Posts Tagged ‘history’

Types of Government

Monday, March 27th, 2017

types-of-government

Today we are going to learn about the types of government. We are starting a new video series on high school government, using Exploring Government by Ray Notgrass. I was looking for a government program to teach my homeschooled high school kids, since it’s a mandatory class for graduation. I saw this Christian government textbook when I was at a conference in Ohio last year. It had colorful pictures and understandable text, similar to Apologia high school textbooks that are written in a more conversational style than the usual boring, hard-to-read, and impossible to understand textbooks on these subjects.

After watching the fun videos my kids perform for this course, you will laugh when you find out I was dreading to teach government. That’s why I was thrilled when I saw this book, held it in my hands, and read some of it. I also got to meet the author of the book and his wife. While we were in a keynote session, he reached over and held his wife’s hand during the prayer, which I thought was sweet. When he won a door prize, he danced a jig, which I found entertaining. You can see the love of Christ shining out of their faces.

The links in this series of blog posts are not affiliate links. Please buy the book from their website to bless their family the most!

Now onto the first video of the series…

Types of Government Video Demonstration

The first form of government is a dictatorship, where one person rules and has absolute authority. The North Korean government is an example of a dictatorship. In the video, you will see someone dressed as a dictator, forcing people to labor because they have no choice about it.

Next we have an oligarchy, where a small group of people hold sovereignty. The former Soviet Union had an oligarchy. Here we had several people in gray wigs, governing over the people by sitting in a meeting, conversing together.

Next is a monarchy, where a king or queen, who holds the throne by hereditary rights, rules. There are two kinds of monarchies: absolute and constitutional. Absolute monarchies are similar to dictatorships, but the leader is royalty. Constitutional monarchies have monarchs, but they are under the law. There are very few absolute monarchies now, but throughout history, this has been the most prevalent government type.

For the absolute monarchy, we had the queen of hearts give a signal, “Off with his head!” For the constitutional monarchy, we had the “law” appear above the queen’s head. We thought it was appropriate to dress up as the Alice in Wonderland deck of cards, to add whimsy to the video. (The cards were left over from a year where our whole family dressed up as a deck of cards for Harvest Festival.)

monarchy-type-of-government

The next and most common form of government is a republic. This also has two kinds, presidential and parliamentary. Presidential republics have the people vote directly or indirectly for a president who is not part of the elected national assembly. Parliamentary republics, on the other hand, have the chief executive be part of the national assembly. When one party wins a majority of seats, their leader becomes prime minister, or chief executive.

When we acted this out, we had a mob of people crowding around Abraham Lincoln to make him president by direct vote by giving him the sunglasses. Oh, yes, in case you didn’t notice in this entire video, the people in power are wearing the sunglasses.

For the parliamentary government, you have a vote in parliament, and the group with the most votes chooses a person to be prime minister, and that person (of course) gets the sunglasses.

Lastly, we have a true democracy, where all the people gather together to make, remove, and amend laws. No modern country is truly democratic, mostly just republic. All the people put on sunglasses.

We also added anarchy, which is no government at all. You will have to watch the video to find out what happens when you have anarchy.

types-of-governance

I hope you liked our first video in the Exploring Government series. Stay tuned for next week’s post, where we dramatize how a bill becomes a law!

Huge List of Hands-on Activities for High School

Monday, March 6th, 2017

hands-on-activities-for-high-school

It’s harder to find hands-on activities for high school than for elementary, but just because you are homeschooling teens doesn’t mean that your day has to be boring and tedious. Everyone learns better by doing–this is true for practical skills like driving and cooking, but also for academic knowledge like science and history. Take a look at our enormous list of fun hands-on activities for high school!

Hands-on High School Science Activities

hands-on-high-school-science

High school sciences naturally lend themselves to hands-on activities because of the lab work required. But as you can see in the following list, you can also have fun with food, field trips, LEGOs, and even comedy to bring your science to life!

