Sunday, May 25, 2014

Horseback Riding at Camp Cedarledge

Pony Tales for Daisies and Brownies
Camp Cedarledge - Pevely, Mo.

"Come discover the wonderful world of horses at Camp Cedarledge. Gain confidence in your ability to ride a horse and take pride in the accomplishment of doing so. Learn to control a horse while under the lead of an experienced Wrangler and other new skills such as how to correctly mount a horse, grooming techniques to keep the horses coat healthy and ways to distinguish the moods of a horse.  Girls will leave inspired to tell others about their experience with horses."

Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri - Horseback Riding Programs

I Love Horses - Girl Scouts Fun Patch

Tessa had a blast learning basic horsemanship at Camp Cedarledge. Although riding was limited to once around the barn, the Pony Tales program was so much more than that.
Tessa had a blast learning basic horsemanship at Camp Cedarledge. Although riding was limited to once around the barn, the Pony Tales program was so much more than that.

Tessa tested out various grooming brushes and techniques on the ever-patient Andy the horse. In addition to learning riding and grooming skills, she took a tour of the equestrian center's barn and hayloft. Pony Tales was fun, well done and a great confidence-booster.
Tessa tested out various grooming brushes and techniques on the ever-patient Andy the horse. In addition to learning riding and grooming skills, she took a tour of the equestrian center's barn and hayloft. Pony Tales was fun, well done and a great confidence-booster.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Medieval Times, Lesson 42

William Shakespeare

Yeah, yeah, yippee, yippee, yeah!! We're finally finished with Medieval Times. This fall, we'll be off to Early Modern Times. And, did we ever end with a bang...we read a lot of long, laborious books. Good ones, though! Tessa enjoyed Shakespeare, but she didn't like most of his endings. A Midsummer Night's Dream was her favorite, helped along by the gorgeous illustrations in Coville's version, I think. I highly recommend his books.


Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

* HO = History Odyssey

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Daisy Journey Summit Award

This is it...Tessa's final award as a Girl Scout Daisy!! The only award she wasn't able to earn was the Daisy My Promise, My Faith Pin for Year 1 since she didn't start Girl Scouts until Year 2. Still a worthy accomplishment, I think. Congratulations, Tessa!



Daisy Journey Summit Award

The Journey Summit Award Pin is earned by girls who have completed all three National Leadership Journeys at their grade level. The colored border around each pin corresponds to their grade level. This award is the highest award a Girl Scout Daisy and Girl Scout Brownie can earn.


What We Did

Daisy My Promise, My Faith Pin

The requirements for earning the Daisy My Promise, My Faith Pin seem to be written directly to the Daisy. However, most (dare I say, any...unless a similar topic just happened to have been covered the previous week during Sunday School) Daisies won't have a clue where to start. And getting it all to come together at this age without significant help, just isn't going to happen. Finding the three inspirational quotes alone would give a middle schooler fits. This award is definitely more of the parent/child project. Having Tessa complete it wasn't the hard part...it was the eight hours I spent researching and planning it!

The resources listed below are the ones we used to fulfill the requirements of the Daisy My Promise, My Faith Pin. These requirements may also be found on page 20 of The Daisy Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting.



My Promise, My Faith Pin

Girl Scouting and your faith have a lot in common! You can earn this pin once a year. Here's how:

1. Choose one line from the Girl Scout Law. Find a story, song, or poem from your faith with the same ideas. Talk with your family or friends about what the Law and the story, song, or poem have in common.
  • Selected "Responsible for What I Say and Do" from the Girl Scout Law.
  • Read "A Fishy Story" (pages 431-435) from The Action Bible by Doug Mauss.
  • Discussed Jonah's responsibility to obey God, the effects of his actions and words, and how the story relates to the chosen line from the Girl Scout Law.


2. Find a woman in your own or another faith community. Ask her how she tries to use that line of the Law in her life.

I chose to complete this requirement in an alternative way so I could control the quality of the lesson. Instead of finding a living woman within a faith community, I chose a female figure from history that I felt Tessa could relate to. Laura Ingalls Wilder seemed like a good fit for the Daisy level.
  • Read Winter Days in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. (This My First Little House... book uses excerpts from and summarizes the "Winter Days and Winter Nights" chapter from Little House in the Big Woods, which we had already read. I chose the much shorter picture book version for its brevity and illustrations. Read it for free at OpenLibrary.org.) 
  • Discussed Laura's responsibilities as a child.


3. Gather three inspirational quotes by women that fit with that line of the Girl Scout Law. Put them where you can see them every day!

Tessa and I read the three quotes below together and then discussed who each woman is/was and what she meant by "responsibility" within her corresponding quote.
  • Quote 1: "When you meet chimps you meet individual personalities. When a baby chimp looks at you it's just like a human baby. We have a responsibility to them." - Jane Goodall
  • Quote 2: "I think you have a moral responsibility when you've been given far more than you need, to do wise things with it and give intelligently." - J. K. Rowling
  • Quote 3: "In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility." - Eleanor Roosevelt

4. Make something to remind you of what you've learned. It might be a drawing, painting, or poster. You could also make up a story or a skit.

I wanted something cute, quick and fun that could be completed with supplies we already had on hand. This little guy fit the bill. Surprisingly, not one of our versions of Jonah and the Whale actually features a whale, but we went with it anyway.
  • Fashioned a whale from an empty egg carton similar to the ones featured in "Whale Watching" by My Kid Craft blog. Tessa also drew a little paper Jonah on cardstock for the whale to "swallow" when she retells the story.

Tessa fashioned a mini whale from an empty egg carton. She colored it blue with a marker and then added wiggly eyes and colored chenille stems for a waterspout. She drew and cutout a matching mini Jonah too!
Tessa fashioned a mini whale from an empty egg carton. She colored it blue with a marker and then added wiggly eyes and colored chenille stems for a waterspout. She drew and cutout a matching mini Jonah too!

5. Keep the connection strong. Talk with your friends, family, or a group in your faith community about what you've learned about your faith and Girl Scouting. Ask them to help you live the Law and your faith. Maybe you can show them what you just made or perform your skit!
  • Tessa showed off her mini whale to her dad when he got home from work.
  • Shared Tessa's work for earning her Daisy My Promise, My Faith Pin with the world via this blog.

Growing Girls Logo
Looking for more My Promise, My Faith pin ideas?

Check out my Growing Girls Living "Fair" All-In-One Booklet - Girl Scouts My Promise, My Faith - All Steps! printable scouting helper.

Plus, see how Tessa completed her Brownie My Promise, My Faith Pin.

Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden - Golden Honey Bee Award

It's Your World - Change It!: A Leadership Journey
Girl Scout Daisies

I admit it, planning the project for the Golden Honey Bee Award gave me fits. My initial thoughts involved grandiose plans to take action in "a big way." Taking into account Tessa's age, her skills and available manpower, plus keeping in mind a realistic budget, taking action in "a small way" was really the only way to go. We kept the project very local. Tessa, her dad and Tessa's neighbor friend (who is a Brownie in a different troop) prepared and planted an iris bulb garden behind our road's mailboxes. At first, I felt like maybe it wouldn't be enough. After seeing the girls' smiles in the pictures, I realized it was perfect. I know that next year, ten years, twenty years from now, they'll remember planting those irises together and feel a sense of pride in knowing that they made that little bit of world a better place.

Daisy Flower Garden Badge Set


Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden - Golden Honey Bee Award


This second award represents taking action—in a big or small way—to make the world a better place. The award is named for Honey, the bee who leads the girls of the garden story to Amazing Daisy and the Daisy Flower Garden. Girls earn the award as they complete a planting or growing project in their community. 


What We Did
  • Read "Chapter 5: Tamales, Tomatoes, and Worm Talk, Too" (pages 66-77) and "Chapter 6: A Friendly Message for Future Daisies" (pages 78-88) from Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden girls’ book. Completed associated questions and activities orally along the way.
  • Planted a country roadside iris bulb garden.

Tessa and her neighbor friend posed for a quick pic before setting to work on their iris bulb garden.
Tessa and her neighbor friend posed for a quick pic before setting to work on their iris bulb garden.

After Tessa's dad helped clear away weeds, the girls raked leaves to prepare a clean spot to plant their bulbs.
After Tessa's dad helped clear away weeds, the girls raked leaves to prepare a clean spot to plant their bulbs.

