Week In Review 2019: Week 4

Our first month of school is under our belts, and crazily enough the first month of 2019 is also under our belts. This also means that in less than 2 weeks our eldest turns 18, where on earth did the time go?!

This week we had a public holiday on Monday to recognise Australia Day, which was a little silly because Australia Day fell on Saturday, but alas the government felt need to be sure we all had a day off from work.. or something like that.

While we didn’t attend to all our studies on Monday we did attend to a few things, amongst which was math. Most of the rest of our day was spent putting the house back in order and stacking up wood from the shrubs we trimmed.

Ahh, the story of our shrubs is a long one and best saved for another day, but they are very very tall and need much taming. We opted to thin them out just a little bit to prevent the neighbour doing further damage to them, and it took us nearly the whole weekend!

There were some groans about having to attend to math on a “public holiday” so I attempted to woo them with leftover {allergy friend} brownies I’d made for Australia Day. One child was delighted, the other snubbed them. Ahh well, you simply can’t win them all with brownies, but a good Pavlova often does the trick. 
One of the boys has been watching the new Carmen SanDiego shows on Netflix and in one episode “Carmen” jumped on a snowmobile to make her escape, the detective in pursuit caught up with her in a matter of seconds to which someone was overheard muttering, “Clearly the writers didn’t do enough Algebra problems.” Oh goodness did I laugh!

The crazy racoon will pop up every so many lessons with TT, or some other encouraging note or joke, and each time it’s happened I’ve tried to snag a photo with 0 luck. This week I managed one and sent the photo through our Family Chat which confused poor Mr S who was at work and had 0 clues what was going on.

Another full week of history, which felt a considerably heavier load this week with not attending to it on Monday. We will likely have a day or two to catch-up with in our final week of term, but that’s all right, I’d rather enjoy the journey then spend the days rushing through them.

We’re still working our way through The Cat Of Bubastes, and will wrap that up next week. I opted to slow the pace for a variety of reasons, which is lovely but also means we will likely have to scrap a few of the Living Library books in order to be able to do that with future books, but that’s fine. We’ve previously read a few that were planned.

We have 8 chapters left in our first PAC booklet, which actually surprised me because it looked like a lot less. I can only presume that a few of the chapters ahead will be short, not that any of the chapters have been super long yet. We’re still enjoying the little booklets and feel they give a more balanced view of things than Unveiling The Kings Of Israel does.

We continued our voyage with Unveiling The Kings Of Israel this week, we still found small issues with it, but it was much less than in previous weeks. However the author spent more time speaking to his personal travels, history {from his changed date system}, and other author’s writings which were all interesting to read.

We also found that we had more timeline figures to add to our Portrait Gallery, but it was also stated that if you no longer had room {we didn’t} to put them on the actual timeline lines. We did, but I have to confess they seem big and clunky there. Had we known we could have printed them at a slightly smaller size to help it fit better. Oh well, perfection is not the goal!

We had a lot more mapping in our notebooking pages this week, which the boys enjoyed, compared to writing. Not that they don’t like the writing aspect, although they felt slightly frustrated by this weeks written narration as the information provided was very skimpy. We’ve read about Hammurabi in previous trips through World History, so they weren’t lacking for knowledge, but sticking with the assignment they tried to draw from the information provided.

If you’re astute you’ll notice that the above photo strip is the same as last week.. that’s not from a lack of attending to our Language Arts, but more the lack of Mamma remembering to take photos. We’re still enjoying our time with Just David, although honestly I’d like to snatch the book and go curl up somewhere with it because I want to see where it’s taking us! One of my boys isn’t as impressed but he confessed he’s struggling with the narrator of the book, so I read it aloud a few days.

They’ve made enough progress on their first poem that they were able to use the “missing words” side of the card to practice with this week, one still has a bit of work to do with his geography card, but the other has them down pat. Not a huge shocker. They both have the Latin/Greek down too.

This week we read about Ralph Waldo Emerson, and discussed some of his poetry’s deeper meanings. The kids also had their first dose of sentence diagramming which they didn’t bat an eye out after years of IEW which gave them the confidence to recognise parts of speech. They still need to attend to an annotation lesson, but it will keep for another day. They also worked on a few other small writing projects with the curriculum, there’s a bit more meat in there than it appears upon first glance.

