Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal

April 22-28, 2016, Snapshot Summary: The Kitchen Remodel Begins

Kitchen Remodel: Before

When we bought our 100+ year old house 15 years ago, the kitchen was in desperate need of remodeling, but we never seemed to have the money to do it, and busy life just got in the way. Last year we decided that we couldn't put it off any longer. The linoleum's surface was long gone and there was even patches in which the surface was off completely. The lemon yellow counters and ugly wallpaper was in long need of being replaced. The cabinets were so old that the doors had been re-screwed in place so many times, that they couldn't be screwed up again and had to be taken off. The refrigerator, which we hastily replaced when the one before died suddenly, was way too small for our large family and the ceiling, which had been a drop ceiling needed to be replaced. We took it down in preparation to replace it, but we never got around to it, so the beams, along with the pipes and electrical work has been exposed all these years. Basically, the entire kitchen needed to be re-done from the walls, floor and ceiling, in. 
I set up the microwave, the crockpot, coffeepot and paper products in the dining room to use during these next few weeks.

Kitchen Remodel
Week One
The first week they ripped out the old cabinets and counters. They moved out the stove, refrigerator and freezer. The fridge and freezer will stay on our laundry room porch even after the remodel is completed. They moved the stove, so that it inconveniently, blocked the doorway into the dining room, which meant we struggled to get into the room. All my plans for surviving this week went down the drain and so we ended up eating out a lot.
They put down the linoleum, but the foreman was not here that day and so it ended up with a ton of bubbles. This means it has to be entirely redone. Hopefully this coming week will be a little easier.

How was your week?

April 15-21, 2016, Our Homeschool Weekly Report, days 115-119 and Snapshot Summary

April 15-21, 2016

The kitchen remodel starts next week, so we have been packing up the kitchen and preparing crockpot meals to eat while the remodel is going on. James is still working on his research paper and I will post about the steps he is taking as soon as things settle down here. We are still studying the crusades but will be finishing that up soon. We finished up co-op this week. One of Katie's friends was just diagnosed with cancer (at age 24) and so Katie is making her 1000 paper cranes and saying a prayer as she makes each one. She sent her the first box of them this week. I will update you on our crazy life during kitchen remodel next week. Meanwhile, how was your week?

History in Action: The Fourth Crusade


The Fourth Crusade is perhaps the most misunderstood of all the crusades and is frequently used to discredit both the Crusades in specific and the Church in general. The goal of this crusade was, like most of the crusades, to win back the holy city of Jerusalem. 


Let's review what we have learned so far. Jerusalem was conquered by Islamic armies in the 7th century. It was regained for Christendom by the First Crusade in 1099. In 1187, during the Second Crusade, Jerusalem fell to the Muslim Saladin.  The Third Crusade (1189-92) was another recovery attempt, but ended in a stalemate. 

The strategy of Fourth Crusade was to strike at Egypt, the base of Muslim power. It was conceived in 1199 at a jousting tournament in northern France where knights and barons swore solemn oaths to go as armed pilgrims to gain the land back from the Muslims. Rather than wear out their army by a long land march through hostile territory, the leaders decided to reach Egypt by sea. 

A delegation of knights went to Venice, the leading seafaring city of Western Europe, to arrange for passage. Venice agreed that they would provide transport ships, crews and a year’s provisions for a total of 33,500 men and 4,500 horses, in return for a half-share of all conquests. 


