Personal timelines

What started out as a simple idea somehow turned into an entire mini-unit study, oh well, on the plus side we had fun and the girls have timelines of themselves they can keep.  My 4yo especially treasures hers and I am thinking I may need to cover it for protection as she reads and admires it multiple times a day. The 6yo is only half way through hers (so no end result pics yet), guess there are some disadvantages to being older lol.

 

So here are their prized timelines (obviously I did the one for my 15 month old although she did her own drawing).

Our baby:

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The 4yo

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And last but not least, the 6yo

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This started out as an accompaniment to out week 1 studies using Story of the World as an introduction to the concept of a timeline however it evolved into so much more in the end but I am so glad it did, the girls are just thrilled with the results. This project worked great as an introduction to timelines but would be fun as a stand alone project or as part of a learning about me unit.  If anyone wants to make their own timeline I have included a printable here: personal timeline unit  Enjoy!

Story of the World – week 1

After years of researching, planning and admiring plenty of blogs on the topic we have finally begun our journey through world history, starting with ancient times. I cannot tell you who is more excited, myself or the kids, but lets just say we are all very eager to get stuck in to this fascinating topic.

We are using Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer as our spine along with the accompanying Activity Guide and will also be frequently referring to The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History and The Kingfisher Atlas of World History (this is really a gorgeous book).

This week in addition to our reading we completed an archaeological dig in the garden, made up the first history pocket “What is History?” using {this} book and the girls each made a pictorial timeline of their lives, post and printable to follow: find them HERE.

Working on their history pockets:

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This has been a really fun week and a great introduction to history and archaeology. You can download my plan for this week here: Introduction

Junior archaeologists

What is the best thing about homeschooling?

While I definitely do not have the answer, having the chance to become a junior archaeologist in your own back garden for the afternoon must be a serious contender right? Well I would like to think so at any rate.

So here is how to do it.

First find an old plate, smash it and bury the pieces in a plastic tub (or straight in the ground if you desire). Keep smashing and burying until each kid has their own archaeological site to explore.

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Then let your very excited kidlets lose to dig up the pieces.

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Don’t forget to warn them about sharp edges (and then promptly ensure you cut yourself on one just to prove your point).

After all the pieces are found it is time to start trying to reassemble the plate.  Note it is helpful to count the number of pieces you bury so you actually know when they are all found, if only I had remembered that when it came time to smash plate #2, sigh. Glue the pieces back together if possible (ie if you did not get too carried away with the plate smashing, there was no gluing plate #2 together again oops).

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And finally, stand back and admire your hard work!

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These activities were done as part of the first week of our Ancient history study using Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer. This week we have read the introduction and learned about the definition of history and archaeology.

The start of a new term and beginning science.

I can finally do a post about our current exploits instead of backdating to last term, yay! And in even more exciting news, we have finally started with our new curriculum, woohoo!!! (we have all been eager to start for months now).  Our new additions this term are science and ancient history and I cannot tell you how excited we are are to finally be starting on these subjects.

For science we have chosen R.E.A.L Science Odyssey Life level 1 (RSO life, details are at their website HERE). So far we have done both labs in unit 1 and have spent the week learning about living vs non-living things.  This has been a huge hit so far with “when can we do science?” being one of the most commonly heard phrases  over the entire week (right up there with “Mummy, I’m hungry!”). This week we have learned about the conditions required for something to be considered living and have applied this knowledge to observations in nature.

Doing a plot study:

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This has been an immensely successful first week of science.  Although the girls already had a good grasp of whether something should be classified as living or non-living they are now better able to define why.

Bring on next week I say, anyone for edible cell models?

Prehistory week 2: fossils and the Precambrian and Cambrian Eras

This week was as fun and action packed as the last.  We spent the first half of the week learning what fossils are and how they are formed. Then we proceeded to make our own “imprint fossils” using air dry clay and shells the girls collected themselves from the beach over the weekend. They had a blast and were very proud of their efforts.

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The girls also greatly enjoyed some online games about dinosaur fossils HERE and HERE.

The second half of this week was spent studying the Precambrian and Cambrian eras.  We learned about the first cells, simple organisms, and did some wonderful crafts with a friend for our first weekly history craft day.

Precambrian critters, who knew they were so adorable!

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And little trilobites, just too cute!

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Inspiration for these activities came from these two amazing blogs:

Teaching Stars

Satori Smiles

We have also been working hard on a term long project (started last week) which once completed will form a visual timeline of prehistory.  The inspiration (and headings) came from HERE however this is mostly our own creation.  We are doing one lapbook (one side of a manilla folder only) per prehistoric period, 13 sections in all.

Here are the first 3 installments in this epic project:

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This is going to look amazing all together!

What a great week we have had, I just love homeschooling!

Prehistory week 1: what is prehistory and the beginning of the earth

We began our school year with a bang this year, learning about the big bang!  This first week of school we learned about when and how the earth was formed and what it was like on earth in the beginning.

First we explored what a timeline is then made our own timeline of prehistory to scale.

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Note the huge long timeline and humans appear only in the last millimeter! This was an immensely successful activity and really impressed upon us all the immense expanse of time covered by prehistory and how long it has taken for life as we know it to evolve.  I am hoping to repeat this activity after all our other prehistory studies are concluded.

The next few days were spent learning about the big bang followed by what the earth was like in the beginning.  We learned about continent drift, fold mountain formation, how the earth was hot and dry with many volcanoes and briefly touched on evolution.

Continent drift:

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One large (and not terribly accurate) supercontinent or Pangaea.

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The Pangaea breaks apart and the continents drift away from each other due to changes in the Earth’s crust. See HERE for a way more accurate (but far less fun) animation demonstrating this.

Then onto fold mountains:

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Fold mountains are formed as a result of the compression of two tectonic plates (or 2 cute kidlets)

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Our “mountain” showing folds in the layers.

And finally volcanoes! What kid does not love making a volcano!

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They were a bit very skeptical at first that this activity would be worth doing but I think I convinced them in the end that it would be fun judging by their faces.

What a great first week, homeschooling is such fun!