Monday, August 22, 2016

Heart of Dakota - HOD CtC - Week 1

Welcome to our very first week of school! This will be Silas's first year back to Heart of Dakota in 2 years. I never know how the year will go until we actually start. After making it through the first week I am so happy that we chose to go this route this year. Silas will be studying ancient history with HOD Creation to Christ. We haven't done ancients since way back in kindergarten, so a lot of this will be new to him. I especially love the focus on Biblical history in CtC. I always say that a kid doing this guide will likely be more Biblically literate than many adults.

One thing I especially love about this guide is the poetry and watercolor study. Each week we will study a Robert Frost poem and paint a painting that is inspired by that poem. I looked back to see Aedan's picture from the same week. It's neat to see how each kid interprets it in their own way. This week we studied the poem "A Late Walk."

This time I decided I would paint alongside him. I always wanted to do that with Aedan. It's such a fun project each week!

Another thing I am doing differently this time is that I made these poetry frames for the poetry copywork. Last time we used index cards. I thought these might be a prettier option. If you would like these you can find them HERE.

I thought he did a great job for his very first painting of the year. I especially thought his handwriting was lovely. It's a change for him to write everything in cursive this year. He's doing a great job with it so far.

As always I adore HOD's notebook pages. It's always so fun to see how each kid interprets the events and historical figures we study. Silas did a great job for his first written narration of the year. This year we are using IEW Fables. We made a quick outline like IEW instructs. It made writing this narration so much easier. Making an outline helped him to stay on topic and cover what happened.

If this isn't the cutest little earth I've ever seen....I always love my boy's timeline entries. This week we studied the creation of the world, Adam and Eve, and Noah's flood. Silas really enjoyed listening to the Diana Waring What in the World? CDs. He even stopped to listen to Aedan's for MtMM.

I made a schedule for The Victor Journey through the Bible book to go along with our bible reading each week. I love this kid's commentary. It really explains the context of scripture in a way they can understand.

The Great Flood - 2300 B.C. I recently read a historical fiction based on the life of Noah's wife. It was fascinating to consider some of the details that the Bible doesn't fill in.

Our storytime book is Dinosaurs of Eden. Silas is also reading the extensions this year and read Dinosaurs by Design this week.

This week we took it easy on literature. Since we skipped Preparing last year I wanted Silas to be able to read this Noah's Ark book. We will soon be taking a trip to the creation museum with friends to see the ark. It's the perfect time to see it since this is what we are studying this year!

Silas's history project was to make a generations flap book. It told all of the generations from Adam to Noah.

One of the tweaks I made to CtC's schedule was the science. Silas has studied animal science and botany more than once in recent years. He asked if he could learn astronomy this year. He is often content to learn whatever I plan, so when he does request something specific I try to accommodate it. A eager learner is always best! We are using HOD's Resurection to Reformation's science schedule rather than CtC's science this year. We will study astronomy and earth science instead.

The first experiment we did was to compare the size of the planets. We were supposed to make the planets out of balloons or draw them. Instead I found these free printables to use to compare the sizes.

First we compared them from smallest to largest, and then we put them in order that they are in our solar system.

I knew Silas would have to draw them on his experiment sheet anyway, so the printables were lovely.

Each week there is one notebook page, and  also a written narration. Silas is getting a lot of writing practice this year. I'm hoping to see him develop confidence in this area.

This of course isn't all of what we learn each week, but over the course of the year I hope to share how we use other individual curriculum choices as well. I'm looking forward to seeing what will come of next week!

Heart of Dakota - HOD MtMM - Week 1

Welcome to 8th grade here at Monarch Room! We had a great start to our school year this week. We were definitely feeling the summer fatigue weighing heavily on us the first few days, but we quickly got up to speed. Aedan will be using Heart of Dakota Missions to Modern Marvels for the bulk of his studies this year. I'm especially excited to study this period with him as we have never had the chance to take a whole year to do it yet. I love how we will study missionaries alongside all of the historical events that happened in the modern world. I am looking forward to seeing a lot of growth in Aedan spiritually and educationally.

This first week we studied the Irish Famine, the Alexander II of the Russian Empire, Abdullhamid the Red in the Ottoman Empire, Dom Pedro II in Brazil and how Ethiopia won its freedom from Italy. I love how there are so many aspects of history we will cover and in different ways. We will read historical fiction, biographies, study the geography of the period as well as read first hand accounts of those who experienced these events first hand.

Aedan worked on his Map Trek World Empires map.

We made the mistake of doing the whole map instead of just the empires we studied this week. Woops!

Aedan's written narration was about how Europe was trying to take over Africa and how Ethiopia fought Italy to win their freedom. He also copied part of the Worthy Words assignment.