During the late spring of 1202, the crusaders began to gather at Venice. By the intended departure date their host totaled some 10,000 men, far short of the 33,500 planned for, and too few to provide the agreed upon charter fee. The Venetians had suspended their regular commerce to build and equip an immense fleet. Now they demanded that the crusaders hold up their end of the deal: 84,000 marks, or no crusade. The Fourth Crusade seemed on the point of collapse. Then the Venetians made the offer would suspend the unpaid balance of the transport charge in return for assistance in conquering the city of Zara, a Hungarian-owned port on the Adriatic coast. The crusaders were split on this matter, some feeling that it was an unholy act of war against fellow Christians, but others saw no choice if the crusade was to go forward. Although many knights deserted, in the end, most were persuaded to proceed. On November 10, the fleet reached Zara, which surrendered after a 14-day siege. Pope Innocent III excommunicated the Venetians and threatened to excommunicate the entire crusade. The crusaders set up winter quarters at Zara, as it was too late in the season to go on. There, the leaders met with Prince Alexius, who was the teen-aged son of the deposed Byzantine Emperor Isaac II escaped from captivity in Constantinople. The relations between Byzantines and Western Christians had deteriorated steadily through the century of the crusades, over which they were often at odds. From a Western viewpoint, an emperor who owed his throne to crusaders might be more cooperative. And so, the new plan was that the crusaders would stop at Constantinople on their way to Egypt, overthrow the usurper and put the young Alexius on the imperial throne. In return for the crusaders’ aid, he promised to pay off their debt to the Venetians and lead a Byzantine army in the proposed assault on Egypt. 

In the spring of 1203, the crusade set out from Zara to the city of Constantinople (today’s Istanbul, Turkey). Constantinople withstood two epic sieges by the Muslim Arabs, from 673 to 678 and in 717, and other sieges by Avars, Bulgars and Russian Vikings so they were prepared for a seige both in terms of fortifications an in terms of the strong Byzantine army. However, the crusaders attacked both my land and sea, the Venetians against the harbor wall and the French against the north end of the land wall. The Venetians, once they were successful in their assault from floating siege towers, advanced to the shores set fire to the buildings, and driven by the wind, the fire then burned much of the city. The French attack on the land wall did not go as well. Word of the French peril reached the Venetians and so their soliders were redeploy in support of their allies. Constantnople, as a compromise, agreed to let young Alexius be crowned beside his father as Emperor. The crusaders agreed. It was, by this time, too late in the season to go on, but the crusaders looked forward to receiving supplies and Byzantine reinforcements. Come spring they could sail on to Egypt and retake the Holy Land.

Young Alexius, however, could not keep the grand promises he had made, as the imperial treasury was empty. The relationship between the Byzantines and the crusaders grew steadily worse. The throne was taken over by noble adviser, who kicked out the intruders and took steps to defend the city. He also took offensive measures, launched a fireship attack against the Venetian fleet.

The crusaders resolved to conquer the city and take the entire Byzantine Empire for themselves. The French were persuaded to join them in another amphibious attempt. After several hours and no success, the crusaders were forced back, and the fleet retired. 


They regrouped and attacked again. This time Constantinople suffered a thorough and ruthless sack. While the French knights and men-at-arms went on a drunken rampage, the Venetians set to work like seasoned professional thieves, scooping up the best of the fallen city’s treasures. 

Sources and Resources:


April 8-14, 2016, Our Homeschool Weekly Report, days 110-114

April 8-14, 2016
I am sorry that I have neglected this blog lately, but life has kind of exploded on us. Sam is still working on his driver's licence, which has been nice because he is driving us everywhere we need to go now. We did our usual activities such as co-op classes and James' anxiety therapy. Katie and James put in the garden. This year they are just doing an herb and flower garden because it is lower maintenance. It was wise considering our schedule as of late. The play's performance is rapidly approaching so we are busy with preparations for that. We have put off the graduation ceremony until June, but we are making preparations for that as well. We are working on getting James into a dual enrollment at a technical college (Delaware Technical College) for next year, and joining a homeschool co-op in Delaware (Saint Sophia Academy) in the process. Katie is looking forward to starting her college classes in June (at Chesapeake Community College). Sam is studying for the SAT's as he wants to go to Saint John's college in Annapolis. Quentin is looking forward to his summer acting camp (at Garfield Theater, Chestertown) in July. While all of this is going on, we are packing up our kitchen in preparation for a total kitchen remodel.
days 110-114
 We are still doing some schoolwork, but it is here and there, when we can fit it in, and I don't have any posts on it yet. I will be posting about all of that once things settle down a little bit, and so I imagine that there will be a sudden burst of posting. There will be a bit of a backlog as we are doing some interesting studies right now.

