Monday, April 21, 2014

School Summary - Ancient India, Explorers, and Mayan, Aztec, and Incan Empires

Part of my 4th-6th grade choir
A Summary of March 24-April 4
We had a few more busy weeks as our co-op finished up for the spring. We participated in the annual spring concert (the younglings sang, did a dramatic reading, and some sign language; I directed two choirs.) They all did a great job!
The sign language class signing "How Deep the Father's Love"
Prepping for the concert and an additional week of co-op after the concert (a snow make-up day) ate into our at home time a little. We still kept up with our regular assignments though.
Here's what we did for the past two weeks:

Things that were scheduled:
Math
Language Arts (Grammar, Spelling, Penmanship, Reading, and Writing) 

Electives:
Typing, Spanish, and Geography for both.
Tenor continued with Greek and PA History. Soprano had two weeks off from her Home Ec lessons. We'll still finish the book by the end of the year.
 
My Father's World Rome to the Reformation
We're so close to the end. We are on weeks 28-29 of MFW. As we start looking at the era of exploration, we spent a week studying India and then a week on the Mayan, Aztec, and Incan Empires of Central and South America. The Indian groups of the Americas had some really disgusting and horrific religious practices. *shudder* It reminded me of the Indiana Jones movie, Temple of Doom. I'm thinking some of those scenes were quite historically accurate.

Bible: We continued learning our passage in Philippians (Chapter 2:3-11), and read quite a bit of the book of 1 John.

Science: We completed several lessons from AIG's Our Universe. We talked about the phases and origin of the moon and then began studying the individual planets: Mercury, Venus, and Earth. We did several demonstrations and experiments including making moon phases with Oreo cookies, testing the capture theory (it's not credible), demonstrating how Mercury's lack of atmosphere affects the temperature, demonstrating how Venus' atmosphere acts like a greenhouse, making earth models (like the ECC experiment), and showing why Earth's atmosphere looks blue.
Yummy Moon Phases
Ice on an arm wrapped with a towel representing Earth's atmosphere vs. ice on bare skin representing Mercury's lack of atmosphere
 
Watching the temp go up in our Venus greenhouse
History: 
We spent a week reading about the history of India which is where the explorers from Europe were trying to get to. We skipped making chapatis and a sari for Soprano. We did wrap Tenor up in his snuggie to look like an Indian man's traditional dress. He didn't want me to take a picture of him though. :)
Then we had a week talking about Vespucci and Magellan which led us to the Aztecs, Mayas, and Incas. We drank hot chocolate like the Mayans and had popcorn like the Incas.
We also skipped making a Mayan Codex and coiled clay pots because we just ran out of time.

Other MFW: 
Music: We listened to Beethoven's Fur Elise (a recital piece of mine from years ago) and his 9th Symphony.
Art: They had a few drawing assignments. I don't know that their technique is really improving; mainly because they don't practice in between lessons. But they do art without complaint and seem to enjoy most of the lessons.
Extras:
Web:
We are really far behind on watching our web videos but they're saved in my playlist. You can see them all in my Youtube playlist for MFW weeks 19-34.
Videos:
Ancient Civilizations for Children: Ancient Maya by Schlessinger Media
Explorers of the World: Magellan by Schlessinger Media

Favorite Books: 
A Picture Book of Christopher Columbus by David Adler
Columbus by Ingri and Edgar d'Aulaire

Monday, April 7, 2014

Make a Card Monday - Sparkly Cupcakes

 I love when cards turn out well and use up some bits from my massive scrap collection. I hate wasting paper so I tend to keep every bit of scrap paper from my scrapbooking projects or other crafts. Of course, that means my file box of scraps is always full. My girl birthday cards for this year helped to use up some of those favorite pieces. I added Stickles to the cupcake confetti to make it a little more sparkly and of course, went with my stash of princess brads.

Details:
cardstock: Bazzill textured cardstock base and mats, Georgia Pacific (white)
patterned paper: unknown scraps (some DCWV stack papers, some The Paper Studio 'So-So-Sweet')

embellishments: brads (TAC), ribbon (unknown), Stickles (various colors)
color: Palette Noir ink, Prismacolor watercolor pencils, Tombow gray marker, Dove blender pen
tools: EK Success scallop edge punch, Making Memories Crop-a-Dile
stamps: Stampin Up! Crazy for Cupcakes

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

School Summary - Constantinople Falls, Spain Unites, England's Roses War, and Africa


