Thursday, September 30

Red Hugh of Ireland & the English Civil Wars

The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers"), mainly over the manner of England's governance and issues of religious freedom...

After years of conflict between Parliament and King Charles I, the king tried to arrest five members of Parliament in 1642 who had been actively disagreeing with his policies. These members fled into the back streets of London, but when the king went after them, the citizens expelled him angrily from their city. This was a direct violation by the people of the supreme power of the king and marked the beginning of the English Civil War.

Those English who supported the King (the Cavaliers) had support in north England and Wales, and the Parliamentarians (Roundheads) had support in the rest of England. Despite the fairly even start, however, the Cavaliers were fought back and in 1646 the Roundheads forced the King to surrender. However, at the ceasefire negotiations, Charles would not agree to the Roundhead terms, and after a stalemate, the war erupted again in 1648. Once again, the Cavaliers were defeated, but this time the Roundheads did not accept a surrender and instead captured and executed Charles in 1649. Thus England found itself with no King. 

For the next 11 years England was a Republic of sorts. It was ruled from 1653 to 1658 by a general named Oliver Cromwell, who was was a fundamental Protestant but an extremely cruel man. He was given the title 'Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England', but he had been active in Ireland long before he undertook that role.

In 1641, just prior to the Civil War, the Irish of Ulster had begun an uprising and attacked the planters who had been settled 30 years before. Between 10,000 and 15,000 Protestant planters were murdered by the Irish at places such as Portadown. Due to the war, the English did nothing about this and the death-toll became heavily exaggerated over time. In 1649, after the Civil War had ended, Cromwell landed at Dublin with 12,000 men with the intention of punishing those who had uprisen. He first attacked Drogheda and captured it, killing over 3000 people. He then marched on Wexford town and massacred several hundred people there. The surrounding towns of Cork, Bandon, Kinsale and Youghal surrendered. Cromwell left Ireland in 1650 having dealt a severe blow to the uprising Irish.

A problem of equal concern to Cromwell after the Civil War, however, was the fact that most of the soldiers in the Roundhead army still needed paid for their time served in the Civil War, but Parliament had no money to give them. So Cromwell decided to pay them in land. He forcibly moved thousands of Irish from their homes in Munster and Leinster and resettled them in counties Clare, Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. This was by far the poorest land in Ireland and, as well as this, they were not allowed to live within 3 miles of the coast. This strip, called the 'Mile Line' was given to Cromwell’s soldiers. In 1652 the newly cleared land in Munster and Leinster was given to Protestants in what was called the 'Cromwellian Settlement'. There was now no part of Ireland where Catholics owned more than ½ of the land. The main reason for this was Cromwell's belief in fundamental Protestantism and hatred of Catholicism. He claimed to be acting on God's behalf and expelled about 1000 Catholic priests from Ireland.

Read

  • Red Hugh of Ireland 
    • The year is 1587. Fair Ireland and her proud people are being crushed by the iron fist of English rule under the unyielding Queen Elizabeth. Sir John, the Queen’s Lord Deputy to Ireland, and his conniving henchman, Dragos, are determined to quash the last of the resistance by any means necessary. Young Hugh O’Donnell is everything his family could wish him to be—clever, handsome, generous, and fiercely loyal to Ireland and the O’Donnell clan. So when he and Art O’Neill, the son of a rival clan, are kidnapped by the evil Dragos and held hostage in Dublin Castle on condition of their families’ surrender, all hope seems lost. However, Hugh and Art have friends outside their prison walls, waiting to help the boys and their country to freedom.
  • English Civil War: Beginning to End

Watch

Make / Do

Identify

  • Trial by Ordeal
  • Divine Right of Kings
  • Charles I
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Scotland
  • England
  • Parliament
  • Long Parliament
  • Short Parliament
  • Rump Parliament
  • Cromwell
  • House of Commons
  • Henrietta Maria
  • Restoration

Think

  • Red Hugh of Ireland is set just before the English Civil Wars.  How can we see foreshadowing to future events in the book?
  • How were the English Civil War and Commonwealth periods seen as models for and precursors to other European and American political revolutions in the Era of Revolutions (1688-1789)?