How was your week?

History in Action: The Children's Crusade

The Children's Crusade was two groups of youths, one led by Nicholas of Rhineland and began in Germany. The other was led by Stephen of Cloyes and began in France. It was never endorsed by the church and was an unsuccessful campaign and most of the children were sold in slavery. 

April 1-7, 2016, Our Weekly Homeschool Report, days 105-109

We enjoyed a game night with friends, dinner out with a friend and went to our co-op. We went to doctors and dentist appointments. We worked on arrangements for our graduation ceremony and for our dinner theater production.

days 105-109


We learned about the Third Crusade.
We checked our understanding of Newton's First Law of Motion and then went on to look at Newton's Second Law of Motion. (post coming)
We experimented with building a cork shooter.
We rehearsed our play.

The Reluctant Writer's Research Paper

James started a paper on wasps. Since he is a reluctant writer, we are taking this slowly, breaking down the process into small increments. On the first day, I just assigned him the task of picking a topic that he really would enjoy researching and writing about that could be divided into four parts. I gave him examples using the topics we have been studing -four of the most famous crusades or Newton's Laws (Three laws of motion and his Universal  Law of Gravity). He chose four kinds of wasps. He is particularly interested in the different ways they build their homes, although the specifics of the topic might change once he does some research. On the second day, we ordered books from the library's interlibrary loan system since our library did not have any books on this topic on their shelves. Yes, it is a tiny library. He cannow take a break from this project until the books come in. Meanwhile, we will work on a unit on Chaucer as well as continued work on Midsummer Night's Dream.


Sources and Resources:



How was your week?

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Beginning Latin Grammar, Lesson 17: The Second Declension

Latin Grammar for iPad and iPhone
"I would make them all learn English;
and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honour, and Greek as a treat." --Sir Winston Churchill

If your students need to review English grammar before introducing Latin Grammar, go to Simple Grammar.

Previous Lessons in the series:
Lesson 1: Latin Nouns
Lesson 5: Present Tense
Lesson 6: The Infinitive
Lesson 7: Review
Lesson 8 Direct Object
Lesson 9: Predicate Nouns
Lesson 10: Review and Vocabulary
Lesson 11: Possessives
Lesson 12: Appositives
Lesson 13: Review
Lesson 14: Prepositions
 Lesson 15: Indirect Objects
Lesson 16: Review

Not all nouns in Latin belong to the First Declension. Those that do, however, are all feminine in gender, except those which are masculine in meaning such as pirate, farmer and sailor. Every noun in Latin is either masculine, feminine or neuter.

Nouns of the Second Declension are either masculine or neuter, depending on their Nominative Singular endings.
Nouns of the Second Declension whose Nominative Singular ends on er, ir or us are masculine.
Nouns of the Second Declension whose Nominative Singular ends in um are neuter.
Nouns belonging to the Second Declension, like the First Declension, can be recognized by their Genative Singular. If a noun ends in i inthe Genative Singular, you know that the noun belongs to the Second Declension and will always take Second Declension endings. If a noun ends in ae in the Genative Singular, you know that the noun belongs to the First Declension and will always take First Declension endings.
Here are the other case endings of the Second Declension;
Singular
Nominative:(masculine) er, ir, us, (neuter) um
Genative: i
Dative: o
Accusative: um
Ablative: o

Plural
Nominative: (masculine) i, (neuter) a
Genitive: orum
Dative: is
Accusative: (masculine) os, (neuter) a
Ablative: is

Here are some important nouns of the Second Declension:
Noun                     Derivations     Meaning


  1. Hortus, horti     horticulture      garden
  2. Amicus             amicable          friend
  3. Oppidum                                   town
  4. Vir                    virile                man
  5. Puer                  puerile             boy
  6. Frumentum, frumenti               grain
  7. Dominus           domineer         master
  8. Equus               equestrian       horse
  9. Servus               servile            slave, servant
  10. Marcus              Mark              male name
Exercises:
Translate the following sentences.
  • Vir est in horto.
  • Vir est amicus Marci.
  • Servi equos dominorum spectant.
  • Frumentum portamus.
  • Marcus viris fabulas narrat.
  • Dominus hortum servo demonstrat.
  • In oppido laboratis.
  • Equus Marci dominum amat.
  • Marcus amico pecuniam dat.
  • Puerum, Marcum, in hortis specto.

