Saturday, February 27, 2010

History and Art

It has really surprised me how much I am enjoying teaching history to the children.  You see I didn’t really care for it when I was in school – I think it was because I didn’t have a relationship with God then.  It is amazing to see how the bible tells the story of people almost 6,000 yrs ago!  I am truly excited to teach about the different time periods and the cultures of people like Abraham, Moses, King Tutankhamen, King Minos and the places they all lived.  Months ago the children learned a song about the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World.  There is a video of them singing here.

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I am reading The Story of the World Part 1 to them and we all enjoy it!  Even Lilly!  When we learn about a new area or people group I draw a map of it on the board and then some of the things we are learning about as well.  The boys loved learning about the shields, javelins, and helmets used by the Barbarians during the Greek Dark Ages.  They were the first to use iron to make their weapons. 

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The children love learning to draw.  It was Lilly’s first art class since coming home.  She is not yet confident of her drawing ability from copying what I teach – and the funny thing is, she is a wonderful artist!  
Here is my lion:  (I think theirs turned out beautiful! I was very proud of them!  Each of their lions look very happy :-) )

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Gabriel’s 5 yrs old

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Jonathan 6 yrs old
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Jordan 7 yrs old
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Abigail 8 yrs old
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 Lilly 12 yrs old

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What you will notice is they all used the same colors for the eyes, nose, etc.  Part of each art lesson is a listening exercise too.  I give one instruction as I’m drawing and they have to follow it as close as they can to get the finished product like mine.  So step by step I call out a color to use and I only say it one time.  It is a great way to strengthen listening skills and doing things in order correctly!

Our focus is shifting for the rest of the year as well.  We are digging deep into grammar and English.  We are using Rod n Staff 2.  Every day we spend about a half hour to an hour on English, Math (telling time, coins, greater than, less than, multiplication, division, place value and we will begin fractions and decimal points next), reading (I write new words on the board and teach the sound rule ie. –ch, sh-, th-, –th, -ie, -oe, etc) and History.  Once week we do art.  Each day we focus on learning more about God’s word and how to use it to encourage one another and not sin against Him.  I love our new schedule and the children seem to be flourishing with it too.  That is most important. 

I teach them all the same thing (level) and together we learn the same subjects.  The boys learn at a slower pace, however, they are beginning to keep up with the girls.  It has been neat to see the younger ones challenging the older ones in different subjects.   I also enjoy seeing their personal interests taking root and flourishing as well.  We have a few math whizzes and history buffs on our hands.  We have a few very creative children and others who seem to enjoy it all.  Each them has been given unique talents and gifts by God – I am enjoying the fruits of them all!

What is your favorite subject to teach?  What are you using that seems to be enjoyed by you and your children the most?
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3 comments:

  1. I love seeing your progress with the children in school! All their drawings look lovely!

    I am just beginning with homeschooling. I have four little boys, ages 5, 3.5, 2 and 7 months. I would love to be able to answer the questions at the end of your post properly! We have only been working on Bible (we use the book 'Leading Little Ones to God'), Maths (Right Start Math) and Reading/Letter Formation ('Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons'), but since Christmas I have gotten well and truly out of the groove. I am having a hard time juggling little ones and keeping the house tidy enough to even have the ability to sit down and do school! We have major issues with obedience and respect (or the lack thereof) with the two older boys and I spend most of my time disciplining rather than schooling, and it just doesn't seem to be effective over the months, so the situation is not changing much (since before Christmas).

    My 5-year-old is now saying he is bored of the reading lessons, and I am switching to Rocket Phonics as a more interactive method. I am just waiting for it to arrive! He loves his maths lessons, and my 3.5-year-old watches and can't wait to join in! He sings the songs well.

    I bought the Drawing With Children art book that you mentioned a while back, and still plan to do that with them, but I can't seem to get past the juggling and the chaos! People tell me it has to do with lots of little children all close in age, but we allow God to open and close my womb as He sees fit, so that situation may not change for a while if He is pleased to bless us!

    Well I did not intend to write such a long comment! I guess I am finding my feet (or trying!) and always inspired by your beautiful family!

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  2. Hello, I really enjoyed reading your post. We have 4 children... 9,8,2 and 3 months. At the moment I am really interested to find out what other home school families schedules are in regarding to teaching their children. I find we spend at least an hour on maths a day the same for English/word building. Then we have the other subjects to fit in. I am curious to how long most people spend home schooling their children a day, and how long they spend teaching one subject. thanks for sharing

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  3. Your children are AMAZING artists! Thanks for making me smile today! ;-)

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