Rolypolies... by Benjamin R., age 6, narrated
It is a creature in my collection. They look like they are long but sometimes when they are scared they curl up into a ball and look like a pill. Some of its names are wood louse, sow bug, pill bug, rolypoly (this one I like to use), bibble bugs, tiggy hogs, and potato bugs. It has more than six legs (so it’s not an insect). One time doctors used rolypolies as medicine, a long time ago! Rolypolies are like bunnies because they eat their scat (scientific name for poop) when they don’t have any other food. They protect themselves with a hard shell on their backs, and they give off a stink like a skunk. They also carry their babies like a kangaroo in a pouch. They may have hundreds of babies in the pouch at the same time!

formula fer washin’ cloes
The original spelling of an authentic recipe handed down through the years

bild a fire in the back yard to heet kittle of rain water. set tubs so as smoke wan’t blow in yer eyes if wind is port. shave one hole cake soap from lye in bilin’ water. sort things out, make three piles; a pile of cullords and a pile of britches and rages. stur flour in cold water to smooth, thin down in bilin’ water. rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, then bile again in hot water-just to rench and starch. take white things out of kittle with broom stick, rench again, blow and starch again. spred too towels on grass. hand ole rags on fence posts. pore rench water on flower bed. crub porch with hot soup water. turn tubs unside down and scour bottoms. go put cleen dress-smoth hair with side combs, brew cup of tee, and set and rest and rock a spell. count blessings.
Submitted by Morgan M., age 14

What’s His Name?...
Names are very interesting. They can tell us something about the person, and perhaps tell us more about the parent who named them!

The most popular names given to babies in the state of Florida in 1995 was for boys: 1. Michael, 2. Christopher, 3. Joshua, 4. Brandon, 5. Austin, and 6. Matthew. For girls: 1. Ashley, 2. Jessica, 3. Sarah, 4. Emily, 5. Samantha, 6. Taylor. In a 1990 U.S. Census, the most popular boy’s name was James, and for girls, Mary. All pretty normal sounding, right?

The Florida Office of Vital Statistics, an agency that keeps track of births, deaths, and marriages, have collected unusual names over the years. Here’s one of the longest - Kekpalauliionapalihauuliuliokeeloolau David Kaapuawaokamehameha Jr. (Kekoa for short) Here are some others: Mac Aroni, John 3:16 Cook, Red Riding Hood Gammon, Ima Hogg, Crystal Chandelier, Sports Model Higginbotham, Cigar Stubbs, Sweet Tart, Eg Turner, & Tootsie Roll. But who would name a baby More Payne, Santa Claus, or Larceny? How about twins?: Shadrack and Meschak, (O.K.), Early and Curly, Nip and Tuck, or Pete and Repeat?

Frank N. Stein, can be found in Miami, Florida; Rockville, Maryland; San Diego, California; and Norman, Oklahoma. In a number of cities can be found: Sunny Day, Happy Day, Summer Day, and lots of June Days.

What does the Bible say about choosing a name? Proverbs 22:1 says: "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold." Sounds pretty important to us! Thanks to Mrs. Janet F., for much of the information here.

No More "Boring Hymns"...
A teenaged boy complained to his father that most of the church hymns they sang were boring to him - the tunes were boring and the words were meaningless. His father ended the discussion saying, "If you think you can write better hymns, why don’t you?" The young man wrote his first hymn that day in 1690; his name was Isaac Watts. He went on to write almost 350 hymns, including "Joy to the World."

Human Qualities Of Ants...
From a report by Josiah R., age 10
Drawings also by Josiah

Did you know that ants are like humans in many ways? For instance:

Some ants keep "cows," and even build tiny barns of leaves for them. The cows are aphids, or plant lice. The ants milk the cows by stroking them on their backs with their antennae, giving them a sweet, clear milk called honeydew.

The Amazon ants keep slaves. They get these slaves by going out on war parties and attack nearby nests. They carry away the pupae which grow to adults and become slaves. The Amazons have lost their ability to feed themselves and so depend on their slaves to feed them. If you took an Amazon ant and surrounded it with food it would starve unless a slave was there to feed it.

Leaf-cutter ants grow a garden of fungus resembling tiny cabbage heads, on leaves that the ants eat.

Army ants are the most vicious ants in the world, when protecting their nests, and killing other small creatures for food.

Some ants harvest seeds which they store in underground bins to eat later. If the seeds get wet the ants will bring them above ground to keep them from getting moldy. Amazingly they will bite off the ends of the seeds to keep them from sprouting. Harder jobs like cracking large seeds is given to the big soldier ants which crush them with their strong jaws.

