Sunday, August 25, 2013

Homemade History, Week 6

Because the past three weeks make me want to disavow all knowledge of my children and go hide in a Buddhist commune until they're grown and gone...

Because the stress level in my back and shoulders is so high I wake up feeling like I've just had a hard workout every day when, in fact, I haven't lifted a proper weight in months...

Because this upcoming week is the last week before our first break (we take Labor Day week off of school)...

Let's just say my school planning this week was less than spectacular.  We didn't do much.  Enjoy what little is here.  Thanks, as always, for reading.

Week 6 Topic: Mesopotamia - Sumer and Akkad

Monday:  Reading and notes.  I purchased a book called Life in Ancient Mesopotamia, and M1 perused that while M2 read chapters 3 and 5 from Story of the World.  (If you want shorter reading excerpts, the Kingfisher Book of the Ancient World has similar information on pages 20-21 and the Usborne World History Encyclopedia has some on pages 110-113.)

Tuesday:  The kids finished up their rough drafts for their papers and swapped reading material.  M2 has informed me that while the Sumerians might have been inventive, she wouldn't have wanted to live there.  They were mean.  I couldn't argue with that one.

Wednesday:  Definitions (ziggurat, stylus, irrigate, relief) and critical thinking questions:  Why is trading with other cities and cultures important?  Why are records important?  Why did the Mesopotamians settle in the Fertile Crescent?  M1 found the questions fairly easy to answer after we watched a couple of videos, one from National Geographic Kids and one from a Youtube Channel called CrashCourse.  The kids definitely preferred the second video, but M2 commented that the guy talks really, really fast.  She was right.  Also, in the interest of parental disclosure, the video does mention the word 'scoodilypooping,' which is a cutesy euphemism for sex.  If that might bother you or your kids... well, you're smart.  You know how this works.  Watch at your own risk.  But overall the information was informative and rather fun, as far as movies go.  Oh, and I should mention that I handed the Epic of Gilgamesh to M1 to read this week, too. 

Thursday:  We put together a map of Mesopotamia using the Map Trek map (lots of Christian-based maps in that download, but there are enough that aren't for my purposes) for that particular region of Earth and talked about how the trade routes from Mesopotamia to Egypt went right through what is now Israel and how stories/myths can ALSO follow trade routes, which led right into discussing the myths of Sargon and Moses and comparing and contrasting the two.  Interesting chat with the munchkins.

Friday:  Project Day!  M2 did some mystery pages on where the alphabet came from, concluding that our modern alphabet might be either Greek or Hebrew but definitely isn't Egyptian or Sumerian, and M1 built a Lego ziggurat.

OK, so I guess this doesn't sound too bad after all.

Next week:  Egypt - The Old Kingdom (mastabas and pyramids, mummies, and the Hyksos)

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