Monday was Columbus Day. Bugga wanted to know why they didn't call it Christopher Day. :D We read the D'Aulaire book about Columbus. It's a fabulous read. Even I learned stuff I never knew!
Later we combined FHE (Family Home Evening) with homeschool and read in the Book of Mormon where Nephi describes his vision of Christopher Columbus:
1 Nephi 13: 10-15For our FHE activity we made little models of the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, using an egg carton, paint, Playdough, toothpicks, construction paper, and glue. The boys had a great time, but I learned how tedious sail construction is! :D
10 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld many waters; and they divided the Gentiles from the seed of my brethren.
11 And it came to pass that the angel said unto me: Behold the wrath of God is upon the seed of they brethren.
12 And I looked and beheld a man [Christopher Columbus] among the Gentiles, who was separated by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.
13 And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles [pilgrims]; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters.
14 And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles upon the land of promise [colonization of America]; and I beheld the wrath of God, that it was upon the seed of my brethren; and they were scattered before the Gentiles and were smitten.
15 And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain.
We broke into our Halloween candy supply for our FHE treat and closed the evening singing Listen, Listen from the LDS Children's Songbook to remind the kids to always listen to the still, small voice of the Spirit, just like Columbus did. Bugga gave our closing prayer and thanked Heavenly Father for the candy he got to eat. Buddha, my little food mentor, refused the candy and ate a fruit leather instead (more on this phenomenon later).
Tuesday we continued our Columbus exploration (Since the exact date of his first landing in the New World was October 12, 1492, after all.) with a ValueTales read aloud, a new song to remember the little poem "In fourteen hundred and ninety two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue," and a popcorn-supplemented Christopher Columbus movie moment courtesy of Living Scriptures' Animated Hero Classics. The boys also played with their model ships they made the night before, outfitting them with Lego captains and crews and sailing them across their world meal placemats. :D
Wednesday we had an unschooling moment resulting in the wonderful chaos and mayhem of unscripted play and learning. In other words, I let the kids do whatever they wanted with our homeschool manipulatives and they came up with an epic mess of creativity and innovation, blending pattern practice and math units with Lego citizens and daring rescues. It was quite inspiring.
Thursday we went ahead and threw structure to the wind, scrapping our Astronomy altogether and declaring this week's learning to be a mini unit focused on Christopher Columbus. Thanks to some timely purchases and a very generous Grandpa (My dad allowed me to borrow a TON of their awesome books that I remember reading as a kid!), we have a lot of material to facilitate this brief obsession with the legendary explorer (such as, The Story of Columbus Reader). One of the items we used on this particular day was a dramatized story-telling of the life of Christopher Columbus from Living Principles of America. (This was also purchased from Living Scriptures - have I mentioned that I LOVE their stuff? No? Hm. Well, I do.) At three years old, I didn't expect the Buggster to sit still through this. And he didn't. But he did grab his Lego men and crawl around on the floor next to the computer, playing while listening. Every now and then I would hear him repeat something from the CD/story as if one Lego man was telling it to another, so I knew he was paying attention in his own busy way. :D Buddha, however, sat on the rocking chair next to the computer the whole time and even asked questions when he didn't understand something. I have decided that I'm a huge fan of dramatized storytellings on CD.
Friday we read I, Christopher Columbus, then worked on our world map for Geography, filling in the country names as we sang the songs from Geography Songs (we LOVE this CD and highly recommend it). We also read another account of Christopher Columbus from A Child's History of the World. It was short and sweet. And after that, we read yet another Columbus book called You Wouldn't Want to Sail with Christopher Columbus! It's a funny book all about the hardships of ocean travel way back in the day. The Chief stayed home to make sure our patio cover was put up properly the second time around (yes, they actually had to rip down the first one because the hole for the fan was not centered). He and Bugga played cards, putting three-letter words together by matching up the pictures. And Buddha did a math page that used the sums of his problems as a key for spelling out Columbus-related words. It was a low-key day as we sat about waiting for the great backyard invasion to be finished.
This blog post is linked to What My Child is Reading, Kids Get Crafty, Preschool Corner, Show and Tell Kids' Crafts, and Tot Tuesday.