Monthly Archives: March 2015

2015 Homeschool Art Contest

Homeschool Art Contest!!! (2015)PHBART

I’m thrilled to announce I’m hosting my second annual, nation-wide Homeschool Art Contest on my Philadelphia Homeschool Blog!  Here’s the details:

For Who:  Any child currently being homeschooled (either traditional or virtual charter school) in the U.S. in grades K through 8.

How to Enter:  

1) Read and abide by the Contest Rules.  Please click here to obtain the rules: Art Contest Rules (doc) OR Art Contest Rules (pdf)

2.) Create a work of art according to the theme: “MUSIC”.  Your artwork can reflect instrumental music, vocal music, dance, listening to music, etc.  Your artwork should also meet these requirements:

  • Art work must reflect the theme “MUSIC“.
  • Any homeschooled student in grades K – 8 can participate.
  • Must be on 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper
  • Art work can be done in any medium (pencil, crayons, colored pencil, paint, markers, etc.)
  • Art work must be created from the student’s imagination or through direct observation.  (No copying!  See contest rules for details.)

3.) Fill out and mail in your entry form and art work.  Please click here to obtain the entry formEntry Form ART Contest (doc) OR Entry Form ART Contest  (pdf)

Deadline:  All entries must be post-marked by Saturday, April 25th, 2015.

Where to Send Art Work:  Please see “Art Contest Rules (doc) or Art Contest Rules  (pdf)” for details.

Categories:   Entries will be separated into 3 categories:

  • Grades K – 2
  • Grades 3 – 5
  • Grades 6 – 8

Prizes:  1st, 2nd, & 3rd prizes will be given for each category.

1) 1st prize:

2.) 2nd prize:

3.) 3rd prize:

All entrants: will receive a certificate for participating in the contest.

Winner Notification:  Winners will be notified by email and announced on the Philadelphia Homeschool blog by the middle of May, 2015

Judging:  See panel of judges listed below (following the sponsors).

Special Thanks to the Sponsors who helped make this contest possible!

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Artistic Pursuits: logo_v20 00

At Artistic Pursuits Inc., we believe every child can understand the concepts of art and enjoy the process of putting ideas and visual images on paper. We’re committed to the goal of helping children become visually aware of the wonderful world we live in, and be able to work in creative ways within this world. We offer parents and teachers a simple way to give children a quality art education that will prepare them to meet creative challenges in their future endeavors.  Children learn and love the freedom they have to select their subject, working from direct observation using quality art materials.

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The Old Schoolhouse Magazine:  ST-Main-900x900-1

Imagine the frustration you would feel if you couldn’t access the right tools for a job you were expected to do.  Do you ever feel that kind of frustration with homeschooling?  Just as a carpenter needs tools, you need the proper equipment in your teaching toolbox. At, you will find an abundance of inspiring lessons and helpful resources to fill your toolbox.  Do you need homeschool inspiration, support, or advice?  Discover, a FREE digital magazine. On the go?  Read TOS on your mobile device with FREE apps at  Need homeschooling resources? Order a free Homeschool Welcome Basket. Let TOS supply the tools you need to squelch your frustration and boost gratification!

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Our family has loved the Trailblazer books!  They make a great supplement to your history curriculum!

The award-winning TRAILBLAZERS by Dave & Neta Jackson are action-packed historical fiction novels introducing great Christian heroes. Each page- turning book portrays a significant period in a hero or heroine’s life and ministry as seen through the eyes of a young protagonist. A page in the front of each book explains exactly what is fiction and which events and characters are historical, and a “More About” chapter at the end provides a brief biographical overview of the hero’s life. They help kids learn about pioneer missionaries and other important Christians . . . while having fun doing it.

