Friday, January 25, 2013

Homeschool Weeks 15-18

The last four weeks of  home school are actually the two weeks before Christmas break and first two weeks after we returned from Iowa.  The last two weeks were marked by the flu so quite of bit of our homeschooling during that time was sketchy.  We did try, however, to keep up with the history even if math, English, and spelling had to slide.  Here is what we covered:

We studied the birth of Islam and how it spread.  During this time we explored the main teachings of the Koran and the five pillars.  After that we began our study of the Middle Ages.  This is such a fun to time to study--castles, knights, King Arthur, monks/monasteries, etc.  We started our study of the Middle Ages in Gaul (France) with Clovis, Charles "the Hammer" Martel, and the greatest king of the Franks--Charlemagne.  We enjoyed a fun YouTube video that set Charlemagne's life to song/video.  After that we stepped back in time several years so we could study the history of Britain beginning with the Celtic tribes.  While we studied the Saxon-Angles invasion into Britain, dividing it into seven kingdoms, we listened to part of the story of Beowulf, an Anglo-Saxon warrior.   During this time we also read books about King Arthur and his Round Table and watched the Disney version, The Sword in the Stone.    We learned about the missionary Augustine (different than The City of God Augustine) who brought Christianity to Britain. We spent a week learning about monasteries and monks and the importance of their writings during these Dark Ages.  We tried our hand at making our own illuminated manuscripts which was tied into the God and the History of Art book.  

Because herbs and gardens were so important in the monasteries we bought seeds and will begin growing our own herb garden.  

Last week we studied the Vikings, beginning in Scandinavia and then covering their explorations into Iceland, Greenland and Newfoundland (Eric the Red and Leif Ericsson).  We learned about the Norse god, Thor, made a Viking longboat, and each made a Runestone. 

Viking Runestone sugar cookies--we baked and ate!  The kids all wrote their names, I think.  The first is Lydia's who wrote "Brie" and then "Nicolas Herman" and "Anna"
 Through all these topics we wrote up notebook pages to summarize what we learned or the girls added books to their Middle Ages lapbook.  The people that we studied in more detail during this time were Boniface, Charlemagne, Patrick (missionary to Ireland) and Pope Gregory I.  We read about these men in the books Trials and Triumph and Monks and Mystics.  Chess was "invented" sometime during the Middle Ages so we got out the chess sets and reviewed how to play using the Usborne book on chess to help us.

In Bible we continue to study the life and ministry of Christ using Victor's Journey Through the Bible as a resource for understanding the Bible lands and culture.   We are memorizing 1 Cor 13 and are trying hard to apply it!  It has been a good reminder on how much we need God to help us.

The girls continued their study of the human body with units on the circulatory, urinary, and muscular systems.

We also continue to listen to works of Mozart focusing on his operas:  The Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro, and Don Giovanni.  We would read a synopsis of the story of the opera and then listen to some of the music.

Our read aloud is now The Door in the Wall which takes place during the Middle Ages.  Lydia began a new book unit using the book The Minstrel in the Tower and Anna started a new unit using the book The Bridge.

Seth continued his study of the United States adding the states of Rhode Island, Vermont, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio.    When studying Rhode Island we read a book about the founding of Providence, RI and how it got it's name; for Vermont we enjoyed maple syrup on pancakes; for Kentucky we learned about Daniel Boone and the Wilderness Road.  The week we studied Tennessee we also learned about Eli Whitney and the cotton gin.  We made our own cotton and glued construction paper "seeds" in the cotton and then spent time later in the week picking them out.  This helped us appreciate the invention of the cotton gin!  The week we studied Ohio we read about pioneers who traveled West via the Ohio River and also read books about Johnny Appleseed and ate apples.  We also made our own New England Primer using the paper that came with our curriculum.  
We finished Farmer Boy and are now reading On the Banks of Plum Creek for a read aloud.  

 In science we studied different properties of air related to weather.   The next week began a study of living things discussing the days of Creation and what things God created were living vs non-living.  Since the girls had made a jello cell model (and Seth helped) earlier in the year we just talked about the parts of a cell and looked at pictures.  The next week we specifically looked at the animal kingdom and played an animal memory game, matching the animal with the group it belonged to:  mammal, amphibian, reptile, bird, fish.  

In Bible Seth continued learning names of Jesus.  He learned "Immanuel" which means "God with us" and "Jesus is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world."  

Hand print lamb
We are looking forward to learning more about knights and castles in the coming weeks.  We are even going to build our own castle.  Stay tuned...

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