Bookworm Fridays: What the World Eats

What the World Eats @ Three Cornered HugWhat the World Eats is a wake up call paired with a social studies lesson. While I usually cover a work of fiction, I feel that this is a book that every child should read at some point (or at least check out the photos).

Basically, families all over the world have been photographed with all of the food they would eat in a typical week. Many of the photos are very sobering, as you are forced to look at the poverty that is a reality for so many every day. Overall it’s very interesting to see what people eat and how many of those foods are like ours. On the pages facing the photos, you’ll find a list of the foods, and other facts such as the cost of the groceries, and information about the country.

If your library doesn’t carry this, you can also buy (or preview) it here.

“You Wouldn’t Want To…” :a Recommended Resource for History

History Resources @ Three Cornered HugIf I haven’t already mentioned it, history was not my favorite subject in school. In fact, I would have rather taken “Watching Paint Dry 101”.

Now, as a homeschooling mom, my view is quite different. We both look forward to our history lessons. I believe this is due in large part to the way we’ve approached history–as a story. A fascinating story.

We have a timeline in our basement consisting of about 20 pieces of poster board. We’ve been studying history from Mesopotamia on, pasting little facts in the appropriate time slots.

While we’ve used many resources to do this, such as Story of the World, and various works of historical fiction, one of our favorite and most informative sources is a series of books whose titles all begin with “You Wouldn’t Want To…”  These silly books give you information from Sumerian times to the more recent American History events in a memorable way.

Amazingly, the amount and type of information given in these books means that they’re real competitors in the non-fiction genre. For instance, when we were studying Ancient Egypt, I picked up You Wouldn’t Want to Be an Egyptian Mummy! and a couple other from that series, along with some more “serious” works. To my surprise, the former contained almost all of the same facts as the latter–and in better format! The comedic presentation makes for an interesting read that will stick in the minds of youngsters–especially boys!

You can find these books on Amazon, but check your library first. In my experience, most libraries carry at least some of this series.

Here is a complete list of what’s available that I found at
http://teachwithpicturebooks.blogspot.com/2009/05/you-wouldnt-want-to.html

***Please note that although I do appreciate this series as a whole, all of these books don’t necessarily represent our views. Use your best discretion, as usual.

You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Mammoth Hunter!(c. 10,000BC)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Sumerian Slave (c. 5000-2000BC)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be An Egyptian Mummy! (c. 3000BC)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Pyramid Builder! (c. 2500BC)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be An Assyrian Soldier (c. 2000-600BC)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Slave In Ancient Greece! (c. 1100 – 150BC)
You Wouldn’t Want To Work On The Great Wall of China! (500-200BC)
You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Roman Soldier!(400BC)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be In Alexander The Great’s Army! (336-323BC)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Roman Gladiator! (c. 260BC)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be Cleopatra (69-30BC)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Viking Explorer! (c. 1000)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Crusader! (1095-1099)
You Wouldn’t Want To Live In A Medieval Castle! (c. 1200s?)
You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Medieval Knight!(c. 1200s?)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be In A Medieval Dungeon! (c. 1200s?)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be In The Forbidden City! (built 1406-1420)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be Married To Henry VIII! (1491 – 1547)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be Ill In The 16th Century/ Tudor Times! (1500s)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be Mary, Queen Of Scots! (1542-1587)
You Wouldn’t Want To Sail In The Spanish Armada! (1588)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Pirate’s Prisoner! (1660s?)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be An 18th-Century British Convict!
You Wouldn’t Want To Travel With Captain Cook! (1760s)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be An Aristocrat In The French
Revolution! (1789-1799)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A 19th-Century Coal Miner in England!
You Wouldn’t Want To Sail On An Irish Famine Ship! (19th Century)
You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Suffragist!(19th Century)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Victorian Schoolchild! (1880s)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Victorian Miner! (1880s)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Victorian Servant! (1880s)
You Wouldn’t Want to Be A Victorian Mill Worker! (1880s)
You Wouldn’t Want To Live In Pompeii! (AD79)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Mayan Soothsayer! (AD250-900)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be An Aztec Sacrifice! (c. 1200s)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be An Inca Mummy! (c. 1450)
You Wouldn’t Want to Sail With Christopher Columbus!(1492)
You Wouldn’t Want to Explore With Sir Francis Drake! (1570s)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be An American Colonist! (1585)
You Wouldn’t Want To Sail On The Mayflower! (1620)
You Wouldn’t Want to Be at the Boston Tea Party!(1773)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be An American Pioneer (18th Century)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be In The First Submarine! (19th Century)
You Wouldn’t Want Sail On A 19th-Century Whaling Ship!
You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Civil War Soldier!(1861-1865)
You Wouldn’t Want To Work On The Railroads! (1860s)
You Wouldn’t Want To Live In A Wild West Town!
(c. mid 19th Century)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Worker On The Statue
Of Liberty! (1876-1886)
You Wouldn’t Want to Sail on the Titanic!(April 1912)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be A Polar Explorer!
(Ernest Shackleton: 1914-1917)
You Wouldn’t Want To Be On Apollo 13! (April 1970)

Recommended Resource: Discover 4 Yourself

Discover 4 Yourself Bible Studies for Kids @ Three Cornered Hug

Recently, I discussed Sticky Situations, which is a great book to use for Bible study in the younger ages. It’s a “moral dilemma” type devotional which displays how Biblical principles can be applied to everyday life.