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Welcome to the Homeschool Curriculum store at NEST Learning! We understand Homeschoolers and provide them with homeschool curriculum and supplements including the NEST Animated New Testament, Animated Bible Stories and Animated Hero Classics series. We understand how important selecting the right homeschool curriculum is for your family, so we carry trusted homeschool curriculums like Alpha Omega, BJU Press, Learning Wrap-Ups, Rosetta Stone Homeschool, Saxon Math & Phonics, & Wordly Wise 3000. In addition, we offer supplemental tools, classroom supplies, educational toys and games.  Everything you and your family could need to help teach and instill strong character values in your children.
NFL logo-1.
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K Love:

K-LOVE is a pioneer in the non-commercial, listener supported Christian music format. With over 446 signals across the United States, K-LOVE reaches millions of listeners each week and strives to deepen their relationships with Christ. K-LOVE features positive and encouraging music 24/7. Through the support of listeners, K-LOVE is committed to improving local communities by building strong partnerships with churches and other organizations. You can listen to K-LOVE in Philadelphia at 106.9, on our free app, or online at

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Special Thanks also to the panel of judges who are helping to make this contest possible:
Georgia Franchetti:
Georgia Franchetti is a homeschooling mother of five.  She and her husband, Matt, met as children in a homeschool group and have been involved in the homeschooling community for most of their lives.  Georgia studied art at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, and studied costume design at Temple University and Penn State.  She has worked as a summer camp art instructor, mural painter, and seamstress.  Always eager to try new things, Georgia has made jewelry, dolls, prom dresses, quilts, and has recently been learning to crochet.  She currently teaches homeschool art classes from her home.
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Sara Klein: CAM00383 (768x1024)
Sara is a wife and homeschooling mother of three.  Sara received her BFA degree from Tyler School of Art, Temple University where she studied Jewelry, Metals and CAD-CAM.   Her professional life included stints as a CAD-CAM modeler, designer and prototype creator.   However, none of these things could adequately prepare her for the challenge of motherhood…or homeschooling!  Sara currently runs a Classical Homeschooling community, tutors SAT students, teaches Sunday school, sings on her worship team and tries to find time to take a shower.  She still finds art in the beauty of the everyday.
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Julia is an artist, wife, mother, homemaker, and Jesus-lover who has lived in Philadelphia for eleven years. She graduated from Tyler School of Art in 2006 and thrives on creativity in daily life. Her hobbies include writing, photography, handlettering, and spending time with her daughters. She and her husband blog very occasionally at

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Delmalyn Vaughn:delmalyn

Delmalyn LaBrake Vaughn has a BFA from Kutztown University with a concentration in Communication Design.  She has completed numerous art courses at Main Line Art Center and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  Delmalyn has exhibited work in community art shows in Phoenixville PA, Haverford PA and a juried show in Gwynedd Valley PA.  She also has participated in and contributed paintings to various volunteer community art projects for non-profit organizations in Philadelphia PA.   Oil, water color and acrylic are mediums of choice and she is always ready for any opportunity to spend time working in a studio with other painters !
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I am not a judge on this panel but will be working as facilitator and contest coordinator. Here’s a quick bio of me:
Gwen lives with her husband and 4 beautiful children in Philadelphia, PA, and has been homeschooling for over 10 years.   In addition to writing weekly in her blogs, Philadelphia Homeschool and U READ Thru History (a free online homeschool history curriculum), Gwen has written three homeschool science curricula and has been busy at work on her first children’s novel.   A committed Christian, Gwen seeks to exalt Christ in all of her work.
Homeschool Writing Contest Posted by Gwen Fredette on March 29th, 2015

