Stephanie's School Work
(Newest First)

Newest schoolwork (a paper entitled Roman Daily Life) follows this introduction.

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A Note on Stephanieís Odyssey School...

The primary focus of our trip is to learn about our world and how it works. However, Stephanie is also being home-schooled for all of fifth grade during our fourteen months of travel. To assure she returns well prepared for middle school, we met frequently with the fifth grade teachers and middle school administration to assure we cover appropriate content. We have agreed to supplement their studies by serving as "field staff" for the classrooms back home.

While the trip itself will provide most of the academic content, we have planned a curriculum tied to our itinerary to ground her in comparative social studies, history, government, math, science and the arts. The first three months are an intensive focus on American History and Government. Through July 2000 we have focused on the discovery and early development of our country, the Constitution and the workings of government. We will cover most of early US History through the Civil War by mid-August, visiting important sites and building an ongoing History Timeline on rolled paper pasted onto the fascia of our motor home. Later months of the trip will focus on Math, Science and the Arts more intensively, with World History and Culture being the focal point for the travels abroad. Geography is a constant, and Stephanie is already becoming a great map reader.

In addition to regular sessions over the "kitchen table" and numerous field trips, Stephanie has a regular writing assignment. 

July 2001

Roman Daily Life


This paper will tell you about the Romansí daily life. It will be set into two sections: the Community and the Home life section. The Romans were a very organized group of people. They owned all of Western Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. They lived around the 2nd century BC to 4th century AD. This paper will give you some good information about them, but I can tell you one thing, you are not going to learn anything if you donít read on!!



Roman Cities were usually in a rectangular shape, with a wall along the outside. A Cardio, or main road ran through the middle. People would be walking along the sidewalk involved in their daily activities. They would be crossing the streets by large stepping-stones. These would be placed far enough apart that the tall and wide chariots would easily go over them. Statues would be placed here and there amongst the hustle and bustle. As you are probably thinking, the whole scene would be pretty noisy. I bet the Romans thought so too. Now to learn about the Romanís complex water system read on!!


Outside the towns and cities there usually were lakes or reservoirs that gave the town its water. Since the Romans didnít want to haul the water day after day to the town and back and since they were great engineers, they built aqueducts to do the labor for them. The aqueducts brought the water from the lake or reservoirs into a series of under ground lead pipes. The pipes lead all over the towns to baths, houses, drinking fountains and just regular fountains for people to enjoy. Romans were unaware that lead got into the water and made them sick. Now to learn about markets and doctors read on!!


Romans had the usual businesses we have today, with the exception of the inventions like electric machines of the modern world. Their markets might the equivalent to temporary Wal-Mart* stores. In little booths they would be selling food, clothes, etc. Most of the markets and stores in Roman times would not have very have very fresh food, unless it came from the town the market was in. For instance, Pompeii is by the sea and, scientists have found a place where the Romans probably kept fish alive to sell in a pond at the market.

Doctors would not have been as successful as they are today. In fact, they thought that sicknesses were caused by the gods cursing them. Even though the Romans had very little knowledge about medications, they still had some successful medicines. If you were a Roman with an illness, you would probably have very little hope of surviving. One of the reasons this is true is because they did not know what bacteria was and so they did not sterilize their medical equipment. Well if there were no bacteria why would you need too? Now to learn about the Roman Religion read on!!

*Wal-Mart is a store that sells clothes as well as food in America


The Romanís religion was very important to the people. With their many gods and temples, it showed just how much they worshipped them. Jupiter was the god of thunder and was the strongest god of them all. For this reason he had just a few more temples to him than the other gods, but the others definitely had their fair share. A lot of families had their own house gods that helped them in every day needs. Sacrifices were also made regularly to the gods. There were special ceremonies in which sacrifices took place. The Romans are also famous for their bloody entertainment so read on to learn about it!!


Some kinds of the Roman entertainment were very similar to todayís, but some others were completely the opposite. In fact some of their shows they would probably be forbidden today. Theaters would be similar to going to a play in a modern day theater. It would be semi-circular with a stage and a back stage. If you went to a Roman play you would be there all day. In the morning, it is thought that dramas took place and kept getting more cheerful until the comedies took place at the end of the day. One thing you need to know if you are going to a play is, although you will see many characters, keep in mind they are all men for women are not supposed to act.

