Embracing a Healthy Family

Lanier Mansion State Historic Site Homeschool Visit

We recently visited the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site in Madison, Indiana to see what life in the 1840s was like. We arrived at the perfect time when school just returned to session and on a work day as we had our own personal tour guide. He was a former school teacher and was very knowledgeable and amiable. We learned a lot from him and rate the tour a 10. James F.D. Lanier was a very successful entrepreneur who resided in Madison which is a beautiful town in southern Indiana right on the Ohio River across from Kentucky. 

He was born in North Carolina but grew up in Kentucky until 1817 when his family moved to Madison. He studied law at Transylvania University and later became an assistant clerk for the Indiana Legislature. He would eventually become a clerk for the Indiana House of Representatives. During that tenure, he helped with the efforts to move the State Capitol from Corydon to Indianapolis in 1825. He later became a banker and president of the Bank of Indiana which is where his ability to build wealth and prominence began. In the 1830s, he jumped on board the railway craze and was involved with the state's first major rail line providing a connection between Indianapolis and Madison. In 1844, his mansion was completed but he didn't sit still long.

In 1851, he moved to New York and continued building wealth. By the time the American Civil War was causing a financial strain to the state, the then governor, Oliver P. Morton, requested a loan from Lanier of over one million dollars to ensure Indiana stayed a Union state. By 1870, the State repaid the debt. His son had taken over the mansion and turned it over to them in order to preserve its history and legacy.

Below are photographs from the mansion and grounds:

LST-325 - Only Operational Land Tank Carrier on US Waters in Evansville, Indiana

We recently visited the LST-325 carrier docked in Evansville, Indiana. The LSTs were utilized during WWII and were also made in Evansville. They made over a 160 land tank carriers and although this one was not made here, it provides visitors a glimpse into the past which is pretty exciting! This LST was utilized at Omaha Beach as part of D-Day which was extremely moving when getting to see where many brave men departed to never return again. I'm keeping the post short and will add more historical information later.

Also, if you are a M.A.S.H. fan, there is an actual jeep used on as a prop on the popular television show.

To learn more about the LST-325 or about the non-profit organization and how you can help, click the LST-325 link.

Here is a short fact about the LST-325 but please visit the official site to learn more about the history.

The LST-325 was launched on 27 October 1942 and commissioned on 1 February 1943, with Lieutenant Ira Ehrensall the commanding officer. On February 17, during her shakedown cruise, Lt. Ehrensall was transferred to the USS LST-391 and Ensign Clifford E. Mosier replaced him. Mosier would remain the ship's commanding officer until June 1945. At the completion of her shakedown cruise in and around Norfolk, Virginia the LST-325 sailed to New York, New York. From there the LST-325 left on 19 March for Oran, Algeria following a brief stop in Bermuda. 

Our Review of Eighth Grade Literature Guide Set by Memoria Press

One of the reasons I chose to homeschool is I want to be able to teach from a classical Christian education standpoint. I've been homeschooling for many years and have tried a variety of different homeschool curriculum even before joining the Crew which is how I have been introduced to Memoria Press. I was delighted to participate in the review for the Eighth Grade Literature Guide Set. This was an amazing comprehensive curriculum that provided some of the classics with accompanied literature guides such as Wind in the Willows Literature Guide, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Literature Guide, Treasure Island Literature Guide, and As You Like It Literature Guide. The premise behind the literature study guides is that they train the students to become active readers. Fortunately for me, my girls already love to read.

The curriculum, four literature guides with four corresponding novels to include teachers guides, works by utilizing spelling, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing skills. Each lesson contains a work study that helps to build the student's vocabulary. The comprehension questions helps to build a student's comfort and confidence in understanding what they read and the important part of what they read. This is vital for educational tests from my experience as they tend to always ask those type of questions. The composition gears them to write clearly and concise. The expectation is the child/student will complete each novel in approximately six or seven weeks.

For my review, I will cover Treasure Island a bit more thorough than the others with examples. Other items, such as Contents, Introductions, etc., that are the same across all Literature Guides, will be reviewed first. 

Teacher Guide

Teacher's Guide begins with a clear table of contents that helps to navigate quickly across chapters, discussion question keys, quizzes and final test with keys as well as an appendix of terms specific to the literature classic that Guide corresponds to. The Teacher's Guide provides helpful information on utilizing the Literature Guides with older or younger students. This is an active course for the teacher/parent to help the student progress through each lesson which I really enjoyed learning more along side my daughter. 

Student Study Guide

The Student Study Guide has the same table of contents and information on beginning the Literature Guide. There is an introduction of the author, Robert Louis Stevenson, that was very interesting and provided a nice beginning for answering the assignments.

The Guide contains one or more chapters per set of questions that appear across all the Literature Guides that include:

  • Reading Notes includes important aspects of the novel such as Jim Hawkins, the narrator of the story or the Captain Billy Bones who was the old seaman.
  • Vocabulary words are words or phrases obtained from the novel that will require the student to write out the meaning. The instructional states to encourage the student to say one synonym for each word as well.
  • Comprehension Questions are either written or can be completed orally if one would be better suited for your child/student. The task of writing helps to prepare the child/student to learn and think as well as write concisely.
  • Quotation and Discussion Questions can be utilized orally or written in the Student Study Guide. It provides an opportunity to encourage the child/student to think higher about the topic at hand. 
  • Enrichment activities include composition, copywork, dictation, research, mapping, drawing, poetry, and more.
  • Unit Review and Tests.

Treasure Island Literature Guide

The 89 page Student Guide provides lessons for the novel's 36 chapters. For Chapters 1 and 2 of Treasure Island, my daughter began working on the Student Study Guide questions after reading.

For Chapter 3, she continued working on her own which was nice she was able to complete her work with little supervision. We did discuss the answers and we worked on the Discussion questions orally.

There is an appendix to this Student Guide that provides a quick reference to the vocabulary words and other great information like parts of a ship and sails. The extra information that corresponds with the novel is a nice feature.

She tends to switch from room to room and floor to desk when completing her school work. She's gearing up to take the first quiz and did a good job.

The Wind in the Willows Literature Guide

The 53 page Student Guide covered the novel's 12 chapters. I just started this one with my other daughter as it seemed like a good place to start with her. Treasure Island seemed to be a little more difficult than The Wind in the Willows is what guided my decision. The novels chosen are lesser known to this generation and I think it's a great way to expand their breadth of literary works and writing styles. The questions and format is similar to Treasure Island's Literature Guide. Here is a sample from one of her pages and prior to sitting down and discussing her answers:

As was the Treasure Island assignments, Memoria Press does an excellent job with thought-provoking questions requiring the child/student to think and not just jot down what they remembered.

She is a budding author and tends to like literature programs where she can increase her knowledge and skill. She said she liked how the questions made her think deeper. Unfortunately, I didn't get to dive deeper into this classic as she decided late in the review cycle to want to try it out.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Literature Guide and 
As You Like It Literature Guide are set up like the other two Literature Guides with the question and other lesson activities. I plan to utilize all four with my one daughter and will also purchase extra Student Guides for each one so my other daughter can complete the course. I am a huge fan of Memoria Press and always look forward to their next course or curriculum we try.

Stay up to date with Memoria Press on the following social media platforms:  FacebookTwitterPinterestYouTube. and Instagram.

Overall, I highly recommend Memoria Press and the Eighth Grade Literature Guide Set.

Check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew, a division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, thought by clicking on the (photo) link below:

First to Tenth Grade Literature Guides {Memoria Press Reviews}

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