Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

High School Ancient History Lesson 14: Roman Society and Architecture

Watch David Macaulay's Roman City and Andrea Cirla's The Seven Wonders of Ancient Rome.

Complete the following outline using your notes

I. Social Life within the Roman Empire
     A. Roman Forum
     B. Roman Aqueducts
     C. Roman Colosseum
     D. Rome -a city of monuments
     E. Trojan's Column
     F. Roman Arches
     G.Triumphant Procession/March

High School Ancient History Lesson 13: The Empire and the Rise of Christianity

Note the supreme security that the Roman Empire achieved and within that security the emergence of the philosophy of Christianity.

I. Principate of Augustus
     A. Military Power
     B. Political and Imperial Power
     C. Social and Religious Policy
     D. Literature
     E. Political Succession

Read Res Gestae: The Accomplishments of Agustus, Augustus

II. Successors to Augustus
     A. Tiberius
     B. Caligula
     C. Claudius
     D. Nero

III. The Empire at its Height
     A. The Flavian Emperors
          1. Titus Flavius Vespasian
          2. Domitian
     B. The Five Good Emperors
          1. Nerva
          2. Trajan
          3. Hadrian
          4. Antonius Pius
          5. Marcus Aurelius (Read Meditations, Marcus Aurelius.)
     C. The Roman Empire in the Second Century
          1. Economy
          2. Provincial Government
          3. Roman Law (Read The Laws, Cicero.)

IV. The Beginnings of Christianity (Roman Perspective)
     A. Roman attitudes of gods (Read The Sermon on the Mount.)
     B. Historical Strengths of Christianity
          1. He was human.
          2. He was a demanding leader.
          3. They created support groups.
          4. There was an individual ethic.
     C. Why did Christianity succeed?
          1. Will of God
          2. Leaders of Rome not worried about Christianity


Snapshot Summary December 2018

December 2018

Our December, like most people's, was very busy.

One of Katie's sculptures that she completed for her Sculpture II class.
For various reasons I had to drive my college kids into college several days at the end of their semester, which added to my already full schedule.
A sculpture that Quentin made of Saint Nicholas, which is about an inch and a half high.
The younger boys kept busy at home with their school assignments and activities of their own creation, such as Quentin's Saints figurines series...
 or going down to the beach and taking photos.
Deer tracks on the beach.

The boys love to play games, such as this one called Churchill.

Once the college kids were out, we began our holiday season. 
(By the way, Sam received 2 A's and 2 B's and Katie received straight A's!)
Hot cocoa was served as we decorated the Christmas tree.
Like most people, we decorated the Christmas tree.

 I feel so blessed to have all of my children available for the Christmas season...

Sam is helping Alex participate in decorating the Christmas tree.
and to see how they care and help each other.

 We have a few holiday traditions. There is the annual Betterton Train Show to go to. The live Nativity and the neighborhood Caroling was unfortunately cancelled this year because of rain.
 Katie made us a kissing ball with the greenery that she and James gathered.
We had our annual cookie bake with Hope and Eddie.
We shopped for Secret Santa presents. (Since we have seven in our family, we draw names and everyone gets one present for whomever's name is drawn.)
We had Seven Fishes soup, a Christmas Eve tradition.
We opened Secret Santa presents after going to church on Christmas Eve.
We had a lovely Christmas morning...
Quentin loves his dragon bowl made for him by Katie.
and we all were blessed with Christmas presents of ceramics made by Katie.
 And then the next day we were blessed to have another Christmas with Hope and Eddie.
After having lunch together, we opened presents and then played games, had dinner and then played more games together.
We celebrated my son, James' turning 18 on the 28th.
 It was a fairly quiet New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. We all seemed to be tired this year, and although we stayed up to ring in the new year, we went to bed soon after.

2018 At A Glance

Here is a collage of our year. The months are in order, starting from the upper left with January 2018 and ending in the lower right, with December 2018.