We continued with our Art History lessons this week wrapping up Disc 2 with Mr Stebbing and jumping into Short Lessons In Art History which has small bios about various authors. This meant we also reached a new section of our Art Gallery Notebooking Pages which made for a nice change. These are the only pages we aren’t typing on, the kids took turns labelling the art work this week. Morgan is still working on his Tiffany Window, I’m excited to see the finished project! 
We found that some of the description of the Madonna with Child and Virtues were difficult to see in the small, but beautiful, art work on the notebooking page so I had a quick google search and found a lovely large photo of it on Wikimedia which allowed us to see all the wonderful details that were being described to us. 
We made a small switch, yes already, to our curriculum. We were given the opportunity to try out Guest Hollow Chemistry, which had me thrilled to bits as his was something I’d intended to go with in the first place, and yet didn’t originally run with. The curriculum is put together with lots of lovely book choices, videos, and a hefty workbook for the students.

It comes with gobs of videos suggestions and link, practical kitchen experiments {okay, cooking!}, and the ability to make this curriculum cover a few credits that the boys need for high school so I was  beyond excited to give this a whirl. I know we’re still in what’s often dubbed “the honeymoon” period, but my goodness did we have fun! My science hater didn’t complain once, and may have chuckled, oohed, and ahhed.

We’re loving Dr Joe And What You Didn’t Know which is loaded with fun questions that have surprising answers. While I really do prefer physical books for most things we are relying on an Audible copy merely because we wanted to dig into this programme NOW and that was the quickest way to get the book as our library doesn’t have it. We’re also digging into Culinary Reactions, which is also in audio format for the same reason. We learned about weighing and measuring ingredients and why it matters and affects the outcome from a chemical reaction, we learned about calories, and foams.. With the big experiment this week being to make bread, we made our traditional Buckwheat Bread recipe which we turned into pizza crust, my science hating child was over the moon giddy.

We watched a load of small clips on YouTube which I put together on watch lists on YouTube to make it easier to pull them up each day and mirror them from a device to our tv. It also cuts down on the race to find the right link, and allows an auto-play feature to work on the playlists. We watched Mr Brady with the crazy hair get very excited about all kinds of elements, and his helper blow up bubbles made of helium. We also watched a Mythbusters Episode about the Hindenburg and possibilities of how/why it might have blown up.

Honestly, it was one of the best weeks of science we’ve had in a while, mostly because everyone was keen to attend to the lessons!

We also decided to take our own route with health.. after much prayer, internal debates, and some research we’ve decided to take a much different route with health. The reality is that we had a very thorough year of biology last year which covered reproduction on an absurdly crazy amount of levels, as well as different functions of the body. Frankly we’re not interested in a health curriculum that is repeating everything we learned last year. So after coming up with a plan of action I sat the boys down and explained that amongst a few other requirements for the year I would be emailing them articles that they’d be required to read and then we’d be discussing them the following day. They were pretty excited about it, I may or may not share the articles and other requirements as we attempt this voyage.

All up we had a good week despite the interruption on Monday. We decided that we like it better when interruptions and holidays happen on Fridays vs Mondays. We spent the week feeling far less rushed to accomplish things than we do when they occur on Mondays, and yet it’s all the same amount of time really isn’t it? 

Week In Review 2019: Week 3

Our third week of school is all wrapped up, we had a few minor bumps this week in our studies and schedule, but nothing major that can’t be ironed out in the weeks ahead. We also had some insane weather here that had us melting where we stood, man do I miss central air conditioning on crazy humid days like that! By the end of the week the air was smoky and the smell of it burns the eyes and throats, our poor little island is on fire and we are in desperate need of rain to help combat it.
We are nearly up to our full schedule; we didn’t have health this week due to how it was oddly scheduled, and we may change tactics with that in the future. One of the boys wants to do a seperate writing curriculum which is not in hand yet either, but excluding those I think we’re up to full speed here which is nice. It gives us an idea of where those bumps are and how to iron them out for the remainder of the term.

