This week we went back to normal school. Everyone was well again so we jumped straight back in. Everyday we cover grammar, spelling, handwriting, typing and Saxon Maths. These are our must dos. Fortunately, they take no time at all, maybe an hour and a half every morning. I would definitely fall on the more relaxed side of home school, by that I mean they do very few worksheets. This is the first year the children have had formal lessons with work sheets since we left ACE. This year, from January, I decided to focus on their writing skills. Whilst their writing wasn’t BAD, it wasn’t great either. I felt a more intensive effort for a few months may pay off in the long run. It has been a wise decision. The children, whilst not overly enamoured by the more formal lessons, have improved considerably. Even more important to me has been seeing their increased confidence in their writing and therefore their overall enjoyment of it.
I still ensure we do our history everyday. This is the cornerstone of our school. This week we continued with our study of Virgil. We have already studied Homer when we did Ancient Greece, so we are able to draw parallels and compare the two ‘authors’. We looked at the ways in which each one had described the cyclops and I gave them the assignment of writing a short paragraph describing cyclops in their own style. They were then to draw their description. I was very interested in their vastly different approaches. T10, a typical boy, wrote the least he could get away with and focused on the grossness of the cyclops. C9, our descriptive, verbose child, went all out and L9, who tends to be the quieter, very caring child, took an altogether different approach as you shall see.
T10 (Short but not so very sweet!!)
This ogre, a blood thirsty cannibal, has one eye which runs crimson, bloody poison. He smells of rotten flesh which dribbles (as well as his grubby saliva) from his horrid mouth and as he yawns his gruesome, grimy, infected teeth can be seen by all.
This roaring, stomping, hideous giant of a man, smelt of rotten flesh. His single, crimson, bloodshot eye stared straight at me. The ogre’s pounding heart beat echoed throughout the cave. Breathing continuous growls, the air from his mouth stunk of sweat, mingled with a tinge of sheep’s urine and stale wine. I was terrified of this giant and his hatred of humans. Alas, I was one such human and I had nowhere to run.
The poor, gruesome, one-eyed ogre hated humans and because of this he was a cannibal. The hideous beast smelt musty and dusty, he had stale breath. His ugly one eye stared at me. As if I were one of his sheep, he herded me and my men into his cave. Suddenly a noise made us jump!. He had roared! This one-eyed monster needed love but to be loved someone with courage would have to teach him to love. To tell the truth I was not that courageous. I started to run, after hearing his pounding heart beat, which chilled me to the bone (my men wet their pants!). This cyclops’ heart was as black as stone!
I do have nice children, honestly!! They enjoyed this assignment, I fear, far too much!
The rest of the week was spent looking at the elements of an epic, discussing Gilgamesh (studied during Mesopotamia), Odysseus and Aeneas.
I also, rather laboriously, read aloud ‘City’ by David Macaulay and also read Galen, which is a fictional diary of a slave during Augustus Caesar’s time. The children wrote a book review on Galen and were required to narrate most of City back to me. That would not have been one of our favourite books this year. We loved his Pyramids, but this was very in-depth and just not that interesting. As a last fun activity, I wanted them to show me that they had understood everything we had read in the City book. One of their assignments was to build a Roman city out of anything they could find. They had a list of approximately 8 things they had to include and label. They also read some instructions on how to build a Roman road and then had to draw the road in detail and label.
They did read about Roman architecture and following instructions made some arches from plasticine. They also prolonged their plasticine playing by making some Roman Mosaics. They have also continued with their Rome reading list.