The Cheyenne

 The Cheyenne were a tribe that lived in the Great Plains; which is now known as South Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, and Colorado. They had beliefs, ceremonies, and different languages just like us. I’m going to tell you about how the Cheyenne lived: how they made their houses and art, how they celebrated different ceremonies, and how they hunted for food.


Art was very important to the Cheyenne. They made their clothes out of smooth buffalo skin, rubbing it down buffalo brains to make it soft. When it was smooth, they would decorate it with beads and color it with nature’s paint. They would stir coal and water for black, and they would use flowers for other colors. Cheyenne artists are famous for their fine quill embroidery, native beading, pipestone carving, and pottery.


3ac7a78cf4618d989b7f393c2c3d27de-indian-beadwork-native-american-beadwork  Cheyenne pottery and beading.


The Cheyenne indians lived in little huts called tipis. The tipis were made with long poles that were thrust into the ground, and joined at the top. Buffalo skin was sewn together and wrapped tightly around the outside of the tipi. The husband would then paint the outside of the tipi, usually his guardian animal. The animal was believed to protect the tipi and the family inside of it.

This tipi has an eagle as the guardian animal.

Hunting was also important to the Cheyenne, and they took it very seriously. When the hunters of the tribe heard that there were buffalo nearby, they set off on their horses, weapons in hand. There were many ways to hunt buffalo, but they were all dangerous. One way of hunting was sneaking up on the buffalo. The hunters would dress up in buffalo skin, and shoot at the buffalo from inside the pack. This was dangerous mainly because the buffalo got scared easily; they were heavy creatures, and could trample the hunters under their giant hooves. Another way of hunting was running behind the pack and scaring them over a cliff. However, this only worked it the buffalo were near a cliff to begin with. Cheyenne indians didn’t only eat meat. They also ate berries, corn and wheat that they grew. The weapons that the Cheyenne made were very sophisticated for people that didn’t have many resources. They made arrowheads by chipping flint with rocks, and the body of the arrow by molding a stick when it was hot.

Cheyenne Arrow 

The Cheyenne had many ceremonies and rituals. Sun Dance was the most important to them. It was a re-creation ceremony of world renewal. The dancers were forbidden to drink while performing the dance. The ceremony was held at the start of spring, and it was believed to be an offering of thanks for the reawakening of nature after a long winter. Another ritual, The Vision Quest, was what the Cheyenne did when a boy reached maturity. They would send him off into the wilderness to search for his guardian animal. While on the quest, the boy couldn’t eat or drink anything. He would have a vision or a dream, where an animal would show up. Usually what they saw was an eagle, a buffalo, a deer, a fish, or a rabbit. If the boy didn’t have a vision or dream, and was getting to the point of starvation, he would come back to the tribe. It didn’t mean that he failed, he would just go back out into the wilderness when he was strong enough.

These indians dress up extravagantly for the Sun Dance.

The Cheyenne were smart and resourceful people. They were strong, and always found the good side to a problem. This may be how they survived in such harsh conditions. The Cheyenne made beautiful artwork, and found beauty all around them.




Brayan and Luana have been learning about cells, their parts and their functions.  They have learned to prepare slides and use a microscope.  They have worked together to design this YMCA as an analogy for a cell.  Each organelle is represented by one part of the community pool below.  Stay tuned for the 3D model coming soon!

ymca-cell-planLockers are a place for storage. They are the vacuoles.

The bathroom has toilets to break down waste and bacteria they are the Lysosome.

The people are little grains floating around inside the YMCA (the cell) and on the hallways (Rough ER) where proteins are  made. They are the Ribosomes.

The wall is the protective outside layer of the YMCA that lets some things in and keeps others out. It’s the Plasma Membrane.

The mitochondria breaks down sugar, and the Juice Bar uses the sugar to make energy for the swimmers.

Don’t run when you get to the pool! Its cytoplasm might make you slip.

The janitor’s closet packages things to leave the cell. He calls his closet Golgi Apparatus.

