History Fair 2018


Every year, Lewie's elementary school runs a completely voluntary academic fair.  In first grade, it was a geography fair; in second grade, it was a science fair; and this year, it was a history fair.  At first, he joked with me and said he wanted to do his project on the history of Minecraft; however, when he knew I was not even considering the topic, he immediately selected Abraham Lincoln. 

I knew why he selected our 16th President.  First, we had read some interesting facts about him in the the book, Abe Lincoln at Last!  It was one of Lewie's favorite books from The Magic Tree House Series, so we set out to read it again.  However, we soon learned that Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce wrote a nonfiction companion book to Abe Lincoln at Last called the Magic Tree House Fact Tracker: Abraham Lincoln. We discussed the differences between fiction and nonfiction and then read the Fact Tracker book to learn more about his childhood, life, and presidency.  The book was a real page-turner.  In less than four days, we read it cover to cover wishing there was more.  As we know, President Lincoln's life abruptly ends after he is assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.  When Lewie typed out all his facts, he refused to use the assassin's name:  "I don't want to use his name, Mommy," he said to me rather surprisingly.  "He shouldn't become famous for what he did." 

I was amazed that my nine year-old was so perceptive.  "Okay, we don't have to mention his name," I replied.  "You're right.  He's not the one that's important."

We reread the Fact Tracker book once more to decide what details we wanted to mention, and then Lewie set out to type them.  Since Lewie has been learning to type with the Keyboarding Without Tears Program, he was pretty quick.  I helped him with spelling, and before long, we started formatting the text to make it large enough for his tri-fold display board.  I was so proud to say that he truly typed everything by himself--this was a long way from his handwritten facts last year!

We selected pictures to accompany the text, and the rest, shall we say, is history. (HA!)  Actually, after we made the board, we decided to make a short video, too.  I dressed Lewie in his soon-to-be First Communion outfit, and we put on an Abraham Lincoln beard and hat that we bought from Amazon.  Then, he read the Gettysburg Address.  Although this famous speech is relatively short (only ten sentences), the words are difficult.  Even after practicing it all weekend long, Lewie still struggled with some of the word pronunciation.  However, his mistakes were charming; they were representative of his nine year-old self--a snapshot in time that I will forever savor.


The final piece to the project was to teach Lewie how to cite References.  I showed him how to plug in information using the KnightCite Citation Service, and he soon learned how to format both the Fact Tracker book and the movie, Lincoln.  (The movie did show some Civil War violence, but on the whole, it gave Lewie some perspective on this period in history--their dress, their way of speaking, the White House, etc. etc.)

In all, we really enjoyed working on our project this year.  Lewie did a very good job "getting into character," and he learned how history can be fun!  I'm a little sad it's over; I think I'm going to continue seeking out books about Lincoln--what a fascinating life story!

The Wonder Basket


On Easter this year, I was both sad and thankful at the same time.  I was heartbroken because my aunt had to have surgery, which prevented her from coming to our normal Easter brunch, and my mom was in a car accident on Holy Thursday!  I was grateful, however, because despite the seriousness of the surgery and the car accident, both of them are okay and recovering.  Oddly, my mom didn't feel too much pain on Easter (which was just two days after the accident), but the pain did flare up about six days later.  She's been home recuperating, which will, unfortunately, take some time.

This year the Easter Bunny must have had mental telepathy because he created a Wonder basket.  Only a few days earlier, we finished reading the book, and now Lewie received two companion books and the movie.  His Easter basket, of course, had some chocolate treats and two Roblox gift cards, too, but the theme of this Easter was definitely Wonder.

The Easter Bunny pulled an April Fools' Day prank and hid the eggs over Grammy's house this year.


We're still waiting for the perfect time to watch this movie.  We want to give it our full attention.

So thankful my mom was with us to celebrate our annual Easter Brunch.

This Easter may have been "different" from the norm, but we still enjoyed a lovely time celebrating with our small family.  Lewie, of course, has started reading Auggie and Me and 365 Days of Wonder.  I'm so glad this Easter will go down as one that reminds us to love, appreciate, celebrate, and "choose kind."