Friday, October 1, 2010

When in Rome

I just have not had much opportunity to update here much. We have been spending a lot of time in Rome. School has been moving along well and the kids and I have learned so much. It is amazing to me how much I am learning. I am kinda embarrassed to admit all that I never knew. I mean I was a good student, always got A's and B's. I never had to study very hard. Cramming for a test a little was all I needed to make the grade. I was even in the honor fraternity in college. Did you know I never knew that Julius Caesar was a real person??!! I thought he was just a Shakespeare character. I did not know the impact he had on our life today with our calendar. I had know idea how many similarities the Rise of Rome had to our own country. All that I have learned has re-emphasized to me just how public schooling is really not about learning. Their only goal is making sure students can regurgitate information onto a test paper. As long as you can make the grade it really doesn't matter if you ever really KNOW anything. Well there is one thing that I do KNOW. My kids wont have that same fate. They know more now -at 12, 8, and 7-than I had ever even heard in my lifetime about Rome, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra and Mark Antony. AND we have had a little fun in the process!

We made writing tablets from non hardening clay and cardboard. Sharpened chop sticks work perfectly as the writing tool. The pink one is with the cover flap closed and the green is the clay on the inside. The kids have enjoyed drawing with their stick and then smoothing out the clay to start over, similar to how the Roman children would have. They have been a helpful tool during our read aloud times as well. The kids sit quietly drawing on them while I read. It eliminates the constant rustling of paper and digging through the crayon box that normally accompanies reading times.

Of course we could not travel around and study about Rome without our Togas. Did you know that I do not have one single plain white sheet in this whole house??!! That's ok. I rather like the more colorful versions. ☺ In case you did not notice the stranger in the camouflage mask(scarf tied around head)? All I can say is that Kenyon did not want to be seen in a toga covered in Winnie the Pooh so he disappeared during this part and this stranger in the mask showed up to complete the lesson. Of course by Kalysa's smile you can tell she is More than happy to wear her toga!

Besides learning about how the Romans dressed, we have also learned about their way of life, the bath houses they went to, and how their homes were set up. Since Mosaics were used often in the decoration of their floors and walls, we decided to make our own. Above is Keslee's rendition of a flower.

Kenyon decided he would do a house. Now even though we had talked about what a mosaic was and we had looked at several examples, Kenyon and Keslee thought they were just going to get away with only making their small picture with the tiny bits of paper. I explained that the whole thing was to be covered. Keslee did not want to spend the time digging through our bowl of paper bits and choose a color scheme so her flower kinda blends in with the background. Before long, Kenyon decided that the observer would just have to imagine that the black WAS the mosaic pieces.
Now Kalysa, on the other hand, was more than happy to wade through the pieces to find all the pink for her fish and the blue for the water. She is ALWAYS the one that insists on taking her time on anything artsy. She is also the reason I have to be sure to save any projects that involve coloring, cutting or gluing until the end of the day or she would get nothing else done.
In science we have been learning about the human body. We have drawn models of a cell and the brain and brain stem. We have learned how the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and vise versa. One of the books that comes with My Father's World is The Body Book. It is chocked full of hands on projects about parts of the body. We are talking about the 5 senses. This model has flaps in the face that reveal what is underneath like the brain, nerves, and ear canals.
We are all enjoying these fun hands on learning projects.
Keslee held hers up over her own face to show where her own personal parts would be. Kenyon had to open his notebook to show me his finished model because he was already finished by the time I got the camera. And of course.......

Kalysa was ALMOST done...with the cutting. ☺
Well, there really is lots more that we have learned but I am afraid I may have already caused any readers that still may be out there into shock by FINALLY posting an update. I am really going to try to do better with that. You will all have to stick around to hold be accountable, K?

1 comment:

Mrs. B, a very peculiar person said...

What a fun afternoon of historical studies!!!


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