We had a great week of school last week! We left the Middle Ages and moved on to the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Age of Exploration. I have been preparing for this unit in particular for quite some time, because the Reformation is such an important time period for us as believers, and this is the only time our daughter will go through this unit at the high school level. I feel a tremendous responsibility to cover this material well.
As a "hook" to reel in the children's interest, I put this Leonardo da Vinci treasure box on the school table, and it was waiting for the children on Monday morning. I have had this for literally years, waiting for the time when we'd go through Year 2 at a time that my children were old enough to do the activities themselves, and this is that time!
They immediately began putting together a small model of Leonardo's flying machine, based on his sketches.
Everyone did a part of it. Very cool to see it coming together! We talked about why it probably wouldn't have worked (too heavy to get off the ground), and what could be done to improve on Leonardo's design.
As many movements do, the Renaissance began slowly and quietly about one hundred years before Leonardo's birth. We learned about Petrarch, the father of humanism, who is credited by many as the one whose ideas sparked the Renaissance. He was a writer and poet who emphasized human potential and human achievement. We talked about this from a biblical perspective. More on that later. In the field of painting, Giotto is considered the first truly "renaissance" artist. We looked at a variety of his work in different art books.
This is a great little book we checked out from the library!
Leonardo studied mathematical concepts extensively, particularly proportion and ratio, and applied what he learned to his art. He also illustrated at least one mathematician's book; among his illustrations were these polyhedra. Sons G and L copied the shapes using small marshmallows and toothpicks. They had a lot of fun building these!
They finished with an octahedron (8 sided figure), an icosahedron (20 sided figure) and a rhombicuboctahedron (26 sided figure). See if you can say that fast three times!
What worked well this week:
A few years ago I bought lots of scholastic paperback book/cassette tape sets at a garage sale for cheap. Now that we finally have a place for this (yay!), Little Man began to listen to one story a day. He has loved this!
His time with his older brother C is continuing to work really well, also. Every day they look forward to doing an activity together. Some of the activities we had this week were: dot to dot markers,
a variety of lace ups,
and some homemade file folder games.