04
Jul

Happy 4th of July

Filed in July 4th

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27
Jun

Where Did the Year Go?

I can not believe that this school year is already over!  This year absolutely flew by!!  We had a good year though and now we’re enjoying our summer vacation.

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Hailey on her last day of 3rd grade.

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Hunter on his last day of preschool.

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Oh what a difference a school year makes.  My babies are growing up too fast!

I haven’t finished posting about our school activities, plus we’re doing some fun things this summer too, so I’ll still be posting this summer :-)

25
Jun

Tales from the Circle C Ranch Book and Lapbook Review

Our Crafts N Things CIrcle C Ranch

Our favorite time during our homeschool day is when we read together. On a typical day I read a chapter from a book and Hailey reads a chapter from a book. We both look forward to reading time and I am always on the lookout for a good book we can use for school.  When the opportunity came up to review Tales from the Circle C Ranch by Susan K. Marlow author of the Circle C Adventures series, I went to the website to check it out.  I was able to download the first story in the book and was I immediately hooked!  There is also Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch Learning Lapbook that goes along with the book, and we love lapbooks so we were excited to check that out too!

Tales of the Circle C Ranch Bookk Review
Susan K. Marlow has three different series of books about Andi Carter.  The first series, Circle C Beginnings, is geared for kids ages 6-9.  The second series, Circle C Adventures, is for kids ages 9-14.  The third series called Circle C Milestones is for ages 12 and up.

Tales of the Circle C Ranch Bookk Review
The book we reviewed, Tales from the Circle C Ranch, is a book of short stories that answers some of the questions fans have had about the other books about Andi Carter.  We had never read any of the other books about Andi Carter but we were still able to enjoy the collection of short stories without any confusion.  The stories are set in the 1880s and tell a variety of adventures that Andi was a part of.  Tales from the Circle C Ranch is a paperback book that is 151 pages and includes 11 short stories.  This book is part of the group of books recommended for kids ages 9-14.  Hailey is 8 and she really enjoyed the book, so depending on your child I think it’s a good fit for younger kids too.  Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch Learning Lapbook is 39 pages long and can be purchased as an ebook or in printed form.  The lapbook ties US history and literature in with the stories in the book.

So, how did we use the book and the lapbook?

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 Each day we read a portion of the book.  Some of the chapters were short, so we could read more than one and others were longer.  Sometimes Hailey did the reading and sometimes I did the reading.

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Then if there was a part of the lapbook that went with the reading for the day we would do that as well.

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This is the front cover of the lapbook.

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This is inside the first folder.

Hailey’s favorite part of the lapbook was the Mercantile activity on the bottom left side of the red folder.  In it is a price list of items one might have found at the general store in the 1800s.  Hailey had to pretend it was 1874 and that she had $2 to spend at the store.  She was able to pick several items, including a toy whistle for 10 cents, a comb for 40 cents, a harmonica for 60 cents, and a few other items.

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This is the inside of the second folder.

One of my favorite lapbook activities was the limerick section.  We learned how to write a limerick and that the sillier the limerick is the better.  I thought it was going to be a hard activity for Hailey to do, but she loved it!  She wrote several limericks, and we spent the rest of the day making up more silly limericks.  She picked one of her favorites for me to share with you:

I had a lovely cat,
who was ever so fat.
He had another owner,
who was covered with toner.
The owner was a stinky rat.

Pretty silly, but we had a lot of fun with it!

I asked Hailey what she thought about Tales from the Circle C Ranch and she said it was a lot of fun to read.  She said her favorite short story was The Best Gift of All, a story where Andi was at the store trying to find the perfect gift to buy for her mother.  The problem was that Andi had spent most of her money, rather than saving it, so she couldn’t find anything to buy.  Hailey said she enjoyed that story because she thought it was more special that Andi made a present for her mom than it would have been if she had bought her one.  She also said she really enjoyed making the lapbook and all of the parts in it were fun to make.

I really enjoyed Tales from the Circle C Ranch and would definitely recommend it.  Not only does it include fun stories, but it’s a great way to learn about the 1800s.  I love historical fiction and I think using a historical fiction book with a lapbook is one of the best ways to learn.

Want to learn more about Circle C Adventures:

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20
Jun

Civil War Unit Study Part 1

Civil War Unit Study

Our favorite study during third grade was definitely our Civil War Unit Study.  Both of us learned so much and had fun while we were learning.

Civil War Unit Study

It all started with this book- I had just planned to have Hailey read Harriet Tubman by Maryann Weidt.  While reading the book, she became very interested in Harriet Tubman, the underground railroad, and the civil war.  When we finished the book she begged to learn more.  So, I went with her interests.  We paused our study of ancient history, that we had been working on, and I put together a unit about slavery and the civil war.  That’s one of my favorite things about homeschooling- we can learn about what we find interesting.

Here is a small sampling of some of the activities we did:

Civil War Unit Study

These are some of the books we read during our unit.  I found many living books to use, rather than text book type books.  We both really enjoy the living books.  Even Hunter (age 3) listened to most of the books.

Civil War Unit Study

After we read Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter, Hailey made her own representation of the drinking gourd, or the big dipper constellation.  She learned how the slaves on the underground railroad would look toward the drinking gourd and follow it so that they would not get lost while they tried to find their way north.  We also listened to the Follow the Drinking Gourd song on YouTube- it has a catchy tune and we both found ourselves singing it.

Civil War Unit Study

Hailey learned that slaves on the underground railroad would know a house was a safe place to stop for rest if there was a lantern burning in the window.  So, she made a lantern by gluing tissue paper onto a jar.

Civil War Unit Study

Hailey’s finished lantern, with a battery operated tea light candle inside.

Civil War Unit Study

We learned about how the slaves made quilts and the patterns on the quilt were secret messages to help them escape to freedom.  I found printables for the different quilt patterns and Hailey colored them while I read to her.

Civil War Unit Study

Hailey made this 3-D map of the underground railroad from the book Interactive 3-D Maps: American History.

Hailey really enjoyed playing Flight to Freedom, an online game where she played a slave who was trying to escape.  Not only was it educational and fun, but it was actually pretty hard to make it through the journey.

Civil War Unit Study

We learned about how slaves could only bring a few belongings with them when they ran away.  Hailey used a bandana and had to try to decide what she would have brought with her.

Civil War Unit Study

Hailey also designed her own quilt pattern.

Civil War Unit Study

She made a house with a lantern burning in the window.

Civil War Unit Study

I gave Hailey an assignment to build a model safe house and she came up with this all on her own.  She used a box and set up some furniture inside.

Civil War Unit Study

There was a secret passage in the floor for slaves to hide in.

Civil War Unit Study

And a secret spot in the wall for slaves to hide behind a book shelf.

Civil War Unit Study

Then she had to write a story and pretend she was a slave who escaped to freedom.  She had to write about her journey and what happened along the way.  She did an excellent job bringing everything together that she learned about the slavery, the underground railroad, and what happened after they escaped.

There is so much to read, do, explore, and learn about!  I couldn’t fit it all into one post, so check back soon for part 2 of our study.

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