Monday, February 18, 2019

Today North America Celebrates . . . President's Day and Family Day

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Today North America Celebrates . . . on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Learn about President's Day in the USA and Family Day observances in Canada

Today many schools are closed and some government offices are closed in order to recognize one of several holidays. In the United States it is President's Day, and in Canada it is some form of Family Day. We're not taking a day off school, but it's a little different from our usual Monday! I do have the day off from my job, and we plan to visit the community college for an open house. I dug up this post from my blog archives so we can take a brief look at the history and heritage of our two countries.

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In the United States, we usually refer to today's federal holiday as President's Day, and it's an occasion to honor all the past presidents, although the official name remains Washington's Birthday. In 1879, an Act of Congress designated the first federal holiday for government employees in honor of a President's birthday. In 1971, the holiday was adjusted so that it would celebrated on the third Monday of February. This was done to give people a predictable three-day weekend, but ironically, also means that the holiday meant to honor George Washington never actually falls on his birthdate, which is the 22nd!

This is a state holiday in most states, but with several different official names: Washington's Birthday, President's Day, Presidents' Day, and Washington's and Lincoln's Birthday.

Today North America Celebrates . . . on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Learn about President's Day in the USA and Family Day observances in Canada

Following his great success leading the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War, George Washington agreed to serve as President of the Constitutional Convention in May of 1787. When it came time to choose the President of the newly formed nation, every elector cast one of his two votes for Washington, making him the first President of the United States in 1789. When he took the oath of office, which had been prescribed in the Constitution, he voluntarily added the words "so help me God". Every President since has followed suit. That was the first example of how his administration set the precedents for all to follow, in issues large and small. Another example is the title by which the President is known. Congress spent considerable time deciding how President should be addressed, but since Washington himself declared that he wanted only "Mr. President" that has been the title settled upon. Washington had hoped to retire after one term as President, but agreed to serve a second term and was chosen President in another unanimous vote in 1792. In 1796, Washington decided that two terms was enough and retired to his home in Mount Vernon.

You can read more about our first President, President's Day, and Mount Vernon in the following posts:


From the High School Lesson Book - President's Day - A little history lesson about our nation's first President, George Washington, just in time for Washington's Birthday. This is also a link-up for any posts about homeschooling through high school, hosted by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


Today North America Celebrates . . . on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Learn about President's Day in the USA and Family Day observances in Canada


hmmm. My kids were not very respectful.



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Today North America Celebrates . . . on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Learn about President's Day in the USA and Family Day observances in Canada

In many parts of Canada, today is a provincial statutory holiday. It's recognized as Family Day in Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan; as Louis Riel Day in Manitoba; as Nova Scotia Heritage Day in Nova Scotia, and as Islander Day in Prince Edward Island. British Columbia has a Family Day as well, but it falls on the second Monday of February rather than the third; and in the Yukon Territory a Friday in February is designated as Yukon Heritage Day.

Today North America Celebrates . . . on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Learn about President's Day in the USA and Family Day observances in Canada

Alberta was the first province to have a statutory holiday in February, with Family Day being established in 1990. The holiday was intended to emphasize the importance of family values.

Today North America Celebrates . . . on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Learn about President's Day in the USA and Family Day observances in Canada

Saskatchewan declared its first Family Day in February 2007.

Today North America Celebrates . . . on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Learn about President's Day in the USA and Family Day observances in Canada

In Ontario, Premier McGuinty promised in 2007 that if re-elected he would establish a provincial holiday in February. Family Day was first observed in Ontario in February 2008.

Today North America Celebrates . . . on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Learn about President's Day in the USA and Family Day observances in Canada

British Columbia first had a proposed Family Day in 1994, but the bill failed to pass in the legislature. In 2013, newly elected Premier Christy Clark followed through on a campaign promise to establish Family Day, but it was set for the second Monday in February.

