Story of the World, Volume 1, Chapter 3

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We have both the book and the CDs. I don’t plan which one we do first, the reading or the CD. It just so happened that we listened to Chapter 3 in the car a couple of weeks ago, coming back from Knoxville. When I finally got around to reading Chapter 3 to them, they were listening to me while playing on the carpet.

I asked my son, the first grader, the comprehension questions. He answered me while rearranging his LEGO bricks. I’m happy with that. I don’t always ask him to do narration at this point.  Continue reading »

I had the clay, the paper for the papyrus scroll, the cuneiform alphabet, the hieroglyphs, and all the other materials sitting on the table. I told them to come so we can roll out the clay. They came. Fast. They started working with no hesitation.

Clay tablet out of Sculpey, letter opener to write in cuneiform, rolling pin, and  cookie sheet I ruined by baking the clay without aluminium foil lining

Clay tablet, letter opener to write in cuneiform, rolling pin, and cookie sheet I ruined by baking the clay without aluminium foil lining

We decided to write HBP, short for Happy Birthday, Patty – an aunt who is having a birthday this month. We thought we should surprise her with a birthday message in cuneiform. Then, we wrote her name in hieroglyphics. I mean, why give her only one message in an ancient form of writing when we could give her two?

Cuneiform letters take a lot of space and our clay tablets were rather small. For clay, we used Sculpey – very easy to use, but it stains the baking sheet. I learned the hard way. So either use aluminium foil or an old tray that you strictly use for baking clay.

I got the dowels at Walmart. For paper, I used an 8” x 14” piece of paper.

We read Mummies in the Morning. We will not read this book again. Too spooky!

We called it a day. A few days later, my son refused to do the map work and coloring sheets. I’m OK with no coloring – it’s never been his thing and it actually feels like busy work to me. But I wanted him to do the map work. How to inspire and motivate a boy to color in his map of Ancient Egypt?

I got online and asked my trusted Facebook SOTW support group how I can motivate my son to do his map work. Many people wrote in confessing they had similar problems, mostly with boys. They just focus on the crafts and comprehension and let the map work go. Others suggested I offer a special set of markers or paints, maybe that will spark a renewed interest in map work (which he has done before without any problems, by the way).

Doing her map work - she never has a problem with this kind of projects

Doing her map work – she never has a problem with this kind of projects

We just happened to have a new set of markers, because I had gone shopping for school supplies for the new school year the previous week. So, the next day, I said, “Would you do your map work for history if I gave you the new set of markers?” It worked like a charm.

I am so thankful for this Facebook SOTW group (for Volume 1). Everybody is so ready to help out with their experience and things they have learned. That’s what I love about homeschoolers – they are always ready to support each other.

Story of the World, Vol. 1, Chapter 4

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We made the crafts or, rather, our own version of the crafts suggested in Chapter 4. But before that, we checked on our Nile river model. It had dried up under the overhang of our roof, so we overflowed the Nile river to water the grass seed. We can already see some tiny blades of grass.

Instead of the sand-cube step pyramid suggested in the Activity Book, I opted for a DUPLO pyramid. I asked my son, a LEGO fan, to build me a DUPLO pyramid. He built me one out of 10 DUPLO bricks. I told him I wanted a bigger one. He brought me another small one, then another. I decided that was the sign that he needed some help.  Continue reading »

Once I set the parameters and showed him how big the base had to be, he got it. But he wanted me to build with him. I was more than happy to. Even my daughter pitched in, putting her DUPLO princess beds inside the pyramid with a DUPLO figure, as a mummy (the inside is not shown in the picture, unfortunately).

DUPLO Pyramid

We built a DUPLO Pyramid. It took about 10 minutes.

Then, I opted out of mummifying a chicken (the horror!). Instead, we made hot dog mummies using this recipe with one tiny modification, – well, not tiny! – because we are vegetarian. We used Big Franks (vegetarian hot dogs which come in cans). My mustard bottle has a large hole, so it was hard to get the eyes just right.

But my son and I had fun putting this together and stretching the bandages over the “mummies.” In fact, we talked so much about our mummies, it was hard to eat the finished product. My daughter especially had a hard time. She barely picked at her plate. All theoretical grossness aside, they were delicious (with more mustard).

We baked mummies out of Big Franks and Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.

We baked mummies out of Big Franks and Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.

Last but not least, we found Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile at the library – miracle of all miracles! We did not have to request an ILL on this one.

From Footsteps in Time: The Egyptians, we decided to make a necklace collar, even though we are not in Egypt anymore. I cut it out after my daughter traced it on paper. She had fun painting it. I learned to stop freaking out when she went above the lines or changed the size of the individual dots.

Egyptian Collar Necklace

Egyptian Collar Necklace

Then, she made a scarab amulet out of play dough.

Little girl carving a scarab amulet

Making a scarab amulet out of play dough, using a letter opener to scratch the lines into it

I briefly read that page in the book and then, since my son was not interested in making one, I focused on working with my daughter. I felt we had covered Egypt enough for now and this was just icing on the cake if they showed interest.

Scarab amulet out of play dough

The finished scarab amulet, next to its original in the book

We are taking a couple of weeks off school, before we start gearing up for the next school year. However, we keep reading the SOTW literature suggestions and will make different history crafts. That’s not “school.” It’s fun!