Friday, December 8, 2017

Homeschool Highlights - Holiday Edition (Week Fourteen)

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Homeschool Highlights - Holiday Edition (Week Fourteen) 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 - Holiday Edition (Week Fourteen) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Accompanying this cup of coffee was some of the hubster's birthday cheesecake. 


Homeschool news  . . . As we get closer to Christmas, the days get busier and schoolwork somehow seems to get put aside in favor of other things. Please tell me my house is not the only place where this happens! We are keeping up with co-op homework (just one more class before the Christmas break!), barely keeping up with History, and stealthily avoiding Algebra. Which can't go on without consequences, obviously. So I am thinking some Saturday school tomorrow may be in order.

Today is a half day of school at best, because Kennady will be at the Christmas Craft Breakfast this morning. I'm very thankful for a good friend that allowed Kennady to ride with them to the event, and I'm looking forward to seeing what she creates!

Other news . . . On Saturday, the hubster and I drove out to Williamsport to check out a barbecue restaurant (delicious!) and stopped at the town's Charlie Brown Christmas display as well. A very nice date night, and we even ran into some homeschool friends while there - what are the chances?!

Homeschool Highlights - Holiday Edition (Week Fourteen) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Homeschool Highlights - Holiday Edition (Week Fourteen) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Homeschool Highlights - Holiday Edition (Week Fourteen) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


This week was busy from start to finish, and my house is still not decorated for the holidays because I'm not home long enough to get anything done! Kennady helped decorate at the church on Monday evening; she and I had haircuts and got some shopping done on Tuesday; spent Thursday afternoon with friends; and went to a dinner at church on Thursday evening. On Tuesday I'd thought to have an evening free while Kennady was at chorus, since my choir is finished for the season, but we are crazy busy at work, so I wound up roasting coffee during those hours instead!

Homeschool Highlights - Holiday Edition (Week Fourteen) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


What I Loved This Week . . . 

I had the chance to sneak a couple of (low quality) pictures of my favorite Civil Air Patrol cadet in his dress blues:

Homeschool Highlights - Holiday Edition (Week Fourteen) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Homeschool Highlights - Holiday Edition (Week Fourteen) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


And I got to see this contrast one morning - moon to the west; and just a short time later, this pastel sunrise to the east:

Homeschool Highlights - Holiday Edition (Week Fourteen) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Homeschool Highlights - Holiday Edition (Week Fourteen) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com



I recommend . . . The Old Schoolhouse Magazine website for all the details on the big Molly Green sale going on now!



On my blogs last week . . .


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 India Black (A Madam of Espionage Mystery) by Carol K. Carr and will review it soon. I've been reading:

Isaiah's Daughter: A Novel of Prophets and Kings by Mesu Andrews
An Awakened Heart (Orphan Train): An Orphan Train Novella - Jody Hedlund



A parting shot . . . another look at that chocolate cheesecake. It's so good! Find the recipe here: Chocolate Lace Cheesecake

Homeschool Highlights - Holiday Edition (Week Fourteen) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com



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Homeschool Highlights guidelines:
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I will be linking up my own posts at the following weekly link parties that you may also be interested in: Weekly Wrap-Up hosted by Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers; at Homeschool Blog & Tell at The Homeschool Post; and at the Homeschool Linky Party on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

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 ©2006-2017 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/




Thursday, December 7, 2017

Heirloom Audio Productions (Blogging Through the Alphabet)

This post contains affiliate links - using affiliate links from Homeschool Coffee Break helps fuel this blog and our homeschool - thank you! 

Heirloom Audio Productions (Blogging Through the Alphabet) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

After so many years of homeschooling, I've had plenty of opportunities to try curriculum and explore all kinds of resources, so during this Blogging Through the Alphabet tour, I'm highlighting some of the many homeschooling resources that have been stand-outs. Sometimes it will be a walk down memory lane as I share something we enjoyed many years ago, and sometimes it will be something we're using currently. Sometimes I'll focus on a specific curriculum, and sometimes on a subject area. And I imagine I'll have to be a bit creative with a couple letters of the alphabet! This week I had a tough decision to make between two fantastic resources to highlight, but finally settled on Heirloom Audio Productions. (I promise I will tell you about the other one, Homeschool Tracker Online, in another post!)