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Week 12: Gettysburg


Read K – 3: Just a Few Words, Mr. Lincoln by Jean Fritz

4 – 5: Gettysburg: The Graphic Novel by C.M. Butzer

6 – 8: A Three-Minute Speech by Jennifer Armstrong


  • Who won most of the battles in the beginning of the Civil War, the North or the South? (South)
  • In what state did the battle of Gettysburg occur? (Pennsylvania)
  • About how many Southern soldiers were killed in the battle of Gettysburg? (20,000)
  • About how many Northern soldiers were killed? (23,000)
  • Who won the battle of Gettysburg? (the North)
  • Why did people decide to create a special cemetery in Gettysburg? (so many died there; to honor fallen soldiers)
  • Who was to be the special guest speaker that day? (Edward Everett)
  • Who was invited as an afterthought? (President Lincoln)
  • About how many people went to Gettysburg the day the cemetery was dedicated? (15,000 to 20,000 people)
  • How long did Mr. Everett speak? (2 hours)
  • How long did Abraham Lincoln speak (a few minutes)
  • Did Lincoln believe people liked his speech? (no)
  • What did Mr. Everett say about Lincoln’s speech? (The president had said more in 2 minutes than he said in 2 hours.)
  • How do you think people feel about his speech today? (considered to be one of the best speeches of all time)

Questions for Grades 4 – 8:

  • Who was the general in charge of the Southern army at the battle of Gettysburg? (Robert E. Lee)
  • Describe Lee’s reputation? (considered to be one of the greatest military commanders of his generation)
  • Who was the general in charge of the Northern army at the battle of Gettysburg? (George Meade)
  • Why did the Southern army have the disadvantage in this battle? (The Northern army had the high ground; it was easy to shoot the Southern army as they stormed cemetery ridge.)
  • Why was creating the cemetery so difficult? (so many thousands died; had to be buried quickly)

Questions for grades 7 – 8:

  • What supplies did the Confederate army desperately need and hope to find in Gettysburg? (shoes)
  • Did people live in Gettysburg before the battle? (yes)
  • Where did they go? (Some hid in their basements; Some ran to find safety elsewhere)
  • Did the battle of Gettysburg end the war? (no)
  • Why didn’t Meade pursue the Confederate army? (army was exhausted; so many dead and wounded to care for)
  • Why were the bodies decaying so quickly? (broiling July heat)
  • What did the townspeople do with the dead horses and mules? (burned them)
  • What made Lincoln’s speech so special? (He didn’t dedicate a cemetery; he dedicated the whole war to the pursuit of freedom and democracy.)


Activities K – 3: Coloring page Battle of Gettysburg:

4 – 5:  Complete the worksheet, “Understanding the Gettysburg Address” on page 4 of this pdf file:

6 – 8:  Complete the reading and worksheet on the Gettysburg Address by clicking on this link:  Also, complete the worksheet, “Understanding the Gettysburg Address” on page 4 of this pdf file:


Copyright March 25th, 2015 by Gwen Fredette



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Daily Life, Civil War

Week 11: Daily Life, Civil War


Read K – 3: If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War by Kay More (Read only pgs 20 – 37 & 50 – 58)

4 – 5: If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War by Kay More (whole book)

6 – 8: Growing Up in the Civil War by Duane Damon


  • Where were most Civil War battles fought, in the North or the South? (South)
  • T/F Most Blacks in the army were soldiers. (False – given other jobs to do within army)
  • T/F All boys who fought in the war were 18 or older. (False)
  • Who did work in the North when men joined the Union to fight as soldiers? (Women & children)
  • Who did work on plantations in the South when men joined the Confederacy to fight? (at first slaves, but then many left with Union army when it moved through the South; after the slaves left, women and children were left to do the work)
  • What happened to food prices during the war? (prices went higher; people had to eat less or work more hours to buy what they needed.)
  • Who was president of the Confederacy? (Jefferson Davis)

Question for Grades 6 – 8: What tragedy occurred in both the Lincoln family and the Davis family? (both experienced one of their sons dying)

Activities: K – 3: Coloring page Union Flag:
Coloring page Confederate Flag:
4 – 8: Using these sites for help:

  2. and

Do the following: (You will need a poster board for this assignment.)