Tessa and her friend took turns planting fifty iris bulbs. I hope to return with them in the fall to plant daffodils.
Tessa and her friend took turns planting fifty iris bulbs. I hope to return with them in the fall to plant daffodils.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Medieval Times, Lesson 41

Age of Elizabeth

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Read-Alouds - 2013-14

While we have read to Tessa from birth, it's pretty much always been picture books...lot and lots of picture books. Not that that's bad. Because it's not. It's just that ever since I read The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, I've been thinking about adding longer, more literary read-alouds to our repertoire. I think I have finally adequately motivated myself to do it. It's not that I have a problem reading longer selections. Heck, I do it all of time during school. And, it's not that Tessa won't sit and listen. The issue is time. Between schooling, planning school, keeping our blog up to date, creating curriculum helps to sell on Currclick and ensuring that the house doesn't fall in around us, I simply don't have a lot of any time left. That's means extra reading gets pushed off to bedtime. Since I'm a read-to-the-end-of-the-chapter kind of girl, I know that if I don't stay motivated, I won't be able to muster up the energy required to read an entire chapter from a longer book so late at night. That's why I'm posting our read-alouds here...to keep me going.

My goal is to read through one major read-aloud a month. Since we are studying Medieval Times this year, most will probably revolve around that theme. However, I'm going to try to squeeze in some shorter, non-related read-alouds here and there.


April 2014

Tessa adored The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Having never read the original myself before, I was surprised (and delighted) by the vast differences between it and the movie (which, I hate). The book is so good! The superb Kindle version linked below includes original color illustrations by W. W. Denslow, which are simply charming. I highly recommend it. It's cheap too!

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum


March 2014

The style and unfamiliar Polynesian vocabulary made this book a bit challenging to read aloud, but Tessa and I both enjoyed it. Tessa's a sucker for animal sidekicks, so she particularly enjoyed the pictures with Uri in them. It was a bit like a game of Eye Spy for her. Be sure to select a copy that features Sperry's original art.

Call It Courage - Armstrong Sperry



February 2014

Another book I was just so-so about. Actually, I didn't really care for it at all. There never seemed to be much going on. Luckily, it was a short and easy read...aside from having my tongue twist up saying the names of the three cats every other sentence. Of course, Tessa liked the book and begged me to read it on the nights I wanted to skip out. She enjoyed the fair number of pictures too. Although this book is set in 1420 Spain, I think the educational value is on the limited side.

By the way, this title is out-of-print, so I had to track down a used copy.

Three Swords for Granada - Walter Dean Myers

Three Swords for Granada - Walter Dean Myers


January 2014

I'm learning that Tessa loves the classics. Another winner in her book!

Robin Hood - Paul Creswick

Robin Hood - Paul Creswick


December 2013

Meh, we didn't love it (or maybe it was just me who didn't). Tessa liked it enough that she wanted me to read it even when I didn't feel like it. At least she's been exposed to the story.

Ivanhoe - Marianna Mayer

Ivanhoe - Marianna Mayer


November 2013

Loved, loved, loved Odd and the Frost Giants!! Highly recommend.

Odd and the Frost Giants - Neil Gaiman

Odd and the Frost Giants - Neil Gaiman


October 2013

As far as read-alouds go, The Adventures of Thor the Thunder God is quite short. It took us only three nights to get through. Traditionally, I would have read something like this during school time, but we just didn't have time. The stories and illustrations are wonderful. Tessa adored it. I highly recommend it!

The Adventures of Thor the Thunder God - Lise Lunge-Larsen



Viking Adventure is another book that's hard to come by on the cheap. (I'm not a fan of paying $8+ for a paperback copy of what is essentially a chapter book.) Luckily, I churned up a 1950-60's edition at PaperbackSwap. Viking Adventure is written at about a second grade level, I would say, so it's a quick-and-easy read. It's a good little introduction to the Viking world. I like that it aligns nicely with information from our history spine. Tessa is enjoying it.

Viking Adventure - Clyde Robert Bulla

Viking Adventure - Clyde Robert Bulla


Castle Diary is nearly impossible to find new, particularly if you want it in a timely manner. Amazon currently has a 1-2 month estimate for the ship date. It was out-of-stock everywhere else I checked. I finally found a place to order it, then received an order cancellation notice due to insufficient stock. Oh sure, you can buy a "good" used copy for about the cost of a new one, but who wants to do that? After well over a month on our library's wait list, our turn finally popped up. I would have rather read it at a more appropriate point in our study of Medieval Times, but I didn't want to chance turning it down. Moral of my story? Start looking early, if you want this book. And, if you come across it used for cheap, grab it!

