Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mid-Winter Homeschool Update

Ah, February: the month of bleak, cold midwinter blues. Spring is still weeks away and the snow has lost its novelty. Cabin fever has left our homeschool feeling a bit blah, so I've been trying to incorporate some fun projects to brighten our days.

First up: a paper mache model of the earth.
We finished our astronomy unit and have moved to earth science, so this was a combination art, geography, and science project. It took several days to complete, but Hunter really enjoyed it.
We couldn't find round balloons anywhere, so our earth has a decidely egg-shape going on. But we rolled with it, and it inspired us to plan an Easter egg project for the spring. So more paper mache is in our future!
Hunter's favorite subject is undoubtedly history, and we have spent the last several weeks studying the ancient Greeks. He has memorized a long list of Greek gods and goddesses (as well as their Latin names, since we are studying Rome next), devoured all the Percy Jackson books and, most recently, made a Greek god family tree. We've been reading D'Aulaires book of Greek Myths and both really enjoy it.


I've struggled with how to include music in our curriculum, since I'm not really musical and outside lessons aren't in the budget this year. We've been doing Charlotte Mason-style composer studies and, so far, it has worked out pretty well.


We choose a composer, check out library books about his life and work, and do narration activities after reading. Most importantly, we listen to the music of that composer extensively and repeatedly. This helps build familiarity with the characteristics and style of that composer.

Thank goodness for YouTube and Pandora! We've been able to find some fresh and fun ways to enjoy classical music. Hunter's favorite was an animated BBC version of The Magic Flute. 


On Fridays, we usually choose a Net-Flix movie related to our history topic. There is a wealth of great documentaries available for instant streaming. But last week, in honor of the Chinese New Year {Hunter continues to study Mandarin with a tutor}, we watched a movie about the Terra Cotta Warriors. Then Hunter dressed up and posed like a kung fu master.

All in all, we're managing to keep the cabin fever to a minimum and the {slightly} warmer temps have been helping. The kids can actually go outside and play now that it is above zero. They skate several nights a week at a nearby outdoor rink, while Chris or I sit in a toasty car. For some reason, they don't seem to mind the cold like we do!  Here's to hoping spring isn't too far away.
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