We read the heartbreaking account of the Irish Potato Famine and why there was a huge influx of Irish immigrants to America during this period.

Our storytime book is Under the Hawthorne Tree. This is a tear jerker about how a family of children must make their way to find food and shelter after their parents don't return home. We will finish it next week. Aedan is also reading the extensions this year. Esty's Gold is about another Irish girl who must find a way to take care of herself during the famine as well. She ends up going to Australia in search of gold rather than to America. It's interesting to see how disaster opens many doors. I have always loved how we get to read historical fiction in HOD. A history spine can't share the heartache of war and loss quite like a good book.

Dom Pedro II Rules in Brazil

This week Aedan's history project was to experience what life would be like under a dictator's leadership. Silas told him how to dress, how to comb his hair, what books to read, what kind of music to listen to and what job he would have (that was doing a few chores for Silas which Aedan felt was very unfair.) This was life under the dictatorship of Abdullhamid II in the Ottoman Empire. Out of respect for my teenager I won't share pictures of how Silas dressed Aedan or fixed his hair. Needless to say, Aedan is looking forward to doing this assignment when Silas gets to it in a few years.

Alexander II Assassinated - Alexander III Becomes Czar

This year we chose to do the President Study. Each week Aedan will learn about one or two presidents through a weekly reading and DVD session. He will fill out information about those presidents on his President notebook pages. This week we learned about George Washington and John Adams.

This year's art is Nature Drawing and Journaling by Barry Stebbing. I ended up getting a different journal than I originally got so he can decorate the cover. I also splurged and got a box of 72 Prismacolor pencils. These are worth every single penny in my opinion. The boys have been really careful with our set of 24 that we have used for almost 3 years now. It was time to get more. They were down to nubs.

His first assignment was to personalize his journal by adding a small self portrait. He didn't want to draw a realistic picture, but I thought he did a nice job. This year's art will be a nice change of pace for him.

Once a week we will do an economics study by reading varying resources. This week we learned about coins and paper money.

Aedan had so much fun in science this week. He loved that he got to mix chemicals. I got goggles for both kids because wherever there is a science experiment, Silas is there.

Our science kit comes with chemicals, but we will also use common everyday kitchen supplies as well.

Aedan, my mad scientist! I ended up getting a test tube stand because it's harder to see the test tube in the stand that came with the kit. We will use that next week.

Of course I had to take a slow-mo video of our first experiment! It was fun seeing the smile at the end.

Our science lab sheet for the week

Aedan will be doing Hewitt Homeschool's I Dare You! Bible study instead of MtMM's Bible study. This is a deep study, and I think Aedan's eyes will be opened in new ways. On the final day of school he was gone a really long time pondering the answers to some of the questions. I'm trying not to rush him. I'm hoping he won't take as long next week, but lingering on Bible study is something I definitely want to let him do if he wants.

We are also using Hewitt Homeschool's Lightning Lit. I'm a huge fan of this program. The first short story in level 8 is not for the faint of heart though. I definitely needed strong coffee to digest this one. We read G.K. Chesterton's A Crazy Tale. I keep saying I will write a review on this program! There's so much to love. 

Have you started school already? How are things going for you?

On to next week! See you then!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

First Week of School 2016

Here begins the story of our 2016-2017 school year! We took a nice summer break which was desperately needed. After about 3 months of that we start getting ready to be back to school. My boys wouldn't say that, but everyone here functions better with some kind of routine. Having a break from any expectations is nice for a season, but it was time to get back to work. 

I'm always so nervous starting out every new year. While you can make all the plans in the world sometimes things don't always go according to plan. We have some new afternoon commitments that we haven't had in years' past. Silas was invited to be a part of a robotics team that will meet 2 afternoons a week. We will have to do our best to adjust where necessary to make it happen. Aedan will also have a few classes he will take as well. This is the season where life might give us opportunity to learn where to say no and keep some sort of simplicity going while also accomplishing our goals.

So basically, my kids are now BIG kids! Aedan has grown so much over the last year. His feet are as big as his dads. Sometimes I think Silas seems smaller than Aedan was at his age, but I compared pictures of Aedan's first week of 5th grade to Silas's and he is exactly the same size. These boys are really growing up. It's so fun to see their personalities developing.

I usually buy a few simple gifts for the first day. I have been trying to wake up early and prepare the day, so I don't start the day feeling behind.

I started out the first day with a simple breakfast. These boys are super easy to please. They are always where the food is!

