ADV Weeks 1-3

If you are using Adventures in U.S. History, please share your ideas with us.
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ADV Weeks 1-3

Unread post by Marie »

Adventures in MFW Weeks 1-3
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Location: Minnesota

Flag cake

Unread post by claraskids »

Thought I was all organized, but when it came time to make the red,white, blue yogurt for the first week - I didn't have all the necessary ingredients. Quickly rummaging through the pantry, we found a cake mix and bottles of sprinkes. The lightbulb went off.
After baking the cake, my dd used sprinkles to recreate the US flag. She served it at snack time, and it was quickly gobbled up. Many blue lips among the daycare kids!
Just thought someone would like to have another way to do the first weeks activity.
Having a great time in our "Adventures".
mother to dd11, ds7, ds5.
Adventures 07/08
ECC 08/09
Creation to Greeks 09/10
Wrapping up CTG and soon to start RTR, also doing Kindergarten
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Flag jello

Unread post by allison »

We can't do yogurt due to dairy allergies so I too had to improvise. I made an American flag out of red jello. Before it was set, I put blueberries in one corner for the field of blue. Then I put in miniature marshmallows in for the white stripes (you could use the big ones too), but they floated away. I had to wait until the jello was set a little bit more before the marshmallows stayed. We had a great time eating our American flag!!!
Wife to David
Mother to Celeste, Daniel, Ethan and Felix
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Week 3 Toys

Unread post by Ariasarias »

I found "Toobs" from Safari Ltd. of English Settlers and Powhatan Indians at Michaels. My children have enjoyed acting out all they have learned -- even my 2 year old.
Nicole, wife to Claudio since 1996, and mom to dd (2000), dd (2003), dd (2005), and ds (2009).
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Location: SoCal

More fun.

Unread post by Daisy »

Those toobs reminded me. We used our Lincoln logs to make the Jamestown fort. Then we made wigwams (from week 4). The kids set it all up and played with the toobs characters! Lots of fun.
Julie - Staff
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Week 2: Jesus Poster for 2 kids & more alternative ideas

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

ccpeterson wrote:We are going to be starting the Jesus Poster today....week 2 of Adventures. Should we just make 1 poster, even though I have 2 kids doing Adventures, or are they supposed to each make their own?
Posted Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:44 am by southernshae
I'm sure it would be great to do two if you have the space. Since we don't, we are doing one Jesus poster. My children alternate who will color the picture to go on the poster.


Posted Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:12 pm by Cynthia60
My family did Adventures last year. I have two children but decided to do two posters instead of just one to avoid the hassle of bickering children. Looking back I might have decided to have them color their own copies so that I could include them in their notebook. I've decided to take a picture of their posters and file that instead. Just a thought.

Have a great year!

Posted Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:52 am by Precious3
We are doing Adventures this year and I decided to do a Jesus book instead of a poster. The left side of the page will be the specific picture (ie star, bread, lamb, etc) made into a mini book with tidbits of what we learned about that name, with pictures of the kids doing projects like making a candle for light of the world, etc. The right side of the page will be their memory verse, handwriting page. At the end of the year we will bind their books. Then they have a keepsake book of the names of Jesus, instead of a poster we won't know what to do with.

Posted Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:14 am by cbollin
Here's another idea to save the memory instead of the poster or any projects.

Grab the camera and take some photos of the finished project. Great for scrapbooking, etc.


Posted Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:19 pm by Daisy
We have both our children make their own. They keep the poster in their rooms. They sooo enjoy this activity.

Posted Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:31 pm by Ariasarias
I have two dd participating in making the poster and we take turns on who colors and pastes the picture.
I like the idea of everyone making one for their notebooks though.
Maybe I'll do a review sometime and let them make it for their notebooks. :)
Nicole :)

AWESOME Viking projects for Adventures!

Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

Posted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 1:33 am
I am preparing to start Adventures with my ds in a couple of weeks, and in preparing, I saw that we will be studying the Vikings. As I began to look online for some of the books we might want to use, I remembered a series put out by Chick-fil-a earlier this year.