Enjoying this unit? You might like Beautiful Book Studies!

Each unit addresses a new topic, including science, history, and geography.  Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand.

  • You will also find a short list of reading books, including a featured novel that the unit builds upon.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the topic to life.

Table of Contents

  • The King’s Fifth
  • Red Falcons of Tremoine
  • Golden Hawks of Genghis Khan
  • Red Hugh of Ireland
  • Calico Captive
  • The Story of Eli Whitney
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins
  • The Lost Kingdom
  • The Secret Garden
  • Heidi
  • Girl of the Limberlost
  • The Winged Watchman
  • When the Dikes Broke
  • Using the Good & the Beautiful in High School

The books selected for these unit studies can be found in the upper grades areas of The Good and the Beautiful Book List.  However, Homeschool On the Range and Sparks Academy are not employed by or affiliated with, nor do they receive any compensation from, The Good and the Beautiful.  It has simply been their curriculum of choice for many years.  These unit studies are not endorsed by The Good and the Beautiful or Jenny Phillips.

Monday, September 27

My Long List of Impossible Things + Post-War Germany

Germany suffered total defeat at the hands of the Allies in World War 2.  Upon the war's end the three largest Allies - United Kingdom, United States, and Soviet Union - had to agree on how to handle a broken and defeated country...

Early in 1945, before the war ended, Hitler committed suicide and many of the generals surrendered to the Allies.  Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin held the Yalta Conference to determine Germany's future.  They agreed to split it into four occupation zones, controlled by the Soviet Union, America, Britain, and France.  The German capital, Berlin, was seated inside the Soviet zone, but the city itself was split into four pieces.  The goal was to prevent Germany from ever starting a war in Europe again.

The Soviet portions of Germany fell under Communist rule, while the Western-controlled regions began rebuilding and instating Capitalistic systems.  Regardless of where they lived, no German citizen was allowed to have arms, and the German military was disbanded.  Displaced concentration camp survivors, and forced laborers and prisoners, were trying to find their place inside Germany or their way back home.  German POWs were kept as forced laborers for several years to help restore the countries Germany had devastated during the war.  It was a time of gloom and chaos for the country.

In 1949, Germany officially became two separate states.  The German Democratic Republic (GDR) is what we commonly know as East Germany, and was ruled by the Soviets.  The Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) is what we know as West Germany, and was ruled by the western countries.  It wasn't until 1961 that the Berlin Wall was erected, separating the city in two.  The capital city was a stark display of the contrast in the lifestyle differences for citizens between Communist and Capitalist countries.  The wall did not come down until 1990, when Germany was reunited.

You may also like the study on McCarthyism.

Our spine read for this unit is:
  • My Long List of Impossible Things  
    • The arrival of the Soviet army in Germany at the end of World War II sends sixteen-year-old Katja and her family into turmoil. The fighting has stopped, but German society is in collapse, resulting in tremendous hardship. With their father gone and few resources available to them, Katja and her sister are forced to flee their home, reassured by their mother that if they can just reach a distant friend in a town far away, things will get better. But their harrowing journey brings danger and violence, and Katja needs to summon all her strength to build a new life, just as she’s questioning everything she thought she knew about her country.  Katja’s bravery and defiance help her deal with the emotional and societal upheaval.  But how can she stay true to herself and protect the people she loves when each decision has such far-reaching consequences?

Get the ENTIRE UNIT in Twenty-Three Reads Bundle - for someone who wants a little bit of everything! 



