Tuesday, December 17, 2013

MFW Rome to the Reformation - November and December

Olivia has been hard at work learning all about the Roman Empire starting with Julius Caesar on up to Tiberius so far. The main book we read was Augustus Caesar's World, which tells the story of Octavius Caesar in a mostly narrative form. Some of the chapters digressed to give some context about what was happening in other parts of the world, which was usually interesting. A word of warning, tho: The book was written in the 1940s and so has a few errors concerning dates, especially around the birth of Messiah (She titled the chapter: December 25, Year 1), and there are a few portions that could be seriously misconstrued as racist or anti-semitic, so be sure to read ahead if you're going to use this book. Other than that, the information and insight into the Golden Age of Roman civilization was really great. 

Augustus Caesar has been, by far, the most influential of Rome's Emperors, having consolidated power under one man, expanded the empire to its largest extents in history, and ushering in an unparalleled era of peace, The Pax Romana, which lasted for more than 200 years. 

She learned about how the Roman Army was structured and how its soldiers were professionals who usually had no other occupation. She also learned about how, when they conquered a region, they enlisted the locals and trained them to be part of the army.

She has also studied the great contributions that Rome made to architecture with aqueducts and arches, even going so far as to build one herself!

Those are pudding boxes that, unfortunately, had to be cut to make them the right shape. I guess that means we'll be eating pudding for a while...

While learning about Rome itself, she also started learning about Israel during the same period and how Herod became Tetrarch under Augustus. At this point, her Bible study started to mesh together with history as we read about the birth of Yeshua, his life, ministry, death and resurrection both in the scriptures and in her history books. 

Now, we're up to Acts and Paul and the spreading of the Gospel throughout the Roman Empire. 

 In her Art, she's learning about perspective and proportion. It amazes me sometimes to see her duplicate the example drawings with a fair degree of accuracy. Art was never one of my strong points, so she must get this from her mother. :)

 And, in line with her science, she has started doing some human body studies, learning how to draw hand and make people proportional on the page. 

And speaking of science...

We are currently studying bones and joints. All the kids really enjoy looking at the body books and seeing all the amazing ways that God made us!

One experiment that's currently on-going is soaking a chicken bone in vinegar to see what happens. We've actually done this before, so she knows what happens, but it's cool anyway. Technically, it's not a chicken bone, but a guinea hen, which...tastes like chicken. Seriously.

She also got to poke around at a beef bone to see the hard bone and the marrow.

We made a model of a spine from wooden spools (vertebrae) and cardboard disks (cartilage)

Some of her other work includes doing writing activities from Primary Language Lessons like picture studies and letter writing. The activity is usually to read a letter in the book and write a response to it. It's funny to read her responses to letters asking about pocket knives or sheep. She's also been learning to write in cursive, which I know most public schools have stopped doing, but we feel like is still a necessary skill to have, even in this age of email and social media being the main forms of communication.

One thing both Olivia and I have enjoyed immensely (not just this year but last year, too) has been the read-aloud books they assign. The first one this year was called The Bronze Bow and it was fantastic. It was actually hard not to continue reading after Olivia went to bed. :) Even if you're not doing MFW, I highly recommend this book.

In music this year, in addition to Olivia's piano lessons, she's learning about Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart. She has been just amazed at the music these guys wrote, especially Beethoven, because he was deaf, and Mozart, who was 4 when he wrote a concerto!

That's all for this time. More to come in the new year!

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