Today North America Celebrates . . . on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Learn about President's Day in the USA and Family Day observances in Canada

Manitoba has designated their provincial holiday as Louis Riel Day, first celebrated in 2008. The name was suggested by Manitoba students, in honor of the Metis leader considered to be the Father of Manitoba. Louis Riel was a Canadian politician and political leader of the Metis people of the Canadian prairies. (The Metis are a group of peoples descended from First Nations people and European settlers, with a distinct culture) Riel wanted to preserve the rights of this people group and led two resistance movements against the Canadian government in 1869-1870 and in 1885. His historical reputation has been controversial, sometimes viewed as a dangerous rebel and religious fanatic and sometimes as a rebel hero of minority rights. He was tried and convicted of treason, and was executed in 1885. His legacy has been so often debated by historians that he is the most written-about person in Canadian history. Whatever his failings, he was definitely a catalyst figure in making Manitoba a province, and as an advocate for justice for the Metis, he is now viewed as a founder of Canadian minority rights and cultural cooperation. See more at the Louis Riel Day website

Louis Riel
Louis Riel (1844-1885)

Today North America Celebrates . . . on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Learn about President's Day in the USA and Family Day observances in Canada

Prince Edward Island's observance, Islander Day, was introduced in 2009, and is celebrated with many outdoor activities such as skiing, skating, winter carnivals, and snowfests.


Today North America Celebrates . . . on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Learn about President's Day in the USA and Family Day observances in Canada

Nova Scotia Heritage Day was first celebrated in 2015. Each year it honors a different person or group in the province's history. The honorees were chosen from suggestions by schoolchildren. This year, Nova Scotia Heritage Day remembers and celebrates folk artist Maud Lewis. You can find out more at the Nova Scotia Heritage Day website, and I thought her art and story were very interesting, so I've shared the video clip from that website here.



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Unlike the year I originally wrote this article, I don't feel a bit guilty about not taking the day off school even though so many others are getting a day off today! We do get plenty of days off, and we have plenty that we must do today, so I'm going to share this and get to it. 

Are you taking a day off today in honor of history, heritage, or family? No matter what your plans are, I hope you're having a great day! Leave a comment and let me know if you're doing something special today or what you're studying!

An earlier version of this post appeared on Homeschool Coffee Break in February 2017 as Today North America Celebrates . . .

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 ©2006-2019 Homeschool Coffee Break. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://kympossibleblog.blogspot.com/ 

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Homeschool Highlights - The Week With Hearts and Stuff

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Homeschool Highlights - The Week With Hearts and Stuff on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Welcome to Homeschool Highlights! 
This weekly link-up is your opportunity to share some highlights of what is happening in your homeschool and in your world each week. If you write a wrap-up post at the end of each week, like I've been doing, we'd love to see what you're busy with from week to week. If you'd like to pick a favorite post from your week that spotlights a resource or activity in your homeschool that you'd like to tell others about, we're interested in those too. I'm keeping the guidelines as simple as I can, and they will appear at the bottom of each post, along with the link tool. I look forward to getting to know you, and I hope this will be a source of encouragement and good ideas for all of us.

Grab a cup of coffee and let's get started!


Homeschool Highlights - The Week With Hearts and Stuff on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

I've been drinking this one lately - Maple Bacon from Bones. Also their Irish Cream, and now Mustachio. Good stuff!


Homeschool news  . . . During this busy homeschool week, Kennady finally got rolling with Consumer Math and we also took some time to start a real focus on developing better study skills. We'll be reviewing Victus Study Skills System in a couple of weeks. I've worked my way through the entire Teacher's Edition and now I'm guiding her through. We're both hoping this is one of those review items that pays big dividends as it helps her know how to study efficiently and be well prepared for all her assignments, especially as college is just around the corner.

Homeschool Highlights - The Week With Hearts and Stuff on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


Other news . . . Friday night Kennady had another hang-out night with some co-op friends, which meant that I had a bit of alone time at Starbucks, and then a bit of time visiting with a couple of the other moms as well. On Saturday we worked on our kitchen and dining room update project, and then had another family dinner that we thought should be photographed. After painting and doing other work most of the day, I insisted on takeout for dinner, and it was National Pizza Day, after all!

Homeschool Highlights - The Week With Hearts and Stuff on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

The painting is coming along and I really like the color. We might be able to get it finished this weekend, and then I'll need to properly organize what goes back on the counters. We need a new range hood and stovetop sometime soon, and are thinking maybe an over-the-range microwave would be a good choice. Not sure whether we'll get that done this month as well, but whatever we decide about the range hood, it needs to happen pretty soon!

