Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Curriculum!

We started our new program yesterday and it was fantastic! Today was great too, except that I have almost no voice, so I couldn't do much reading aloud. Indy was so excited when the new books arrived and wanted to start that day. I had to put the Instructor's Guides together and get myself prepped first. We are still missing a few books, but have enough to do most of the daily assignments. Indy loved doing the map assignments and looking up all the places we've been (and it's a big list).
As I mentioned before, we're doing a program by Winter Promise. If you've never dealt with them, let me just tell you have have amazing customer service. They are the nicest, most helpful and friendly people you can imagine.
I really like the books that are included in our program (Oliver Twist, The Three Musketeers, Anne of Green Gables, Swiss Family Robinson and a host of others that I can't wait to read together) and there are sooooo many activities suggested in the IG that we are going to have a hard time choosing which to do. Our first "cultural gathering" is going to take place next week and is an English Tea and a celebration of Guy Fawkes night (which happens to be next week!). Indy is so excited. We're going to have some of his friends over (dressed up of course) and he's going to wear a tie (which he loves to do).
There are days (especially when I'm sick) that I think about how much easier things would be if I just sent him to regular school, but the days I get to watch him figure something out or get excited by something new he's learned, I remember again why I do this.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Field Trip to Saalburg

Last Friday Indy and I went with our local hs group on a field trip! This time we went up to Saalburg (about 10 minutes north of Frankfurt) to the reconstructed Roman fort. Kaiser Wilhelm II, when he wasn't ticking people off and starting wars, was very interested in the Roman history in Germany (and probably a few other countries) and had the fort reconstructed on the site of the original ruins. He did take a few liberties, though. The crenelations on the outer wall are too narrow for the Roman weapons, but Wilhelm thought they looked better slim, so slim they were built. The buildings that have been reconstructed are now used mostly to house artifacts found on the site. Just a little ways from the fort is the Roman Limes (LEE-mess) which was the northern border of the Roman Empire.

The entrance, with the Emperor Hadrian, who had the Limes and fort constructed. Apparently Hadrian really liked walls.

They have some interesting interactive things for people to do, like try on chain mail. I think it weighed about as much as Indy.

This was one of the highlights for Indy. It's an entire Roman Legion composed of Playmobil soldiers. Indy has quite a few Romans, but not quite a Legion.

The back gate.

This barracks room (the part behind the glass) housed 8 soldiers. Eight! See the bunk bed? Four on the top bunk, 4 on the bottom. Yikes!

To make the buildings look more "Roman" the army would cover the stone with limestone and whitewash, then use brown paint to make the brick lines. They did this to every building and the outer wall! They must have had a lot of time on their hands. You can see a small patch here on this building.

Here is an entire building done up to look "Roman."

Indy in the guest house outside the fort.

We had a lot of fun and learned a lot of interesting stuff about the Roman experience in Germany.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Change in Curriculum

One of the cool things about home schooling is that if something isn't working, you can change it. We started doing Sonlight Core 1 about 8 weeks ago and I was really, really hoping we'd love it, but it's just not a good fit for us. I was disappointed that it didn't work for us, but after much research (hours of scouring the internet), I decided we'd change from Sonlight to Winter Promise. We're going to use their Children of the World Theme with Language Arts 2, Horizon Math and the World Around Me Science. I'm hoping this will be a good fit for us. I'm going to continue with Story of the World 1 (which I had added to Sonlight) and see what happens. He likes SOTW and so do I. WP is a literature based curriculum, so we'll still be doing a lot reading together and he's excited about that.
Sonlight fortunately has a fantastic return policy, so now I just have to pack it all up, ship it back and wait for my refund.