Wednesday, February 23, 2011



We are slowly moving through our history program The Story of the World, Volume One: Ancient History.

I've come to realize that I have to leave a good deal of the additional reading unread and some of the projects, as awesome as they are, undone. I've wanted to do all the additional readings, all the corresponding literature suggestions, all the projects. I didn't want to miss anything.

But, I have had to be honest with myself about how unrealistic it is for me to expect to read more than one or two extra books on each chapter and do perhaps one of the projects per week (maybe even one every other week) if we want to finish this book within a year. (And, I do want to finish this book within a year, so that I can start the next book and stay on the four year history cycle.)

Thus, we've only just now moved on the chapter three (but we have moved on, which is good) and we are going to do as much as possible by Monday, when, we are, in fact, moving on to chapter four, as painful as that may be for me. (I still really want to make the red and white crowns for Upper and Lower Egypt. It really burns me that I kept forgetting the buy the red paper board I needed when I was at Wal-mart.) But, anyway...

At this point, we are planning to do one chapter a week and we are going to try to finish this book by January 1, 2012. At least, that's the goal.

Below are some photos of a project we did this week and the extra books we are read to go along with Chapter Three: The First Writing.


I've had this little package of clay in my craft supplies for years. It finally came in handy this week. One of the optional activities was to write a message in a clay tablet using cuneiform letters.


We used a flat head screw driver in place of a reed. This all-in-one screwdriver (that I keep in my kitchen junk drawer for odd jobs) was even more perfect for the job because the tops can actually come out of the base. Norah held it almost like a pencil.


We kneaded the clay till it was soft and warm and then we formed it into a rectangle so Norah could write different words on it using the cuneiform guide above.


We even let Avril poke around in the clay for a while. It was cute until she started stabbing through the clay to the table...


Norah ended up writing her name in the clay tablet and we baked it according to the directions on the package. It got rock hard and it will make a nice keepsake to decorate Norah's desk or shelf now.


We are also reading through the book 100 Things You Should Know About Ancient Egypt. We're on #52 out of the hundred, I think, and hopefully, we will finish by Friday when the books are due back to the library. Notice the pencil marks on the cover. They're Avril's doing. I'll have to take care of those before Friday, too.


We have also read the book Seeker of Knowledge about Jean Francois Champollion, the man who discovered how to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.



These books have inspired Norah to say, "If I can't find gems in the river in Sri Lanka when I grow up, I want to be a grave robber or an Egyptologist."


This Ultimate Sticker Book: Ancient Egypt was not on the recommended lists in The Well Trained Mind Activity Book, but it's been a fun addition to our week. The stickers are photos of real artifacts which makes them really interesting to examine.

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