January 7, 2013

Week Sixteen/Seventeen Wrap-Up

This week and the last we have been ankle deep in Celtic soldiers and Famous Figures from Ancient Times action figures. The celtic figures above came from our Latin lesson of all places. Aren't they fierce looking? We were studying a dialogue about Britons are Best/ Romans are Best when this celtic warrior grabbed Zak's heart. He has colored, cut out and assembled a whole army of them. (25 or so) Coloring different ones different colors to signify rank etc. The celtic warriors above are the foot soldiers. No pun intended. :)

Bible: We have been reading through the book of revelations over breakfast these past few weeks. And because I had it on hand I put up this amazing painting made by Michael Pearl. It depicts the flow of the happenings with references to where in Revelations the images come from. I sticky tacked it to the wall about the head height of the boys so they can really get a good look at it.

Stories of Faith: This week we began to read Twice freed by Patricia St. John. It is a historical fiction novel written around the character Onesiumus from the Bible, a run away slave whom mets up with and is befriended by Apostle Paul while he is in Rome. To be honest, I am a glad to be finished with David Livingston and  H.M. Stanley as the many odd African names came up quite frequently in our book about him and made reading aloud a bit daunting for me. The boys were however not fazed by it one bit. Between this read and the greek myths and greek names in our geography books I am getting my fair share of education right along side the boys.

Arithmetic:  We have begun a new schedule with our math exercises this week. I made the change as I could see the boys were getting TOO familiar with the Matrix and the meaning and use of it were fading. This was apparent as no one was beating their old time or cared to work to achieve this. I had to freshen things up a bit. Making a change in schedule can often bring a fresh feel to things so we talked together and I gave the boys two choices of schedules I felt comfortable with and asked which one they would prefer. They chose to do Everyday Number Stories five days a week and on project day do the Multiplication Matrix. We will see how this goes. Personally I am happy with their choice as the work in the Everyday Number stories will give them great practice in understanding the ins and outs of the factors they are memorizing for the Matrix Table. I feel the understanding is more important than the time. The time simply reflects how easily it is for them to come up with the answers but understanding shows they know how to use the answers.

We continue to read about Albert Einstein in Kathleen Krull's delightful book about him.

Aesop's Copy work: 

Alexander the Great and a Hoplite Soldier action paper dolls from our Famous Figures of Ancient Times book.

Some of Max's finished action figures.

Ancient Greek History: We have been reading through The Heroes by Charles Kingsley.  Maybe you like us like to be careful how myths and 'gods' are introduced to your children, then you may enjoy the preface as much as I did. Reading it first, before I read the book to the boys gave me some good ideas for how to place the myths and the greek gods into our faith framework established on God and what we know is true from the Bible. Here is a quote form the final bit of the preface:
"But you shall hear how the Hellens said their heroes worked, three thousand years ago. The stories are not true, of course, nor half of them; you are not simple enough to fancy that; but the meaning of the is true, and true for ever, and that is- Do right, and God will help you." Charles Kingsley at Farley Court Advent 1855.
I am interested also to read another book by Kingsley entitled The Good News of God to see just where he is coming from.

This portrait of Medusa the Gorgon from our Mythology Pocket download went into our History notebook along with this pocket including a short version of the myth we read in Kingsley's book.

Max's Notebook pages.

Geography:  We have been reading through Three Greek Children by Alfred J. Church.

Science of Birds: Another lovely book by Arthur Scott Bailey has been on our reading list for science the past few weeks, The Tales of Solomon the Owl.

Nature notebooks: To catch up here are the last two entries the boys made in their nature notebooks.

Drawing by Zak.

Drawing by TJ

And we are not yet done with A Pocket Full Of Pinecones, perhaps in a few weeks.

What we found this week in the yard.

Language Arts: Seasons of the year writing assignment, and dictation, see, saw, seen writing assignment, Memorize The Brown Thrush by Lucy Larcum. all lessons from Primary Language Lessons by Emma Serl.

Reading Practice: Elson Reader Book Three. I have been assigning the boys two pages a day from this reader, they can chose to read more but not less. I set the bar a little low for I wanted to allow them the chance to challenge themselves or let the story pull them into reading more. For after all we read to know not to fulfill assignments. This past month I have seen it happening and it is fun! They all read passably well, but not yet do they have enough skill to find reading a pleasurable pass time. Now however they have all taken the lead and chosen to read more either to beat their brother or because the story beckons them on to find out more, not every day but often. This is what I have been waiting for.

Bedtime read aloud: Last week we read Outcast by Rosemary Sutcliff and have begun another by the same author this week The Silver Branch.

Latin: We are in Chapter 6 of Minimus: Starting out in Latin. A good place to be as we are about midway through the year and midway through the book. These past few weeks we have been looking at a dialogues about britons versus Romans and going to York to go shopping. The boys are catching much better to the way Latin reads and being more confident in their translations without my help.

I also did a little research on Minimus Secundus the next book in the series and found a helpful website with reviews of loads of classic literature and curriculums. Here is an excerpt about Minimus Secundus:
"Further evidence of the book's success is found in more than 1,000 letters Bell has received from children containing highly unexpected remarks such as "Latin is cool" and "Latin is the only thing I go to school for."
Art and Music: 

The enjoyment of Chopin's music and story goes on still.

Our drawing lessons have ceased for now and we have begun a study of Henri Matisse and continue our study of Chopin. The boys colored this painting/coloring page from The Artist Study Helper I made last year. One reviewer said this about it:
"What an enjoyable study this is. I'd never done an artist study before and honestly never really saw the benefits in it. This download has just about everything you need to complete a study on this particular artist: lesson plans, montessori cards, biography, full page picture study, notebooking pages, coloring pages and art lessons. It even says there is way more material included than you could ever fit into a 7 week study. Honestly, I think it'll take us 9 weeks to finish this but we're having fun. The guide outlines an 7 week study but of course you can make it last longer or cut it short if you need to. It nicely outlines what activities are included and how to complete them. A great feature for a mom very new to artist study. I recommend this for Kindergarten and up. I say "and up" because artist study can benefit all ages. A fun and neat study and it's affordable. The only drawback I see is that if you print out the works of the artist it takes up alot of ink. I would suggest possibly viewing it from the computer screen or checking out a library book that include his works. But that's not enough of a drawback to give it less than 5 stars."

 After they colored this we spent a few days watching this Youtube video about Matisse. However I had to do quite a lot of editing so be forewarned the nudity is prevalent and it is wise to preview before you show it to your kiddos. Other than that it is a wonderfully done documentary about his life and work.

Afternoon Audio: The rest of the Narnia stories, The Silver Chair, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and the Last Battle.

And that sums up our last two weeks of lessons, Thanks for dropping in...Have a great week!


  1. I've been wondering about that Michael Pearl poster! :) Does it have a lot of doctrine/theology/opinions on it? Or is it just straight pictures from Revelations? :)


    1. There are no opinions on it directly, simply references to where that image was mentioned in Revelations. The drawing however portrays a certain train of events which would be an opinion. His aim was to make a picture of the book as he read it. I hope this helps.