Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Asian Art

On a field trip to the Asian Art Museum today with homeschooler friends, we tried out Korean-style book binding and saw lots of statues: Buddhas, Brahmas, Shivas and the dancing Simhavatra Dakini, a ferocious lion-faced guardian of Vajrayana Buddhism who wears a tiger skin around her waist, and a demon skin knotted around her shoulders.

In a hallway the children created a statue exhibit of their own:

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Role playing

The girls have been playing dog and owner for a while now. One child plays dog, another is the owner, and they act out different scenes. We wrote a bunch of words describing positive and negative personality traits on flash cards to juice it up a bit:

Each one picks a card, then they act out the behavior (i.e. sly dog, devoted owner).

The second time we did it in Finnish, English on the flip side.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ancient Egypt: books and projects

This week we have been learning about Ancient Egypt, inspired by our friend Theo in New York, who was learning about them from a book. 

We were also inspired by Theo to use some tracing paper to draw maps, and the gods and goddesses. The tracing paper has become quite popular around Sesat School, and everyone has been tracing just about everything. 

We learned to do hieroglyphics, and wrote some words (some in Finnish, such as "aurinko" - sun, and "hevonen" - horse), some of our names, and Xylitol, which may have been the official artificial sweetener of the Ancient Egyptian Gods: 

We made clay figures of Anubis, the jackal-headed god, and Bastet the cat-headed goddess. We made the pharaoh's crooked heqa-scepter and one of the girls made the longer was-scepter that was carried by both pharaohs and deities

All of the kids chose a god or goddess, and learned about their particular sphere of influence. Ma'at, the goddess of Truth; Bastet, who makes plants grow; Tawaret the pregnant hippopotamus, protector of mothers and babies; and Ra, the sun god, who is born each morning and lives his life out crossing the sky. He is also the god of revenge. 

Here are their tracings:

We also studied the Egyptian Book of the Dead and were intrigued by the weighing of the heart scene. Anubis weighs Ani's heart while he and his wife Tutu watch anxiously to see if his sins weigh more than Ma'at's ostrich feather. This spurred a discussion about being righteous vs being mean, and remarks on the concept of the afterlife.

E & E visited the Egypt exhibit at the Met with Jyri and we are teaming up with other homeschoolers for a trip to the Rosicrucian Egypt museum in San Jose soon.

We also watched the first hour of Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Rex Harrison (as Julius Caesar), and after the first half hour, one of the girls said, exasperated, "Are there going to be any girls in this movie?". We also watched a documentary on pyramids and mummies.

New workbooks!

We gave each student their own workbook on reading/writing and math and time every day before lunch to work on it if they want. So far the children have been excited to work on their books and we have agreed they can continue after lunch. Good thing there are other activities most afternoons so they don't spend the entire day just on their workbooks -- it's hard to make them stop. Here are the ones we are using.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Epic stories

A popup book version of The Odyssey that Jyri found in New York inspired a conversation about heroic deeds by Odysseus, Robin Hood, our grandparents, friends, and ourselves. 

We discussed differences between tragedy, comedy, and the epic. We talked about personal life stories and created popup books that include renditions of tragic, comic and epic/heroic events from our lives.