Monday, January 31, 2011

At This Moment in Time

My 8yo son and my 6yo daughter are currently reading I Samuel 18 - 31.  A hefty reading given their age but I've asked them to take turns reading the chapters.  They started during school today and got to chapter 22 before they had had enough reading.  So I let them do other things, have dinner, go to karate etc. and now are back to reading for about an hour before bed.  They have just finished chapter 24 and are debating what this reading is all about. 

Totally unprompted Biblical debate between an 8yo and a 6yo.  You can't get much better than that.  Happy Mommy heart moment. :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Africa Week 2 of 3

Chin Chin
We thought this week's lessons would be a little shorter due to the snow on Friday but we still managed to have a 3 hour co-op and squeeze in 4 weeks of planning afterward.  Which the kids loved because it meant they were allowed to go sledding outside while the moms poured over our KONOS volumes.

Now that I think of it, we did not get to everything we had planned for the day but probably we planned too much.  LOL  Here's a rundown of our day:

  • Open with Pledge of Allegience and prayer
  • Watch a 3 minute Youtube video about salt mining in Africa and have discussion about why this trade is vital to the region.
  • Mapping - Mauritania, Mali and Niger  Discuss Timbuktu and its location in relation to the salt mines in this art of Africa (pg 84 Activity # 205)  Also discuss exports from Mauritania (pg 94 # 263)
  • Mapping - Nigeria, Liberia, Dem. Rep. of the Congo and discuss rubber tree plantations, share pictures of latex harvesting and discuss Firestone lease in Liberia.  Hand out city maps of all of our represented cities/towns and figure up the acreage in each of our towns.  Combine and then decide how many more of these towns we would need to have to cover one million acres.  More than eleven of each of our represented towns would make up 1,000,000 acres!!! (pg 94 # 264, 265)
  • Mapping - Sierra Leone and discuss how this country and Liberia had its beginnings (pg 4 # 262)
  • Map Senegal and show peanut butter with the oil seperated.
  • Make ground nut soup (pg 92 #244)
  • Make chin chin (pg 91 # 243)
  • There was also a reading done about Africa but unfortunately, I do not know which book it was so that I can share it with you.  Generally if one of the moms finds a particularly good book about our unit of study, she will bring it to co-op and if we have a bit of time when the moms need to do some quick behind the scenes work, one of the moms will read the book to the kids in the other room.  We have found this to be a wonderful way of using downtime for unexpected glitches and it keeps the kids from disappearing in different directions between activities.
Since we were supposed to be doing the coastal bulge and the Congo this week we obviously missed quite a few countries but we ran out of time so we agreed to finish our mapping at home this week.  Really we bit off more than we could chew for one co-op session.

All references are from KONOS Volume II Inquisitiveness. This is planned from an older edition so my page and activity #'s may not match up with yours but you should be able to find them based on the descriptions. Please leave me a comment if you have trouble finding them and I will be happy to help out.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

HOW I Co-op Hebrews Week 4 of 11

Week 4 is all about the time beginning with the judges and ending with Saul.  I am not going to write about everything they studied but DD took some pictures so I figured I would share about those things that she had the most fun with.

She and her friend built floor plan of a Hebrew home out of blocks.  The cooking fire is represented by the red block in the center.  The door to the home is across the courtyard represented by a blue arch block.  On either side of the courtyard are areas set aside for the animals on one side and the storage on the other side.

A large part of this week's lessons involved the Seder meal and what is symbolized by the various foods and materials used for this dinner. 

At co-op the girls made a chopped apple and nut dish that I think was a definite favorite along with matzos, non-alcoholic wine and roasted eggs.  They followed this up by drawing out the entire seder meal on a paper plate.

The KONOS book suggests having this dinner with the family including all of the prayers and father explaining the symbolism as we go along.  It even gives the words to say!  But we were kind of short on time.  Since I really wanted her to go through this process in some fashion I suggested she make up a slide show with pictures of the different items and then just sit together in the living going through the motions and reading the script.  This worked well for us and it didn't require us to take the time to make the food.  Not quite the same but it served the purpose.  My kids now have an idea of why the Jewish people eat this very special dinner.

Fruit Salad Ghana Style

During the yam festivals held all over West Africa, the people eat and celebrate and generally have a great time similar to our own festivals here in the States.  They even make fruit salad very much like Americans do for our summer celebrations. 
This week while learning about the people of Ghana we made a delicious fruit salad. 
It was loaded with juicy pineapple and mango.  The kids also cut up chunks of banana to put in and sprinkled on coconut flakes.  The ingredient we found the most interesting was the tomato.  I didn't even know they had tomatoes in Ghana nor would I have thought to put them in a salad with other fruit.  The entire salad was tossed with a sweetened lime dressing.  You can find the recipe along with several others in A Flavour of West Africa by Alison Brownlie.   This was an excellent resource for young children (and their moms) with clear but brief explanations of the many people in the region.  It is not very in-depth but it will provide a nice overview.  I highly recommend it! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Africa Week 1 of 3