Amphitheaters, like the Colosseum in Rome had the bloody show. Its shows consisted of animal vs. animal, gladiator vs. animal and even mock sea battles, but the most famous are gladiator fights. In a gladiator fight there were two men (usually trained prisoners) who were armed with a sword and shield. Each gladiator usually was fighting for death or freedom. Mock sea battles were also fought by gladiators in the flooded amphitheater. The Roman emperors tried to make it seem as real as they could make it. Now to learn all about the Home Life section, read on.

Home Life


The Romans, like now, had some different classes. They had their government, with an Emperor and senators ruling Rome and its many colonies. The people who worked for the government were usually the most wealthy. The middle class consisted of successful shop owners and other businessmen. Poor people had one or two room homes or even no houses. Women did all the housework and usually relied on their husbands to get a job. Children had toys and played like they still do today. Slaves were the lowest of the Roman people. Mostly they werenít even Romans, but prisoners from the conquered lands like Egypt. There were so many slaves that the Romans even built temples for different religions. Now to learn about these peopleís houses read on!!


In a Roman town, as you have just learned, there were many classes of people. "But where did they live?" you might be asking. Well, in this part of the paper you will find out the answer. A rich Romanís house was much bigger than most peoplesí houses were. Letís go to a wealthy personís house now. The front door opens into a room that has a hole in the roof to collect rainwater. A few bedrooms, that are very small, open off this room. Move on to the room straight ahead. This is the garden. There might be decorative statues and plants scattered around the square that lets in rain and light for the plants to grow. You may notice a few doors going off to the side. These lead to the dining room, kitchen and a few other places too. Although there are two holes the roof, they would not have very many windows, perhaps to keep the heat and noise out from the street. Now to learn about the Romanís Food read on.


Romans had a very wide variety of foods. From all the places in the Roman Empire, different foods and goods came. Although they didnít have the usual Italian food we have today like pasta, they had no lack of different foods. Sometimes they even ate dormice and even songbirds. The most famous drink the Romans had was probably wine. You may have heard of the old fashion way of squashing grapes by stomping on them. Well that is the way the Romans did it. Wine was usually mixed with water and had to be consumed within three or four years so it wouldnít go bad. Now to learn about the farming life, read on!!

Out Of Town

All the things you have read so far have been based in the city. So now letís go out of town and onto a farm. Rich Romans would have owned villas in the country to get away from the cities and also to run a farm. Livestock like today would be grazing lazily in a near by field and crops would be growing in another. Hunting was especially popular and rich Romans would go on hunting trips in hope of catching an animal. Boars were hunted the most because the Romans liked their ferociousness and the difficulty in catching them. Have you heard of the famous Roman Army? Well, to learn about that, read on!!


One of the things the Romans were famous for was their powerful army. The Romans would not have conquered all the places they had without this army. The Romans had effective weapons and hundreds of soldiers. If I were an enemyís soldier I would definitely be intimidated. Like in medieval times the Romans wore armor. They wore less armor than in later periods, but they did wear some metal jackets, helmets and chain mail for protection. Their weapons were simple but successful. They had short swords, daggers, spears and a few other deadly items.


We have come to the end of this paper. Did you learn anything? Good. Letís talk about what you have just read. After the introduction we talked about the cities and the way they were laid out. Then we came to the water systems; do you remember about aqueducts? After that we talked about the business, the markets and doctors. Then the Religion; remember Jupiter? Then we learned about the Romanís entertainment, people, houses, foods, farms and finally, the Armies. Thanks for reading this paper I hope you learned something.

The End


April 2001


Once upon a time there was a lion. This lionís name was Leonardo. Leonardo was a magnificent lion with a flowing golden mane. His massive body held perfect posture. Leonardo was very proud of his majestic body. He lived alone in a cozy little den with just a sleeping mat, a kitchen, a few chairs and a table.

One day Leonardo was prancing around his yard when a small mouse slowly approached. Leonardo stopped, looked around and spotted the tiny mouse at his feet.

