Our life in books

This is our eigth year of homeschooling and I finally got around to blogging about our adventures a few years ago.
I love the path that God has us on.
We get to enjoy the lightbulb moments in educating our children and have quite a few of them ourselves.

We are starting Exploration to 1850's this school year, 2012-2013 using My Father's World curriculum.
Rome to the Reformation,
Exploration to the 1850's and NOW.........

Below is the week by week of lessons for this year if you'd like to start at the beginning.
There is also a handy LABELS area that you can peek through to find a specific lesson.

Week by Week - MFW: Creation to the Greeks

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Website for Temple Building

The kids are stoked about the Greeks still and I am so glad that MFW covers them for so long at this time. This was a great time of the year to study it (feb-mar) as the weather was crummy and we got  a lot more read aloud time indoors. I think we have read every book in our library on Greek myths!

We are also reading about the lives of David and Solomon. One interesting way in which our studies impacted our real life was when we studied the Queen of Sheba's visit to King Solomon seeking wisdom. Experts think that the Queen was likely from the northern Africa region that incorporated Egypt down to Ethiopia. Whenever we hear anything about Ethiopia, it has an impact! We are leaving for Ethiopia in a few days and we are taking with us a new knowledge that the people of Ethiopia were the recipients of God's wisdom through Solomon. Amazing.

We learned how the temple was built in silence which we thought was fascinating. No hammer or chisel was used on site out of reverance for the dwelling place of the Lord.

Click HERE for a pdf I found of the building of the temple in Jerusalem.  We looked up the verses and filled in the answers together. My kindergartener colored and my 2nd and 4th graders did the word searches and the crossword.  There are more where this one came from so we may be using these for other topics as well, like Esther coming up.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's all Greek to me!

We just arrived in Ancient Greece after spending the first half of the year on Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Israel. We have loved studying about what civilization was like B.C., seeing what the people did for work, what they wore, what they ate, how they lived. But more importantly, we have really enjoyed understanding what God was doing during those times. How His word can be our guide to history and teach us about a place and time. God was present when the Egyptians built their pyramids, and more so when He loosed the plagues that released the Israelites from slavery there. 

Now we have moved onto another great civilization, Ancient Greece.
Can I just say that they Greek myths have totally captivated the young minds in my house? 
They are constantly pretending to be one of the Greek gods or goddesses and reenacting the stories. It's probably the easiest time I have ever had teaching a subject, they constantly beg for more. 

We started with the ILIAD in the Children's Homer but quickly changed to Rosemary Sutcliffe's version, Black Ships before Troy. It was more engaging for the age range that I have listening ( K-4). We sped through that in 1 week and are onto the Wanderings of Odysseus, again my Rosemary Sutcliffe instead of using the Odyssey in the Children's Homer.  

I also added a few books that MFW doesn't include.We are reading through the Percy Jackson series. I read this aloud so that I can edit a few of the language issues. The novels help to emphasize the relationships among the gods /goddesses and what a greek HERO really was. I found this website to quiz the students on the sequencing, vocabulary and comprehension portions of the story.  One amazing bonus, is that my fourth grader has written her first short story. A prequel to the Percy books, his time from pre-K to 5th grade and it's a hoot! I will publish a chapter or two at a later time.

Most importantly, we have definitely enphasized the fantasy genre of the myths and that they would essentially be equivalent to today's superheroes. That is, if we built monuments to them and worshipped them with sacrifices.  The kids understand that the myths were meant to explain natural phenomena, such as thunderstorms or the setting of the sun, which we have science to explain today. Some myths were written as pure entertainment. The gods and goddesses in the myths are temperamental, not always wise or compassionate and generally like the best and worst of all human characteristics. 
Nonetheless, they are fascinating to read about.  
Everett loves the mythical creatures most of all, the Cerberus, the centaurs, satyrs, cyclopses, the chimera, the hydra, etc.........anything with mutliple heads and mixed up body parts!  Those Greeks sure had imaginations!

Everett's rendition of the Underworld based on the descriptions in Greek mythology.
I think he captured it pretty welll.....there is Hades on the throne, the (three-headed) dog, Cerberus as guard-dog, the cyclops with the club, and the general despair of the whole scene.