It’s always a small challenge to see how our new term will unfold compared to previous ones as we work towards new goals and create new schedules to aid us along that path.

We began Unit 2 this week in HOD’s World History, I’m not really sure why they are called units instead of weeks to be honest. In fact in our home we generally just say week. Ahh, anyway, we had some issues with further readings in Unveiling The Kings Of Israel this week, it’s left us very disappointing as the book is nothing like the description. Sadly, it’s more of a distorted retelling of OT Bible happenings with the very rare and occasional insight into customs at that time. It ends up resulting in far more time being taken on this book as people scramble for Bible saying, “Wait didn’t… really happen?”

I am grateful do have these discussions with my children, without doubt, but I’m really disappointed  in the book being scheduled and used because of the multiple gross errors within. When you know that the Bible is being distorted it leaves you wondering if the archeological and historical information is also being treated in the same manner. Monday was especially hard with this book because the boys had a written narration on the information within the book about Abram, and in the end they reread Abram’s life story from Genesis before attending to the writing. We are super grateful this book is only used for 8 weeks.

We also read a few chapters from the PAC booklet again, it’s amusing to us that we were worried those would be what we’d not enjoy, but thus far we haven’t minded them at all. They’ve shared more historical and/or custom information on the time periods than the previous book which has made it very enjoyable. And they completed their first official Portrait Gallery in their Book of Centuries, it only took 2 years as the BOC lasts for all 4 high school years.

We are still reading through The Cat Of Bubastes, but I confess it’s not one of my favourites. I much preferred the radio production we listened to of this book a couple of years ago by Heirloom Audio, in fact if I were to ever do this level again I’d use that in place of the book. I’m not sure why I’m not enjoying the story, it may be that the chapters are well over 30 minutes each and they are often scheduled ate the rate of 1.5 chapters per day. The boys are enjoying the book though, which is the important part. We also enjoyed this article to understand more about the birthright and blessing that is given to Jacob in Genesis.

We have just a few chapters left in But Don’t All Religions Lead To God, and it’s been sharing this book with my youngest, making it my second trip through myself. It’s funny how upon rereading books you notice things you didn’t previously or things that hit you before hit you harder this time.

I did share this article with my boys when the author claimed Jesus was a refugee, a very common, all be it entirely false, claim. For the nitty gritty to understand the why you’ll need to read the article, but for the quick version Egypt was ruled by Rome, and Roman citizens were not refugees within lands still ruled by them.

I’m excited to wrap up the book next week and jump into the other aspects of it and see how we go. My youngest has far more questions with our readings than the older did, and it’s been enjoyable to have those discussions with him. I’m also hopeful that the next book scheduled will help with some of the questions he’s been asking.

We started our new language arts programme, which thus far has been enjoyable. It’s a little light compared to what we used previously, but at the same time we’re only just starting so we’ll see if that remains the case all the way through or not. I purchased the Physical/Digital combo kit unaware that you would get EVERYTHING in both formats, I also didn’t expect the little booklets to be of such beautiful quality, had I known I’d have ordered 2 sets of booklets and skipped the digital version. I printed the kids out the worksheets they’d need and we’re working through Unit 1 together. With future units they may or may not work solo, but as it’s new they opted to work together for now.

We’re enjoying Just David by Eleanor H. Porter, we’ve read many of her other books and loved them all, but somehow I’d never heard of this one. We indulged ourselves in her mini biography in Unit 1 as well as the first 12 pages of the booklet. We were aiming for 15, but this was one of those minor blimps I was referring to.

The programme comes with Geography, Latin/Greek Roots, and Poetry cards. The objective is to select the ones in your unit and work on them. The Latin/Greek Roots are the same for the whole year, my kids already knew nearly all the words on there with only a half dozen or less being “newish” to them, but they still run through the list each day. The Geography card for the first unit is New England and one has the states down pat, the other just calls everything Rhode Island which cracks us up. They selected the poem Trees by Sergeant Joyce Kilmer and run through it each day as well.

