This blog started out as an exploration of field trips by grade level which a family can take to enrich their child's school curriculum. I originally started this for Charter School families, or any family, wanting to supplement with fun family field trips. Since then we have decided to home school, so the bent and flavor has changed. I will still post field trips, but also home school related posts. We have four kids who span 8 years. Two high school and two elementary. Our elementary kids are home schooled.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Side Bar Field Trip Links

I have updated the Side Bar Field Trip Links. Please take a look at them and if you have other ideas that I could include please comment on this post.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Quest (knightly character for boys)

A True Knight must always rely on the “words of the Scroll” and lessons taught to him throughout the course of his Knightly career when deciding right from wrong.

A True Knight Shows Excellence
A True Knight must commit to excellence, and seek the highest level of excellence
in all aspects of his life.
A True Knight must always excel in his education, putting forth his best effort in all his lessons.
A True Knight must always excel in bearing, keeping his or her attitude and conduct above reproach, that others may have an honorable opinion of those “who follow the light
 and the author of the scroll”.

A True Knight has Courage
A True Knight must have the courage to stand up for those principles which he believes are right, especially in the presence of those who oppose the cardinal virtues of the Order of the Light.
A True Knight is never afraid to respectfully defend their own rights and those of others.
A True Knight shall always stand to defend the rights of the weak, the oppressed, and the downtrodden.

A True Knight is Loyal
A True Knight shall always remain loyal to the Order of the Light and the Scroll
by which we know truth.
A True Knight shall, at all times, remain loyal to his brothers.

A True Knight is Generous
A True Knight shall be generous with his time, always endeavoring to share his knowledge and experience with the younger Knight.
A True Knight shall always offer to help and assist whenever the need should require it.
A True Knight shall demonstrate his generosity anonymous and by example, placing the needs of others above his own.
A True Knight is Well-Spoken
A True Knight shall not engage in vulgarity.
A True Knight shall always be heard speaking favorably about the Order of the Light, the Scroll and his kingdom in general.

A True Knight is Discreet
A True Knight shall maintain all confidences entrusted to him.
A True Knight shall not engage in any conversation that demeans any woman in particular or women in general.
A True Knight shall not engage in slander, realizing that that which is unseen is unknown.
A True Knight shall keep to himself those things which are seen, but may cause physical or emotional damage to another.
A True Knight shall keep his relationship with his lady private, and not hold their relationship up to public scrutiny.

A True Knight is Pure
A True Knight shall not, in any manner, bring shame upon himself or the Order of the Light.
A True Knight shall not consume anything that hinders their fighting ability or thinking ability to the point of being useless to the land in which they serve.
A True Knight will keep his mind pure by taking every thought captive and filling his mind with the words of the Scroll.

A True Knight is Wise
A True Knight shall endeavor to use the tenets of the Scroll, the Order of the Light and the lessons of life to prevent foolish actions.

A True Knight shall always hold the tenet " Think twice before speaking once" as the basis for all his dealings with others.
A True Knight shall always attempt to apply practical knowledge to all of the situations he faces.

A True Knight is Courteous
A True Knight shall always take the time to display those courtesies which we all are entitled to,
remembering that familiarity does not serve as an exception.
A True Knight shall always attempt to make others feel welcome and appreciated when visiting the Knight's Lodge.
A True Knight shall be patient and understanding when working with a younger Knight or Squire.
A True Knight shall respect the fact that others have their own opinions, and not require them to adopt his own.
A True Knight will at all times respect the authority of those over him with attitude and actions.

A True Knight is Just
A True Knight shall not value himself above others or feel that he should be singled out
 for special treatment.
A True Knight shall refrain from judging others based on outward appearances or characteristics.
A True Knight shall treat all people with fairness and honesty, regardless of their station in life.
A True Knight shall, when asked to, mediate a dispute between two Knights,
judge fairly, honestly and without malice, taking into consideration the effects of his decision on his fellow knights and the Order of the Light.