Homeschool Highlights - The Week With Hearts and Stuff on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com Homeschool Highlights - The Week With Hearts and Stuff on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

This week felt very busy, but the winter weather caused schools to close on Tuesday, which meant that Civil Air Patrol and my choir rehearsal were cancelled. Kennady's chorus did still have rehearsal though, so that mean another evening with some alone time at Starbucks for me! Not complaining!

Our co-op had an Open House on Thursday, and it seemed to me that we had a fair number of families stop by to find out more about our classes, so that it encouraging. 

Kennady will be going with our church youth group on winter retreat, leaving this afternoon. Probably the last time she gets to go on this retreat, unless she goes again as a leader, so she's hoping for a great weekend with friends! The boys are not going to the retreat this year, but will be busy on the weekend helping at a church fundraiser, so the hubster and I will be on our own. We're planning our Valentines dinner out for this evening. 

What's Important . . . Prayer is always important, but it's something that has been especially on my mind this week. I'm trying to be more consistent in keeping a prayer journal to help me stay faithful in praying for others.

Homeschool Highlights - The Week With Hearts and Stuff on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

I recommend . . . visiting the Homeschool Review Crew blog for this week's articles and reviews. I was one of the Crew members that reviewed For The Temple from Heirloom Audio this week.

Adventure in Jerusalem - For The Temple from Heirloom Audio (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review for the Homeschool Review Crew @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com )

I also recommend visiting theHeart and Soul blog, as I have an article there this week - Homeschooling Through High School: A Typical Week.


On my blogs last week . . .

And on my book blog, Just A Second:

Recent Reads - The Alamo Bride
Wordless Wednesday - Senior Portrait Preview
Recent Reads - Dark Road to Darjeeling
Scripture and a Snapshot - From the Heart

Just A Second is where I share book reviews and other book-related things, and update on what's on my bookshelf. This week I finished and reviewed Dark Road to Darjeeling (A Lady Julia Grey Mystery Book 4) by Deanna Raybourn, and I've been reading:

Kind Is the New Classy: The Power of Living Graciously by Candace Cameron Bure
Ladies of Intrigue by Michelle Griep
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

A parting shot . . . Hope you had a happy Valentine's Day!


Homeschool Highlights - The Week With Hearts and Stuff on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


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Homeschool Highlights guidelines:
  • Your blog should be family-friendly content, and your post should include something about homeschooling.
  • Please link directly to your post, not your blog's homepage.
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 ©2006-2019 Homeschool Coffee Break. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://kympossibleblog.blogspot.com/

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Adventure in Jerusalem (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review)


Adventure in Jerusalem - For The Temple from Heirloom Audio (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review for the Homeschool Review Crew @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com )

I'm always delighted to have a chance to review audio dramas from Heirloom Audio, and the newest in their collection, For The Temple, looked especially intriguing. We were invited to listen in on an exciting audio adventure story about the siege of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Adventure in Jerusalem - For The Temple from Heirloom Audio (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review for the Homeschool Review Crew @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com )


Heirloom Audio has become a favorite of ours, as the exciting audio dramas they produce definitely appeal to a broad age range! These are dramatic productions based on the stories written by G.A. Henty in the 19th century. Not just an audio book, with someone reading the story to you, but a rich production of talented actors voicing the characters and a realistic soundtrack that makes you feel like you are there in the middle of the action. Henty's books reflected masterful storytelling, and his fictional characters involved in real historical events were great examples of courage, loyalty, and faith of these young heroes. Heirloom Audio makes the stories even more appealing to modern audiences, by acting them out so we can listen at home or on the go, and get a taste of the excitement and adventure.

We received the 2 CD set of For The Temple, which is about 2-1/2 hours of listening time. The CDs come in a beautiful full-cover case, and I always appreciate the fact that there's a defining quote from the story featured in the center panel of the case.

