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:  Lincoln Goes to Washington
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.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Philadelphia - A Hub of World Culture

Philadelphia and the surrounding area is well known being steeped in American history.  From the State House that hosted the Continental Congresses to Father Judge High School Vietnam Memorial, Philadelphia holds some of the greatest range "American" history landmarks. However, Philadelphia's American pride isn't so egocentric that we exclude the cultures that make this nation such a melting pot. Here's a list of some places we've visited (or put on our bucket list) with an international flavor!

1.  Shofusu - Japan

Friends of the Japanese House and Garden via Wikimedia Commons

Shofuso is the Japanese cultural center located in Fairmount Park.   This house and garden hosts   traditional tea ceremonies, as well as cultural exhibitions from April until October.

 2.  The American Swedish Museum - Sweden

This museum cannot be found near the main historical and museum districts, but rather tucked by itself in South Philadelphia.  It is the oldest Swedish-American museum in the United States, and was founded in 1926.  The Museum is located on land that was once part of a 17th-century land grant from Queen Christina of Sweden to colonist Sven Skute.  

Just across the Delaware River in New Jersey is the town of Swedesboro, settled in the 1600s as part of the New Sweden colony.  The oldest surviving log cabin in the United States, the C. A. Nothnagle home, exists there.  (Tours by reservation only.)

3.  Chinatown - China

Chinatown is just north of the heart of Center City, and one of the most well-known neighborhoods in Philadelphia.  Settled by Cantonese immigrants in the 19th century, boasts a community arts center, some of the best (and most authentic) Chinese restaurants, and the iconic China Gate.

3.  Awbury Arboretum - England

Awbury was the summer home of the Cope family.  Built by Henry Cope, a Quaker shipping merchant, it was named for the family's ancestral town in England.  The estate is laid out in an English landscape garden style and is dedicated to providing visitors with an active learning center.

4. Bucks County Playhouse   - Monaco

Perhaps a bit of a stretch, but what better culture of ALL the world is there than a theater?  While the city of Philadelphia is home to over a score of theaters, this one is about an hour north of the city.  While a world-renowned playhouse in its own right, another bit of its history is that a young Grace Kelly trod the boards in 1949.  Miss Kelly later became a real-life Princess - Princess Grace of Monaco.

 5.  Rodin Museum - France

This indoor/outdoor museum on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway house largest non-Parisian collection of Auguste Rodin's sculptures. 


©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 11, 2014

Sunday Sharing Pinterest Party - Week 42

 Hi everyone!  Happy Saturday, and welcome back!

First, a shout out to the hubby!  This weekend is our 17th Anniversary!  Love you, Neal!

 Plus, we've got houseguests all the way from Australia - my maid of honor and her husband have come to visit.  It's a crazy party here!

I've chosen Raising Samuels as the featured blog this week.

Having a preschooler myself, I'm always on the hunt for new ideas.  Lots of great resources for preschoolers and kindergarteners are featured in the post Kelly has shared!

I'm looking forward to all the ideas everyone shares this week!  Ready to link up?  Here we 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.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Essay Rock Star by Fortuigence (A Homeschool Crew Review)

Review of Fortuigence's Essay Rock Star

Learning to write well is a process.  Luke is learning it is a long process, and one that becomes easier with practice.  He's been writing a series on this blog, Luke's American Adventures, for the last fifteen months, exploring different writing styles.  However, writing still is an area he tends to struggle in, as it doesn't come naturally to him.  We decided to try the Rock Star Writing program from Fortuigence to help him gain insight into the writing process and help him develop as a writer.

Essay Rock Star is divided into four individually themed courses -- The Personal Statement, The Persuasive Essay, The Expository Essay, and The Textual Analysis.  Each $57 course counts as one-eight of a credit; the full program (all four courses) is available for $197.   For the past month, Luke has crafting his essay for  Essay Rock Star: The Expository Essay.

This course uses video instruction in a five step process to guide the student through writing an essay, beginning with very specific early writing phases.  At first, I thought that this was going to be tough for Luke - he's more of a "full steam ahead" sort of writer.  However, I was really surprised at how this prewriting was broken down.  First, it begins with brainstorming a topic.

The first brainstorm activity was to pick a topic, and then toss everything at it to see what stuck - almost like a "brain dump."  Fortuigence recommended a (free) online site for creating the blocks/webbing, which was great for being able to work on a computer.  This step helped Luke create a specific topic for his essay. This two-step process made a difference for Luke.  Rather than having to choose a topic and then make it support itself, he was able to create an essay where the topic came from tying supports together.

Each lesson is uploaded to the instructor via Fortuigence's website, and feedback is given within 24 hours (Monday-Friday).  The instructor for our course, Ms. Lily Iatridis, was really encouraging to Luke.  He had done another writing course in the past, and after a difficult experience, has been a bit gun-shy.  Ms. Iatridis has given him both positive feedback as well as constructive hints for what she's expecting to see the next time, providing encouragement and direction.

In addition to the clearly explained lessons, having specific goals in the rubric really are helping Luke.  Seeing things like "only smooth sentences" vs "1-2 awkward or unexplained" vs "several awkward sentences" is helping him see the difference between expectations for a college-ready high schooler vs. a middle schooler, as well as giving him a concrete goal.  Instead of saying, "I thought it was ok..." he sees concrete ways he can improve his writing.   At the end, a suggested grade for the course/his transcript will be given, where he'll be able to see if he has met the criteria.

This is a self-paced program, which is a bit of a mixed blessing for us.  On one hand, it means there is no hard deadline.  On the other hand, there is no hard deadline. It's been easy for Luke to say "I'll get to it," and then other things come up and the writing get pushed to the side, or to spend too much time getting wrapped up in a step.  (As much as I like the online bubble mapping for portability, I think Luke has spent a lot of time shifting bubbles around; for future writings, we will use a dry-erase board that makes it easy to move ideas around but does not need an internet connection or get fussy working with the trackpad.)  If we were to do this program again, I will be setting stricter deadlines.  (The suggested grade for the essay can be adjusted by the parent, so this is where I would have some room for consequences with not working in a timely manner.) 

As a parent/teacher, I really like this program so far.  Because it is for students ages 12-18, it shows what an adequate/good middle school essay contains.  I am considering the program for Matthew - so while expectations would not be as high as they would be for Luke, it is a program that would benefit him as a middle schooler, and help him establish a strong foundation.   I also think this would make an excellent adjunct program for a student that is in a "regular" school and needs a bit of extra tutoring and support, particularly in a specific area of writing - the self-pacing aspects means a student could work a few days a week after school, fitting it in around regular assignments.  I'm very impressed at how professional yet understanding of her students' ages Ms. I has been - while Luke hasn't hit any real snags thus far, I've taken a peek at the other reviews (you can too by clicking the banner below) and seen that criticism is truly constructive and giving direction, while still encouraging the student.  Fortuigence's  Essay Rock Star is a well-crafted program for helping students become better writers.

Connect with Fortuigence on Social Media

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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.
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