Medieval History in Action: The Third Crusade



A new call for another crusade went out from Pope Gregory VIII. 
Richard I, the Lionheart, lead an English army , but he failed to drive the Arabs from Jerusalem.
The Pope then ordered another crusade and Richard was joined
with King Philip II of France and...
Emperor Frederick Barbarossa of Germany. 
This is known as the Third Crusade, which lasted from 1190-1192.
King Frederick was drowned in his march across Europe and so only a small part of the Germany army continued into the Middle East.
Travelling by boat, King Richard and King Philip sailed into the port of Acre, which was controlled by the Muslims. They wanted to capture it because it would allow them to easily land their ships and move on to Jerusalem.
Although they won, Philip's army was exhausted by the battle, and left for France. Richard, left by himself, made an agreement with Saladin to let the 2000 Muslim soldiers they had captured go in exchange for a ransom. There was a breakdown, however, in the process of payment and Richard ordered their execution.

Both sides fought again in the Battle of Arsur in September 1191, and then marched toward Jerusalem in June 1192, 
...but Richard the Lionheart had a fever and appealed to Saladin to send him fresh water...

and fruit. Saladin even sent Richard a new horse. 

Richard and Saladin formed a truce in which the pilgrims from the west could be allowed to visit Jerusalem without being troubled by the Muslims.


sources and resources:
  • Angelfire
  • Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
  • History Odessey, Level II, Medieval History
  • History Portfolio, Medieval History

March 25-31, 2016, Our Homeschool Weekly Report, days 100-104

March 25-31, 2016

We had a lovely Easter. It began with bunny-shaped chocolate chip scones, one of my kids' favorite breakfast. James was the only one who wanted to dye eggs, and so he did dye a few, but he missed doing it with other people, so he didn't dye many. Hope and Eddie came over for Easter dinner and then we played board games after dinner. It was quiet, simple and lovely.
Katie and Sam helped cook, serve and clean-up a dinner at a homeless shelter and loved it. They also packed a lunch for the next day. Katie and Sam were impressed by how grateful the people were, and are now wanting to seek out other community service projects.
Mostly we have been preparing for a very eventful summer coming up. May has Sam and Alex's graduation, our dinner theater performance, Quentin's 12th birthday party and Sam's 19th birthday. Then Katie's starts collage and then Quentin begins his summer acting camp, which is putting on The Hobbit this year. We are looking into a few options for James next year as he begins high school and am meeting with an educational consultant on Saturday.
days 100-104

This week's school work went well, but not yet much to show you. James is continuing to study Midsummer Night's Dream. They are also studying the crusades and physics of roller coasters. This week at our co-op, James worked on building a few different features in the coaster and to solve how to stop the marble gently at the end of the ride.

How was your week?
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Medieval History in Action: The Second Crusade

(Previous post: The First Crusade)

In 1144 a combined Arab and Turkish army did rise up and attack and capture the city of Edessa.


The Pope reacted by ordering France to preach a second crusade to take Edessa back and return its control to the Christians.
The young king of France, Louis VII, agreed to go, along with queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. So did the Holy Roman Emperor of Germany.

But this second crusade was a failure.  The kings and queens went home defeated. Despite this defeat,however, the Crusaders still retained control of many cities in the Middle east and Jerusalem.

