Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Clued In Kids (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

Clued in Kids is a company started by a woman who wanted to see children spending time having fun, without a TV or device screen in front of their faces.  Drawing on childhood memories of setting up countless treasure hunts as a child, she created the Clued in Kids program.  It's a compilation of many treasure hunts - some educational, some holiday-themed, but all of them easy to set up (under eight minutes!) the provide fun for small groups.  We received two treasure hunts to review:  Christmas Treasure Hunt - Gift in a Greeting Card ($9.95) and Gluten Free Treasure Hunt ($5.99).

Christmas in a Greeting Card

We have spent a lot of time on the road during the review period, traveling with visiting family.  I purposely left this one for while we were away.  Though the idea is that they hunts can take less than 10 minutes to do, I decided to draw it out and give them something to look forward to each day in a hotel.  It's geared for kids 4 and up, but even the older boys (13 and 16) got a kick out of it (even if they won't admit they did). 

This hunt was a packet that we received in the mail.  Inside our treasure box pouch were clue cards and two sheets of temporary tattoos.  It was small - less than 5x7 inches, so it slips easily into my purse for the trip.  I admit, it took a little more effort to do it this way.  For example, it's been too warm for coats most days.  Instead, I just hid one clue where the coats *belonged* which forced them to think and not react.

 (We had jackets in the car, and one kid dove for my car keys before I said the clue was in the hotel room, NOT the car.)   It also had us being more creative - one clue said to hide it in the clothes dryer.  Not having one of those nearby, I hid it in the suitcase and simply told them to look where the laundry was.

This clue belonged with the pajamas. Instead of having to pick one child's jammies to risk a clothing explosion in hunting for, this clue was left on the bed, held down by Jude's bear, Bluey.

Originally, I had planned to do this hunt before our friends came, including decorating at least one tree with lights to create the hunt-required "Christmas tree."However, I had a lot more cleaning to do than I had anticipated, so when we ran out of time, rather than adding "put up a tree" while we were trying to get ourselves ready, I decided to let others put the "tree" up for me.  We haven't quite finished the hunt yet, because we're on the hunt for any lit-up tree.  We actually passed by one yesterday, but nobody noticed it (or at least, when I said, "Hey! There's a tree with Christmas lights on it!" nobody took the bait.)  I will have to be more obvious when we go by the next one.  This is a hunt that would be really cute to do if you're traveling over the Christmas Holidays (you don't have to knock on your neighbor's door to sing a Christmas carol when you have a "captive audience" at the hotel's front desk!).  We are using the tatoos and some candy as a prize when the last clue is sorted out (again, because we're not home and a prize is one more thing to pack), but you could even use it as a lead up to Christmas with a small gift under the tree on Christmas Eve when the last clue is found.

Gluten Free Treasure Hunt

This hunt is designed for PK/Elementary students. We decided to try it because due to allergies we have a generally gluten-free diet, and received a PDF copy of the clues to print out. Working in two-man teams of one big/one lilttle kid, the older boys sort of enjoyed it (even they were a bit over the hunt-the-clue part, they were interested in the science-y part) but it was way over Jude and Damien's heads.  It was far too much information for them, even when broken into teams with Luke and Matthew.  This is one that I'd leave for older elementary students, maybe as part of a health lesson.  The older boys felt a bit contrived - I think mainly because we tried to work on it as a standalone thing, rather than as a fun activity as part of something we were already doing.  I think Celia (age 10) might have enjoyed it, but it was too much for the little boys (ages 7 and 4) and deemed "kind of silly" by the teen boys. 

I also have to admit, I wasn't enamored with the "No Hot Dogs/Cookies/Pizza" artwork.  Sure, we don't eat your standard hot-dog-cart or pizza-shop fare, but there are more and more gluten free options for familiar gluten-laden foods.  (Frozen gluten free pizza is a staple on our shopping list, and Amazon delivers gluten free cookies on auto-ship.)  I think either a wheat sheaf or labeled flour bins would be a better choice.

We enjoyed the Christmas-themed Clued in Kids treasure hunt, even if we weren't crazy about the Gluten Free hunt.  Less than eight minutes of planning leads to an hour (or more!) of fun, making it a great activity for the entire family.  Click the banner below to see what other families thought about their hunts, or connect with Clued in Kids via social media!

Twitter: @cluedinkids

Click to read Crew Reviews

©2012- 2014 Adventures with Jude. 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.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Abraham Lincoln Speaks: The President's Job Description

Abraham Lincoln Speaks: The President's Job Description

Abraham Lincoln began his political career with the speech entitled A House Divided, establishing himself as a great orator. He was eventually elected Senator from Illinois, and ran for President of the United States in 1860. When he succeeded, the South feared that their way of life was in jeopardy. They fought vigorously against Lincoln’s candidacy, apprehensive that "by the accession of a Republican Administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered." Abraham Lincoln took the Oath of Office for his first term on Monday, March 4, 1861, and addressed the nation with another great speech, his First Inaugural Address.