Adventure in Jerusalem - For The Temple from Heirloom Audio (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review for the Homeschool Review Crew @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com )

Adventure in Jerusalem - For The Temple from Heirloom Audio (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review for the Homeschool Review Crew @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com )

The time is coming when every Jew who can bear arms will be needed in the service of his country. Your hopes cannot stop it.
 This quote sums up what we on this side of history know will happen - the temple in Jerusalem will be destroyed by the Romans. The lead character in this drama, John of Gamala, has been brought up to believe that it is the duty of every Jew to defend the temple, giving his life if necessary, and he does go to great lengths to keep the temple from destruction. However, even he and his loyal band of fighters reach a point when they must wrestle with whether they should concede the battle.

Story summary: The story-teller, Mr. George, gets into a conversation about beautiful buildings with a young man in Vienna, and is inspired to share the story of the temple of Jerusalem and how it came to be destroyed. His story begins in AD 67, with a young man named John and his parents and fiancee. John plans to carry on his father's vineyard and live quietly, but a chance encounter with Josephus (Titus Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian and resistance fighter) leads to his joining the Jewish army. While attempting to defend the city of Jotapata against Roman siege and attack, he befriends another young man named Jonas. When Jotapata eventually falls to the Romans, John and Jonas manage to hide and survive, and later escape the city.

John gathers a small force of men that harass the Romans in a sort of guerilla warfare. He becomes somewhat of a legend and folk hero among the Jews. On one occasion, John is on a solitary walk when he meets an armed Roman and engages in one-on-one combat.The Roman, who turns out to be none other than General Titus (who later becomes the Emperor), respects the valiant young fighter and the two strike up a rather unlikely friendship that culminates in Titus swearing an oath to avoid destroying the temple if possible and promising aid to John if he is ever in need.

John's band of fighters disperse to their homes for a time, deciding that they will come together again only to defend the temple itself. When that day finally comes, they head to Jerusalem to try and forge a truce between the infighting factions of Jews who are defiling the temple and preying upon the innocent people in Jerusalem. When General Titus lays siege to Jerusalem, John finally succeeds in bringing two of the rebel leaders to an uneasy agreement to work together to defend the city. But when the Romans break through and reach the temple, John concludes that the Jews themselves have defiled the temple and that God is using the might of Rome to bring judgement on the Jewish nation. Once again, he is able to escape the city and tries to return home.

And once again, he is captured, this time by Arab slave traders. So his road home is detoured as he is taken to Egypt and sold into slavery. He is able to gain an audience with Titus, using the ring given him years earlier along with an oath of friendship, and thus is able to return home where he finally marries and settles down on the family farm.

The theme of duty to defend the temple is prominent, and John's courage and integrity are also highlighted. John also meets followers of The Way, and learns from an eyewitness about Yeshua and comes to believe that he was the promised Messiah. 

Adventure in Jerusalem - For The Temple from Heirloom Audio (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review for the Homeschool Review Crew @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com )

Overall, there's much more to this audio drama than the excitement of a great story of warfare and honor. Listeners will learn a lot of history and find plenty of opportunity to engage in further discussion about the prophecies regarding the temple, and about proper worship.

And to aid in further study and discussion, there is a beautiful full-color 51-page Study Guide available to accompany For The Temple. We received the pdf version of the Study Guide, and although we didn't use it for in-depth study or as a curriculum guide, I did wind up printing a few of the pages for myself because the information was so valuable and interesting. 

Adventure in Jerusalem - For The Temple from Heirloom Audio (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review for the Homeschool Review Crew @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com )

I was particularly interested in the map and explanation of the Siege of Jerusalem in the year 70. This is an historic event that I know about, but listening to this dramatic story made me especially interested in looking at the map and understanding the sequence of events a little more clearly.

Adventure in Jerusalem - For The Temple from Heirloom Audio (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review for the Homeschool Review Crew @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com )

In most of Henty's stories, the fictional lead characters come into contact with real historical figures. Josephus is one such historical figure. I recognize Josephus as a very important Jewish scholar and historian, but I didn't know that he was also a leader of Jewish forces in Galilee! 