What about when your child is ready for some more “meaty” study of the Word?

I was looking for something which continued to emphasize that the Bible is a mirror which we should continuously hold up to ourselves. At the same time I wanted a guide which would show the historical relevance of the Word, and details such as when a book was written, or who the author was.

After mentioning this to several friends and family members, I was pointed to a great series that we’ve used for some years now.

The Discover 4 Yourself Inductive Bible studies by Kay Arthur and Janna Arndt allow kids to do just that: discover for themselves. Passages are read, sometimes reread, sometimes cross-referenced. Then kids are asked a series of questions that help them to understand what it all means. Interwoven between these things, there are puzzles, codes to crack, and games to review-which makes things fun.

The cross-referencing helps them to put the stories into the proper context, and understand when and why things happened. It may also help kids understand how Biblical characters or stories relate to each other.

The questions not only help kids to concentrate on the text, but many of them are personal questions which challenge the child to question whether they’re on track. There’s the mirror I was looking for.

This series helps you to discover stories in the Bible that you may not know much about, but it’s just as great for going deeper into those stories that kids may have heard so many times at church. Okay—I won’t lie: it’s also an awesome way for parents to learn more about the passages WE’VE read and heard so many times!

In these studies, you may spend a whole week taking apart one or two chapters. While your kids are writing down their answers, your eyes will find things in there you’ll swear you’ve never read before! Even if you’ve gone through the Bible in a year, every year since you were born, I’m sure you will agree. There’s something different about reading the Bible this way, taking the time to “chew” on things. You’ll also look smart for your spouse—see if HE knew that Abraham was remarried after Sarah passed! (This fact saddened me for some reason…)

These books really brought the stories and people to life for us. Our favorite may have been Daniel. Later, when we were doing one of the other studies, we were required to go back to Daniel to read a couple of verses for a cross-reference. After reading those couple of verses, I heard, “Let’s go ahead and read the rest of the chapter, Mom. I love this story.” WOW! What a feeling!

Now, to be fair, I do want to tell you that I did disagree with a couple of points made throughout this series. However, they were few and far between, and not on anything I would consider fundamentally important. It’s a good opportunity for discussion anyhow.

The other thing is that these studies include marking key words in the passages. Well, not really in your Bible, but in the pages in the back where all of the scriptures are copied for you. Now, I know some people like to mark in their Bibles, especially if they have eye-tracking issues, dyslexia, or simply to find things quickly later. To some, marking in the Bible is wrong. My son and I are in neither of these parties. However, we didn’t do the marking basically because we don’t like to. For me, it makes things look messy. For him, it’s tedious. The problem with that is that he would no longer pay attention once we finally got to the rest of the lesson. However, that’s the great thing about homeschooling. If something doesn’t work for you, just skip it.

You can buy these studies on here on Amazon, or at the Precept Ministries site. Alternately, many times I was able to score good deals at half.com or ebay. Just make sure they are in unmarked condition before purchasing. Finally, if you really like them, you might want to check out Kay Arthur’s series for adults! 🙂

ID Card for Homeschoolers

Homeschooler ID's

Getting a student ID is one of the cool things about going to school. As a kid, you feel like you’re carrying a driver’s license. Fortunately, homeschooled kids don’t have to miss out on this.

Some years ago, a friend pointed me to where you can print out a personalized student ID for FREE at the Homeschool Buyers Co-op. It’s best if you laminate it. As an alternative you can have one printed out on nice plastic similar to a “real” identification card for about $8. If you want, you can also have a teacher’s card made for yourself.

These are not only “cool” but you can use them to prove your homeschooling status and receive great discounts at many stores or other attractions around the country.

Australia Day!

YEY! Did you know that January 26th is Australia Day! Get ready to party!
(Yes, I know today’s date. I’m giving you a heads up so you can prepare!)

Here are some fun activities to help you celebrate. Alternately, you may want to incorporate some of these into your lesson plans for a unit study on Australia if you do one at home or in a co-op class.

  • First of all, did you know that although Aussies speak English, you may not actually understand them? For instance, if I told you, “Hey Bloke, I’m feeling peckish. Let’s go to Macca’s and get some tucka”, would you know what I was saying?

