Thursday, June 30, 2011

WW: VBS pictures

We spent all last week at our church for vacation Bible school.
The girls helped me put up some decorations to get ready
and it turned out very well.
Jessie spent a lot of time playing with and reading to Henry while I was doing lessons with the 1st grade class.
They had a great time on the church playground,
and Jessie got some really great pictures of their time together.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer Session: Week 1 Report

It's officially summer here, so we're down to just a few subjects.  In the language arts area, I'm working with the girls this summer on their cursive.  Although they have both been taught cursive previously, neither have been using it consistently so they both have to stop and think about how to form certain letters.  I want it to become automatic.  Benny continues to read a book to me each day.  For math, Jessie is finishing up some CWP problems.  Benny still has a little bit of 1B left, and all three are doing some math drill.
Jessie did several lessons in food related chemistry this week.
For the lesson on flavor, she cooked up some chocolate pudding.
We also made chocolate chip cookies with and without baking soda to compare.  Henry thought both were delicious.
In weather and water, we learned about tornados and had a great time forming funnels of water
 even well beyond the normal science time.
 Even Henry had a try.  We also learned about hurricanes.  The girls completed the review crosswords and quizzes for unit 4, and we began discussing weather instruments on Friday.
Since Jessie hated the assignment from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain last week, I decided to take a different approach this week.  I gave her a picture of a butterfly from a book and asked her to focus on drawing one line at a time just like last week's upside down drawing.  She worked really hard and even decided to go back and shade everything in as well.  The best part is that she was proud of her results.
 Violet and Benny did the lion drawing from Drawing with Children.  We also worked a little on geography, but didn't add any new states this week.
Henry seems to be in another growth spurt because every time I turned around he was raiding the kitchen for snacks.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Omnibus: Week 1 of Eusebius and The Hobbit

Eusebius:  Book 1

First let me say, I love this book.  I have always accepted the premise that Jesus was with God in the beginning, but to watch Eusebius lay out scripture after scripture in the Old Testament linking them to Jesus and using scripture to trace Christianity back to the beginning was very eye-opening.  He works meticulously through historical evidence to create a timeline for Jesus life and explains the differences in the genealogies of Jesus between the gospels of Matthew and Luke.  (Obviously, I should pay more attention to genealogies since I hadn't even noticed the difference.)  My favorite portion of the chapter were his definition of a Christian and the story of King Abgar.  To Eusebius a Christian is someone who through the knowledge and teaching of Christ excels in self-control and righteousness, in discipline and virtue, and in confession of the one and only God.  That is a much higher bar than the one set by our current generation. 

Eusebius: Book 2

Book 2 traces the historical events from after the resurrection through the reign of Nero.  Portions of the material were already familiar to me from the Acts of the Apostles and our studies of ancient history.  For me the highlight of the chapter is the story of the martyrdom of James the Just, the brother of Jesus. 

Eusebius: Book 3

Book 3 details the events during the reign from Galba to Trajan.  The early portion of the book deals with the siege of Jerusalem by Titus and the conditions in the city at the time with extensive quoting from Josephus.  The conditions were atrocious and difficult to read through, but for the most part not so detailed as to be inappropriate for Jessie I though with one exception.  Near the end of 1.6 there is a story of a woman named Mary that I found to be over the top and completely disgusting so I have put a post it over and marked for Jessie to skip.  I think the conditions are covered sufficiently without this last portion.  Thankfully the second half of the chapter is much more uplifting with stories of the grandsons of Jude testifying before Domitian and being released as well as a story about the apostle John going to great lengths to bring a young man back to faith after he turns away.  This is the longest book so far with plenty of details of who became "bishop" of which church, a few more persecutions, and a discussion of the Biblical canon listing accepted, disputed, rejected ,and heretical  books.

Summary for the week:

I managed to complete 6 sessions of primary literature and 3 sessions of secondary literature for The Hobbit by Tolkein this week.  I've been taking notes and writing answers to the discussion sections and just answering the recitation questions mentally before comparing my answer with the teacher's CD.  I feel like I'm off to a good start, and I'm actually enjoying myself.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Week 40: Transitioning to Summer (last 2 weeks)

  • Jessie has finished her textbook, workbook, and IP review and will continue to work on her CWP review sections over the summer.
  • Violet has finished her textbook, workbook, and IP books.  She has 2 pages left in her CWP for the year
  • Benny has finished his textbook and workbook.  We're continuing to work on his IP, CWP, and Miquon hoping to have some more books finished next week.
  • Jessie and Violet were off for the week.
  • Benny continues to read to me daily and complete a line of copywork and a couple of ETC pages.

