Friday, September 28, 2012

School Days Summary - Ancient Egypt, Pyramids, &Mummies

Our Sukkah tent
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A Summary of September 17-28
It's been a busy two weeks... so busy that I didn't have time to write a summary last week. I don't even remember all that was going on but our days were filled with home stuff, church stuff, and school stuff.
Here's what we did for school:
Things that were scheduled as usual:
Language Arts (Grammar, Spelling, Penmanship, Reading, and Writing)
Soprano's first week of writing out a Bible verse from A Reason for Handwriting C
Soprano is absolutely loving her writing book and the paper dolls that it came with. I planned it out so that she does two lessons a week. (Creative Writing Made Easy by New Millennium Girl Books)
Tenor's writing, I think anyways, is improving drastically. He's working through Ancient History Based Writing Lessons by IEW. I made a plan to incorporate with our MFW studies so the topics sort of line up. Even without me watching the teaching DVDs yet, I can already see how well this program works. It makes sense to me. I think Tenor is starting to catch on to it too.
Tenor also started his next reading book (from Across the Centuries), From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. He'll do 3 lessons a week for reading from now on.

Typing (Soprano had a melt-down about typing being too hard ---home row keys shooting for 10wpm--- so we had to have a chat about trying and not just giving up and having a hissy fit. Blech!)
Civics: They read about Nurses this week.
Health: They did a worksheet about making healthy choices.
PA History: They learned how PA was the 2nd state.
Geography: They did a fun worksheet where they had to "travel" along the grid from the starting country to the ending country by only moving to listed countries that were West of the previous country. It took some thinking but they both got it.
Co-op: They each had music and gym and their elective class (Soprano-Art and Art History; Tenor-Chemistry).
My Father's World Creation to the Greeks-
We got to week 5 which continues in ancient Egypt studies adding in mummies and pyramids. There are so many great resources out there that I ended up putting the MFW grid on hold for one week just so we could read more books, watch extra videos, and do some other fun things. I'm usually a slave to the grid but I just couldn't fit it all in (at least, not without a nervous breakdown.) I really wanted the kids to enjoy it too. So we finished week 5 and then spent one week just doing the extras.
Bible: We finished memorizing the books of the Old Testament, reading key verses from each book. I had Bass print and laminate these cards at work, so the kids used them a few times to put the OT books in order.

We're a week early for this year's Jewish calendar but since it was in the curriculum, we built our Sukkah in the back yard to prepare for Sukkoth, the Feast of Booths. On Friday night, we ate out in our Sukkah and read the recommended Scriptures. We ate out there another time during the week and I think the kids were playing in it.
This Friday, we ate in our Sukkah again to finish up our celebration of the Feast of Booths. No special food but we did pour out a pitcher of water to symbolize the rain that God provides for harvest and to symbolize how He has poured out the Holy Spirit on us. Then we prayed together and roasted some seriously big marshmallows.
Science: We read about pyramids, mummies, and preservation. We buried a peeled apple and unpeeled apple, 2 baby carrots, a stone, small piece of wood, and a piece of plastic to see how they would fare. Well, this experiment didn't go as planned. Something dug up our buried container so we didn't really see what happened to the apples. The carrots remained untouched so the bunnies are not considered suspects at this time. The investigation has been closed due to lack of evidence and leads, although the squirrels remain on our list of potential perps.
Our preservation experiment with bread didn't work either so we're on round 2 of trying to make bread mold.
We also did a demonstration of how moving heavy loads is made easier depending on the surface you're moving over.
History: Lots of reading about pyramids and mummies. They also added 'pyramids' to their timeline and did a couple of notebooking pages (At the Quarry and The Middle East Today). They also did some 'excavating' on a mummy and pyramid that we bought at the Creation Museum in Kentucky.
Other MFW: 
Music: They listened to "Spring" by Vivaldi and drew pictures of what the music represented to them.
Art: Drawing a maze inside a pyramid shape and then trying thick and thin and wavy lines.
Extras: Here's where we filled up this past week! I looked through dozens of blogs and pinterest boards and searched online to find these resources. So many thanks to the folks who have posted what they've used. I whittled it down to what I think fits my kids and their ages best. I list the links, and then what we actually did at each website.
Web: Interactive, informative, short games (explore ancient Egypt, Giza pyramid panorama, Egyptian timeline, ancient Egyptian gods, Egyptian number system, writing in hieroglphs, making a mummy, Egyptian jigsaws, Egyptian word search) A few information things and 2 mini activities, printables too (about ancient Egypt, explore and Egyptian tomb, explore real mummies) Click on 'games and adventures' or 'people of the past' to find several informational, mini games (Egyptian tomb adventure--didn't work very well, dress like an Egyptian, three pyramids, temple stores, a stela of a tale, land of the Egyptians) Simulated Mummification Game Interactive Mummy Maker Ancient Egyptian Jeopardy interactive game Lots of resources for all ages (Click on the 'mummification' tab for a video called "The Mummification Process" DON'T PANIC--there is no nudity shown, click on 'Pyramids and Temples', then 'Saqqara' for  a video called "The Step Pyramid at Saqqara in Egypt", click on 'Free Egypt Videos' for Secrets of the Pyramid 1 and 2 and Building the Great Pyramid 1-6, click on 'Hieroglyphic Typewriter' for a fun activity) With a 5-day free trial, we played a mummy game and a pharaoh game A Day in the Life -- Archaeologist, What is Archaeology?Mummification Song, Magic School Bus Shows and Tells

