Viking Adventures and More

We continue our Middle Ages Study; Over the next three weeks we’ll continue examining medieval ecclesiastical structure, study Islam in greater depth, pretend we are Vikings on daring adventures, delve deeper into philosophy and theology, research feudalism, and meet Emperor Charlemagne!  Below is a sampling of books for weeks 4-6 (of ten weeks total) in the Middle Ages.  As the children study Beowulf, I think it’s time to break out a copy of Grendel for my own re-reading!

(If you are reading through a feed-reader and can’t see the widgets showing our book selections, click on through to the blog.)


Into the Middle Ages

The blog has been quiet since January!  We’ve been keeping on with full academics, but our Tapestry of Grace Humanities Studies took a back seat as I’ve juggled new health challenges.  (More on that in a later post, but for now, I’ll just share that my breast cancer returned in other organs, and is now Stage IV.) Despite–and even amid–the health challenges, we are blessed abundantly; Life, while undeniably altered, is still rich and full, but my already lagging blog slips further into the backseat (or maybe even the trunk or hatch-back?) as academics, excursions, music lessons, dance lessons, swimming, electives, social outings, fellowship, chemotherapy, natural treatments, and often just crashing on the couch, take precedence.

Returning to our formal humanities studies, we pick up where we left off before Christmas. (I neglected to post our final set of late-Roman-empire books.)  The great Roman Empire has fractured and crumbled, and Britain is rising.  This is an exciting era to study.  The children are already planing jousts and medieval feasts!  Below is a sampling of books from this first three weeks (of ten weeks total) in the Middle Ages.

(If you are reading through a feed-reader and can’t see the widgets showing our book selections, click on through to the blog.)

Preparing for New Pets

This morning, while I enjoyed a tooth extraction, Ken and the children furnished a cozy home for our fuzzy friends. It’s ready for the arrival of a “nuclear colony” early Saturday morning!

We debated putting the hive in the chicken run–apparently chickens often help clean up dead bees, and pollinators and poultry can be friends; but then we also heard reports of rogue chickens devouring a whole bee colony.  Ultimately we “chickened” out and they will “bee” in a chicken-free zone. (Groan at the lame puns if you like, I blame the pain meds.)

Kendra, my garden-girl, is preparing to assist with new pets!  (She’ll add a thick denim jacket and elbow-high protective gloves to her ensemble when we actually embark.)

Bee Keeper Kendra

Bee Keeper Kendra

Rising 6th Grader

Keianna finished her 5th grade texts and is ready for 6th!  Per PrairieFrog tradition, I took her out to her choice of restaurants, and she chose Starbucks–where she ordered a vanilla latte and chocolate croissant, and declared this, “a delicious way to become a sixth grader!”  She noticed she was the only grade-schooler in the bustling establishment, and was tickled to be out enjoying coffee while her peers are still in classes–it’s that same exhilaration my children feel upon seeing a school bus filled with students hours after we are finished with the day’s formal work.

Keianna has numerous adventures planned for this summer and the year ahead–ambitions that will be fun, but also challenging.  As we discussed her upcoming plans, I mused that they’ll involve hard work; With characteristic ‘Anna spunk, her eyes twinkled as she said, “I hope it’s hard, because otherwise I won’t learn anything!”

Here’s my new sixth grader: ( Photo taken right after wiping the chocolate from her cheeks):

"A Delicious way to become a 6th grader"

“A Delicious way to become a 6th grader”


Young Composers

Our piano teacher asked Kieran and Kiffanie (ages 6 & 7) to make up a song or two, then she brought her tape recorder to record their original compositions.  Last week she returned having transcribed their songs to paper!

Kiffanie wrote, “The Dragon and the Princess” to be played, “adagio con espressivo” (Which describes Kiffanie quite well.)

The Dragon and the Princess, by Kiffanie

The Dragon and the Princess, by Kiffanie

Keeping to similar era, Kieran composed, “In Medieval Times…AARRR”  to be played “andante con Rubato.”  Yes, Kieran is totally “con rubato” and andante is very much his speed.   I love the ending–it really brings out the “Aarrr!” from the title!

In Medieval Times...AARRR by Kieran

In Medieval Times…AARRR by Kieran

And on a totally different note, Kieran’s “Butterflies” in 3/2 time, complete with lyrics (also by Kieran):

Butterflies by Kieran

Butterflies by Kieran

Classical Greece in our Book Basket

We are back in Ancient Greece–a bit further down the timeline, and now at the height of the classical era!  The book baskets are spilling over with riches as we wrap up the school year.

Kaira, my Rhetoric level student, has a few reading assignments not represented in the book basket.  Plato’s Apology, Crito, and Republic,  and Aristotle’s Politics can be found free online, so she’ll be using those  resources in addition to several items in the book basket below.

We stretched the definition a bit to include the Percy Jackson series which Ken’s reading aloud to the children.  It’s bodaciously fictional, and set in modern times, but we decided it “counts” because they feature the Greek gods.  This series is great fun for all ages.

Below, our book basket for the upcoming month; If you are reading on a feed reader and can’t see the widgets, click through to see our book selections for this fun era:

Ancient Mesopotamia on the Coffee Table

I’m late posting these books to the blog–in real time we’ve been enjoying them for several weeks and are about to proceed with the second half of the unit and a new batch of books.  While I’ve neglected this blog we’ve studied Ancient Mesopotamia, and Israel has risen, divided, and been taken into Babylonian Captivity!  We’ve studied Assyrians, Medes, Persians and Chaldeans, with heroes such as Solomon, Daniel, Queen Esther, and Nehemiah–among others. Books of the Bible supplement our book basket this round, as do some online resources.

Stay tuned, next week Ken’s off work and we’ll take a break from Tapestry studies to get the garden started, then it’s off to the Classical age of Greece–one of my favorite civilizations!

Below, our book basket from the previous few weeks: