Saturday, November 12, 2011

More Egypt and All the Rest

I think we finally have reached the end of our Egypt study. I am ready to move on to our next major civilization. Not that Egypt hasn't been fascinating. I thought I had learned a ton about Egypt when we studied it 4 years ago but this time through we have really immersed ourselves in stories about the people, their gods and tied it all together with some great fiction that only added to and reinforced our studies.

This week we spent a lot of time reading books about Akhenaten, Nefertiti and King Tut.

I read aloud this book which was a short chapter book about how the Egyptians may felt when Akhenaten changed things in Egypt and forced all to worship one god instead of the many gods they had been worshiped for thousands of years.
It was interesting but my kids are enjoying listening to the audiobook of The Red Pyramid even more.

Sophie couldn't wait for it to finish so started reading the physical book and has finished it already and has now started the 2nd book in the series. She can't wait for the third one to come out in the spring.

I know we aren't totally done yet with Egypt. We still have the story of Cleopatra which comes later when Rome takes over everything but for now I am happy with what we have been able to cover and am ready to move on to other things.

I think it might be time to head to the Egyptian Museum we have nearby. I have been saving it until we had finished learning and talking about Egypt but I think we may need to go soon before the excitement for all things Egyptian fades. 

We also finally wrapped our chicken mummy.
 Here is Cleopatra after sitting in salts for weeks and weeks.
 Sophie has been waiting to wrap this little chicken for weeks. I am so happy to finally have this project done. She can stop pestering asking me when we would wrap her.

We used some more of the plaster bandages that we had made our masks with a few weeks ago. It worked perfectly. She is now officially a mummy. Now what do we do with this Mummified hen? Sophie already has plans to make a sarcophagus. 

As for other subjects we have covered this week.....

Sophie has been doing something new in Math. Since she had finished her Singapore 5A book I thought she could use a break from the regular stuff she had been doing so I downloaded the Pet store version of Simply Charlotte Mason's business math.  She is flying through it really quickly.  Sophie has already done about 4 months out of the twelve that she will do with this series.  It is a bit hard to see her have to add all those columns of addition by hand when I know it would be so much easier with a calculator or even better if the records were kept on the computer and it did the adding for her. It is good for her to have to do a lot of math by hand!

The boys are still working on their Singapore math workbooks.

Science has been a bit hit and miss the last few weeks. It is always the subject that gets left out if we run short on time. I need to make sure we get it back into the schedule again. We didn't read any of our Apologia book. We should be doing the respiratory system.  It will have to be a focus for next week. The kids of course are getting some Science in at their workshop that they attend each Wednesday but I can't really say that is enough science so I need to squeeze in more.

Sophie is doing great with her IEW All things Fun and Fascinating. I really like this writing program! The lessons aren't as easily split up into weeks as Writing with Ease but I feel like Sophie is learning more about how to go about writing. Writing with Ease often felt like it was busywork.  Ian of course is still doing Writing with ease but I have ordered the IEW DVDs and the Student Writing Intensive so I may switch him soon and start it slowly since it is designed to start at about 3rd grade.  Henry is doing his Explode the code but he has reached the point that I remember feeling like Ian was done with them. Henry too is starting to show signs that he is ready for more.  So perhaps I need to switch Henry to something else.

The kids are learning Fur Elise in their piano class. And we have listened to a lot of Beethoven music and I turned on Fantasia a few days ago so they could see the Pastoral symphony. We watched the whole film because my kids love it.

 We also read the Venezia biography of Beethoven and listened to the Classics for Kids production of Beethoven Lives Upstairs.

And I guess I can claim some art because I put on a DVD tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the kids sat and watched it with me. They got very excited when they recognize Vermeer,  Matisse Van Gogh, or other paintings that we have studied in the past. 

We also added in a new Latin Program. I used our Charter school funds to purchase Minimus Latin. We have done the first lesson and my kids seem to enjoy the story so far. This isn't the program we wanted to use but since the Charter School turned down my first 3 choices, saying they are "sectarian" I was happy to find one that they actually would allow. We will have to see if this will work out. I may have to just break down and get the program I really want. But then I wouldn't be able to turn in any of the latin work we do for the portfolios each child has to turn in to the school each semester.

Oh... the charter school woes :) But I have to remember why I am doing it.

Piano lessons are going very well. The kids don't fight me about practice each day. They do often rush through and are sometime sloppy in their practice but their teacher is pleased with their progress and so am I.  It is a pleasure to hear them stop and play a little tune when they are passing the piano. I have also been teaching them the simplified version of For the Beauty of the Earth "just for fun". We have been singing a few of the Thanksgiving hymns each day and they asked me to help them learn this one. They all seem to have the right hand down so now I get to add in the left hand. Maybe by Thanksgiving they will each be able to play that one hymn.

Oh.. yeah.. one more thing for the week. We did something for P.E. Since Sophie is going to be running a mile in the spring as part of the required 5th grade physical fitness test I decided we should go to the track and run it, just to see how well they could do it. I used to hate having to run the mile in Elementary school. I always felt yucky after doing it. But since we are pretty active and take hikes quite often they didn't seem to have a problem at all.  We didn't run the entire 4 laps. I decided to start us off a little easier and only run the straights and walk the corners. That was the way I always did it all the way through high school. All the kids made it around that community center track 4 times and made it while pushing Molly in a stroller. If we make a habit of this I am going to need to do something different because it wasn't a jogging stroller and I kept kicking it or having to really watch my stride.

So that was our week,  and now I just need to get ready to head into the next.

1 comment:

Cellista said...

We've kind of forgotten about our chicken mummy now that we're past Egypt. We REALLY need to change the salt. Do you like IEW? I have the TWSS dvds here and I keep thinking I really need to watch them and maybe give A a new approach. He has a really hard time putting things into words (he must get that from me.)