Abraham Lincoln and the Declaration of Independence

As I write that it totally looks like I am saying Lincoln was AT the signing… rather we covered BOTH of these rather interesting topics recently and I figured why not bundle the two together for the blog post?

The 2016/2017 school year has had a focus more towards history and the United States of America. It has been a learning experience for students AND teacher. These two topics were the twins’ choice. We started with the Declaration of Independence. Such an important piece of paper. We used a lot of sheets from Education.com HERE.

We had a few books we requested from the library that were helpful:

  • What is the Declaration of Independence by Michael C. Harris HERE
  • The Declaration of Independence by Don Nardo HERE
  • American Documents: The Declaration of Independence by Judith Lloyd Yero HERE
  • The Declaration of Independence by Lori Mortensen HERE

I have to share a rather interesting link passed along by a good friend (and fellow twin mom)… this one looks at what happened to the signers of the Declaration of Independence AFTER they signed at USHistory.org. They truly risked life and limb to do so, as they were really committing treason against the crown and King of England. The twins spent quite a bit of time picking out some interesting people to put into our hand out and report folder.

Abraham Lincoln was a huge success. The boys have always had a vague interest in him with his distinctive look and hat that he apparently kept things in. Our final conclusion was that Abraham Lincoln was a great president, one of the best, BUT his life seemed rather miserable. Granted there was a shorter life expectancy and much higher general death rate but… wow… so much sadness, death and difficulty in the life of someone who now is seen as such an inspirational figure.

We ended up choosing a labook set up that was not free, but it was well worth it. We went with a Knowledge Box product you can find for 5.00 (US) HERE. They have a study guide, lapbook and clear instructions.20170320_200116

20170320_200124You can check out my Education.com collection of worksheets HERE. Activity Village has some very helpful worksheets as well (sadly these are all pay for sites to get the full experience, but we have found it well worth it.) HERE. You can do a helpful search on EnchantedLearning as well to get these pages HERE.

Books:

  • I am Abraham Lincoln by Brad Meltzer HERE
  • Abraham Lincoln: Lawyer, President, Emancipator by Pamela Hill Nettleton HERE
  • Abraham Lincoln by Barbara Knox HERE
  • Abe Lincoln: The boy who loved books by Kay Winters HERE
  • Abraham Lincoln by Tanya Lee Stone HERE
  • Encyclopedia of Presidents and Their Times by David Rubel HERE
  • Magic Tree House #47: Abe Lincoln at Last! by Mary Pope Osborne HERE
  • Abraham Lincoln by Sarah Hansen HERE

DVD:

  • Getting to Know The U.S. Presidents: Lincoln HERE

These were wonderful topics for us to cover one after the other. We really haven’t spent as much time on US history as we have researching countries from other parts of the world. I can’t say we will stick with these kind of topics, but the more we can cover and find interest in the better. From Lincoln it is a quick jump to Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. I will share our resources from these topics to. From slavery to a country declaring independence, to a man realizing that a whole group of people also deserved their independence… then to a man who made sure that it was realized that segregation is wrong and a woman who helped courageously help attain that dream. Not bad for taking topics the kids chose themselves!

Hunting for Dragons at the Science Center

Sometimes you just need the right exhibit to spur you onto getting that long suggested membership. The temporary Mythical Creatures display at the Science Center was the big draw for us, and well worth it.20170223_151713

We actually made an attempt to go the day before only to realize the museum closed early that day. But our second day choice was just perfect. It wasn’t busy, though parking was scarce due to hockey games nearby. We used my homeschool status for a discount and were ready to go and enjoy over an hour of educational fun.20170223_144900

While the mythical creatures were the main draw we did enjoy some of the other permanent displays this visit. We definitely need to come back and see more of those. Thankfully with the membership it is just a matter of choosing a day when Ken can take a half day.20170223_145519

20170223_150651I have a mountain of pictures to share so will do so. Though first – we hadn’t realized you could do this, but the large astronaut in the center of the building allows you to put your face in the helmet! So some of the kids did!20170223_145335

20170223_14522620170223_145129And of course… if there is dinosaurs we MUST examine them closely.20170223_15561120170223_15570320170223_15583720170223_15573220170223_155639

BUT I know you are all waiting for the big draw – sit back and enjoy the mythical (and some not so mythical) creatures! First off… DRAGON!IMG_20170223_164302_881

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And Kraken!IMAG0657

Now all Mermaids were beautiful… though one was.IMG_20170223_164457_065

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And here is the creature some think inspired a lot of these... the manatee.

And here is the creature some think inspired a lot of these… the manatee.

The Unicorn was another favourite.20170223_152455

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Here is Echo with a replica horn. Some felt the narwhal was the inspiration for the unicorn's single horn.

Here is Echo with a replica horn. Some felt the narwhal was the inspiration for the unicorn’s single horn.

And then there were some animals that were actually a REAL thing…IMG_20170223_164524

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Or the confusion that came from finding the remains of something.

This skull confused a lot of people making them think it was from a cyclops... it is actually a pygmy elephant skull!

This skull confused a lot of people making them think it was from a cyclops… it is actually a pygmy elephant skull!

There were multiple types of dragons.

Sir George slaying the dragon.

Sir George slaying the dragon.

But my personal favourite is the Asian dragons.IMG_20170223_165709_568

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But enough of my chatter… enjoy the last few images!IMG_20170223_234926_585

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Roc

Roc

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Fear of Loss and Regression

There are few things scarier as the spouse of a person with severe and clinical depression than a regression or a “slip up” on the new life patterns.

Thankfully my current and more recent experiences with these “lapses in change” are few and far between, but it happens. Add in work stress, deadlines, someone at the office quitting suddenly and equally quickly I see Ken slipping into old patterns. Chores undone, choices in chores a wee bit wacky (he seriously is the only person I know that, when he falls back into old destruction choices finds himself a BIGGER chore to avoid the ongoing list). All I see is a great big red WARNING sign.

MY frustration is quickly felt as household promises fall to the wayside in favour of work and stress. After all, part of Ken’s therapy is the realization that (as long as it won’t endanger the household) it is not appropriate for me to swoop in and do something FOR Ken. That gives him an out, like a child who does a chore badly to get out of it (and I HAVE experienced that, I might add). Rather, I have to (equally frustratingly) sit back and leave the chaos to rest until Ken comes round to the mental and emotional realization that he must stop running from that particular responsibility.

This is all something which, when Ken is in the moment, he DOES NOT SEE. And there is a balance there too, I can’t just scream out DO THE CHORE the second day on, he has to have the opportunity to become self aware (little heads up – we are NOT there yet… quite). Self awareness is a tricky thing. Do we ever clearly see our own actions when emotionally compromised?

There is always, in the back of my head, a little voice saying – “keep aware, be diligent.” I know I have mentioned this before and talked extensively about being the “healthy one,” but sometimes it is a hugely frustrating endeavor. I am not sure WHEN I will ever assuage myself of the guilt of missing cues. Why didn’t I see the spiral earlier on? Why was I so blind to the now obvious suffering of one of the most important people in my life? So there is the additional worry that I will be hyper vigilant or accidentally take to “calling wolf.” (are we all familiar of the story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf? If not HERE)

Luckily this newest roller coaster (mini as it was) was over messes at work that were not the fault of himself, and deadlines and crazy hours (like skype at 3 am… kid you not, darn international companies!). What is utterly amazing is that every phone call, ever little WORK related deadline or promise was hit, met and exceptionally dealt with. Just don’t ask about the dishwasher issue, the pictures that need to be hung where tall people live, or the room we tore apart to paint… oops.20170214_210130