Thursday, 1 December 2011

We started Advent today by setting up our empty wooden crib.  At the bottom we placed a piece of gold card which represented our promise to try hard to be good for Advent.  The girls each decided what they were going to try particularly hard on (sharing more, no jealousy, more patience etc), then each time they do a good deed they get to put a cotton wool ball in the crib.  Hopefully by Christmas it will be FULL of cotton wool and soft and comfortable ready for the Baby Jesus :)

Then we set about crafting.  We made scratch card decorations...

...pine-cone Christmas trees...

...Christmas cards...

...hand and footprint reindeer...

...and Christmas lanterns.

The Georgians. 

This time we focused a lot more on England's place in world history, e.g. how our tea taxes triggered the American Revolution.  Panda Girl did more craft related things (flags etc) while Ballet Girl and Monkey Girl began learning how to extract information from sources.  We also learnt how to identify Georgian houses and looked at the progression of fashion and Parliament.

We finished this project early in order to focus on Advent but plan to return to it after our trip to France in the New Year.  My plans are that we will look at Napoleon's rise and fall, move onto the Regency period and then William IV and the end of the Slave Trade.

Georgian worksheets - we worked on Bonnie Prince Charlie, the American War of Independence and the French Revolution. 

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

 Georgian wig making shop.  This caused a little hilarity:

We learnt about the South Sea Trading Bubble and how Robert Walpole, who was instrumental in fixing' it, became Britain's first Prime Minister.  Each then chose their own political party and what their manifesto would be and then we had an election, after they each did their best to persuade the rest of us how awesome they were :)

I suggested to Panda Girl that she could be the Whig Party.  Ballet Girl totally got the joke and fell about laughing.  Panda Girl insisted she was going to save pandas with the Panda Party.

Monkey Girl reading the election results on the news :)

The Boy spent the whole time bemused.  The following morning before the girls were awake I sent him downstairs while I opened the curtains.  I heard him talking and found him delivering his Party speech - something about ducks, cooking and the colour blue :)

Boston Tea Party:

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The Stuarts

We spent two weeks studying the Stuarts.  We had fun learning about Guy Fawkes and theories put forward by historians which suggest that he was set up by Robert Cecil to counter Catholic uprisings.  It fitted in nicely with Bonfire Night.  We looked at the Civil War(s) and Oliver Cromwell's rule, and Panda Girl did a project on the Mayflower's Voyage after we learnt about the Puritans in Parliament.  The girls fell a little in love with Charles II on Horrible Histories and we spent some time learning about James II escape from England and James 'III' and Bonnie Prince Charlie, 'Pretenders to the Throne'.
Making bread at 'Pudding Lane Bakery' where the Great Fire of London started.
We talked about and looked at some examples of Baroque architecture and then discussed the differences we could see between the Tudor part of Hampton Court Palace and the Baroque part which was built during the reign of William and Mary.  The girls (and The Boy) designed their own style building out of lego.  Their design brief was to be as far from a 'normal' house as possible.  FUN!
The Tudors

The girls thoroughly enjoyed this project.  We found some good interactive games online and they each put together a whole folder of worksheets on Tudor life, food, people, exploration and fashion.  We also went on a Tudor house hunt and learnt to distinguish between genuine Tudor and mock Tudor houses.  It was a good excuse to have a hot chocolate in our local pub, which although dating from slightly after Tudor times, has great examples of wooden pegs in the beams, low ceilings and doors and a wonderful bread oven.
Tudor Window Display

Our King Henry costume arrived in the post.  Monkey Girl was first to try it out :)
Mini Hans Holbeins.  The girls drew their own portraits of King HenryVIII.

The Spanish Armada
 We spent a happy morning making Tudor sweets :)

In search of Queen Katherine of Aaragon's Cross in Ampthill Park, erected on the site where Ampthill Castle once stood: the home of the Queen while Henry sought his annulment.