It includes twenty-three unit studies covering a wide range of topics. Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand. These studies are directed toward upper grades students, but some have resources for younger students so that the whole family can work together.
  • There are photographs and illustrations, and we have also included primary documents when available.
  • After this text, there are featured videos, which augment the background information and help make the topic more accessible for more visual students.
  • You will also find a short list of reading books, including a featured novel that the unit builds upon.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the era to life.
Includes:
  • Language Arts
    • Finding Langston & the Poetry of Langston Hughes
  • Geography
    • Anne of Green Gables & Canadian Provinces
    • Stowaway & Antarctica
    • Julie of the Wolves & Alaska
    • Blades of Freedom & the Louisiana Purchase
    • The Avion My Uncle Flew & France
  • History
    • Zlata’s Diary & the Slavic Wars
    • Freedom Summer & the Summer of 1964
    • Treasure Island & Pirates of the Caribbean Sea
    • Farenheit 451 & Types of Government
    • Red Stars & Russia in World War 2
    • The Great Gatsby & the Roaring Twenties
    • The Long List of Impossible Things & Post-War Germany
    • A Tale of Two Cities & French Revolution
    • Witch of Blackbird Pond & Salem Witch Trials
    • The World Made New & Early Explorers
    • Stitching a Life & Jewish Immigration
  • Life Skills
    • Teetoncey & Lifesaving Skills
    • Freak of the Week & Disabilities Awareness
    • Island of the Blue Dolphins & Sailing
  • Science
    • The Science of Breakable Things & the Scientific Method
    • Frankenstein & Human Anatomy
    • Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation & Albert Einstein

Product samples:

Tuesday, September 21

Fun Fall Crafts


Spider Socks

These are really easy spiders to make, and they used up the socks that have been in the laundry basket for forever.
Supplies:
To make:
  • Roll the sock up all the way so that it makes a tight little bun, with the toe seam at the middle. 
  • Poke a hole through the middle and thread a piece of string or elastic through the hole.
  • Tie a knot to hold it there. 
  • Take 8 black pipe-cleaners and bend them to create legs. 
  • Hot glue these to the sides of your sock roll.
  • Hot glue googly-eyes to the front of your spider. 
  • Tie a hook at the top of your string, and hang up your spider! 


Fall Wreath

Supplies:
Directions: 
  • Scatter the fake leaves all around the Styrofoam.  Try to mix up the yellows, oranges, and reds so that they're not all with the same colors.
  • Hot glue the leaves to the Styrofoam.
  • Hot glue the fake pom-poms around the Styrofoam to cover up the ends of the leaves.
  • Twist the pipe cleaners so that they are like curly-ques.
  • Stick them into the Styrofoam about 1/2" so that they will stay and will stick out and make it shiny.
  • Use another pipe cleaner for the hook.  Twist it to make a loop and then hot glue the ends to the Styrofoam so that it will hold.
  • Hang it on your door!
 
  
This post was brought to you by the Flying Ace!

Monday, September 20

Golden Hawks of Genghis Khan & Guide to Raptors

The term raptor is derived from the Latin word rapio, meaning to seize or take by force  Birds of prey, also known as raptors, primarily hunt and feed on vertebrates that are large relative to the hunter.  They have keen eyesight for detecting food at a distance or during flight, strong feet equipped with talons for grasping or killing prey, and powerful, curved beaks.  In our story, Jalair is focused on finding the fabled golden hawks...

Raptors are known to have excellent vision, which they use for hunting.  There are several types of raptors, including:
  • Eagles - Large birds with long, broad wings and massive feet. They build very large stick nests.
  • Hawks - Medium-sized birds of prey that hunt by sudden dashes from a concealed perch. They usually have long tails for tight steering.
  • Harriers - Large, slender hawk-like birds with long tails and long thin legs. Most use a combination of keen eyesight and hearing to hunt small vertebrates.
  • Owls - They come in many sizes, and typically hunt at night. They fly almost silently due to their special feather structure that reduces turbulence. They have particularly acute hearing and nocturnal eyesight.
  • Vultures - Carrion-eating raptors.  Members of both groups have heads either partly or fully devoid of feathers.
  • Falcons - Medium-size birds with long pointed wings. Many are particularly swift flyers.


