Tuesday, January 29, 2013

SOTW: Phoenician Traders

Today we stared chapter 15 of The Story of the World. If you don't know about SOTW, it is a chronological story of the world, with the first volume (1 of 4) starting with the nomads who roamed the fertile crescent and ending with the fall of Rome. We absolutely love this book and it has made history our favorite subject. This chapter is about Phoenician traders. It talks about how they were the best sailors of their time and how they were amazing glass makers. SOTW also has an accompanying activity book which I highly recommend. It really helps kids (and adults) to visualize the lessons and they seem to stick better. We did a project where we made "glass" with some wax paper, crayon shavings (primary colors, which went well with our primary colors lesson from last week), some string (apparently the Phoenicians were famous for adding string to their glass), and some newspaper.

First step was to evenly distribute the crayon shavings, leaving a little bit of space around the outside.

We had to use some paper bags which worked fine. I also used a towel on top because ironing paper just seems a little dangerous to me ;)

 We chose to make a vase shape since some of the images we looked up online were of beautiful glass vases. The mixing of the primary colors was really neat and we sat for awhile and picked out all of the different colors and discussed which colors mixed to make them. We also watched this YouTube video (subtitled) about people still making glass in the Phoenician style.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Homeschool Ideas: Primary Colors Potions Class (Muahahahaha!)

I remember mixing glasses of colored water together to make new colors when I was young. It was super fun and I wanted to do it with my kids. My son was the one who made me think of it today when he asked me if he could mix potions. I though this would be the perfect opportunity to bust out the primary colors reference. We had made a primary color superhero using Mrs. Brown's tutorial here earlier in the week so it just worked out perfect (love when that happens!).

I probably could have spent more time on finding "potionish" bottles, but I don't like to put a lot of effort into something that is going to be a pain to clean up anyways. Sure, sure, I could have found a larger something or other to do the activity on to make clean up easier, but where is the fun in that?
The kids had lots of fun. This was the perfect opportunity for W (who is 7 and a gentlemen of wordly knowledge who "already knows how to mix primary colors into other colors mom!") to show his sister how primary colors mix. He seemed to have the situation under control so I went and took a nap (just kidding! I wish! Maybe next year.).

I don't have to spell this one out for you do I? I actually didn't think of this until W asked if there was a way to make his potion bubbly. Hell yes there is son (calm down, I didn't say that to him. I just thought it.). By the way...the picture below IS going to happen.
On a serious note, I really want to try to do more hands on things with my kids. I was so obsessed with the fact that every activity had to have proof that we did it (otherwise known as the oh so loved worksheet), that I have succeeded in making schooling something of a hated activity. I might even stop calling it homeschool and call it "learning games time kids!!!!". Boo Ya.