Monday, January 20, 2014

Homeschool Weeks 13-17

We have covered quite a bit of ground in the past five weeks of home school.  We are still leading up to the Revolutionary War, but hope to cover that this week and next.  What we have been doing is reading from the book George Washington's World and studying all the things that are going on in the world during the lifetime of George Washington.  Here are a few of the things we studied:
  • The emperors of China and Japan's isolation.   
  • The life of Benjamin Franklin
  • The three pointless wars in Europe and the corresponding skirmishes in the New World.  
  • The early life of George Washington through the time of the French and Indian War.  
  • The Seven Year's War in Europe including several key people:  Voltaire, Goethe, Catherine the Great, George III, Frederick, Louis, Marie Antoinette, and the early life of Lafayette.  We will study some of these individuals in more detail as our walk through history continues.
  • The Spanish missions in Texas, Mexico, and California.  
  • Other people and events that we studied in more detail:  George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, David Brainerd, Phillis Whitley, Benjamin West, The Stamp Act, Eusebio Kino, Father Junipero Serra, John paul Jones, Olaudah Equiano, and the early life of Alexander Hamilton.
For extra activities in some of these units we filled out lapbook or notebooking pages, put together our own almanac like Ben Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanack, made Johnny cakes like those George Washington must have eaten, and drank Liberty Tea with our homemade scones.  The kids also continue to enjoy the Liberty Kids DVDs which is leading up to the Revolutionary War.  It is amazing how many key historical people are mentioned in those videos which really helps the kids remember who they are and what they did.
Tea and scones

We completed our memorization of James 1-2.  We just began studying chap 3 and when we finish that we will continue our memorization.  I need an extra week to review just to keep up with the kids!

In science we completed our study of animals finishing with echinoderms (starfish and sand dollars), sponges, worms, and the Kingdom's Protista and Monera.  We are now a couple weeks into our new semester topic:  Botany.  So far we have learned about vascular vs nonvascular plants, angiosperms vs gymnosperms, the process of germination, and the difference between moncots and dicots.  We currently have a scientific study going on regarding germination.  We are studying which bean seed will germinate the best:  the one in the closet, the one in the fridge, or the one taped to the window.  We have made a hypothesis and are measuring each day, charting our findings, and will write up the results on Day 12.  Grandpa also helped build us a light hut which we will use to grow herbs that we can use to make tea or soap (we haven't decided yet). 

Sand dollar and starfish cookies

The kids worked together on this underwater scene using cut out sponge shapes and paint

The worm habitat diorama
Grandpa helping make our light hut

Lining the inside with foil

Complete with a foil cover.  Now all we need is our herb seeds!

Our curriculum has taken a break from any assigned read-aloud since we have so much reading in our other history books.  We decided to read The Ark, the Reed, and the Fire Cloud as a read-aloud just for fun until we are assigned another book from the curriculum.  

The girls are still finishing up their book units from last semester.  Seth started a new one on Sign of the Beaver and we try to have some activity for each chapter even if it is just a worksheet, a notebook or research page, or vocab words.   So far the activity for chapter six was his favorite--making your own moccasins.  Okay, Grandma and mom may have had to do most of it for him (the toe part was kind of tricky), but he did finish up quite a bit of the second one on his own.  

Are those not just the cutest little feet?  The cutest in this house anyway.

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