Typically, raptors hunt small mammals, but it has rarely happened that a small human child has been viewed as prey.  Stories from Brazil, New Zealand, and Africa speak about children mauled by large raptors, though it is unclear whether they intended to attack a human or thought that the child was a large animal.  It is also possible that these tales were like those of the Chupacabra, and told with the intention of getting children to behave...

Our spine read for this unit is:

  • The Golden Hawks of Genghis Khan   
    • Young Jalair yearns to recover the Golden Hawks that were stolen from his father. His grandfather has different plans for his future, and hawks are not a part of it. When Jalair escapes to the land of the Mongols in search of his father’s hawks, he has no idea how much he will learn from the adventures that await him.

Get the ENTIRE UNIT in Beautiful Book Studies!

Each unit addresses a new topic, including science, history, and geography.  Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand.

  • You will also find a short list of reading books, including a featured novel that the unit builds upon.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the topic to life.

Table of Contents

  • The King’s Fifth
  • Red Falcons of Tremoine
  • Golden Hawks of Genghis Khan
  • Red Hugh of Ireland
  • Calico Captive
  • The Story of Eli Whitney
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins
  • The Lost Kingdom
  • The Secret Garden
  • Heidi
  • Girl of the Limberlost
  • The Winged Watchman
  • When the Dikes Broke
  • Using the Good & the Beautiful in High School

The books selected for these unit studies can be found in the upper grades areas of The Good and the Beautiful Book List.  However, Homeschool On the Range and Sparks Academy are not employed by or affiliated with, nor do they receive any compensation from, The Good and the Beautiful.  It has simply been their curriculum of choice for many years.  These unit studies are not endorsed by The Good and the Beautiful or Jenny Phillips.

Wednesday, September 15

Seabirds Trilogy & World War 2 Curriculum

Craving adventure?  Join Piper and her crew as they escape from the Nazi’s, smuggle Jewish children, and escape a Japanese prisoner camp!  The boys have always had an affinity for studying World War 2, and we discovered the Seabirds Trilogy with accompanying World War II Companion Curriculum was a perfect fit for our learning style.

Author Jessica Glasner of Hope House Press has an M.A. in Israel Studies, something the reader will appreciate as she introduces Jewish culture and the plight of the Jews during World War 2.  The Seabirds trilogy begins in the United States (Maine), travels across the world to Palestine, and then culminates in Western Australia.  Readers are exposed to the war from many different perspectives and countries, bringing a well-rounded approach to this era of history.  Due to the intense nature of some scenes, this series is recommended for high school students.

The characters are relatable and fun to get to know.  While the main protagonists are female, and my boys enjoyed their male counterparts' adventures more than the {clean} romantic scenes, this was a series that our whole family enjoyed reading together.  There's a lot of history and faith woven into the narratives, making them great teaching stories that keep the reader engaged and involved in living the historic events.  These stories are also set in locations not traditionally found in WW2 fiction, making them fresh, new, and interesting!

This is a year-long high school curriculum that is divided into three sections (12 weeks each).  The guide offers both five-day and three-day versions of the schedule, providing flexibility for your family to choose the best fit.  Section one focuses on the years leading up to World War 2, including the foundations of anti-Semitism, isolationism, and the beginning of the Nazi party.  The second section covers the early years of the second world war from many different European vantage points.  The final section looks specifically at the war in the Pacific and the US involvement.

