Wednesday, October 27, 2010

World History Projects

Here are some random world history projects we've done this year.  Along with Sonlight's Core 1, Banana Boy is using Handle on the Arts core 1 go-along.  It schedules in hands-on projects with the core.

First off, regarding Handle on the Arts....  I like it.  No, really, I do.  A part of me balks at paying $19.99 for projects I could come up with myself.  And I tried this.  You can get the table of contents for free from HotA.  I searched and found most of the crafts online and copied and pasted them into a Word document.  I spent about 4 hours gathering the first 12. I enjoy this.  But after a point, I decided that it was just worth it to spend the $20.

And I'm glad I did.  While I could have done a better job collecting the projects with GOOD directions (sometimes HotA instructions are a little lacking), by purchasing the curriculum (which comes as an instant download), I got the SCHEDULE to go along with Core 1 (could have done this myself, but it would have taken forever!) and the ART STUDIES, which I didn't realize were a  part of this.

The art studies are my favorite part!  Could I have put this together?  Yes.  But why reinvent the wheel? (there's not a project on that, incidentally)  So far we've had a color picture of cave art with questions to go along with it, pointing out elements of the painting.  We've also looked at the Battle Standard of Ur up close and personal.

Additionally, there is a lapbook of Egyptian architecture.  This IS available as a free download from the site, so you could take advantage of it without the purchase.

So, for $20, I got all the hands-on activities with directions and materials lists, plus the schedule, plus the art studies, plus I saved myself hours and hours (AND HOURS) of time putting it together myself.  I think it was a worthwhile purchase!  Plus the activities are suitable for the girls, as well.  In fact, most of the time, they all do them together.

Archaelogical Dig--suggested in HotA, but this one was entirely of their own volition.  They were playing up in the orchard one day and someone spotted a bone.  Then another.  They all began digging and soon they had a wagonload of raccoon bones.  At least two coons, we figure.  Why were they there?  Who knows!

Ancient Cave Painting--suggested in HotA.  We modified it to the shower because our bathroom has no windows and we could make it completely dark.  It was hard to draw by torchlight!

Aboriginal Dot painting-- Suggested in HotA.  The kangaroo outline is available online. Under the supply list, click on "click here for printables"

Making felt--suggested in HotA

Cheesehenge.  Daisy's own creation.  
They made henges out of every available material for about two days after reading about Stonehenge.  We watched part of the National Geographic documentary "Stonehenge Decoded" on Netflix instant play.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ancient Egypt

We've been steadily moving through Mystery of History, the curriculum we're using to study ancient history. It's Biblically-based and divided into short chapters. A week consists of a pre-test, 3 chapters and a post-test, plus timeline figures (not included, although directions for making them are), maps (included, although we are using MapTrek) and extra reading. I think I'll put up our weekly lessons because, even though there are TONS of MOH schedules out there, I think it always helps to look at someone else's to see what they are doing. I also love to see what new resources I need to add are out there.

So right now we're continuing to move through history while doing some long-term projects on Egypt. Pepper is going to be doing History Pockets Ancient Civilizations, the Egypt pocket. Daisy is making a travel brochure about Ancient Egypt (you might want to sign up for her tour package once you see it!)

We made mummified oranges and a green pepper from  There is tons to explore here if you are studying Ancient Egypt.  We haven't even begun to scratch the surface of the resources here.

Anyway, here they sprinkling natron over the dead Pharaoh Pepperiti.

Here are all 3 pharoahs:  Pharaoh Pepperiti, King Pulphaman I, and King Frufru I.  Those are their internal organs drying out in the packets.

Daisy did some Egyptian math --most gladly, I may add.  She was thrilled to take a break from her regular math and even though there was some research involved, she enjoyed it.  Most of it was just the right level for her--just challenging enough.  A few I had to help her with.  I printed out the pages, rather than having her fill them in online.  The links to the "answers" are on the above page, below the links to the problems.

Pepper attempted some Egyptian wall art from Artistic Pursuits I today, but became frustrated.  Not sure if she'll continue with it or not.

And now we're going on a field trip/picnic to look at a local archaeological dig.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Praying for India

Sonlight Curriculum, which we use, is currently sponsoring a program called My Passport to India (Choose the video you'd like to watch from the tiny panels above the main video box).  It's a 5-week multi-media learning experience about India via video.  A pastor named Chris, from the US, visited India and filmed his experiences visiting children's Bible clubs all over India.  Mission India is the organization working there and, partnered with Sonlight, they've made this program available.  Kids here in America are encouraged to save up change to donate to the program while they learn more about India and the Bible clubs reaching kids with Christ.  Sonlight is also going to match the first $167,000 raised by students.