Their series, entitled, "Crafts From the Past" included a booklet on the Vikings. The crafts in this particular booklet include:

1. making runestone bookends from plaster which include the Scandinavian alphabet (futhark);
2. constructing a longship (including where the term 'starboard' originated);
3. creating a colorful sun compass (also useful for MFWK);
4. designing a picture frame with dragon & other viking symbols;
5. creating your own trader's scales;
6. fashioning your own die stamp & coins (this one is SO cool!);
7. designing/decorating gold/silver/bronze hoard vessels;
8. crafting chieftain boxes from cardboard & paper pulp;
9. and lastly, designing a popular Viking board game called "hneftafl," which looks great!

The history & photos make this a rich little resource! I am thrilled that I happened to save these (thinking they might come in handy...YAY!), and I hope some of you find that you have them as well. The entire set includes craft books on: Vikings, Aztecs, Egyptians and Greeks.

I hope this info is helpful!

Paige in NC
"You can do no great things, just small things with great love." - Mother Teresa

Wife to Josh (10 years),
Mom to Max (8-ECC), and Halle (6-MFW1)
Julie - Staff
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Day 8: Foil sailing ships

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

Kim Schroter wrote:Can someone further describe "shape several layers of aluminum foil to form a boat about 2" x 4" ? Then it talks about adding modeling clay and a pencil in the center with a mast on top...

Will this really stay upright in water? I picture it falling over. I know we can just experiment with it for tomorrow's lesson, but I'm asking for any advice to ward off a potentially frustrated child (or mamma) :)

Posted Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:39 am by Brenda in PA
We did this in early summer. My kids made 3 ships to sail in our creek. It was a lovely, windy day and we got to watch all 3 "sail off to the New World". It was a lot of fun.

My advice is to use the smallest amount of clay possible in order to hold the pencil. We put paper sails on our pencils but had to modify the size a few times. If the sail is too large, it topples the boat.

Happy Sailing!
Posted Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:04 am by cbollin
We did it differently. My oldest dd wanted bigger, flatter boats. And she made a mast with tape and toothpicks on the edge instead of clay and a short pencil in the middle.

I've seen on some blogs where several MFW users had a lot of success with the boats as written in the teacher's manual. And I've seen where some boats didn't make it too.

Ideas from over the collective experiences include: short pencils, small amount of clay, perhaps a little bit bigger than 2" x 4".

Let us know how it goes with your boats.

Posted Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:11 pm by Kim Schroter
The ships were successfully constructed this afternoon. They passed a trial run in our sink and are awaiting the Atlantic Ocean (our bathtub) for their official voyage tonight! My girls want to fill the tub with salt so it's like the ocean, but I don't think we'll do that because this also their bathing time!

I'll try to explain how we constructed ours, but it may just be confusing...We used 2 sheets of layered foil (about 12" x 12") and folded them twice to make a 6" x 6" square. Then we folded it lightly in half again, so as to not crease it this time, and rolled the edges tight. Then we made a "bed" in the boat and just smushed it around until it looked "boat-like". The Nina and Pinta are about 2" x 4" and the Santa Maria is about 6" x 4". We used the modeling clay (about a small marble sized amount- one red, one white and one blue) right in the center of the boats. We used popsicle sticks instead of pencils and added white sails, cut from printer paper. The sails for the small ships are only a 2" square and the larger ship has a 4" square sail. The girls wrote the names of the ships on the sails and decorated them. 2 slits were cut into the sails and they slid right onto the popsicle sticks and we taped the back.

Very Fun!!!

If you think your kids might really get into playing with them for a while, it might be wise to cover the sails with contact paper, so it doesn't get ruined if toppled into the water.

My girls can't wait for their bath!

Posted Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:43 pm by Margaret Schrock
Oh,we had fun with the ships too! My husband said,forget the bathtub! Go out and use the swimming pool! So we did,they enjoyed it even though the sails were top-heavy. We used foamboard which didn't work too well.

Posted Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:37 pm by txquiltmommy
We had fun with this when we did it. We used soda straws instead of pencils, and we used "Model Magic" brand clay because it is very lightweight. (I think it is by Crayola? It has a foamy feel and is great for crafts.) I'm also keeping a photo journal of our Adventures year.


Week 1: Adventures Name Letter

Unread post by cbollin »

JoyfulDancer wrote:In the first week of Adventures the parent is supposed to write a letter to the child about the meaning of their name, how it was chosen, etc. What do you do if you got their name from a questionable movie and just liked it? What if their name means one thing, but their personality is completely opposite? I have been worrying about this letter, because I just don't have a lot of great, interesting or spiritual stuff to say about my dd's name. This was just brought up on the MFWFamilies e-mail list, but I figured I'd post it here too.

