Sunday, November 4, 2012

Homeschool Weeks 7-10

Since our new puppy doesn't understand the time change and I am now awake with an extremely playful dog at 4:30a.m., I thought I would take this time to give a home school update.

The older kids started week seven with the Pax Romana.  This time of peace began when Augustus Caesar was emperor of the Roman Empire.  We spent a couple of weeks on the early years of Jesus' life and putting what we know of the Bible stories (wise men, Herod, escape to Egypt, return from Egypt and Jesus in the temple) into historical context.  It was interesting to learn that from a historical perspective, Jesus' birth and life took place at the "perfect" time.  We touched briefly on the migration of the Germanic tribes, but will come back to this later as it becomes important in the fall of the Roman Empire.  We didn't spend much time on the life of Christ other than His temptation, death and resurrection.  (Pretty important parts!)   Later in the year when we go back and study the growth of other civilizations (China, India, Australia, Russia, etc) we will also go back and study the life of Christ in more detail.  Currently as we finish week ten, Tiberius is the Roman emperor and we continue to parallel history with what we know in Scripture so are working through Acts and the early church.
Resurrection cookies from when we studied the death and resurrection of Christ

Romans 12:1-6a is our new Scripture memory work.  We are learning a verse a week and have two verses down very well; the third is still a little shaky.

The girls continue to study the body systems in science.  We finished up the senses with units on the ear, the skin, and the eye.  Just this past week we studied the skeletal system and made our own skeleton model and learned about joints.  (I am totally in my element!)  We also began reading the book Galen and the Gateway of Medicine,  which is a good mix of science and history. 

The girls finished their Sarah Noble reading unit and chose to build their own log cabins from pretzels as a final project.  Since this book was also assigned as a read aloud in Seth's curriculum at the same time, he enjoyed making a little house, too.  The girls are now two weeks into a shortish unit on Homer Price.

We continue to work through two Latin roots a week, try to keep up with art lessons, and study our musical personality.  We finished Haydn and started learning about the life and music of Mozart this past week. 

Our last read aloud, The Bronze Bow, we finished a few weeks ago and have been reading Detectives in Togas.  This one was not scheduled but came highly recommended as a book to read when studying the Roman Empire.   It is a fun book and we are glad we decided to read it as a read aloud.  We are trying to finish it quickly so we can get started on our next scheduled read aloud, Twice Freed by Patricia St. John.

Seth continues to learn the different names of Jesus.  We did make bread for the "Bread of Life" using Aunt Alyda's great bread recipe.  Then we spent two weeks on "Jesus is the Rock" and have just started "Jesus is the Giver of Living Water".   The science curriculum always relates to the name of Jesus we are studying.   We learned how yeast worked with the "Bread of Life", what the earth is made of with "Jesus is the Rock," and now we are doing lots of experiments with water to learn more of its properties ("Living Water").

Our homemade bread

Napkin holder Seth made for the table

When Zoe started chewing on the letters at the base of the rock, Seth panicked and yelled, "Zoe is eating Jesus!  Zoe is eating Jesus!"  Since no one else saw what was going on we were so confused.  We had a good laugh when we figured out what Zoe was chewing on. 

In week seven Seth learned of the pioneers in Michigan and those that settled around the Great Lakes.    Week eight we started learning about colonial America and studied the life of Ben Franklin.    This week coincided with the week that Caleb had a few days off from school for midterm so we took a visit to the museum, hoping that the printing press shop was open in the Streets of Grand Rapids.   It was! The printing press was more fun to visit now that we studied someone who was a printer and had put together our own "Farmer's Almanac".  The next weeks we studied George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence, the French/Indian War and the Revolutionary War.   We just finished Sarah Witcher's Story as our read aloud.

I checked out the DVD set, Liberty Kids, for the kids to watch while Seth studied the time of the Revolution.  I think the 40 or so episodes originally aired on PBS Kids.  After two weeks (the time we can have/renew a DVD) the kids still had a couple discs to watch so I plan to put it on hold and check it out again.  At times I wondered if it really had any educational value.  Those thoughts were put to rest last night when I was reading a book about Paul Revere to Seth.  I just read past the name, "Dr. Joseph Warren" and Seth stopped to ask me what that doctor's name was again?  (I had not heard the name before.  John Locke, Nathan Hale, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson--yes. Dr. Joseph Warren--no).  Anyway, I repeated the name and he said, "Oh, yeah, that is sad.  He died in the Battle of Bunker Hill (we did not study this battle!).  He was in Liberty Kids."  I was impressed enough to look it up and yes, indeed, there is a famous painting by John Trumbull that immortalized Dr. Joseph Warren, The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill, June 17, 1775.  
Canoe from the Michigan settlers unit.  We glued actual birch bark from a neighbor's tree!

The museum had a new exhibit that highlighted the history of beer making in Michigan.  You just never know where you will learn more about Benjamin Franklin.

Only about 1/3 of the beer can collection on display at this exhibit
Our corn from the pilgrim unit is growing!  Unfortunately, we can't remember if the side that is growing more corn or the side that is growing faster had the raw fish pieces...

The signing of the Declaration of Independence

Just a quick update on Caleb to finish up the blog post.  As mentioned previously soccer season is now over and we are enjoying having him home more.    He had two orchestra concerts last week, the fall school concert and the Classical Orchestra concert with the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony.   Both sounded great.  This week he does not have school on Tuesday due to P/T conferences.  After we attend those we'll know better how school is going for him!   I've enjoyed listening to him discuss government/the election with Russ this fall and was reminded that in our "old life" Russ could have been his Government teacher.    This past week was pretty sad at Northpointe as one of Caleb's classmate's mom died (suicide).  He doesn't know the girl very well, but the dad was the basketball coach and guidance counselor at the school last year.  The positive is that we have had some good serious talks here at home about this situation.  Anyway, Caleb is gearing up this week for his Sonata/Sonatina piano festival on Saturday.  He also has a violin studio (student recital on Saturday) but they kind of overlap so we'll have to see how we are going to work that out.  

Oh, here are a few more pictures of our growing puppy:

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