Wednesday, November 19, 2014

These Pajamas were made for...

Walking! Well, maybe not really walking, but she did take her first real steps tonight! :)

 We were hanging out in the hallway and she just stood up and went for it. 

 She does tend to get over excited and lead with her head, tho. 
 But when she takes her time, she can take 2 or 3 steps in a row.

 But then things turned silly. 

 And then the siblings had to get in on the act. Of course, they can already walk, but they wanted their pictures taken, too. :)

It only a matter of time now....

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Olivia's Summer Term

From a history standpoint, her studies became much more focused now that we are entering the time of the Renaissance and Reformation. We spent a great deal of time studying the Medici family which was instrumental in the Renaissance. We were amazed at just how far their power and influence reached. They had two popes elected from their family. They were responsible for sponsoring such artists as Michelangelo, Botticelli, and DaVinci. We then spent quite a long time looking at these artists' works and learning just how influential their work was on the rest of the artistic world.

As for the Reformation, we spent several weeks each on Erasmus and Wycliffe. While we were aware of each of those men, I, in particular, had no idea who they really were and why they were important. Erasmus was referred to "The Man Who Laid the Egg that Luther hatched" because it was his writings on the Church's doctrines and practices that birthed the ideas in Luther's mind that he later gave life to when he started the Reformation. Erasmus also made the first side-by side translation of the New Testament from Ancient Greek into Latin. Later, men like Luther would use Erasmus's Greek translation to create their own Bibles in the native tongues of their respective countries, which greatly increased the common man's access to the Scriptures. We also read the story, The Beggar's Bible, which was about John Wycliffe. Wycliffe created an English translation of the Bible which spread far and wide throughout England, much to the dismay of the Church. He also put forth the idea of preaching directly to the common man in his own language without all the pomp and ceremony and Latin of the traditional Mass. His writings, which were highly critical of the Pope and Church Doctrine and practices at that time. Those writings eventually led to his being branded a heretic and  his excommunication from the Church. Interestingly enough, some of the Popes that these reforms were aimed at were from the Medici Family! Olivia really liked what she heard about Wycliffe and his teachings. She thought it was great that he wanted everyone to be able to read the Bible. We will continue to study more about the Reformation and some of its major characters in the next term.

In Geography, we focused mainly on Christopher Columbus while also reading from Around the World in a Hundred Years, bringing in other important explorers from that same time frame like Vasco De Gama, Henry the Navigator and Bartholomew Diaz. An additional read aloud was Christopher Columbus: Adventurer of Faith and Courage. She is reading through a book called The World of Columbus and Sons throughout this whole school year which puts together all these major figures of history from different areas of the world that were alive during the time of Columbus.
Along with the explorers, she does a map drill each week, which is really helping her learn where countries, oceans, seas and other landmarks are. She has Europe pretty much mastered (even all those teeny middle-Europe countries that seem to change every year) and is getting started on Asia.

For Math, she worked through some Kumon books to reinforce concepts she had learned in the spring. They also expanded on the basic concepts of multiplication and division, adding longer problems and introducing her to remainders. This is a becoming a bit of a struggle for her. She says she doesn't like math because it is hard and she just can't seem to get it in her head.

In Science, she finished the Apologia Astronomy and moved on to The Queen's Homeschool Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, which is a health and body curriculum. In particular, so far we focused on the five senses. This science is all about self-discovery as she is very much in charge of working through it on her own. The plan is to use the researched based Queen's human body curriculum and then followup with Apologia as we progress through the body. Olivia is really enjoying science. As a read-aloud at the table, we're reading The Storybook of Science which is filled with some fascinating subjects. It's all set around "Uncle Paul" who teaches his nieces and nephews to be curious about everything and then explains in great detail about the myriad things they ask. 

Because we were studying the Renaissance, we started working on the Artistic Pursuits art lessons with everyone. We posted pictures of some of their earlier work, but here's some more. It's really neat to see them trying so hard to do the work like the instructions tell them to. 
Gabe's self-portraits
 Olivia's self-portraits
 Layering oil pastels (Olivia)
 Watercolors (Gabe)
Texture (Ezra)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Bath time for the Littles

There's nothing better than a bath! The older kids usually get showers, but the littles (no, Ezra's not a little anymore) still get baths. 
 Sadly, it's pretty rare that they're really happy in the bath, so I'm glad we captured a few pictures of them really having fun.