This week was quieter than usual, but a good one nonetheless! In History we finished reading "Mara, Daughter of the Nile" and learned about mummies and how the pyramids were built. We explored this further with a couple of kits, and tried our hand at drawing pyramids (using "Draw and Write Through History"). Elon discovered that by applying some pressure with the beeswax crayons, he can then rub/blend the colors to a perfectly smooth and flawless finish -- he did this for his desert sand, below.

Jaymon & Dominic's:

Elon & Maddie's:

Thinking ahead, I've been working on compiling a new curricula schedule for the remainder of the year - combining elements from both Sonlight and Winter Promise, as well as other resources. So far, the results look very promising, so I'm quite excited! It combines just the right amount of reading, mapwork, notebooking and hands-on activities, etc., in addition to our Bible and Science studies. It also includes the appropriate copywork and memory work, art and music! Most importantly, everything is lining up exactly - so we won't be reading about the Israelites while studying Greece, for example (both Sonlight and Winter Promise have some overlap that bugs me, so I was thrilled to eliminate it).

My reason for re-writing the schedule was that I wanted to take a less confusing regional approach to each ancient culture, rather than jumping around to cover everything chronologically. Also, I wanted everything to be completely planned out and coordinated, so that we can immerse ourselves fully in each culture as its studied.

In other History news (or perhaps Science?), we ordered Silk Worm eggs today, to be delivered on March 5th. I'm hoping they'll be ready to spin silk as we start on our study of Ancient China. My elementary science teacher always kept silk worms in her classroom and I have such fond memories of them that I thought the kids would enjoy them as well. Sadly, that's the only bit of Science news I have. I know, I'm such a slacker, but I just can't seem to motivate myself to start our Rocks & Minerals unit (despite the fact that it's a favorite of mine!). The kids also reminded me that we have yet to erupt our volcano, so I'm hoping we can work on that this weekend. Yikes.

Language Arts has been a slight mess this week...we're still stuck on diagramming in Rod & Staff (which, again, reminds me that we probably need to take a "time out" and work on the parts of speech!). It doesn't help that their public school friends are scornful of diagramming, since it's apparently not taught anymore. We did manage to get through two CLE Reading lessons and have been thoroughly enjoying our first week of "Excavating English." Thus far, I haven't had to modify it in the least - even my 8-year-old is enthusiastic about it because it's really quite interesting! It has led to some wonderful discussions as well. For our AWAD vocabulary, we've learned contumacious, lachrymose, peripatetic, obstreperous and coeval. Their retention has been great, though it's rather amusing to hear them actually using such large words (lachrymose and obstreperous were the favorites)!

For Music this week we have been listening to Music of the Ancient Sumerians, Egyptians and Greeks by Ensemble De Organographia. The liner notes are quite excellent and explain the origination of each song, along with the instruments used. For example, one of our favorites, "Theban Banquet Scene" comes from a 14th century BC tomb painting found in Thebes (the song can be heard here): "The painting depicts a scene of four rows of guests preparing to attend a banquet with guests on the left of each row displaying chironomy signs and instrumentalists on the right. The signs, indicated by the various inclinations of the guests' arms, apparently documents the rise and fall of the melody being played by the musicians." Quite fascinating! The instruments used on the CD are either original or faithful reproductions of ancient instruments; a photograph of all the instruments is also shown.

The rest of our work this week has been unremarkable; everything is mostly going smoothly and according to schedule. Let's hope it continues!


  1. Kim said...
    That CD looks cool. wish I'd had it when we did ancients.
    Julia said...
    I would be very interested in learning more about the schedule you have planned.

    Anonymous said...
    Looks like a great week! I've been following your blog in my reader for a time now. I'm "sweetbaby" on the WTM forum. I love your blog!
    Kristine said...
    Thanks Kysha! And Julia, I'm *hoping* to finish the schedule this weekend, but still need to add some things in. I'd be happy to share it with you when I'm done - I couldn't find any way to contact you through your blog, so either e-mail me at - or I can post a comment for you when it's finished.
    Robin of My Two Blessings said...
    Sounds like a great week. I would love to do silk worms. James not so much. So... Look forward to hearing about your experiences with the silk worms.

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