Adventure in Jerusalem - For The Temple from Heirloom Audio (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review for the Homeschool Review Crew @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com )
Study Guide featuring information about Josephus

The Study Guide provides comprehension questions (called Listening Well), discussion and follow-up questions (called Thinking Further), and vocabulary (Defining Words) for each of the chapters of the story. And at the end there are three Bible studies on the themes presented in the story. Throughout the guide, you'll also find sidebars like the one giving background on Josephus. These provide some extra historical or Biblical context to the story. For example, there's a reference to Gideon in the story, and the Study Guide explains a little more about Gideon's Army. The Thinking Further questions often direct students to look up maps of the places mentioned in the story, draw conclusions about the actions or decisions in the story, or consider possible motives for character's behavior. 

Adventure in Jerusalem - For The Temple from Heirloom Audio (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review for the Homeschool Review Crew @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com )
Study guide page featuring information about Gideon's Army

For this story, I especially recommend making use of the Study Guide if you're also studying Roman history or Biblical history and prophecy. The Study Guide does a great job of summarizing the prophecies and background for the belief that God would remove his glory from the temple and allow its destruction if his people failed to keep his covenant, and relating the fall of Jerusalem to these prophecies.

Adventure in Jerusalem - For The Temple from Heirloom Audio (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review for the Homeschool Review Crew @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com )
Study Guide pages explaining the end of the covenant age and destruction of the temple

Adventure in Jerusalem - For The Temple from Heirloom Audio (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review for the Homeschool Review Crew @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com )
Study Guide pages explaining the end of the covenant age and destruction of the temple

Adventure in Jerusalem - For The Temple from Heirloom Audio (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review for the Homeschool Review Crew @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com )
Study Guide pages explaining the end of the covenant age and the destruction of the temple


What we liked best:
  • as always, the voice actors, sound effects, and soundtrack come together to put the listener right in the action - like watching a movie except that there's nothing to see except in your imagination!
  • exciting and dramatic story that is interesting for the whole family, and is likely to inspire some interest in the historic events portrayed.
  • positive character traits like courage, humility, loyalty, and integrity are highlighted
  • the Study Guide provides a lot of extra information and discussion starters to add plenty of educational value.

What I need to mention:
  • the battle and combat scenes are realistic and intense, so I'd recommend previewing before having very young or sensitive children listen.
Our bottom line: We have never been disappointed in an Heirloom Audio Adventure, and For The Temple was another exciting ride through history that entertained us while teaching history and some important Bible and character lessons as well. I continue to recommend all of these stories for intriguing add-ons to history study, and for entertaining the whole family on road trips!

Adventure in Jerusalem - For The Temple from Heirloom Audio (A Homeschool Coffee Break Review for the Homeschool Review Crew @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com )

Yes, we have reviewed all but one of the previous Heirloom Audio adventures! You are invited to check out our full review of In Freedom's CauseAn Extraordinary Adventure in Scottish Historyour full review of With Lee In VirginiaAn Extraordinary Adventure With Lee In Virginiaour full review of The Dragon and the RavenAn Extraordinary Adventure With Alfred the Greatour full review of Beric the BritonBeric the Briton - Another Extraordinary Adventure from Heirloom Audio Productions; our full review of The Cat of BubastesAn Extraordinary Adventure in Ancient Egyptour full review of In the Reign of TerrorAn Extraordinary Adventure During the French Revolution; our full review of Captain Bayley's HeirCaptain Bayley's Heir - A New Audio Adventure; our full review of Wulf the SaxonWulf the Saxon - An Extraordinary Adventure with Heirloom Audio; and our full review of St. Bartholomew's Eve: An Extraordinary Adventure on St. Bartholomew's Eve.

Would you like to join in this latest audio adventure? Here's what you need to know:

Visit the website:  www.HeirloomAudio.com/  or the Live The Adventure Club homepage:  www.LiveTheAdventureClub.com/home/
Find out more about the audio drama For The Temple here: www.ForTheTempleHenty.com/ (This website is still under construction, so if you get a placeholder site instead of seeing the CD cover and info, check back later, as it has been intermittently unavailable.) 

Pricing: The two CD set is available for $29.97. 

Age recommendations:  Ages 6 and up. (But see my note above for young or sensitive listeners)

You can follow Heirloom Audio Productions on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog for more information and to read other reviews.



 ©2006-2019 Homeschool Coffee Break. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://kympossibleblog.blogspot.com/ 

 We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

I have done my best to provide accurate pricing and links at the time this post originally appeared. Please be aware that these may change.