So we signed up.  The kids have enjoyed watching the videos and reading Chris's travel diary.  They received passports and stickers in the mail which they fill out each time they watch a new installment of the program.

Coincidentally, my mom also invited us to hear a gentleman who has worked in India the past 9 years speak at her church.  One of her former pastors is a colleague of this man and so we were already familiar with the program.  It was exciting to see his slides of their work and hear how many people they are teaching and reaching with the gospel.  One statistic he mentioned was that they currently have 90 seminarians!  He said many organizations would be grateful for 1 or 2 with interest in becoming pastors.  And they have NINETY!  (with 30 already graduated).

October 2010 - World Missions/India from WELS Streams on Vimeo.

I was really struck by the quote in the WELS video above that there are millions of gods in India, none of whom forgive sins.

If you'd like an excellent FREE curriculum to learn more about India, check out Voice of the Martyrs Kids of Courage.  You do need to sign up to access it.  It's a download, so you can print just what you want.  I planned to use it last year when we were going to do SL's Core 5, and still will, whenever we get around to that.

The population of India has topped 1.2 BILLION people.  Please pray for the people of India to hear the gospel and learn of the hope of eternal salvation.  There are many wonderful organizations working in India toward that end.  These are just two of them.

Field Trips

We've been trying to take some field trips this fall, now that Sunshine is in PS kindergarten and things at home are, um... easier!  (he is doing WONDERFULLY, btw).

At first we were going to visit the "Milwaukee Museum" as my kids call it.  We buy a membership each year because it's a good deal for us.  Not only is it paid for by two visits of our (large) family, you get discounts or free admission on other museums as well.  We haven't used any of these yet, but we plan to.

After some discussion of desired field trips, however, we determined that we'd rather go to the Milwaukee Zoo instead while the weather was nice.  I checked into memberships online (because after checking into admission fees and parking, it was going to set us back $55 for ONE VISIT!).  So I bought a membership for $65.  We went to the zoo (saving $44) and were able to park for free on the street (if you get there early enough--saving $10 or $11) and we had a great time.  Because of the membership, we knew we could go again anytime within the next year, so we were able to see the zoo at a leisurely pace and even quit when we got tired, even though we hadn't seen everything!
 Hyena laughs are contagious!

 Daisy, I don't think that it's wise to take that from him!

 Pepper kisses the lioness

Look!  Cave drawings just like we made!

A couple of weeks later, on another beautiful Fall day, we visited the International Crane Foundation.  I've always wanted to go there, the kids were game AND admission was free with our Milwaukee Zoo membership pass!  FREE!  This is the only place in the world which houses all 15 species of cranes.  Their breeding program targets the very endangered whooping crane, with great success.  We read about the history of their breeding program, meet the 15 species of cranes, and enjoyed a walk through the tallgrass prairie.
 Check out our wingspans!

Grey Crowned Crane of Africa 
(makes me think of the Crowned Crane, Savannah, from WeeBee Tunes!)

Future trips on our list include the Missisippi River Museum, and the NEW Zoo, both free or discounted with our Zoo pass, the Milwaukee Public Museum, the state capitol in Madison, and selected museums in Chicago (a larger undertaking--who likes to drive in Chicago?? :P )  We also plan to visit some art museums and see some shows at the Overture Center in Madison.

Happy field tripping to us!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tuesday Teatime

In Bravewriter fashion, we have begun Tuesday Teatimes and they have proved to be HUGELY popular!  We haven't missed a one so far.

Each Tuesday, someone (usually Daisy) volunteers to bake something and at 2pm, we set the table with a table cloth, flowers and the good china.  I make the tea and everyone brings a poem to tea.

We serve the tea and snacks using our best manners and then, one at a time, we share the poem we've brought.

I gathered all of the poetry books we own (and which we've very seldom used in 15 years of homeschooling!) onto one shelf.  One week, Banana Boy even wrote an original poem and brought it to share.

So, like never before, we are enjoying poetry on a regular basis.  The kids enjoy choosing a poem to share.  I get to share some of my favorites.  We're sampling many different authors and types of poetry.

And the tea is good, too!

Hey, they took away my blog design!

The blog template I was using was from Cutest Blog on the Block, but apparently, they don't keep the designs indefinitely, because when I came here today, my background was missing!

Temporarily (which may become indefinitely) I've inserted some pink stuff from Blogger, but prepare for my blog to be ugly for a while.