2012-13 School Year–Week Seven

This was another busy week! On Monday, we took a break from our usual history (and special Reformation), lessons to learn about Christopher Columbus. We read The Discovery of the Americas and talked about Columbus, as well as other explorers in the New World. We also worked on some Columbus worksheets (including a word search), and coloring pages. This was actually quite timely in relation to our Reformation studies, as they overlap, time-wise…I love when things like that work out just right! Moose was able to join us, since he had the day off, which is always fun.

On Tuesday we got back to our special Reformation studies. We finished two lapbooks this week: one for John Huss, and one for the “Blessed Reformer” himself, Martin Luther. Ladybug got to start on her Reformation activity book, which she’s very excited about, since there are lots of sticker activities! We also started reading about Heinrich Muhlenberg, since his commemoration day was on Sunday. I’m finding this book as interesting as the children are…I discovered that I really didn’t know much about Muhlenberg myself! (We’ll also be reading about C.F.W. Walther later this month, to round out our Lutheran history studies.)

Our Reformation craft for the week was making stained “glass” windows. This is an easy craft that we’ve done before, but it’s fun because there are so many different stained glass patterns out there, and so many different ways to color the same pattern! All you do is color a stained glass window picture, and then use a cotton ball to spread oil across the back (we used vegetable oil, but I’m sure other varieties would work just as well). Pat to “dry,” then hang in the window and watch the light show through!

For our stained glass coloring sheets, we used the weekly sample from Dover publications…if you haven’t signed up to receive the weekly Dover sampler yet, you should! They’re usually related to the current season or holiday, and you get a good idea of the different kind of coloring books (and other activities), they offer. I also used sample sheets from Dover for our Columbus Day lessons this week.

We also continued our regular math and language arts lessons, and fit in a little American history, learning about the beginning of the women’s suffrage movement. Bunny was very interested in this, although she was quite dismayed to learn that there was a time when women weren’t allowed to do things like vote or serve on a jury. In science, we finished up the chapter on the digestive and renal systems. Turkey especially enjoyed our Friday science activity…designing a theme park based on the digestive system (disturbing, yet fun). I think he could have designed rides all day long!

We took a field trip to the pumpkin patch this week, which is always fun, and is another way to involve Moose in our school. We have another fun field trip planned for tomorrow…I can’t wait!

Christmas School–Day Seven

Feliz Navidad!

Today was day one of two that we’ll be learning about Christmas in Mexico. I started with a brief overview of the holiday in that country (thanks to information primarily found in Celebrate Christmas Around the World)–special foods that are prepared, religious festivals, games, (Turkey and Bunny really want a Christmas piñata someday!), that sort of thing. In particular, we learned about Las Posadas, or “The Processions,” in which families and neighbors process through the streets for nine nights, in remembrance of Mary and Joseph looking for a room in Bethlehem.

We then read a cute story–Too Many Tamales. This is charming tale about a little girl who is helping her mother prepare Christmas dinner, and in the process, the mother’s diamond ring gets lost. Many tamales are eaten before the ring is discovered, and there is a lot of laughter, a few tears, and some very full stomachs!

Turkey and Bunny also colored a picture in their Christmas Around the World coloring books. This is the third year we’ve used these books, and they’re still not complete. They’re put out by Dover Publications, and like all Dover coloring books, they have excellent detail. It’s actually pretty cool to compare the first pictures they colored to the ones they’re doing this year. They didn’t have the motor skills or the patience to really complete the pictures two years ago, but now they’re doing a really good job of getting the detail work done.

Tomorrow, we will continue our studies in Mexico, including the legend surrounding a very famous Christmas flower!