This is our school name and logo:

Bible verses we have put on other shields on the wall are (each will be memorized in time):
Philippians 4:4-9
Ephesians 6:10-18
Galatians 5:22-26
2 Corinthians 10:3-6

I am putting other verses we memorize on small shields. Some of those are:
Philippians 2:14,15
Deuteronomy 5:16
The 10 Commandments in Exodus 20
Psalm 119:9-11
Psalm 1
Hebrews 4:12,13
Micah 6:8
Deuteronomy 6:4-6
2 Timothy 4:3-4
Matthew 6:22
Psalm 101:3
Psalm 119:1,37,105,9-11
Psalm 121
Psalm 139
Psalm 23
Psalm 25
Proverbs 3:6
and more I am quite sure!

So, the boys are in Squire training (late elementary and middle school). They have to pass several quests to get to knight training (which would be around the start of High School). Then after more quests their goal is to be knighted at graduation.

Dave created a quest game board on which their plastic knights achieve objectives toward the completion of the quest. These things are basic behaviors and skills they are working on. Such as doing their school work well, personal hygiene, getting along with others, honesty, respectful attitude, etc. If they achieve it but don't hold on to it with making it a habit then the dragon takes the castle or fortification and they have to get it back with real life actions. When they complete this quest (ie they have made these things habits) then they move on to another quest on a new game board. This moves them closer to completing their squire training and moving on to knighthood training.
 We use this book as an illustration of our mission.

 There is also a devotional to go with it. I am waiting for it to come.
This is a good book to go with this theme for parents:
You can read one of these at various stages of childhood. The first for younger children is The Dangerous Journey. Then the Little Pilgrim's progress for elementary readers. Then moving on to the full Pilgrims Progress in Modern English for the teen. 

Pre History unit

Pre History

We are using Story of the World for History. Because History starts MUCH further back in time than the book starts we started with a Pre History unit.

*****{To determine if this unit is of interest to you: This is from an OLD earth creationist perspective. We also acknowledge that MICRO evolution (within species) is a fact, but not MACRO (between species)}.*****

I could not really find a great unit out there for this. Most everything is either strictly secular evolutionary process or young earth. Neither of which we adhere to. So I put together my own from various sources. We did a fly over without a lot of detail. This is elementary after all. If you are also a homeschooling family who is Old Earth Creationist then this section is for you! Let's share, send me your thoughts and ideas. I am sure we will be doing this again and will need better stuff!

For this we are using a modified Note booking concept in which we keep everything in a three ring binder. Each activity is recorded in a picture or writing or both and placed in the binder.  This is organized for elementary age.

Here is what I did:

Pre Historic Life and Early Man and Ice Age Unit:
Use with notebook pages from here.  http://awakeningwonder.wordpress.com/tag/old-earth-notebooking-pages/
We also used the timeline for pre history from Pandia Press
And this page for many of the ideas following: http://littlecitykids.com/perspective/index.php
1.   Earth/Creation:
Basic Concepts to teach:
The earth is old
God made the earth and all that is in it
Layers of the earth tell its age
Primary text:
Usborne encyclopedia of  World History, 
Usborne Rocks & Fossils, 
Fossils tell of long ago,
My visit to the dinosaurs,
Digging up dinosaurs,
DK fossils,
Fossils- clues to ancient life,
Who Was Charles Darwin? By Deborah Hopkinson
Usborne dinosaur dictionary 


Egg, layers jar of brownies, edible earth and fossil cookies
A.  Earth:            
o   Our earth is made of rocks and minerals. Inside the earth there is a liquid core of molten rock and on the outside there is a hard crust. The earth is like an egg, and the shell on an egg is like the crust on the earth.
o   Read how earth was created in the Bible, and also in Usborne encyclopedia of World History.
o   Read a few creation stories from around the world. 
   Create several Ven diagrams of how they are similar and different. Looking for how things are  
   similar and different to the Bible. 
o   Egg activity

Our Earth is Like an Egg Activity:
    Boil eggs and decorate the eggs to look like our planet earth. You can use food dye painted on or  
    crayon or marker or any combination.
A fun idea is to use crayons to color the continents first, then dip the eggs in the blue dye.

