Wednesday, September 10, 2014

School Summary - Early Colonization: Jamestown and the Pilgrims

I respectfully ask that you not pin pictures of my children to Pinterest. Thank you!

A Summary of August 25 - September 5

We've rolled right back into a full school schedule without too much difficulty. I'm thankful that the younglings adjusted to the routine rather easily. I think, to be honest, that they just do better with a more structured routine. I've had a few grumbles about things here and there but for the most part attitudes have been good. We're getting everything done and finding time to add in some extras.
Here's what we did:

Things that were scheduled:
Language Arts (Grammar, Reading, and Writing)
This year both younglings are using IEW's U.S. History Based Writing. It's been helpful, I think, for us to go through the lessons together, brainstorming, doing key word outlines, discussing the techniques. They help each other along with the brainstorming parts so they don't get stuck. Having (and using) the teacher's manual has been invaluable thus far. I had them watch the Teaching with Structure and Style DVDs as well as the Student Intensive A DVDs this summer which has helped us as well.
Soprano continued working through activites for Sarah, Plain and Tall. One assignment was to write an advertisement for a brother or sister.  I thought she understood that she was writing a "wanted" ad. Nope, she wrote an ad to "sell" Tenor. *shaking head* Ah, sibling love.

Typing, Greek (Tenor), Spanish (Tenor), Home Ec (Soprano)
I went searching online for Tenor's Greek program and realized that if he were to complete levels 2 and 3 this year, then he would have one volume per year through 12th grade. So we are now on a mission to double up the lessons. It hasn't been difficult since his beginning lessons this year are all review of the Greek alphabet.
We haven't started Spanish yet. Soprano has done a few home ec. lessons beginning the year off with revisiting baking.

My Father's World Exploration to 1850
I caught the tail end of an airing of 60 Minutes last week where they were interviewing a man, Nicholas Winton, who had saved hundreds of mostly Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. His story is amazing but something he said caught my attention. He said something to the effect of 'the past is in the past, and we shouldn't look back only forward.' (I'm paraphrasing.) I agree... even Paul tells us to "forget what is behind and press on toward the goal." But there's danger in not looking at the past at all. It was clear this week as we studied history that we need to remember how our country came to be and to use our history as examples of what to do and what not to do.

Bible: This year we're doing an in-depth study of the book of James and attempting to memorize the entire book. We're up to verse 11 of chapter 1. Although verses 9-11 are still a little fuzzy.

Science: We jumped into AIG's The World of Animals starting with mammals. We compared human hair (Tenor kindly donated a sample since he was due for a haircut) and animal hair (our neighbor's dog) under the microscope. We checked our heartbeats and compared it to that of an elephant whose heart beats about 28 beats per minute. We also timed ourselves holding our breath to see how long we could do it. We didn't come close to a sperm whale which can hold its breath for an hour or more!
Soprano's notebook sheet for mammals. She chose to present the info like a newspaper.
History: We read about King James and how he wasn't as sympathetic to the Puritans and Separatists as they were hoping which prompted the Great Migration to North America. For all his faults though he did give us the King James Bible which has been used for hundreds of years. We also read about the Gunpowder Plot and had a campfire while reading the Guy Fawkes poem, "Remember, remember the fifth of November...". 
The first permanent settlement was Jamestown which we studied this week. We learned all about Powhatan, Pocahontas, John Smith, and the other settlers. Not quite the story Disney portrayed in its movie. We made wigwams like the Powhatan Indians lived in. I find some connection with the story because I'm related to Pocahontas (way, way back through marriage) on my mother's side. Cool, eh? After touching on Jamestown, we learned about Samuel de Champlain.
Tenor cut his door flap so it could lift and close.
The following week was a brief look at Henry Hudson and his discoveries. It's fascinating that they aren't really sure what happened to him. I wonder if he was taken in by an Indian tribe somewhere in Canada or if he really perished in the boat that he got sent out in by his mutinous crew. Hmm... the original "As the World Turns" drama?
Then it was all about the Pilgrims. Most of this history I was familiar with but it was neat to get a more in-depth look at Miles Standish. We skipped playing the Indian games as scheduled because the younglings had the opportunity to attend a program through our local environmental center called "Native American Games" a few weeks ago. The games they played there were very similar to the ones in the teacher manual.
We also went to a Native American festival this summer. It wasn't quite what we were expecting but we got to see tribal dancing, lots of handcrafts, and Tenor even got to shoot a blow dart.
I added in some map work from the SOTW activity book (Britain and Jamestown, Champlain's Exploration, and New Colonies in the New World). I also added two timeline pieces from Homeschool in the Woods (Champlain and Hudson).

Other MFW: 
Music: We listened to several selections by Franz Schubert and learned our second hymn, "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms." I taught Tenor the tenor counterpoint for the chorus. It was so sweet! Shh... don't tell him I said that.
Art: We (and by we, I mean the younglings) each painted a still life. Tenor chose a flower model he made for a summer botany project. Soprano chose her favorite stuffed horse. We also were introduced to Peter Paul Rubens.
You can see them all in my Youtube playlist for weeks 1-14.
Other videos we watched:
Drive Thru History: Jamestown
Mammal videos from Answers in Genesis
including: mountain lion, porcupine, bats, elephant, giraffe, Maddy the Lemur, Prickles the Porcupine, baboon, and gibbons
Virtual Field Trip at Plimouth Plantation (There's one in the youtube playlist but two different videos on their website).

They also played a web game about Captain John Smith.
We didn't get to it but there's free curriculum available to go along with the movie Dolphin Tale.

Animated Hero Classics: Pocahontas by Nest Entertainment
Pocahontas by Disney
Explorers of the World: French Explorers by Schlessinger Media
American History for Children: Early Settlers by Schlessinger Media
The Mayflower by Learn Our History 
Desperate Crossing: The Untold Story of the Mayflower by The History Channel
Explorers of the World: Henry Hudson by Schlessinger Media
Dolphin Tale by Warner Bros. Entertainment
Ocean Adventures: Whales, Waves, and Ocean Wonders by Zonderkidz (ColdWater Media)

Favorite Books: 
Animal Faces by Akira Satoh
Brueghel's the Fair by Ruth Craft
James Towne: Struggle for Survival by Marcia Sewall
Jamestown: New World Adventure by James Knight
You Wouldn't Want to Be an American Colonist by Jacqueline Morley
On the Mayflower: Voyage of the Ship's Apprentice and a Passenger Girl by Kate Waters
P is for Pilgrim by Carol Crane
Samuel Eaton's Day by Kate Waters
Sarah Morton's Day by Kate Waters
Squanto's Journey by Joseph Bruchac
The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh
Who's That Stepping on Plymouth Rock? by Jean Fritz

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