Ancient Civilizations for Children: Ancient EgyptReading Rainbow: Mummies Made in Egypt/Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain [VHS]Wonders of the Ancient World : ANCIENT EGYPT
Ancient Civilizations for Children: Ancient Egypt
Reading Rainbow: Mummies Made in Egypt
Wonders of the Ancient World: Ancient Egypt

Favorite Books:
Bubbe Isabella and the Sukkot Cake by Kelly Terwilliger
The Best Book of Mummies by Philip Steele
Diary of an Egyptian Quest by Nicholas Harris
Ancient Egypt (History Detectives) by Philip Ardagh
Sightseers: Ancient Egypt by Sally Tagholm
Croco'Nile by Roy Gerrard

Tomorrow we're off to Penn Museum in Philly to check out the ancient Egypt, Israel, and Iraq exhibits!

Linking up at
and 2 ladybugs and a lizard

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fall Mantel version 2.0

This year's fall decor is a take-off of last year's though a little simpler.
Lots of muted pumpkins on the mantel with my 'blessings' banner.
 Fall pillow covers on the sofa.

My rag wreath reappears on the front door.

The front porch post got a minor fall dress-up with a new little welcome pumpkin. As soon as the geraniums finally bite the dust, I'll probably put actual pumpkins in the planters.

Easy and quick and just in time for the cooler weather that has started to come through.
Linking up to these great blog parties:
Sunday: Sunday Showcase at Under the Table and Dreaming; 
Tuesday: One Project at a Time at A Bowl Full of Lemons; Tutes and Tips at Home Stories A to Z; Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just a Housewife;
Wednesday: Wicked Awesome Wednesday at Handy Man, Crafty Woman; It's Overflowing at Overflowing with Creativity; Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts;
Home Decor and Organizing at Organize and Decorate Everything;
Thursday: Delightfully Inspiring Thursday at Delightful Order; Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage;
Friday: Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest; Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring;

School Days Summary - Celebrating Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur

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

 A Summary of September 10-14
It was kind of hard to jump back into a full week of school after our exciting trip last week but we made it. This week added a new twist to our schedule because our co-op started up again. I'm teaching a class this year so I had quite a few hours of lesson planning and prep for my first class. It got a little hectic but it was still a good week school-wise.  Here's what we did:
Things that were scheduled as usual:
Language Arts (Grammar, Spelling, Penmanship, Reading, and Writing)
Soprano has finished the first section of A Reason for Handwriting C and now knows all of her cursive letters.
Tenor finished his first book from Across the Centuries, Jim Thorpe, Olympic Champion. We found the book at our local library, which was a great help, but we could only keep it and renew it so long. I had to double-up his assignments for him to be finished with the book by the time it was due. And of course, we still ended up being one day late. ;) Tenor won't have any reading assigned next week to give him a break from the mad dash at the end to finish up with Jim Thorpe.

Civics: They read about EMTs this week.
Co-op: They each had music and gym. Soprano's elective class this fall is Art and Art History. She studied the painting of George Washington Crossing the Delaware and drew a picture showing movement. Tenor picked a science elective that will be focusing on chemistry. One of the co-op dads is teaching it and from what I've heard, does an excellent job. Tenor is so excited to be in this class and can't wait until next week when they start doing experiments.
My Father's World Creation to the Greeks-
Bible: We finished up little mini books about the Tower of Babel. We continued working on memorizing the books of the Old Testament, reading key verses from each book.
We also continued blowing our showfars throughout the week as we celebrated the high holy days leading up to Yom Kippur. On Saturday night, we had our Yom Kippur meal (ravioli for the symbolic keplach). Bass blessed the children, then we ate and read the story of Jonah.
Sunday evening we finished our Yom Kippur celebration with breakfast to break the fast. (Although none of us actually fasted for a full 24 hours.) We enjoyed omelets, apples with honey, fresh grapes, and more honey cake.

Science: We jumped into our study of pyramids. We didn't do any experiments or activities this week, just lots of prep reading.
History: They reviewed how to draw a Bible lands map. We read about the kingdoms of ancient Egypt and how Menes combined the upper and lower kingdoms into one. After making crowns for each of their kingdoms, they reenacted it...
Soprano standing on a crate to show that even though it's in the south, her kingdom was called Upper Egypt. She's holding a construction paper knife.
The kings battling.
The Lower Egypt king was defeated.
King Menes conquers!
Combining the crowns to show the united kingdoms.
They did a notebooking page about King Menes which I found here.
We also read about working in the land around the Nile and their boats and chariots.
Tenor labeled a map about the ancient Egyptian kingdom from MapTrek.

