Saturday, January 26, 2013

Slowly Trekking Along

The boys and I have been parked in Egypt for quite a while. We began our history study this year back at creation and have s-l-o-w-l-y crept up to 1200 B.C. It's been a journey, for sure. And, since we're not working against the constraints of a calendar, I've been a-okay to take our time. 

We've sidetracked to learn more about pyramids, pharaohs, and the Nile River. We've also had fun figuring out where biblical characters like Isaac, Joseph, Moses, and Joshua fit in the scheme of all this. 
Simply Bible stories? Nope - we've connected the dots to see that the people we read about in the Bible were real people who did real things for God that had a real impact on history and as a result, even a real impact on some of the political and social events happening today.

And, there is nothing more satisfying (and cuter) than listening to Micah talk about Mesopotamia, Jubal and Tubal Cain, and the process of mummification.  
The other day we reached the end of our time in Egypt, for the most part, and are now going to start exploring Greece and the Roman Empire. To celebrate, we made a sheet cake and decorated it to look like - wait for it - Egypt!

Blue frosting for the water and yellow frosting for the desert. Then, the boys labeled key places in Egypt that we've studied: the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Nile River, the Valley of the Kings, Cairo, and Giza.  While it was fun to decorate and label our cake, it was especially fun to choose what part of Egypt we wanted to eat. "Mom, can I have a piece of the Nile River and a piece of the Valley of the Kings?" Sure - coming right up!
Our first historical stop since leaving Egypt was to read the Legend of the Trojan Horse. Grady Lee was quite captivated by the story and thinks that "even though it's a legend, because it has a lot of real history in it, it might have been for real and really happened!" Maybe, just maybe.

Rather than use fancy scrapbook paper and jewel stickers to make our horse look rich and bedazzled, I opted to use, ahem, bandage gauze. The boys wrapped up the only horse we own, thanks to Annalyes's pink ride-on Fisher Price toy. I don't think the boys cared that the gauze wasn't decorative and rich-looking; they just enjoyed wrapping and wrapping and wrapping up the pink horse.
Once our horse was wrapped, the boys gathered their plastic army men to hide in the horse. Since we read that 30 soldiers hid in the belly of the horse, Grady Lee was quick to note that "me and Micah need to have 15 soldiers each because 15 plus 15 equals 30." Whew! He is coming along in math after all - that is not his strong area.
With army men sort-of hidden in the horse, the boys got busy building the walls around the City of Troy. When the city was built, they used stealth-like motion to release their soldiers from the horse, ram the city walls, and "shoot arrows with fiery darts over the walls." In about three seconds the walls were knocked over, the city was in ruin, and the beautiful  Helen, wife of the King of Sparta, was captured and returned to her husband. Quickest battle ever. Cleanest battle, too.
The remains of the Trojan Horse were hardly picked up, when the boys were asking what happened next in history and what fun project we were going to do to. I told that we were going to read about Ruth and Naomi and Gideon and learn why they were important people in history. Micah piped up and exclaimed, "Hey! I heard about those people in my Bible stories before! And now we get to learn about them in history, too? They must be very important." So true, little Buddy, so true.

And, I'm so happy we get to learn all this together - with books, with toys, with food, with actions, and with whatever else will help you learn and remember and retain so that you can, with your own words, explain why the Bible is the beginning of history and the reason for all of history yet to come.


  1. What a GREAT teacher you are. I'd love learning all about Egypt too...especially if it involved CAKE!!!

  2. This post just makes my heart happy!! You are totally amazing as a teacher & a mom, WOW! I love the way you are making this come alive to your children & weaving all of history along with one beautiful thread! And I am so impressed at ALL of the time & work you put into purposefully planning & creating all this fun (ahem, learning!!) for your kids!! My girls were reading this post with me & both were very envious of your home school! What wonderful, godly scholars you are raising!!