I am so glad to be back to our regular school schedule and back to KONOS co-op!  We started the new year with our final three weeks of Inquisitiveness focusing on Africa.  There is SO much to learn about Africa that I'm afraid three weeks really is not enough but my kids are young so I'm not going to fret about it.  As long as they can get some basic information about the continent, its people and animals, I'll be happy.  One of my favorite ways to learn about a people group is to try to make and eat their food so of course we included a couple recipes in our co-op day.  This is my very good friend making her delicious rice with lentils.  I'm not a big lentil fan but she makes them good enough to eat.  Actually the kids had a big hand in the cooking by chopping the onions and pressing the garlic and measuring out the ingredients.  We also made baked bananas which turned out scrumptious with peanuts, cream, brown sugar and lemon juice sprinkled on them. (See Pg 92 #244)

Here is a rundown of our co-op day:
  • Begin with Pledge of Allegiance and prayer
  • Oral presentation about pharaohs given by HOW I students (they leave immediately after to do their own co-op)
  • Discuss what the kids have been studying for the week.  -  Northern Africa
  • One student shares what she knows about Augustine.  Locate Constantine, Algeria on the map of Africa (Page 79 activity #178)
  • Mapping the countries that were invaded by Arab Moslems in the seventh century A.D. (pg 79 # 181) Each child receives an enlarged outline map of Africa that he or she will be using for the entire unit.  We have the kids label the map during discussion at co-op.  They shade in the countries later at home.
  • Ramadan: Read about this month long celebration and then try to dance the dance of the gargoulette.  Use Sounds of Africa cd for the music and since we are inside we put rice and beans in our pitchers instead of water.  (Pg 81 # 190)
  • Compare Ramadan to Mardi Gras and discuss if huge indulgences before fasting are scripturally sound. (Pg 81 # 191)
  • Egypt:  Make a hieroglyphics mural (Pg 77 # 161)
  • Begin to prepare snack, moms finish while kids make paper
All references are from KONOS Volume II Inquisitiveness.  This is planned from an older edition so my page and activity #'s may not match up with yours but you should be able to find them based on the descriptions.  Please leave me a comment if you have trouble finding them and I will be happy to help out. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Resources

This week I have added two new features to my sidebar that I wanted to point out to you as I think they will be of some use to other KONOS users as well as many others in the homeschooling blogosphere.  Both are resources to help with individual study topics. 

To start, I will be listing my current unit of study in the sidebar with a brief listing of useful resources I find as our units develop.  So this will be an everchanging space.  Right now I just have a couple links for our Africa study. 

Just below this, you will see a link to a squidoo lens page which is not mine at all but belongs to a fellow KONOS mom.  I am really excited about this new resource.  Shannon has created quite a variety of lenses for the units she has already completed.  In her lenses you will find lesson plans with tons of links and book lists and projects to do with the kids, all revolving around a particular unit of study.  She has lenses on everything from American history to science to Scripture memory music.  To be honest, I don't think there is enough time in the world to go through everything she has put into this project of hers but if you take it slow, you'll be all right.  Start by looking for a subject you are about to study and just focus on that lens.  And then be sure to leave Shannon a comment so she knows her lenses were useful to you.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Carnival is Up

Hey Everybody,
The carnival is up over at Dandelion House Homeschool.  Head on over and see how you can make your homeschool more hands on!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Junior Bible Quiz Meet Today

Our team came in second place in their league today at our district meet.  This is our first year and only their second competition.  Three members of our team scored in the top ten and my son quizzed out for his first time. This is all very exciting for us since we are SO new to JBQ.  To learn more about Junior Bible Quiz you can visit the National JBQ website.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Back From Christmas Break

Today was our first day back to school after our extended Christmas vacation.  It's always hard for the kids to start back up.  Actually, they just say they don't want to start school again, but come morning they are up and ready and we had a great day with little or no complaining.  I was well pleased!

Since our Konos group won't start back up until next week I thought this would be a nice opportunity to use one of our supplements for Social Studies or Science.  I had recieved a free copy of NASA's Journey to the Stars and it is just the right fit.  In December we had a guided visit to the observatory at Pomfret Academy.  (In the fall we had studied stars with our unit on explorers and the field trip was set up but had to be postponed because of cloudy skies.  We finally got to go!)  So this was perfect time to use the NASA curriculum!

Aside from our usual lesson work, we also had time for a half hour of crafts.  Another thing I wish we had more time for on a regular basis.  DS got to make this cute little frog thing he got for Christmas.  (I picked it up at Michael's for a dollar.  One of those no brainer projects with the peel and stick foamy bits placed strategically around a half egg shape so that when it's all done it looks like a frog.  DD got a mouse one too but she did it yesterday.)  DD made a jewelry craft she had gotten a while back.  It's the kind with the melty bits of plastic that you bake.  She made a necklace and a bracelet and there were a lot of plastic bits leftover so Mommy made suncatchers too.

I let them choose their own reading this week since we don't have a KONOS focus.  They did have a certain criteria they had to meet in their choices - had to be a chapter book, something they could finish in a week or less and something they haven't read before.  DS chose Martin's Mice by Dick King Smith and DD chose The American Girl - Kit series.  She may not get to all of the books this week but I am hoping she will get hooked and want to read them during her free time at night.  These young ones don't pick up books as often as my older DD has always done.  They like to read but it has had to be suggested up to this point.

So no pics today, just a brief update.  I hope all is well as you begin your new year of homeschooling.