They made it through Lesson 6 in the art history dvd as well, and had matching notebook pages to answer some questions about the information they heard. I find it interesting that my non artsy student was not looking forward to all the “art” this year, but has fully enjoyed watching these dvd and being a part of the daily discussion around them. I confess that I didn’t partake in many/much of the videos this week as I left them to it while I was dashing around dealing with other things, and we met up after they finished to work through the notebooking pages.

We are dragging our first science lesson out over two weeks, which is probably a little bit nutty, but Monday is a public holiday and Mr S will be home to do the first lab with the kids. It’s really a very simple one, but he wanted in on Chemistry this year so I figured it was a great way for him to be a part of things in a fun way. Although he did ask if he had a white lab coat.. I mean to say!

While waiting on the lab the kids finished off their element flash cards and continued to quiz each other. They do really well with the flash cards, but were really disappointed with their practice test results. It’s a practice test though, and I heard at least one of them practicing with the cards slightly differently after his practice run so it’ll be interesting to see how they go on the actual test.

Both boys are doing excelling with their math. One thing we’re enjoying about Teaching Textbook is that each problem can be watched with an explanation of how to work it out if someone gets in a jam, but one of the HUGE drawbacks of it is that the math problems are presented on a YELLOW notepad on the computer. This is a HUGE issue for my Irlen kids who have yellow and red on their no-no colors. {No-no colours, are colours that set their Irlen into hyperdrive..} and with TT’s colours being yellow and orange this can be a huge issue at times. We’d love to see future version of TT allow the student to change the notepad colour just like they can change their buddy and background.

Our struggling student has made huge headways by having him only do every other problem. He’s able to concentrate better on those problems because he’s not being over exposed to the crazy yellow and orange colours. Which in turn boosts the confidence and shows in the work. I’m grateful to have found a way to work with the problem, but man it’d be so awesome if Teaching Textbooks would fix that little notepad!

There was also some foreign language happening, but no pictorial proof, as well as hobbies and kitchen help. Our state is currently on fire which means a total fire ban. We are allowed to use gas grills/barbecues {thankfully} which we took liberty with due to the extreme heat and not wanting to overheat the kitchen. The kids watched the fajitas we cooked one night as well as baked potatoes another, and made the pasta to go with the goulash on a third night. So grateful who kids are who are capable in such matters!

Week In Review 2019: Week 2

Here we are, in week 2 of our school year. We’re still not up to full speed yet, which is all part of the plan. It’s funny because we do start this way every year, but most years I have this nagging voice in the back of my head telling me how I need to do more even though I know the slow start is right for our home. That voice isn’t there this year and I’m grateful not to have to peat it down with a sharpened #2 pencil! Our objective was to add in our history & art this week
We’re using Heart Of Dakota’s World History for both our Fine Arts elective and our history, & I have to be honest I’m rather gushy about the fact that both my kids are combined again. It’s been a long long time since we’ve schooled this way, but after much prayer and discussion this is the choice we made. I’ll also be honest, whether I’ve homeschooled for 2 years of 12 years the new year jitters are always there, but this year’s jitters were the least I’ve felt in a long time as well. I spent a lot of time over our summer holidays in prayer about our new year from curriculum to schedules and back again & the peace that I feel about all of it this year is something I’m so grateful for. There is much to be said about not just planning our your year academically but spiritually too.
Last week I mentioned that we had started off with a plan to read the Bible through in 180 days, but that I’d forgotten about my origional plan for Bible. Isn’t it crazy that I would forget my origional plan? Yet, I did, until I walked over to the book case holding this years books and there was my plan, all neatly organised and awaiting us! That plan was to use the World Cultures And Religions Study from Heart of Dakota’s World Geography.

We already owned it and my eldest hadn’t completed the course, while my youngest hadn’t started it at all.  Pulling it out and using it made sense on many levels so that’s just what we did. We’re using one set of notebooking pages for two kids and typing on them. Interestingly enough, my kids saw this quote twice this week in school, the first time they were shocked that it was something Napoleon said, the second time they just exchanged “the look” and copied it down.

We dug into our history this week with much anticipation of what it would hold, and for the most part we were not dissapointed. We are using the Living Library book set along with the required history books. We had readings from all 4 books above, with our longest readings being in The Cat Of Bubastes, which we are listening to via an audio copy.