The main office has Mr. Nucleus who is the boss and also the brain of the office.

The office wall surrounds the office and controls who goes in and out just like the nuclear membrane does in a cell.

My Reflections

41a2t1ia70l-_ac_ul320_sr208320_I believe that Jesus is God. I have believed this since I was a little girl. Sometimes we have to ask ourselves, what did Jesus think of himself? Did he think he was God? The Messiah? Was He just a crazy guy that claimed he was God? Lee Strobel’s Case For Christ has helped me answer some of these questions.

Did Jesus Really Think He Was God?
The fact that Jesus claimed to be God doesn’t necessarily mean that was God. There are so many Bible verses in which Jesus claims to be God or other people say that Jesus is God that a hard to deny he was telling the truth. Also, there’s the fact that Jesus matches up with the identity of Christ as predicted in the Old Testament and he was the only person known to ever come back to life. No ordinary person can come back to life.

God can forgive sins. According to the Bible, God is the only one in charge of forgiving sins. When King David committed adultery and then arranged the death of the woman’s husband, he said to God, “Against you, you only, have I sinned” (Psalm 51:4). David recognized that although he had hurt people, in the end he had sinned against God, and he needed God to forgive him. Jesus forgave sins in Mark 2:1-12. One of the most striking- and offensive, to many people-things that Jesus did was forgive sins. You can read other ways that Jesus matched up with the identity of God in Lee Strobel’s Case For Christ. There was a point in my life where I didn’t know who I should ask forgiveness from. But now that I’m older and go to church, I understand the only person I can ask forgiveness from is God.

Did Jesus Fake His Death?
Before I read Lee Strobel’s Chase For Christ, I believed that Jesus had faked his death. And even if he hadn’t faked his death, how would he have come back to life? As I read the book, I realized, how could he have actually faked his death?

Before Jesus was hung on the cross, he was whipped. Now whipping doesn’t necessarily kill a person. But if you are whipped with braided metal thongs that had metal balls woven into them, that can be pretty damaging. The whip also had pieces of bone that would cut into the flesh. Whipping usually consisted of 39 lashes but a soldier would inflict more depending on his mood.  I was moved by Jesus’ obedience and how very painful it was for him.  Here are some details about crucifixion that affected me deeply.

Nearly all the pictures of Jesus on the cross show the nails going through his palms. Probably because the Bible mentioned nail marks on Jesus’ hands (John 20:25). But actually, the Romans drove the spikes into the victim’s wrists (which was considered part of the hand). The bones in the hand aren’t strong enough to hold the weight of the body if they were on the cross. The nails would have shredded right through the palms, and the victim would have fallen off the cross

Once the person is hanging in the vertical position crucifixion is an agonizingly slow death. In order to exhale, the person would have to push up on his feet. When he did that the nails would tear through the feet until they locked up against the anklebones. After he managed to exhale, the person would then be able to relax down and then take another breath in. Again he would have to push up to exhale. This would go on and on until complete exhaustion would take over and the person wouldn’t be able to push up to breathe anymore. As the person’s breathing slowed down, the lack of oxygen would lead to an erratic heartbeat and eventually cardiac arrest.
(p. 86-87, Case for Christ).

I think Jesus knew that he had to die. He knew all the pain that he would have to go through. I love that Jesus never backed own and said “You know what, I don’t really want to die, so just let me go and I will never claim to be God again.” Instead, he took on our sins and died for us. What about you, do you still think Jesus faked his death?

Can a Dead Man Come Back to Life?
The answer to this question is no. A dead person cannot come back to life. Then why did Jesus? Because Jesus is God and God can do anything. Jesus matches the identity of God. An ordinary dead man cannot come back to life. Jesus came back to life because he was not an ordinary man he was God.  And since Jesus is God and what he says is true, I know that he loves me as much as he says, “he has my best interest at heart.  That means I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by committing myself to him” (p. 112, Case for Christ).



