Friday, December 20, 2013

Having Fun With All That Snow!

The boys only had a half day on Wednesday due to semester tests.  So after I got home from work around 1:00ish we hit the sledding hill!  We shared the hill with only one other family.  Other than a quick trip back home for Seth's inhaler we had a great time.

Sled races

This girl is absolutely crazy on the hill.  If anyone breaks a bone while sledding it will be Lydia.

Lydia denied that she had more snow on her than anybody else, but I have PROOF!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Winter Wonderland

Just what Russ needs during finals week...3-4 inches of snow to shovel/blow each day.  You may think I am being sarcastic, but I am actually serious.   Engaging in a little physical activity outdoors is the perfect break from reading, writing papers, and studying.  I often hint that maybe his boys can do it so he doesn't have to, but he insists he enjoys the fresh air and activity (maybe not early in the morning, though...).  God knew just what he needed this week!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Homeschool Weeks 9-12

Here is a little more detailed history lesson of the past four weeks:

We began week nine studying some of the conflicts/wars that occurred in the new colonies.   As the Massachusetts colony grew, the chief of the Wampanoag known to the white settlers as "King Philip" saw his kingdom getting smaller.  The resulting conflict over land was known as "King Philip's War" and ended with the death of many settlers and Native Americans, including entire tribes and the destruction of towns, farms, and crops.    Up north, the French colonies were also fighting against the Native Americans, especially the Iroquois.  We are just finishing up a read-aloud, Madeline Takes Command which tells the true story how a fourteen year old French girl, Madeline Vercheres, protected her fort against the Iroquois for eight days with only her two younger brothers and an old man. 

Statue of Madeleine that stands in Quebec today

We then continued to learn how the rest of the colonies were founded: Pennsylvania colony by Quaker William Penn who received the land in North America as a payment of debt to his family by King Charles II and Georgia colony founded by James Oglethorpe with the goal of providing a second chance to debtors from England.  Although the Georgia colony had many struggles, it survived and helped spread Christianity through men like the Wesley brothers and George Whitefield.   (We made peach cobbler this day in honor of Georgia peaches...Yum!)

Statue of William Penn in Philadelphia

We then left our study of the colonies and and turned our attention back to Europe and the changes occurring there due to the Age of Ideas...think Isaac Newton and John Locke.  Some of those ideas resulted in big changes in farming and the landscape of England.

Not to be left behind, Peter the Great of Russia wanted his country to look a little more like the western countries he visited, so he set out to "modernize" his country by fighting the Swedish for a new port city, St. Petersburg, so Russia could have a route to the west.   He brought much industry and wealth to Russia and made it part of Europe.  

Peter the Great

As we jump from the colonies to European countries, it is easy to get lost in the time period you are studying.  Russ used to ask his AP kids, "Of all the men we studied, who could sit down and enjoy a cup of tea together?"  Or, in other words, who lived during the same time period?   Isaac Newton, Peter the Great, John Locke and William Penn all could have enjoyed a cup of tea together.  Peter the Great actually met William Penn in England on his travels.  Fascinating!

We also reviewed the rise of the Ottoman Turks in the area known as Persia and how during the time of Peter the Great they tried to take over Europe.  This failed and the empire began to shrink.   Today, Turkey is all that remains of the large Eastern empire of the Ottoman Turks.

During week twelve we studied India..the World Seizer, the King of the World, and the Conqueror of the World.  We looked at why three bad decisions by the self-named Conqueror of the World, Aurangzeb, led to the decline of the Indian Empire and allowed the British to gradually take over.   The best part of this week was that we were able to end this study of India by eating authentic Indian food cooked by Mrs. Hiwale, an Indian seminary wife.  She had offered to cook Indian food for the youth group and it "just so happened" to be at the end of our week's study of India!  We enjoyed Wade (made with lentils) and Bhajia (made with spinach, cabbage, and cilantro) for appetizers, and then steamed rice with chicken curry and/or Rajma (made with beans), and Tandoori chicken (this was pretty spicy!)  My kids all loved it and have begged me to get some of the recipes from Mrs. Hiwale.  I watched her make the chicken curry so could probably handle that one...

Frying some yummy bread

Seth enjoyed checking out the Indian books, jewelry, money, and handmade items

Checking out the appetizers

Hanokh's mom made the good Indian food

Playing Scotland Yard

Apples to Apples crew

I love this picture because they are all from different countries:  Nigeria, India, Malaysia, and the U.S.

As our study of animals continued in science we studied our last vertebrate category:  reptiles.  Now we are studying invertebrates. So far we have read about arthropods which includes insects, arachnids, crustaceans, and myriapods (millipedes and centipedes);  mollusks (snail, clam, octopus); and cnidarians (jellyfish, coral, and sea anemones).  We had some fun projects to go along with most of these categories. 

Our insect models:  bee, ant, butterfly

We went to the museum for the dinosaur exhibit the same time we were studying insects.  Lydia thought it was only appropriate to take pictures by them.

Sorting our shells into bi-valves and gastropods

Our "octopus" lunch when we studied mollusks

Our coral made of mostly recycled items (cnidarian unit).