Our first week went really well! As always we start out very rusty. We have to knock off the summer dust and use our brains again. We dove right into our full schedule. My boys do well knowing what will be expected from here on out. As you can see that made for a very tired Silas (and me too.!) By the end of the week we were doing just fine. It always takes a few weeks to get back into the swing of things and hit our stride. My guess is next week will run even more smoothly.

After all the excitement of the first week Nate and I got to celebrate our 16th anniversary. We spent the evening at our favorite bed and breakfast and had one of the most incredible meals at a great new restaurant in town. It was so fun slowing down after all the work we did to just enjoy one another. Silas snapped this picture of us when we dropped them off at my folks. It's nice having bigger kids to take pictures now. I'm usually the one behind the camera, so it's nice having a few pictures that show I really was here in this world.

All in all this was a wonderful week. I look forward to the ones to come!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

HOD Creation to Christ Book List

As I started remembering some of my favorite years of school with the boys I remembered how much we especially loved MFW's book basket. We had so much fun finding inspiration in those books. While none of them were required reading, I would often find both of my boys with books in hand that they had discovered from the book basket. I decided to make a list to go along with our studies in Heart of Dakota Creation to Christ. I may update this list as the year goes by (some units have more books than others) and include links, but for now I wanted to share it with those who may find it useful.

Heart of Dakota Creation to Christ is a complete program. None of these books are needed to round out or add to what is already planned. Sometimes, however, it's nice to add a splash of color here and there. I've added some of the book suggestions that were in the Child's Geography book to give a visual of the places we will be studying. We will also be studying the Biblical Feasts this year, so I've added some of those resources at the end of the list. 

Don't feel you need to add these books to what you are already doing. My goal is to just set out a feast (or so they say) of books that are available should the inspiration strike. Although we love the CtC spines I have read that there are those who struggle with them. This list may help bring a little life to those readings. I've added some books that parents may even want to read. Enjoy!

The Student Bible Atlas – Tim Dowley
Eyewitness Bible Lands – Jonathan Tubb
Old Testament Days: An Activity Guide – Nancy Sanders
King Solomon’s Garden – Poems and Art Inspired by the Old Testament
Journey Through the Bible

Unit 1 – The Beginning of History and of Sin
Creation, Adam and Eve, and The Great Flood
Creation Story – Norman Messenger
Yellow and Pink – William Steig
Marduk the Mighty and Other Stories of Creation
The True Story of Noah’s Ark – Tim Dooley and Bill Looney
The Illustrated Book of Myths – Neil Phlip

Unit 2 – The First Cities after the Flood
Tower of Babel, Cushite Shepherd Kings in Egypt, Abram born in Ur
The Tower of Babel – Gloria Clanin and Lloyd R. Hight
Life in the Great Ice Age – Michael and Beverly Oard
The Sumerians – Jane Shuter
Mesopotamia – Pamela Service
The Sumerians – Pamela Odijk
Science in Ancient Mesopotamia – Carol Moss
Gilgamesh the King, Revenge of Ishtar, and The Last Quest of Gilgamesh – Ludmila Zeman
You Wouldn’t Want to be a Sumerian Slave

Unit 3 – God’s Covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Birth of Isaac, Birth of Jacob and Esau
Chaldeans, Abraham

Unit 4 – Egypt at the Time of Joseph
Amosis Drives Cushites out of Egypt, Jacob’s Ladder, Joseph Sold into Slavery
Joseph – Brian Wildsmith
Mystery of the Nile – Gordon Brown, Jordi Llompart
Hieroglyphs – Joyce Milton
Pyramid – David Macaulay
Mummies Made in Egypt - Aliki
Science in Ancient Egypt – Geraldine Woods
Shadow Hawk – Andre Norton
You Wouldn’t Want to be a Slave in Ancient Egypt
Geography Books
The Hungry Coat – Demi
The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers – Melissa Whitcraft
Turkey – Tamra Orr
Cooking the Turkish Way – Kari Cornell

Unit 5 – The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt
Pharaoh’s Dreams, Hatshepsut, His Majesty, Herself, Thutmosis the Conquerer
Hatshepsut, His Majesty, Herself – Catherine Andronik
Mara, Daughter of the Nile – Eloise Jarvis McGraw
The Golden Goblet – Eloise Jarvis McGraw
Look What Came from Egypt – Miles Harvey
The Ancient Egyptians – Jane Shuter
Unveiling the Pharaohs – John Ashton
Temple Cat – Andrew Clements
Ancient Egyptian Art
You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Pyramid Builder

