Friday, September 13, 2013

Our Week in Review

This week we finished up our three week study of World War I.  We learned how, sadly, the peace terms at the end of World War I laid the groundwork for World War II, in spite of the fact that President Wilson had wanted it to be the war that ended all wars.  What a tragic thing war is, and what a complicated thing peace can be!

Son C, reading history while munching on popcorn.

I am being very intentional this year about including Little Man in our history studies.  Last year was so full of "life lessons" that some of his schooling, namely history, was sorely neglected.  He gleaned quite a bit from his older siblings studies' and the conversations we would have as a family, but I really want to do a better job this year of reading books and doing activities at his level that help make history come alive for him.  During these weeks that we've been learning about World War I, he and I have been reading through this book:

What a great book for elementary students!  Among other things we learned how WWI experienced so much trench warfare, and what daily life was like for soldiers in the trenches.  I have a fresh perspective on that phrase ("in the trenches") after reading about how horrible the conditions were for the soldiers who lived, slept, ate, waited, and agonized in those muddy pits.  Little Man and I made a trench warfare scene out of clay to help illustrate what we'd learned.

We learned about the front lines (closest to the enemy), the support/supply lines, and the reserve lines farthest back.  These three types of lines were connected by "communicating trenches" or by tunnels.  Food was brought forward for the men in the front lines to eat.  They had trench bakeries and kitchens, and trench hospitals.  It was usually very loud in and near the trenches from all the shelling and firing going on.  Men in the front lines had to listen to the groans of the wounded up in "no man's land" ~ the area between the facing front lines of both sides.  No wonder so many of the men who survived came home completely shell shocked. 

God gave me a fabulous idea for daughter H's history studies this year.  So much of the 20th century was about war.  And war is depressing to learn about after awhile.  Especially when you see through the lens of hind sight how man did not learn the lessons he should have learned from each conflict.  So rather than studying the wars in depth I am having daughter H read biographies of individual people that lived during each conflict, and the difference they made while living in horrific times.  Right now she is reading With Daring Faith, a biography of Amy Carmichael, missionary to India.  What an amazing, faith building story Amy's life is!  When we talk about our weekly history topics as a family, daughter H can bring a whole new perspective to our conversation.  I am so grateful for God's wisdom and faithfulness to give me insight as I planned our school year.  He is so good!

In other subjects, Little Man has started formal grammar this year.  We use a curriculum called Easy Grammar, and at the beginning of each level they have the student memorize a list of prepositions.  Prepositions are useful to know, as they are the first word in a prepositional phrase, and the subject and verb of a sentence will never be found inside of a prepositional phrase.  Little Man absolutely loves grammar.  It makes my heart sing that he is so in love with something that most other children strongly dislike (in other words, he doesn't know he is "supposed" to dislike it!).  One day each week he and son C and I play "prepositional bingo" with chocolate chips as place holders.  The first one to get bingo (or in this case, yell out "prepositions!") gets 5 extra chocolate chips and then we get to eat all the ones on our bingo sheet.  Hmmm, could this be why Little Man loves grammar so much?


Son C has learned well (and Little Man is just beginning to learn) how to cross out the prepositional phrases in sentences in order to find the subject and the verb.

We had our first day of co-op this past week, too!  Our first class is at 9:30 a.m., and our last class ends at 5:00 p.m., with various hours off for each of the children throughout the day.  This picture was taken after we got home and everyone was tired from the long day, but we did have a great first day!  The children loved most of their classes, and I absolutely loved the two that I am teaching, especially high school English.  Even though it will be a lot of work to prepare for each week, it will be a wonderful outlet for me and another way to use my God-given gift of teaching.  I am so thankful!


votemom said...

just popping in to remind you that the Holy Spirit prompts me OFTEN to pray for you.

what day of the week is co-op? thursday or friday?

Unknown said...

Our real life co-op meets on Tuesdays, so that is our "long" day. Thank you for the prayers!!