Jessie has had a busy week of yummy science labs.
 Here she was comparing the solubility of sugar, salt, and baking soda in water.
Gotta love kitchen chemistry.
 She compared the rate at which life savers dissolved in cold, warm, and hot water as well as the difference between crushed and whole life savers.  The leftovers were yummy.
 We compared the density of regular versus diet soda by seeing which can would float in water.

Then she used the recipe in the book to create her own soda.
 Henry's favorite part was the recipe for making ice cream.  (We used almond milk, and it turned out very well.)
We also did a few lessons in Our Weather & Water  this week covering air masses & weather fronts, wind, and thunderstorms.  Here's Benny reducing the air pressure inside an empty two liter to watch it get crushed.  We also tried to generate some static electricity but were unsuccessful.

We started up art this week.
 Jessie is using Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Edwards.  She did some symmetrical drawing one day and attempted to copy an upside down drawing the second day.  (I though it turned out very well, but she wouldn't let me take a picture because she didn't like it.  Benny and Violet did some watercolor one day and completed the test for Drawing With Children by Brookes to determine their level on another day.


Violet and Benny started learning some US geography this week.  (Jessie successfully labeled all 50 states and named almost all of the capitals so I'm just going to let her play online geography games once a week.)  To learn all of the names of the states, I'm teaching them a song that I remember from elementary school called "Fifty Nifty United States".  So far we've covered the first 7 in the alphabetical list.  To place the states correctly on the map, we're using The Little Man in the Map by Martonyi.  This week we cover the man and the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana.  We outlined Mim on a large laminated blank map and each of them got to draw in part of his features.  My hope is to have covered all 50 states by the end of the summer, so we can shift to learning capitals and other information about the states this fall.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

WW: Benny's quirk

Over the course of the years I have woken up to find Benny in many different places in the house from the recliner to the couch to the floor (sometimes his own, sometimes the hallway, and even under the dining room table a time or two). 

Since the escapades are getting more rare as he gets older, I thought I'd better capture his most recent one in pictures to serve as a reminder.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Omnibus 2: Background of Eusebius

Eusebius was born around 265 in the eastern Roman Empire.  He was appointed bishop of Caesarea in 313, became an advisor to Constantine, and was one of the leading bishops at the Council of Nicea in 325.  His history, written at the request of Paulinus the bishop of Tyre, is the first history of the early church designed to record the history of God's people from the life of Jesus through his present day.  His stated intention is to cover the names and deeds of apostles and bishops, major historical events, writings that teach and defend the Christian doctrine, names of heretics, the fate of the Jews who rejected Jesus, and the achievements of confessors and martyrs.

To Eusebius history is more than the story of man.  It is rather the story of God working out his purposes in this world.  He believes that God is sovereign and that nothing can happen apart from His determination.  He clearly states that Jesus is the Son of the Living God, Creator of heaven and earth, and is both fully God and fully man.   Christ came into the world in part to create a new people called Christians, so that now the world is no longer divided into Jews and Gentiles but rather into believers and non-believers.  Because of this division, he recognizes that the church is at war and believes that it will triumph in the end because Jesus has triumphed over Satan.  He also recognizes that within the church the truth of God is working to transform people making them strong and courageous, inspiring them to fight for the purity and unity of the church, and infusing them with compassion.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Omnibus 2: Preparing for fall

Personally I find the idea of Omnibus and teaching the great books both exciting and a little intimidating.  This is going to be new ground for me.  I've read excerpts from a few of the books, but there are several that I haven't read and a few I've never even heard of.  Given my lack of knowledge and experience (and the demanding requirements of the course itself), I've decided I'd better get a head start on Jessie over the summer.  My plan is to post a summary of each author as I read the background material from the text as well as weekly updates on my reading and what I'm learning.  So...  ready or not here I go...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

WW: Sunday's Happenings

Here's Jessie after being baptized, becoming a member of church, and receiving her first communion this past Sunday.  (Henry just wanted to be in the picture.)