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Entries in egypt (8)


What DID we do this week?

Our two biggest events this week were group oriented. On Friday, of course, there was the play and talent show at our HAA gathering, and on Monday we met with another homeschooling group for the first time. It's a more local group—smaller, and two of the families we already know from HAA. It's a very informal, relaxed gathering. The kids played games and designed and created paper airplanes while the moms chatted and watched. We are looking forward to romping through local parks with them throughout the summer, as well as gathering in more distant parks with our friends at HAA. What a fun summer we will have!

Calvin finished reading The Water Horse and Mitt the Michigan Mouse and started The Marvelous Land of Oz. On the subject of books, Thursday we went to see a stage production of something he read last month: The Cricket in Times Square. He wrote a journal entry about the event.

There was Lego play in ancient Egypt, complete with Lego pyramid Egyptian god figures. Calvin read, and reread and reread, Senefer: A Young Genius in Old Egypt (out of print, but we got it from the library), and tried a few fun links suggested by Intellego: Images from inside Tut's Tomb (by Discovery News); a video about tombs, and lots of info on King Tut (from National Geographic); and a great interactive site on the pyramids at Giza (from the British Museum). He also played this silly tomb adventure game (from National Museums Scotland), this silly mummy game (from Schools Liaison), and revisited this great interactive mummy making site (from the Children's University of Manchester). Both The British Museum and the Children's University of Manchester sites have great overall presentations on ancient Egypt.

That Anubis, he's such a trickster...

He was reading about Senefer as an elephant walked by...

He did two Math-U-See lesson sets from Gamma, introducing products of 5 and 10, and we also discussed products of 9. We played Totally Tut a few times, some modified versions of Shut the Box, and quizzed each other on odd-ball multiplication problems (the bigger the number, the better—what is 6 million x 9????) while playing in the yard, while walking the dogs, while eating lunch, while driving...I think you get the idea.

I'm bringing back BFSU (Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding). We'd been wandering through it last fall but got away from it over the winter, so this week we reviewed some of the topics we'd covered and I was delighted to find that the understanding is still there. The BFSU book is just a guide for us, a way for me to jump start conversations about science, but really we've been talking about these things all along.

There was piano practice, and line practice, what with the talent show and the play on Friday, both of which went very well. There was dog walking, grocery shopping, swimming lessons, and library volunteering.

As a family we started watching episodes from The Pyramid Code on Netflix. It's a little conspiracy theorist in flavor, but many of the ideas put forward are entirely plausible, or at least imaginable, and the show certainly makes one think.

This week we'll be cleaning up from the book sale, which happened yesterday, and heading over to Holland, Michigan for the Tulip Time festival, at which there are likely to be no tulips this year since the season started a month early. No problem, we don't really go for the tulips so much as for the big lake, the beach, and the quiet, relax time we sneak in while there.


Mummies and tombs

In Calvin's own words.


What did we even DO this week?

Calvin finished reading Charlotte's Web, started and finished reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and then started two more books, Mitt the Michigan Mouse, and The Waterhorse. This has me wondering whether I need to encourage him to delve into one book at a time, but he seems to be comfortable this way, so I'm going to sit back and observe for a while yet. In the meantime, I finished two books to review for Booklist, one that I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys esoteric counter-culture fiction (Herself, When She's Missing comes out in late May), and one that I wouldn't recommend to anyone.

We started reading The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane as a bedtime book.

The week was mostly cold and questionable, so we played chess, we played Mammoth Hunt, we played with Legos, with tangrams, with Pattern Play. I hear that this is the first time on record that the month of March was warmer than the month of April in the Northeast, but we did make it to the park twice.

My favorite moment of the week was Calvin and Jon discussing phone lines and the Hubble Space Telescope.

We researched a lot of ancient Egypt. We read about it, we drew about it, we acted it out. We played with iPad apps (Encyclopedia Britannica for Kids), we watched videos (Building Pharaoh's Ship, and Egypt's Golden Empire), we almost finished our mummy project. That's turning out to be a four week project!

Lots of time playing Totally Tut kicked us into the world of multiplication. Calvin started the Gamma book of Math-U-See a couple of weeks ago, so he's already got a head start. On Friday at HAA (our homeschoolers gathering), another mom suggested a some iPad math games, two of which we are happily trying out: Math Bingo, and Hungry Fish.

We were home-bodies on Monday and Tuesday, went to swimming and the store on Wednesday, sorted books at the library on Thursday, had HAA with play practice and art on Friday, and were home-bodies again on Saturday.

And that's a wrap.

One of my favorite things about homeschooling? It's so age intergenerational.



Over breakfast Jon called my cell phone so that we could find it, and that started a conversation about the difference between cell phones and land lines, which required a thumbing through David Macaulay's The New Way Things Work.

After breakfast there was piano, and reading. After revisiting Charlotte's Web the kid is now re-reading The Wizard of Oz. We found a 1980s copy of the original at a library used book sale this past weekend, complete with Denslow's original illustrations and color plates, and he just dove right in.

A little later we were in Egypt learning about mummies, transportation, and gods and godesses.

Over lunch, a game of Totally Tut. Calvin has graduated into Math-U-See's Gamma book and is starting to master multiplication, so we're adding those functions into the game as he goes.

Then a discussion of matter, molecules, and atoms, solids, liquids, and gases, and a few experiments just to demonstrate some principles. I think it's time to break out the microscope again.

Then a trip to the vet with the dogs, just for simple boosters, and then a traipse around the yard to check on our trees. After the weird weather we've had, early warmth, late deep freezes, some of our trees were looking a little worrisome, but with the steadily rising temperatures now they seem to be improving.

And lastly grilled cheese for dinner, because Jon had a late piano lesson and I had a meeting after dinner, so the overlap was brief. In my absence the guys walked the dogs and played more games before bed. They finished Raggedy Andy and started a new book, but found it less than interesting, so I think it's time to break out Oscar Wilde's Fairy Tales.

And that makes a full and successful day in my book.


Artistic Friday

Our day started with sunshine, orange juice, coffee for me, and a few notes on Tutankhamun for Calvin. I discovered this sight long after I'd had enough coffee to wake me up and get me started.

We are still working on our mummy cases. This is turning into a two week project, mostly due to our lack of extra time, but we're having a good time with it.

We've been talking lately about categorizing the world from a scientific standpoint, so today we went outside with our sketch pads to find the symmetry in living things, and the lack thereof in non-living natural or human-made things. It was fun from both a scientific and an artistic standpoint.

And the rest of the day was spent at HAA practicing for Calvin's next play (The Wizard of Oz!) and creating oil pastel paintings, then back at home rather carefully organizing the Legos, which are still spread all over the front room because organization takes time, and messes often get worse before they get better. That's one of the fun parts of life.

We're linked up to Saturday's Artist.