Posts Tagged ‘Homeschooling’

Make Your Own State Tourism Brochures

Monday, May 15th, 2017

make-your-own-tourism-brochures

Today I will show you how to make your own state tourism brochures to help your kids understand your state better! We happen to live in the state of Washington, so we looked up what some of the famous sights of Washington are. My kids now understand the state of Washington way better than they did before completing the project!

The Notgrass Company decided to sponsor these fun blog posts because we are basing this series on their Exploring Government book. This idea to “Make Your Own State Tourism Brochures” was one of the hands-on assignments in the book. I want to show you what my kids came up with:

As you can see, we printed off maps and pictures, and we arranged them on a tri-fold piece of paper. The kids labeled and described different sights of Washington to cause tourists to want to come to our state. One of my sons had a humorous way of describing each sight.

tourism-brochures

Hands-on Learning for High School Government

One of the things I love most about this Exploring Government book is the hands-on assignments. At the beginning of each week, hands-on assignments like the following are listed:

  • Create a bust sculpture of one of the Founding Fathers out of clay.
  • Make a 3-D model of a real national feature or scene in one of America’s national parks.
  • Create a slide show creatively illustrating the 10 Commandments.
  • Write and illustrate a book for children of at least 20 pages explaining taxes and what government does with the money on a local, state, and federal level.
  • Go on a field trip to your county courthouse.

notgrass-government-book

When teens have a creative outlet like skits or other hands-on projects, they have to think through the topic to a much greater degree than if they just took a test on the information. My kids wrote all the scripts for this entire high school government series, and they are learning so much!

I hope you enjoyed our state tourism brochures. Stay tuned for the next episode: Typical Campaign Promises!

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!

Homeschool Mom Tag Video

Friday, May 5th, 2017

homeschool-mom-tag-video

In this video I answer 10 common homeschooling questions. I was tagged in a Homeschool Mom Tag video on YouTube by Shelly Sangrey from There’s No Place Like Home.

Here is how I answered these questions:

  1. Were you homeschooled? No. I grew up as a missionary kid in Guatemala, so you would think that my parents knew about homeschooling, but they didn’t. I went to a bilingual national school, to a boarding school for missionary kids for two years, and then to an English-speaking Christian school.
  2. Did you always know you were going to homeschool your children? Yes.
  3. What are your three favorite books in your homeschool library? Educating the WholeHearted Child by Sally Clarkson, A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola, and The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer.
  4. Are you the only teacher, or do you outsource? I am their only teacher. My husband has occasionally done robotics or other specialized activities with the kids, and we go on a lot of field trips that are led by specialists in each field of knowledge.
  5. What is your favorite place to purchase homeschool curriculum? Homeschool convention vendor halls (because I can look at the curriculum before buying it) and used curriculum sales (especially for hands-on models and educational toys.)
  6. Do you set a budget for your homeschool? No.
  7. What are two must-have homeschool supplies? My computer printer and black card stock paper for notebooking, since the kids’ work pops so nicely against the black background.
  8. What is your favorite and least favorite subject to teach? I’ve always loved teaching literature and Bible, and I now love teaching history and science. My least favorite subject to teach is math.
  9. Are you involved in co-ops or homeschool groups? No, because I end up being in charge of everything, since I’m a strong leader. Co-ops are supposed to lighten your load, not give you a bigger load.
  10. What is your homeschool approach? Unit studies, of course!

I hope you enjoyed watching my version of the Homeschool Mom Tag video. Now I’m choosing to tag the following homeschool moms, to see if they will answer these fun homeschool questions:

How the Judicial System Works

Monday, May 1st, 2017

how-the-judicial-system-works

The Notgrass Company has decided to expand this government series by sponsoring these blog posts! You guys, as homeschoolers, you have to teach government to your high schoolers anyway, and the Exploring Government book is clear in its explanations, full of modern color pictures, and interesting in its examples (as you’ll see in the mafia counterfeiting illustration below). It makes the study of government actually enjoyable. It’s perfect for Christian homeschoolers. Go buy it already!

In the unit on “The Judiciary,” this Notgrass government book gave a fun example of a fictional counterfeiting ring that sounded like a mafia sting. I had one of my sons modify this story for the next video in our series. We even changed the names to remain incognito, to protect the identities of the original fictional characters. So now, ladies and gentlemen, we present “How the Judicial System Works.”

How the Judicial System Works (dramatization)

A Chicago gangster is counterfeiting money in his basement. Two federal agents break into his house and tell him he in under arrest. They tell him he has the right to remain silent, that anything he says can and would be used against him, that he has the right to have an attorney present at any interrogation. If he can’t afford a lawyer, one will be provided for him.