1. First, print out pictures of the following presidents and major generals:

  • Lincoln (President, Union)
  • McClellan
  • Grant
  • Meade
  • Burnside
  • Sherman


  • Jefferson Davis( President, Confederacy)
  • Lee
  • Jackson
  • Bragg
  • Stuart

2.  Next, take a large poster board and divide it into 2 columns and 3 rows. At the top of the left half write “Union”. Next to this title put the picture of Abraham Lincoln and label it. At the top of the right half write “Confederacy”. Next to this title put the picture of Jefferson Davis and label it.

3.  Next, on the “Union” half of the board, on the second row place the pictures of McClellan & Grant, two important commanders of the Union army. On the third row on the left side place the photos of the other Union generals. Under each picture write the general’s name and the “Principal Battles” they presided over. (This information can be found on the same site where the photos are located.  Click on the general’s name below each picture to find out what battles they participated in.)

4.  Finally, do the same assignment on the “Confederacy” half of the board with the Confederate generals, placing general Robert E. Lee on the second row, above the other Confederate leaders.

Copyright March 20th, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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Emancipation Proclamation

Week 10: Emancipation Proclamation


Read K – 4: Juneteenth by Vaunda Nelson & Drew Nelson

5– 8: The Emancipation Proclamation by Charles Carey


  • What was the order that freed slaves in confederate states called? (The Emancipation Proclamation)
  • When was the order issued? (1863)
  • Did all the slaves hear about the order right away? Why?(No; slave masters did not want to tell them.)
  • How did slaves find out about the order? (Union troops told them as they moved through the South.)
  • What did many slaves do when they heard the order? (Laughed, cried, joined the Union army, looked for loved ones, moved away; many stayed on plantations because they had nowhere to go.)

Question for grades K – 4 only:

    • How long did it take Texan slaves to hear about the Emancipation Proclamation? (2 years)
    • Why is Juneteenth a special holiday in many states? (June 19th is the day that slaves in Texas were finally set free.  The special day eventually became known as Juneteenth, and as African American families moved to other states they began celebrating the special day other places. It is now a holiday in many states across the country.)

Questions for grades 5 – 8:

  • Did the Emancipation Proclamation free all of the slaves? (No)
  • Which slaves did the Emancipation Proclamation free? (slaves in rebellion against the Union: all states in the Confederacy except Tennessee)
  • Why did Southerners want to keep slaves? (work on Plantations)
  • How did most Northerners feel about slavery? (felt it was wrong)
  • Which slave states stayed in the Union? (Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, & Missouri)
  • What was originally the purpose of the Civil War? (keep Union together)
  • Why was Lincoln reluctant at first to free the slaves? (wanted to keep Union together; hoped Southern states would come back without battles; didn’t want to anger the Southern states or the border states that supported the Union)
  • What changed Lincoln’s mind? (Southern slaves were being used to help build a Confederate fort.)
  • Why did many slaves want to join the Union army? (to help bring freedom to the South)
  • How did Great Britain and France feel about slavery? (were against it)
  • In the beginning of the War Great Britain & France supported the South. Why? (needed cotton from the South)
  • When the Civil War turned into a war about slavery, how did Great Britain & France react? (stopped helping the South)
  • Why was it suggested that Lincoln wait to free the slaves? (North had not won any major battles; People might think Lincoln was freeing the slaves because he was afraid of losing the war.)
  • What state rejoined the Union because of the Emancipation Proclamation? (Tennessee)
  • How did Confederates react to the Emancipation? (hated it)
  • How did Northerners in slave states react? (didn’t like it; afraid Lincoln would free their slaves next)
  • How did Abolitionists react? (unhappy; wanted Lincoln to free ALL the slaves)
  • How did most Northerners react? (in favor of it; believed Lincoln handled things as well as he could)
  • How did Southern slaves react? ( very happy; thousands tried to escape)
  • How did Lincoln respond when he was asked to give up the Emancipation Proclamation? (He said, “Should I do so, I should deserve to be damned through all eternity.)
  • About how many former black slaves joined the army after the Emancipation? (200,000)
  • Which Amendment to the Constitution made slavery illegal everywhere? (13th)


Activities: K – 2: Draw your own picture of slaves hearing of the Emancipation Proclamation by Union Soldiers.
3 – 4: View this famous Civil War drawing by Thomas Nast:
Then answer these questions on a separate sheet of paper:

  1. Not everyone in America was happy about Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. How do you think the artist felt about it? Why?
  2. Do you think the artist thought Abraham Lincoln was a good president? Why or why not?
  3. This picture is really a collage of many pictures. Which one do you like the best? Why?
  4. What beings are in the clouds on the top left? What being is in the clouds on the top right? What do you think the artist is trying to communicate by showing these beings?