Heirloom Audio Productions

Heirloom Audio Productions is passionate about engaging the imagination of listeners by telling great stories about real historical events through exciting audio drama. The stories are based on the novels written during the late 1800s by master story-teller G.A. Henty. Henty's stories of "virtue and valor, daring and determination, character and courage", which told about historical events and people as seen through the eyes of a fictional young person that he placed on the spot. In The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty series, Heirloom Audio tells these powerful stories through excellent voice acting, realistic sound effects, and powerful musical soundtracks.

We were first introduced to Heirloom Audio Productions when we had the opportunity to review In Freedom's Cause in early 2015. We weren't quite sure what to expect, but it was a great story from history, and my daughter was intrigued because the cast included a couple of her favorite actors. It turned out to be one of our all-time favorite review products, and since then we've jumped at every chance available to us to review these audio dramas. Rather than retell everything included in our reviews, I will just share links to them along with some quoted snippets. Do check them out! These are not only wonderful resources for studying history, but are exciting entertainment that the whole family can enjoy. Maybe they'd be just the thing for your next road trip or for a Christmas gift!

 An Extraordinary Adventure in Scottish History

Our introduction to these audio dramas was this story about William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, and the struggle for Scottish freedom. 

In Freedom's Cause Review @ Homeschool Coffee Break kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


An Extraordinary Adventure With Lee In Virginia

With Lee In Virginia tells about the War Between the States and highlights "the desire of the characters (fictional and historical) to fulfill their duties honorably, being faithful in meeting their obligations to serve and defend their country or state, to offer protection and provision for those under their care, and being trustworthy in their service to those in authority."


An Extraordinary Adventure With Lee In Virginia - our review of "With Lee In Virginia" from Heirloom Audio Productions - Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


An Extraordinary Adventure With Alfred the Great

The Dragon and the Raven:  "The story of King Alfred is a powerful one, but not one that most people today are familiar with. This story tells the historical facts of the time, and highlights the character of the only British monarch to earn the designation of "the Great". The Danes were in control of much of England, but followed a pagan religion. Against overwhelming odds, King Alfred was able to defend against the Danes and push them back, handing them a sound military defeat; but he also began the evangelism that won many Danes to Christian faith. "


The Dragon and the Raven - A Homeschool Coffee Break review of the newest audio drama from Heirloom Audio Productions, based on the story by G.A. Henty


Beric the Briton - Another Extraordinary Adventure from Heirloom Audio Productions


In Beric the Briton . . . 
Beric and his friend Bodouc are fictional characters invented by G.A. Henty, but many of the other people in the story of Beric the Briton are historical figures, and the battles and some other events described really happened. Through this story, listeners will learn about the Roman Emperor Nero, the queen Boadicea, and events that took place during the reign of Nero. A brief summary: Beric is the chief of his tribe of Britons, and having spent some time as a hostage prince with the Romans, he is familiar with their style of warfare. He uses his knowledge in an attempt to help the Britons in battle against the Romans, but ultimately the Romans are victorious; and Beric and Bodouc are among the captives taken back to Rome. In Rome, they are being trained as gladiators, and Beric also hears about the one true God and about his Son Christus. During this time, Nero begins his persecution of Christians, and when Beric is to compete as a gladiator, he chooses to act as champion for a Christian girl, who happens to be the daughter of the Roman governor that had held Beric so many years earlier. 
Beric the Briton - Another Extraordinary Adventure from Heirloom Audio Productions - A Homeschool Coffee Break review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com



The Cat of Bubastes "is based on the G.A. Henty novel of the same name, which tells the story of a young prince, Amuba, and his faithful protector Jethro after they are captured and made slaves by the Egyptians. They have the great fortune of being chosen to be servants to an Egyptian high priest's family.  Amuba and Jethro soon grow to respect and appreciate the high priest, and form a friendship with his son Chebron, who is Amuba's age. When a stray arrow from Chebron's bow kills the family's sacred cat, they all find themselves in great danger and the loyalty, courage, and character of all three are tested."