Start out Australia day with this fun Aussie slang/American term match-up:
Aussie Slang Match-Up
AussieMatch-Up Answer Key

  • Another Australian phrase is “Fred Nerk”. Basically Fred Nerk is like “John Doe” or “Mr. Nobody”. Whatever happens on Australia Day, you can use this to get off the hook–
    “FRED NERK DID IT!”

-Two players throw a ball back and forth.
-When 1 of the players drops the ball, both, say down, down, down.
-After that, the player who dropped the ball gets down on 1 knee, elbow,or chin, etc.
-The game continues on like this until one of the players cannot go “down” anymore.

  • Next it’s time for a little art—check out this great Aboriginal Australian dot art, and try some of your own. For EVEN MORE fun- grab some face paint and use each other as canvases! 🙂
  • Now for the sounds of Australia:

The Kookaburra is a funny Australian bird who “laughs”. Listen to him here:

The Didgeridoo is a fun instrument to listen to (you already got a small taste when watching the art vid). Check out this music!

  • Check out some books from your library. Try these:

Are We There YetAre we there yet? : a journey around Australia is a great book that follows a family on vacation & describes all of the different and diverse places you can find in the land down under!

Aboriginal Australians

Aboriginal Australians is an informative book about the indigenous people of Australia, and I like it mainly for the pictures.

  • If all this fun is making you hungry, try this recipe for ANZAC Biscuits. (If you took the quiz above, you know that biscuit does NOT mean biscuit.) ANZAC is the name of Australia and New Zealand’s Army Corp, and rumor has it that these were invented so that folks back home could send the troops a treat that wouldn’t easily go stale. I wouldn’t know. When we made them, there wasn’t an opportunity to see if they’d go stale…I don’t even like coconut and frankly the batter hardly made it to the cookie sheet…YUMMY!
  • While you are in the mood for taste-testing, you may want to make a run to a place like World Market or other international food store to pick up some VEGEMITE! (You can also order it online.) This is another Australian favorite, but unlike the ANZACs…it is…less than tasty. Much less. However, it’s fun to try. Use caution and spread only a THIN layer on a piece of toast.
    Vegemite @ Three Cornered Hug

Unfortunately, you can only complete this last step if you visit or live in the state of Kentucky…

  • Visit Kentucky Down under where you can actually PET A KANGAROO (I know, how cool is that?!), watch some border collies and their sheep-herding action, laugh out loud with a Kookaburra, and see and hear a didgeridoo up close. It’s a little expensive, but sometimes they run great specials on sites like Groupon. They also have a good discount during some months if you simply show them proof that you homeschool. With the discount, KDU is WELL WORTH IT!Check out their website: http://www.kdu.com/

This should get you started. If you come up with some other activities, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.

G’day Mate!

Recommended Resource: Sticky Situations

Sticky Situations @Three Cornered HugIn the earlier years, I noticed that most of the devotions and Biblical studies for younger kids basically amounted to a retelling of a Bible story like a fairy tale.

I could see two problems with this:
1. How many times can a child hear the basic story of Noah’s Ark or Daniel in the Lions’ Den without becoming numb to it?
2. In my opinion, this kind of fairy tale presentation does not show a child how to apply the morals to their life. It doesn’t communicate that the Bible should be acted upon, instead of just being heard.

About the same time that I was struggling with this issue, and how to remedy it, my husband was in the midst of some special training at work. They had been doing some exercises that included some moral dilemmas they were supposed to “solve”. At home, he recited several of the questions they had been given to answer, and my son was intrigued with the idea and excited to chime in with his ideas as to what he felt was right.

Immediately, I began searching for a devotion or Bible study that included this practice, and what I found was a book by Betsy Schmitt, Sticky Situations. Basically, this book gives a scenario, and then some multiple choice answers. Then it gives you some scripture to look up to help your child decide which answer is correct. In the back of the book, you’ll find the answers along with some discussion questions. Sometimes there’s more than one good choice. Here was a way that we could make the connection between scripture and our decisions, and I’ve never met a child that didn’t have fun trying to solve these moral dilemmas. After we used this book at home, I would regularly use it with a class of kids I taught at church.

I highly recommend Sticky Situations for kids that aren’t mature enough to delve into the intricacies of scripture yet (think major and minor prophets, etc.), but who are past the simple Bible story book age. You can find it (and even look at many of the devotions) here.

There’s also a second one that’s said to be for 6-10 year-olds, but I found it’s really best for the younger end of the bracket. The situations are much more simple than those found in the original book. Find that one here.

**Disclaimer, there were one or two devotions that made me raise an eyebrow, although nothing I deemed unfit. Still, I recommend reading each devotion ahead of time, just in case.

Recommended Resources: Khan Academy REVISITED– “The Hour of Code”

BinCodeKhan Academy is now teaching basic coding skills. Your child (or even you!) can go to The Hour of Code section and learn step-by-step how to make designs with Javascript- it’s not anywhere near as hard as you think!

My son and I tried it together and had a blast making silly faces, and even a Christmas card to send out to friends!

Click here to try it out!