Tracking the Movement of the Sun

A Summary of March 10-21
If you are paying attention to the dates (which I don't blame you, if you don't; I only include them for our personal records), but you might have noticed that March 3-7 went missing. I had originally planned to take a week-long winter break the third week of February, but my folks asked to take the younglings to Washington D.C. Um, yes! :) They needed to schedule their trip around my dad's work schedule so they wanted to go from March 3-5. It was really, really hard to push our winter break off a couple weeks, especially since I had been talking it up to the younglings and we all really needed a break. We pushed through those weeks of school though and they had a great time with my parents. Of course, a trip with Gram and Pop-pop usually means eating out more than usual, extra treats, souvenirs, and extremely late bedtimes. They went to the Air and Space Museum, the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History, the Capitol Building, and quite a few of the monuments (Jefferson, Lincoln, Washington, WWII, Korean War, and the Vietnam Wall). It's not quite what we're studying in history but it's a good foundation for next year and the year after.
We took the remainder of that week off to recover from those late bedtimes. :) The next Monday we were back to our routine.
Here's what we did for the past two weeks:

Things that were scheduled:
Math
Tenor finished Saxon 7/6 and went right into Saxon 8/7. We're planning to finish all of the maths before his last semester of his senior year so that he can take a math class (or 2 depending on timing) at a local college to earn dual credit. He's doing well. Soprano is also working through Saxon but at a reduced pace. I'm debating on exploring switching her to Teaching Textbooks.
Language Arts (Grammar, Spelling, Penmanship, Reading, and Writing) 

Electives:
Typing, Spanish, and Civics for both.
Tenor continued with Greek and PA History while Soprano had her Home Ec lessons - more beginner sewing.  She finished her PA History book a few weeks ago. I'm not sure how it ended so soon because I tried to schedule all the electives to last the entire year but it's completed.
My Father's World Rome to the Reformation
MFW has been anything but boring these past few weeks. We are studying a wide range of topics in European history and then spent a week on Africa in the early to middle ages. We tend to think of Africa as not being as advanced as our western society but back then, they were equal to or more advanced than their European neighbors. As we keep studying, I'm interested to find out why they did not advance the way Europe or the U.S. did.

Bible: We continued learning our passage in Philippians (Chapter 2:3-11), and read all the way through the book of Philippians.

Science: We completed several lessons from AIG's Our Universe. We talked about the sun, its structure, solar eclipse, solar energy, the moon, and Sir Isaac Newton. We did several demonstrations and experiments including tracking the movement of the sun:
History: 
Like I mentioned, we've been tackling a variety of topics in history. The Muslim Turks conquered Constantinople. Ferdinand and Isabella united Spain. Henry the Navigator from Portugal began exploring the African coast. The War of the Roses took place. 
The War of the Roses was particularly funny to the younglings because we live in Lancaster (the Red Rose city) and not too far from York (the White Rose city). Yes, both towns were named after their English counterparts. I'm pretty sure that's where the city symbols came from too. Fortunately, the only "war" going on in our towns today is the minor league baseball rivalry.
After touching on events in European history, we looked at the main three African kingdoms during the Middle Ages. The younglings played mancala too.

Other MFW: 
Music: We finished the Beethoven biography and listened to the 5th Symphony.

Art: They had a couple of lessons with no assigned projects and a few drawing assignments.

Extras:
Web:
We are really far behind on watching our web videos but they're saved in my playlist. You can see them all in my Youtube playlist for MFW weeks 19-34.
Videos:
All About the Sun by Schlessinger Media

Favorite Books: 
Ludwig Beethoven and the Chiming Tower Bells by Opal Wheeler
Isabel Saves the Prince by Dan Holub
The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons
What the Moon is Like by Franklyn Branley

Monday, March 24, 2014

Share the Memories - Digi Freebies for Spring

My Memories is offering 3 freebies from March 24 to April 6.
These great kits, pages, and elements integrate easily with My Memories Software to make fun digi scrapbook pages or other digi crafts.
Enjoy!
Freebie #1


Freebie #2
Freebie #3


If you don't have the digital scrapbooking software yet, click on the link to get started!  It's only $39.97 for an incredible, easy-to-use, easy-to-get-things-done scrapbook program.