Several kinds of ants keep pets, like a beetle with weird springy horns on its head. Scientists think that they are kept by the ants for the perfume they give off. They even pet them like real pets and carry them around for hours at a time.

Ant babies, soft legless larvae, are cared for by nurses in much the same way human babies are cared for. The larvae are put in underground chambers or nurseries, where if disturbed, they are moved from the nursery and taken to a safer spot. When the colony begins, the queen takes care of the larvae, and as the colony grows, workers (nurses) will care for them by washing and feeding them. In return for their work, the nurses get a fatty substance which the larvae give off, which tastes good to them.

Some ant babies have ridges at the bottom of their jaws and when rubbed together they give a sound like a crying baby.

All these things show to us what the Bible verse means..."Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise."

Suggested Reading:
The Junior Book of Insects &
The Strange Lives of Familiar Insects,
by Edwin Way Teale

By Trevor L., age 11

Have you ever wondered where the lullaby "Rock-a-bye-baby" came from?

It came from the Indians. Little Indian babies had cradles too. Their cradles were boards with deer skin pockets on them. The pocket was often lined with rabbit fur for comfort. An Indian mother would hang the cradle board on a low tree branch. When the wind blew, the cradle would rock.

On the tree top
When the wind blows
The cradle will rock
When the bough breaks
The cradle will fall
Down will come baby,
Bough, cradle, and all."

What A Cool Kid...
On Jan. 7, 1978, Emilio Palma became the first child ever born on the icy continent of Antarctica.

Bright Minds...
Galileo (1564-1642), was a person who liked to think and questioned things.He got in trouble when he questioned the authorities of his day, with his strange but true predictions about gravity, which got him fired from his teaching job at a university. Later, he committed a bigger thought-crime saying that the earth was not the center of the universe. He was imprisoned even though he was right.

Cambridge University, England: During an exam one day a bright young student popped up and asked the proctor to bring him Cakes and Ale. After the proctor denied him, the student declared, "I really must insist. I request and require that you bring me Cakes and Ale." At this point, the student produced a copy of the 400 year old Laws of Cambridge, written in Latin and still in effect, and pointed to the section which read " Gentlemen sitting examinations may request and require Cakes and Ale." The student ended up with Pepsi and a hamburger which was judged the modern equivalent of Cakes and Ale, and he sat there, taking his exam and happily slurped away. Three weeks later the student was fined five pounds for not wearing a sword to the examination. (Also in the Laws of Cambridge)

Lucky Guys...
In 1866 a 15 year old farm boy named Erasmus Jacobs found a diamond in a riverbank in South Africa, which began that country's famous diamond-mining industry.

In South Africa, 1905, the world's biggest diamond was found by Frederick Wells, a mine manager, who pried it out of a chunk of rock with his pocket knife. This diamond was as big as an orange, weighing 3,106 carats. (Almost 1 1/3 pounds!) In 1907, the uncut diamond was sent to King Edward VII of England for his birthday. To fool possible diamond thieves, a guarded empty box was sent to the king. The actual diamond was mailed in a plain box. A Dutch man, Mr. Asscher, was chosen to cut and polish the diamond. Again, an empty box guarded by the Navy was shipped to Holland, but the valuable diamond was carried in Mr. Asscher's pocket. The diamond was cut, in which the largest became known as the Star of Africa.


In Illinois, 2,500 kids showed up at a park one winter to throw "snowballs" at each other. What they threw were 130,000 soft, sweet ones. Organizers were trying to get in the Guinness Book of World Records for the "World's Largest Marshmallow Fight."

Mathematicians say there is no limit to how high numbers can go. This is called infinity, which means "without end." The largest number named so far (as we know) is the googul (GOO gul). It's a 1 followed by 100 zeros! The googul was named by the nine-year-old nephew of a mathematician.

You breathe about 10 million times a year.

In China, babies are said to be one year old the day they are born. (Actually they have been growing for almost that time inside their mothers).

In 1977, a nuclear power plant in Knoxville, Tennessee, had to close for 17 days because a worker's overshoe fell into an atomic reactor. This cost them $2.8 million.

Staying Healthy...

For thousands of years, some people believed that gems had special powers. Soldiers from Burma sewed rubies under their skin to keep them safe in battle. Also, ground-up diamonds were fed to sick people.

Gas masks are used to protect the wearer from poisonous or potentially harmful fumes, especially in emergency situations. In World War l & ll, horses were vital, and needed protection from gas warfare, so they were issued and wore gas masks just like the soldiers.

