Posts Tagged ‘hands-on learning’

Mayflower Tour

Thursday, September 23rd, 2021

mayflower-tour

Last month my family flew to the east coast for a family reunion with my husband’s family, and one of our favorite activities was touring the Mayflower! The ship is a replica of the original ship, which went back to England and eventually deteriorated.

Mayflower Tour

Here is our tour of the ship:

My husband’s sister lives in Massachussetts, which is the area where the Pilgrims landed in the New World back in 1620. We hadn’t seen this side of our family in six years, so my kids were excited to see how much their cousins had grown. We had a wonderful time re-connecting.

plymouth-rock-sign

Plymouth Rock is still there, even though it has been chipped away by tourists for years, making it better called Plymouth Pebble. It’s a bit anti-climactic for present-day tourists, who look down on it from the cage or jail cell where it now resides near the beach where the Mayflower ship replica is harbored.

plymouth-rock

When we climbed aboard the Mayflower, we stepped back in time. The ship is actually quite small! Above deck, we walked around the ship, which is not very much exercise, since the entire ship from front to back is only about a dozen steps in total.

on-deck-mayflower

Below deck, it was easy to envision the cramped conditions of the 102 men, women, and children who were living down here for 66 days–over two months! I felt sorry for them, since their conditions didn’t improve that much when they arrived in the New World, only to die of starvation.

inside-mayflower

No wonder Thanksgiving Day really affects our hearts, to know that the Native Americans helped the Pilgrims to survive in this unknown land. We give thanks every year for all the many blessings we take for granted, which the Pilgrims had to mostly do without.

This was a really fun educational field trip for American history that I’d always wanted to do with my kids. It was worth doing, and I’m glad we got to do it with our extended family.

If you want more hands-on activities for this time period, check out our Pilgrims Unit Study!

Most Popular Blog Posts from 2017

Monday, January 8th, 2018

most-popular-blog-posts-2017

These popular blog posts include spiritual posts, hands-on learning activities, travel adventures, and themed cakes. The ages range from early childhood to high school.

My top ten most popular blog posts from 2017:

Cool Themed Cakes:

  • Dry Ice Volcano Cake: Watch this active volcano erupt with rolling smoke!
  • Army Tank Cake: This is the most awesome cake ever for boys. It came out even better than I envisioned, and we lit a sparkler at the front of the tank.

Hands-on Learning for High School:

Hands-on Learning for Early Childhood

Travel Posts

  • Our Guatemala Adventure: God provided miraculously for us to visit the land of my childhood. My family had the opportunity to meet our Compassion child. Enjoy the virtual tours of a jungle, a castle, a boat ride, and zip-lining!

Spiritual Posts

I wrote two exciting series this year, with accompanying videos for each. As the days grow darker spiritually, we need to know who we are in Christ and how the enemy works:

  • 31 Days to Regaining Your Identity: Know who you are in Christ. You are accepted, loved, forgiven, valuable, wanted, honored, and rejoiced over!
  • Unmasking the Enemy Series: One of the reasons the enemy wreaks so much destruction in our lives is that we don’t recognize his work and disarm it. This series shows you how to overcome the enemy by unmasking his tactics.

My Favorite Post (bonus)

  • Our Family Muppet Show: One of my favorite shows growing up was The Muppet Show. My dad bought my kids some Muppet puppets, so we performed our own show, including the Swedish chef, a music number by Miss Piggy, and various humorous scenes.

And there you have it! Those were my most popular blog posts from 2017. If you missed any of them, now you have a chance to see the ones that really resonated with my readers!

How Government Gets Its Money

Monday, May 29th, 2017

how-government-gets-its-money

The U.S. government at the federal, state, and local levels has to get its money from somewhere. So it taxes individuals, businesses, and corporations to get the money it wants for its countless programs. Today we will show you through a series of skits how this is done.

The Notgrass Company has sponsored these fun blog posts because we are basing this series on their Exploring Government book. One of the chapters requires students to understand the ways that citizens are taxed. We continue our series of high school government with another set of skits for your enjoyment.

How the Government Gets Its Money

Federal Taxes:

The income tax is the main source of federal revenue, providing over half of federal money. This is a progressive tax, which means higher incomes are taxed more.

The next biggest source of revenue for the federal government is the payroll tax, which provides about one-third of federal money. This tax helps pay for Social Security and Medicare.

Other taxes include an excise tax of things like tobacco, alcohol, jewelry, and guns, customs of tariff duties on some imported goods, estate taxes when an heir’s inheritance exceeds $2 million, and much more.

learn-about-taxes

State Taxes:

States also have an income tax. Some states don’t tax personal income, and so have to rely more on other taxes. Usually, income tax rates are form 2 to 6 percent.

Another major state tax is the sales tax. Most states impose a flat statewide rate and let counties and cities add an additional tax on sales within their borders.

States also get a lot of revenue from automobile-related taxes. In about half of the states, there is an Ad valorem (to the value) tax for registering a vehicle. There are also taxes of alcohol, tobacco, utilities, theme parks, and hotels/motels.

taxing-cars

Local Taxes:

Cities and counties impose property tax on the assessed value of the real property in them. Homeowners and business owners both pay property tax. There is also a business tax, which is a small percentage of the total sales a business has in a year. Counties also charge for a business license.

I hope you enjoyed our re-enactment of “How Government Gets Its Money.” We made quite a few props for these skits, and we had a blast behind the scenes!

We truly enjoyed producing this series of high school government posts, breaking down concepts from the Exploring Government book, and making them come to life! If you would like to buy the book, get it from the Notgrass website to bless their family the most!

Make Your Own State Tourism Brochures

Monday, May 15th, 2017

make-your-own-tourism-brochures

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

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

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

tourism-brochures

Hands-on Learning for High School Government

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

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

notgrass-government-book

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

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

The links in this series of blog posts are not affiliate links. Please buy the book from their website to bless their family the most!