A Journey Through Learning
June 22, 2016 Edition 
Hands-on Learning: Units, Lapbooks, and Projects Galore
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Mercy Every Minute   

The Wuehler Family
We happen to school year-round, so we work really hard to find hands-on, fun activities to add to our regular schoolwork. During the summer months, we don't stop the academics, but we do slow down a bit. So summertime is one of the best times for adding in lots of hands-on learning, crafts, unit studies and lapbooks! Here are some suggestions:
  • Insects: We love raising our own and charting their growth, or we order from Insect Lore.
  • Does your child love horses? Here is a Horse lapbook.
  • Here's one of our favorite gooey science experiments about colloid suspensions.
General lapbook ideas:
Hands-on Bible projects:
Maybe the kids needs to brush up on math facts this summer:
  • For daily hands-on practice, try Learning Wrap-ups. We have timed competitions that are a lot of fun with these!
And, of course, summer is the perfect time for art!
Moms, you need teacher training, too, so plan some time to study the Scriptures on why you are homeschooling. After that, for the best place to brush up on what to teach, how to teach, and reminders of why you have sacrificed your time and energy and finances to educate your own kids, read through a couple of back issues of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. You can even print out articles to take with you wherever you go. Oh, and hurry and check out the  Spring issue, as we are putting up the Summer issue in early July.
Above all else this summer, I pray that you find a place of real rest in Christ. He desires your fellowship as you lay your stress, your cares, and your pain at His feet. He wants to suffer with you there, speak to you, and then give you the strength to rise up and face another day. Embrace your weakness as it compels you to embrace your Savior. Embrace  the power of the cross once again. Repent for pushing aside your first love with Him. Submit to His perfect will and perfect strength. As you fellowship with Him in these weak places, you will begin to know the power of His resurrection in your own life. 

With you on the journey,


Trehans Treasures
Trehan's Treasures offers Art Workshops, Live & Online Homeschool Classes in early American history, Original Art, Illustration and Stationery Products. Plus we are home to LibertyBox© - A subscription service for kids featuring monthly projects in studying early American historywww.trehanstreasures.com
Raising Real Men    
When Hal was in college, several of his upper-level engineering classes were very math-intensive. They learned all sorts of formulas and derivations they'd use on the job . . . at least, they hoped they could use them, because there wasn't a lab for these courses, and none of the students had ever seen the situations the professor and the books described. It wasn't until they actually got to use these tools on the job that they realized why they were important!
Our kids at home are just waking up to a world of practical application . . . and until they have some experience with the things themselves, all our instruction can seem like smoke and mirrors to them.
That's the value of hands-on learning--how do you take the rules and tools you learn in the books and put them into practical use?
This can take all kinds of forms. A chemistry experiment can explain why you burp after you take an antacid and make acid-base reactions very real. Word problems in math can show how formulas for volume and area are useful for estimating the amount of carpet to buy or how much weight a bathroom floor must support under the tub.  Writing driving directions or an opinion essay is more interesting than a vague "Write me a paragraph" assignment. And manual skills like woodworking or auto mechanics don't develop until you get grease and sawdust on your shop apron!
But don't miss the value of larger projects. Your students' own passions may be teaching them a world of subject matter you didn't expect--or a few strategic questions of your own may wake your student to the possibilities.
Our children have loved our local history club's activities. The speakers and museum visits are informative, but their biggest gains have come in connection with competitions and presentations. For example, one year the group produced a short video about our state's debate over the proposed Constitution in 1789. Certainly they learned the basic history of the period, but the process of making a dramatic presentation brought in so much more. The history went much deeper than the bare narrative. What did the main characters actually say in the debates? How did they dress? Where were the meetings held?
Then a script had to be prepared, a plan and schedule for shooting the video created, costumes and props had to be produced, actors had to be chosen, rehearsed, and directed, and then the raw video had to be edited to tell the story within the time limits. And everyone wanted to do their best possible because there was a contest to win!

What started out as a simple story of a political debate became an exercise in teamwork, creative writing, project management, video production, and much more. And in the process, the history became much more real--and never forgotten.
Practical application rests on theory and principle--but the theory is likely to take root only when you put it to use. As an engineering colleague of Hal's says, "A hammer makes more sense when you realize the world is full of nails!" 
Hal & Melanie Young
Hal and Melanie's weekly podcast, "Making Biblical Family Life Practical," is about hands-on application of Scriptural truth in your 21st century family! Find us on iTunes or the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network every Monday evening, or come to www.HalAndMelanie.com/radio and find out more! 

