4 Math & Science Lessons That Are Perfect for Homeschoolers

Feb 04

4 Math & Science Lessons That Are Perfect for Homeschoolers

Because homeschoolers are not confined to class schedules and times the way traditional students in public and private schools are, there is more time to extend math and science lessons and make them more engaging and fun. If you’re looking for some math and science lessons that are perfect for homeschoolers, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of my favorite, fun math and science lessons, and I think they’ll be a great fit for your kids. Two Math Lessons That Are Perfect for Homeschoolers  Egg Carton Addition Egg Carton Addition is the perfect activity for one or two early elementary homeschoolers. If you have one student, he will need an adult helper. If you have two students, they can play together. You will need an empty, clean egg carton, two marbles (or other egg section tokens), a marker, two pieces of scratch paper, pencils, and a bowl of dry beans. If you have a student who is doing well with addition, leave the egg carton intact, but if you have a student just beginning addition, cut the carton in half. Number each section, 1-6 or 1-12. Place the two marbles in the egg carton. Each player will take turns shaking the carton, writing the addition problem on his paper using the numbers in which the marbles landed, and completing the problem. The player with the highest sum after each player has taken a turn wins and takes a bean from the bowl. If a player gives an incorrect answer, he must return a bean to the bowl. In the event of a tie, both players take a bean from the bowl. Play until a player gets a predetermined number of beans. Figure Me Out! Homeschoolers love to create projects just as much as traditional students, and it’s nice to decorate the section of the home that is used for school in the same manner that teachers decorate their classrooms. Figure Me Out! is a math lesson that incorporates various mathematical operations, as the student creates a poster about herself with equations representing various aspects of her life. For example, she may decide to use multiplication to represent her age of 10 as 2×5. For this math...

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Music to Uplift and Inspire – Jupiter Theme

Jan 23

Music to Uplift and Inspire – Jupiter Theme

Kayson Brown and the American Heritage sponsored Lyceum Philharmonic Orchestra have released another moving music video.  My kids LOVE to listen to Lyceum Orchestra’s music, and consider it a special treat to watch their equally inspiring videos.  Jupiter’s Theme, can be found on their CD, “The Master.” A couple months ago I wrote a blog post and shared a link to their video for “I Need Thee Every Hour”, which is also found on, “The Master.” Kayson Brown, the Lyceum Philharmonic director, has a deep desire to lift others by sharing beautiful music.  He is creating a series of videos featuring the Lyceum Orchestra students, hoping to reach out to teens and others who need a lift.  I have the privilege of seeing Kayson a few times a week at the American Heritage School campus.  He is a genuinely good soul with an infectious smile.  He has a heart of gold and truly desires to bless the lives of others through music. Kayson told me that, “Our hope is that this video can be a refuge for our viewers during the storms of life. There’s something about this music that envelopes the senses and hides us from worries and cares. It’s an emotional escape that shelters and replenishes humanity. If you are struggling right now just know that music and Jesus Christ will always be there for you. When other sources fail these two never will.” Kayson also shared with me the backstory for this new video.  He said, “We hiked a symphony orchestra, timpani and all, down into a meadow on the backside of Mount Timpanogos during the peak of Fall colors. The camera crew recorded sunrise to sunset.  Bruce Wilson flew his state of the art drone over half of the mountain range looking for imagery to match the musical depth of Holst’s Thaxted theme.” “The Philharmonic performed the entire Planets by Holst not too long ago. Few musical moments can compete with the satisfying experience of performing that section of Jupiter.  The Philharmonic was putting together an album of sacred music at the time so I arranged this setting of the tune for that purpose. It combines the two worlds where the Philharmonic is most active...

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Resolve Today to Avoid the Path of Regret

Jan 10

Resolve Today to Avoid the Path of Regret

We all have regrets. It is said that the greatest fear is the fear of loss—the lost deal, the one that got away, that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Businesses use the fear of loss to encourage consumers to purchase things they probably wouldn’t have otherwise. The pain of regret follows loss, but it is most painful when it involves the truly important things in life—the things that are seen not by the eyes, but only by the heart, as Elder Uchtdorf explains. It is also said that when one door closes, another opens. Life is a continuous series of doors opening and closing, and at the opening of every door we have the opportunity to reflect, renew, recommit, and resolve to do things a little differently in order to avoid regret. For many, the New Year provides such an opportunity to take pause. As a family, this year we watched excerpts from Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s General Conference address from October 2012. This was a great way to set the tone. After watching the video, we took 30 minutes to independently consider and record a few ideas in connection to four questions that we feel are important (Resolve.pdf). As with most great traditions, food plays an important role. The “FHE” treat to this devotional is always going out to a favorite Thai restaurants seen in the picture above. Over dinner, each took turns sharing ideas and feelings, although somewhat disjointed between bites. This has come to be a cherished tradition in our family and sets the tone for each new year. Thankfully, because of a loving Heavenly Father and his perfect plan, the Savior’s atonement can somehow heal the emptiness and pain caused by regret. When our pain turns us to Him and as “we devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness, the less likely we will be on a path to regret” (Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Oct 2012). May this New Year be a new door to more happiness as we resolve to come closer to Christ. Sincerely, Peter, Amber, and...