The gangster (we will call him Bob McBob) is taken to the county jail, then to a federal magistrate two days later, along with his gang’s leader (Fred Fredrickson), who was also arrested. They both plead not guilty to the charge of counterfeiting.

sting-operation

The magistrate set the bond the men had to pay in order to be released from jail until the trial. This money is a promise that they would not run away before the trial. If they did, the state could take their assets. The magistrate set the bond at $500,000 each, which they couldn’t possibly pay. So they had to stay in jail until the trial.

The prosecutor offered McBob a plea bargain. If he would plead guilty, the government would ask for a lesser sentence in exchange for his testimony against Fredrickson.

The federal district judge held pre-trial hearings where he heard defense motions regarding the trial. The defense attorneys asked for a change of venue for the trial to try and get an impartial jury. They also questioned the specificity of the search warrants and asked that the evidence the agents gathered be suppressed.

arresting-counterfeiter

But the judge refused all of these and set a date for the trial.

Before the trial the two sides exchanged witness lists, the prosecuting attorney gathered evidence, and McBob’s defense attorney met with him and discussed the plea bargain. McBob ended up agreeing to the plea bargain.

When the time came, McBob and Fredrickson appeared before the federal district court on charges of counterfeiting. The judge heard the opening statements and the prosecuting attorney called in witnesses. After hearing the witnesses’ and McBob’s testimonies, the jury pronounced them both guilty. The judge sentenced McBob to four years and Fredrickson to ten years in prison.

I hope you enjoyed our re-enactment of “How the Judicial System Works.” Stay tuned for the next episode: The Bill of Rights!

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!

What are the Federal Executive Departments?

Monday, April 24th, 2017

federal-executive-departments

What are the federal executive departments of the United States government? Today we will find out through a series of skits!

We have been using the book Exploring Government by Ray Notgrass for our study of high school government, and we find out that the President’s cabinet members are each in charge of different executive departments. We found out in last week’s episode what the line of succession is for President. Now we will describe each department of the federal government.

The group of people directly under the President is the executive department. (The legislative and judicial departments are the other two branches of government, and these two keep the executive department in check.)

Federal Executive Departments of the U.S. Government

The first executive department is the Department of State. This handles foreign relations and makes treaties, promotes peace, and encourages countries to participate in the war on terrorism, among other things.

Next is the Department of the Treasury, which oversees the economic life of the nation and is involved in how the country participates in the global economy. It also oversees coin minting, printing of paper currency, and the IRS.

Third, the Department of Defense has the job of protecting our nation and its interests. This is our nation’s largest employer, with about 1.4 million men and women on active duty, and 650,000 civilian employees to support them.

Next, we have the Department of Justice, the head of which is the Attorney General. This department works with the FBI and enforces laws of all kinds.

Then there is the Department of the Interior, also referred to as the department of everything else by some people. This department’s responsibilities used to include a lot of agencies that became their own departments later. Now its primary responsibility is to maintain federal national parks.

The Department of Agriculture creates regulations concerning the quality of food farmers produce, inspects and grades food, supervises farm production, and guarantees that farmers get an adequate income through subsidies and price controls.

Next, the Department of Commerce encourages growth in the economy and promotes trade between American and foreign companies. This department includes the United States Patent and Trademark office, among others.

The Department of Labor‘s job is to protect the rights of American workers by enforcing laws regarding non-discrimination and safety in the workplace. This department also collects information about various aspects of worker conditions such as hourly wage and the unemployment rate.

department-of-defense

Next is the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It was created to address the decaying state of many inner city areas and the dilapidated, crime-infested urban areas. It also enforces laws regarding discrimination and safety in apartments.

The Department of Transportation allocates federal funds to road construction and promotes safety in construction sites. It also oversees the transportation infrastructure and makes regulations regarding road safety.

The Department of Health and Human Services has a wide range of tasks from medicare and medicaid, to approving prescription drugs, to certifying the quality of foods and cosmetics sold in America, and much more. It also creates programs to help Native American tribes, the poor, and the elderly.

Next, the Department of Energy encourages energy conservation and supports research in energy technology. It tries to make energy consumption and  production safer and researches alternate renewable sources of energy.

The Department of Education has over 250 programs including training migrant workers, programs for the handicapped, and granting student loans. It also works to prohibit discrimination in schools.

The Department of Veteran’s Affairs is tasked with providing assistance to veterans, especially those with disabilities because of their service. This department provides health care to veterans and their dependents at little or no cost.

And last, but not least, we have the Department of Homeland Security, which handles national emergencies such as natural disasters. It works to prevent terrorist attacks and makes programs to keep the public educated about such attacks. (In the skit, the blue blanket was a tsunami, in case you couldn’t figure it out!)

And there you have it… the Federal Executive Departments of the U.S. Government!

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!

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