Friday, March 21, 2014

School Summary - Middle Ages Russia, The Black Death, and Joan of Arc

Meteor shower!
A Summary of February 17-28
We are living in the land that is always winter and never Christmas. Well, not quite that bad but this has been a snowy season that seems to be dragging on and on. We're still getting school work done but we're all looking forward to sunnier days outside.
Here's what we did for the past two weeks:

Things that were scheduled:
Math
Language Arts (Grammar, Spelling, Penmanship, Reading, and Writing) 
Soprano has been enjoying her writing curriculum, Creative and Crafty Writing, which is good since Tenor is fighting tooth and nail to complete his writing assignments. He's now about 4 weeks behind but with some persuasion from the principal, aka Bass, he's going to get it done.

Electives:
Typing, Spanish, Civics, and PA History for both.
Tenor continued with Greek while Soprano had her Home Ec lessons - beginning stitching. 
My Father's World Rome to the Reformation
After two weeks focusing on the history of the far East, we finished up with Genghis Khan and Marco Polo and then shifted to Russia; then back to Europe for the Black Death, the Hundred Years' War, and Joan of Arc.

Bible: We are still reading through Luke and studying the life of Jesus. We continued learning our passage in Philippians. (Chapter 2:3-11).

Science: We completed several lessons and a quiz from AIG's Our Universe. We talked about various heavenly bodies (stars, nebulae, quasars), then went more in depth about asteroids, comets, and meteors.
Our town awaiting a meteor strike
Sprinkling salt to represent the majority of meteorites that actually hit the earth. Zero damage to the town.
And a large meteorite hitting the town... flour went everywhere! It made a crater and knocked some things over.
We also did an overview of our solar system and discussed the difference between astronomy versus astrology.

History: 
Reading about Russia's origins was well-timed with the Sochi Olympics taking place. The opening and closing ceremonies were fascinating to watch having just read about how the country began. We did however skip cooking Borsch.

I decided that Mystery of History wasn't working for us. Earlier in the year I had been using it in place of some of the Streams of Civilizations readings. I was struggling with the emphasis of the author's opinion over historical fact and didn't really enjoy the writing style. I know lots of families use and love MOH which is great. It just isn't a resource that I was gelling with. There were only a few more places I was going to substitute it anyway so I decided to just be done with MOH instead. We ended up selling both volumes on-line and recouping most of my original cost.

Other MFW: 
Music: We finished up listening to the assigned Mozart pieces. Then we began the Beethoven biography. We have missed out on using our lunch break as a listening time so I'm going to need to be more intentional about that again.
We also borrowed "The Planets" by Gustav Holst from our local library to listen to. Soprano loved "Jupiter" which she said sounds very wedding-ish. The main melodic theme was also borrowed for the song, "I Vow to Thee My Country". (Charlotte Church has a beautiful rendition of it here.)

Art: They designed and drew towers and read about Giotto.
Extras:
Web:
We are really far behind on watching our web videos but they're saved in my playlist. You can see them all in my Youtube playlist for MFW weeks 19-34.
Videos:
Marco Polo by Nest Entertainment
Explorers of the World: Marco Polo by Schlessinger Media
Beethoven Lives Upstairs by The Children's Group DVD
Joan of Arc by Nest Entertainment

Favorite Books: 
Ludwig Van Beethoven by Mike Venezia
Stars: Lights in the Night Sky by Jeanne Bendick
Joan of Arc: the Lily Maid by Margaret Hodges

Monday, March 10, 2014

Share the Memories - Digi Freebies for March

My Memories is offering 3 freebies from March 10 - 23.
These great kits, pages, and elements integrate easily with My Memories Software to make fun digi scrapbook pages or other digi crafts.
Enjoy!
Freebie #1

Freebie #2

Freebie #3



If you don't have the digital scrapbooking software yet, click on the link to get started!  It's only $39.97 for an incredible, easy-to-use, easy-to-get-things-done scrapbook program.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Make a Card Monday - With Sympathy Cross


We received word that Bass's grandfather had passed away. It was a sad moment but he was almost 93 years old and had passed quietly in his sleep. We know that he was a believer in Jesus Christ and that one day we will see him again in eternity. We wanted to send a card to Bass's uncles (Grampy's sons) and aunts to express our sympathy.

Details:
cardstock: Colormates Medium Coffee cardstock base, unknown (off white)
patterned paper: Crate Paper "Bundled Up" 6x6 pad (polka dot); Pebbles "Walnut Grove" 6x6 pad (newsprint)
embellishments: fibers (EK Success)
color: Palette Burnt Umber ink, Prismacolor watercolor pencils, Tombow blending marker, Tombow light gray marker (shadow outlining)
tools: Cuttlebug "Script Texture" embossing folder (polka dot base)
stamps: TAC Cross (cross) and TAC With Sympathy (inside sentiment)
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