Monday, August 25, 2014

School Summary - Explorer Review, English Monarchs, & the Netherlands

The younglings got free tickets for the PA Ren Faire through our library's summer reading program. Bass has a co-worker with connections there so we were able to go for half-price.

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

A Summary of August 11-22

Doesn't it just seem like yesterday that I wrote our last school summary of the 2013-2014 year? How did our summer break go by so quickly?!?
Well, I kind of know where it went. In every spare minute between vacation and the pool and summer concerts and other summer activities (like the PA Ren Faire again), I was busy planning and preparing for this school year. I finally realized that the reason this year took so much longer to plan was because there are that many more resources available for this era of history. It took time to wade through all of them and decide what would be a good fit for us. I have layers of Post-It notes in my MFW teacher manual. :)
My original plan was to start with a week of just the 3 Rs and then add in everything else but plans, of course, change. We're planning to go to Williamsburg during the fall homeschool days so we needed to start with everything in order to finish studying colonial history before our trip.
Usually the first lessons are lighter anyway so it wasn't too overwhelming. Ready or not, right?
Here's what we did:

Things that were scheduled:
Soprano started Saxon 6/5. We're also continuing to use Life of Fred Butterflies. She started with a lesson in chapter 6. Tenor picked up Saxon 8/7 where he left off last year. After two weeks, he's about 1/4 through the book.
Language Arts (Grammar, Reading, and Writing)
Soprano began with Rod and Staff English 5 while Tenor began English 7.
I gave Soprano one week off from reading but she started Sarah, Plain and Tall during our second week. Tenor needed to read Island of the Blue Dolphins our first week of school in order to be ready for his assignments. They've both done some vocab exercises; Tenor did a mapping activity and did a short report on California missions in the early 1800s.

Typing, Greek (Tenor), Spanish (Tenor), Home Ec (Soprano)
A change from last year... simplifying! Can you hear my blood pressure go down? With our history studies this year, we'll be covering PA history (required for our state) as well as some government (counts as civics; also required). I'm going to add a little more map work to our history (using the Story of the World activity book) to beef up our geography. With all that we're already covering, we won't be doing anything extra there. I'm also not adding in any health curriculum. We talk about making healthy choices in our daily lives. I don't think adding in worksheets will be beneficial to us in any way.
They WILL be doing a few extras though. They need to make some more progress on typing so we'll continue with Typing Instructor. Tenor is super excited about continuing Greek and has agreed to take another year of Spanish because we'll be beta testing some curriculum. Soprano was not in the least bit interested in Spanish again so we're going to wait on foreign language for her. She'll be doing Home Ec for Homeschoolers volume 2 this year.
I'm hoping with less officially scheduled electives that they'll have time to pursue activities that they've expressed interest in like: computer coding, woodworking, leather crafting, swimming, tennis, photography, knitting, sewing, and geo-caching.
My Father's World Exploration to 1850
Here we go! I've been looking forward to teaching this era of history since we started homeschooling. I've enjoyed our other years though. I've learned so much along with the younglings. This year I'm more familiar with what we're studying but I'm sure there will be new insights and plenty of things I've forgotten I knew.

Bible: This year we're doing an in-depth study of the book of James and attempting to memorize the entire book.

Science: We're slated to study Zoology and Botany this year. We worked through 90% of the Botany book (AIG's The World of Plants) over the summer in order to be able to be outside and have better access to the plants, fruits, and veggies we needed for experiments. We didn't quite finish but set it aside to start AIG's The World of Animals as scheduled by My Father's World. We talked about days 3, 5, and 6 of Creation, when God made plants, fish and birds, and animals (including dinosaurs and people). 
I explained why we choose to study science from a Creationist perspective.
We also did lessons on classification and vertebrates and played a fun classification game online.
Tenor's mnemonic: Keep Penguins Cool Or Find Good Shelter.
Notebooking sheets I made for our science notebook
Our vertebra model
I wasn't able to get a fish backbone to look at but the grocery store butcher had a piece of pig neck with a good stretch of backbone that we were able to check out. No pics of that. You're welcome.
History: We started with a review of some North American explorers that we touched on at the end of last year: Leif Ericsson, Columbus, Cabot, de Leon, Balboa, and De Soto. 
Map work using MapTrek
Map Work from MapTrek
After that we jumped into the English monarchs and how their rules shaped the beginning exploration of America. We discussed Charles V
Instead of a written notebooking page, we used this coloring page from SOTW for Charles V.
read about William the Silent of the Netherlands and Mary, Queen of Scots and all of her opposition. I have a little more sympathy for all that she went through in her life. Marrying a not-so-great guy, being forced out of her country by power-hungry nobles, being imprisoned, and then having her son taken away from her and being forced to sign over her throne to him. No wonder she spent a lot of time on needlework. Clever gal though... she hid messages in her embroidery.
A paper version of a Marian Hanging. Notice her name (MARY S) hidden in the center of the design.

Other MFW: 
Music: Our composers for this year are Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Chopin. We started with listening to a biography about Schubert.
We're also going to be studying and learning about 15 hymns this year. We started with "This is My Father's World."
Art: Art started our second week. We are continuing with our 3rd year using God and the History of Art. We read about Peter Brueghel from the Netherlands and Hieronymous Bosch. Bosch had a very, um, imaginative style.
I spent a lot of time looking for videos this year. I didn't want anything boring or anything with poor quality music. I found some great options that will help my visual-learner younglings really cement what we're learning about history, science, music, and art. I found videos for all of the hymns we'll be learning too, in case other users out there need them. 
You can see them all in my Youtube playlist for weeks 1-14.
Other videos we watched:
Leif Ericsson
Drive Thru History: the Discovery
The Animal Kinds (part 1 and 2)

Vikings in America by Nova
Explorers of the World: Vikings by Schlessinger Media
Columbus and the Great Discover by Learn Our History 
Explorers of the World: A History of Exploration by Schlessinger Media
Explorers of the World: Spanish Explorers by Schlessinger Media
Explorers of the World: English Explorers by Schlessinger Media
Explorers of the World: Cortes and Pizarro by Schlessinger Media
Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists: Rembrandt (based on the book by Mike Venezia)
Rembrandt: Fathers and Sons by Devine Entertainment
The Name Game by Moody Video
Favorite Books: 
I, Columbus by Peter and Connie Roop
Land Ho! Fifty Glorious Years in the Age of Exploration by Nancy Winslow Parker
Montezuma and the Fall of the Aztecs by Eric Kimmel
Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymous Bosch by Nancy Willard
Rembrandt by Mike Venezia
You Wouldn't Want to Be Mary, Queen of Scots! by Fiona MacDonald
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