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The Crisis, by Thomas Paine

Dec 23

The Crisis, by Thomas Paine

We invite you to read or re-read this wonderful pamphlet of the American Revolutionary War by Thomas Paine, originally published on December 23, 1776 (source of text: http://www.ushistory.org/paine/crisis/c-01.htm): THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but “to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER” and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God. Whether the independence of the continent was declared too soon, or delayed too long, I will not now enter into as an argument; my own simple opinion is, that had it been eight months earlier, it would have been much better. We did not make a proper use of last winter, neither could we, while we were in a dependent state. However, the fault, if it were one, was all our own [NOTE]; we have none to blame but ourselves. But no great deal is lost yet. All that Howe has been doing for this month past, is rather a ravage than a conquest, which the spirit of the Jerseys, a year ago, would have quickly repulsed, and which time and a little resolution will soon recover. I have as little superstition in me as any man living, but my secret opinion has ever been, and still is, that God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction, or leave them unsupportedly...

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History Book Recommendations—Great Christmas Gift Ideas

Dec 21

History Book Recommendations—Great Christmas Gift Ideas

Dear Friends, Are you seeking to increase your knowledge of American History? Do you wish to share a great history book with a family member this Christmas season? Consider these recommendations from Mr. Nicholas Gentile (see bio below): Colonial America:  David Hackett Fischer, Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989). The American Revolution:  Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, Enlarged ed. (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1992). The War of American Independence:  David Hackett Fischer, Washington’s Crossing (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004). Constitution (including the Bill of Rights):  Jack P. Greene, Peripheries and Center: Constitutional Development in the Extended Polities of the British Empire and the United States, 1607-1788 (Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press, 1986). Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1972). Jack N. Rakove, Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution (New York: Vintage Books, 1997). Gordon S. Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (New York: Vintage Books, 1993). French Revolution: William Doyle, Origins of the French Revolution, 3rd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999). Early Republic (including the War of 1812): Gordon S. Wood, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009). Antebellum America:  Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007). Civil War Era:  James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988. World War I: David M. Kennedy, Over Here: The First World War and American Society, 25th Anniversary ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004). Great Depression and World War II: David M. Kennedy, Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999). Mr. Gentile writes: “I hope you enjoy these books. They represent some of the very finest, most honored academic historiography in the past fifty years. They have given me hours upon hours of deep, thoughtful enjoyment and improvement. Like all books from a secular perspective, they contain worldly philosophies, heavenly truths, and, at times, a mixture of both. Judging everything in them against the light of the restored gospel...

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AHS Events for Local LDL Families!

Dec 10

AHS Events for Local LDL Families!

Starting today, we will begin inviting our Latter-day Learning families to many local American Heritage School events via specific Utah Facebook Groups (below). As you may know, Latter-day Learning is the worldwide outreach of American Heritage School, and throughout each year, our Utah campus hosts many wonderful dances, devotionals, concerts, plays, competitions, and other activities. We want as many to be included as possible! However, we also want to be sensitive about how we communicate with you regarding these events. Because AHS events are hosted at our campus in American Fork, Utah, we want related communication to go to families most likely to be able to participate. By joining any of the following Utah Facebook Private Groups, you can receive these announcements about upcoming, on-campus events, promotions, and opportunities. Of course you don’t need to be living in Utah to be a member of one of these Utah Facebook groups! December is a particularly exciting month, with the Christmas Sing, Teddy Bear Project (Dec. 17), and An American Heritage Christmas concert with our Youth Chorus, Lyceum Orchestra, and AHS student, Lexi Walker (Dec. 19). PLEASE JOIN ONE OF OUR LOCAL UTAH GROUPS NOW! Utah County Group Salt Lake County Group Northern Utah Group Southern Utah...

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Lexi Walker and Lyceum Philharmonic posted Mormon.org/Christmas 12 Days of Social #ASaviorIsBorn

Dec 04

Very exciting news! Our very own Lexi Walker and American Heritage Lyceum Philharmonic are being featured TODAY on Mormon.org as part of the LDS Church’s 12 Days of Social campaign! What a tremendous honor and blessing for American Heritage’s Lyceum Orchestra to be listed with others such as David Archuleta, Alex Boye, Studio C, and Lindsey Stirling, in this inspiring campaign. If you haven’t seen the video, it’s one of the most moving musical tributes to keeping Christ in Christmas that you will see or listen to all season. We highly recommend it and the Church’s new “A Savior is Born” video at the center of this campaign. Please like the videos, re-post them for friends to enjoy, and consider subscribing to the American Heritage Lyceum Philharmonic YouTube channel. Gratefully,...

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