May 19, 2012

Change in plans - history speeds up!

Sorry - it has been a while since I stopped by...
Here is a quick flick through some of what we have been up to during the blog silence:

The Big Tour - European Family Travel
We have decided to go travelling through Western Europe (and Scotland, Wales and England) for a year starting in September 2013. As you can imagine, this has been a monumental decision...and as the homeschool planner, it has really rocked the program!

Countries on the list so far: Austria, Czech Republic, Egypt, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Scotland, Spain and Portugal, Sweden, Turkey and back home via New York, USA.

Our leisurely chronological stroll from the Big Bang to current day is only at Ancient Greece, yet now we are going to explore ancient through to modern sites on our trip, I need an abridged version!

I realised - we cannot cover everything of significance in Europe over the last 5,000 years before we go. Truly. LOL.

So now Mike and I are amassing ideas and "must see/do" mental lists that hopefully make it into the country file...anything you want to suggest? Please put it in a comment below!

This of course meant a trip to the library biography and literature section where November seized Shakespeare (I had been holding back on the Bard because of the chronolgy), Bronte sister books, insights into Beatrix get the picture. The straight travel guides alone are taking over the house.

I have had to let go of the strict historical timeline. We are reading things out of order (gasp!) and even adaptations rather than the originals. Outrageous isn't it...but a really worthwhile shakeup. 

I dipped my toe with Matt Haig's "Dead Father's Club" - a reworking of Hamlet which though written from the viewpoint of a 11 year old boy is NOT recommended for children. A fun read for adults.

Parlez-vous fran├žais?
Languages have leapt to the forefront. We are hitting French hard at the moment (Tapis Volant is our main program), and my rusty German is jumping for attention in the background. I really want to learn Italian...and November is clamouring for Greek and Latin but truly, we don't have enough time for all of that. The plan so far is French for the whole family, German brush-up and basic Italian phrases for me, while Mike has volunteered for Spanish.

You can see why the blog has suffered attention!

EPGY maths
But life has to proceed too. We have just finished our first Stanford EPGY (Educational Program for Gifted Youth) 3 month Open Enrolment maths subscription for each girl (US $45). It has been brilliant. We will definitely do more 3 month enrolments. Review to follow soon...

Ancient Greece
We are all swallowed up by Greek myths - loving D'Aulaires for this - and just finished a wonderful, rollicking audio book by Geoffrey McSkimming "Cairo Jim and the Chaos of Crete" set in the labyrinth beneath the Minoan Temple of Knossus (yes, a definite on the itinerary).

The Mensa for Kids Mythology unit is a good summary - and free - and for gifted kids.

Hands on maths
Hands on geometry practice for July as we are about to start a Year 7 unit (why do schools save the fun stuff until so late in school?) on Geometry with November, and July will sit in for the first section.

Yummy food
Other than that, our fabulous gluten free foodie life means lots of gf cooking - I am putting together a post on a week of gluten free breakfasts to inspire those who know they should be gf, but are overwhelmed by breakfast - that wheat fuelled, starchy high glycemic index meal of the day : )

Garden wise - weeds are in abeyance, winter vegetables are in and shooting, the last of the blackberries are warming in the late autumn sun, and we are all having much more time in the sun! Hooray!

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