Thursday, April 20, 2017

Old Testament Block III: Joseph, Moses

We are finishing the Old Testament Stories and I found teaching Joseph and Moses pretty overwhelming. They are LONG and rich stories, and it seems hard to sort through and decide between all the great retellings and art ideas. I made an extensive list on my website and then found it didn't really help me too much because it had so many ideas! Jakob Streit's book is great, and it's free, but it is soooo long (for these two stories) that it would be three days apiece to tell them, and I just didn't have that much time.

So, here is what we did:


    We read Joseph, retold and illustrated by Brian Wildsmith. This introduced the story.

    We watched the second half of The Story of Jacob and Joseph.

    For artwork, I really wanted to do a coat of many colors fabric collage art piece, but I couldn't find my fat quarters so we did a collage of textured scrapbook papers instead. Happily, I had a great collection! Becca even used Sparkle Mod Podge to give it that extra special touch (make it worth killing a brother over).


    We read Brian Wildsmith's companion volume, Exodus. This introduced the story.

    The next day, we read Miriam's Cup for review.

    We made matzo pizzas (be careful with these... the fire dept. had to come to my house because they caught on fire under the broiler) and watched the 1923 silent movie version of The Ten Commandments. It was my first-ever silent movie, so I was very excited.

    Then my own daughters begged and begged me, so we also watched the 1956 version over the weekend (and we lay in bed and ate sushi because I was taking a break from using the kitchen after that fire).

    The next day, we read The Four Questions for review, and to see if the children had been paying enough attention to the story that they could figure out some of the answers to the questions -- and the symbolism of different components of the Seder -- without being told in advance. They did well!

    Finally, I read them a story about the death of Moses, The Shadow of a Flying Bird by Mordecai Gerstein, and we added Moses to our MLBs.

    For her illustration, Becca picked Moses parting the Red Sea, but if you divided this up over more days, you would obviously have more illustrations.

I did not have us do the chapter on Joshua, although I told the children about Joshua being the next leader, and that there was a long line of judges, and then we went ahead to Saul and David. I did read Streit's description of the Ark of the Covenant.

In other homeschool news from last week, we had SWI and Farm Day, as always.

We started a new Philosophy topic, Courage, and our first philosopher is Epictetus. He will take us through the end of the year, because I'm tying him in with lessons on NVC (and using The No-Fault Classroom: Tools to Resolve Conflict & Foster Relationship Intelligence). We did our Classroom Vision Statement, as well as our Group Agreements. We needle felted our aliens, Michi and Nao, and drew our iOS Power Panels. Yes, it seems a little hokey but it is a step-by-step way to teach nonviolent communication to children, so I'm willing to give it a trial run.

I came up with the tie-in with Epictetus because they have a quote from him in the margin of the No-Fault Classrom book. It was perfect! Then it wasn't like, you guys aren't getting along and we have to do something about it. It was like, let's learn about Epictetus.

Some links we used for Math Homework last week:

We decorated eggs for Easter (Sharpie dot silhouette eggs and shaving cream eggs) and made a ton of Easter baskets and I pulled an all-nighter and went to bed at 5 am trying to make Easter perfect and then proceeded to spend most of Easter Sunday either sleeping or sobbing. I stamped Zac's feet with white paint on burlap and turned it into little Easter bunnies and made one for us and one for each grandmother. I hid 500 puzzle pieces in 500 plastic Easter eggs in my yard. Then the older girls had to find all the eggs and assemble the pieces... and it was one of those puzzles which you color after you put it together, so that made it even more challenging. And, yes, one puzzle piece fell out of an egg and we never did find it and then it rained. It was an edge piece too!

We did a sweet little egg hunt with Zac. I used 20 lbs of cornmeal to draw a line in the yard, in a long windy trail, and then we hid his eggs along the line. He got 7 little hard-cooked dyed eggs. He took his little red metal pail (with two dish towels folded inside to keep the eggs from breaking when he dropped them in) and he walked along the line and found them all!

We also went on Saturday to the farm pond and got a load of pond water and tadpoles and set up an aquarium in our living room. We have an air stone bubbling away in it (the pump and tubing and air stone are leftover from the hydroponics system) and little Tadpole Observation Journals for everyone to drawn and write in (I didn't use her front cover... prefer the kids to make their own... but I liked the inside pages and having them be half-sheets). We also saw deer and raccoon tracks in the mud!

wading in the pond and watching the tadpoles

happily throwing rocks in the water

This post contains affiliate links to the materials I actually use for homeschooling. I hope you find them helpful. Thank you for your support!

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