Monday, October 31, 2016

Story of the World Vol 1: Gods of Ancient Egypt (Chap 2: Part 2)

Post contains some affiliate links, through which I can earn commission.
Mostly for books, which I suggest looking for at your local library. 

We did this part of Chapter 2 in one setting, since the intro was so short and the rest was a single story about Isis, Set, and Osiris.  Sadly, you may have to explain the difference between "Isis" the Egyptian deity, and ISIS, the terrorist group, if your children have been listening to the news at all.

Because we are Christians, I also took the time to explain some of the differences between what Egyptians believed and what we believe (many gods for different things, vs. one God over everything, for example).   If you have older children, you might be interested in having them read the short sections on Egyptian religion and morality in the Ancient Egypt Guide I wrote (It was a guide for volunteers playing Egyptians in a living history style VBS about Joseph in Egypt, so I wrote it specifically with some of the contrasts and similarities between Christianity and Egyptian religion in mind, such as how they viewed sin and a the afterlife.)


For illustration on the first two paragraphs we looked at a coloring page found of the Egyptian god Horus...and some other gods in a library book on Egypt (you can find pictures of Egyptian gods and goddesses in nearly any children's non-fiction book about Egypt).  You might also look for pages that show artifacts owned by a Pharoah and see if you can find any of the symbols they mention (the staff) OR images of a hawk (the animal representation of Horus).

For the story about Isis, Osiris and Set we used pictures from the Story of the World Activity Book and pictures and coloring pages I found online  (I don't remember which one exactly, so I am sharing several I considered below).  You can print out the pictures you like best and staple them together to make a little storybook that you flip through as you read this story.

Whole Story Illustrated
   NOTE: There is a version of this story where Set cuts apart Osirus' body, and these illustrations pictures that, but the other pictures you could use. 
All Gods Mentioned (Horus, Osiris, Isis, Set)
Isis Coloring Page
Horus Connect the Dots
Horus Picture from Heading (Public Domain/Pixabay)
Osirus Connect the Dots
Set/Seth Coloring Page

The following is from a book written in the 1900s
and should be in the public domain.  Click the Picture for a larger version to save and print.   Sorry I don't remember where I got this from originally.

A picture of Osiris ruling in the underworld, with Isis standing nest to him (and another goddess...not sure which one).  (From the Papyrus of Hunefer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons).  Click on the picture for a larger version you can print.

And, while we listened to it a while after we did this chapter, I will say I love the longer version of this story as read by Jim Weiss in the CD Egyptian Treasures (which a friend of mine lent me).

Since this chapter talks about how Pharaoh was considered a God, this is a great place to talk about the Egyptian social classes.  Many picturebooks on Egypt in your library would cover this.  The free sample pages for  Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt deal with social classes, and the sample even has a great "lift the flap" social classses pyramid that would go great in a lapbook, and a couple printable games, including Senat.  

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Butterflies and a Big Green Spider

I love the ability to change plans on a dime in homeschool.  Because how could we plan for a beautiful day where SO MANY BUTTERFLIES visited our lantana bush (the one nature planted outside our front door several summers ago).  Here's my son trying to lure one on to onto a flower we cut.  That one didn't take his bait, but another did...a little brown jet like butterfly I didn't get a picture of, which I think was a Little Glassywing.

There were 7 types of butterflies that came to visit--the four shown here, the Little Glassywings, a pretty little yellow butterfly who I didn't catch a photo of, and a Monarch who stopped to visit for the briefest of moments, and made my sons day (he's a little obsessed with Monarchs ever since learning about them on the Wildcrats).    He drew this picture afterwards...

With the help of some friends online we found the names for most of them...

Tawny Emperor

These brown pretties are a frequent visitor to my yard.

Gulf Fritillary

This is a Gulf Fritillary...a male one, to be specific (the people in my local garden forum are amazing...that's the only reason I know this).   These have been in my garden many times before, but I just now learned their names.  Isn't "Fritillary" the best name for a butterfly?  Sounds positively Victorian.