It’s a delightful way to start our day with the audio going while we all enjoy our smoothies, for the one amongst us who wakes up latest and needs a good hour to be awake before he’s engaged in discussions this has been a huge help as the chapters are over 30 minutes each and are scheduled out at a pace of 1.5 chapters for our first week.

We read only a small selection from Kings Of Israel and were a little taken aback with some leeway the author took wth the Bible. He makes a rather bold, and disturbing, claim that Sarai would have preferred life in a harem compared to life in a tent. This struck us as absolutely bizarre especially as the reasonings were that she would have had maidservants and not had to attend to marital duties. I reminded the boys of Sarai’s maidservant named Hagar and the results of allow Hagar to fulfil marital duties.. There were a few other claims that really shocked us, but opened up some delightful conversations in our home.

The PAC booklet was one I was a wee bit worried about as my kids haven’t really used textbooks in their school careers, but I admit we’ve actually really enjoyed it. There’s a lot of information shoved into a few short pages and some of it is information we’ve never heard before. Admittedly the quality of the booklet leaves much to be desired, but that doesn’t affect the content.

Finally we read a few pages from Short Lessons From World History. I’m not sure about this book, it seems to be written considerably below the level of the rest of this lovely programme. It is laced with very simplistic sentences, but then will have the occasional complex one thrown in. It will be interesting to see how the book progresses through the year as there are critical thinking questions smattered throughout that are needed for your notebooking pages.

The notebooking page shared above is the same one split in half to make it fit in the collage of photos. My kids are also typing on the history notebooking pages and sharing one set between them for now. This method is working well for us and we discuss the assignment aloud and then work through it. This week’s Written Narration was a little difficult for the boys as the topic covered was based completely on a YE view point, which is not something we are sold on despite our 100% belief in creation. ‘nough said. I do think the boys did a great job pointing on the assignment and following the instructions laid out for them.

Have I mentioned just how much I love having both my kids in the same level yet in this post? Ha, can you tell I’m a little giddy about it or the peace it’s brought us so far this year? I didn’t buy another set of the Book Of Century that HOD offers as we already owned one and I wasn’t sure my eldest was going to want to continue with it, but I knew that the Timeline was something my youngest really loves. However, this year instead of drawing your own as in the younger years you add clips from a specific HSITW cd and then write other dates on the lines. One child prefers to colour so he offered to colour in the figures, while the other was more than delighted to write down the information on the line. 
We had math for both boys this week too, which didn’t REALLY involve cookies, but somehow they ended up on the table while a child was doing a math lesson. I snapped a photo of the cookies instead of the child shouting at the computer. Ha! Both kids have mapped out their current math levels so they’ll finish in June, a couple of weeks apart. For one this is incentive enough to not need reminding to get the lessons done, for the other he’s still not feeling the love. It’s not that he doesn’t love his curriculum, he just doesn’t like math which is kinda crazy because he’s very very good at it and can catch on to new concepts without batting an eye.

In leu of full disclosure my kids aren’t doing ALL the problems in their Teaching Textbook lessons which have on average 25 problems. Rather we are doing only x amount, & that amount depends on what the lesson was about, how many problems were scheduled, and how quickly the child caught on to the concept. I was having them do all the problems, and decided to have the eldest work on only odd or evens {if there are 19 he does odds, if there are 20 or 22 he does evens as the last problem is always a word problem!} and I’m finding that some of the struggles he was having aren’t there. While we are loving the aspects of TT the yellow/orange combo is really rough on his irlen. I’ve no clue if that’s some of the reason for the excess stress or not, but either way doing less has boosted his confidence levels and I’m seeing little to no simple mistakes in his work. Win-win!

We dug into our art courses in full this week. We started the God & The History Of Art last week with the first lesson, and enjoyed watching more this week. We are really enjoying Mr Stebbing’s insight on art, but we did have a minor issue with one lesson this week discussing nudity. There was nothing wrong with the lesson itself, but we heavily disagreed with Mr Stebbing’s statement that, “nudity is our shame.” He used Genesis 3:10 as an example, but Adam & Eve were not ashamed due to their nudity, they were afraid due to their nudity due to the shame of their sin. A mighty difference, and in a world where body image problems abound we paused the video and discussed this in depth before moving on.