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:29 am
I fit in that category with one child's name being chosen from a TV show.
Here's how I did the letter. I don't want to reprint the whole thing here. So I'll just make a summary.

We thought a long time about what to name you. We heard many names. One day I heard the name (A) and thought I like that name. That would be a fun name for the baby growing inside me because I like her too. I had to come up with a middle name. I gave you my middle name. That's something we share.

I then went on to mention the so-called meanings of each name based on something on a web site. Then she asked me what our last name meant and how we decided on that. I didn't know what to say. :)

Laurie, don't worry about it if you don't have some cool reason or cool meaning name. It's not all that common in most places in the US to do so. We usually pick things that just sound good. You simply chose a name that you liked and it was special to you at the time you were pregnant --- just like your child is special to you.
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Week 1: Adventures Name Letter

Unread post by txquiltmommy »

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:23 pm
Our boys don't have Biblical names and the official "meaning" of both their names was something ridiculous, so here's how I handled it....

I wrote them each a letter about their LAST name, and what it meant to be part of the _____ family. "Because you are a ______, you have inhereted a special legacy, one which is built on a solid faith." I went on to describe some of the strong and noble characteristics of their father, their grandfathers, and other members of our family. I described the character qualities that we value and strive to live by, and explained what (in very, very simple terms) we want our family name to be known for. I talked about how special it was the God had blessed our family with each of them, and how they were uniquely created by God to be a _______.

One day, shortly after the letter, my youngest son was having trouble because he wanted to watch something on TV that I would not allow him to see. My older son stepped in and told his brother, "Because we are part of the _____family, let's choose not to watch that." The concept of family identity had caught on!

(Just so you know, I have a very normal household and the vast, vast majority of the time my boys are fighting over Lego pieces, not holding one another accountable for proper TV viewing behavior! This was one of those special once-in-a-lifetime moments, I'm sure!)

It's just an idea for you to consider. Oh, and one other tidbit of advice...have the tissue box handy when you sit down to write. Nothing starts the waterworks like trying to capture in words how wonderful our children are and how incredibly blessed we are to be their mothers and teachers! Amen?? :)

Blessings to you!
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Week 1: Adventures Name Letter

Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us »

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 12:47 am
Our dd was named after dh's mother (a variation of her middle name) but there are no specific traits that we associate between MIL and dd. Therefore, I focused on what her name means (peace), included an example of scripture that supports the meaning and told dd I would always be praying that she would find great peace in God's word and in His perfect plan for her life.
Julie - Staff
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Crayon Shavings

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

Homeschooling6 wrote:Does anyone have any good ideas on how to shave the crayons other then using a knife? Some of my crayons are too short for a cheese grater.

I am more than happy to buy this if anyone knows a school company that sells a crayon shaver? You would think that someone would sell this to the schools. But then again, schools seem to push Arts and Crafts out to add in more math and reading time ;)

I remember doing this craft in school and loved it. I was happy to see it in ADV. But I need enough for 5 kiddos.
Posted by Elspeth » Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:56 am
I used an old pencil sharpener and that seemed to work well (and go more quickly). The crafts with the crayon shavings were a big hit at our house, so we will probably be doing them again at some point.

Hope this helps. Have fun!


Posted by tkbbrl6 » Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:12 pm
A manual pencil sharpener will work great too. While we have electric ones - my kids think it's a blast to sharpen with the manual ones - so I have some for pencils of differing sizes and some for using with crayons/color pencils.

Posted by TurnOurHearts » Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:52 pm
Call me crazy, but a carrot peeler worked best for me. :) I happened to have an old one, and it worked like a charm! I found this especially helpful since I was shaving old, broken crayons (who shaves new ones?!). Once they were too skinny to shave more, I felt guiltless about tossing the remains. Yes, I have crayon issues...

Paige in NC

PS - The carrot peeler cleaned perfectly afterwards; so much so, I was able to put it back in my drawer. :P

Posted by firewarrior » Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:29 am
As children, we always used the back of the scissors blade. The dull end.


Posted by LaMere Academy » Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:24 pm
OH MY GOODNESS!!!! WHY did I NOT think of that????
I spent so much time scraping with a pocket knife for the Jesus poster activity and then I ironed it too much.

