Politics and Homeschool

Our kids have been very interested in the political events of late. I bet yours are, too. We spend so much time talking about the debates and issues in the mornings, in the car, before bed, that I decided to switch gears in our school curriculum for the next few weeks.

Normally we use the Build Your Library curriculum as our core and supplement science with group classes. Build Your Library (BYL) is a literature-based, history rich curriculum which uses Story of the World as its spine and much historical fiction for the literature. It’s Charlotte Mason inspired, so mostly learning through experience. I add in map work and documentaries to make it work for our kids. But as our interest is moving towards American politics, I am planning to skip most of our BYL work except the Story of the World readings and our timeline, to make room for a cool Presidential Elections Unit Study I found on Oklahoma Homeschool.

The first week of the study has the kids do research on voting rights around the world on the CIA website. It’s a really cool idea but there was no direction to the research. When my kids are given an assignment like that they mostly just look at me and say, “What am I supposed to be doing?” So, I made them this CIA Voting Rights Factbook Scavenger Hunt to get them going. They loved it so much that I’d like to share it with you. Feel free to download it, and even share the link to this page. Let me know if your kids use it and what you think. I’m planning on making more of these scavenger hunts, so look for more later.

CIA Voting Rights Factsheet Scavenger Hunt

Free Printable Easter/Spring Note Paper

It’s been pretty springy here in Northern CA. And although it is still Lent (by about 38 days) the weather has me thinking of bunnies and grassiness. If you are also thinking of lovely fields of flowers and joy then you are welcome to download this fancy little bunny note paper for free use. Share it as well if you’d like, but please give dues to our sweet rabbit Callie (who inspired me to draw this little sketch) by linking back to this page. She’s such a friendly bunny, we don’t want to hurt her feelings and share without proper credit. Easter Note Paper

Celebrating Life and Grieving Loss

I know the tone of our blog has taken a downward turn as of late. Unfortunately, in spite of great joy in most aspects of our life, we have had more than one instance of bad news. My last post about our dear friends moving was sad to write. But even sadder still was the news of the passing of my sister Brittany at the age of 29. This is our family blog, so we document the thoughts, experiences and happenings of our family. Even though I debated much about adding anything to the blog about her death, it is one of the most affecting events in my life and can’t be excluded. I’m not ready to write much detail about the actual passing, and perhaps I never will be. But I do want to include the eulogy which I shared in Akron at her memorial service in front of at least 100 friends and family members who have known us since our earliest days. I also want to share a letter which she wrote me to accompany my birthday present two years ago, but that will be saved for another post. Below you will find what I wrote for her memorial service:

My Dad gave the eulogy for Brittany at the service we had in Austin. There were over 300 people at there and I hugged each of them, which was hard at first but got easier as the hugging went on. My dad wrote out every word which I don’t normally do when I speak in front of people, but this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to say to a room of people so I’m going write the whole thing out. I’m going to begin with the poem he read on Thursday. It’s not a poem I would have picked, but when he read it in that room it just made sense. Here it is: Continue reading