Hello friends! As you all know our family has used Heart of Dakota for the last several years. Last year I was beginning to feel a need to focus less on history and more on the basics for Aedan specifically. I had gotten everything all ready for Revival to Revolution, and just couldn't get excited about it. I don't know if I was hormonal or just needing to take a breather, but we shelved HOD for this year. It took a while to get into our new groove. I loved the books we chose, but my goal was to simplify. We did do that by limiting the amount of activities, but what I was finding was that we were still spending the same amount of time in history as before, it was just spent differently. There was more reading, and more writing (which we definitely needed work on.) The books were quality books, but for this kid in particular I began to miss the creative element of HOD. The thing I felt most confined by last year was the thing I ultimately ended up missing (those beautiful notebook pages!)
Here is where I took those wonderful HOD books right back off the shelf. We were using one of the spines HOD uses in BF. As soon as we finished that book it was right where we would need to be in HOD, so we started right there - around unit 19. I'm so glad we took our little break. I think I needed perspective. I think Aedan had a little more time to develop his math skills as well. Starting back was like a breath of fresh air. While simplifying was good, I was finding that I heard less school references outside of school hours. I saw less after school comics with history figures, and fewer inside jokes told. It wasn't that what we were doing wasn't great. I think I just needed more time to plan it. Anyway, here are what the last few HOD weeks looked like. They are sort of jumbled together, but they still represent some of what we learned over the last month.
One of the things I realized very quickly is that even though I'm a lover of art and creative things, I was doing a poor job of scheduling those things myself.
Unit 23 - As we jumped back into HOD I took a sigh of happiness as I realized how wonderfully everything fits together. Part of me was not wanting that anymore, but once I didn't have it I realized how well done it all was. This is a layered mountain scene modeled after the Bierdstadt painting below of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We had read about the California Gold Rush and how travelers came over the plains, around Cape Horn and through the Panama Canal to try their hand at gold mining. We studied California, so this painting was the perfect project to go with all that. I thought Aedan did an absolutely beautiful job! I am seeing how all those watercolors we did in Creation to Christ really developed his painting skills. This project took patient hands. Handy tip - An exacto knife works far better than scissors on this project.
Aedan's painting was modeled after Valley of the Yosemite by Albert Bierstadt.
We also missed all the fun cooking projects! In Unit 21 we learned about how the Greeks fought for Independence. We made Koulourakia cookies in honor of them.
Aedan had to have patient hands to make these.
If there's a sweet treat at the end he will do it!
We made several different shapes.
This is how they looked after we baked them.
Photo bomb! We then dipped them in powdered sugar. The boys are always happy to share one another's projects.
In Unit 21 we also learned about Samuel Morse. We read about him in our history and inventor study reading. Aedan had to make a Morse Code message.
He used his student notebook to make a message.
Sometimes even though we aren't in the same guide they kids still have fun with one another throughout the day.
The kids thought this message was a very strange one, but they feel like that about Rod and Staff Grammar sometimes too ha!
Aedan's timeline entries have always cracked me up :)
Remember the Alamo!
The Mexican and American War.
California becomes a state ha!
Unit 22 - In learning about the Gold Rush we learned about the many ways travelers got to San Francisco. Our history activity this week was to make a game where we put all the perils of travel of each route into these separate envelopes.
The boys had so much fun. We laughed and laughed! Silas's cow died at least 8 times on the Oregon Trail.
This was the Oregon-California Trail.
These were the perils of travel through the Panama Canal.
We learned about the many new ways of travel. One of those was the stage coach. Unit 20's project was to make a stagecoach sign that would have had rules that you might typically find back then.
Draw and Write Through History was always a favorite for Aedan. Here are a few of the drawings he made over the past few month. This was a stagecoach.
A gold miner.
A grizzly bear.
We had kept a few elements from Rev to Rev even though we didn't do the history portion the first half of the year. One of those was the inventor study. Aedan absolutely loves these books. I think it helps him to realize that he's not so different than many of these creative men from long ago. He especially loved learning about Henry Ford.
He has also enjoyed the 50 States Under God state study. He has always been a kid that enjoyed learning different facts. As we learn about new states we add them to the map as it was when the last state was introduced.
I'm starting to appreciate the Map Trek maps after doing them for a few years. It always helps to see where in the world the history we are reading about happened.
These are our current storytime and extension books. Aedan has always read most of the extension books even though he falls into the guide's range. He lately has been asking me what book he "gets" to read next. I love that is a distinct difference from "has" to read. I love how the story time and extension books give a fuller picture of what was happening during the period we are studying.
Thanks for letting me catch you up on what's been going on with us. I hope to be able to share more of what we do the rest of the year too!