We purchased the entire Fine Arts package which included the Art Projects Dvd{s} which are scheduled out. This week Morgan began the Tiffany Window project which walked him through his composition after giving a rather interesting history lesson on Mr Tiffany. I can’t wait to see his finished project! Jayden is sitting this portion of the Fine Arts credit out, although he fully enjoyed watching the artist at work and the history lesson she shared.

Lastly this week we started our lovely science curriculum, Friendly Chemistry. After speaking with Dr Hajda about what we specifically needed, which is a bit different than your needs for Biology, and getting set up with our video lessons, we were ready to roll. The guys have all been looking forward to this for a while and there were no grumbles when I said they needed to grab paper for note taking before we put on the first lecture.

For lesson one’s test the objective is to memorise the first 36, at least, elements. There’s a flashcard “method” both in your manipulative book and on the Friendly Chemistry website, and the boys had a spin at the website version. Then I suggested they make some flash cards similiar to their vocabulary cards, basically adding small pictures/sketches that would help them remember, the above index cards were the result for the first 12. I specifically like the one for boron in which the poor fellow is “bored”, and the magnesium card. The stick figure on the magnesium card is rubbing magnesium cream on his knees, can you tell what this Mamma does after a hard workout? We will continue making more cards on Friday and then the final 12 on Monday giving them a bit more time to review them before they take the test. We still have a lab to do, but that will likely be done next week too.

We also worked on our Total Health programme this week, although you’ll have to take our word for that as I have 0 photos to share. All up we had a really lovely week, and it may be a miracle that the home library, where we also do our learning, was found clean one afternoon. No books askew, quilts {mostly} away, globes back in their places, pillows {mostly} away, etc. I snapped a photo, even if we had dirty dishes to clear out.

Making Our Curriculum Work

Every year when we get curriculum I spend way to much time fussing and bothering over how to make it work the way it came to me. I tend to over listen to the many who like to keep their curriculum in pristine condition for maximum resale value, which I totally understand, but I find that by focusing on resale I don’t get my own value out of it.

HOD is one such curriculum. The guides come bound up as neat little books that sit very nicely on your shelf. It’s a lovely feature to them, especially if you use every aspect of the curriculum, but we don’t. And that means that I won’t find all the details in my guide for everything we need to accomplish in a week.  I found myself really fumbling last year because of that issue, and it drove me absolutely insane. I’m not a fly by the seat of your pants kinda homeschooler. I’m the, plan it out. line it up, put it on the calendar, accomplish it kinda homeschooler.

This year, I spent a few days arguing with myself about cutting up a book that cost me $140 AUD, but in the end I was reminded that curriculum is meant to work for you, and if it doesn’t then it’s not worth purchasing or using. So, I pulled our HOD guide apart, the whole time hoping I didn’t regret it and reminding myself that the worst case scenario was that I could make a trip into the city to get it bound up if I needed to. I’m still not sure how I feel about it, and I suppose the real test will be in the coming year as I put my plan into action.
See, I bought our school planner unbound and used the DISC system on it to bind it up intentionally so that I could add our weekly HOD plans in there as well. HOD plans have a lot in them and it’s more than just reading the book and following great discussions. There’s notebooking, videos, and more to indulge in over the course of the week, and it’s far too much to rewrite in the planner even if I wanted to, which I don’t. After all, the reason I purchased pre-planned curriculum is so that I don’t have to spend my entire year planning what to do next.
After carefully getting all the pages out of the binder and trimming just a pinch off to get rid of the glue and semi-ragged edge I hole punched them. Did you know that Australian hole punches aren’t the same size as US ones? Yep, that’s because our paper is taller, so I had to line up the papers in my punch evenly and then snagged a gold marker to make a line so I knew where to align the bottom of each page. It worked well despite the incredibly crooked line I’ve drawn. 
The results are 35 weeks of school punched and ready for use, and the plan is to pull a few weeks out at a time and slip them in the page protectors that fit in my planner so that I can see the finer details of what we’re doing along with the non-HOD subjects that we’re doing. The idea is to have everything I need in one place at one time instead of juggling it around. Funny thing is I may need to grab pages from another HOD guide because we’re looking at doing the Bible from WG, oh the insanity! 