Realizing that the mouse was his neighbor he said, "Hello Mary. What brings you here?"

Mary answered, "The great Fredrick Falcon," and then she paused for Leonardo growled because he did not like anyone to be called great except himself. "The great Fredrick Falcon," Mary repeated, "has sent me to invite you to his dinner party next Wednesday at four thirty PM."

Then she rummaged through a tiny bag that fit just perfectly on Maryís back and pulled out a letter that looked much too big to fit in her tiny bag no matter how hard you pushed, prodded or poked.

"This will have all the information you need," Mary said while she handed over the envelope.

"Thank you very much. Tell Fredrick that I shall be there," replied Leonardo. So the week went on without Leonardo opening the letter. Sunday was cleaning day for Leonardo. He was sorting through the drawers when he came upon the envelope that Mary had given him. Leonardo picked up the envelope and opened it. This is what it said:

Dear Leonardo Lion;

This is an invitation to my dinner party

ON: Wednesday the Third of April

AT: Your den. 3 Africa Lane, Animalville

There will be twenty animals coming and they will all want a well-cooked dinner. I will bring the fish course, but you are to cook the rest. The following is what you need to prepare:

Garden Salad: A fresh salad made with the finest, freshest lettuce in all of Animalville. Taste bud dazzling cucumbers, eye-watering onions, creamy avocados, blouse staining beets, carrots that go crunch and a mouth watering French Italian vinaigrette on top.

Main Course: Italian style noodles with tomato sauce and meatballs.

Dessert: Cheese cake with the ripest reddest strawberries and whipped cream.

Guests will arrive at 4:30 PM. Please have the dinner ready by then.

See you there!


Fredrick Falcon


"How rude of him to have invited guests into my den," Leonardo remarked with a mighty roar. He then said abruptly, "I have it! I will make a different menu so it will be my menu not Fredrickís." He then dashed to the store and bought ten chicken wings, ten chicken breasts, twenty chicken drums, 5 avocados, 5 broccoli stalks, 3 bags of carrots, 5 cauliflower stalks, peas, beans, 1 plain cake and icing.

He took all his ingredients home and set them on the table. Leonardo decided that the best way to spread out the three courses into three days was to do one course a day. He wanted to do the dessert first.

Leonardo separated the cake from the other dishes and got to work. He started with a sky blue frosting covering the whole cake. Then he took some purple frosting and made an outline of a flower, and with red he made the center. He then put the whole cake into the freezer and got back to his cleaning.

The next day Leonardo thought the vegetables should be done. So he took out the cauliflower, the broccoli, the avocados, the carrots, the peas, the beans, and started. First Leonardo cut the avocados into thin little round slices. Then he cut the carrots in half. Lastly, Leonardo put all the vegetables on one big platter and made a design. He set up the party decorations, and went to bed feeling prepared for the next day.

When Wednesday finally arrived at Leonardoís door, he was ready. He had set all his furniture outside where a brand new picnic table was laid out. The furniture was set in circles so his guests could talk until dinner. He had started his new barbecue. At 4:15 Leonardo put 20 of his 40 pieces of chicken on the barbecue. Soon afterwards Fredrick Falcon was knocking at Leonardoís door.

"Hello Leonardo. Thank you for preparing my dinner party, it is so much work at home. Oh! Here is my gourmet lake trout, my favorite. May I come in?"

"Sorry, but I have set all the chairs outside. It is such a nice day that I thought the guests would enjoy being outside," Leonardo replied.

"That is just fine. The guests will be delighted," Fredrick added.

Almost instantly after Fredrick said this, a stream of different and exotic animals slowly approached Leonardoís front gate. The first guest to march boldly in was Harold Hippopotamus, closely followed by Alexandra Alligator who was being escorted by Patrick Possum. The first three walked by while saying with good nature, "Hello."

The next group included Katherine Kangaroo, Samuel Snake, Robert Rhinoceros, Edward Eagle, Brunella Bear, Ferdinand Fox, Prucella Parakeet, Arreatta Antelope, Andrew Albatross, Gregory Gazelle, William Wolverine, Jennifer Jaguar, Ester Elephant, Tabitha Tiger, and, of course, Mary and Michel Mouse.

