Saturday, November 12, 2011

Weeks 10 and 11

Weeks 10 and 11 of home school brought us through the rest of the story of Joseph and up to Moses fleeing to Midian.  At the same time we looked at Ancient Egypt dress, crafts, food and drink, inventions, and class rank.  We studied the invasion of Egypt by the Hyksos and the reign of Queen Hatsheput.  We also took a quick look at what was going on in the Mesopotamia area during this time (the Old Babylonian Kingdom) especially Hammurabi and his laws.

Once again we tried to have fun with various activities related to our study.  The girls completed a mini book on the various classes/types of people in Ancient Egypt and one on Egyptian food and drink.  One noon we enjoyed an Egyptian lunch with cucumber slices, yogurt, almonds, figs, dates, raisins and dried cranberries.  The day we studied Egyptian dress the girls dressed up in Egyptian costume (all on their own!), and also cut out and decorated Egyptian paper dolls.  When we looked at some of the Egyptian inventions we made our own very primitive water clock. 

Aren't these Egyptian ladies just a hoot!

The Hyksos chariot that Nicolas colored and put together.

Anna made a hat like Queen Hatsheput.

In Genesis for Kids (science) we started Day 3--Land, Plants and Sea.  We didn't get to do many of the experiments because it was just so cold, rainy, and yucky outside.  We did manage to squeak in an outdoor scavenger hunt one afternoon last week.

We completed our Vivaldi unit by listening to "Winter" and painting a watercolor of a winter scene.  The music is supposed to depict ice skating and sitting in front of a fire.  For other art classes we completed one lesson on how to draw an eye and another on how to draw a tree branch.  For our most recent lesson we drew our own obelisks and decorated them to honor someone or to remember something God had done in the past (just like Queen Hatsheput).

Lydia's kitty in front of the fire.

Nicolas warming his ice skates by the fire.

Anna also has a kitty in front of her fire.

Seth finally completed his painting.  The pterodactyls are in the sky and the "hidden runners" are in the trees below.  Not sure what they are, but evidently they move fast and are in the Land Before Time movies (?)

Seth had a week of "D" for dinosaurs and another of  "O" for Octopus.  He was so excited about his dinosaur week.   He likes me to tell him what to wear each day, but last week Monday morning he came downstairs ready for school proudly dressed in his dinosaur shirt.  He knew exactly what he was going to wear that day without any help from mom!    He drew dinosaurs one day and made a stuffed dinosaur out of paper bags another day.  This was one time when I wished I had a sewing machine because it would have been fun to make a fabric stuffed dinosaur.  The words for this week were "Big and small, God made them all."

This is the same day the girls dressed as Egyptians and they did a little "facial art" on Seth as well.

This week was Octopus week.  We traced our fingers (minus the thumb) twice to make an octopus and later made a little ocean scene with it and other pictures we cut from magazines.  We also looked at a map of the world and marveled at how much of the earth is covered with water.   Seth then colored the oceans on his own map that I printed out for him.  We also talked about what it means to praise God as the words for this week were "Even the octopus praises the Lord."  Seth really enjoyed learning about the octopus, but was sad to know that a mommy octopus dies right after her babies hatch.

Seth has come along great with his letters and sounds.  I think he has trouble recognizing only two letters--I and U.   We played letter bingo this week once just with letter sounds, once with the letter names, and another where I would just say a word and he would have to recognize the first letter sound.  The only one he had trouble with was the letter names.   I am so thankful he has a good grasp on letter sounds because it has made blending sounds and words really easy for him. 

It is amazing how many things Seth picks up from what the other kids are learning.   One night this week Seth did something a little mischievous and I jokingly asked him how would he be punished in Hammurabi's laws?  (He watched us do a fun on-line activity regarding Hammurabi's Code).  Caleb interrupted saying, "I know who that is.  I studied him this year in World History, too.  Is he known for his laws or something?"  In a very condescending tone, Seth informed him that, "It's Hammurabi's Code, Caleb, not law.  Code."   I thought Caleb was going to choke.  A few nights later I was struggling to pronounce Queen Hatsheput's name, but I knew Seth caught on to the pronunciation right away earlier in the day when I read a book about her aloud to the kids.  As I struggled to pronounce her name that night, I found myself saying, "I can't remember now how to say her name, ask Seth."   Caleb gives me a quick look.  "Seth?"  Sure enough, the little guy knew exactly how to pronounce it.  The kids get such a kick out of what he learns from their lessons that they often quiz him at night.  And I think he's not paying attention!

