“Fall” into Learning! - Unit 1/2 Articles and Stories
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September 2014 Newsletter

“Fall” into Learning!

Unit 1/2 Articles and Stories
As we head into fall, we are excited to launch our new Magnum Opus Magazine newsletter! Our newsletters will be published each month, shortly after Andrew Pudewa presents a webinar detailing a specific IEW unit or writing style. Not only will the newsletters provide opportunities for students to have their work published, but they will be a useful tool for teachers to view examples of quality student work. We hope this showcase opportunity will motivate young writers to keep writing and sharpen their skills. Additionally, submitted work will also be considered for our yearly print magazine, which will be published in January. We will be accepting work from all IEW units, fiction, poetry, journalism, and original artwork. Submissions should be submitted by the following dates:

Writer Submission Deadlines
  • Newsletter #2 Unit 3 – September 16, 2014
  • Newsletter #3 Unit 4 – October 13, 2014
  • Print Magazine – November 10, 2014
  • Newsletter #4 Unit 5 – November 17, 2014
  • Newsletter #5 Poetry – December 15, 2014
  • Newsletter #6 Unit 6 – January 12, 2015
Please view our complete writer’s guidelines online before submitting work: Writer’s Guidelines

Congratulations to the student writers who are published in this newsletter!
  • Summer Bertrand
  • Melissa Johnson
  • James Reddy
  • Jordan Reddy
  • John Simmons
  • Andrew Walton
  • Wyatt Williams

We hope you and your family will “fall” into learning with us and will enjoy this opportunity for homeschooled students to showcase their work.


Megan L. House
Magnum Opus Magazine Managing Editor
800.856.5815 x5101
Floating Rocks
by Melissa Johnson, age 9
Did you hear that there are millions of huge rocks in our solar system? Some of the rocks from our solar system are being pulled to earth. The rocks burn while they zoom in the air. They look like very bright stars. Most of the rocks that fall are like tiny grains of sand, but before they hit the earth, they burn. A few large rocks have hit the earth and left enormous craters. But don’t worry; out of all of the huge rocks, only one has been deadly. Sadly, a poor little puppy in Egypt was killed in 1911. Our atmosphere, thankfully, has done a terrific job shielding us from the falling rocks.
Honey Wafers in the Wilderness
by John Simmons, age 9
In the hot desert the Israelites had absolutely no food. They remembered the meat and melons they had in the past. God listened to their complaints while they were in the wilderness. He provided flakes that tasted like honey wafers. The Sabbath was the only day the Israelites could not gather manna, so they collected twice as much manna before the Sabbath. Each day, the left-over manna spoiled. Caringly, God provided food for the Israelites in the wilderness.
The First English Settlement
by Jordan Reddy, age 13
It all began in 1607. Merchant Englishmen wanted riches and prosperity. After sailing to the New World, they named their settlement “Jamestown” after King James. Unfortunately, the land was a swampy wilderness, which made it hard to find food. Another difficulty was that naturally being English gentlemen, none of them wanted to work, resulting in half their people dying within months. They may not have survived at all without the excellent leadership of Captain John Smith. He announced that anyone who would not work would not eat. Once he made this declaration, they all started working. They eventually found valuable tobacco. They grew tobacco and sold it to England by the ton. Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in the New World, and it is considered a historic city in Virginia today.
Saved by a Mouse
by Summer Bertrand, age 12
After a long day of catching prey, a lion rested his large head on his paws and fell quietly asleep. As a mouse wandered by, he noticed the huge lion sleeping soundly under a tree. He was curious, so he ran onto the lion's nose. Looking down, he saw the giant cat waking from his nap! The mouse ran frantically back across his nose. When the lion fully awoke from his disturbed nap, he laid his giant paw across the mouse's stomach and tried to kill him. The mouse shouted, "Spare me! I will repay you one day." The lion was extremely amused that a mouse thought he could help him! So he reluctantly let the mouse go. Stealthily, the lion hunted prey for his supper later that night and was caught in a hunter's net. Unable to free himself, he roared madly. The mouse found the lion struggling miserably, and he quickly gnawed the rope apart. The mouse giggled and whispered, "You laughed at me saying that I couldn't help you. See, a mouse can help a lion!”
The Dangers of Soap-Making
by Wyatt Williams, age 13
Soap-making is a hazardous and dangerous process due to heat and caustics. If you fear you cannot control your surroundings well, do not attempt to make soap at home. However, soap is made by thousands of at-home soap-makers every day. Some basic safety gear includes goggles, rubber gloves, a long-sleeve shirt, a painter's mask, vinegar, and if you are using a stove, a fire extinguisher. Many Internet soap-making houses and hardware stores sell a large variety of goggles and eye protection. Make sure the goggles you get are resistant to impact and caustics. If you wear glasses, purchase goggles that fit over them, rather than risk both your glasses breaking and your eyes getting injured. But most importantly, be extremely particular about your health and safety. There are methods that do not use caustics, but there are still dangers, such as sweltering, melted soap, and steam. Always work mindfully. At the very least, caustics can cause irritation to the skin, and at the worst, you may be blinded by a splash of lye solution in your eyes. Lastly, make sure you have an emergency plan in case something should go wrong.
So Much Owed: The Air Raids
by James Reddy, age 15
When the German Nazi leaders decided to take over the world, they started attacking countries close to Germany. After France fell and was viciously defeated by the Nazi army in the summer of 1940, England became the next target. Unfortunately, by September 1940, “the Blitz” had begun, and the air raids would not cease until June of 1941. The Nazi army, who could only think to destroy quickly, mercilessly, and heavily, had caused fires everywhere. Many courageous firemen and women raced around the city saving many lives. Miraculously, St. Paul’s Cathedral was not touched by the bombs or fire despite the devastation on all sides. When it was finished, the Prime Minister of England, Winston Churchill, noted about the fighter pilots: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” The Nazis’ plan to dominate the world was certainly deterred by the brave people of England.
151 Years Later
by Andrew Walton, age 14
The successful conclusion to a 151-year campaign will end on September 15, 2014, with a Civil War hero receiving the Medal of Honor. However, this exemption is extremely unique because this honor is usually bestowed within three years of the act. Born in 1841, this young hero, who graduated from West Point, found himself in the middle of the Battle of Gettysburg. The man’s name was Alonzo Cushing, a first lieutenant in the 4th U.S. Artillery Company. Heavy fighting left Cushing wounded and with only one artillery piece remaining. In that moment our stricken hero made his brave decision, insisting to courageously continue confronting the enemy. However, our champion fell. Because he and his fellow soldiers gave their lives, the Union Army was able to repel the enemy assault. Cushing will now join over 1,500 others in the Civil War who have received the Medal of Honor, and will become one of the heroes of America.
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