Giant Swallowtail

The caterpillar form of these beauties LOVE my dill and parsley, and are just as fascinating to watch as they are in butterfly form.

Pipvine Swallowtail

But this blue/black stunner stole the show.  What a beauty!   She was always in motion so it was hard to get a good picture of her, though I sure tried.  And every time she moved she shimmered!    I had never seen this type before, but several have visited since.

Here's a picture of her in flight.  I didn't realize when I took the picture that this butterfly nearly became dinner.  Can you find the giant green spider in this picture?

No?  Keep scrolling...

Still have trouble seeing it?   Keep scrolling...but warning, it's creepier up close.

This is a Green Lynx Spider, sitting on it's egg sack, which looks pretty close to hatch.  This one, as most I've seen, are over an inch long.  (Click picture to see it larger, if you dare!)

My son drew a picture of it too....


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Freebie Faves

Some printables aren't worth the ink...but some are.  Here are the latest batch of my favorite newly found inkworthly freebies....


Big Picture History*
*I haven't tried this one out yet but it looks good.  Theres a monthly free topic...not sure if it's videos or live sessions.  November is China.


Muscular System Lapbook 

Free Skeletal Systems Lapbook

Cloud Types Worksheets

2016 Presidential Election Notebooking Pages

E-Book on Elections and the Constitution

Language Arts

Character Guides
Huck Fin Character Guide
The Tempest Character Guide

New Free Curriculum
While I have NOT previewed these to see if they are inkworthy,  I always like to share updates on the latest full-length curriculum I've added to my Free Homeschool Curriculum List. 

Free Christian Biology Textbook 

Free Charlotte Mason Spelling Curriculum

Monday, October 24, 2016

Story of the World: Vol 1 - Chap 2 - Two Kingdoms Become One

Post contains some affiliate links, through which I can earn commission.
Mostly for books, which I suggest looking for at your local library.

This section is about the Nile river, and about the king who united upper and lower Egypt into one Nation.  Because my son has a short attention span, we broke up the section into two parts to shorten it--and to shorten it a little more I crossed out a few lines here in there (this was one of our "Readers Digest Condensed Chapters *wink*).  We also did what we usually do--stopped and asked questions during the text and looked at pictures from other sources which we read.

We had a lot of resources for this and didn't use all of them, but I'll share some good resources we found to add visuals below.   Finding books on Egypt than contain good illustrations of the things mentioned in this chapter is EASY.  If you don't have the books mentioned below, you should be able to find something else in your local library that works.

DAY 1 (Paragraphs 1-4)
Farming on the Nile

Before Reading
Before starting the reading we looked at some maps of Egypt and then found where it was on a world map.

Paragraph 1 -2

These paragraphs can be supplemented with a map from the activity book, but we had a full color illustrated map I thought he'd enjoy more (from the Usborn Time Traveler), so in stead of coloring the map, I had my son find the Nile Delta on that picture. 

I like the colored map too because it showed a green area around the Nile, and pictures of desert outside that area, so I could ask my son where people could live and farm.  We also looked at an aerial picture of Egypt that showed how green that area around the Nile actually was.  Seeing real pictures really brings home the difference between the area near the Nile, and the desert surrounding it.   (More map/picture suggestions below)

Also, this is one of the places where I edited out a few lines (about the word Delta being from the Greek letter "D") to make it shorter for his attention span.

Suggested Online Pictures/Maps of the Nile
Aerial Nile Photo - Delta (what we used)
Aerial Nile Photo - Long
Illustrated Map
Egypt With Cartoon Landmarks 

Books With Great Nile Illustrations
The Usborn Time Traveler
Make It Work: Ancient Egypt
Egypt Insiders by Joyce Tyldesley**

**You can preview the illustration of the Nile in this book using  the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon

Paragraph 3 - 4

Here is a good topographical map that shows the mountains that feed the Nile, as mentioned in paragraph 3. 