Unit 6 – God’s Judgment Upon Egypt
Akhenaten – Pharaoh of one god, Tutankhamun, Moses – 10 Plagues
The Golden King: The World of Tuttankhamun – Zahi Hawass
Tut’s Mummy, Lost and Found – Judy Donnelly
Growing Up in Ancient Egypt – Rosalie David
The Cat of Bubastes: A Tale of Ancient Egypt – G.A. Henty
Exodus – Brian Wildsmith
Tutankhamen’s Gift – Robert Sabuda
Tut’s Mummy Lost…and Found – Judy Donnelly
Motel of the Mysteries – David Macaulay
The Murder of Tutankhamen – Bob Brier
Mummies of the Pharaohs – Melvin and Gilda Berger
Tutankhamun: The Life and Death of a Pharaoh – David Murdoch
You Wouldn’t Want to be an Egyptian Mummy
You Wouldn’t Want to be Tutankhamen
You Wouldn’t Want to be Cursed by King Tut

Unit 7 – God’s Chosen People
Ten Commandments, 12 Spies enter Caanan – 10 Years of wandering
Moses – Leonard Everett Fisher
Escape From Egypt – Sonia Levitin
God’s Appointed Times – Barney Kasdan

Unit 8 – God’s Chosen People Enter Caanan
Fall of Jericho, Sisera is killed, Gideon called by God
Hittite Warrior – Joanne Williamson
Ancient Egyptians and Their Neighbors – Marian Broida

Unit 9 – The Israelites Suffer from Idolatry
Samson is born, Ark of Covenant captured by Philistines,
Ancient Israelites and Their Neighbors: An Activity Guide – Marian Broida

Unit 10 – The Reign of King Saul
Samuel anoints Saul as King, Samuel anoints David as King, David slays Goliath

Unit 11 – King David’s Reign
David is King of Judah and Israel, Absalom Rebels, Revolt against the Philistines
The Lord is my Shepherd – Tasha Tudor
David and Goliath – Leonard Everett Fisher
A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 – W. Phillip Keller
The Phoenecians – Pamela Odijik
Geography Books
The Never-Ending Greeness – Neil Waldman
Three Wishes – Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak – Deborah Ellis
The Dog Knots – Kathy Walden Kaplan
Jerusalem of Gold – Jewish Stories of the Enchanted City – Howard Schwartz

Unit 12 – From Solomon to a Divided Kingdom
Solomon marries Pharaoh’s daughter, Temple Completed, Judah/Israel Divided Kingdom
Solomon and the Ant, and Other Jewish Folktales
To Everything There is a Season – Leo and Diane Dillon
The Splendor of the Temple – Alec Garrard

Unit 13 – Israel and Judah at the Time of Elijah and Elisha
Temple Completed, Judah/Israel Divided, Pharaoh Shishak invades Judah

Unit 14 – The Assyrian Conquests
The Assyrians – Elaine Landau
They Assyrian Empire – Don Nardo
You Wouldn’t Want to be an Assyrian Soldier

Unit 15 – Israel Falls to Assyria and Judah is Saved
God King – Joanne Williamson

Unit 16 – Judah Falls to the Babylonias
The Babylonians – Elaine Landau
Great Wonders of the World – Russell Ash

Unit 17 – The Persian Empire
Cyrus the Great – Jacob Abbott
The Magic Grove – Lubuse Palecek
The Lion and the Throne: Stories from the Shahnameh – Abolgasem Ferdowsi
A Gift for the King – Christopher Manson
Esther’s Story – Diane Wolkstein
The Legend of the Persian Carpet – Tomie DePaola

Unit 18 – The Geography and Beginning of Greece
Athens, Greece, Founding of Sparta, Homer Composes the Iliad and Odyssey
D’Aulaires’s Book of Greek Myths – D’aulaire
Black Ships Before Troy – Rosemary Sutliff
The Olympians – Leonard Everett Fisher
The Wanderings of Odysseus – Rosemary Sutliff
In Search of Troy – Giovanni Caselli
The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus – Aliki
The Wooden Horse – I.M. Richardson
The Egyptian Cinderella – Shirley Climo
Arion and the Dolphins – Lonzo Anderson

Unit 19 – The Greeks Resist the Persians
First Olympic Games in Olympia, Greece, Solon’s Laws Reform Athens, Battles of Marathon and Thermopylae
You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Slave in Ancient Greece
You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Greek Athlete
Geography Books
Exploring Ancient Egypt with Elaine Landau
Secrets of the Sphinx – James Cross Giblin
The Day of Ahmed’s Secret – Florence Parry Heide

Unit 20 – The Golden Age of Greece
Battle of Salamis, Pericles rules during the Golden Age of Athens, Parthenon was built and dedicated to Athena
The Parthenon: How it Was Built and How it was Used – Peter Chrisp
The Librarian Who Measured the Earth – Kathryn Lasky
The Golden Days of Greece – Olivia Coolidge
How We Know About the Greeks – John and Louise James