Biology

Chemistry

Human Anatomy

Hands-on High School History Activities

hands-on-high-school-history

Each of these activities are applicable to high school ancient history, even though we did many of them before the kids were teens. You would just expect more detail on each of the projects, and maybe a demonstration of the projects in front of a group of peers studying the same time period:

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Greece

Ancient Rome

Middle Ages & Renaissance

Civil War

Modern History

Hands-on High School Geography Activities

hands-on-high-school-geography

Hands-on High School Math Activities

Hands-on Activities for High School Art

hands-on-high-school-art

My high school students did a wonderful job with each of these famous artists, to learn their basic techniques and enjoy the works of the great artists:

I hope you enjoyed this huge list of hands-on activities for high school! Come back to this page often, as I will be adding more posts, including some new high school government posts with video demonstrations!

 hands-on-homeschool-ideas

Army Tank Cake

Monday, January 16th, 2017

tank-cake

We created a fabulous tank cake to celebrate modern history. We lit it up with a sparkler in the barrel of the tank. It looked cool all lit up! This army party was perfect for my teen son’s birthday.

How to Make an Army Tank Cake

  1. We baked three rectangular cakes because we wanted the wheels to be the height of Oreo cookies. It depends what recipe you use for your cake, but we used two regular cake mixes for the base of the tank, stacking them after they were cooled off. Then we cut a square out of the third cake and placed it on the top of the tank.
  2. We frosted the whole thing with chocolate frosting. I’m sure we used at least two tubs of frosting from the grocery store. Don’t scrimp on the frosting.
  3. We placed Fruit Roll-ups along the sides of the tank cake, to make the tracks. Then the Oreo cookies were placed on both sides, on the edge. The barrel was a Pirouette. I wanted to be able to stick a sparkler into the barrel, which is why we didn’t use a Twix chocolate bar like we originally brainstormed. If you are not lighting the barrel with a sparkler, you could easily use a Twix chocolate bar.

army-party

How to Create a Centerpiece for an Army Party

I threw down a black bed sheet onto the table and sprinkled some sand in the middle of the table. I placed a LEGO tank in the sand, and I sprinkled toy soldiers around like confetti. For more instructions on how to make this centerpiece, watch my tutorial: LEGO Tanks of World War II.

tank-centerpiece

Grenade Balloons for Decorations

We decorated the room with grenade balloons, which I must say were extremely difficult to blow up. That’s because they were water balloons! If you are celebrating this army party in the summer, you could have outdoor activities involving grenade water balloons.

You can have your guests dress in camouflage if you want to make the experience even more authentic.

grenade-balloons

Tank Piñata

We also found a tank piñata, which was the reason my son chose this theme. (He saw this tank piñata hanging at the party store and wanted it.) Whacking a tank is very satisfying, especially for boys, making this a fun activity to end this army party!

tank-pinata

For more hands-on activities for modern history, check out my modern history unit study!

31 Days of Themed Cakes

Friday, September 30th, 2016

31-days-of-themed-cakes

Here are 31 days of themed cakes to enhance your history, science, geography, and Bible lessons! Talk about having your cake and eating it, too! The history cakes include iconic symbols from specific time periods, like a jukebox for the 1950’s and a gramophone for the 1920’s. Geography cakes feature maps, and Bible cakes bring to life stories and concepts from the Bible. The science cakes help to teach the anatomy of an amoeba, a skin model, or the solar system.

During the month of October, I will be posting each of the remaining cakes on this fun list, categorizing the cakes into the different academic subjects.

Cakes can be a great way to culminate a unit study, celebrating the completion of a topic in science or history. You can even go all out and have a themed party with decorations and invitations, all centered around the topic of study!

31 Days of Themed Cakes

History Cakes

Geography Cakes

Science Cakes

Language Arts Cakes

Math Cakes

Bible Cakes

Fun Cakes

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