2018 String Camp

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Whew! What a week! Driving to Knoxville for one hour and 20 minutes every morning starting at 7:30am, sitting through two hours and 30 minutes of string camp every day, then driving home for another 80 minutes. After lunch, I gave them a break.

Knoxville String Camp

My children on the first day of String Camp

Late afternoon, they had to practice for 30 minutes to cement the skills learned that morning. It was not an easy week for any of us, but we made it through. They started String Camp rather reluctantly, but by Tuesday they were singing the tunes they were practicing in their respective orchestras. Continue reading »

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Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 13

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Although it is summer break for us, the kids keep asking for more history. We need to finish volume 4 anyway before the new school year starts back up, so I am glad to oblige.

Khachkar craft - Armenian carved "stone" bas relief

Khachkar craft – Armenian carved “stone” bas relief

Chapter 13 deals with the old-fashioned emperor of Brazil and Abdulhamid II, one of the last sultans of the Ottoman Turks. Ms. Bauer manages to explain causes and effects of historic facts very well. Continue reading »

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Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 12

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Chapter 12 is titled “Unhappy Unions.” My daughter lives and breathes unicorns, so when I quickly glanced at the title, at first I thought it said “unhappy unicorns.” For a second, I wondered what figure of speech Ms. Bauer had come up with this time. It helps to slow down when you read a title.

Irish potato stew and gluten free crackers

Irish potato stew and gluten free crackers

The unhappy unions in this chapter were between the English and the Irish in the first story, and the Boers and the British in the second story.

This volume opened up with the expression “The sun never sets on the British Empire.” Now, slowly but surely, problems are creeping into this huge empire. It starts to fall apart at the seams with every chapter we read. Continue reading »

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Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 11

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This chapter covered a bandit from Australia and the scramble for Africa between European nations. Very exciting indeed!

Textured map of Africa - craft

Gluing different textures to the map of Africa, representing different European countries.

The craft we chose was to make a textured map of Africa. We have never made a textured map of anything before. I was surprised the kids were so excited about it, as they usually shun anything that requires glue.  Continue reading »

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Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 10

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Story of the World volume 4 chapter 10 covered another war in South America, The War of the Pacific, and the building of the Suez Canal in Egypt. We are all over the place in this volume, but I like it. It keeps us on our toes and teaches the kids some geography.

Suez Canal Boats Activity

Boats in the Suez Canal, saving 6,000 miles on their way to Asia

My eight-year-old likes justice. Whenever we read about countries fighting over land, she wants to intervene and give everybody what they want. Why fight? Let us get these people organized and settled down once and for all. Her dedication to justice amuses me. Continue reading »

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The End of Another School Year

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After 180 days of official learning, our school year has come to an end. This has been a tough year in many ways, with puberty knocking at our door unceremoniously. It has also been a tremendous year of growth and amazing achievements.

Family of four

Our family celebrating the end of another homeschool year

If we take the good that comes our way, we might as well take the bad as well, and work with it. Through it all, we have seen God’s hand at work, guiding our steps, giving us wisdom, and maturing our children so they can become adults who make good decisions. Continue reading »

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RCM Violin Assessments

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They scheduled the Royal Conservatory of Music violin assessments for May 31, 2018 and we traveled to Milligan College again for the day, just like last year. We had less butterflies because we already knew what to expect.

Violinist boy with pianist

Before the exam, he went through his music with a pianist.

Last year, the kids scored the highest scores on their level not only in the assessment center (Elizabethton, where Milligan College is) but also in the whole state of Tennessee. What a shock! A pleasant one, but a shock nonetheless. Continue reading »

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Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 9

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Chapter 9 covered the Dutch East Indies in the first story and the fall of the Ottoman Empire through the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 in the second story. The first story was totally new information to me, but not the second one.

Red and white ribbon traditionally worn in Eastern Europe in March - martsishor

Red and white ribbon traditionally worn in Romania in March – martsishor

Why? Because it was not just Russia and Bulgaria fighting the Ottoman Turks. The coalition was led by Russia and included Bulgaria, but it also included Romania, Serbia and Montenegro. Continue reading »

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Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 8

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Chapter 8 is titled “Becoming Modern.” What a simple yet beautiful title! I pointed out to the kids that for most of history people have not lived with electricity, cars, trains, or time zones. It was a new concept for them.

Gold and silver spikes to unite the two railways

Gold and silver spikes to unite the two railways

There was a brief explanation about time zones and about light bulbs. I supposed this would be the moment to stop and read a short biography of Thomas Edison but we must exercise self-control. This time around through the Story of the World, we will not read extra books.  Continue reading »

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Elementary Science Olympiad

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Since 2013, when I started this blog, I have published 700 posts, which works out to be two posts per week and a bit – exactly what I promised and purposed to do back then. This is post number 701. Here’s to the power of grit and determination.

This year, we joined Cedar Springs Homeschool Group, a support group in Knoxville, which gathers motivated homeschoolers for different competitions: American Math Contest, National Spelling Bee, Science Olympiad, Scholars Bowl, History and Geography Bees etc.

Science Olympiad

They left the stage in a blur after winning their gold medals.

Every team is coached by a homeschooling parent. Since even Susan Wise Bauer confessed she did not do a great job teaching science in her homeschool, I decided I should look for outside support in that area. In the process, our children would become a part of a team and forge some friendships. Continue reading »

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