Saturday, April 25, 2015

Egypt Unit Study - Books and Videos

This is a summary of books and videos used to study Ancient Egypt. Be sure to browse the list as only some were mentioned in earlier posts.


Books

My 13 year old loves the Royal Diary series of books. Both my 8 year old and I enjoyed reading Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile, Egypt, 57 B.C. (8.2.1999) together. The story begins just before Cleopatra and her father were exiled to Rome. Told in narrative, we learned much about Cleopatra and life during her time by reading this historical fiction book.

The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt jumps between how certain artifacts were discovered in Egypt and their significance to Ancient Egyptian history. All the while focusing on the lives of several great pharaohs. Hatshepsut, the first great woman known to history, her successor, Thutmose III, the great conqueror, and his son Ahmenhotep IV, the sun pharaoh, are described in great detail.

Tales of Ancient Egypt (Puffin Classics) is a chapter book for upper elementary children and older, which focus on the Gods and pharaohs of Ancient Egypt.

The Cat of Bubastes: A Tale of Ancient Egypt is a historical fiction book for junior high aged children and older, set in the time of Thutmose III.

Seeker of Knowledge: The Man Who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphs is a picture book perfect for small learners. It describes how the determination of a small boy led to his being the one to crack the code of hieroglyphs as an adult.

Weighing the heart against the feather of truth is the method used to determine who was telling the truth in The Winged Cat by Deborah Nourse Latimore. The illustrations in this book contain hieroglyphs and art in the traditional Egyptian style.

Punt (modern day Somalia) was a distant land the Ancient Egyptians traveled to for trade, much like Ancient China was a mystery to the Europeans. The Shipwrecked Sailor: An Egyptian Tale with Hieroglyphs based on 1800 BC hieroglyphs, describes a journey to Punt that involves shipwreck, princes and interesting foods.

Ms. Frizzle's Adventures: Ancient Egypt gives kids a good introduction to the customs of Ancient Egypt.

The Egyptian Cinderella- Rodophis was a slave girl stolen from Greece and brought to Egypt. Being a slave, her life was actually better than the lives of the servants. Very loosely based on a true story, Rodophis grew up to marry one of the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt.

Pepi and the Secret Names: Help Pepi Crack the Hieroglyphic Code introduces children to the Egyptian philosophy of the afterlife, tomb building and hieroglyphics through a fun story. This book is good for younger children. (K-3)

Videos

Great Pharaohs of Egypt - is a four part series of videos which tells the stories of many significant pharaohs.
(Nahmar, Djoser, Sneffru, Giza Pyramid Builders)

(End of Pyramid Builders, Middle Kingdom, Tutmose, Hatshepsut)

(Akhenaten)

(Ramses to Cleopatra)

Egypt- Deities and Demons
This video describes many of the Egyptian Gods and Goddesses as well as their significance.

Egypt Book of the Dead
The Egyptian Book of the Dead has a lot in common with the Bible. They are both religious texts which guide the reader to a happy afterlife. In addition to explaining the significance of the Book of the Dead, this video tells how one copy was found and preserved in the British Museum during the 1800's.

Engineering an Empire - is a video series which details great engineering accomplishments of several different historical empires. The Egypt episode describes how pyramids, obelisks and temples were constructed.


Hidden Secrets of the Great Pyramid - Revealed - In the video a new revolutionary theory for the construction technique of the Great Pyramid at Giza is described in detail. 




 
For projects associated with our unit study please visit our History Page.


Check out these great blogs full of educational activity ideas.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Switch to Interest Based Education - Update 3

As much as I admire the unschooling approach to education, I have found I'm incapable of leading a family of unschoolers. The intrinsic based motivation of interested based education has many benefits. Kids absorb so much information when they are engaged, and the philosophy of interest based education keeps kids completely engaged.

Unfortunately, I just can't get over the way the lack of desire to explore a subject can leave it completely neglected. My 13 year old daughter has little interest in science, so when left to her own, she never studies science. My 8 year old daughter doesn't like to read, and consequently never reads when left alone.

