Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saudi Arabia- Weeks 21 and 22!

 The past few weeks have been a whirlwind and I realize now I should have  blogged a little sooner.  We had a great Valentine's Day party with a few other families. It was the perfect amount of kids...

And I always love seeing the variety of valentines.  We're pretty heavy to girls in our group!

We gathered for pizza and lots of treats...
 and sharing valentines of course.  Petite just loved opening hers!  She said "I'm so happy" when she opened her mailbox.

I love this picture of Brown-Eyed Girl. I think it is hilarious.  We had "Box Day", the day our new curriculum arrives.  I was ecstatic... the kids, not so much. I know a lot of kids can't contain their excitement, but maybe those are the kids that rarely get a visit from the UPS man?  He comes here so much that he often says "I'll see you soon!". But remember- I don't get out much. Anyway, this picture is so funny because this girl LOVES art and she was actually really excited about this... she was just hamming up the unhappiness.

Next year we are doing Creation to the Greeks from My Father's World.  I really, really love what we have experienced so far with MFW so I am really excited for the coming years.  Why did I order so soon? Because there was a little sale and because I just like to have plenty of time to prepare and gather "extras" for next year.  This is another funny picture, with B-E-G creeping in.

My niece turned eight and had a birthday party at the roller rink, then I took her and B-E-G out for a "girls day". We hit Build-A-Bear, Dairy Queen, Toys R Us, Claire's, and Target.

Mister got an ant farm for Christmas and we finally ordered the ants.  He was so excited the day they arrived in the mail.  You can't imagine all the fun we have had watching them.  They are making some amazing tunnels.

Okay, right, Saudi Arabia, the focus of the past two weeks of school.  We learned about the Muslim religion, using  Story of the World to supplement MFW. SOTW is one of my very favorite homeschool resources, particularly the audio version.  We were already familiar with Arabian Nights thanks to Jim Weiss's audio CD containing several of the stories, but we also checked the book out of the library and I read a few more of the tales to them.  We had some store-bought hummus. I was shocked that Mister tried it.  I attempted to make homemade pita bread but it didn't make the pocket for some reason.  But it still tasted great.

We didn't do any of the suggested project in Global Art, the book in our Countries and Cultures core.  Instead we did this project, Glittering Tiles, from the Usborne Art Treasury.  The project is based upon tiles found in Middle Eastern architecture that follow a cross and star pattern.  Each tile is uniquely painted and covered with a glaze containing metal. We used oil crayons and then a mixture of white glue, water, and silver glitter to create our own tiles.  Above is Mister's, below is Brown-Eyed-Girl's.  They both did such a great and creative job.

 And now a peak into my world  :)  When I'm not homeschooling, attacking the mountain of laundry, sweeping crumbs, and cooking, I'm usually just trying to stay awake. Ducky Dynasty is my newest amusement.  It's a hoot.  It's how I am A-musing these days.  Everyone needs a diversion.

Next stop for us: India!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Africa- Weeks 18, 19, and 20

We learned how to play Mancala, a traditional African game.  We used Cadbury eggs instead of  seeds :)

Our visit to Africa is complete!  We had a great time, of course, and got a taste of the amazing diversity on this giant continent.  We specifically focused on Kenya, but touched on Africa as a whole.  I particularly loved gleaning some history of Africa as I read the biography of David Livingstone aloud to the kids.  It wasn't just the Europeans and Americans that were enslaving Africans... people came from all over to do this.  I also love Livingstone's story, the son of a cotton mill worker who began work in the mills of Scotland at the age of 12.  He had a love of science and worked hard to become a doctor.  He "changed his stars" as we like to say, but we know from his story that it was the God of the stars preparing the way for him!

We did some fun arts and crafts while learning about Africa.  Brown Eyed Girl and I decorated some pillar candles with coffee beans, one of the major crops of Kenya.

We created an African Savannah mural using some magazine photos of African animals and some original drawings.

Each of the kids made an African mask using cardboard and lots of bits and pieces of fibers and other scraps. Mister even created a staff to go along with his warrior mask.

The kids made original paintings using some artist's canvases I bought.  Brown-Eyed Girl loves to make rainbows.  I encouraged her to create a different kind of rainbow and this is what she came up with. She calls it "Guess".   

Our final art project was making a "basket" out of African textiles. I found this paper at the Salvation Army and we used Modge Podge to glue and seal strips of it around a bowl covered in plastic wrap.  When dry, we removed the plastic wrap and did the same to the inside. They are surprisingly sturdy and a great little catch all.

  Now for the weather report.  Over the course of three weeks in Africa, this is what happened here at home.  Week 1: bitterly cold outside!  The whole week was  below freezing, as cold as I can ever remember.  Above: a picture from week 2.  The temperature  got to about 50 degrees and all the snow melted in the backyard.

And this is a picture from the end of week 3!  A blizzard blew into town, creating drifts of snow above the windows.  We had to cancel our 100th day of school swimming trip and a birthday party and girls day shopping trip due to the storm.

But as they always say about Maine, if you don't like the weather, just wait a minute!

Next stop for us: Saudi Arabia!