Thursday, September 23, 2010


It's kind of hard to believe we are only finishing up week three. We are in a definite routine now and it seems like it's been a lot longer. We start each school morning with the pledge. I know it may seem silly to some, but my girls absolutely LOVE to know exactly what to expect each morning. This momma would do things absolutely different each day of the week, but that really rocks their world, so I just go with it. :) So - we say the pledge, then we hold hands and pray.
Then Boo puts the date on the calendar, and goes back and reviews all the numbers, counting up to the date we are currently on.
While she does this, Banana feeds our class fish - while Bailey contemplates feeding himself on the class fish. If I get any of these things out of order - they are SURE to correct me. We then move on to memory time, where we are all working hard on memorizing the Lord's prayer in Latin, the timeline history song of the Middle Ages, as well as the Old Testament, a chapter in Psalms, and several songs. The girls are very excited to entertain their grandparents and extended family at Thanksgiving this year when we go visit them in FL.
This week in history we learned all about Medieval Monasteries, Constantinople, St. Augustine converting to Christianity, Justinian the Emperor, and The Byzantine Empire. We learned so much about the monks and their monasteries. We made a replica of one of the few possessions a monk might have, a plain carved wooden cross necklace. We learned about how they took vows of poverty and gave up everything they owned to work soley for the benefit of God.
We made ours out of clay, and then baked them until they hardened.
We had an incredible opportunity this week to visit Sight and Sound Theatres in Lancaster, PA. What a wonderful experience. If you have never been to one of these - you MUST go! In a word, it's the Bible, brought to life. Incredible. This week was homeschoolers week and we were able to go for an unbelievable low price. We even took Punkin out of school early so that she could join us. We saw the show The Psalms of David. We purposed to learn everything we could about David this week to make the show more meaningful. It was fun to hear the girls talk about the parts of David's life that they "skipped" after the show was over. I think they KNOW the life of David now. We had a very pleasant unexpected surprise during the show too! Towards the end of the show, they did sort of a history of the singing of the Psalms that David wrote. They began way back with a scene from a Medieval Monastery with the cast performing Gregorian Chants just as they would in the time period we are studying this week! They demonstrated how the monks went from their one tone chanting to two-part harmony, and then four-part harmony. It was absolutely beautiful and the girls were able to experience what the monks really looked and sounded like! Isn't God so incredible to orchestrate such a lesson for us this week!??
We had fun trying our hand at Medieval Manuscript. This type of lettering is called Insular Majuscule. The Irish monks used this letter when copying books. We imagined having to write out entire books by hand, and marveled at their use of Medieval Letter Illumination. This refers to the beautiful artwork painted by the monks in the margins of their handwritten books. In most cases, the first letter of each page was enlarged and highly decorated.
Even big sis joined in the fun after she got home from school painting with "faux" gold-leafing just like the monks did. (We used gold and silver paint pens instead).
Banana's Medieval Letter Illumination - she decided she is really glad she doesn't have to handwrite an entire book like the monks did.
And my Boo has a new love. Christopher Robin. She so much enjoys the classic Winnie-the-Pooh. The original unabridged version. It's really kind of sad how Pooh has adapted over the years. I think of Charlotte Mason and what she would think of the modernized Pooh and one word comes to mind. Twaddle. I am seeing so clearly that if we feed our children a diet of rich literature from an early age, they truly understand and appreciate it so much more than we could have imagined. Boo rarely asks to be read simplified watered down children's books now. She was begging her Daddy this week to read "The Horse and His Boy" by C.S. Lewis. She's four. We picked up some treasures of books at the library this week. During language arts time, we have been reading snippets of great works from a workbook while they work on narration, dictation and copywork. This has resulted in them begging to hear the entire stories. We discovered The Blue Fairy Book and The Yellow Fairy Book at the library. These books are unabridged and unaltered republications of the works of Andrew Lang first published in 1889. These are collections of the original fairy tales and fables that we know of today. Stories such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Rumplestilkskin (this was a favorite this week), and so many more. We had fun calling each other by that crazy name. Booplestilkskin, Bananastilkskin, and even Nana was in on the fun via texting - Nanastilksin!! The books also contain the original "plates" or illustrations that went along with the stories. These are fascinating to look at.
We are also in week three of the girls attending a homeschool co-op at our church. They are really enjoying this time. (And I get THREE whole hours to myself on Thursday afternoons!!) They begin their time with a Public Speaking/Drama class (which Boo really loves), learning how to project their voices, hold the attention of an audience, (even practicing standing in front of their audience without laughing!!). It's been fun to see them enjoy this class. (How many more parenthesis can I use in one paragraph!!??) I have decided I entirely overuse exclamation points!!!!!! and (parenthesis). Just so you know. I am fully aware. The girls also have science, and writing/literature time at co-op. The science they are doing is Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology. At home we were discussing our skeletons, and what amazing purposes they serve us. I had no idea (or forgot) how MUCH our skeletons actually do!! I completely forgot that this is where our blood is made - inside our bones. So glad I'm homeschooling my kids so I can remember all the things I forgot or never knew! Anywho - the girls made some people out of play-doh with nothing for a skeleton to see how well they would be able to stand up.
We decided that they can't really stand up very well without a skeleton. They just kept falling over, or losing limbs, and even the heads were rolling away!
We then gave them some toothpick skeleton parts inside of their bodies - and ah-ha!! They could stand up by themselves now. (with a little additional toothpick support) there's those parenthesis again... shoot.
The AFTERMATH - after a busy week of learning at home - this is what the kitchen island looked like. Actually, it's quite safe to say this was probably only about 24 hours worth of accumulation.
1. My Veritas Press catalog that came in the mail yesterday with the History Cards that I ordered to help us along in memorizing our history song. I could peruse this catalog for hours on end.