Now it's time to do the sun/paper plate activity and I was thinking "no way am I ironing crayon shavings again. But now I think I'll give it a try.

We have many manual pencil sharpeners that after a while, they get kind of dull and don't sharpen the pencils very well...makes the tips break easily. They'll be perfect.

DUH!! I'm still slapping myself in the head for not thinking of this!


editor's note: Some bonus ideas on what to do with mountains of crayons: ... 779#p63779
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Unread post by Ariasarias »

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:09 pm

After reading about the vikings today, my kids remembered Lyle the Kindly Viking (a Veggie Tales movie). It made so much more sense to them as they watched it today. We had also been reading in one of the book basket books that for the Christian vikings it was really hard to love their enemies. I feel this really came out in the movie.
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beaded necklace

Unread post by tatertreezmom »

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:33 pm

Just an idea...
My son didn't want to wear the beaded necklace, so we made a bookmark instead with the beads laced onto the string and knotted at the ends.

Tatertreezmom ;-)
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Re: beaded necklace

Unread post by AudMama »

tatertreezmom wrote:Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:33 pm

Just an idea...
My son didn't want to wear the beaded necklace, so we made a bookmark instead with the beads laced onto the string and knotted at the ends.

Tatertreezmom ;-)
We did a bookmark as well... only with letter stickers on paper. Dd7 decorated hers with princess stickers, ds6 decorated his with dinosaurs, adn ds5 did Spiderman.

Oh, and on the back I wrote the meaning of their name.

When we were finished I laminated it. :)

Help understanding history details

Unread post by cbollin »

Jenntleh wrote:I'm looking at week 3 of Adventures in My Father's World with John Smith and The Indians Of Virgina -- the Indians' life, the settlers, and then John Smith getting captured and Pocahontas saving John Smith but marries some guy named John Rolfe. I'm lost with out copying the notes in the teachers manual.
(edit to clarify: page numbers in this post refer to 1st edition ADV and 1st edition of whatever book was read. page numbers will not apply to other editions)

In this chapter we are learning about John Smith, so it doesn’t really matter much about John Rolfe’s biography. You just want to make sure your 2nd grade child doesn’t think that John Smith marries Pocahontas. You might learn something about John Rolfe later. But too many people get it confused that John Smith and Pocahontas get married in the end. So, it isn’t that you have to learn much about John Rolfe and much as you and your child are learning that Smith and Pocahontas do not marry.

Who was John Rolfe – well, it says on p. 35 of the text, he was an Englishman who had come to Virginia; together they (Rolfe and his wife) went to London and she dies after having a son. That son was the ancestor of some other famous people in history. That’s enough for your 2nd grader to know at this point. But as teacher it is important to remember that the chapter reading is really about highlights of John Smith, and Jamestown, and that you can’t talk about them without knowing about Pocahontas. Remember… the chapter is about John Smith and his influence in the making and settling of Jamestown. Pocahontas is a big part of that story too.

There is background information on the Indians, the early settlers and then enter the scene with Smith. It's a synopsis of the background information to set up the story of Smith. It is also important for a young student to realize that Jamestown continued after Smith's death. So that's why the rest of the info is on page 39 about what happened after his death.

Also, no one is 100% certain why Pocahontas did what she did. There are conflicting theories out there. So it’s ok to not give every single detail to a 2nd grader. But an age appropriate explanation is given into the incident. It is found on page 35. Your child doesn’t need more than that to grasp the basics.

You are not given tons and tons of details in 2nd grade. You just want your child to have some basic history about all of this. Yes, more information will be gleaned from parts of book basket. But you do not want to over teach at this age or get too bogged down in Jamestown Great place to visit. You will study American history several other times in this student’s career and you don’t want them to roll their eyes and say “mom, we know all of this stuff already.” So, just keep in mind that it is a 2nd or 3rd grade child you are teaching. As parent, you might want to do a quick research after school to fill in the missing gaps that you didn’t retain from school. (I do that a lot of time. It's fun for me.) . But just don't teach all of it to your child. It's fun to learn those other little pieces here and there.

