Monday, October 3, 2011

Home School Weeks 4 and 5

The last two weeks we have taken a break from the Biblical story to concentrate on Ancient Egypt.  So far these are the areas we have concentrated on:  the importance of the Nile for farming, Egyptian boats, the unification of Egypt under Menes, mummies and pyramids.  The girls completed mini books on mummies, pyramids, important Egyptian crops, and decorated a canopic jar for their lap book.  Nicolas helped Lydia with her mini books this week since she was unable to write.  We drew maps of ancient Egypt and labeled them with important cities and geographical areas.

 Egyptian reed boats

For projects and activities we built pyramids, made our own Egyptian boats, mummified Barbies (idea from homeschoolhelperonline), and unified Egypt by making a red crown with a cobra, a white crown, and then combining them.

Step 1:  Take out organs, but leave in heart.  We drew a heart on the Barbie to signify the heart stays in.  Step 2:  Wash body with wine (wine vinegar diluted with water).

Step 3:  Prepare body with oil and spices

Step 4:  Rub with Natron (salt) for drying out.  Let dry for 40 days (or 40 minutes in our case)

Step 5:  Begin wrapping.  Place amulets (made with fun foam) between layers of wrapping
Dried mummified Barbies (I bought them for a dollar at the Dollar Tree)

Step 6:  Place in sarcophage and seal!

For science we concentrated on the science of pyramids.  How were they built?  Why use this structure?  We made cubes and pyramids then tested and compared the strength of each of them.  To get an idea of how they may have moved 2 1/2 ton limestone block we pulled a boot across the table with string, then tried it with rolling markers underneath and discussed the concept of friction.  We also discussed the preservation/mummification of Pharaohs.  For this section we took three slices of bread--one plain, one toasted, and one smeared with antiseptic cream--and placed them in plastic bags for a few days.  This was to represent the drying out process and the oils and spices that may have had antiseptic properties that were used to preserve the bodies.  Nothing has happened to the bread yet, but we will keep recording our observations!

Testing the strength of the cube vs pyramid

Some Egyptian DVDs we enjoyed:  Ancient Egypt Unearthed (especially the mummification section) and Unlocking the Great Pyramid.  The last one was our favorite.  Seth sat riveted the entire 50 minutes of a this documentary on the Great Pyramid.  Books we used for our research and to supplement our textbooks:  The Great Pyramid by Elizabeth Mann, Pharaoh's Boat by David Weitzman, Mummies, Pyramids, and Pharaohs by Gail Gibbons, and Pyramid by David Macaulay.

We finished up a few things last week and continue to plug away at the rest.  We have been learning one Greek root word a week.  The kids took a quiz today on the first five Greek root words (biblos, sauros, tele, graph, and photos). Anna finished a reading unit on Sarah Plain and Tall.    They all listened to Vivaldi's Four Seasons--"Spring" both weeks.  The first week was just an introduction.  We tried to listen for the babbling brook, the thunderstorm, dog barking, and the dance of the nymphs and shepherds.   The second week we listened to "Spring" again and painted a spring picture while we listened.   We also finished up our read-aloud, Tanglewood Secrets.

Painting while listening to Vivaldi.  Lydia trying it out with the left hand.

Anna's brook, birds, and storm clouds arriving
Lydia's left-handed painting.  Not bad!

Seth completed his units on the letter "M" for Moon and "L" for Leaf.  For the Moon unit projects we talked about how the earth goes around the sun and the moon around the earth.  The moon has no light of its own and needs the sun, just as we have no light of our own and need the light of Jesus.  "I am the light of the world"  was the memory verse this week.   Seth also enjoyed learning about the phases of the moon and drew a full moon, half moon and crescent moon on black paper.  We hung them as a mobile above our dining room table.  I especially loved the book Fool Moon Rising to use in this unit.

This week for Seth's leaf unit, we went outside (between raindrops) and collected lots of different types of leaves.  We traced five of them, colored them pretty colors, and made a little book.  "Doesn't have much words," commented Seth.  We pressed the leaves, then took them out a few days later to count and sort them by color, shape, size, kind, etc.  We also painted around a leaf to make a pretty leaf outline.  His memory words this week were "I will live and grow in Jesus."  To illustrate this we removed one of the leaves from a plant and talked about what would happen to it.

SETH:  "It will get crumpled and yellow."

ME:   "What will happen if we try to live without Jesus?"

SETH:  "We'll get crumpled and yellow?"

Um, I don't think I directed that question correctly.

We read lots of fun books from the library: Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins, Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber, Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert, Fall Leaf Project by Margaret McNamara, Leaves by David Stein, and A Tree is Nice by Janice Udry.

We had planned to do a Yom Kippur celebration last Saturday, but because of Lydia's accident on Saturday, both my time and energy were exhausted.  We made meal plans this Saturday with another seminary family so plan to postpone the celebration another week.  I guess that means instead of ten days of preparation we have about twenty-four!   Actually, I think if we celebrate next Friday night we will be on the correct date for Yom Kippur according to my calendar.   We will then also try to follow that right up with the Feast of Booths or Sukkoth.  This week we also pick up the Biblical story of Job and  Abraham.

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