Saturday, August 14, 2010

Salt Maps, a Solar System, and a Bubble Bath

This week began with our fourth day of school and the beginning of our history curriculum, Tapestry of Grace. It encompasses history, geography, writing, and art. It begins with ancient Egypt to give a context for studying the books of Moses. Briggs read books about the pyramids, the Nile, and mummies. We studied the globe with all of its continents, oceans, desserts, islands, and mountains. For an art project, he created a salt map made out of old fashioned homemade play dough (my mom used to make it for us when we were little) which is a mixture of salt, flour, and water. He formed mountains, cliffs, peninsulas, tributaries, canals, and islands.
Max had his own little salt map going on.
The next day after it had dried out a little, they painted their maps.

Thank goodness for washable paint on carpet!
The finished product:
Max was exceptionally proud of his which, he said, included volcanoes, islands, a golf club,and the YMCA.

In our science lesson, we were supposed to make a solar system out of balloons. Knowing my boys, who have issues with things that break down and have to be thrown away, I opted for a kit from Hobby Lobby that we would hang and look at the rest of the year.

We painted the planets and tried to put them in the right order of distance from the sun. Briggs has already memorized them in order (the boy loves science), so he told me where to put them.
After such a busy week, all with daddy on a business trip, a warm bubble bath was in order.

General Homeschooling note:
After adjusting to the idea all summer, I had gotten extremely excited about homeschooling. Then, the closer it came and the more books that were delivered to the front door, I got even more excited. And then I got scared, mainly because I have an idealistic image in my mind of how wonderful and perfect it's going to be. So I tried to force my expectations into reality and prepare for things to go awry. And yes, Max has had daily frustration meltdowns and temper tantrums, but they are getting better. They seem to be less during school time and he is learning to be more patient while I divide my time between the two of them. Briggs gets a little frustrated when Max gets to do "fun" things like coloring and pasting, while he has to do work. When I offered him a shape tracing page and a fat pencil, he changed his tune. The two big art projects this week helped too. I also always say that I am making a one year commitment, just to give myself an "out" in case we all hate it or I just fail at being a teacher.
That being said, so far, I really love it. It is so wonderful to spend time with my boys every morning, reading the Bible (well, the Jesus Story Book Bible) and praying with them. They have their weekly memory verses for their small group memorized by midweek instead of cramming it all in on Saturday night, or even worse, on the way to church on Sunday morning. I know that we could have done a better job while they were in regular school, but we never did. We were too busy running and it was so hard to make the priorities actually be the priority. I know other people do it and do a great job, but I am not that good of a mother, with my fleshly, selfish, nature and all. I just feel that we have more time to spend doing the things I've always wanted to do and the resources (curriculum) to guide me in doing it. I really do love it and am so thankful that God has led us to do this.


  1. hYea, yea, yea, YEA, YEA!!!! I am so glad the first week went so well! That's an impressive map! And I am so glad to hear you reflect on the blessings of being home with them and making the priorities be THE priorities. I find myself filled with good intentions, but running so hard it's difficult to make those a reality! We start Thursday. I'll be sure to call before then. :)

    Blessings to you!`

  2. That is a seriously impressive map. Looks like you jumped in feet first! I had some tough days this week, too. But I am so glad I can have tough days WITH my kids, so we can learn how to deal with tough days TOGETHER. Hugs, friend! Way to go!

  3. What a wonderful week of school you had! The solar system rocks and is a wonderful addition to your already beautiful school room. Congrats on a great start.

  4. I am so proud of you and so happy for you too!!! Great job!