Christian Homeschool Hub

Homeschooling made EASY with over 50,000 pages of educational downloads including Hands-on projects, Lapbooking, Unit Studies and more! Go to CHSH-Teach.com

The Familyman 
Mom, can we talk? It's the middle of June, and I don't think it's good or "natural" to be talking about school. June just screams summer: exploring creeks, getting up late to do nothing, or getting up early to go on an unknown adventure. 

On behalf of kids everywhere, can I encourage you to enjoy some summer-unplanned fun? Do something spontaneous or . . . do nothing. Let your kids decide what they're going to do. Boredom leads to creativity. Don't try to turn everything into learning, but KNOW that learning is taking place. 
Even if you homeschool year-round, throw caution to the wind, and let your children run free this week and enjoy summer, freedom, and life as a child. 

You know what? You need a little freedom as well, to enjoy doing nothing and anything you want. So read a magazine all day, catch a few rays, organize your closet, or take the kids on a picnic to the park. 

Oh, summer, how we do love thee. 

Be real,

Help Your Child Succeed

Get it right from the start. Child's Play Math is a comprehensive guide to a play-based approach to learning that makes math fun. 


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Unit Studies and Lapbooks
Did you know that a SchoolhouseTeachers.com membership includes 45 lapbooks from Kimm Bellotto of In the Hands of a Child? These lapbooks range from summer safety for elementary students to a look at the life of J.R.R. Tolkien for older students.
If your family enjoys a unit study approach to homeschooling, dive into a feast of fun learning. Not only do many of our classes utilize a unit study approach, we have so many unit studies on the site that we had to make a special Unit Studies and More page just for the more than 20 unit studies that just wouldn't fit anywhere else!

A membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com gives your entire family access to a virtual buffet of learning options. Sign up and try us for 30 days for only $1. There are no per-child fees or additional fees for textbooks, and courses are not live, so you can start them at any time. If you or someone you know is interested in teaching a class on our site, please contact Executive Editor Bonnie Rose Hudson at bhudson@theoldschoolhouse.com
Making Math Fun_ A Reasonable Goal or Not_  
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Contest Corner 
For the month of June 2016  
Who was Martin Luther? Most of us know him as the German father of the Reformation movement in Europe. If pressed, we might recall that he nailed ninety-five theses, or statements of Christian faith, to the door of the Wittenberg church. Yet there is so much more to this controversial man's life that will come as a surprise to many. Author Danika Cooley, in her historical novel for teens, has brought the story of Luther the man, as well as the reformer and theologian, to vivid and striking life. My family and I received WHEN LIGHTNING STRUCK! in hardback form for the purposes of review.
It's difficult to imagine the brutal world in which Luther was born, lived, and died. Picture a world where sanitation is irregular or nonexistent; where many babies struggle to survive; where superstition is rampant; where ignorance and illiteracy are the norm. In 1483 Europe, most lived under these conditions, where life was a struggle each and every day.
Now, add to these arduous living conditions an absolute terror of God; and utter hopelessness and confusion regarding an individual's chance for salvation. If you've got all of this in your mind, you'll have a sense of what Luther's world was like.
Martin Luther's parents planned for him to become a lawyer and marry a wealthy woman from their town. Yet as he walked the fifty miles one day from his parents' home to the University of Erfurt, a torrential storm blew upon him, complete with terrifying thunder and lightning. Martin wondered if the storm was God's way of communicating His displeasure with Martin's choice of profession. Could he possibly receive salvation in the worldly profession of a lawyer? When lightning seemed to chase him down the road and then struck the tree he was hiding under, tossing Martin to the ground, he cried out, "Saint Anna, help me! I will become a monk!"
And so began his years as a monk. Brilliant and sharp-tongued, he brought to the priesthood a trained mind that caused him to examine and question the doctrines of the Catholic Church. Yet the more he learned, the more uncertain he was that he'd ever be able to work hard enough to earn his own salvation. For this was the doctrine of the era: the purchase of indulgences to shorten one's time in purgatory; confessing sins over and over; never knowing if one was really saved; and for Martin and other monks, fasting and poverty. Regardless of how much Martin did, he was ever burdened with the deep knowledge of his own sinfulness and his own unworthiness. So he worked harder and harder.
One day, his prior offered him a Bible. Martin was overjoyed. Ever since he'd seen one chained to a desk in a school library, and had read the story of Hannah and Samuel, he had longed for this precious book, rare and difficult to find. Yet, this Bible did not become part of his priestly studies, which focused on the writings of theologians. Rather, he pored over it for hours in the time he had alone. The more he read, though, the more his dissatisfaction with himself grew. (. . .)

Read the rest of the review to find out more!
YOU can WIN this awesome historical fiction book!
TO ENTER: Email Heather (hmader@thehomeschoolmagazine.com) with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Martin Luther" for a chance to win* it for your family! 

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