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Thursday, September 16, 2010

I am a very disorganized person by nature but I have always loved the idea of doing unit studies, but lack the organizational want to to pull one off. I tend to have lots of different ideas, but never seem to implement them. I knew this year I wanted to start some Geography with Lillie, I also knew I wanted to do some lapbooking, just not on the big scale I have in times past. Lapbooking is great when your kids do the work...that was not the case with mine. Perhaps when they're older and learn how to control the amount of glue coming off the stick... I also thought it would be nifty to lump history and geography in one my idea of a unit study is not traditional. I don't tie every subject into what we're studying, but just compile a bunch of books, multimedia, projects etc...make a big ole list and then just start checking them off.

I initially got the idea for our Globetrotters Journal here. This site has many neat ideas so I encourage you to check it out. Our journals contain just the right amount of lapbook components as not to be overwhelming, but highly educational as well when looking back over them. I will post pictures of them some time in the future as I have to fill up my memory card before I can load any pics onto my computer. I bought each child a composition book. Inside the cover there is a pocket that contains a pretend passport (you can get one here). When we study a place, we glue a few lapbook components or make my own if I can't find one online. Just the basics...include a map of where the place is, index cards with key attractions or interesting facts as well as any other information you might find helpful.

This year my goal is to cover the major ancient civilizations and all 50 states. For these studies I will combine geography with the history of the region or area being studied. Using our Book of Centuries helps us keep a timeline of the events so we don't get confused about what came when.

My kids became interested in Ancient Egypt while we were studying Moses and Joseph in our Bible time. So this post is choc full of links and general helpfulness for those of you who might want to do a unit study, or need ideas, or just want to learn more for yourself. I know I learned alot and that's what I've said so many times before about Homeschooling...I love that I get to learn right alongside the kids. You don't have to be an expert on everything to teach your children...all you need is an excitement about the material and a love of learning yourself that bubbles over where your kids can see it.

Books Used

Usborne Beginners Egyptians Tutankamen by Gill Harvey

These books are always a hoot to read...
And unbeknownst to me until I found it this morning...this one is online for FREE.

About the French dude that broke Hieroglyphics...

These are books we did not use, but would have if they had been at the library...I'm cheap like that. They are all Usborne, because Usborne books are the BOMB! Excuse my slang from the old days.

For some reason, my children can sit through an hour and a half program on Nova about the Sphinx but they have trouble sitting still for 10 minutes while I read aloud, so I am thankful for PBS and You Tube who provide me with videos on any subject we seem to study. We watched three videos and so I'll embed them here. Remember to turn off the music player on my right sidebar if you watch the You Tube ones here...if you like full screen on the You Tube ones, just double click them and it will take you to the You Tube site page. I learned heaps and really enjoyed watching these, especially the one on King Tut.
My kids really love Prince of Egypt and Joseph King of Dreams. I would caution that you watch these with your kids and also that you first read and discuss the BIBLICAL account so that you can point out differences in the story. Nothing is a substitute for the Bible! These videos can be found on You Tube by searching for them. I found them to be educational on the life style of ancient egypt.

Nova Riddle of the Sphinx This also has alot of other video clips and features that are great!

Nova Building Pharoah's Boat

Online Activities:

Homeschool Share Lapbook This is what I chose the few templates from for our journals. Also has projects and a unit study to go with it so you could mix and match or glean some additional ideas to taylor make this for your homeschool setting.

Another Ancient Egypt Lapbook Would be great to combine this with the former plus this one has a booklist and activities as well.

Interactive Tomb Exploration

Interactive Make a Mummy

Online Hieroglyphics Translator

Online Pyramid Explorer from Nova

Other Activities

Mummify a Barbie Really super neat, didn't do it as it's hard to get all three kiddos involved and it's hard to keep all three from wanting to be right in the center of attention.

Design a Sarcophogus

Paper Pyramid Would be great to pair with a diorama!

Additional Online Resources

Mr. Donn's Ancient Egypt I love Mr. Donn's History sites...they are full of Mr. Donn some love, would you?

Ancient Egypt Lesson Plans, Videos, Games etc.

I'm really diggin this laid back approach and school has been coming along so nicely this year so far. I'll share next time what we've been using and what we're into this year.

Have a Blessed Day!

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