An Extraordinary Adventure in Ancient Egypt - The Cat of Bubastes from Heirloom Audio Productions -  A Homeschool Coffee Break review for the Homeschool Review Crew @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


In the Reign of Terror is about a sixteen year old boy from England, Harry, who goes to live with a French family shortly after the storming of the Bastille. At first, they stay at their country chateau but later go to Paris, where they are all in great danger as the Legislative Assembly orders the arrest of all members of noble families. Eventually Harry and the two younger girls of the family escape to the coast looking for passage to England. Even there the danger follows and the girls are arrested and sentenced to death, so Harry and some new friends must pull off another daring rescue attempt before finally making their way to England and safety.
An Extraordinary Adventure During the French Revolution (Review) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


Their newest audio drama, Captain Bayley's Heir, is a sweeping adventure that follows young Frank from his home in England across the Atlantic Ocean, and then across the entire American continent to Sacramento during the gold rush. As you can imagine, he has many exciting and dangerous adventures along the way! He also makes some very good friends, and he experiences God's grace for himself in very powerful ways. 
Captain Bayley's Heir - A New Audio Adventure on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - A Review for the Homeschool Review Crew


There is one more audio drama that we haven't reviewed - Under Drake's Flag - and I'm confident that it is just as exciting and entertaining as the rest!

By the way, there is Bonus Content available through the Live the Adventure Club for each of the audio dramas, so if you're looking for study guides, online scripts, or related downloadable content (like the soundtracks or the e-book versions of the original Henty novels), check that out.

Blogging Through the Alphabet again? Yes, I'm taking the challenge, along with several other Crew members, including our three co-hosts for this round - Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool, DaLynn at Biblical Womanhood, and Kirsten at DoodleMom's Homeschooling Life. The link is open from Thursday to Wednesday each week, so join in if you'd like!

This post is linked at Blogging Through the Alphabet for Week 8, Letter H.



This post is also linked at Homeschool Blog & Tell at The Homeschool Post; and at the Homeschool Linky Party on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

The Homeschool Post

Homeschool linky party

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©2006-2017 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/



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Virtual Refrigerator Holiday Art Edition - Record Snowfall

This post contains affiliate links - using affiliate links from Homeschool Coffee Break helps fuel this blog and our homeschool - thank you! 

Record Snowfall on the Holiday Art edition of the Virtual Refrigerator - an art link-up hosted by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Welcome to the Virtual Refrigerator art link-up! Thank you for joining us as we share what we're creating in our homeschools. We cordially invite you to add your link sharing artwork that's on your Virtual Refrigerator and then hop over to the other blogs and admire what's on their Fridges too! The Virtual Fridge link-up is open all month, with anchor posts planned for each Wednesday.

The old records came out again this past week as she got some new ideas of things to try with them. With this one, she tried a galaxy type background with acrylic paints that looks a bit like northern lights, and then added some falling snow.

Record Snowfall on the Holiday Art edition of the Virtual Refrigerator - an art link-up hosted by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com
Record Snowfall by KAT, December 2017

Here are the earlier projects she tried with these records last summer: Virtual Refrigerator - A New Spin on Art

A New Spin on Art, on the Virtual Refrigerator - an art link-up hosted by Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


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 ©2006-2017 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/

Monday, December 4, 2017

Waiting for Saint Nicholas

This post contains affiliate links - using affiliate links from Homeschool Coffee Break helps fuel this blog and our homeschool - thank you!

Waiting for Saint Nicholas on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


Yes, my kids have been "too old" for Santa Claus for a number of years, and we never even focused on Santa when they were little, but I won't be a bit surprised if they start wondering whether Saint Nicholas will leave candy and gifts for them this week. True, they never wrote a letter to Santa or cared much to visit him at the mall, but they did like the little tradition of leaving their shoes by the fireplace for Saint Nicholas the evening before his feast day.

When the kids were very little, I started letting them leave their shoes by the fireplace on the night before St Nicholas Day - along with paper carrots for his horse! - and in the morning they were delighted with the candy and small gifts that had been left for them. Once they were a little older, we incorporated some seasonal learning into our homeschool by spending the day looking at the history and customs associated with St Nicholas. Somehow this little tradition stuck, and even as teens and young adults, these kids are hoping for a little gift and some chocolate or candy on December 6th!

