Saturday, August 28, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Yes that's right... we're in Turkish lands now! Studying the Ottoman Turks and their invasion (and final overthrow) of Constantinople, the last city in the long standing Byzantine Empire.
They did it with huge cannons from all sides, and so that is exactly what we did!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I have been thinking about this all summer long. My kids and I had SO much fun with Small World's Wordsmithery lessons last year, that I took that inspiration and turned it into a class for our home school group! I am crazy excited about the way the classes are writing up.
If you haven't done the Wordsmithery class over at Small World, check it out! The lessons are clear and easy to teach, and each of the sessions have 4 mini writing sessions that you do through out the week that take a total of 15 minutes each, but turn out SUCH great results!
Anyhow... more on my class. As much of it is inspired by Wordsmithery, the lessons are set up in pretty much the same order. However, since I will only get the kids once a week (and can't expect a ton of homework to be accomplished) I am compacting the lessons into two hour segments. The first part will be the 'lesson' part where the kids get to hear about the rules of the day and the types of words we will be dealing with. The second is the 'project' portion of the class, where the kids get to do some of their own writing and a neat project that goes along with each type of word (very much like this Wordsmithery lesson).
I am CRAZY excited about it, and can't wait to share with you guys what we do for each day and some of the writings of this talented group of kiddos I have the honor to teach.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
The story of the Magna Carta comes after King Richard gets killed. Prince (then King) John Lackland (Richard's brother, not cousin) gains the throne and starts being a tyrant. He is taking land and obscene amounts of taxes from the nobles, who of course, make life horrible for the surf's and peasants under them. Most of the taxes were taken for wars with France, not to over throw Richard (because he was already gone at this point). So the nobles got together and made a document of laws that they believe EVERYONE (including the King) should have to follow. This was the first time in documented history that a dictator was held accountable to their own laws, and it set up a system of government that is still VERY alive today. (Canada and the US still follow the basic ideas of the Magna Carta.)
At the end of the lesson, the kids got to make their own Magna Carta! The rules they listed were SO cute I wish I could write all of them here. They ranged from "Sir Caleb does not have to read before watching movies" and "Sir Elias gets 7 minutes of video game time every day" to "Princess Madeline gets to wrestle with daddy every day before bed" and "Madam Hannah gets to have dessert with every dinner". They were PRECIOUS! The kids all stood up and read them aloud to the class and when they were done we all banged on tables and shouted "Hear hear!!" and "Whoohooo!" as the kids beamed! It was pretty amazing.
Isn't that the sweetest thing? Yes, I signed it this morning. Although I added the stipulation that she was allowed to get ice cream on all those days, until her own money ran out. ;) She decided that one day a week was plenty, so now it is only on Sunday's.
Cyan spent quite a long time drawing this knight after class last week. She was so into it that another little friend from class joined in, drawing a 'maiden' at the same time. These lessons... the good ones, they stick in your mind forever. It isn't a cookie cutter education that actually teaches kids. It is one that is real to the child, brought to life by the child's own mind.
Monday, August 2, 2010
I researched how to cut it and cure it (although there is VERY little info out there for small batch operations, but I figured the large batch things would still apply), and then cut the bundle by hand. I tied it, and laid it in a dry place that got maximum amount of sun. Right now it looks perfect laying on a spare picnic table in the center of the backyard. I am considering keeping it for fall decorations... but I really want to get that loaf of bread! So off to research threshing I go.
Another thing that has happened in the last little while with the project is the millet has fruited!
I have no idea what this little grain will hold, as it is a good few weeks behind everything but the corn (which is not happy in this climate at all right now!) but we will see if we can add it into the bread making process somehow.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
A friend's brothers had spent some time studying the era and had made costumes for last Halloween that were as close to the real thing as cardboard and spray paint would allow. They answered questions and showed the kids the different kinds of armor and weapons from the different knights as the other moms and I asked questions from the lesson that included things like; "So what was the Samurai's armor made of?" and "What was the code of conduct that a Knight had to follow to be included in the tournaments?".
...others just looked on for the entertainment, but it was deffinetly a lesson to remember!