Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Homeschool Weeks 28-34

Our last school activity for the year, ITBS.  Still a few tears in the math section, but MUCH better than last year.  

For social studies the last seven weeks of our school year we studied primarily from the 1950s to the present.  In US History this covered the space race, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of JFK, the Civil Rights Movement, both the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the end of the Cold War, terrorism and the wars in the Middle East.  

In the rest of the world we looked a little bit more at the history of Vietnam and Korea; Argentina's president and his wife, Evita; India; Iran and Iraq; China; and Africa.  Basically, just enough history to help us understand the continuing unrest in some of those areas. 

The kids finished their President lapooks!  This project started last year with early U.S. History.  Once they completed their last little president booklet they put it all together in a pretty cool little folder system.  We found all the templates on

Some other history projects:

A visit to Sonic for "1/2 price shakes after 8:00" for a taste of the 1950s drive-in.  I had no idea that Sonic had operated since the 1950s.

German chocolate cupcakes:  This recipe was picked up by Baker's Chocolate Company in the 1950s from a Texas homemaker.  Sales of Baker's German Chocolate soared by 73% the next year.  The original recipe is still on the box!

Veggie pita bread:  in honor of the high tech, low fat 1980s and 1990s.  Both recipes/ideas (cupcakes and veggie pita bread) came from The U.S. History Cookbook which was included in our curriculum

Pop Art which was common in the mid1950s:  Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.  The kids printed and colored the pictures.  I just wanted to expose them to these artists and not stress them out by creating their own.

China's Coat of Arms

Bible:  Most of the Bible this year was going through the book, A Young Person's Guide to Knowing God.  After we finished that we read Tales of Persia which were the tales of a missionary in Persia in the early 1900s.  The last six weeks we looked at an adapted study from "Witnesses to All the World".  This study helps give us an eternal perspective to the history cycle we just completed:  how God worked through the nation of Israel and how He now works through the lives of people that He has drawn to Himself.  It helps to give us a "kingdom view" rather than an "I am here for myself" view of the world.  During this time we memorized 1 Peter 2:9-12.   Although I tried hard, I can only hope and pray the kids put it all together.

Writing:  Anna and Lydia spent the last several weeks working on a five paragraph essay of historical figure of their choice.  Lydia chose Molly Pitcher, a female heroine from the Revolutionary War, and Anna did an essay on the different Civil Rights views of  Booker T. Washington vs.  W.E.B. Dubois.  I really like the IEW program as each lesson in this section built on the one before it, so I was not overwhelmed as a teacher and they were not overwhelmed with research, writing the body, working on intro and conclusion and adding dress-ups all at one time.   Seth continued with free writing, working on his story of a young boy and his time machine.

Math/English/Spelling:  Lydia and Anna finished their math books about a week or so before the end of our school year so they faithfully have been doing Khan instead (except this week of ITBS).  Seth is trying to finish his math book through the summer.  The rest of the subjects we just stopped where we were at the end of the year and will pick them up next year.

Science:  We were a little sketchy on science the last few months of school.  I mostly gave them the highlights and exposed them to different physical science principles and activities.  Anna is working on the last chapter in her science book and should complete it next week!

Read aloud:  The last several weeks we read a biography on Brother Andrew.  We didn't actually read his book God's Smuggler because that is assigned reading for Anna next year.  Now she just has a teaser/preview!

Field Trips/Extras:

Ela Weissberger visited Boise early this spring and we went to hear her speak at the Borah High School.  When she was 11, the Nazis sent her and members of her family to Terezin, a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia.   While there she joined a cast of other children to perform the musical "Brundibar", where she played the cat.  Of 15,000 children who passed through Terezin, less than 100 survived and Ela was one of them.   She put a face to the of reality of the Holocaust.   On that same note, we did finally visit the Anne Frank Memorial in downtown Boise.  I don't think Seth read much about her, but both girls read excerpts from her diary and checked out books in the library that chronicled her life and death.  

Wetlands:  We had an educational visit to a wetland area not that far from our house.  The kids learned the importance of the wetland area and solved a pretend mystery about the deaths of several osprey.  They did several cool activities to show how high levels of mercury (or any other toxin) can enter a wetland, affect the food chain, and ultimately, kill the predators higher up on the chain. 


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