Monday, April 1, 2013

Homeschool Weeks 23-28

As I mentioned on the last homeschool update, we were leaving the Middle Ages and going back in time to study other ancient civilizations up to the end of the Middle Ages.  We finished up our study of ancient China and moved on to ancient Japan.  We wrote Haiku poems and ate a snack of Japanese crackers and green tea during our Japan study.    The kids enjoyed a bowl of borsch when we studied ancient Russia and then moved on to study ancient Africa, specifically the Ghana, Mali and Songhay Empires.  We concluded our study of ancient civilizations with the study of ancient India and a meal with chapatis.    Back in Europe we read about the Black Death, the Hundred Years' War between France and England, and the end of the Byzantine Empire when the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople.  We also studied the War of the Roses in England and how Ferdinand and Isabella united Spain.  This leads us right into the study of Columbus and other explorers which we will pick up after spring break.   Some specific people we studied during this time include:  Peter Waldo and the Waldensians, Marco Polo and his travels in China, Joan of Arc (listened to a dramatization from Your Story Hour), and Henry the Navigator, the Prince of Portugal who was known for his early exploratory travels along the coast of Africa. 

The girls' Haiku poems with watercolor illustrations.  I couldn't find Nicolas'...hmm...I wonder if he completed this assignment.  Lydia just realized she had too many syllables in her first line.  Oh, well!

The kids enjoyed this "War of the Roses" video from "Horrible Histories". 

The kids ate this right after studying the BSF lesson in which Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of red stew.  They were sure Jacob made a stew with beets.  Believe it or not, the kids loved borsch!

Chapatis with beef fajita mix.  I know we mixed cultures a little:)

During Bible time we finished reading the Gospel of Luke and the life of Christ, read Paul's letter to the Philippians, and are now reading 1 John.  We have pretty much memorized Philippians 2:3-11, but have one more week to review before we add verses 12-16.

The girls continue their study of the planets in astronomy.  They have written short summary reports on Mercury, Venus, Earth, the Moon, and Mars.  Since we didn't really have all the resources to do our own Marsville, the girls drew out their own Marsville after we talked about what we would need for oxygen, food, water, etc.  This week we studied space rocks (comets, meteorites, asteroids).  We read articles and watched videos about the recent Russian meteor and thought it was pretty neat to study something that happened recently.

The girls kept track of the phases of the moon for the month.  Since we have lots of cloudy days/nights in Michigan we needed to consult a website to complete our calendar.

Marsville drawing.  You can click on the pictures to view them larger.

Art has been a little overwhelming since we are entering the time of the early Renaissance, but we are trying to do two of the three projects recommended.  One of the major topics we are studying right now is the difference in painting style and technique from the earlier time periods to the time of the  Renaissance.    We have just started a unit on the life and work of Leonardo da Vinci.  In music we have left Mozart and are now enjoying learning about and listening to the life and music of Beethoven.
Anna is showing one of the difference in painting styles--one object/subject with no background vs. foreground picture with muted background scenery.

An example of some of the art drawings the kids have done.

Seth continues his study of the 50 states.  He has now added Iowa, Wisconsin, California, Minnesota, Kansas, West Virginia, Nevada, and Nebraska to his state notebook.   Special units included the California Gold Rush, the Santa Fe Trail, the Oregon Trail, the California Trail, and Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.   Seth is completing a lapbook on the Oregon Trail that we will put together on a tri-fold display board instead of in a book for the History Fair in a few weeks.   Stay tuned for pictures of that! 

Made our own Abe Lincoln hat

We had to stop at the Civil War exhibit at the museum the other day so Seth could dress up as a Civil War soldier
Seth continues to learn the names of Jesus adding "Jesus the Servant" and "Jesus the Good Shepherd" to the other wonderful names we have learned this year. 

In science Seth began a unit on atoms, molecules (we made our own water molecule with toothpicks and two red grapes for hydrogen and a green grape for oxygen), states of matter (solid, liquid, gas), energy, and forces.  He studied gravity as a force and now we will spend a few weeks studying the force of magnetism with a special magnet kit.  We even made our own magnet by coiling a wire around a piece of metal and putting the ends on a battery. 

We finished On the Banks of Plum Creek and are now reading Mountain Born as our read aloud.  Since this book is about sheep farming it goes well with learning about about the Good Shepherd.

Right now we are enjoying a break from our normal school work while Dad, Caleb, and Nicolas are in Kentucky for a spring break mission trip.   We will try to put our history fair projects together so we don't have to worry about that later when we are busy with track meets and soccer games.   Hard to believe we only have six weeks left in our curriculum!

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