Take our Polls


We are wrapping up a multidisciplinary unit that aims to answer the question “How does a person and a nation choose a leader?”  Essentially, we’ve been studying American government and the electoral process alongside some work on character development and analysis.  My smart students have really gotten enthusiastic about politics and the presidential election.

Before we tie everything up for this unit, I wanted to impress upon two young citizens the importance of seeking wise counsel and valuing the opinions of others.  To that end, we hope that you will participate in (and share) the following polls they have developed.

Luana’s poll about your reaction to the 2016 Presidential Election:

Brayan’s poll about the Electoral College:

Happy Healthy and Safe

If I were president I would support gay rights, I would also support gun control. Lastly I would make sure that everyone had equal access to health care.

If I were president I would support gay rights by passing a law that said anyone should be able to marry who they want. It’s not right when other people judge others by which gender they are attracted to. Everyone is created equally but it still makes me sad that some people can’t accept others for who they are. We should be able to support and love each other, not fight against and hate one another.

I would also make sure that guns are in the right hands. I would make sure that people that are dangerous or mentally ill do not have guns. I would have a company to make guns and keep it in lock down all the time. You could only get in if you had a special card. I would put a tracking device on the guns so if someone decided they wanted to steal the gun I could track it down. And if that person decided on taking the tracking device off, an alarm would go off.

a happy healthy and safe family

The last issue I would support if I were president would be to make sure that everyone had equal access to health care. For people that are poor or can’t afford health care, I would have an organization so that they could be able to send their kids to a hospital or frequent check ups without paying if they needed it. I would start a fundraising event because someone has to pay to send them to the doctors. Families wont have to pay, if they can’t, but other people can, if they will.

In conclusion, I think everyone should be happy, healthy and safe. No one should have to protect his or her family from people that are unsafe and untrustworthy. No one should base their relationship on the way others feel about him or her. Everyone should be able to have health care. No one should have to struggle to send their kids to check ups. Our nation would be safer. No one would have to live in fright. No one would have to hide their identity.People should be able like who they want. Kids would be healthier if their parents could send their kids without having to pay something they can’t afford.



best-friendsKaterina sat at the dinner table looking at her cheerios. Her mom came into the dinning room and sat down heavily. Her stomach was getting bigger every week. “I’m not feeling very well today.” Her mom said.

“I can see that.” Katerina said. She took her cheerios and dumped them in the sink. She ate a banana instead.

“I can’t drive you to your first day at school.” Her mom said.

“Oh,” Kat said with disappointment in her voice.

“That’s okay.” Anger started to bubble up inside of her.  “I can see that you don’t care enough about me, but it’s okay, I’m used to it by now.”

“Honey, don’t say that.” Her mom said caringly.

“Whatever.” Kat said rolling her eyes. She ran out of the house and to her bus stop. She got there just in time. Kat clambered on and found an empty seat.

“Here goes nothing.” Kat said to herself. The bus snorted and they were on their way to school.


“Is anyone going to sit here?” A small girl pointed to the seat next to Kat.

“No.” Kat crossed her arms. The girl plopped herself down on the seat.

“Hello, my name is Fiona Merchander. I just moved in a couple blocks down  from you.” Fiona introduced herself.

“Uh, does it look like I care?” Kat asked.


“Then stop talking!” Kat said looking out the window.

“You are so funny!” Fiona laughed out loud. Fiona slapped Kat on the back.

“I’m from Nebraska by the way.” Fiona kept talking.

Kat rolled her eyes and looked right at Fiona. She noticed Fiona’s wide brown  eyes and curly blond hair that was tied back into a neat bun, it was held in place with big bright colorful clips. She had on rainbow socks, yellow leggings, a navy blue skirt, a red shirt and the ugliest green sweater Kat had ever seen.

“Anything else you want to say?” Kat ordered.

