up later this week, so watch for it!  (Edited to add: Her blog platform folded, so this series did not go far, sadly. She posts at Instagram now.) 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Teaching the Teen Numbers

Some kids breeze through learning the teen numbers. They simply click. Others have a harder time with these numbers. They don't follow the verbal pattern of counting and that makes them HARD!  On top of that, number 17 sounds an awful lot like 70.  It's all very confusing.  Here are so helps for teaching those pesky teen numbers.

Numbers in the Teens Song


Marshmallow Counting Frames

New Zealand Teachers Tips

An Online Game

Montessori Math

Montessori Teen Board

A Pinterest Board FULL of Ideas