As you eat the egg talk about the parts of the earth. Have them draw a diagram and label it. Put it in the Notebook. 
Our earth is made of rocks and minerals. Inside the earth there is a liquid core of molten rock and on the outside there is a hard crust. The earth is like an egg, and the shell on an egg is like the crust on the earth.
  • The earth's crust is made up of rocks and minerals.
  • The earth's mantle is made out of silicon, aluminum, oxygen, and iron. The mantle is like the egg white.
  • The earth's core is made up of iron and nickel. It is like the egg's yoke.
B. The Earth's Layers:

This is a good place to read Story of the World chapter 1
Read about the layers of the crust of the Earth in a Science book or an archeology book for kids. The library has several good ones. Sediment collects on the ground, and then another layer, and then another layer. Over millions of years, the layers get very deep and very compacted, or pressed together. Scientists can tell when certain animals lived based on which layer their fossils are found  in. The surface of our Earth has changed through the years, but its layers have stayed the same. 
This activity helps kids visualize the layers of the crust where we find bones, fossils and other archeological evidence. 
Layers of the Earth activity: Brownies in a jar gift.

Measure out each of the ingredients one at a time and pour them into their jars. The ingredients should be poured in one at a time alternating between light and dark ingredients so that each layer is visible. Remember to talk about how the Earth and its dirt and rocks all have layers too. The M&Ms are like fossils hidden between all the dirt and rocks. Close up the jars once all the ingredients have been added.

Attach a small note saying


Instructions: Empty mix into large bowl. Use your hands to mix thoroughly. Add 3/4 cup of butter or margarine and 4 slightly beaten eggs. Mix until completely blended. Spread batter into a lightly greased or sprayed 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until done. Cool in pan. Cut into 2 inch squares. Enjoy!

Supplies you will need for each jar:
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup M&Ms
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • mason jar for each brownie jar made
 This image was very useful for us in understanding time and layers of fossils and creation.

C. Pangea: 
What is it?
How did it break apart?
Read in _________________________________
Draw Pangaea
Plate Tectonics (we got a kids book on this from the library, there are many).

D. Dinosaurs:
245 million years ago, dinosaurs walked the earth. Our world was very different back then. Talk about how the earth was different and climate was different.
o   Read books about dinosaurs
o   Great resources for a Field Trip for this section are: Morrison dinosaur print cliffs and museum. Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park. Denver Museum of Nature and History Pre History/Dinosaur exhibit. There are dinosaur prints in Eastern Colorado. Dinosaur National Park in North-Western Colorado. 
Do a report on one particular dinosaur. 

We also discussed how the dinosaurs went extinct. We combined the logical ideas of  a Meteor hitting the earth potentially causing the already shifting plates to shift and create volcanoes and a climate change causing the earth to become inhospitable to dinosaurs over time. 