Yes, next week in week 4, you’ll get to learn a bit more background about the Indians in that area. You don’t have to over teach on every single day of the school year.
Last edited by cbollin on Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
Robyn in TX
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Unread post by Robyn in TX »

I found this great interactive game about Jamestown and the adventures of Captain John Smith. Here is the link: ... John-smith

dena in ms
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Red White & Blue Snack

Unread post by dena in ms »

for our red white and blue snack we did the bomb pops popsicles and blue corn chips with salsa poured on top of cream cheese for our dip.
Dena in MS

married to my best friend for 16 yrs, mom to 3 gifts from God chosen for us through adoption, dd 17(special needs) dd 11(learning disabilities) and ds 7(all boy)

Starting Adventures July 2008
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Foil Sailing Ships

Unread post by wendyp »

We read all the posts on this then decided to try using straws and a glue gun. Figured that the straw wouldn't be too heavy and it worked really well.

We glued the straw to the bottom of the boat and glued the sail to the straws so they wouldn't fall down. The children had a blast and I think it just became bath night!

Would like to say hi to everyone, also. We just joined this forum and really appreciate all the information that is provided by everyone.
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Red White & Blue Snack

Unread post by doubleportion »

For our Red, White and Blue Snack I made an angel food cake. Cut it in two layers and covered with macerated strawberries and bluberries. Iced the top with fat free cool whip and covered the top with the rest of the fruit. It was yummy!! It may just become our new July 4 traditional cake (even though we didn't do it on July 4th this year).

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Pocahontas and Jamestown books

Unread post by doubleportion »

We found these two books at our library and really liked them. The Pocahontas book gave enough info without getting into all the religious side of her tribe and culture. The Jamestown book had great pictures with just the right amount of info for my 2nd grader. And it didn't get into some of the more gruesome details of the Jamestown history.

Pocahontas- by Liz Sonneborn

Explore Colonial Jamestown by Elaine Landau
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Week 5 - Sun Catcher

Unread post by tabby »

doubleportion wrote:Okay, maybe I am waaaay to visual. But am having a very hard time envisioning what this sun wall hanger is suppose to look like. Does anyone have a picture they could share? Thanks,
Here are some internet links with a couple of pics that may give you some direction. ... ned-glass/

The suncatcher we did today :). Sorry it is so big. The finished size is around 9x11 inches. ... CN2071.jpg ... CN2069.jpg

Tabatha :)
2011-2012: RTR - dd 10, ds 7
Enjoying our 6th year with MFW
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Dd excited about Christopher Columbus!

Unread post by JenSmith »

After reading about Christopher Columbus this week, we took our biweekly library trip yesterday. While dd was picking out her books, she saw A Picture Book of Christopher Columbus. She was so excited and said that we had to get that for school!

Wife to a wonderful dh since 1997
Mom to 3 blessings: ds16, dd7, ds5
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Week 3 - Jamestown fun recommendation

Unread post by shawnswife »

I just wanted to pass on these two great websites that I used with my kids a few weeks ago when we were doing week 3 in Adv. They loved them so much and I learned a ton! :) ... John-smith

I hope they are helpful! :)
momma2boys wrote:It tells a cartoon story of Jamestown and then has interactive games, too. Great site.
Jennifer F.

Wife to Shawn since 1997
Mom to dd (2000), dd (2001), ds (2002), ds (2006)

Using RTR and MFW K (2011-2012)
Completed parts of CTG and Story of the World (2010-2011)
Completed ECC and MFW 1st (2009-2010)
Completed ADV and MFW K (2008-2009)
Mama M
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Bow and Arrow Idea

Unread post by Mama M »

I'm doing week 3 in Adventures with my almost 7 year old son. He's a very hands on learner and ever since doing MFW K - he loves to think of things to make that go along with what he is learning!!! So, today as we read about Pocahontas and started our Squanto reader, HE decided that he wanted to make a bow and arrow. Unfortunately, we do not have access to many long bendable sticks...and well, I'm just not that talented (lol)!!! So, I googled "bow and arrow craft" and I found a site that showed us how to make a mini bow out of a paper clip, rubber band and tape and an arrow out of a drinking straw, toothpick, tape and scissors. It was simple, fun, quick and a success. He put on an Indian outfit and went outside to shoot it at a paper target in the yard. My husband wasn't too happy with me letting him use an arrow with a toothpick (oops) so tomorrow, I will modify it and create a "tip" with tape. It might be a little less fun for him because it will no longer puncture paper, but oh well.

If you are interested, go to site for the bow AND go to site ... -clip-bow/ for the arrows (FYI: these are not necessarily kid-friendly sites).

Have fun!
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