I found some books with some GREAT illustrations of Egyptian farming mentioned in paragraph 4.  Here is the one we used...

But I wanted to share some of my other favorite illustrations from books we found at our library too...

This book uses dioramas to illustrate (and is full of crafts kids can do).  I like how this book showed the steps in farming the land, and talked about the three Egyptian seasons.


This book on pyramics had a nice picture with a Nile map AND farming illustrations, so if you wanted to cut down on the amount of resources you used, you could just use this one for both.

Don't have any of these books at your library?   There's a sample of Horrible Histories magazine that features a great Nile farming illustration (just scroll to pg 14-15). 


Silt Demonstration
This activity shows how flooding brought silt onto the Nile banks.  It's not amazingly exciting, but it does demonstrate the concept and my son enjoyed pouring the water.

white piece of paper
baking pan or dish (to catch water)

  1. Place a bowl on a piece of white paper on a larger ban, dish, or lipped plate. Fill up a small bowl half way with water, and add a little dirt.   Let the dirt settle. 
  2. Pour in water until the dish overflows.   Note the pieces of dirt on the white the same way the Nile deposits silt on the area around it when it floods.

Egyptian Meal
Have an Egyptian Meal, like we did at our co-op.  You can find a list of recipes and foods they had here. A fun things to talk about is how the foods they ate may have tasted different, because years of farmers choosing seeds from the tastiest plants changed what the plants.  For instance, initially no one ate the fruit of the watermelon, but would only eat the historians believe that watermelon originally didn't taste sweet.

Alternate Activities
  • Make a Shaduf - Egyptians used shadufs too, so if you haven't already made a shaduf for Chapter 1 (where they describe it) that could be  fit in here.
  • Plant and Egyptian Garden - Plant a garden with food crops like the Egyptians planted (cucumbers, onions, garlic, raddish, peas, etc.  See full list here.).  
  • Learn about Egyptian Daily Life - A great follow-up on this section is learning about daily life in Egypt.  I have a free Egypt Guide* with lots of pictures related to daily life in Egypt, including a comparison of a common Egyptian home vs. the home of an Egyptian elite, and a fun activity might be to create and imaginary Egyptian character and draw a room in their home.  (*The guide was originally for VBS volunteers at my church when we did a living history style VBS program.)
  • Do Lapbook activities (scroll down for suggestions at the bottom of this page)

Supplemental Reading/Extension For Older Kids
Nile River Unit - Dr. Dave's Science
This very readable printable unit on the Nile River by Dr. Dave's science makes for great extension reading to bring in some science (suggested for ages 4th - 7th, but I think a lot of younger homeschoolers might enjoy it too.)    The free sample of first 10 pages covers the Nile ecosystem and flooding, and the full package ($3) goes into more detail on about Egyptian farming methods, food, papyrus, and the damning of modern Egypt. 

DAY 2 (Paragraphs 5-9)
Upper and Lower Egypt Become One

Note that the paragraph numbers are different for the Revised and Original versions.

Paragraphs 5 - 7 (Original: 5)
For these paragraphs we again looked at the maps we had of Egypt and Africa, and pointed out all the things they were talking about.   In the Revised version they explained why the names for "Upper and Lower" Egypt  make sense even though it looks backwards on our maps (because in stead of "north" and "south" they thought of things in terms of the way the river flowed--"up river" or "down river").    We  turned our map upside down when they mention that was how the Egyptians saw the world.  After this section I stopped to ask which part was Upper and Lower Egypt and why they were called that before moving on.

Paragraphs 8 - 9 (Original: 5-6)
We continued to use the maps for this section.  We also looked at the single and double crowns in the page about the Pharoah in the Usborn Time Traveler (you could find pictures of these crowns in almost any picture book about Egypt, or at the links below). 