Here is a list of some of the books we enjoyed the last few weeks:

For "D" week we mainly used Dinosaurs of Eden by Ken Ham and Dinosaurs by Design by Duane T. Gish. Other dinosaur books we liked but just modified the "millions of years" were Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff;  Beyond the Dinosaurs:  Monsters of the Air and Sea by Charlotte Lewis Brown; Did Dinosaurs Eat Pizza? by Lenny Hort; Dinosaurs Galore by Giles Andreae; Pteranodon: The Life Story of a Pterosaur by Ruth Ashby; My Visit to the Dinosaurs by Aliki (book on tape); Four & Twenty Dinosaurs by Bernard Most; Inside-Outside Dinosaurs by Roxie Munro; and the Wee Sing Dinosaurs CD.

For "O" week we read A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle; Gentle Giant Octopus by Karen Wallace; and Octopuses by Sandra Markle.

With the older kids we read Hatshepsut:  The Princess Who Became King by Ellen Galford and Hatshepsut:  His Majesty, Herself  by Catherine M. Andronik.  Nicolas and I also had fun flipping through the book Unwrapping the Pharaohs to look at the various proposed dates of the reigning Pharaohs to see who was reigning during the time of Moses and the Exodus.

Caleb finished up his first quarter of school last week and we were able to meet most of his teachers at conferences on Friday.  He seems to be doing well--they say he gets along with everyone and is engaged in the classroom.  No red flags anywhere.  I didn't think so, but it is nice to have it confirmed, since it is a new school with new teachers, new classmates, etc.   Last week NorthPointe had a special spiritual emphasis week where a group from Colorado, Axis, came out and gave six one hour chapel sessions using a multimedia approach to talk about teens and culture.  The brochure Caleb brought home looked pretty good and Caleb really enjoyed it.   He continues to be busy with music.  Last week Tuesday he had his first orchestra concert.  The high school orchestra sounds really good; I think they have quite a bit of talent.  As first chair second violin he had a small solo in one song.  He played it great--with all the confidence in the world.  I think it was only his mom that was sweating it out in the audience.  After that concert he moved to the first violin section at the request of the director.  He is now last chair first violin, but he feels it is a move up as the music is more difficult.  This afternoon he is at a piano sonata/sonatina festival first and then later he has a violin studio (a recital just for students).   Now that soccer is over he has also started the Rosetta Stone Spanish home program.  He was unable to take Spanish I at NorthPointe this year and would like to test out of it this summer and jump into Spanish II next year.    I admire his motivation!

As I mentioned, the weather has been less than stellar the last few weeks.  We have had moments of sunshine, but lots of cool rainy days.  The kids were hired by one of my BSF co-leaders to pick up walnuts in her yard, but we haven't gotten around to it due to the yucky weather.  In fact, we had our first snow fall on Thursday!  That all said, the weather today is beautiful and Russ is out getting some yard work done as I type this up.

Russ continues to enjoy his classes at PRTS.  Hebrew and Greek, the two classes he was most worried about, are both going well.  I think he did have one humbling Greek quiz, but otherwise has been fine.  The next few weeks, or actually until Christmas break, he will be very busy with papers and projects.

What have I been doing?  Other than keeping up with home school, household duties, everyone's schedule, meal planning, and BSF stuff, not too much.  I am still meeting with the PRTS professor's wives and one other seminary wife to organize the Ministry Wives Institute.  We met again this week to finalize next semester and to try to pencil out a three year plan.  I think the long-term plan is to possibly have an accredited certificate program for seminary wives.   I am also helping out with the girls at Boys and Girls club every other Wednesday night at the FRC.  They asked me to lead the Girls Club since they didn't have a leader this year, but with my BSF responsibilities, I thought I'd better not over commit.   They were happy to take me on as an extra "helper", though.

Girls Club project

Boys Club project--sword making!

One of my favorite parts of the day is when Russ and I go for our daily walk.  We usually go right before or after supper.  When the weather has been bad we either skip a day or head to the YMCA for a quick run.  We have also been known to leave Caleb in charge and duck out for Applebees half price appetizers after 9:00.   That is about as good as a date night gets around here!

Nicolas has been back whittling the last few days.  He found a book on whittling at Amazon that he wants pretty bad.  He has been able to "Look Inside" the book on the Amazon site and get a few ideas.   He started with making knives and then moved to "decorating" the handles.  He carved a bear head on the end of the knife pictured below.  For the first attempt at carving an animal, I don't think he did too bad.  It is hard to see on the picture because of the different colors of the wood grain.

Philip and Pam (Russ' brother) came up last night for a weekend visit.  They left earlier this morning to head to Detroit to the Henry Ford Museum.  They will be back later tonight for supper and will worship with us tomorrow.  After they spend a relaxing Lord's Day with us, I think they plan to head back to Chicago sometime late tomorrow afternoon.   The cousins are having fun playing, but I know a few late nights and early mornings (no one sleeps well with a whole weekend sleepover:) will make for a slow start Monday morning!

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