Core 300 Videos Weeks 1-3

As we wind our way through the modern world history of Core 300, I’m weaving in various documentaries & videos, mostly from YouTube for my boy. I tend to like to leave a trail of what we did so that when we circle through with the next child I can look through my notes, blog posts, & journals to see what we did. That’s exactly what the Core 300 Video posts will be.

My word of warning is that what suits one family may not suit another, & thus if you choose to view the video links I’m using with your own children I’d urge you to read any notes or comments I make about the videos & to also preview it yourself first.  Also note these are not fictional videos/movies. I may, or may not, share what we watch in that regard in an entirely different post.

NOTE: If we were to only watch one I’d watch Tour de France For Newbies YouTube won’t let me embed this one here so I’ve embedded another we watched. However, the linked video is fantastic which speaks not only of the first Tour de France, but also discusses how much of what happens today is a shout-out to years gone by, as well as why some rules have changed from the origional.

NOTE: This video contains a couple of graphic images & a graphic retelling from one of the survivors. This would not suit sensitive viewers, & should be watched at parent’s discretion.

NOTE: this video contains nudity. We chose this video because it shows how AutoChrome looks & mentioned the Lumiére brothers. The display of photos is from a French museum, & one of the images is 3 nude women from a tactful angle so very little is seen.  This occurs at 3:15-3:22.

There’s a lovely 2:10 video of highlights from this Olympic as well, but sadly it’s also incapable of being embedded here. Thankfully I can share the link, because it’s fun to see the time period & the various ways sports, uniforms, & more have changed over the years. If you’re student{s} is as interested to know what happened in the 1904 Olympics you can find a highlight video for that here.

Middle Ages

We’re gearing up to start Middle Ages in the new term, & as I was sorting through resources I thought I’d share some of our favourites here. We’ve used many over the years at varying levels, but this is likely our last trance through this time period & so this trip through the choices are based on the resources I know will best appeal to this particular child.

My goal is to limit this time period to the 9-10 weeks scheduled with our Sonlight Curriculum, so we can meld it right into Renaissance in our final term of the year. However, we’ll be adding in bits & bobs to help aide us along.

I have a couple of new resources to use this go around as well, which I’m pretty excited about! We also have a few fun things which I hope will be right up my World Traveler’s alley so I’m excited to move into this new time period. Not to mention, I find the Middle Ages far more enjoyable than Ancients.

Below is the list of everything we’ll be planning to use this trip through:

We will not be reading this entire book in 10 weeks! We’ll read about half, maybe a little more, depending on the schedule in our curriculum. We’ll roughly be aiming to get through Chapter 25 in either case.

Again, our goal wont’ be to get through all of this, but we will be aiming for roughly half. Last time through we only used MOH2 through the period of the New Church, but our last time through we had a great amount of other things going too. This time our aim is to follow it through, we’ll see what happens. We’ll be using the MP3 Audio version.
We own a fair amount of books in this series & used most of them on our last trip through world history. The current world study traveler isn’t as much into all the hands on projects the last one did, so while this has been pulled out I’m not sure if we’ll use it in full. There are a few topics in the book we may read about if they aren’t covered in any of our other selections.
This series has been well loved by everyone in the house, & I was really excited to pull the Middle Ages title off the shelf again. This may cover a few of the topics from the above book that I want to be sure our world traveler grasps as these books are really incredibly thorough, but if not we have the other book to fall back on.