Leonardo busily went around seating his guests at his "Chair Circles" so they could talk until dinner. He soon remarked "Dinner will be in a half an hour," and got back to his barbecue chicken. A half-hour later Leonardo called his guests to the table.

Soon he brought out the vegetable course. All the guests were murmuring how wonderful the vegetables looked, but Fredrick Falcon was outraged!

"I told you to make a salad, not a vegetable course!" Fredrick screamed. But Leonardo started to whistle and walked right by as if Fredrick was just as pleased as the other guests. Fredrick was astonished at Leonardoís response, but was polite and held the giant wave of anger that was determined to get out. He soon (since he was hungry) took a tiny nibble out of one of the carrot halves. Soon after that tiny nibble, Fredrick had eaten all the food off his plate and remarked the food was wonderful before he remembered that this was not the salad he was looking forward to. It was Leonardoís trick vegetables. Then Fredrick walked to Leonardoís door and took off his smile and put it in to the wastebasket that was sitting there.

Leonardo then walked up to Fredrick and said, "Fredrick it is time for your fish to be served. Come and help me bring it out. Hurry up."

Fredrick grumpily got up and murmured something to himself, then followed Leonardo into his den. In there Leonardo showed Fredrick where his lake trout was placed. Fredrick walked up to it and peeked inside to make sure that Leonardo hadnít changed it to something else. Fredrick soon found that the fish was untouched. He then sighed a giant sigh of relief, picked up the fish and gracefully walked (at least as gracefully as a falcon can walk) out of the room into the yard with a slightly improved frown on his face. He then presented his fish to his chattering guests. Instantly the crowd, as if on a cue, turned their heads at the same time to find the source of the smell that had just filled their noses.

The course was served and the guests resumed talking and eating happily. Leonardo was busily continuing his cooking; Fredrick was back to his sarcastic self. He was bragging about his fish to Harold Hippopotamus and Katherine Kangaroo. Alexandra Alligator was whispering to Patrick Possum that Mary Mouse had shown her Leonardoís letter on the way to give it to him.

"What did it say? Does it have something to do with why Leonardo had to cook this marvelous dinner?" Patrick asked in a low voice for fear he would be heard.

"Actually thatís right! He didnít get the same letter as we did saying about Leonardo and Fredrick working together. No, nor did it ask him to work together, it was more like an order. The beginning said that Leonardo was invited to a dinner party inside his own home. Isnít that rude?" Alexandra answered.

"Of course it is rude, but is that the rudest part?" Patrick remarked.

"Yes, but there were a few more parts, like the menu was all Fredrickís favorite foods. Thatís why I think Leonardo changed it. I just want to tell you the food isnít Fredrick's original menu," Alexandra replied.

Leonardo then interrupted everyone who was talking (including Patrick Possum and Alexandra) by announcing that they should go to the barbecue and get their chicken. Then Leonardo quickly stepped back and started handing out chicken to the growing crowd. As soon as each animal got his or her piece of chicken, Leonardo would put another piece on the barbecue. The most emotional had to be Fredrick. He was almost roaring like Leonardo.

He looked at the plate he had just gotten and screamed, "Leonardo, you first changed a salad into vegetables and now you do this! I shall leave right now, Leonardo Lion!!!"

Fredrick kept his word and walked up to the guests and said, "I am sorry, but I must leave. I do hope you enjoy the rest of your meal greatly."

Then he turned and walked up to Leonardo and said as if he were holding his breath and talking at the same time, "Good bye."

Leonardo looked at him walk away, astonished at how much could happen in a single minute. Then he murmured to himself, "If I know that chap well enough he will not go without dinner especially on a party night. So he will definitely be back before the end of the main course."

Just as Leonardo had predicted, Fredrick soon came running back obviously quite out of breath and took his place. Then he started chewing the chicken at an enormous pace.

Leonardo started chuckling at Fredrick while thinking that he must be enjoying his dinner after all.