In the 1187 the Arabs new and strong leader, Saladin, wiped out the crusaders main army at the Battle of Hattin. Soon the crusaders had almost been pushed into the sea.

sources and resources:
  • Angelfire
  • History Odessey, Level II, Medieval History

March 18-24, 2016, Our Homeschool Weekly Report, days 95-99

March 18-24, 2016
We have been very busy this week with preparations for May and the rest of the summer. Quentin has signed up for a summer acting camp. Sam has been driving with his learner's permit. We have been preparing for both Alex's and Sam's graduation ceremonies. We have been getting things ready for our dinner theater production in May.
 Katie took her placement test at our community college and signed up for a summer painting class.
We celebrated Steven's birthday.

Quentin went to Gettysburg with friends for four days, and he really missed his Midas while he was gone.
days 95-99

We have begun our studies of physical science...


Newton's First Law Demonstrations
beginning with Newton's Laws.
James also worked on math problems related to them.

Quentin enjoyed touring Gettysburg, PA.
It brings joy to my heart to see how much he loves history...a far cry from the dry memorization of names and dates that I experienced in public school history classes.
We made this map...
Don't you love these Crusader and Saracen figures Quentin bought?
 in order to visually go through each of the Crusades.
The First Crusade
The Second Crusade
James has begun a detailed study of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.


How was your week?
Join me at...


Beginning Latin Grammar, Lesson15: Indirect Objects

Latin Grammar for iPad and iPhone
"I would make them all learn English;
and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honour, and Greek as a treat." --Sir Winston Churchill

If your students need to review English grammar before introducing Latin Grammar, go to Simple Grammar.

Previous Lessons in the series:
Lesson 1: Latin Nouns
Lesson 5: Present Tense
Lesson 6: The Infinitive
Lesson 7: Review
Lesson 8 Direct Object
Lesson 9: Predicate Nouns
Lesson 10: Review and Vocabulary
Lesson 11: Possessives
Lesson 12: Appositives
Lesson 13: Review
Lesson 14: Prepositions


In Latin, indirect objevts usually follow verbs meaning give, offer, show, tell and their synonyms. As in English, they express the relation of "to" or "for" but always without a preposition.
All Latin nouns used as indirect objects must be in the Dative case, and so have Dative case endings. The Dative case endings for nouns in the First Declension are:
Dative Singular: -ae
Dative Plural: -is

Exercises:
Translate into English.

  1. Piratae poetis insulam demonstrant.
  2. Cornelia fugam nautaram demonstrat.
  3. Fabulas Corneliae narramus.
  4. Pecuniam Corneliae narramus.
  5. Pecuniam Corneliae reginae, datis.
Translate into Latin.


  1. The salior is giving the farmer money.
  2. The sailor is giving money to the farmer.
  3. You show the queen the island.
  4. We are giving money to Cornelia, daughter of the queen.
  5. The girls are telling stories to the poet.
  6. I am showing the farmer the street.
  7. The queen is giving the pirates booty.
Give the Nominative, Genative, Accusative, and Ablative case endings for the nouns of the First Declension, singular and plural.

Medieval History in Action: The First Crusade


For our study of the Crusades, we decided to research each one of the Crusades. The boys went on Angelfire to get their information and they answered the questions there in their notebooks, along with completing a map. The First Crusaders had a very difficult journey getting to the Middle East.
Quentin used each figure to represent 10, 000 soldiers.

There were about 30, 000 foot soldiers and 10, 000 knights on horseback. They could not use boats to get to the Middle East because they did not control the ports on the coast of the Middle East.
They traveled from France through Italy, then Eastern Europe and then through what is now Turkey. They traveled hundreds of miles through scorching heat and deep snow in the mountain passes.
The first fortress they attacked was in the city of Nicea, which was taken by the Crusadesr without too much trouble. 

The next target was Antioch, a strongly protected Turkish city. It took seven months before the city fell. 
The next target was Jerusalem. The attack and capture of Jerusalem was at first not successful, but once logs arrived, they were able to build siege engines and took control of the city.
They held this city for the next 87 years.

(Next post: The Second Crusade)
sources and resources:
  • Angelfire
  • History Odessey, Level II, Medieval History