Our first week of school seems like yesterday, yet we just finished week 4 in our curriculum. The fresh appeal of a new school year is fading and new school supplies are not looking so new, but wow, time did fly so something good is going on here.
We've been studying:
- Julius Ceasar
- Roman Cities and Homes
- Dead Sea Scrolls
- Judas Maccabeus and Hanukkah
- Life in Ancient Rome
- Rise and Fall of Rome
- Roman Law
- Old Testament Prophecies of Jesus (Yeshua).
|Antony and Octavian Divide the World map activity|
Augustus Caesar's World has been my favorite resource for Rome to Reformation. I like that it is in story form and makes history interesting and come alive. I especially liked the story called "Candles and Holly Berries" (p. 56-58). It is a story that talks about that "glorious, mid-December festival" characterized by "red-pointed caps and colored costumes," "merry makers . . . singing and laughing through the streets," "holly branches, with their bright red berries, " "houses trimmed with evergreen," "gifts for the family and friends. . . selected and wrapped," "a family dinner of roasted young pig, with all the trimmings," and "exchange of presents." Sounds like. . . you guessed it: SATURNALIA ~ the Roman holiday celebration of a heathen god. The Bible warns us against worshiping our Heavenly Father the way the heathen worship their gods. We are not to follow their practices (Ex. 23:24). This is why we do not celebrate "Christmas." December 25th is not even the birth of Christ and the celebration of such is a mix of heathenism and Christianity ~ a way to appease the Romans at the time who were coming out of their heathen religions and couldn't give up their merry making celebrations. The first Christians did not celebrate Christmas either. It was later instituted by the Roman Catholic Church. . . which began in. . . you guessed it: ROME.
Jordan is slightly ahead in history, so when I am reading aloud to the other boys, he is filling us in. For example, I was reading about Octavian and Antony and Jordan kept saying, "You mean, Augustus Caesar." Well, we hadn't gotten that far yet, to know that Octavian is in fact Augustus, lol, but we did get there. To which he said, "I told you so!" Well, at least I know he is doing his readings (of which I had no doubt - he is doing well working independently in WHL).
All the boys memorized the books of the New Testament and Jordan is reading through the Gospels.
For our Composer Study, we are using the Great Musician Series ~ Frederic Chopin, Son of Poland. We are on The Later Years and enjoying this study just as much as the Early Years. (Link to my review).
Luke is finishing up reading The Ides of April to Nathan and Dylan and then I am reading The Bronze Bow to them. Luke is still reading The Mark of the Lion series to all the boys (excellent, but needs censoring).
Nathan and Dylan have not been up to doing the hands on projects for RTR. One was a mosaic made out of clay, and another a clay toy pig with costume jewels. I am not making them do them.
Jordan finished Julius Caesar, wrote a play and is now working on a research paper. We couldn't figure out the World History Map Activity from Week 4, Thursday. It lists a book that is not listed on the required resource list (Ancient Rome). That, or I am just not seeing it.
The only other complaint that I have had from Jordan is that the readings in Exploring World History on The Kingdom of God and Jesus, etc. . . are, well, watered down and he tires of answering the questions. In his words, he "needs something meatier."
During our weekly meeting on Friday, I have each child bring me their work for the week along with their lesson planning sheet. Then I look over their work and make sure it is done first. Then I spot check daily work and grade any quizzes or tests, record them on the lesson planning sheet or (in the manual) and star or sticker the row to remind myself that I checked it. I also use a date stamper to stamp the last page completed in a workbook and also date tests, quizzes, etc. That just helps me to know where we left off when I check their work next week. I read MFW to them this week, but if I have them read it, I have them give me a summary each day (this is after I discovered that not all the readings were getting done and also why I read it to them this week). Really, I am trying to get my 11 and 12 year old to work more independently, but they need daily checks right now.
Overall, I am happy with our curriculum choices so far. The teacher's manual and lessons all planned out are wonderful and the fact that Jordan's is written to him, makes it even more wonderful.
Homeschool Highlights in MFW @ Discover Their Gifts