2. Our Sight and Sound program.

3. If You Take Mouse to School - the book that came in the kids Chick-Fil-A lunch yesterday...mmmmm. Sweet tea, how I love you. (I caved and bought an entire gallon of it.) Zero self-control there.

4. Crayola Twist Up colored pencils. The greatest invention ever.

5. The chapter in Psalm that we are memorizing for public speaking class and memory period.

6. Boo jammies. :)

7. Banana's experiment writing in Insular Majuscule.

8. A Latin saying "Deo Creavit" written in Insular Majuscule - which means "God Created".

9. Club crackers - nuff said.

10. History notebook.

11. Our gold and silver paint pens for use in the art of Medieval Illumination.

12. Play-doh for our science lesson in making floppy people with no skeletons.

13. My purse.


Karen said...

I really did read it all, but all that's in my head now is "a gallon of sweet tea from Chick fil A!!!!!! (lots of exclamation points). So not fair.

Jessica said...

What a beautiful post! Your pictures are gorgeous (as are your girls!). I am most impressed with your school room. What a great space to go to every day for lessons. Your girls are blessed.

Wendi said...

I went to Sight and Sound {in PA}to see Noah when I was pregnant with my oldest {ds8}...loved it! I'll have to keep an ear out for homeschooler's week next year :)

Love all of the beautiful pics!

Sharla said...

your pictures are great and I love all the hands-on learning projects. The wooden crosses turned out so well!

Anita Johnson said...

I love your counter top, especially the boneless person made out of play-doh! LOL You asked how I got my photos larger on blogger, well, it was a labor of love for someone like me who knows nothing about HTML. A photographer had a tutorial on his blog which I tried to follow for days. There were tears. (-: Things were cut off, type was split or missing. Finally I got it right and i will probably never change the layout again. I do go into the HTML and change the width for the pictures, but it just takes a second now. I was afraid what would happen when blogger added its new editor this week, but I figured it out, thank goodness. My pictures are 800 pixels wide. Anyway, that's it. Good luck if you change something and make sure to save your template before you make any changes. It will save you a box of kleenex! (-:

Alice said...

Boo looks like she getting taller :) they grow up way too fast!

Caseybumpinalong said...

Wow - looks like a great week. Loved the clay people/skeleton idea. Your pictures are wonderful!!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog! Your classroom looks great, and the pictures of your girls are so beautiful! Following you from Weekly Wrap Up. Have a great week!

wdworkman said...

Looks like a great week. I think it's a fair assumption that a messy counter means a productive week of school.
Janet W