After five years in school, will homeschooling be a fit for our family? Walk with us as we try to find out!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up: The One with Thanksgiving

The Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers are taking the week off, but not I!

This week, we started the heart of our Medieval studies!  For the next month, we will study life in the Middle Ages: learning about feudalism, castles, knights and daily life for people of all classes.  We are working on plans for a Medieval Feast to celebrate the end of our TOG study of the Middle Ages.  We brainstormed ideas for costumes, a menu for the feast and the guest list and collected household items to make a model of a castle.  

As we were learning this week, TS 2 remembered a book we received a few years ago called Medieval Castle.  It actually opens to a three dimensional castle complete with a lord and his lady, knights on horses and a dragon.  The test subjects had great fun playing it with during their breaks this week.

We also recently finished listening to the audiobooks The Castle in the Attic and Battle for the Castle by Elizabeth Winthrop.  I highly recommend both- they were so captivating, we often sat in the driveway caught up in the story long after we had arrived home!  They even held the attention of five-year-old RA when she was with us.  A word of caution: Battle for the Castle did have a few gruesome scenes not appropriate for very young listeners.

We have two exciting field trips coming up that will complement our history studies!  Next week, we will be attending a Medieval Times Meal and Tournament with our homeschool group.  The boys can hardly believe that they will see a joust live and in person!  In two weeks, we will head to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to explore their extensive collection of Arms and Armor.  The Met is actually a wonderful place to take a family since they offer free Family Guides for several of their permanent collections that guide families through the exhibits in a fun and age appropriate way.  We plan on using the Armor Family Guide to structure our tour of this collection.  Depending on everyone's mood and energy level, we may head to the Cloisters on the way home to see a rare exhibit of Medieval Chessmen from the Isle of Lewis. 

I think I am as excited as the boys are about the next month!

The other interesting topic for this week was TS 1's final project for his Gizmos and Gadgets class at co-op.  To culminate their hands-on physics study this semester, the students were assigned to create their very own Rube Goldberg Simple Machine.  

If you are like I was and have no clue what I'm talking about, here's a little YouTube video of a Rube Goldberg Machine.  This is NOT our Rube Goldberg machine- just an example :)  

Dad and TS 1 have been working on his a little each night and they are making good progress.  I promise to post a video when it is complete.  For now, a few shots of the process:

We had a short school week because we took Thanksgiving Day off, of course, as well as the Friday after.  Thanksgiving was wonderful!  We did something completely different and went out to lunch with Tom's family to a beautiful mountain resort.  After a scrumptious meal, the kids ice skated in the beautiful pavilion.  Then we took a short hike to see the breathtaking views of the grounds.  (I know- me hiking?  Don't tell my co-op friends, they think I LIKE the outdoors or something ;)  The weather was absolutely perfect and we thoroughly enjoyed the day with family.  

I pray you had a pleasant Thanksgiving Day with the ones you love and remembered to express your gratitude to the One from whom all blessings flow!

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