I decided to read only the story part of the book to Tessa (the end is a mini encyclopedia of the main character's time), which was only about 60 pages long. It's written with a Medieval lilt, so it was a little tongue-twisting at times. I wasn't sure Tessa was catching it all, but she seemed to really enjoy it. The numerous quirky pictures spread throughout the version we read were a fun touch.

A quick heads-up...there was an instance of light profanity in the book. I have no idea why the author included it, but be ready to swap out the h-e-double-hockey-sticks word for something more palatable. I think there is also a not-so-politically-correct reference to a donkey as well, if memory serves.

Castle Diary - Richard Platt

Castle Diary - Richard Platt


September 2013

The Minstrel in the Tower was recommended to me by several people. Tessa enjoyed it, but I thought it was just eh. It moved quickly, lacked a detailed plot and didn't feel wholly authentic. Then again, I can't be too hard on it...it's technically an early reader, and age-appropriate books set in the Middle Ages are hard to come by. Overall, it was a quick read and a decent first introduction to the time.

The Minstrel in the Tower - Gloria Skurzynski

The Minstrel in the Tower - Gloria Skurzynski


August 2013

I decided to start with a sure winner. Plus, we already had it on our bookshelf. I had previously read the entire My First Little House Books picture book series (or, at least as many as our library had at the time) to Tessa, which she absolutely loved. She never tires of hearing about Laura. We started Little House in the Big Woods earlier this month and have about a third of it to go. I plan to finish it up this week.

Little House in the Big Woods - Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little House in the Big Woods - Laura Ingalls Wilder


Ongoing Read-Aloud

This one will take us a good while to get through, so I've listed it as an ongoing read-aloud. Tessa adores Bible stories, so I try to read through a different, quality Bible storybook ever so often. Each story only takes a few short minutes to read. Tessa and I both love all of the wonderful, detailed pictures. Most Bible storybooks suffer from stagnant, unimaginative graphics, but not this one!

The Action Bible - Doug Mauss

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Medieval Times, Lesson 40

The Reformation and Counter-Reformation

Tuesday

Monday, May 05, 2014

Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden - Amazing Daisy Award

It's Your World - Change It!: A Leadership Journey
Girl Scout Daisies

While waiting for the weather to warm up a wee bit more, we skipped over the Golden Honey Bee Award so Tessa could earn her Amazing Daisy Award. This one was pretty quick and easy. Tessa memorized the Girl Scout Promise months ago and had just a few baubles to work through with the Law. (PatchFun.com offers a really cute associated fun patch for learning the Law too!)

Daisy Flower Garden Badge Set


Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden - Amazing Daisy Award


This final award represents knowing—and living—the Promise and Law, just like Amazing Daisy. 


What We Did
  • Read "Chapter 3: Amazing Daisy and Her Flower Friends" (pages 32-45) and "Chapter 4: Flower Friends, Flower Needs" (pages 46-65) from Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden girls’ book. Completed associated questions and activities orally along the way.
  • Created Girl Scout Law pony bead necklace (similar to the one found at Pony Beads & More).
  • Practiced, and then recited Girl Scout Promise and Law from memory.

Tessa laced appropriately colored pony beads and alphabet beads onto plastic cord to represent the various lines of the Girl Scout Law. Afterward, we fashioned the cord into a necklace to help her memorize the Law.
Tessa laced appropriately colored pony beads and alphabet beads onto plastic cord to represent the various lines of the Girl Scout Law. Afterward, we fashioned the cord into a necklace to help her memorize the Law.

Tessa recited both the Girl Scout Promise and Law from memory several times to earn her Amazing Daisy Award.
Tessa recited both the Girl Scout Promise and Law from memory several times to earn her Amazing Daisy Award.

Growing Girls Scouting Helpers Logo
Looking for more Girl Scout Promise activities?

Check out my Garden Friends: Girl Scout Promise Practice Pages - Girl Scout Daisies & Brownies printable scouting helper.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Medieval Times, Lesson 39

Moguls (Mughals)

Wednesday

Thursday

* HO = History Odyssey