Fredrick then went up to Leonardo and, while slapping his back with a feathery wing, asked, "So, whatís for dessert?" Then he added, "I have been terribly rude for forcing you to prepare this dinner party. I realized it when I overheard Alexandra Alligator and Patrick Possum talking about the letter I sent to you. I donít know how the animals found out about the letter. But, suddenly, I am glad they did."

Having just relieved his conscience, Fredrick stated to Leonardo enthusiastically, "I would like to propose a toast. Would you please take a seat?"

"Certainly," Leonardo said while taking a seat at the head of the table.

"Listen up, everyone! I would like to propose a toast. To Leonardoís marvelous dinner party and some of the best food I have had in my life. So, I would like to call this The Lionís Party," Fredrick said for his toast.

Leonardo then walked up to him and said, "Letís have dessert. It's cake!"


October 2000

Yellowstone National Park



"Yellowstone is more than a place--- itís an idea. It is a testament of the importance of wildness to the American people, and a declaration of their will to preserve it for future generations." -- From Yellowstone The Story Behind The Scenery

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From 1872 to the present day, Yellowstone National Park has brought tourists like you and me to see its beauty and thermal wonders. This report will tell you about:









The first recorded expedition of Yellowstone was completed by John Colter in 1806. He wrote about amazing geysers, but no one believed him. In 1872, Yellowstone National Park was established. It was the first National Park in the world. Later, in 1916, the National Park Service was founded so the Nation could continue making National Parks.

The fire of 1988 was Yellowstoneís worst. This fire was made out of 48 fires! Firefighters by the thousands came to fight this fire. Some pretty amazing history, huh?



Two million years ago a volcano 1,000 times more powerful than Mt. Saint Helens erupted. It did this two more times, 1.3 million years ago and 600,000 years ago. Because of the volcano the Earthís crust is thin in the Yellowstone area. This is the main reason Yellowstone has springs, geysers, fumaroles, and mud pots.

Then it snowed too much snow that it couldnít all melt in the summer, and formed a glacier. There were also many earthquakes to make Yellowstone special.




I had a lot of fun seeing the very active Norris Geyser Basin. It had many spurting geysers and lots of gurgling springs. The water boils at 199F in the springs and geysers. DSCN2832.JPG (64322 bytes)



Spectacular Mud Volcano is a series of different mud pots (springs filled with hot mud instead of hot water). Carbon dioxide comes from deep inside the earth and makes bubbling on the surface of the mud. DSCN2766.JPG (58902 bytes)



In my opinion, Fountain Paint Pots really do look like thick gooey brown paint that just came out of the can (even though some are just the regular blue water). The Red Spouter Spring hisses like a train. DSCN2811.JPG (70001 bytes)



The world famous cone type geyser shoots 10,000 gallons of water up to 200 feet per eruption. Almost every 85 minutes Old Faithful does this natural wonder. Ask anyone who has seen Old Faithful, and they will say it was really cool (except for the crowds in the summer). DSCN2870.JPG (64632 bytes)



Of the almost 4 million visitors that visit the park each year, all of them can be a threat to Yellowstone. When the park was still new, there were not many rules so people could hunt, bathe in the springs, damage the thermal ground by walking on it, and many other things there were no rules against. So when the crowds started growing, the government started making rules. They made rules about no hunting, you can not walk on unsafe ground, and donít take any thing from the park. The government made enough rules so that the wildlife and attractions could stay safe while tourists could enjoy their beauty. Today the park service has something called visitor management. This counts how many people come into the park each year, and how to control the millions of people that come to the park.



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One of the great aspects of Yellowstone is the superb wildlife. All the other visitors and I mostly see elk, buffalo, and coyote. Sometimes people are lucky enough to see some moose or a bear, but we werenít. There are over 300 species of animals from tiny mice to giant bull buffalo. In the winter animals who donít hibernate stay close to hot springs for warmth. Unfortunately humans often scare the animals by their winter sports (mostly snowmobiling and skiing) causing them to run. That uses a lot of energy that they need to store for the winter months (that loss of energy could lead to death).



