Monday, November 01, 2010


Last week was Busy.  All really good stuff, but I'm glad to be looking back on it from a position of relative calm!

The history/literature/arts/etc. program we use with our homeschool co-op is broken into four units for each year.  The author recommends that you end each unit with some sort of a "unit celebration," both to wrap up and review materials studied and also to show off to friends and family just what it is that you have been up to.  Last Monday we finished finished our study of the middle ages (and immediately, Tuesday, dived into studying the early Renaissance), so we planned our celebration for Saturday night.  One of our moms volunteered her church's hall, so we planned a proper medieval feast and the kids practiced papers, poems, demonstrations, and performances.  And everyone except our family invited relatives.  Our relatives live inconveniently far away, so we just had us.  It was quite a production, but it ended up coming off very well.
Here Ed is, helping set up by lighting candles.  Lots of candles!
I forgot to take a picture of my own children's crafts -- how awful is that?  I got one of our castles, on the far right, and a picture and a shield.  But I've posted pictures of their projects before.  Plus, our projects just don't look like much alongside the much more ambitious efforts of my friend the nun's children!

We had forty-one people, not counting the baby.  I don't think we could have squeezed in many more.

Katie liked my gingerbread!  On the table in front of her you can see part of her pita "trencher."  We put the chicken, deer meat, potatoes, carrots, cheese, etc. right on the trenchers (they were Extra big pitas), and they worked beautifully!  When I was doing the (nearly endless) washing up at church after coffee hour the next day, I couldn't help thinking it would be a fine thing if trenchers were to make a come-back.

A display of some of the books the kids read (or had read to them) for the unit.  I didn't bring any of the literature they read for book discussion, just the history, because I thought (correctly) that there wouldn't be enough room.  We do a Lot of reading.

Katie, reading her paper on St. Augustine coming to England.  She went first, and did a great job.

The kids reciting their history cards.

I forgot to take Travis's picture while he was reading because I was busy trying to catch his attention to let him know he needed to read more loudly.  Only, he never looked up from his paper, so I couldn't.  After his not-so-great reading here I was worried that he would so a similar job with his reading in front of the church on Sunday, but he surprised (and pleased) us by doing a bang up job reading in front of the congregation.  I guess he was just saving his energy!

Travis thought he wanted to be a druid at first, so the rest of us were going to be generic Celts.  Then he changed his mind and decided to be Merlin, so Katie became the Lady of the Lake, Ed got to be Arthur (a Roman sort of Arthur), and I got stuck being Guinevere (I have very little use for Guinevere.)  I learned that twin size bed sheets ($4 each at Walmart) do not make particularly flattering costumes.  Oh well.

It really was loads of fun, but next unit celebration I'm voting for going to see a Shakespeare play instead of hosting a Renaissance feast.

I also got to help host coffee hour at church on Sunday (which mostly involved making a whole lot of tuna fish sandwiches and brownies, and then washing a mountain of dishes), but now I'm done with that for the rest of the year. I think.
Which just left trick-or-treating Sunday night and frantically trying to put together a writing lesson to teach this morning!  The kids carved their pumpkins, with help from Ed, Saturday night after the feast.

Katie cleaned out her pumpkin (and Travis's -- he can't stand to touch goopy stuff) and designed the face, but Ed did the knife work.  Carefully supervised.

Travis's pumpkin had an unfortunate accident.  It looks pretty bad, but we've been studying Ellen McHenry's Brain: An Introduction to Neurology and have read about Phineas Gage, so I think he might be okay.   

They had lots of fun trick-or-treating (really trunk or treating, at a friend's church, which seems like a sad replacement for Real trick or treating to me, but which they like and it Is more practical in a very rural area), came home, ate way too much candy, and, before bed, reviewed history stuff so as to be ready for today's discussion.  Only Travis woke up this morning quite sick and so he missed co-op and was still in bed when we got home so he didn't do any lessons today at all.  But I am hopeful that after a solid day in bed he will be all ready to go at it again tomorrow.  I have his schedule all ready! 

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酒店經紀威力 said...
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