In 1978, a 13 year old boy in North Carolina, went to the doctor because his foot hurt. He learned there was a tooth growing out of it. "A rare case of genetic misdirection," said the doctor, and yanked the tooth.

Ketchup was once sold as medicine.

The Chinese used to pay their doctors to keep them well. They stopped paying if they got sick.

How Much is 1,000,000 Anyway?
by Josiah R., age 10

One day we decided to see how long it would take my brother Gideon, to count to one million. Using a stop watch we found it took him 1 minute to count quickly to 100. Then we figured it would take him 10 minutes to count to 1,000. Therefore it would take 10,000 minutes to count to one million, which is equal to 166 hours. We divided the 166 hours by 24 hours in a day, and came up with 6.94 days. That would be equivalent to one week (7 days).
So, if you were to count to 1,000,000 it would take you at least one whole week to do it! But before you try it, be sure to rest up and eat well, because you'll be counting day and night without sleeping or eating.

The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the well-spring of wisdom as a flowing brook. Proverbs 18:4

Figure it Out!
by The Reynolds Family

This morning we had yummy French toast. It was so delicious that Benjamin said he could eat a million of them. So Dad started figuring... at 23 slices per loaf, that would take 43,478¼ loaves of bread. One loaf is approximately ½ of a cubic foot of space. The inside of our house trailer is 5,470 cubic feet. We figured out that a million slices would take up 3.81 trailer loads full of bread. We didn't think Benjamin could do it.

Last week we discovered that if a person spent ½ hour in the bathroom per day, he would have spent a total of 1.66 years in there, by the age of 80.

Think about this. If you had to take a bus to a government school, one hour there and one hour home each day, 5 days a week; in your 12 years of schooling you will have spent 4,320 hours on the bus. That's almost ½ year! Aren't you glad you're a homeschooler?

If you are 12 years old and have spent a total of 2 hours per day at the dinner table, (½ hr. at breakfast, ½ hr. at lunch, and 1 hr. at the evening meal), you will have spent exactly 1 year of your life at the table, enjoying mom's delicious meals.

Do you ever wish mom would let you sleep-in in the morning? Good news, mom doesn't want to see you sleep your life away! For a 14 yr. old who sleeps an average of 8 hrs. a night, you will have slept 4 2/3 years of your life already.

How many hours a year do you spend helping someone, learning an important skill, or doing something worthwhile? We think it is important to spend our time wisely. Ephesians 5:15 says, "Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity..."

Goin' BUGgy submitted by In Sect

If a cockroach touches a human being, it runs off to safety and cleanses itself.

No wonder the grasshopper can jump so high! It has about 100 more muscles that a human being.

There are more creatures such as mites, yeast, and bacteria living on your skin than there are people living on earth.

Bees may buzz a lot, but you won't hear honeybees complaining...They're totally deaf!

The tick, a wingless insect, smells with its front legs.

The poisonous tarantula spider can live 2 years without food and 7 months without water.

          HOT Facts about Peppers by Joey S., age 8

Did you know that peppers are really fruit because they contain many seeds? Here are some facts about this fruit that will make you burn:

Native Americans of Panama protected themselves from sharks by trailing peppers behind their canoes.

In ancient Mexico, citizens used peppers as money to pay their taxes.

Habeneros peppers beat the heat of Jalepenos. Habeneros grow in the Caribbean countries. Peppers don't come much hotter.

Compared ounce by ounce, peppers have twice the vitamin C that oranges and other citrus fruits have.

After salt, chili peppers are the world's favorite spice!

You can make your own salsa if you grow your own peppers. Just ask my dad-he's growing 100 pepper plants!

"Pelican Smart" submitted by Stephen L., age 6

The Seri Indians, who live on an island in the Gulf of California, figured out a way to get pelicans to do their fishing for them. They captured a pelican and kept in on the beach. The other pelicans brought back so many fish for the captured bird that there was enough food for the pelican and Indians too!

Common Ground...

What do these famous people have in common? Presidents: George Washington, James Madison, John Quincy Adams, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln. Generals: George S. Patton, & Douglas MacArthur. Authors: Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie. Inventors: Wilber & Orville Wright, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Benjamin Franklin, Nicola Tesla. Artist: Leonardo da Vinci.

They have something in common with you too. They were all homeschooled!

It is said that President Lincoln's two favorite books were Aesop's Fables and the Bible, given to him by his mother.

The Wright Brothers who became the fathers of modern aviation were taught that hard work was a virtue, and to "never give up."

Abigail Adams, taught by her minister father, became the wife of John Adams, our second President. She was the mother and teacher of our sixth President.

He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. Proverbs 16:32

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"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10
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