Tuesday, March 23, 2021

WWII Part 3: D-Day and Resistance Fighters

We continued our study of World War 2 using MasterBooks America’s Story 3 as our backbone. Even though our focus this year is on American History, I still felt that it was important to expand upon this subject and understand what was going on in other countries as well. I decided that while we were learning about D-Day we would also read some historical fiction that focused on the French resistance.

The Magic Treehouse books are enjoyed by all our kids. They are quick reads and spark curiosity. The World At War Magic Treehouse Super Edition was the perfect introduction to tie in D-Day and the French Resistance. The front cover shows Jack and Annie parachuting into France. So on one rainy afternoon we decided that we were going to explore paratroopers of WW2 a little bit more. We watched the US Army Paratrooper training video. 

We made paratroopers out of army men and coffee filters. And all week long the kids played on their jungle gym and jumped off pretending to be paratroopers. 

CREATIVE WRITING PROMPT: You just parachuted behind enemy lines... finish the story. 

We then watched several YouTube videos of D-Day. On one of the videos the soldier talked about low crawling to safety once he hit the ground. We watched an Army training video on low crawling, and then the girls set up a low crawling training course in our bedroom.

We discussed couriers of the French Resistance and how sometimes you would have to quickly hide or camouflage yourself or your bike to stay hidden from Nazi soldiers. Our kids were riding their bikes in the back yard pretending to be couriers when a member of the French resistance approached them with the V is for Victory sign and warned them that Nazi soldiers were coming down the road. They quickly had to ditch their bikes and hurry into my house to hide.

We discussed air raids and the sounds of World War 2

We read Twenty and Ten, another heart warming story of bravery and courage during the French Resistance. Learn for your Life has an activity guide with some engaging activities and questions, which we used to help study the book. 

Our boys are also huge Curious George fans, so we read The Journey that Saved Curious George and followed their travels on our globe.

I hope your little learners enjoyed these activities as much as our children did! Be sure to Follow us on Instagram @Pocketful_of_treasures and tag us in your photos! Check out the Homeschool Tab for more learning inspiration.

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Friday, March 12, 2021

Learning through Journaling - A Homeschool Science Study on Trees

 We have used Apologia science curriculum for 7 years now and absolutely love it. However, a few years into our homeschooling journey we ditched the notebooks and started journaling. Please know that just because this is what is working for us, it does not make this method better or right for everyone. If you are new to homeschooling like we were 7 years ago, you may need the structure of the notebooks. You may want to do the notebooks and a nature journal. That was simply too much for me to us to keep up with and I found that less structure leads our crew to more learning. Or perhaps you use a different science textbook. The concept of journaling can be applied to other curriculums and even other subjects. So, here is what that looks like in our homeschool. This year we are studying botany, which included a study on trees.

Our kids are awesome at identifying trees by their leaves. They have done leaf rubbings in their nature journal since 2015 when were roadschooling and started keeping nature journals. And while they have certainly noticed different types of barks on our nature hikes, we had never formally discussed identifying trees by their barks, which since we are in the middle of winter can be quite useful.

They did several bark rubbings, taped them into their nature journals, and labelled the trees. 

We keep science vocabulary and definitions in our journals, so they drew a cutout of a tree and labelled the layers.

Did you know that you can measure tree growth not only by its rings, but also by measuring the distance between the terminal bud scars? We did not know that before reading it in Apologia's Exploring Creation with Botany. We headed to the yard and measured some trees. All experiments and activities are recorded in the journals. This time we chose to graph the growth.

When it was clear that the trees grew the most in 2018, we headed to the internet to do some research to find out what happened in 2018. It turns out it was one of the wettest years on record!

When we read about phototropism, we went on a nature hike to try to look for examples. Guess where we drew the examples we found? That's right! In our journals!

I then had our little learners brainstorm some ideas about what happened to the tree that caused it grow like that. I like to tie in life lessons whenever possible, so we discussed how resilient God made trees. Sometimes when we are trying things one way and it's not working, we just need to find another way. They wrote a creative story from a trees perspective about the day another tree fell on top of it.

We also read about the great sequoia trees. Our oldest remembered that I had been there years ago and wanted to look through my scrapbook of the trip. They were fascinated, so I kept that learning spark going and we headed to YouTube to watch more videos on the giant sequoias and even found a drawing video for their journals. 

We tie in other books with the little ones. After reading The Giving Tree they journaled some of the ways trees benefit us.

The children have a journal for every year of science and love looking back through them; reliving their learning adventures again.

We'd love for you to follow us on our homeschool journey on Instagram. Check out the homeschool tab for more learning fun.

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