Unit 21 – Alexander the Great Conquers Persia
Athens vs. Sparta (Peloponnesian War), Philip II of Macedonia gains control of Greece, Reign of Alexander the Great
The Great Alexander the Great – Joe Lasker
I Am The Great Horse – Katherine Roberts

Unit 22 – The Empire of Alexander the Great
Ptolemy rules Egypt, Seleucus rules Persia/Syria, Antigonus rules Macedonia/Greece
You Wouldn’t Want to be a in Alexander the Great’s Army

Unit 23 – Rome in Her Infancy
Romulus founds Rome by the Tiber River, Numa reigns in Rome, Horatius at the Bridge
Augustus Caesar’s World – Genevieve Foster – Unit 23-35
Ancient Rome – A Mighty Empire – Muriel Dubois
Romulus and Remus – Anne Rockwell
Brave Cloelia – Jane Curry

Unit 24 – The Struggle Between Rome and Carthage
Rome gains all of Italy, 1st Punic War, 2nd Punic War – Hannibal crosses Alps
Hannibal and His 37 Elephants – Marilyn Hirsh

Unit 25 – Rome Conquers Carthage
Scipio Africanus marches on Carthage, Scipio defeats Hannibal at Zama, Third Punic War (Carthage destroyed by Scipio)
Geography Books
The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq – Jeanette Winter
Alia’s Mission: Saving the Books of Iraq – Mark Alan Stamaty
Kiss the Dust – Elizabeth Laird

Unit 26 – Life in Ancient Rome
Rome conquers Corinth and Greece, Rome conquers Spain, Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus are tribunes in Rome
You Wouldn’t Want to be a Roman Gladiator
See Inside Ancient Rome – Katie Daynes

Unit 27 – The Roman Empire
Civil War in Rome (Marius vs. Sulla), Spartacus leads slave revolt, Julius Caesar is slain
You Wouldn’t Want to be Cleopatra
You Wouldn’t Want to be Live in Pompeii
Galen: My Life in Imperial Rome – Marissa Moss

Unit 28 – The Word Becomes Flesh
Octavius becomes Augustus Caesar, Jesus is born in Bethlehem, Caesar becomes emperor in Rome
A Christmas Story – Brian Wildsmith
The Little Drummer Boy – Ezra Jack Keats
Mary’s Treasure Box – Carolyn Kramlich
Jesus – Brian Wildsmith

Unit 29 – Jesus, Teacher and Healer
Jesus begins His ministry, Jesus Chooses 12 Apostles, Jesus feeds 5000

Unit 30 – The Shepherd and His Flock
Tiberius Caesar is Emperor of Rome, Jesus’ ministry
The Miracles of Jesus – Tomie DePaola

Unit 31 – Jesus Lays Down His Life
Caiaphas is High Priest, Pontius Pilate is Governor of Judah
Geography Books
Traveling Man: The Journey of Ibn Battuta – James Rumford
Ali and the Golden Eagle – Wayne Grover
The Children’s Encyclopedia of Arabia – Mary Beardwood

Unit 32 – The Way, the Truth and the Life
Crucifixion and Resurrection, Christ’s Ascension (40 days later), Pentecost (10 days after ascension)
The Easter Story – Brian Wildsmith
He is Alive – Helen Haidle
Peter’s First Easter – Jr. Wangerin Walter
The Tale of the Three Trees – Angela Hunt

Unit 33 – The Church is Persecuted and Scattered
Disciples’ ministry in Jerusalem – led by Peter, Stephen martyred/Saul’s conversion, Gospel spreads to Judea and Samaria
The Very First Christians – Paul Maier

Unit 34 – Missionary Journeys
Paul’s First Missionary Journey with Barnabus, Paul’s Second Missionary Journey with Silas, Paul’s Third Missionary Journey to Ephesus

Unit 35 – To the Ends of the Earth
Nero becomes Emperor of Rome, Peter and Paul killed – Christians persecuted, Rome and Titus destroy Jerusalem

Jewish Feasts and Traditions
Celebrating Biblical Feasts – Martha Zimmerman
Milk and Honey: A Year of Jewish Holidays – Jane Yolen
A Family Guide to Biblical Holidays – Robin Sampson, Linda Pierce
The Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays – Malka Drucker
Cooking the Israeli Way – Josephine Bacon
Jewish Holiday Fun – Judith Hoffman Corwin
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
Jewish Holidays in the Fall – Dianne Macmilan
Sound the Shofar – Miriam Chaikin
The Jewish Holiday Craft Book – Kathy Ross