January 2018 Painting, Twelfth Night

February 2018 Sculpture, Mardi Gras

March 2018 Magic the Gathering, Mardi Gras

April 2018 Empty Bowls, Easter

June 2018 Pippin, Steven Laid off

July 2018 Independence Day, Les Miserables

August 2018 Friendly's, Summer

September 2018 Back-to-School

October 2018 Halloween

November 2018 Beach, Thanksgiving

December 2018 Christmas

High School Ancient History Lesson 12: The Roman Revolution: The Decline of the Republic and the Rise of the Empire

Note the decline of the ideals/constitution of the res publica but the rise of the Empire and the saving of the Roman Empire.

I. Growing Problems within the Republic
     A. Large landed estates (Latifundias)
     B. Tiberius Gracchus
     C. Gaius Gracchus
     D. Gaius Marius
     E. Lucius Cornelius Sulla
     F. Pompey, Crassus and Caesar -First Triumvirate
     G. Marcus Tullius Cicero
     H. The Ides of March

II. Roman Empire
     A. Mark Anthony and Octavian
     B. The Augustan Settlement

How to Host a Successful Christmas Cookie Baking Party

One of the activities we look forward to every advent is the Cookie Baking party with our local homeschool group. It is a fun time together with friends and in the end we have a lovely assortment of Christmas cookies to share with guests for the holiday season. Since everyone picks their own recipes, we always enjoy both sharing our favorite cookies recipes and also tasting new recipes from our friends. This year we enjoyed a Banana Spice Cookie that one of the families' made that I would never have thought of making. We have done this activity for a few years now and so I would like to share with you some hints and tips that we have discovered by trial and error that might make the idea of hosting a Cookie Baking party in this busy season a little easier.

1. Place First you need to local a place to have the Cookie Bake. We hold ours at the church hall in which we meet for our co-op, but it can be done at a home. You just have to be organized so that the oven can be shared so that everyone is not needed the oven at the same time.

2. Early Sign-Ups Have a sign up in which you ask how many from each family will be participating and what cookies each family will be making. The first year we did the Cookie Bake, we had ten families sign up with multiple children in the families, and it became a bit overwhelming. If you have more than five or six families, you might want to break the Cookie Bake into two parties to prevent this. One year we only had three families participating, so we had each family prepare two recipes, instead of just one so that there would be more variety. The recipe choices should be on a first-come, first-served-type basis, which means that if someone signs up to make chocolate chip cookies, for example, then the later people who sign up cannot also sign up to make chocolate chip cookies. 

3. What Cookie Should I Make? The bigger the variety of cookies, the better, so have each member look over the list so far when their family signs up, and choose a cookie that is different from the rest. Make sure that the recipe you choose makes enough cookies. Also, make sure you check the amount of cookies the recipe makes. The rule of thumb is that the recipe should make enough for the family that is making it can take home one dozen, and the other families can take a half-dozen, (with a few leftover for mistakes and for tasting for those kids who are unable to wait). This can be changed, however, to suit the needs of your group as long as everyone knows what the amount your group has chosen for each family to make.

3. Share the Responsibility Each family is responsible for purchasing and bringing everything that their cookie of choice needs to be made. Often times this means bowls, spatulas, baking sheets, cooling racks and the like.

3. The Choice of Cookies There never seems to be enough ovens to be able to bake the cookies all at the same time, but there are ways of making the baking times staggered.
  • Make up some of the cookie dough at home before you come so that some of the cookies will be ready to bake as soon as you get to the Cookie Bake. Doughs that have to be chilled, such as Slice and Bake, (such as Pinwheels) or no-bake cookies (such as Chocolate-Peanut Butter Oatmeal No Bake Cookies) are natural choices, but just about any cookie recipe can be made in advance and transported as dough.
  • Choose cookies that have alternative ways of cooking such as Welch Cookies, which uses an electric skillet for cooking rather than an oven.
  • Cookies that need to be rolled out, such a Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs or Gingerbread Men, take a little longer to be ready to bake and so are also a good recipe to stagger the cooking times. They also can be decorated (don't forget to bring the materials for that as well) once they come out of the oven, while other cookies are baking. If you decide to include decorating at the party, make sure you either have only older kids and adults decorating or lay something under the table to catch the mess for an easier clean-up. The first year we didn't do this and we were sorry.