“Well since you asked so nicely, Fiona said in a cheery voice, “I have seven brothers, two cats, five fish and no sisters. Fiona took a big gulp of air and continued, “I love soccer, I play cello, I love cookies and my favorite singer is Beyonce. I also like Elvis. I am 11 years old and a little young to be in 7th grade but that’s okay ‘cause even If I don’t pass 7th grade, we are all achievers!” Fiona said pumping her fists up in the air. Several people looked at her and pointed.

“What are you, two?” Kat said embarrassed.

“No, I’m eleven didn’t you just hear me say that?” Fiona asked with a big grin on her face.

“Anyway,” she continued, “I love fall ’cause there are so many pretty colors, my favorite movie is Alice in Wonderland and my favorite foods are pasta, pizza, chicken, and beets. I also like pink. Fiona looked at Kat and smiled.

“What about you, what do you love?” Fiona asked Kat excitedly.

“Well, Kat said, for starters I hate pink, I hate foods that are green and yellow, I hate music unless its punk/rock, I hate babies and I don’t like 7:30 to 3:45!” Kat finished with a big sigh.

“Why don’t you like 7:30 to 3:45?” Fiona asked with really big eyes.

“Duh, school hours, stupid!” Kat said.

“Oh, okay.” Fiona said in her most cheery voice as though she didn’t mind being called stupid.

“Oh right, Kat remembered, I’m also in 7th grade, I’m 12, I hate summer and everyone calls me Kat not Katarina. If you call me Katarina it will be very bad for your health.” Kat finished, sticking her fist under Fiona’s nose.

“Great!” Fiona exclaimed, not seeming to care that she had just been threatened. Just then, they got to the school parking lot. Fiona hopped out of the bus, while Kat glumly followed. Fiona found her class and was pleased to find that Kat was already seated and taking out her black notebooks.

“Hello Katarina!” Fiona shouted from across the room.

“Here goes nothing.” Kat thought as she slumped in her seat.


The first few months of school went by fast. Kat decided that Fiona was alright. She still didn’t like the way Fiona got exited about everything. Fiona learned that she should go along with everything that Kat said because she wanted Kat as happy as she always was. It was a cool morning.  Kat was complaining about the coolness she told her mom was scorching heat. Fiona decided to get on her bike and go couple blocks down the road to Kat’s house. When she got there Kat made Fiona drink lemonade with her on the porch as they talked about school.

“I’m really exited about the friend quiz we are going to take on Monday.” Fiona said happily. “I think I’ll write about you, who will you write about?” Fiona asked Kat.

“Nobody is friends with one another in room 9!” Kat told Fiona. “Everyone in room 9 doesn’t know how to interact right and with this hideous weather how can anyone make friends?” Kat said with a loud wail.

“You could write about me.” Fiona said excitedly.

“Whatever.” Kat said with a sigh.

“Ooookay!” Fiona said with a huge smile.

“But this heat is agonizing!” Kat stated. Fiona learned that Kat always exaggerated everything so she nodded and smiled. Even though it was the coolest day since the Fall.

“Ugh,” Kat said, “look at all the ugly leaves, they all stick to each other.”

“Um, it did rain yesterday, Kat.” Fiona was careful to call her Kat and not Katarina. She had learned this the hard way. She still had a bruise under her left eye from the last time she called her friend Katarina.

“Oh, right, I forgot.” Kat said with a shrug.

“You should really go home.” Kat said.

“Why?” Fiona asked.

“Because in this heat you could get sunspots on your skin.” Kat said with wide eyes.

“What are sunspots?” Fiona asked, unsure if she should believe what Kat said. Kat often said things that didn’t make sense or were untrue so that she could sound smart and sophisticated.

“Why do you always question me, Fi?” Kat asked with a sigh.

“I don’t know,” Fiona lied. “I’ll go home then.” Fiona said. She stood up and hopped down the porch steps. She skipped to her bike and got on. She clipped on her pink pony helmet.

“Bye Kat!” She shouted over her shoulder. Kat rolled her eyes and went inside. She saw her little brother Toby, who was born on her first day of school, try to stand up. She passed by him, looked to see if anyone was around and roughly pushed him over. She bounded up the stairs while he wailed behind her. She heard her mother run to see what was the matter.