5 – 6: Read the information printed on this site about the Emancipation Proclamation:
Then answer questions 1- 10 from this site (see above) on a separate sheet of paper.
7 – 8: Emancipation Proclamation Analysis worksheet (pgs 4 – 6) & The Public Reacts Worksheet (pgs 11 – 14) on this site:

Copyright March 12, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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Battle of Ironclads

Week 9: Battle of the Ironclads


Read K – 6: The Monitor by Gare Thompson

7 – 8: Mr. Lincoln’s High-Tech War by Thomas B. Allen & Roger MacBride Allen (Read only: Chapter 6 “The Ironclads”)


  • What was the Union blockade or “Anaconda plan”? (Plan by the North to block all of the South’s ports so they could not receive needed supplies.)
  • What does an Anaconda do? (strangles victims)
  • Was the blockade working? (yes)
  • Why did the South want to build an ironclad warship? (could easily defeat wooden ships blocking their ports)
  • Where did the South get their ironclad warship? (Rebuilt the “Merrimac”, a northern warship, into their own southern warship, renamed the “Virginia”.)
  • How did the North respond when they heard the South was building an ironclad? (Began designing and building their own ironclad.)
  • Which ironclad got to the North’s naval blockade first? (The “Virginia”)
  • What effect did it have on the enemy ships? (Destroyed 2 ships)
  • Did wooden warships damage the Virginia? (no)
  • When did the “Monitor” arrive at the battle? (the next day)
  • How were the “Virginia” and the “Monitor” similar? (both ironclads; both had cannons)
  • How were they different? (Most of the “Monitor” was below the waterline, keeping it safe from enemy fire. Also, the “Monitor” had a rotating gun turret; it could turn in any direction regardless of what way the ship was facing. The Monitor was small.  The “Virginia” had a ram it used to destroy enemy ships. The Virginia was a huge ship. Its cannons were located on the ships’ sides, so it could only shoot correctly if it was facing the right direction.)
  • Were the two ironclads able to damage each other? (not much)
  • How did the battle of the ironclads change battles at sea? (Countries stopped building wooden warships.)
  • After the battle of the ironclads, was the North’s blockade broken? (No, the “Monitor” saved most of their ships.)
  • Why was the Virginia destroyed? (so it wouldn’t fall into enemy hands)
    Questions for Grades 7 – 8:
  • Why did the Union send the Monitor to the blockade before its sea trials were completed? (A freed slave working for one of the engineers of the Virginia heard about its progress and traveled north to let leaders know it would be finished soon.)
  • How was Lincoln involved in the recapture of Norfolk and Gosport Navy Yard? (Lincoln had come to visit McClellan’s base and found that there was no plan in place to recapture these Navy Yards. He decided to create a plan himself, and gave orders to the commander of the Monitor to ensure it was done.)


Activities: All Grades: Using this blank map of the United States from CLICK HERE , and this map of the Union and Confederacy: CLICK HERE  create your own Naval Blockade map similar to the one on page 8 of your text or the map on this site: by doing the following:

  1. Color all the Union States Blue
  2. Color all the Confederate states Grey.
  3. Draw triangles or ships around the perimeter of the Confederacy coastline to show where Union ships were likely located.

3 – 8:

  1. Print the Civil War Battles Chart from this site:
  2. Then use the information on the chart to complete this worksheet: Civil War Battles

Copyright March 5th, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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