We picked this up on our last trip through Middle Ages when one of the boys had a huge fascination with knights. They perused the book thoroughly, but I’m not sure how much of that was for the photo eye candy or the actual content. Either way I pulled it back off the shelf & added it to my pile. It discusses the many levels of training a knight went through & the life they lived there after.
You can’t study Middle Ages & not enjoy a book about a castle, right? We picked this one up a while back thinking it was scheduled last time through, only to discover it wasn’t. We’ll enjoy it all the same as we watch the planning & building of a castle come to life in this book.
This title is probably just a pinch behind time wise, but it’s such a great read that we can’t leave it off. It tells the story of Stephen’s stoning & those who were brought to Christ through Stephen prior to that moment. While we know the ending of Stephen’s story, it’s still a beautiful book to bring to life & remind us of the struggles those who first called themselves Christians endured.
This book starts out a little rough around the edges with an incredibly abusive grandfather who is the legal guardian the young protagonist in the story. But once you move past that small portion of the first chapter it’s all adventure & intrigue something that I think my world traveler will eat up.
Last trip through this time period we read Adam Of The Road & found it to be one of the most boring books we’d encountered. Don’t hate us if you love the book, but honestly it was a little happily ever after for it’s time period. I was delighted to have this book on the shelf to pull off & show another side of the traveling minstrel. The Puppeteer’s Apprentice is much more full of action & shows the good & bad side of life on the road during the Middle Ages. Beware, there’s a tear jerker ending though!
This is a new title to us, but we’ve heard many wonderful things about the book & have decided to give it a go. I was debating having my world traveler do this one solo as it can be picked up in audio fashion from Audible, but as it’s not one I’ve read yet I’d like to read it with him, so we’ll see what transpires there.

We own this book both in paperback form & audio form so we may listen to this one vs reading it as our schedule will be pretty full with all the lovely books we have & I really don’t want to rush through our various books & plans.
I picked this book up just a few days ago while I was out & about. I spotted it it on a clearance table at a local toy shop. The book discusses the various types of catapults that were used during this time frame & then has supplies for reader to build one as well as a few cardboard castles to use as your targets. It’s right up my current World Traveler’s alley! 
My dad sent the boys one or two of these books many years ago & it has inspired many fun crafting sessions as they’ve invented varying weapons from time to time. I thought I’d challenge my  boy to make a “weapon” or two per week from the book. A quick note about this book: The projects within can be built from general supplies around the house, but most should be done with parent supervision.

We own many of the Drive Thru DVDs & had a great time watching them through Ancients, so I pulled our next set off the shelf for the next time period. I noticed our DVDs are still sealed, which is peculiar, because I was certain we had previously watched them. Perhaps we watched them off the tv instead!?

I was actually scanning our movie shelf for Robin Hood, but couldn’t find a single copy which baffeled me as I’m certain we own the old Disney cartoon version. Ahh well, I stumbled upon this one which I pulled off to watch at some point. We’ll likely scan Netflix, YouTube, & iTunes for other titles as we immerse ourselves in the time period.

In fairness we own a few games that would be classified as Middle Ages, but I stumbled upon Cathedral while in that afore-mentioned toy shop this week. It was on special for a really great price {for our area} & I snatched it up. I can’t comment on how exciting or not it is as we haven’t dug in to play it yet, but my World Traveler is already intrigued by it because the pieces are beautifully carved wooden castles. Can’t wait to give it a go!  {Aussie readers, you can also find it here, but I promise I didn’t pay even close to that price. Check your local ToyWorld.}

We own several different versions of this came, all loads of fun to play! Any excuse to indulge in a round is a good one, right? The funny part is I’m not sure we own the origional as it was out of stock the day we picked up our very first copy which was playable without the origional version. We’ve been trying for ages to obtain the origional. Ahh, but that’s okay we have the winter edition which is just as fun & fits the Middle Ages theme, some of our other versions are better suited to other periods of history.

Also not pictures, but a fun card game. We kept in the car for a while to pull out at picnics & other outings where we’d be for a while. I’m not sure my current World Traveler has played this one, as he was considerably younger when we obtained it & may have needed a buddy each time. It’s funny how games where they needed a buddy became new all over again when they are able to play it on their own.
We have a few different version of Chess around too. The ultimate favourite that often comes out is the first version we ever purchased the kids, a funny little Sesame Street version. My boys may be teens these days, but this one still gets pulled out to be used. We’ve had to glue a few of them back together over time, but it’s still holding up.
We picked up this nifty lego set a few years back on a deep deep discount at our local lego shop. Some of it is still put together, some isn’t, so I may challenge my World Traveler to put it back together while he listens to some of the lovely books ahead.