We had our annual snow this week, so snow fun was top of the homeschool agenda. The highlight was hitting the sledging run on Monday morning when all the other kids had gone back to school (tee hee!).
We just about managed to fit in some other types of learning around the edges, too. 🙂
We’ve been reading about the rise of Islam and the Islamic Empire in The Story of the World Vol 2: The Middle Ages. This has sparked some interesting questions and discussions about Christianity, Islam and other belief systems.
C and J are 9 and 7 so at the moment we’re learning history as an exciting story without much detailed examination of complex causes and motivations. But I love, love, love it when I notice them making spontaneous connections.
It happened this week when we learnt about how the Visigoths who had settled in Spain invited Tariq bin Ziyad over from North Africa to help them deal with internal conflict. I was so excited to see C’s eyes light up as she exclaimed, “That sounds like when the English invited over the Anglo-Saxons and ended up being conquered by them!”
This term I’m bringing maps in wherever I can. We use the WonderMaps software which lets you view and print maps showing as much or as little detail as you require.
The WonderMaps package also includes historical maps, so to complement our history study this week we’ve been looking at a map of the medieval Islamic Empire, side by side with a map of the area as it is today. As we learn about each important place in history the kids find it and mark it on the map.
I try to select maps that show Britain on the same map as the area we are studying. If that’s not possible, I have to hand a separate, smaller scale map showing where we are in relation to the area. I think this helps the children (and me!) form a joined-up mental map of the world.
This week we all enjoyed learning how the name of the British colony at the south of Spain is derived from Jabal Tariq (“Tariq’s Mountain”) – the rock of Gibraltar!
We use Life of Fred as our main maths curriculum, but from time to time we supplement with other materials, to consolidate learning, practise techniques and fill gaps.
This week we’ve used Maths Made Easy workbooks and Mathletics as our supplements. C has been learning about factors and J has been practising arithmetic. Workbooks can be fun when you don’t use them all the time!
C and I have been enjoying reading our current Arrow book The People in Pineapple Place and doing copywork and dictation from it. We also restarted Spelling Power which had fallen by the wayside about a year ago. We’re going to try doing it once a week, instead of daily, to try and keep it fresh.
Luckily I don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel when it comes to J’s language arts programme, which is progressing nicely.
I’m pleased to see him choosing to write a bit more. One evening this week he produced a “magna carta” for the family to sign. “How sweet,” I though, adding my signature to his charter declaring that “Mummy gets to do what ever she wants” – shooing away cynical thoughts about the location of the small print.
Five minutes later a triumphant J reappeared, revealing the rest of the “magna carta” which he had written in invisible ink before we signed – “Jasper gets to do games all the time”! (Honestly, you’d think we kept him in chains!) It’s so true that a child will write if the desire is strong enough!
Appreciating classical music is so easy with You Tube! C chose our current composer, Chopin. We’ve all enjoyed listening to the pieces she’s selected this week. Sometimes we have the music on in the background, other times (especially if it’s a funny clip or original instruments are being played) we watch the accompanying video via Apple TV.
We made an acid/base indicator with red cabbage! I’ll be writing a separate post all about the fun we had with that.
We hope you’ve had a great week too.
We’re appreciatively linking up here…