The experts in the interest based education philosophy say that kids will learn skills as they are required. Therefore, my 8 year old daughter will likely learn to read when the skill becomes necessary to her curiosity, but I doubt my 13 year old girl with ever explore science. For me this is an issue because I want my children to be capable of achieving any future goals they develop. While I believe that they will still be capable of achievement, not having exposure to certain subjects could handicap them significantly.

For example, learning a second language is a difficult skill of which most people are capable. However, experts in many fields state that kids have significant advantages when learning second languages due to the way their young brains work. I believe that kids have similar advantages when learning all kinds of other subjects as well. Therefore, by not exposing them to topics when young, they will be at a disadvantage should they decide they want to explore them as adults.

Now I know exposing children to all topics and subjects is next to impossible, but by ensuring their young education includes a wide variety of topics, I believe they will have an advantage as adults.

Therefore, I now know that I am not an unschooling parent, nor will I ever be. I am a relaxed homeschool mom incorporating principles of many different education philosophies. Last year in June I wrote about the Highhill Educational Philosophy. This post does a good job of explaining how we approach education. Although we go through phases of more and less detailed requirements, the basics still reign supreme. We typically spend between 2-3 hours per day studying reading, writing and math. The rest of the day has more variation. Sometimes we experience phases where the kids spend all their remaining time exploring their interests, other times they select things to do from a list of activities as described in the Highhill Educational Philosophy post, and other times I lead an art, science or craft project. We take clues from each other and alter our school day to create new balance whenever necessary. (usually 3 times per year).

Regardless of our weekly homeschooling detailed or undetailed schedule, whenever the kids have free time to explore their interests, they engage in quality activities. Here are a few of their recent explorations.

My son wanted to improve his drawing techniques, so he followed several tutorials in a learn to draw book.




My 8 year old wanted to try another knitting project, so together we found an appropriate project in a knitting book. She made two small coin purses. One she kept and the other she gave to her aunt for her birthday.


My 13 year old daughter worked with a local seamstress to sew dance costumes for her group. She learned proper techniques, practiced her German and was able to help complete several costumes.


She worked to master the techniques she learned from the expert retired tailor by sewing an identical costume for her stuffed bear. This bear's priceless costume took over two months to complete.


To read more about how we began exploring the unschooling approach to education and then returned to our roots, please click the links below.

Switch to Interest Based Education - Update 1
Switch to Interest Based Education - Update 2



Check out these great blogs full of educational activity ideas.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Creative Math Art for Kindergarten

We found patterns and shapes in grids.

Coloring grids can be a creative learning experience for little kids. Graph paper works well, but grids constructed from circles create a unique twist.

In the photo below it's easy to see crescents, four pointed flowers and four pointed stars. When additional straight lines are used to connect points in the grid its possible to create rectangles, squares and many more shapes.

Allowing kids free time to color shapes as they see fit helps them increase their pattern recognition skills in an enjoyable way. Here's a link from a previous post which contains this free grid.

For more creative math ideas please visit my Math Page.
Check out these great blogs full of educational activity ideas.



Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs - Necklaces

Ancient Egypt Unit Study


Lesson 6: My daughter made an Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh necklace.

The Ancient Egyptians wore make-up, jewelry, and had their own unique fashion. Just like modern day people associate the land people come from with their clothing, make-up and jewelry, so did the Ancient Egyptians. During the time of Pharaoh Thutmose III, the Egyptian army was involved in conquering foreign lands such as Nubia, Syria, and Persia. After conquering new territory valuables, livestock and slaves were brought back to Egypt, so the people were used to seeing foreigners. In addition, traders from foreign lands could be found in Ancient Egypt.

Pharaohs

From the first pyramid builders, to the temple builders, conquerors, children and women, there were many interesting pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. No Ancient Egyptian Unit study is complete without learning about a few of the great pharaohs. Djoser, Khufu, Amenhotep I, Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, Akhnaten, Tutankamen, and Ramses II are great pharaohs to start with. The following resources do a good job of highlighting significant pharaohs.

The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt is a chapter books suitable for ages 8 and up.


