Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Of Imaginary Friends and Little Girls who Grow Up

La-la, Leana and Ho-ho are Miriam's new "friends"  According to her, they are in her ballet class (she doesn't go to a ballet class) and she calls them on her Cinderella phone.  They have yet to visit us but it is much easer to play with imaginary friends when they are here so I have encouraged her to invite them over.

This is our first experience with imaginary friends, the big kids never really did that.  Maybe they will help her deal with the disappointment of being three when she really wants to be two.  She is desperate to plan another birthday party (a pink one) so that she can turn two again.  Last night Mim told me "Being two, so wunerful"  in a sad little voice.  Mama wouldn't mind her going back to being two for a while either.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Weekly Report- Week twenty-six 2008-09

David drew this while we were doing some of our history reading this week.  There is fire on the arrow if you can't tell.  
This week we read about the Ottoman-Turks capturing Constantinople (now Istanbul) and how Ferdinand and Isabella got married secretly and then took over Granada from the Moors to create a united Spain.  They may have been good rules for the people who remained but I can't help but feel sad about how they conducted themselves.  Under the Moor rulers Granada was a Muslim country but Jews and Christians were allowed to live there as long as they didn't cause trouble.  When Ferdinand and Isabella took over (after many years of war) they expelled all of the Jews and killed most of the Muslims.  Somehow I don't see their actions as being the best way to win people to Christ.  It was a good opportunity to talk with the kids about being examples of Christ in our world.

I love this integrated unit study because the passage of verses we memorized a few weeks ago, when leaning about the Crusades, was all about love.  "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but have not love I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal...."  That makes it easy to contrast the actions that men do in the name of God , with what God says we should actually be doing.

We did a fun experiment this week after reading about Henry the Navigator.  We magnetized a sewing needle with a refrigerator magnate and then floated it on a piece of paper in a bowl of water.  each of the kids got to have a turn changing the position of the needle and then watching it move back to magnetic north.  Very fun, but quick and easy!

In other news.....
The playmobil house is back out so Abbie took this picture of her little family.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Weekly Report- Week twenty-four 2008-09

This week has been a bit disjointed.  We did read about the beginnings of Russia and the Rus people but between sickness and some boys , who will remain nameless, not doing their work on time....  It has been a week of basics and not much more.  

My great achievement this week was getting a timeline up.  I thought I would build a timeline as we went along this year.  That lasted about 2 weeks and included looking at the tiny piece of timeline on the wall with the kids, only once.  Since we have to move back and forth through history a bit, staying with one civilization and then going back to study a different civilization that occurred at the same time, I really needed the timeline!  I want them to see that the Chinese Empire we just studied was a rich civilization when Rome was just a village.

My first timeline attempt was an utter disaster!  It was ugly, fell off the wall and took up 2 whole rooms.  This is a great improvement.  I really wanted to be able to keep the same scale for the entire history rotation but that is just not to be.  In this current timeline one line across the poster-board is 200 years.  Next year we will study roughly that amount of time over the whole year.  It is a bummer that I won't have one continuos timeline with the same scale but the one I made will work for this year at least and help the kids to see what was going on at the same time in different areas of the world.

This is the whole thing above; and below are some close ups.  I will be adding to the timeline as we learn about more areas of the world.  Notice the Red line for the Roman Empire and the Purple line for the Byzantine Empire.  Asian dynasties will be noted soon as I update the time-line.  I hope to get more on it this weekend.

Dancing with Daddy

How Does Your Garden Grow....?

This is how our garden has been growing the last couple of weeks.  We saw sprouts about 4 days after planting and they have been getting bigger by the day ever since.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Weekly Report- Week twenty-three 2008-09

We studied a couple of different Chinese dynasties this week.  Here are the notebook coloring pages showing an emperor of the Tang dynasty.  Can you guess which picture belongs to each child?  

(Abigail, J, then Miriam)

I said "smile" and this is what I got.  She is very proud of her writing.  I was cleaning up after dinner. Mim was sitting on the counter writing on her little white board.
If you use your imagination you can see how she wrote her name.  The first little wiggle is an M then the big i with the circle on top and another squiggle M.