“Katarina Mia Jackson, get down here this minute!” Her mother screamed. Kat plopped herself down on her bed and closed her eyes.

“Whatever.” She thought.


“Kat, may I talk to you?” Kat’s mom peeked in her room. Kat was getting ready for school that morning. She just needed her backpack.

“Sure, come in.” she said with a heavy sigh and eye roll that she made sure her mom saw.

“Honey, uh, there is some bad news that I, uh, have for you. How about we, umm, sit down. Kat looked for a reason to argue. Not finding one she sat down heavily.

“So, yesterday, there was an accident that happened.”

“To who?” Kat asked, tension growing inside her.

“Um, your friend Fiona.”

“What happened?” Kat said breathlessly.

“She was riding home on her bike yesterday when, uh, a car hit her. It was all an accident, sweetheart.” Kat stood up. She couldn’t hold herself up and fell to the floor.

“Are you okay, sweetheart?” her mom asked cautiously.

“Yeah, I’m okay.” Kat looked up at her mom.

“Are you sure, I totally understand if you want to stay home and get yourself together.” Her mom said caringly, putting a hand on her shoulder.

“No, I have to go to school!” Kat almost shouted at her mom.

“Really?” her mom raised an eyebrow.

“Yes, I can’t miss the test, I have to do it, for Fiona.” She whispered her lost friend’s name.

“Okay, honey. I understand.”

“No you don’t.” Kat said forcefully. “Just drive me to school.” She said a little quieter. She picked up her backpack and walked out of the room. It was a quiet ride to school, when she got there she didn’t say goodbye to her mom, she was determined to get to class. She calmly walked across the playground and into her class. She felt all her classmates’ eyes on her but she didn’t care. She sat down and looked down at the first question on the paper. She thought about Fiona, her best friend, and started the friend quiz.


The first question asked, best friend’s name and eye color. Kat wrote Fiona, a heart to dot the i, and Beautiful Brown for eye color. The second question asked, best friend’s favorite thing(s). Kat smiled and wrote down, bright colors, ponies, Beyonce, Elvis, cello and soccer. The third asked, best friend favorite foods. Kat wrote pizza, pasta, cookies, chicken and beets. The fourth asked, Friends family/pets. Kat wrote, seven brothers five fish and two cats. The fifth asked, favorite movie. Kat wrote Alice in Wonderland. The sixth question asked, best friends favorite color, Kat wrote pink with a smile.The last question asked, best friend’s favorite Season. Kat thought hard then finally wrote Fall. She handed in the quiz and sat back down. She went the whole day with a grin on her face. When the bell rang, the teacher called Kat to the front of the room. Kat slowly stood up and walk to the front of the class.

“Kat, I would like to know how you got all the questions right on the Friend Quiz.” Her teacher said with a grin.

“Well, lets just say, my best friend talks a lot!” Kat said as she left the room. She looked back at her puzzled teacher and smiled.


When Kat got on the bus she sat down and looked at her quiz booklet. She found Fiona’s paper that said in big swirly letters, My Favorite Things. She remembered that all the kids in room 9 had to write down all their favorite things on the first day of school, for the quiz Kat just took. She matched her answers with Fiona’s paper. All correct, just like her teacher said. Deep inside she smiled as she thought of Fiona and all the things she told Kat about herself on their first day of school. When Kat go home, she went inside and saw her little brother try to stand up. She walked over to him and gave him a hand. he walked across the room and looked up at Kat with a huge, proud smile.

“Good job!” She cooed in his ear as she picked him up and put him in his high chair. She looked over and saw her 7 year old sister, Jessica, accidentally pop the head of her barbie doll. She shrieked and ran to her mom. Kat ran upstairs and found the doll she had kept from when she was 7. She brought it downstairs and handed it to Jessica.

“Take care of her.” Kat said gently. Jessica hugged the doll close to her.