E. Fossilization
Dinosaurs are part of the earth's history. Scientists study fossil remains to learn not only about dinosaurs, but also about the earth itself.
Paleontologists are the scientists that specialize in discovering fossils. They spend a lot of their time carefully digging to find fossils. If they are not careful they will miss or destroy fossils
o   Read books on Fossils, Usborn Rocks and Fossils and library books. Books on actual digs are really neat too.
o   Internet: how fossils are formed
Burying Bodies (game to show what conditions are needed to form fossils)
Finding Fossils (tools used to find fossils)
Dinosaur Dig (game at funschool.kaboose)
o   Activity:
Fossil dig for actual fossils. I bought one on Amazon it was great! Discover with Dr. Cool. 
Jello Layers of the Earth with fossils
Serve the layered Jell-O that we made on Monday. Point out the "fossils" embedded in the layers. Discuss with the children how the earth sets up at different rates, and how earthquakes can mess up the even layering of sediments. Encourage the children to examine their layers and to count their woolly mammoths!
This morning (and throughout the day, we are going to make layered jello, to help us visualize what the layers of the earth are like. We will eat this treat at "Food for Thought" on Wednesday.
  • 2 cups Whipped topping
  • One box of each Jello color: Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Purple
  • crumbled vanilla wafers, oreos
  • raisins
  • chopped fruit
  1. Clear a spot in your refrigerator large enough to accommodate the a large jello pan.
  2. Start with red (or purple) Jello. Prepare the Jello according to the directions on the packet. See warnings. If there is a "quick chill" method involving ice cubes, use that method. Use the jigglers recipe / use half the water for a firm finger jello.
  3. Fill the bottom of the pan with half of the jello and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to set.
  4. Take the leftover Jello of the color you just poured and mix in a couple of tablespoons of whipped topping.
  5. Pour the "opaque" jello over the first layer.
  6. Before the layers have time to completely set up, sprinkled the crumbs on one of the layers. The crumbs will stick on some layers, and sink to the bottom in other places. Discuss with the children how the earth sets up at different rates, and how earthquakes can mess up the even layering of sediments. Shake the bowl to see what happens!
  7. Repeat the steps above for each color, allowing approximately 15 minutes of refrigerator time between every layer.
  8. Add raisins to the last layer, to be woolly mammoths.

F.  Finding Fossils
Dinosaur fossils are found in embedded in rock. Often, the whole rock is carried to a museum, where scientists can work on it using special tools. Paleontologists have to be very careful and patient when they look for fossils, or they could accidentally break the fragile bones. Today the kids will practice their paleontology skills. Give each child a chocolate chip cookie, ( or layered bar with various treats hidden in it), some toothpicks and a napkin, IN a bowl. Show the kids how to use the toothpick to get the chocolate chips out of the cookies without breaking the chips. What are the difficulties the kids faced while digging for the chips.
  • chocolate chip cookies
  • toothpicks
  • napkins
also put in things they have to find in the cookie bars as a surprise.

2.    Ice age:
Basic Concepts to teach:
Ice age animals
Why did the ice melt?
Primary text:
Usborne History of the World, Kingfisher, timeline books,
Frozen Man by David Getz, Maroo of the winter caves, you wouldn’t want to be a mammoth hunter, boy of the painted cave, In the Ice Age,  Four Seasons,  Eye Know: Water DK, Snomastadon, also look up other kids books about the Ice Age, Ice Age Animals, Bering Straight Land Bridge, Etc.
make cave paint and use it, paint a paper bag animal hide vest, make a spear, make and eat Paleo cookies, stew. Have jerky, nuts, berries for snack. Hide them around and the kids can "hunt" for them. 

A.    Glaciers and Melting Ice
o    During the Ice Age much of the Earth was covered in thick sheets of ice called glaciers. During an Ice Age land and water forms are not as clearly defined as they are now during an "interglacial" period. The Ice Age was a time of drastic change for our planet. The land and water forms changed along with the inhabitants on the Earth. Much of the vegetation and life on the planet became extinct during this time of environmental change. During the Ice Age our Earth changed drastically. The land and water forms changed along with the inhabitants on the Earth. The Ice Age helped determine what our world today would be like.

Ice Age: Some of the characteristics of an Ice Age are the same as a typical winter. As the environment cools down many plants and insects die. In some ways an Ice Age is an extreme extended winter.

o    Activity:  Ice Age Pops
Fill the popsicle molds with lemonade, add some gummy dinosaurs and then freeze. The kids will now have a pre-historic treat and will have fun discovering the dinosaurs when they get to the middle.
  • Gummy Dinosaurs/ worms
  • Lemonade
  • Ice pop Molds
B.  Beringia·        

 Prepared for the Yukon Heritage Branch, Department of Tourism.
 These sections are provided in Adobe PDF format.
Printed pages
C.       The People

o   Early people were hunter-gatherers. All their food came from what they could hunt and find growing naturally around them. Most cavemen were nomads, moving around all the time, following food sources. When cavemen ate animals, they ate every bit of the animal except the bones. They even ate the inside of the bones, which is called marrow. Some scientists believe that eating the high-density fat helped human brains grow larger, making us smarter.
o   Read about early people and how they lived in one of the books.
o   Activity: Making Broth
  • soup bones
  • water
  • carrots
  • onions
  • celery
  • peppercorns
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt

  • Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Put the soup bones in a large, shallow roasting pan.
  3. Bake bones about 30 minutes, turning at the 15-minute mark.
  4. Put soup bones in a large pot. Pour 1/2 c. water into the roasting pan and scrape up any crusty browned bits. Add water mixture to pot.
  5. Add carrots, onions, celery, black peppercorns, and 1 1/2 tsp. salt to pot.
  6. Add 10 c. water to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 3 1/2 hours. Remove soup bones.
Did cavemen eat soup? No one knows for sure, but we know that they ate bone marrow. We know this because we have found the remains of bones that have been smashed to get the marrow out. This marrow was very nutritious and full of healthy fats that gave the cavemen calories that they needed to survive the ice age.

Serve the soup that we made early in the day. But also serve the bones. Work with the children to extract the marrow, and have the children taste small pieces of it. Do they like the flavor? How does it feel in their mouths? If they were cavemen, would they eat lots of marrow?
D.    Cave art and clothing
  •  Read about cave art and look at photos
  • You can get several books about cave art from the library. Including several children's books. 
  • Using Animal Skins
When early man hunted an animal; he used every part of that animal for something. Mostly animals were used for food. But their bones made good tools, and their skins made warm clothes. They may even have used skins to "write" on.
Have the children each take a grocery bag and cut it open so it is large and flat. Show them how to scoop-trim the edges so it has the shape of an animal skin. Then give the children an opportunity to paint with the "prehistoric paint" that they made.
Long ago people painted pictures to remember important things. Discuss why this animal is important to them. Why do you think the bulls in Hall of Bulls at the Lascaux Cave are important? Encourage the children to paint the most important animal in their life.

Supplies you will need:
  • brown paper grocery bags
  • scissors
  • prehistoric paint made yesterday
  • paintbrushes/ yucca stems
  • smocks

For Paint:
  •  vegetable shortening
  • dirt in as many colors and textures as you can find
  • charcol from a fire
  • small zip-lock bags
Place a Tablespoon of shortening in each bag along with 1-2 Tablespoons of one type of dirt. Massage the bag with your fingers until mixed. The kids can do this, it is fun. Use the paint on the vests or on outdoor rocks on private property where you have permission to paint. Or the sidewalk or driveway. It might leave a grease stain, so be sure it's somewhere that is ok.

Wear the vests with painted prints to do more cave art or hunt for snacks.
E.    Ice Age Animals and Extinction
o   Supplies you will need:

o   What animals were there? What are they like that we have now?
o   Why did they go extinct?
o   Read books about the animals and extinction
o   Watch a show on the Ice Age animals. There are actually a few out there that are NOT the Ice Age movie series. 
Do a report on one Ice Age animal.
F.   Stone age:
Basic Concepts to teach:
There were people everywhere
They were intelligent
How they lived
Where they lived
What they may have believed
How does this fit with the Bible?
Otzi Ice Man
Primary text: Bible references for people everywhere, Usborne, Kingfisher, timeline books.
Otzi the Ice Man
other books about Ice Age animals 
G.    Tool, homes, food, animals
The Stone Age is part of our history, before we could write. During this time, people used stone tools and moved to live all over the world.
We call it The Stone Age because people primarily used stone for tools. Rocks were sharpened into knives and weapons. Other stones were used for grinding tools. People also made tools from wood, bone, shell, and antler.
 Animals were very important to people during the stone age. People began to have dogs as pets and helpers. Dogs were the first domesticated animals. Read Jan Brett, The First Dog

