Friday, 14 November 2014

A Map of Athens and Seamanship

Rome wasn't built in a day... but Athens kinda' was.

Between the four of them, my kiddies are kinaesthetic, visual and auditory learners.  When we work on projects together it is important that they are all engaged and able to process what they are learning.  So today, working on our Ancient Greece unit, we made a 3D interactive map of Athens.

They each chose facts about the city that they found interesting and produced some splendid work.

Interestingly, during the rebuilding of Athens after the Persian invasion, the city connected itself to the coast via two parallel walls, allowing it to produce the most powerful naval force in the whole of Greece, as well as using it for trade and food supplies, without the risk that another city-state would shut the city from her port.

The Acropolis and Parthenon

Greek women were not permitted in public except for collecting water from the fountains.  This is where they socialised and caught up with news.

The Agora Market.  Agora means gathering.  This was where the main hustle and bustle of the city took place. 

The sixty feet high Northern Wall and Southern Wall, connecting the city to the coast four miles away.

The Boy made a super fountain.

Of the 30 000 citizens of Athens, a quarter were slaves.

The land was not suited to cow farming, so the Athenians used goats and sheep for their milk.

The Hill of the Nymphs

The Athenian navy's warships.

Unlike our courts today, the Ancient Greeks had no lawyers and so had to defend themselves, to a jury of 500.  Vote counting was done using metal discs placed in pots labelled, guilty and not guilty.  The children took turns to defend themselves in court and the jury had to decide their fate!

After lunch and outside play we went to the library.

Meaning an afternoon of reading ensued...

...and listening to story cds.

This evening the two eldest have Ballet and then Ballet Girl is off to a Seamanship course for the whole weekend.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Take That, Rock Climbing, First Aid and Bottles of Water.

Mummy was up early today to get the housework done and get the kiddies rolling with their chores to ensure everything was good to go by 9am when I had most important Take That concert tickets to buy.  Priorities! 

We had a fellow homeschooling family visiting this morning and we even managed to squeeze in some Maths and Reading before lunch.

The children spent ages playing in the field so I left them to blow the cobwebs away after which they had giggles making tunes with bottles filled with water.

Panda girl learnt about reversible and irreversible changes in her Science.

 The Boy cut different types of paper and card and stuck them into his Science books with words      describing their qualities, "smooth, shiny, sticky, green". 

We snuggled and read the latest chapter in our History of Britain book and then Monkey Girl had a play-date at a friend's house, while Panda Girl had three Tap and Modern Dance classes and Ballet Girl continued writing one of her brilliant stories.

This evening Ballet Girl went Rock Climbing and Monkey Girl began a First Aid Course with Sea Cadets.

And in case you were wondering - I got those tickets (YAY!)

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Salt Dough Poppies

The BBC had a news clip about the two minute silence around the country including at the poppies at The Tower of London where we were yesterday.  I showed the children this morning as well as a video of how the ceramic poppies were made.

Inspired, The Boy had a go at making some of his own out of salt dough.  

The girls worked on their own designs for art installations to commemorate the centenary of the start World War I

Monkey Girl designed a brick house with the name of each British Military Fatality carved on the bricks.  She used Google Earth to find a suitable temporary home for her structure in London.

Panda Girl designed a poppy and casualty numbers, with the idea that it could be illuminated onto Buckingham Palace at night.

They did some lovely work this morning and it rounded off our trip to London rather nicely.

After a chat with our elderly neighbour, a game of pool in the garage and outside play with water and old saucepans, the gang worked on Nature Study...



...and more Maths...

And then Tap, Modern, Gym, Gym and Gym!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Today is November 11th.  Armistice Day.  This year is also the Centenary of the start of WWI.  It seemed fitting, therefore, to visit the beautiful ceramic poppy memorial at the Tower of London today.

We were there for 11am and the two minutes silence.  It was very poignant.  I can not imagine seeing my son off to war.  How very, very indebted we are to these men.

888, 246 ceramic poppies fill the moat.
888, 246 British Military Fatalities during WWI.

 by John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


We also saw HMS Belfast.

Walked over Tower Bridge.

And saw Monument and Pudding Lane where the Great Fire of London started. Amazing.

Proclamation by Charles II

On London Bridge.

Somehow we made it home in time for The Boy's Football class, Panda Girl's Ballet class and Ballet Girl's and Monkey Girl's Ballet Class.  

My husband who had also spent the day (working) in  London, vacuum-cleaned the entire house, picked up the grocery shop, made the dinner, and washed and dried up.  

Thank you God for my awesome family.