Geography: Ireland

The second two weeks of school we learned about Ireland using Layers of Learning, year 2 unit 2. Since the kids have a grandmother living in Ireland, it’s a place they hear about a lot. Cameron remembers a lot about the month we spent there in 2013. Fritz and Adrian have vague memories of it.

We found places, including their Nan’s house, on the map of Ireland.
Geography: Ireland

We looked through the book I made of pictures from our trip to Ireland.
Geography: Ireland

We watched a video of a Riverdance performance.
Geography: Ireland

We learned about the Aran Islands and watched a video about them.
Geography: Ireland

We had a feast of Irish stew, Irish flag veggies, and (gluten free) soda bread.
Geography: Ireland

We learned about the annual Puck Festival.
Geography: Ireland

The boys each learned about a famous Irish person and taught what they learned to their brothers. (Cameron chose John B. Cosgrave, Fritz picked Jonathan Swift, and Adrian learned about Ernest Shackleton.)
Geography: Ireland

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History: Barbarians

The second two weeks of school we learned about barbarians using Layers of Learning, year 2 unit 2. Did you know the word barbarian comes from a Greek word meaning one who is not Greek?

We added more people and events to our timeline.
History: Barbarians

We did map work of barbarian migrations and Europe in 600 AD.
History: Barbarians

We made a minstrel harp.
History: Barbarians

We showed the social hierarchy of medieval Europe.
History: Barbarians

We made a paper mache seax knife.
History: Barbarians

The boys each chose a famous barbarian to learn about and teach his brothers about. Adrian picked Brendan the Navigator. I remember that we saw a recreation of his boat when we went to Craggaunowen, so he used the picture I took of the boat as a visual aid in his report.
History: Barbarians

We watched a video about barbarian weapons.
History: Barbarians

Science: Climate & Seasons

The first two weeks of school we learned about Climate and Seasons using Layers of Learning, year 2 unit 1.

We read a book about how the sun makes the seasons.
Science: Climate & Seasons

We put a balloon over the mouth of a jar and placed the jar in a pan of boiling water. The heat from the water blew up the balloon.
Science: Climate & Seasons

We made a sundial.
Science: Climate & Seasons

We pulled the colors out of spinach leaves. We mashed up the spinach and then covered them in nail polish remover. We put a piece of coffee filter barely into the nail polish remover and then waited several hours. Eventually, we could see shades of green, yellow, brown, and red on the coffee filter.
Science: Climate & Seasons

Science: Climate & Seasons

We watched Bill Nye the Science Guy: Climates.
Science: Climate & Seasons

We colored maps showing climate change through ice melt, a climate map, and El Niño weather patterns.
Science: Climate & Seasons

We put one cup of water and five ice cubes in jars. We put a sandwich baggie over one jar and left both in the sun for one hour. After an hour, we checked the temperatures of the water. The jar with the baggie over it was 12 degrees warmer than the jar without, demonstrating how the greenhouse effect works.
Science: Climate & Seasons

We showed how the water moves in an El Niño by pouring very cold (dyed blue) water through a funnel into very hot (dyed red) water and then blowing warm air from a hair dryer over it.
Science: Climate & Seasons

History: Byzantine Empire

The first two weeks of school we learned about the Byzantine Empire using Layers of Learning, year 2 unit 1.

We added some people and events to our timeline.
History: Byzantine Empire

We colored a snapshot in time (500 AD) of the Byzantine Empire.
History: Byzantine Empire

The younger two boys wrote a jounrnal entry about changing names of people and places (Cameron wrote a persuasive essay about having a state church).
History: Byzantine Empire

We colored a map of Justinian’s Empire in 555 AD.
History: Byzantine Empire

We learned about The Code of Justinian.
History: Byzantine Empire

We played a game pitting Heraclius against Khosrau (Heraclius won pretty spectacularly).
History: Byzantine Empire

We played Hide the Coins.
History: Byzantine Empire

We compared the Romans and the Byzantines.
History: Byzantine Empire

Geography: Turkey

The first two weeks of school we learned about Turkey using Layers of Learning, year 2 unit 1.

We did some map work.
Geography: Turkey

We made some camels.
Geography: Turkey

We had a Turkish feast.
Geography: Turkey

We read a book of tales from Turkey.
Geography: Turkey

We colored the flag of Turkey.
Geography: Turkey

We watched a video of whirling dervishes.
Geography: Turkey

We made a bald ibis hat.
Geography: Turkey

Adrian learned about van cats and told us about them.
Geography: Turkey

Cameron showed us a PowerPoint presentation he made all about the country of Turkey.
Geography: Turkey

A Pretty Good Schedule

We struggled all of last year getting a good schedule for school. Cameron had seminary 6-6:50 am. When he got home, he’d go back to bed and wake up at some point to do all together work with his brothers. It never really worked.

This year, however, is so much better! This year, he has seminary 7:15-8:05 am. So much better. He walks to the church and back so he’s usually home by 8:15 or 8:20. While he’s at seminary I make breakfast and get the boys up for the day if necessary (they usually get up on their own before 8).

When Cameron gets home we eat breakfast while watching CNN10. Then we get to work on our all together work. During most weeks, normal 5 day weeks, we do history on Monday, geography on Tuesday, science on Wednesday, and the arts on Thursday. That makes Friday a short day. A bit of a reward for working so hard during the week.

All together work takes about 2 1/2-3 hours. The little guys have some together work Cameron doesn’t (religion and holidays). Once all of the all together work is done, they move on to their on their own work. Once they finish that, they are done for the day. So far, they’ve been finishing anywhere from 12-3:15 depending on the kid and the day.

Tuesdays and Thursdays Cameron teaches taekwondo 11-11:45. I don’t think he’ll be teaching in the mornings much longer, though, since school has started up again so most of the kids no longer attend that class so that part of our schedule may go away (or Cameron may take class himself). Sometimes the little guys take class, too. Since I have to take Cameron, Fritz works on his on his own work while I’m gone whether we’re done with all together work or not (Adrian still needs me for his on his own work so he gets a break while I am gone). Wednesdays Cameron goes to instructor training 10-12. I drop him off and pick him up, but in the middle, I work with the boys on their on their own work. All three of those days, we have lunch when we get home and then go back to work after lunch. Monday and Friday we have lunch about noon and then get back to work until they are done if necessary.

It’s nice having a good schedule for school. Even though it’s a little crazy with the three days of taekwondo stuff, it still is so much better than last year (which also included taekwondo class for all of us since for part of the year Fritz and I hadn’t gotten our black belts yet).