Primarily addressed to the people of the South, it was intended to succinctly state Lincoln's intended policies towards their concerns. In it, Lincoln states that it is his job as President is to uphold the Constitution. He reminds the South that the Constitution is the ultimate law of the land, and although he intends to uphold the law as peacefully as possible, the choice to amend the constitution or revolt against it lies in the hands of the people.

The phrase law of the land is a legal term, referring to all of the laws in force within a country or region, including both statute law and common law. This term was used in 1787 to write the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution. The Supremacy Clause states:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the land...

Why would Lincoln remind the South of the Constitution? He emphasized that Southern states need not take drastic action. The Constitution did not speak to slavery in any state. He had no intentions of invading the South, and the Fugitive Slave Act would be vigorously enforced, as it too was the “law of the land.”

Conversely, the bond between States created by the Constitution could not be easily broken. Lincoln denounced secession as anarchy. After all, he had just taken the oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, which he had every intention of doing:
I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.
Lincoln believes it is not his duty to take a pen and start changing laws - that is Congress’ job. If the people - on either side of the slavery issue - want something changed, he is not their guy. Majority rule had to be balanced by constitutional restraints in the American system of Republicanism.

Lincoln's First Inaugural Adresss 1861

While Lincoln knows that his job is to uphold the laws, not change them, he still believes that the nation remains “a house divided,” and needs to make a decision to either be all slave or all free. He does not state a personal preference; he merely points out that a decision must be reached. Until the final draft, Lincoln's address had ended with a question for the South: "Shall it be peace or sword?" However, he feared such an ending would be seen as a threat for war, which Lincoln desperately wished to avoid. In the final draft, Lincoln instead moderated his tone. He chose a conciliatory approach:
I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
While much of the Northern press praised or at least accepted Lincoln's speech, the newly formed Confederacy met his inaugural address with contemptuous silence. (Though the United States never recognized the secession and considered them still part of the nation, South Carolina and the Gulf Coast states had seceded before the Inauguration.) The speech also did not impress other states who were considering secession from the Union. They remained unconvinced that Lincoln would not outlaw slavery.

In his first inaugural address, Lincoln reminds the American people that the Constitution, not the President, is the ultimate law of the land. The campaign he ran - to which he intends to stay true - was to employ the Presidential Oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution as peacefully as possible. He leaves the choice - slave or free, to amend the Constitution or revolt against it - entirely in the hands of the people, reminding them that the choice and its consequences are no more his than theirs. Modern writers and historians generally consider the speech to be a masterpiece and one of the finest presidential inaugural addresses, with the final lines having earned particularly lasting renown in American culture.

Abraham Lincoln Speaks:

Part 1:  A House Divided
Part 2:  The President's Job Description

Coming Soon 
Part 3:  A Thankful Nation
Part 4: Gettysburg

©2012- 2014 Adventures with Jude. 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.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Aerosmith to ZZ Top: Highlights from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Wordless Wednesday)

 We had an awesome day recently at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.  Here's a few "Wordless Wednesday" photos from the visit - a more detailed post is coming soon!

©2012- 2014 Adventures with Jude. 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.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sunday Sharing Pinterest Party - Week 43

 Hi everyone!

It's time for a new party!

This week's featured post and blog is Ten Ways To Use Life As Your Curriculum - Vacation Edition.

This post from Christa at Little Log Cottage School jumped out at me this week, as we're doing the same thing.  We've spent the last week touring the Philadelphia area with family, and are on an international road trip for the next two weeks.  (I'm typing this post from Canada!  Isn't the internet awesome.)

Got your posts to share?  Ready...steady...go!

©2012- 2014 Adventures with Jude. 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.

Yellow Hats and Ponchos - Our Fall Break So Far

Aunt Jo and Uncle Brendan finally came to visit!!

Uncle Brendan has a yellow fedora.  He wore it on the plane here, and then on our first trip  - Longwood Gardens.

Day 2 of our trekking was at Valley Forge.

When it started to rain, Jude weaseled his way into wearing it.

(Jude had his arms tucked into his sleeves so they didn't get wet.)

After Valley Forge, we did some planned shopping, and in our travels found Jude his own fedora.  It's not yellow, though - it's blue, Jude's favorite color.

Jude wore it for the first time when we went to the USS New Jersey, so he could match Uncle Brendan.

Except Uncle Brendan is a Gulf War veteran, and he wore his veteran's hat.  (They still matched, because their hats were blue.)

They've been wearing their "matching" fedoras around Niagara Falls.

Except when we have been trekking around the falls.  Our first tour was to "behind" the falls, where we had yellow ponchos.

We'll detail our travels later on when we get home - we're having too much fun to stop and write detailed posts about our visits right now! This week, the fedoras are heading to Cleveland and Gettysburg.  Travel with us on our Facebook page - we're posting pictures and Luke is on "post some fun facts" detail. 

©2012- 2014 Adventures with Jude. 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.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

72 Hour SALE at Lilla Rose!!

Hey everybody!

Luke's looking a little light on homework right now, as we're taking a bit of a "formal schoolwork" break.  Lilla Rose did an awesome job on timing with a SALE this weekend to help keep him from rotting his brain!

15% off all items keyworded BLACK, BROWN or BRASS
10% off all other accessories!

Sale ends Saturday, October 18th, so hurry!! 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  Your purchases from Lilla Rose, using the included links, give Luke lessons in running a small business.  Pile on the homework!

©2012- 2014 Adventures with Jude. 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.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Abraham Lincoln Speaks: A House Divided

Luke's American Adventures Abraham Lincoln Speaks: A House Divided

“A House Divided” was the cornerstone theme of Abraham Lincoln’s failed Senate campaign against Stephen A. Douglas. The speech that has become known as A House Divided was delivered on June 16, 1858 at the Illinois Republican Convention. Lincoln's philosophy was the United States could no longer contain two separate governments - slave and free - and still function as a unit.

Lincoln’s theme of “A House Divided” had its root in a Biblical passage:
 And Jesus knew their [the Pharisees'] thoughts, and said unto them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand. (Matthew 12:25)
In Lincoln’s metaphor, the United States of America — the “house” -- is shown “divided against itself” between pro-slavery and abolitionist forces. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 decreed that all states and territories north of the 36°30' parallel would enter the nation as free states - no slaves allowed. Lands south of this line would be permitted to retain slaves. However, in 1854, Stephen Douglas - Senator from Illinois - introduced The Kansas-Nebraska Act that nullified the Compromise and allowed states to choose slavery status for themselves by popular vote. Lincoln hoped using a well-known figure of speech would help rouse the people to recognize the magnitude of this Act.

Why did Lincoln choose a Bible passage as the foundation for his platform? It certainly highlighted the theme, but Lincoln knew it would be familiar to nearly all voters. Rich or poor, educated or illiterate, nearly every man was familiar with the Gospel of Matthew. Scholars estimate that about 80% of white males were literate, but nearly all had memorized any number of verses from the Bible. Often, the Bible was a child’s first storybook, character trainer, and reading primer, so it would have been a rare person who was unfamiliar with this warning.

A house divided against itself cannot stand.

Lincoln's goal was to set himself apart from Stephen Douglas. Douglas’ advocacy of popular sovereignty had become the law of the land. In theory, it was the “of the people, by the people, for the people” way to decide the state’s position. Douglas believed the proper application of popular sovereignty would end slavery-induced conflict and would allow northern and southern states to resume their peaceful coexistence. Unfortunately, letting popular sovereignty choose the way of the economy meant there was always going to be a minority faction unhappy with the decision. Often it would contribute to either civil dissent (such as the near-civil war named “Bleeding Kansas”), or unstable economies when strong supporters of one side or the other relocated to a more politically favorable state.

Lincoln pointed out the pitfalls of this political ideal. The most quoted passage of the speech is:
“A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.”
The Republican party in Illinois wanted to uphold the beliefs and ideals set by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. When the Founding Fathers drafted these documents, slave-holding Southern states would not agree to them unless they were allowed to keep their slaves. This was a particular issue with the Declaration of Independence - a unanimous vote was required for passage. It was agreed that free states would remain free, and slavery would be contained to its current location. By the late 1850s, slavery was spreading across the land. The Republican party wanted to keep it from taking over the north, which would be possible if enough people in a northern state voted to allow slavery. Lincoln himself did not express a particular pro- or anti-slave view; his opinion was that the nation had to decide the “Slave or Free” issues as a whole and move on.

At this time in U.S. history, United States Senators were chosen by their respective state legislatures. This means that a candidate did not campaign for himself, but for his party. 1858 was an election year for the Illinois State House, so Douglas decided to enhances his own chances of being re-chosen by campaigning for Democratic legislators. (If Democrats held the majority of seats in Illinois, they would keep him as their Senator.) With the help of a friend who ran the railroad, Douglas traveled the state giving speeches. But wherever he went, the young and untried but tenacious Republican candidate would show up two days later, give voters reasons not to trust Douglas, and get the last word in. Finally, Douglas agreed to meet Abraham Lincoln face to face in a series of debates in the remaining Congressional districts in the state.

Lincoln-Douglas Debates US Stamp

There were seven Lincoln-Douglas debates, in which the two candidates for Senate squared off against each other, challenging the other's ideas about, among other topics, slavery and its future in the United States. Even though these speeches were intended to help elect their respective parties' state legislators, the events attracted tens of thousands of people. The audiences turned the debates into a sporting event, shouting out questions, cheering, booing and laughing. Reporters in Chicago transcribed the speeches, and thanks to the telegraph, the Lincoln-Douglas debates were reported by newspapers across the entire nation and followed closely by the American people.

Lincoln's remarks in Springfield created an image of the dangers of slavery-based disunion. Democratic candidate Stephen Douglas believed the use of popular sovereignty would resolve the issue of slavery. Lincoln, however, believed if the states were left to decide for themselves, the fighting would only worsen. He believed that the nation as a whole needed to make a decision to be either all slave or all free, stating, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” His speech publicly voices a prophecy for the future.

Abraham Lincoln Speaks:
Part 1:  A House Divided
Coming Soon 
Part 2:  The President's Job Description
Part 3:  A Thankful Nation
Part 4: Gettysburg

©2012- 2014 Adventures with Jude. 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.
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