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

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall traditions

Every year, without fail, the kids and I go to a pumpkin patch and working farm. Sometimes more than once. It's just too fun to do just once.
This year, we went once in IL and once in CA so we got the full spectrum of activities.  One of favorites is the corn maze and of course, the animals! We took a hay ride, climbed the hay pyramids and picked out some fabulous oversized pumpkins.  All in a days' work.

 Kibru's very first time on a real horse! He was soooo excited.

Just trying to get some good ones.


 sweet Everett climbed on the carriage and posed for mom.

Roman Mosaics - Week 5

Continuing with the Romans and their way of life.  Mosaics were popular designs on walls and floors in houses, temples and public areas. We designed our own and took a part of the morning for an art lesson.

 Mackenzie is tiling a letter'M' and Ev is working on a snake.

 Kibru ducked out of the picture but this is his work - a fish.

 Completed work set out to dry. With these skills, it's onto the bathroom floor.........I wish.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Medieval Writing Class

I finally farmed out a subject that doesn't have to do with the ARTS.  Having not had a single lesson in either drawing or musical theory, I had good reason! But writing, well, not my strongest subject either.

I started to investigate writing classes in the summer. I wanted a class that my 5th grader could attend once or twice a week and get more in-depth instruction and feel challenged to upgrade her writing. We have been focusing on this for the last year or so and it's one of the more challenging topics for me to teach. I have never been a great writer and have an ongoing struggle with too much/too soon when it comes to pushing for kids to write when they aren't ready. But Mackenzie was now showing signs of being ready.....

Over the summer, Mackenzie continued to work on and add to her story she started at the end of our school year. It 's a prequel to Percy Jackson and is written freehand on about 16 pages as it stands right now. I was so impressed with her desire to write even when it wasn't required that I thought it was time to get more formal instruction and additional challenges.

Excellence in Writing offers some great classes for all ages and we decided to sign her up for a Medieval Writing Class that is offered once/week . The course follows along with our curriculum for the year, so it really was a perfect fit.  She is doing really well and there has been hardly a complaint about the work. Love it when a plans comes together!

Here is a quick sampling of her work so far. All the paragraphs are based on history that is taught in class.

"The Middle Ages are mostly remembered for intrepid knights, massive castles and wealthy kings, but these were not brilliant times. The Middle Ages began with the crumbling of the Roman Empire in the 400-500's. Warriors stormed Europe and seized parts of it. The Barbarians were not civilized,they lived in tents, ate raw food, and they did not bathe. They were fetid. The Barbarians had no interest in arts and learning like the Roman people. The Barbarians invaded the Roman lands and split them up into smaller kingdoms. The sophisticated life of the Roman people was lost. Some call this time the Dark Ages because we do not know very much about it."

All in all, a good effort on her first concise paragraph describing the events that led to the end of the Roman Empire.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

" All Roads lead to Rome"

Having used My Father's World for four years now, we are finally at the ROMANS. The Egyptian and Greek civilizations so enraptured the children that they hesitated to let the course of history continue but rather preferred to freeze time at the last of God's prophets, height of Greek power and Alexander the Great.

I convinced them that it was necessary for them to understand the full picture, the whole story up to now and I promised that Rome would be just as fun!

We began a few weeks ago with the founding of Rome around 750B.C.  To be sure, that story/myth of Romulus and Remus always freaks me out. I hate looking at the statue of the wolf feeding the babies....ewww!

Life as a Roman pupil would have included writing on a clay tablet so here we are making our versions :

We started reading The Bronze Bow in the first week because the story was so relevant and reading aloud is one of my students' favorite things.

We also switched to studying about the Roman versions of all the Greek gods. We chose The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan to read aloud as well It's about a fantastical adventure for a son of Jupiter  in modern times. Although not my favorite author, it's so nice of him to introduce new Roman characters and follow the historical record of how the Romans essentially borrowed most of the myths and deities from Greece and renamed them.

Next stop:  Rise of the Roman Republic

First Day Photos

It's Official - we have begun the 2011-2012 homeschool year.  I have 4 students this year. A fifth grader, a third-grader, a first-grader and a pre-K student. It's a hoot really. I would never have imagined myself here 6 years ago but here we are indeed! 
They jumped right in with the routine which I am so thankful for. We start school right after breakfast and go until just after lunch which makes for about a 4 1/2 hour school day. We also started a new season of our responsibility chart. The kids earn tickets for their completed chores, responsibilities throughout the week and they can 'cash' them in for extra activities, prizes or save them for something bigger like a date with Mom or Dad. So far, we have two dates on the calendar and one saving for a sleepover.

**Kibru decided his role was best played with bunny ears and spoon accessories.