Sunday, October 27, 2013

Week 9: In Which we Define Normal and Enjoy the Classics

This week was about as normal as we get around here, which isn't saying much about the meaning of "normal." We did our school work, got in our usual CrossFit WODs and had a wonderful afternoon of art and listening to Black Ships Before Troy in anticipation of our study of Ancient Greeks, The Iliad, and The Odyssey. (I have also been listening to the Great Courses presentation on the Iliad, and plan to listen to the one on The Odyssey as well.)

I have linked above to the Audible resources I am currently using. I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to a modern, unabridged translation of the Iliad. Sadly, in my own educational journey I have missed out on the depth and intricacies of Greek mythology. I never really enjoyed it, so I did only what I was obligated to do in school and skipped the rest. Now however, I am seeing it through the eyes of my son, who has always been fascinated with Ancient Greeks, their mythology and history. He has no fear of the classics and has embraced them with the energy and enthusiasm that every kid has for thrilling tales of heroism, monsters, and adventures in which the heroes defeat the monsters! On another level, I am cashing in on my graduate work in intercultural studies and understanding how the Greeks as a people understood life, the gods, and the concept of fate. All synapses are firing, here, and we are thoroughly engrossed.

One of the beautiful things about Audible is that I can enjoy being read to, right along with the kids. There is such value in reading aloud, but I have to confess, I do not always enjoy doing it. While we listened the other day to Black Ships Before Troy we did art! We all enjoyed the story and painted at the same time. It was wonderfully theraputic for me, as the week had been very busy--I had needed a day at home to just focus on lessons and the kids. At the end of the day, I was so happy to have had that time with them.

We are approaching week 9 and the end of the first unit of Tapestry of Grace Year 1. We have learned quite a lot about ancient Egypt and the beginnings of ancient Israel, had some very good discussions about the origins of our own faith, and have even gotten crafty with clay and lap books.

Molly completed a lap book displaying different gods of Egypt and the 10 plagues that God sent upon the Egyptians. While it would be impossible to examine all the different gods of Egypt, we chose 10 of them, discussed what they represented, and talked about how God undermined them through miraculous plagues designed to influence the pharaoh to let the Israelite slaves free to exit his land.
Molly's lap book on the ten plagues
The older dialectic students are working on models of the tabernacle, following discussion of the Israelites' wanderings in the wilderness. This has brought on interesting discussions of what it means to worship a holy God and what he expects from those who follow him.
building the tabernacle model
In non-academic news, I cannot resist the urge to brag a bit on my son. He and I entered a competition series at our CrossFit box in which we will do a different "classic" CrossFit WOD every Friday evening for the next four weeks. Everyone was welcome to participate, so he decided to do it with me. This week we did "Helen": 3 rounds for time, 400 m run, 21 kettlebell swings, and 12 pull-ups. Matt completed all of that in 12:45, WON the men's scaled competition and got 20 bucks for it! Booyah!

I on the other hand did not win, but I am okay with that. I had hoped to complete Helen in under 18 minutes and preferably in 15, and my time was 15:28, so I met my goal.

"Band of brothers" except they are sistahs...
This is me with three of my dear CF buddies who completed the WOD with me. The blur at the bottom is my son, attempting to photo-bomb the picture!

After the fun of Helen, friends from CF came over and celebrated our one-year anniversary of CF with us. It was a perfect night for chili, hot dogs, s'mores and a fire in the fire pit. The kids ran around outside and the adults wisely stayed inside and enjoyed some good laughs.

Saturday evening we went to Belvedere Plantation and enjoyed another bonfire, more s'mores, and lots of harvest-fest activities, not the least of which were pig races. I've never seen such a cute and funny event--little piggies running around a track, jumping over, running around, or crawling under little jumps. The kids enjoyed zip lines, giant slides, corn mazes and running around together.
All in all it was a busy, fun, exhausting "normal" week! Today we are resting and recovering from all the activities and late nights.


  1. It sounds like a fantastic week! You know, I've been homeschooling 14 years and we've never done a lap book. Shame on me!

    1. Cheryl, Thanks for stopping by! No shame for not having done lap books...and it's never too late to start! I really enjoy doing them, but we do them slowly and over a period of time so that they don't feel too overwhelming. We worked on this one for about 4 weeks, adding a little bit more each week.


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