One nice thing about doing those little gifts on St Nicholas Day is that we didn't feel quite the pressure to fill the stockings to overflowing on Christmas morning. There would be a few small practical gifts and some treats in the stockings, but it was low-key. And let's face it - even little gifts to fill a stocking can really add up and make it a challenge to stick to a budget for Christmas! For younger kids, doing a Santa type thing early in the month can also make it just a little easier to focus on the Nativity and on family come Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a guest post for the Homeschool Review Crew blog about St Nicholas (which you can still find on the Crew blog here:  St. Nicholas Day). Here's a recap of some of the historical information about St Nicholas:

Nicholas was a real historical figure who lived during the third century. He grew up in a Greek village in what is now the country of Turkey. His parents were wealthy, but died during an epidemic while Nicholas was still quite young; and he used his entire inheritance to help the needy, the sick, and the suffering. When Nicholas was a young man, he became the Bishop of Myra; and he was well-known for his generosity, his love for children, and his concern for sailors. Bishop Nicholas was exiled and imprisoned for his faith, and the anniversary of his death on December 6, 343, became a widely celebrated feast day. The generosity of Bishop Nicholas was well-known, and there are many stories of his care and protection of children. One popular story about Nicholas leaving dowry money in stockings of poor young ladies is the origin of the custom of leaving shoes or stockings by the fireplace in hopes of gifts. St Nicholas is known as the patron saint of children and of sailors; and he is an example to all Christians of generous giving and compassion.

The Feast Day of St Nicholas is celebrated all around the world on December 6th. Children leave their shoes and their wishlists for St Nicholas, and carrots and hay for his horse. In the morning, they find small treats and gifts. In some countries where St Nicholas is prominent, his feast day is actually the primary gift-giving day during the Advent and Christmas season. Children find their stockings filled with small gifts,  nuts or fruit, and special Nicholas candies or cookies. Since the saint is known for his generosity, gifts given on his day are meant to be shared, not hoarded!

Waiting for Saint Nicholas on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Waiting for Saint Nicholas on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com

Okay, so how did St Nicholas become Santa Claus? It's a long and sometimes confusing story, but it starts in 1809 with Washington Irving's satirical stories that reference a jolly Dutch character named St Nicholas. Then in 1821 a children's book showed 'Sante Claus' arriving on Christmas Eve in a sleigh drawn by flying reindeer. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Those were the images that influenced the 1823 poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (better known as "The Night Before Christmas and generally attributed to Clement Moore). They also influenced the drawings of artist Thomas Nast in his series of drawings for Harper's Weekly starting in 1863. And with that, the Americanization of St Nicholas was almost complete! By the end of the 1920s, many artists were portraying Santa in a red suit trimmed with fur, and this version became an advertising icon during the 1930s with the immensely popular Coca-Cola ads by artist Haddon Sundblom.

Waiting for Saint Nicholas on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com


I guess I'd better make sure I've got some candy treats and little gifts ready, just in case my big kids do leave their shoes by the fireplace! I have my doubts as to whether there will be time this week to bake Peppernuts, a spicy cookie that is associated with St Nicholas in many countries, but I do hope to get them made sometime this season. You can find my family's recipe and more about this favorite cookie in my Twelfth Day of Christmas post from a couple of years ago.

Are You Ready for Saint Nicholas Day? on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com #StNicholasDay #Christmas

Whether you celebrate the Feast of St Nicholas or not, it's a great opportunity to talk about the historical St Nicholas and his example of being a generous and cheerful giver.  I hope you'll take a moment to leave a comment letting me know your thoughts!

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To find out more about St Nicholas, try some of the following resources:

  

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This post will be part of a #breakthrulinkup at Breakthrough Homeschooling - Join us! It will also be linked at the Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop hosted by Apron Strings & Other Thingsat Homeschool Blog & Tell at The Homeschool Post; and at the Homeschool Linky Party on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.



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Homeschool linky party


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 ©2006-2017 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/