Other MFW: 
Music: They listened to "Spring" by Vivaldi to become more familiar with it.
Art: Learning to draw basic circles and geometric shapes. So far we have loved this art curriculum!
I think that was it. We didn't have much time for any extras this week which was just fine... MFW gives us plenty to do right in the curriculum. We also have a HUGE pile of additional book basket books that the kids have been enjoying.

Linking up at
and two ladybugs and a lizard.

Friday, September 14, 2012

School Days Summary - 9/3-7/12

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

 I'm a whole week behind with blogging about school.... but I have a good reason! We were on vacation or rather, a field trip. Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to work for a vendor during a conference that was held at our local convention center. It was physically very demanding but I got paid pretty well. We were able to use those funds to take a trip to....

The Creation Museum in Kentucky!

Looking at the calendar and our MFW schedule, our trip to the museum fit perfectly during the week of Labor Day. (And Bass was able to use one less vacation day for work.)
We traveled out on Monday and then spent 2 great days visiting the Museum.

The gardens were absolutely beautiful. They had all sorts of quiet walkways and fun bridges and Scripture plaques placed throughout the gardens.

The kids loved the petting zoo, too. We met Gomer the camel and Suzy, one of the wallabys. Soprano loved the Zorse (zebra and horse mix) even when it sneezed on her.
The museum was incredible. If you're familiar with any of the materials from Answers in Genesis  or Ken Ham, then you have a good idea of the information that the museum presents. But in person... it was incredible. The exhibits were all excellently done and jam-packed with Scripture and scientific information. The movies were fantastic too.

Of course we had to make the trip worth every mile so on our way home on Thursday, we stopped at 2 attractions in Cincinnati, Ohio: The William Howard Taft Museum and Krohn Conservatory. Both stops were worth the visit even if they didn't tie into our studies as well as the Creation Museum did.
Bass had taken off on Friday too so we had a day to unpack, do laundry, regroup, and get ready for our Rosh Hashanah meal. (Tenor decided to work on "excavating" a dinosaur from an egg --- his souvenir from the museum.)

Making shofars using this tutorial.

Making a crown to add to our dinner table centerpiece. (Pattern found here.)

Trying out the shofar.

Our Rosh Hashanah table with globe and crown centerpiece and white votive candles.

 We're not really fish eaters so I made fish sticks for our entree along with mac-n-cheese.
We also had a challah substitute (from the grocery store which did not have round challah available that day) with our ladder (made by Tenor.) He used 2 plastic drinking straws and brown fuzzy pipe cleaners to make it. Our full menu:
fish sticks
mac n cheese
apple slices and honey
watermelon (for our 'first fruit')
and grape juice
To finish we had honey cake. I wasn't too thrilled with the challah recipe from the book so I didn't use their honey cake recipe either. I actually wanted to just buy some at the store but after asking in the bakery, having the meat dept. manager ask the grocery guy and frozen food guys, and looking in the Kosher section, that didn't happen. Our store didn't get the honey cakes that were in the weekly sale flyer.
So.... I made a yummy honey bun cake instead.
{Here's the recipe if you're interested:

1 box yellow cake mix
2/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 (8 oz.) container of sour cream
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I usually skip the pecans, and it still tastes great.)
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Icing Ingredients:  
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 Tablespoon milk

1 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees for shiny metal or glass pan (or 325 degrees for dark or nonstick pan). Spray bottom only of 13x9" pan with baking spray with flour.
In large bowl, beat cake mix, oil, eggs, and sour cream with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds; beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Spread half of the batter in the pan.
In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon; sprinkle over batter in pan. Carefully spread remaining batter evenly over pecan mixture.
Bake 44-48 minutes or until golden brown.

In a small bowl, stir icing ingredients until thin enough to spread. Prick surface of warm cake several times with fork. Spread icing over cake. Cool completely (appx. 1 hour). Store covered at room temp.}

It was another nice evening. We blew the shofars, lit the candles, blessed the "wine" cup and bread, and enjoyed our meal as we read about the significance of the different foods.
That Sunday afternoon, we went to a local park that has a good sized stream running in it to do the Tashlich. We took rocks with us and walked down to a private place by the water. We sang "Down By the Riverside" and then read the Scriptures from the 'Celebrating Biblical Feasts' book. We all tossed our rocks in and shook out our pockets. It was interesting to see how as we each threw our rocks (sins) in the water, the ripples went out and hit each other's ripples. A picture of how sin doesn't just affect ourselves....

When we were done, we headed back to a picnic area and enjoyed a snack of apple slices and more honey bun cake.
It was a great week of travel (even though our alternator bit the dust while we were in KY). We loved the Creation Museum and loved coming home and having time to celebrate the Feast of Trumpets before getting back into the regular school routine.

Linking up at
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