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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Homonym Illustrations

This activity came to me when I was getting the lessons out for Language/Grammar this morning. My students love to draw so this teacher knew they'd get a kick out of the funny ways to illustrate the homonym pairs.

Harper picked sale/sail, flee/flea,hare/hair,and tails/tales
Everett picked the homonyms 

Clever way to recall the different meanings and spellings of these tricky word pairs.

Writing exercises - 5th grade

Mackenzie was assigned a paragraph about being transported from the Middle Ages to modern times. SHe had to  observe the modern customs, people and interactions. 

Life in a Foreign Land
I have arrived at a vast manor home and am searching the grounds for a servant’s entrance. While searching, I come across a spacious pond with no fish and am naturally suspicious. I knock on the door and the son of the manor answers, wearing a red cape. He must be a noble for no simple commoner wears red or purple. I bow, the boy seems surprised. I glance over at another young boy seated at a stupendous plank of carved wood, likely an instrument for it is making the most beautiful music. Could he be a minstrel? No, he was quite young, too young to have had the proper training. A young girl approaches him, but she is wearing breeches, wait, breeches ?  Breeches are for lads not noble ladies. She is also wearing a purple cloak. She is noble but I notice that she is alone carrying things for herself. That is not right!  I offer my help but she strongly refuses and seats herself on the floor and starts to write. Is she a scribe? No, she is noble, I am certain. This is confusing. She is drawing pictures with sharpened sticks and then coloring them with paint sticks. This is so strange. I must have landed in a foreign land. This great estate is overwhelming. I think I shall be leaving now.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Viking Battleships for Week 18-19

Viking battleships built from Story of the World Pages.

We enjoyed learning about the Viking routes and that they made it to North America 500 years before Columbus ever set sail. 

Question of the day: Why would the Vikings name their settlement lands Iceland, which is green and livable, and Greenland, which is covered in ICE?
 tricky tricky!

Catapulting the Castle Wk 21

The kids built a catapult from a kit that Everett received for Christmas. We fired marshmallows and a rubber ball at reinforced block towers to recreate laying siege to a castle.

FYI- siege literally means 'to sit' and invading armies would actually sit outside fortified city walls for months or even years before they found a way in..

It was great fun........until it broke.
note: Wood glue will be replaced with Hot glue gun when it is rebuilt.

I decided to add the Canterbury Tales into the curriculum starting next week. We are also watching videos from the library on Life in the Middle Ages  by Schlessinger Media.
After reading and watching a video on monastic life in the Middle Ages, the girls remembered posing for these photos at Westminster Abbey: 
 :-0 hehe- they make me laugh!

Take up your shields, your coat of arms and FIGHT!

Well, this project did not take much convincing. They were willing from the word 'shield'. They spent a few hours each on their designs and coloring their personal coat of arms.

We took was a cardboard box, cut some sturdy shield shapes. 2 pieces of posterboard to cover the brown shield, markers and a book to copy some typical coat of arm symbols. We had one from the library that told the significance of the symbols used in the art of Heraldry, like the lion for courage, gold for generosity, blue for loyalty and honesty, a sun for glory, a spider for wisdom and hard-work, a trident for master at sea and red for warriors.

Let the battles begin.......

We also learned a Medieval Game called 

Playing it with gummy bears makes it all more delicious to take an opponent's player.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Road Schooling and Fishermen

Getting to homeschool is one of my greatest joys. However, I did expect to be slightly more flexible with our days and follow Dad on work trips out of town more often. 

Hallelujah! this was one of those weeks. We took Tuesday and Wednesday and went to 'work' with Dad. He did all the work but we got to play and sight see in a new town not that far from home but far enough to have to spend the night. Bonus that it was near the ocean and we got to spend some time at the beach on a 75 degree January day. Gotta love So Cal. 

Kibru learned that fishing is a lot like standing on a dock and watching the water below.
I learned that fishing is going to be rare in our family unless we move to a stocked lake. 
I don't have any answers for why the fish no come?? as Kibru was fond of asking me every 10 minutes or so. At least the real fisherman next to us caught a cool looking guitar shark and let us get an upclose peek before he threw it back in.

 they really do love each other
 Part of the problem was that he insisted on reeling it in every 5 minutes to check and see if he caught anything. 
The fun was in the casting, I suppose.

 Hunky Hubby was having a blast!

Sunsets are meant to be shared!

Medieval writing class

My budding writer is being uncovered slowly and surely. I am so thankful for this class and this format that has awakened the writer within her. She has a week to complete the assignments and she doesn't complain a bit. She is learning so much about history paralleling the curriculum at home. The class focuses on the Medieval Age so this week she wrote about the knights and their duties.  I love how the ideas are becoming coherent thoughts and her vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds.

Here is her essay :

The Amazing Knights of the Middle Ages
Knights are a highly important topic in history because of their numerous duties, their fantastic armor, and how and why they followed their list of rules, called the code of chivalry.
Knights had numerous duties.  Knights were needed by nobles to apprehend invaders.  Their foremost duty was to protect their lord's life and land.  Usually this meant going into battle.  They also kept law and order in the kingdom.  To be ready for battle, they practiced combat skills.  When they dashed into battle, clad in armor, and riding on loyal steeds, they were like modern day tanks.  There were three kinds of soldiers; knights, archers and foot soldiers.  Knights often scorned foot soldiers because they were usually only mere peasants.  Knights were intrepid, and tenacious soldiers, who fought solely to protect the land of their lord or king.  Because of this, they became part of a proficient, elite class.  Ultimately, the duties of a knight were extremely important to each kingdom.
It's cost is more than a car, more than a tank, maybe even more than your house, it’s armor.  The knights armor was not always so expensive, not when it was made of simple chain mail.   Chain mail was merely thousands of tiny rings linked together.  Later, when the crossbow was invented, this armor was no use. The metal smiths created a suit of metal plates so complicated that it took two men to clad a knight in it.  The armor was also extremely cumbersome, and when a knight fell off his steed, he could not get up again.  The main weapon of a knight was his sword, which could easily have been twice as long as his arm, and weight more than a bicycle.  Because the suits were so complex and difficult to make, they became more costly.
Knights were bound by the code of chivalry, which expected them to be impeccable, and help the feeble.  Some people believed knighthood was a holy calling.  Chivalry originally meant, “horse soldier”, however it became known as the ethics of the knights.  Knights had to vow they would be loyal, and loving, honoring both to God and their lord.  They could not boast or be smug.  They were also required to protect women and children.  In war they had to willingly sacrifice themselves.  If a knight fell in love with an elegant lady, they had to do whatever task she challenged.  The Code of Chivalry embodied multiple virtues.
All of these things are extremely significant, and as you can see, knights were clearly busy men.

Week 16 - 18 Medieval Studies / Piano Recital

The Book of Kells was written by monks in the 800's in a monestary in Ireland. It contains the first four gospels in Latin. It is one of Ireland's most treasured artifacts and is displayed at Dublin University. The Book is considered the greatest representation of illuminated manuscript, where the monks would actually layer the pages and letters with real gold making them glow or illuminate in the candlelight.

Mackenzie colored this page from the Book of Kells.

Harper made her own page to replicate the precise nature of the writing and painted the sides with watercolor.

The girls also performed in the bi-annual piano recital this month. They both memorized their songs this year. I am so proud of their hard work and practice time.

Harper playing " FUR ELISE"