There are six pieces to this Charlotte Mason style curriculum.  They are available in both print and digital format.
  • Voyage of the Sandpiper
    • "Your life will never be exciting if you're afraid to risk becoming cold and wet. You and I, we throw caution to the wind! We swim to the greatest depths! We face the sea!" Summer, 1939. When fifteen-year-old Agatha's mother falls gravely ill, she is shipped off to the coast of Maine to live with her aunt, Edith Philipa Gordan, an eccentric writer who hasn't finished a novel in decades and paints birds obsessively. What begins as a dull summer immediately takes a turn towards adventure with the arrival of Edie's old beau, Horatio Macleay, and his handsome nephew. With WWII looming on the horizon, Agatha and her new group of friends race against time and across continents to complete their mission before it is too late. Along the way, Agatha learns the importance of trusting in the perfect timing of God and discovers the power of hope.
  • Flight of the Seahawks
    • Newlyweds Piper and Peter return to Maine after Peter is injured on the North African front believing they are in for a quiet winter. When Aunt Edie sends them a mysterious manuscript, their vacation plans are pushed to the wayside. As the Adleman sisters struggle to find a place to call home, Peter and Piper must discover their new calling as the USA determines to remain neutral in the face of the rising Axis powers in Europe.
  • Song of the Storm Petrel
    • Peter and Piper's quiet life on Honolulu comes to an abrupt close when Aunt Edie and Uncle Horatio arrive for a surprise visit along with the Adleman Sisters. With no foreseeable end to WWII in sight, Piper and her cousins learn to trust God in the unknown and in the process discover what really matters.
  • World War II Companion Curriculum - Teachers Guide
    • The teacher's guide to the Seabirds Trilogy World War II History Curriculum provides answer keys, grading scales, scripts for Movie Night, and discussion questions so a teacher can successfully guide their student through the curriculum.
  • Student Guide
    • Learn the who, what, why, and how of the Second World War. Simple Solutions to High-school Level WWII History, College Prep, Critical Thinking Skills, Academic Research and Writing, and Spiritual Growth. A Faith-based approach with a global perspective.
    • See a sample of the curriculum guide here.
  • Companion Resources
    • Broken down week by week to accompany the curriculum guide, these FREE resources present extra readings, historic articles, featured movies, writing prompts, and video clips to enhance the reading experience.
Peek inside the Student Guide!


The student guide contains a weekly reading schedule, articles from famous folks who lived during this time, popular music of the era, and links to online tutorials related to the reading. There is also vocabulary and timeline work. Three appendices contain a glossary of terms and locations for each of the books in the series. Each week comes with a movie suggestion to spark discussions related to that week's material. These range from popular to lesser known films.

Peek inside the Teacher Guide!
 
 Within the teacher guide are quizzes (given every two to three weeks) and an answer key.  This guide also includes discussion questions, journaling exercises, and a grading rubric for each week's writing assignment.  The introductory material included - before any of the actual assignments - is invaluable for setting the scene with your students!

For the high school student who is interested in history, this would make a fantastic elective course.  It also works quite well for a World History credit, albeit a very specific one, and could even be used as a Language Arts credit (instead of history) to round out a fourth year of high school language arts.  The author has done an amazing job of tackling a complicated era in history from multiple viewpoints in such a way as to be engaging without overwhelming.  


If you'd like to learn more about the Seabirds Trilogy and Curriculum, check them out here!

Tuesday, September 14

Farming & Ranching Curriculum for Teens

One of our sons is more the hands-on, outdoors type of kid.  He works hard and has great work ethic, but doesn't really plan to continue schooling beyond graduation.  He does, however, love working with animals and the land...

As he ventures into this field with a more adult-eye, we have pulled together a full-year course on farming and ranching for middle / high school students who are agriculturally-minded.  If you follow us, you can snag the curriculum free in our Subscribers Library.

Peek Inside the Course!

We've pulled together books, videos, and hands-on projects covering both animal husbandry and agriculture.  To the right, you'll see some of our favorite chicken resources!  These are cute, quick reads that will introduce your students to life on the farm.  Older readers will breeze through them, but still enjoy the humor!  We start out by covering the difference between farming and ranching and how the work of these folks affects you everyday, such as in the grocery store.
The curriculum includes:
  • Books & book guides
  • Videos & video guide
  • Virtual Tours
  • Science Experiments
  • Building Projects
  • ...and more!


Experiment

Hands-On Soil Experiment
This simple experiment from the curriculum shows the importance of having vegetation covering the soil to your kids! 