4. Alternative Activities You might want to provide activities for the participants that have finished making their cookies or are waiting to use the oven(s), especially if you have younger children participating. A small craft project, have some games in mind, some coloring pages and crayons or a Christmas movie are some ideas for simple alternative activities. If possible, do not have very young children come, or have an older child or one of the adults plan to watch over or babysit the young children to keep them safe and not under foot.

5. Another Nice Touch You may want to ask each family to make copies of the recipes they are making and give them to each family participating so they can make them again if they like the cookie.
6. Cookie Tins Each family will need to bring cookie tins, plastic containers or bags to bring home the cookies in. Make sure you bring plenty, as it takes more than you might expect and you don't want to come up short.

Building Traditions and Memories I hope these tips and tricks will help you if you decide to host a Cookie Baking Party. If you have any more, please add your hint in the comments. Remember, a Cookie Baking Party isn't as hard as it might sound, and like I said, it is one of the Christmas traditions that my kids look forward to.

Good recipes for a Cookie Bake:

Do you have any favorite Christmas cookies recipes that would be good for a Cookie Bake Party?

Originally posted 12/7/16

High School Ancient History Lesson 11: The Grandeur That was Rome

Note that security is again the major goal of the Romans -security achieved with the ideals/constitution of the Roman res publica.

Complete the following outline using your notes.

I. Origins of Rome
     A. Dorians
     B. Etruscans
     C. Brutus the Liberator
     D. Res Publica
     E. The Roman Senate
     F. Consuls, "The history of Rome is the history of the ruling class."
     G. Plebians

II. Territorial Expansion
           A. Punic Wars

Hands-on Algebra: Polynomials

Just as we used tiles and cubes to learn basic math, we can use them for more advanced math.
For this lesson, you will need to have three sizes of tiles in two colors to represent tiles and their opposites. 
Notice that these are not perfect or measured exactly. How neat and perfect they are does not matter for older students. They get the idea. All you need is two colors of paper and it will just take a few minutes to cut out what you need. You do not need to spend anything on this as you can use whatever you have around the house and hands-on math should not take you much time to prepare.
Now here are the rules to this game:
  • Each tile has an opposite. For this post, white is positive and yellow is negative. It doesn't matter what colors you use, just so it is clear which is which. 
  • A zero-pair is formed by pairing one tile with its opposite. 
  • You can remove or add zero-pairs without changing the value of the polynomial. 
  • Like terms are represented by tiles that are the same shape and size.

Demonstrate how to use the tiles to show each monomial or polynomial.
 Start with 3x to the second power (sorry I don't have any superscript).
 Then demonstrate x to the second power - 2d.
Your student should now be able to do 
2x to the second power + x - 2.

Now use algebra tiles to simplify 2x to the second power + x to the second power + 2x.

Now combine like terms. In its simplest form, 2x to the second power = x to the second power= 2x = 3x to the second power + 2x.

Now use algebra tiles to simplify 3x + 2 - 5x +1. Rearrange the tiles so that like terms are next to each other.
Form zero-pairs, and then remove all zero-pairs.
In its simplest form, 3x + 2 - 5x +1 = 2x + 3.

Math Journal Activities

Now your student should be able to model and simplify any monomial or polynomial that you give him. He can even make up his own problems to solve in his math journal. For some of them, have him sketch a drawing to show how he got his answer. He could also include in his journal a sentence or two to explain how subtracting polynomials is related to adding polynomials.