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Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling

Misc.
Focus on Food
Category: Misc.
Tags: food food science farm to table agriculture growing corn types of sandwiches

Farm to Fork: Even if your kids understand that the food we eat does not originate at the supermarket, you may still want to check out the Tesco Eat Happy Project. It focuses on teaching kids about where food comes from, how it’s made, and how to prepare it in nutritious and delicious ways. The site provides access to such free resources as:

  • virtual field trips: Each focuses on a particular food, like salmon, or tea. These are live trips that can be accessed through Google+ Hangouts. (Two upcoming trips scheduled this month will feature peppers and tomatoes). You can also view archived videos, and download associated information sheets (eg. life cycle of a salmon; history of tea infographic).
  • lesson plans and activities: You can look for ones that go with a particular field trip, or search by age, subject, or food group.
  • yummy recipes: There are a wide variety of ideas here that can be filtered by age and food group.

Cornucopia: Learn about the domestication of maize, and its development into a food and fuel at WeedToWonder.org. There’s comprehensive information here, including how new varieties of corn were produced, and the rise of corn genetics, leading to further transformation of this and other key plants. Text is presented in easily navigated chapters, with associated videos and interactives. In addition, there are a couple of labs you can do, one involving the study of inherited traits, the other, an investigation of genotype and phenotype, both using corn.

Explore Food: The Science of Cooking features information, activities, webcasts and interactives on a variety of food topics, including how different candies are made; breads of the world; journey through an organic egg farm; fascinating pickle facts; spice map, and more.

Design a Glog about Sandwiches: For this project, from FamilyConsumersicences.com, choose a type of sandwich to research, and present such facts as the history of a particular sandwich, food groups it represents, recipe, etc. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will find the free downloads for this project, including project instructions, a nice powerpoint describing types of sandwiches, and a fill-in-the-blank note sheet to go with the PowerPoint.

Free Books About Food

Feeding a Growing Population: This online science module from Concord Consortium features data analysis activities exploring how we use our land and soil, climate and crop growth, improving soil quality, and improving agricultural methods.

(Click pic for full infographic on food idioms).



Happy Independence Day, America!
Category: Misc.
Tags: 4th of july fourth of july independence day independence day holiday 4th of july holiday

American Revolution: Free resources and activities for exploring the causes, plus a grade 4 reader and activity book, additional history readers, and links to animations and games.

Oh, say can you see: This unit on “The Star Spangled Banner” is comprised of two parts: the origin of the anthem, and the symbolism of the flag. Discuss importance of the flag, what it means, how the lyrics of “The Star Spangled Banner” match real events. There are a lot of resources here to cover the topic broadly or as in depth as you like, with background on the War of 1812, and links to additional image, document and web resources such as Smithsonian’s “Star Spangled Banner” site.

War of 1812: Grade 2 Reader: Begins with a pictorial timeline of the founding of the U.S., and ends with chapters on the National Anthem and Dolley Madison, and a glossary.

4th of July Binary Bracelets: Use different color beads to represent “0,” “1,”, and “space” to encode our nation’s birthday into a wrist band. In so doing, learn how to change base 10 numbers into binary. Make  more personalized bracelets by encoding individual birthdays or ages.

 
Anatomy of fireworks  interactive from Nova
 

WatchKnow 4th of July Videos 

4th of July Jokes, Facts, Games

Tribute to Moms
Category: Misc.
Tags: happy mothers day mothers day quotes mothers day sayings mothers day ideas

* Mother’s Day, observed on the second Sunday in May, was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914.

* Celebrated Around the World: Mother’s Day is celebrated in more than 100 countries.

* Tributes to Mom:

   ** Gifts for Mother’s Day that Americans spend the most on include cards, flowers and dinners out.

  ** Let’s hear it for Mom! A traditional way to show appreciation is with loud and hearty clapping of hands, a custom that goes back at least to Roman times. Roman citizens applauded speeches and dramatic performances they liked. In England, those in the British Parliament approved of what someone was saying by shouting, “Hear him! Hear him!” (The shortened form, “Hear, hear,” we still use today). So, let’s all shout, “Hooray for Mom,” and give her a well-deserved round of applause.

 **A toast! How about raising our glasses and saying some nice words honoring Mom. It’s an idea that dates back to the Romans, who spiked glasses of wine with spiced toast during special ceremonies to pledge friendship. The toast enhanced the flavor of the wine by making it sweeter. This Mother’s Day, be sure to make your Mom the “toast of the town,” an 18th century custom that entails drinking to the health of a celebrated person – who better than Mom? 

* “Elbows off the table!” (and other well-worn platitudes): It’s generally considered proper etiquette to keep one’s elbows off the table during dinner, but the origin of this custom wasn’t necessarily about manners. According to one explanation, during medieval times, the common people were so eager to take advantage of an opportunity to dine at court, that they would pack themselves shoulder to shoulder on long wooden benches, leaving little room for arms on the table. Even today, following this rule can keep errant elbows from knocking over glasses and bowls, and creates more personal space. So Mom’s not really being a nudge. She’s just being practical. 

Other Classic Mom-isms There are many -- and many variations -- but these are some of my Mom’s personal favorites:

 Keep your wits about you!

You’ll get rickets! (if we didn’t eat our vegetables)

You’re not going out with me looking like that.

Because I SAID so!

Oh, fiddlesticks! Or Hells Bells! (to express frustration)

Finish your food; there are children starving all over the world.

This room is a pigsty.

When I was a kid, I had to walk miles through the deep snow to get to school.

What, you expect to be entertained 24 hours a day? (if we said we were bored)

This isn’t the Waldorf, you know.

Dont sit too close to the TV; it’ll ruin your eyes.

Let’s face it, if it hadn’t been for our mothers, we’d all have been standing in the middle of the street, talking to strangers, without our jackets. 

* “Now, as always, the most automated appliance in a household is the mother.” (Beverly Jones) Hey, Mom. Aren’t you glad that methods of cleaning clothes have progressed? Throughout dirty laundry history, Moms have done everything from pounding clothes against the rocks in a river, to dragging clothes through the seawater while riding in a boat. Not to mention washboards and all of that scrubbing, scrubbing, scrubbing. Talk about labor intensive. Fully automated washing machines finally came along in the 1930s and 1940s – and a new day dawned. 

* The Old Gray Mare: If your mom colors her hair, she’ll be interested to know that particular element of her beauty regimen dates back to the Assyrians, circa 1500 B.C. Like the ancients, if Mom wants to employ natural dye methods, she can use what the Greeks used: yellow pollen, flour, or gold dust for blond. For brunette, she can try a Roman concoction made of boiled leeks and walnut shells. More daring Moms might want to sport the bright hair hues most often associated with 1980s punk rockers -- but the Saxons actually did this first, dying their hair red, green, orange and sky blue. 

* “Mama-mia, that’s a spicy meatball.” (1969 Alka-Seltzer ad slogan):  Just like “comfort” is associated with Mom, “comfort food” is associated with Mom’s Kitchen – or sometimes, Grandmom’s Kitchen. Those family recipes passed down from generation to generation. Just to smell them cooking takes you back to some warm, childhood memory – relieving pain, providing a sense of well-being. Kudos to all our moms who keep us nurtured and nourished – even if some of their meals, at times, result in some minor indigestion. 

“I love my mother as the trees love water and sunshine – she helps me grow, prosper, and reach great heights.” –Terry Gullemets

 Thank-you, Mom. And Happy Mother’s Day.

Much of the information on customs came from a cool book I checked out at the library: An Uncommon History of Common Things

 Fun book to read with the kids.  



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