Great Pharaohs of Egypt - is a four part series of videos which tells the stories of many significant pharaohs.
(Nahmar, Djoser, Sneffru, Giza Pyramid Builders)

(End of Pyramid Builders, Middle Kingdom, Tutmose, Hatshepsut)

(Akhenaten)

(Ramses to Cleopatra)

Pharaoh Necklace

From Pharaohs to the poor, all Ancient Egyptians wore jewelry. A person's wealth determined the jewelry material which ranged from stone and metal to seashells. My daughter's Ancient Egyptian necklace was constructed from plastic beads and embroidery floss.

Using the procedure detailed in this beaded headdress post, beads were strung together in a geometric pattern around an initial blue bead ring.







Check out these great blogs full of educational activity ideas.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Illustrating Idioms

We illustrated a few idioms.

Saved by the Bell, Tie the Knot, and When Pigs Fly are a few phrases that will completely baffle my children. We are very literal in my house, but I have a friend who loves to speak poetically and idioms are a regular part of her vocabulary.

Like poetry, idioms are phrases in which the meaning is quite different from its appearance. It can be entertaining to guess at the meaning of idioms. Having a good understanding of idioms demonstrates a command of language often only obtainable by native speakers.

To increase our knowledge of idioms, we browsed IdiomSite.com and then choose an idiom to illustrate. Here's the results.

Put the Pedal to the Metal (Go really fast!)

Kick the Bucket (to die)

 On the Fence (working on making a decision and not convinced either option is superior)


 Learning idioms is both entertaining and a fun way to work on language skills.



Check out these great blogs full of educational activity ideas.

* I did not receive any compensation for this recommendation. I'm just a homeschooling mom who has found many products that I like. If you're interested in the products I recommend on this blog I want to make it easy for you to find them. 
** I am an Amazon associate and receive a small portion of the sales on orders made after clicking in from this site, which I promptly spend on homeschooling books and supplies for my children.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Free Web Based Computer Classes

My daughter learned to use MS Excel through Webucator.

Webucator is a company which offers several on-line courses designed to increase computer knowledge. Courses range from programming languages such as Java and HTML to using software such as Powerpoint and Access. Beginning with saving and opening files, her class started with the basics. 


The classes were created for businesses and being offered to homeschoolers for free. They are completely self-paced and her class took around 12 hours to complete. To take a Weducator class enter Homeschool in the coupon code window and the course will be free. Then complete the registration form and begin learning.


Check out these great blogs full of educational activity ideas.

* I did not receive any compensation for this recommendation. I'm just a homeschooling mom who has found many products that I like. If you're interested in the products I recommend on this blog I want to make it easy for you to find them. 
** I am an Amazon associate and receive a small portion of the sales on orders made after clicking in from this site, which I promptly spend on homeschooling books and supplies for my children. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Remote Control Amusement Park Ride

After completing all the projects in Thames & Kosmos Remote Control Machines my daughter created her own remote control devices.

The kit comes with gears, small motors, a remote control, building pieces and instructions for creating eight different remote control vehicles.

It's a wonderful gift as it makes engineering easy by providing step-by-step instructions in preparation for kids to explore on their own. This is my son's kit, but my older daughter has really enjoyed building with it as well.

At first the small hedgehog at the top fell out as his seat moved up-and-down while Hega Vega the hedgehog drove around. So the baby's seat was redesigned with a safety strap.

This vehicle served as an amusement park ride for two small hedgehogs. It could drive around while the arm spun around a center point.

Once this vehicle was complete, I encouraged my daughter to make a drawing of her design so it could be improved and rebuilt in the future.

First she made a parts list and then created several sketches to document her work.

When I worked as an engineer the drawings were always black and white.  I really like the use of color in her engineering drawings.

Here's a link to my earlier post on this remote control kit for kids.
Make Your Own Remote Control Car






 Check out these great blogs full of educational activity ideas. 

* I did not receive any compensation for this recommendation. I'm just a homeschooling mom who has found many products that I like. If you're interested in the products I recommend on this blog I want to make it easy for you to find them. 
** I am an Amazon associate and receive a small portion of the sales on orders made after clicking in from this site, which I promptly spend on homeschooling books and supplies for my children. 
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