This year has been so painfully polarizing for us in America. Masks or no masks? Lockdown or no lockdown? Protests or riots? Blue or Red?
Of course, I hold my own political opinion and have for the last decade or so, but with election day looming and only one President being declared, it's time for America to stop focusing on the political party and embrace the individual behind the belief.
We all fear, we all hope, we all bleed, and a particular political opinion doesn't degrade a human to a level any less than our own human fragility.
It's time to say, I voted! And, I'll be your friend regardless of who you vote for!
A Weekend in Warm Springs, GA
Warm Springs is a delightful little town south of Atlanta, Georgia. The mountain is famous for its warm springs which attracted Franklin Delano Roosevelt on his quest for a cure for his polio related paralysis.
The reason for our travel was to soak up as much Roosevelt-related history as we could. I adored our visit to Springwood back in March, and The Little White House had been on my "to-visit" check list for years!
Upon arrival, we purchased our tickets and walked through a well assembled museum, with a short opening video followed by hundreds of artifacts, including two of Roosevelt's cars. After, we walked through a path of state flags as a tribute to the late president.
My husband was thrilled to find an old version of the US Army flag
Next, we passed through security points that were erected for the President's safety and followed a path that lead to a small two room guest cabin and a separate two bedroom servant's quarters.
After touring the two outside buildings, we went into The Little White House through a ramp to the side door. The kitchen looked to be fully original, even including a spot on the wall where FDR's chef wrote the dates she had served his first and last meals to him,
We saw his secretary's small room and bathroom, his living and eating area, bedroom and Eleanor's separate room.
Below, is Roosevelt's bed.
After visiting Springwood, I was surprised at the quaint size of The Little White House. A park ranger informed us that both Eleanor and Sara objected to him purchasing the property at Warm Springs and Eleanor warned him Sara wouldn't give him another dime if he needed more for the project. I also felt a sense of finality there. Not death, or anything creepy, the rooms just represented where his book closed.
When our visit to the Little White House was complete, we enjoyed a great lunch break at Dinner's Ready by Chad. The food was deliciously southern, though I was able to stay gluten-free with their taco salad while the rest of the crew enjoyed chicken tenders and fries!
To finish up our Roosevelt tour of Warm Springs, we went to Dowdell's Knob, a favorite picnic spot of Roosevelt's. The view was beautiful- and has we been a few weeks later, I bet we would have seen some more fall foliage! Nevertheless, it was meaningful to spend some time enjoying the view and reflect on the time Franklin spent there. I bet he had much to ponder on that mountain top, and perhaps he thought of eternity as he visited it two days before his death.
All in all, our visit was wonderful- I'm thankful for our weekend and I hope you enjoyed the virtual tag-along with us!
Birthday celebrating time
It's birthday celebrating time in my house! We spent a beautiful weekend in Warm Springs, GA and next week we're off to Hilton Head, SC!
With so much going on, I'll leave you with a preview of our Warm Springs weekend post!
Have a great week!
Night Zookeeper is an online learning program based on the popular children's book series. Students will adventure through the Night Zookeeper’s magical world, learning creative writing skills, spelling, and many other tools to help then become excellent writers.
When we began exploring the program, my third and first-grader started by creating their characters. My homeschool room was pure giggles as they fiddled with the drawing tools and made some silly-looking characters. These characters essentially become the avatar throughout the program. This online program allows for interactions with others in comments and game competitions but is handled in a safe, effective Coppa compliant way. Teacher/Moderators give students feedback on their work and children are encouraged to complement other’s writings. Parents can easily monitor their children's work and interactions by logging into the Parents Dashboard, where each assignment and comment is laid out by date. The Parent Dashboard also provides students’ scores so parents can quickly identify areas a student is struggling in.
There's no shortage of activities for students to do, and new content seems to appear weekly! My students began playing different games and discovered neat writing prompts. Night Zookeeper hosts over 1,000 different games that focus on spelling, grammar, and sentence building. A favorite we found involved selected the word that was spelled correctly to cross a river of hot lava!
When a student is feeling creative, they can check out the “create” section, which offers a wide array of writing prompts. A few specific instructions are provided, and the rest of the words are left up to the student. Here, my son was challenged to compose a 40-word poem, use two adjectives, and use the term “persistence pays,” in it:
The “Lessons” feature provides structured, class-like learning. The lessons we watched began with a video and develop into a writing assignment. My students could choose between a Night Zookeeper lesson, which explained the concept of the story world, or as lessons that dives into animals. At the end of the lesson, it’s time for the student to demonstrate their comprehension by writing a report. This is accomplished in a dialogue format, which is a great step by step way to write a thorough recap of their learning. My third grader was asked to complete sentences to form his report, while the first-grade level was simpler and more material was provided through the story characters.
Overall, Night Zookeepers developed a mystical story world to engage young learners and help them develop their writing skills. It’s filled with great learning games, lessons, and creative prompts. Our time one Night Zookeepers challenged my son’s reading comprehension, helped build his parts of speech recognition- all while having fun! This program felt very unique in its online focus on creative writing. The interactive feedback from teachers was a helpful tool to build student’s confidence and guide them on the right- or shall I say “write” path! I’d recommend it to families looking for a magical journey into creative writing!
They're currently offering 50% off which you can access by clicking the image below.
Educational Deals on Amazon Prime
I love a good deal! And, I love fast and free next day delivery a la Amazon Prime! This week has been our first week getting back into the rhythm of homeschooling after our move, so I decided to surprise my kids with some fun activities for them to end their school day with. Since they feel like major scores, I decided I’d share them with you, friends!
For my 8 year old son, I found Giggleway Solar Power Science Kit.
I was apprehensive because we’ve tried kits before that are supposed to introduce kids to something like coding- and then the kit doesn’t work, mom and dad struggle to make sense of it, but the pieces are just plain wrong. THIS kit was AWESOME! My 8 year old was able to assemble a Solar Powered Windmill on his own, with little assistance from me, and he still has two more builds to complete.
The kit was $4 off, and there was a coupon for an additional percentage off so we paid $18 and it was well worth it!
My daughter loves to paint, and I’m eager to start a garden in our new home, so I ordered Dan & Darci Paint & Plant Flower Growing Kit
This kit was on sale for $24.00 (a $10 savings), and had an additional Amazon coupon to clip to save $7. It comes with everything that you need to grow marigolds, cosmos, and zinnias, plus paint to decorate the planter.
My daughter had a blast painting and planting- and I'm looking forward to some lovely flowers in our new warmer climate!
Last but certainly not least, I ordered a Paint by Sticker book for my 4 year old.
She loves stickers, and I thought this was a great educational tool to help her learn to recognize numbers while playing!
Have you scored any great deals on Amazon recently?
I'd love to hear about them in the comment section!
is a writer & tired homeschooling mom of five.