Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tapestry: Year 2 Week 5

This week we studied: VIKINGS!  It was a great fun week, and we learned a lot.  I love homeschooling.  Here's one reason.  We briefly read about the belief system of the Vikings, and the names of their main gods, two of which were Odin and Thor.  The kids knew about our common pop culture Thor from a comic book a friend had given them. : )  But this weekend, we decided to watch Captain America as a family, and in the opening scene, when the villain is fining the tesseract, he mentions Odin!  I said, "Hey guys! You know who Odin is!!!"  Fun times.

We learned all about Viking culture, and how they would navigate as they sailed and raided.  We made a simple sundial, since no one back then had clocks. 

Kiryn marking her sundial with Roman numerals

This is Kiryn's note booking page.  I love these Vikings. : ) And, please note the top left corner where it says "Side Kiryn."  She has started writing this on everything, and I think it means "From Kiryn", because in Indian English, people always say, "From my side." She heard this recently when an employee at the Marriott gave her a lollipop and said, "From my side for you!" Awesome.

We read The Tomten.  Kind of a slow, weird little book, but they enjoyed it.  Tapestry has fun activity sheets almost every week on the literature selections. 

Luke's notebooking page. 

We also studied tornados and volcanoes in science.  We had a great time watching an episode of Storm Chasers on You Tube, and I was able to show them a video of a tornado I saw from the roof of my house when I was in 8th grade.  Don't worry, we knew from the news it was 7 miles away heading the opposite direction so we climbed up to see it.  And we could,... it was a mile and a half across.  Insane!

Here we are doing Shurley Grammar. I am LOVING Shurley Grammar.  Here we're categorizing nouns with yellow and verbs with orange.  (And in case you're wondering, the kids were trying to convince me to take the swimming, so decided it was "Swim School" day, where we do school in our swimsuits.  Whatever). 

Making word cards and marking their part of speech, building simple sentences and identifying the subject. 

It was a really fun week last week!  We've fallen into a really good routine, and the curriculum this year is really challenging the kids, and I can tell they're learning a lot.  Four more weeks and we're done with Unit 1 and head to America!!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Meryn's First Birthday

This is a special day.  One I don't take for granted.  Not at all.  The blessing of it was heavy on me all day.  So many children don't get to spend their first birthday with their families.  They're still waiting... waiting in orphanages.... sometimes with good caregivers... sometimes not... but almost certainly no one will know its their birthday, no one will whisper "Happy Birthday Baby!" in their ear, no one will make a special fuss over them that day, or give them something sweet or remember that they were born and given as a precious gift to a family. I am so thankful to have celebrated Meryn's first birthday, and to have her with us for this day!  God has been so faithful to us and to her, and she was surrounded by loving friends who have faithfully prayed her into this home over the past year.  We had such a great time celebrating this beautiful girl's first year and where God's brought her in it!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tapestry: Year 2, Week 4

Kiryn's notebook page about the battle between the Arabs and the Franks

Luke was tired and didn't want to write, but he did manage to scribble out a drawing of Charlemagne.

This week we began to learn about the history of Europe and how it formed in the early middle ages.  Our first character to study was Charlemagne the Great.  We learned all about how Charlemagne united the Franks and was able to defend their land against barbarian/Viking invaders, as well as Arab invaders.  I am really learning a lot! : )  I have heard all the names of these historic figures, but didn't really know much about their lives, when they lived, or even where they ruled.  So putting it all together for me has been really interesting! : )

This week in science, we learned about earthquakes and tsunamis.  We got to do a fun experiment in which we simulated an earthquake.
 Here is our model town all set up and ready for it's quakes.

After a light shake, some things are dislodged and people knocked over. But mostly okay.

 After a moderate shake, the buildings are sinking, some are knocked over, and people are down.
After the big shake.  The whole town is destroyed.

Poor army man is trapped like the Wicked Witch of the West...

Poor Sid and Mickey are buried.

This was a really fun and informative experiment. And way easy to do! : ) 

Oh, and we're also growing some tadpoles.  After the short monsoon, our little fountain was full of tadpoles, so the kids took their bucket and scooped some up to watch them grow at home.  How exciting! I'm SOOO glad we have tadpoles living on our balcony...  

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tapestry: Year 2, Week 3

This week we took a look at the history of the beginnings of Islam, and how it affected the world at the time.  We read about the prophet Muhammad and his life, and how he received his messages from Allah.  We read about how he moved from Mecca to Medina, and conquered different lands and peoples, and how caliphs took over his empire after his death.  We also read a beautiful book called Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp.  We all really enjoyed that story!

Kiryn's map of the Islamic Empire

Luke's Map

This is not intended to be controversial, but I just got such a giggle out of Luke's misspelling on this notebook entry. : )

In science this week, we learned how the earth spins on its axis by spinning a raw egg and a boiled egg.  We learned that the raw egg spins all wobbly, and the hard boiled egg spins smooth, and for a much longer time.  We also took a look at the water cycle.  We were supposed to make a rain gauge, but since it's not raining anymore here, and checking it everyday would be pretty boring, I opted to save that for another time when a rain gauge would actually be interesting. : )

Paul was traveling this week, so I was on my own for the first time with all four.  Not gonna lie, it was not easy.  But, considering that I managed to get my work out in every single day, I count the week a huge success.  Both of the little ones came down with a sore throat and/or ear infection, so our week included a trip to the doctor, but thankfully, I had some great friends around who helped by watching the older kids and feeding them dinner, and bringing me dinner when I got home!  I had three meals delivered to me while Paul was gone by three different friends. I felt so loved and supported! : )  It was a hard, yet good week!

Luke's spelling dictation of the week!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tapestry of Grace: Year 2, Week 2

I entered this week with fear and trepidation, but also a determination to conquer being the homeschooling mommy of four kids.  It's on.

Each morning, we'd start as soon as Meryn went down for her nap, between 9 and 9:15.  Levi we'd keep occupied coloring, getting out toys, or as a last resort, a Baby Einstein.  (Only twice all week, I'm pretty proud of myself!)

During Meryn's naptime, we almost always could knock out our Bible, Grammar, Spelling, and either math or science. (We do math M-W-F, and science T-Th).  So then all that was left is our Tapestry work.  We'd either take a break, or they kept working on independent work, while I'd then entertain the littles from 11 or so until lunch.  Then lunch, littles back down for a nap, and around 2, we're hitting the books again.  Things went so well this week, that I actually managed to work out every afternoon (except Friday) either before or after our afternoon school time.  This week was a huge success in my opinion.  I CAN do it! : )

Here are some fun things we did this week!

Okay, so this was over the weekend, but a fun, child-initiated activity. : )

We painted the land onto our globes.  

We made some simple first mosaics, after the example of the Byzantine Empire. I'd like to do this again and again and work up to more complicated designs. 

After the early Christian church monks, we decorated the tops of paper, and Kiryn at least wrote a note to her Aunt Ashley congratulating her on the birth of her fifth baby, Lillian!

A "cartoon" rendition of the Fall and the Garden of Eden...

Pages from their science notebooks.  We're learning about earth and space...

I love this note booking thing. The things they come up with are hilarious.  

We read all about monks and nuns in monasteries and how they'd live off the land.  Kiryn copied this idea straight out of the book.  

I'm so proud of myself for making it through this week... not only surviving it, but enjoying it and having the energy to cook some good dinners too! All praise to God!