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Free Printable Board Game

I’ve had the privilege of meeting some very extraordinary young men since we’ve moved here. Not only are they engineers, but together they’re the brains behind a new company, Boulder Board Games. While many other young people are spending their free time on facebook whapping each other with pretend pillows or buying imaginary cows on Farmville, these fellas have been using their spare time cooking up come fun of their own.

It’s my understanding that their first game, Thrive, was invented during a school break while they attended the University of Colorado. This game is available in .pdf form for print, and includes a manual. Thrive is a game involving Geopolitics and energy independence. Find it here.

Their most recent game, Raid, is full of pirate fun. The game is not only expandable, but can be tailored to your needs– you determine the length of play. You can see a sample of the game in the video below. This one will be up on Kickstarter in April to raise some funding to have the game produced.

It’s nice to see younger folks doing something with those great minds they’ve got. In addition, as avid game players my family is always looking for something new. Check out Boulder Board Games and show some support.

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Eric Liddell: Olympian and Missionary

“God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure. ” Chariots of Fire

Eric Liddell @ Three Cornered Hug

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Even if you’re not familiar with Eric Liddell’s story, you will certainly know the tune to the movie, entitled Chariots of Fire, made about this Olympian.
(If not see the vid below!)

The Olympics of 1924 were held in Paris, and Eric Liddell’s main event was the 100 meter dash. This Christian athlete made history when he withdrew from this event, due to the fact that it was scheduled on a Sunday. Instead, he signed up for the 400 meter dash.

When asked about his plan for the race, he replied, “The secret of my success over the 400 meters is that I run the first 200 meters as fast as I can. Then, for the second 200 meters, with God’s help, I run faster.”

His plan worked; Liddell, “The Flying Scotsman”, went home with a Gold medal, having set a new record for the event.

While some may know this part of his story, many do not realize that Mr. Liddell went on to be a missionary in China. To begin with, he taught chemistry and sports at a boys school. After getting married he was a traveling evangelist, going from village to village.

In 1940, when Japan invaded China, the dire situation caused Liddell’s wife and children to flee to the safety of relatives in Canada.  Liddell himself was placed in an internment camp, where he died of a brain tumor not long before the liberation.

In a nation full of “American Idols”, we need to teach our kids about heroes who had more than just talent. People who gave it their all, who risked their lives for what they believed- those who’ve run without looking back.

There is a wonderful free ebook I found about Liddell’s life, which is basically a beautiful picture album with narration all throughout to tell the story. You can go there by clicking here.

You can also go to the Eric Liddell Website for more info.

Below, the first clip contains actual video of the race, followed by a clip from the movie, Chariots of Fire. Enjoy!

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!

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Recommended Resources: Horrible Histories

Horrible Histories is a sort of Saturday Night Live variety type show meets history. It’s produced by the BBC, so usually we would not be able to view them here in the US. Fortunately for us, nice youtube users have posted many of the videos online. Although I can’t be sure about the legality of that, I’ll continue to enjoy it while it lasts.

This series makes history not only tolerable for us, but fun, and we look forward to seeing if there’s a video produced on the next topic we’ll be covering. What I usually do is type in “Horrible Histories” along with the topic or specific historical figure we are learning about. There’s not videos for every topic, but many are covered, all the way from ancient history to more current issues. You can see many of the videos I’ve bookmarked on the middle ages by checking out my Pinterest board.

Just a note: I can’t say that I always appreciate the humor, and therefore I try to view the videos ahead of time just to make sure the message is mother approved.