“Thanks Kat!” she said excitedly. Kat went into the other room and found her 2 year old sister, Denice, trying to tie her hair. So far it was just a tangle. Kat giggled then brushed  her little sisters hair and tied it in little pigtails. she set her sister down and went into the dinning room where she found her father and mother.

“Daddy!” She cried throwing her arms around him.

“How come you’re home early?” Jessica asked. Her new doll in her arms.

“Because we have something important to tell you guys.” He said picking up Tony. While their mom picked up Denice.

“What?” Jessica said with wide eyes. Kat had a feeling she already knew.

“Im pregnant!” Her mom said excitedly. Jessica screamed and threw her little arms around her mother.

“And the two oldest girl get to pick the new baby’s name!” he said throwing Tony up in the air.

“How about Lulu!?” Jessica danced around the room screaming.

“Kat, what do you think?” Kat’s mom asked.

“How about, Lulu Fiona?” Kat said with a grin.

“I like it.” their dad said.

“Lulu Fiona it is.” their mom said with a knowing smile.



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Political Infographic

We’ve been studying politics in our little homeschool and we’ve all learned a lot about how an individual and a nation elect a new leader.

So far, we’ve covered voting rights and responsibilities, character analysis and candidate evaluation, the electoral process, how ballots work, campaign issues and the political party system.  We’ve watched debates, read about current events and researched using books, articles, websites and videos.  Today’s assignment became what you see below:  creation of an infographic spelling out some of the main distinctions between our country’s two main political parties’ platforms.  I’m proud of my two smart students for pulling together research from various sources to create this graphic.  They worked together as a team to develop the content and contracted me to help with design and technical services (though the website made it very simple).


Click the following link for a higher resolution image:

In case you can’t tell from the high quality work that’s been going up on our blog lately, homeschool totally works for us right now!  We’re loving how flexible it can be.  Case in point, this assignment was originally designed for the kids to interview each other about political parties and then write a newspaper article-style post explaining about the party system to the world.  During their research, however, the kids found that there were very few clear and concise sources of information spelling out how to differentiate between what Republicans believe and what Democrats believe.  As they searched and searched, it became clear that they had the ability to offer something to the internet that seemed to be lacking.  So, we scrapped the interview/newspaper article idea and joined forces to collaborate on one slammin’ infographic.  You’re welcome, internet.  You’re very welcome.

PS, we used this week and also found the following videos helpful

The Electoral Process


This month I learned about the Electoral Process. Before this activity I only knew that there was an election day. I didn’t know about the Electoral College or about being sworn in to office. Making this timeline has helped me to understand more about presidents and the Electoral Process. If I wanted to be president I would know what to do. There is a lot of work to do before and after you’re elected!

Trump and Leslie

slide1Donald Trump is secretive, rude, sharp and professional. He is also old. He has some good and some bad characteristics. I mean, nobody wants to be old, but I wouldn’t mind being called professional. He wears ties and fixes his hair really nicely. He is 70 years old. He interrupts, not to make a point, but to be heard, which seems very rude. He wants to let us know that what he says is more important than what others say. He is secretive. He said in the Commander in Chief forum, “I have a plan to defeat ISIS, but I won’t tell you.” This makes me think that he doesn’t actually have a plan, but he just wants us to think that he does so that we will elect him for president. My advice is to think carefully before you vote on election day.



Leslie Burke is a tomboy. She is imaginative, friendly and caring. Leslie always wears long pants and long sleeve shirts. She has really short hair, and instead of playing with dolls she plays out in the dirt with her best friend Jesse Aarons, who is a boy. She made up an imaginative world called Terabithia. She plays in it with Jess. They are the King and Queen of Terabithia. They fight the bad guys that try to take over their land. Since she is new at her school, everyone teases her for wearing long pants and playing with the boys instead of playing hopscotch with the girls. Instead of being mean in return, Leslie is caring. When the meanest bully at her school is having a bad day, Leslie makes her feel better. Leslie Burke is the kind of person I would want to be friends with.