Of all the things I have told you, there will always be more so here is the non-categorized section. The highest point in Yellowstone 11,358 feet above sea level, and they say you can see miles and miles of Yellowstone. In Yellowstone there are more than 10,000 thermal sites. Some that you canít even see from anywhere! You also should know that there are around 300 geysers in the park. "Indians referred to the yellow sandstone bluffs through which this river flows and called it Mi tse a-da-ze which means yellow rock or yellow stone." --From Yellowstone The Story Behind The Scenery. That is how Yellowstone got its name.



Now you have learned all about Yellowstone National Park. You have learned about the History, The Geology, Attractions in the park, The Visitors, The wildlife, and just some fun facts.

"Here a nation sent a strong message to the rest of the world--- that there is an untold value in wildness, and that it is ever important to preserve our vanishing wilderness, the wildlife that depends on it, and the natural processes that keep it wild." -- From Yellowstone The Story Behind The Scenery

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September 2000

Dear Aunt Debbie and Uncle Mike,

Space Camp

Space Camp is important for kids who want to learn the ways of space travel and the efforts to get there. This report will tell you about a bus tour, IMAX, a space shuttle mission, harnesses that take a person lower than the Earthís gravity and several simulators. This will teach you how Space Camp can be both fun an educational.

The bus tour and I.M.A.X. teach a person about space equipment and how astronauts use it. On the bus tour of Kennedy Space Center guides show how the Shuttle gets built and prepared for a launch into space. They also show the space campers earlier equipment for previous space flights. The IMAX movie explains the use of shuttle equipment in the vacuum of space.

Mission A is a real experience of a space shuttle mission into space and returning to earth. The mission has role parts including commander, pilot, payload specialists, ground operator, flight director and mission scientist. These professionals have to work together solving problems to make a mission run successfully. To do this, they all need to know the routine and what problems could be coming.

The one-sixth-gravity chair and the zero gravity wall are harnesses that allow the experience of gravity lower than earthís. The one-sixth-gravity chair is a harness that uses springs to demonstrate the moonís gravitational pull. Space campers learn, with this device, how the men on the moon traveled from one place to another. The zero gravity wall is a pulley connected to weights that match a personís weight. This gives the idea of going up and not stopping, but still it is hard to move.

The MASTIF simulator is a simulator that spins you in all directions as if you were tumbling in space out of control. This simulator stands for Multi-Axis Space Test Inertia Facility. It has three rings that each turn a different direction, but the rings are all connected together, therefore taking the rider in all directions possible. Few have ever gotten sick on this simulator because your stomach stays in the same place.

Now you know how space campers learn all about space equipment and astronauts. They do this by seeing IMAX, bus tours, practice missions and simulators. Obviously Space Camp is an excellent learning experience!



July 2000

Dear Aunt Nancy,

I wanted to send this letter to you to talk about the Pilgrims. I will tell you about THE MAYFLOWER, THE TRIP THEY TOOK, THEIR FIRST YEAR, AND THE WAY THEY LIVED. I want you to know about these people because they are part of American history, and thatís what made America.

The Mayflower

The Mayflower was old when the Pilgrims got it. Before it had been used as a wine vessel to carry wine across the seas. The boat was tiny, only 90 feet long and 25 feet wide at the widest part. Thatís a lot bigger than our motor home, but for 102 passengers that is one cramped boat.

The Trip They Took

The Pilgrims left England around 1608 for religious rights, and sailed for Holland. They lived there for 12 happy years until their children were raised in the Dutch Tradition. The Pilgrims left again and headed for a destination of America. The Mayflower was crowded and stuffy. They traveled this way for 65 days.

Their First Year

The first year for the Pilgrims was the worst. They arrived in the coldest part of the winter. Most of the Pilgrims died of smallpox and of starvation. Food was scarce. The Pilgrims met the Natives, and they helped by supplying the Pilgrims with food and shelter.

They Way They Lived

The Pilgrims had small wooden houses that could fit up to nine people. They farmed only what they needed to survive. They even used fish as fertilizer. They slept on a simple mattress made of straw.

When we went to see the Mayflower and Plymouth Plantation I learned a lot! It was really neat to ask the actors about the Pilgrims, and they acted as if they were a Pilgrim.