In the stone age, people didn't have refrigeration. In fact, they had very little ability to save food for later. One way that they could preserve food was by drying it. Offer the children several types of jerky, such as beef jerky and turkey jerky. Dried gathered –type fruits.
The Stone Age, man began changing the earth to suit his needs. He began to build homes where he wanted, rather than living in the caves that already existed. Lean to, etc.
H.    Art/storytelling
People who lived during the Stone Age did not know how to write. Instead, they painted pictures and told stories to help them to remember the important events in their lives.
Stone Age Boy by Satoshi Kitamura
  • Why do we write things down?
  • Have people always written things down?
  • How can we remember things without writing?
  • Look at a picture of cave art. Have them write what they think was going on.
Sit in a circle with the children. Tell a story (simple) and have each child improve on the story. That’s how they did. One person would tell their story and the next would improve on it to give more detail, feeling or meaning. Each telling would enlarge or change the story from the original. **That’s how myths work too. Tall Tales
3.   Agricultural age:
Basic Concepts to teach:
People learned to farm.
This changed them for the better
Primary text:
Usborne Encyclopedia of World History
Story of the World chapters 1,2
Library: Skara Brae
Activities: bake corn bread on a griddle over a camp fire. Baked potatoes in a fire pit. Mancala. Make a early hut.
1.      Civilization began when people started farming. When people started growing their own food instead of searching for it daily, important changes happened in their lives. They could settle down and create a home. They built villages, towns and even cities.

Play a Game:
Mancala, the game board consists of two rows of 6 small pits (or "houses"), with a large storage pit at each end. Picture an egg carton with a bowl at each end. At the beginning of the game, you and your opponent sit on opposite sides of the game board. The row in front of you is your row. The storage pit to your right is your storage pit. Four seeds are placed in each of the 12 houses. And then play begins:
  1. The first player takes all the seeds from one of his houses. He sows the seeds, moving counter-clockwise. If he gets as far as his own storage pit, he drops a seed there, too. If the last seed in his hand goes in his storage pit, he gets another turn. Otherwise, his turn ends.
  2. The second player repeats the ""sowing" maneuver described in #1.
  3. Players don't drop seeds in each other's storage pits
  4. If, during a turn, a player's last seed lands in one of his empty pits, and there are seeds in the pit immediately opposite it, the player gets to capture both his last seed and the seeds opposite.
  5. The game ends when a player runs out of seeds on his side of the board. The opponent gets to capture any seeds remaining on his side, and the player with the most captured seeds wins.
Supplies you will need:
  • mancala board, or egg cartons
  • seeds or beans for sowing
2.      Having a home changed people's lives. They no longer had to carry everything they owned with them. Which meant that they could collect more stuff and save for the future, but they could collect things that weren't absolutely necessary to survive. They started to create arts and crafts that enhanced their lives.

FOOD Look at several types of grain. Make corn cakes and have for lunch.
Bake bread with wheat and make lentil stew for dinner. Things that are grown in a garden.
Eat oatmeal at breakfast to show grains we now have thanks to early farmers who discovered what could be eaten.

As man learned to farm better, they started having extra food. This food could be stored and traded for other things. This meant that not everyone needed to be a farmer. So some people could become teachers or potters or other tradesmen.

People began to keep animals, so that they always had milk, leather, wool, and even fertilizer for their crops. They kept sheep, goats, cows, and pigs. The animals could also help with work, like ploughing fields.

Having enough food made it possible for people to create a lot of other things. Now that they lived in one place, they needed to build homes and markets and public areas. They created cities and societies.

4. Archeology 

Primary Text:
Archeology For Kids

Really all you need is to go through this book and pick what you want to highlight and what activities you want to do. It is complete and has everything you could want. It is too much so you have to narrow it down. But, it is very cool!

Archeologists Dig for Clues
 Look for a book that talks about an actual dig and has photos. These are very interesting to look at the pictures and read the captions if not other parts of the book as well. 

Some of our fun times:

Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Cave Art

Fossil Dig indoors with Dr Cool fossil dig kit

The impromptu imaginary fossil dig out side turned into a mud pit.  Boys was that fun!

The earth is like an egg activity.