Supplies:
  • 6 empty 2-L bottles
  • 1piece of ply wood
  • Wood glue
  • Scissors / knife
  • String
  • Soil from the garden / compost
  • Seedlings
  • Mulch (bark chips, dead leaves and sticks)
  • Water
Directions:
  • Prep your first three bottles...
    • Cut a rectangular hole along the side of three of the empty bottles.
    • Glue the bottles to the board, and be sure that the necks of the three bottles protrude a little over the edge.
    • Fill the first bottle with plain garden soil and the other two with a soil and compost mixture. Press down firmly to compact it.
    • Leave the first bottle as is.
    • Cover the top of the soil in the second bottle with your mulch (bark chips, dead leaves and sticks etc).
    • Plant your seedlings in the third bottle. Make sure you plant them tightly together and press down firmly to compact the soil.
  • Prep the other three bottles...
    • Cut the other three bottles in half, horizontally, and keep the bottom halves.
    • Make two small holes opposite each other, nearest the cut side of the bottle.
    • Cut three pieces of string, roughly 10" long and insert each end into the holes. Tie a knot on the ends to secure them. This will form a “bucket” to collect the water.
    • Hang them over the necks of each of the three bottles on the board.
  • Watch what happens!
    • Slowly pour equal amounts of water into each of the bottles. Pour the water in at the end furthest from the neck of the bottle.
    • Take note of the color of the water collecting in the cups! {The water in the first cut is really dirty, the water from the second and third cups are much cleaner which shows that both mulch as well as the root structure of plants assist in preventing soil erosion.}
    • Do this every day for a week or two, and see how the soil erodes away in the first container while the plants hold the soil in the last one. 

Monday, September 13

The Winged Watchman & Netherlands Unit Study

September 17-25, 1944 - Operation Market Garden

In May 1940, the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, which had been a neutral country.  The royal Dutch family fled to London and Canada, and the people were left under German occupation.  Those who tried to resist were sent to concentration camps.

From 1941 to 1944, the Germans demanded 'contributions' from those living in occupied territory in the form of food, work, and information.  Nearly 70% of the Jewish population was exported to extermination camps.  While the southern part of the country was liberated by mid-1944, the northern part was still under occupation.  

On September 12, the Allied troops, wanting to strike at the German industrial heartland of the Rühr, mounted Operation Market Garden, the biggest airborne attack ever attempted. After that, the liberation of the rest of the Netherlands was expected to soon follow, but the Germans put up a much tougher fight than expected.  Much of the region suffered from famine for the rest of 1944 - a time that came to be known as Hunger Winter.  In May 1945, the whole country was liberated.

Our spine read for this unit is:
  • The Winged Watchman
    • This acclaimed story of World War II is rich in suspense, characterization, plot and spiritual truth. Every element of occupied Holland is united in a story of courage and hope: a hidden Jewish child, an "underdiver," a downed RAF pilot, an imaginative, daring underground hero, and the small things of family life which surprisingly carry on in the midst of oppression. The Verhagen family, who live in the old windmill called the Winged Watchman, are a memorable set of individuals whose lives powerfully demonstrate the resilience of those who suffer but do not lose faith.

Snag the ENTIRE UNIT in Beautiful Book Studies!

Each unit addresses a new topic, including science, history, and geography.  Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand.

  • You will also find a short list of reading books, including a featured novel that the unit builds upon.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the topic to life.

Table of Contents

  • The King’s Fifth
  • Red Falcons of Tremoine
  • Golden Hawks of Genghis Khan
  • Red Hugh of Ireland
  • Calico Captive
  • The Story of Eli Whitney
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins
  • The Lost Kingdom
  • The Secret Garden
  • Heidi
  • Girl of the Limberlost
  • The Winged Watchman
  • When the Dikes Broke
  • Using the Good & the Beautiful in High School

The books selected for these unit studies can be found in the upper grades areas of The Good and the Beautiful Book List.  However, Homeschool On the Range and Sparks Academy are not employed by or affiliated with, nor do they receive any compensation from, The Good and the Beautiful.  It has simply been their curriculum of choice for many years.  These unit studies are not endorsed by The Good and the Beautiful or Jenny Phillips.