Crown Image 1 - Black and White
Crown Image 2 - Black and White
Crown Image 3 - Colored
History Pockets has a great map showing all three crowns (pg 37)

We didn't do a special activity for this section, but you could make an Egyptian Double Crown.

Egypt Lapbooks

Lapbooks can be a great way to supplement Story of the World.  I actually like using a small blank-book in stead of the traditional folder method, and adding items from various lapbooks as we reach those topics in SOTW.  You can make your own books with folder paper and staples or use inexpensive blank books like these  (I also often see square blank books 5 for $1 in the Dollar Section of Target).

Free Egypt Lapbook 1
This one has a nice map of the Nile with an Egyptian border, graphics of King Narmer and the double crown, among other things.

Free Egypt Lapbook 2 - Homeschool Share
This lapbook has a lift the flap Nile item that would be a good fit for this chapter.

History Pockets
This is a great resource for using while studying Egypt.  Related to this chapter it has a map of Egypt illustrated with kings wearing the crowns of upper and lower Egypt, and excellent cut and paste activities for life on the Nile.  I was lucky to find this used at a local homeschool sale.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fall Coloring Pages and Favor Idea

Wanted to share a fun free fall coloring page I have to offer! Now doesn't that look fun to color? And they aren't just for kids! Grown-ups can have fun coloring too!

I also have one sectioned into smaller cut-apart boxes which would be fun for  party favors, trick-or-treat bags, or for a fun activity to keep the kids busy while waiting for Thanksgiving dinner.

Leaves to Cut and Share
(For non-commercial, personal use only.)

Here's how to turn this into a fun favor (or even something to give out to Trick-or-Treaters):

  1. Click on the image above for a larger, printable version. 
  2. Right click and save it on your computer.
  3. Print it.
  4. Cut out along the dotted lines.
  5. Cut out cardboard slightly larger than the picture (old cereal boxes work good for this) to make a solid surface for kids to draw on, and staple several leaf pictures on. Put these in a plastic or cello wrap baggie with fall colored crayons.  Ask kids to color each leaf differently, just like the fall leaves outsides are all different colors and shades.
  6. ALTERNATIVE IDEA: Take a couple crayons and a small rubber band (like the little ones used for hair-braids), then wrap each coloring paper you just cut out around the crayons and secure with the rubber band.  
Wha-la! A fun party favor that costs next to nothing!

These are just a couple of the coloring pages you can print for free from my site. See more here.

And here's some examples of them colored by my readers over at Scribbleprints...

 Beeb colored the following.  She didn't have crayons ready, so she used a 
purple sharpie and a pink hi-lighter to make her Psychedelic Leaves. 

Petra's son colored this leaf.  Love it!

Oh, and here's how I colored mine...

OK, that really isn't made from the print-outs. Actually, that's the original design which I sell on printed products in my shops. I made the black and white version afterwards especially for the coloring pages. Hope you enjoy it! Please be nice and only use these for personal or classroom use, thanks!

Monday, October 3, 2016

A Day Full of Emotions

What an emotional day.  Good emotions, some bad ones...some very mixed ones.

Today started with me having to get a ride to co-op because my car wouldn't start.  It was a new member who lived near me who drove us, and I really enjoyed getting to know her and her family on the way.  Thoroughly enjoyable conversation.

Today was the last day of a class I was teaching on ships and the sea today.  I used to live on a boat so it was a natural fit for me.   Today we were talking about sea life and I had all sorts of shells and even a whales tooth for the kids to look at, in addition to the array of library books I always bring for pictures.     It went GREAT!   The kids were really into it, asking all sorts of questions, and sharing what they knew.  They loved the experiment on blubber and buoyancy we did.  So happy about how it went, relieved to not have any more classes, and yet a little sad not to be continuing this.

So, after school I thought I had plenty of time to find someone to jump our car and get our battery checked out...but then realized we were going to a play with another group of homeschoolers tonight (I had mixed up the dates)! So, I scrambled to find neighbor who could jump the car,  and then took it to our mechanic to check the battery just to be sure (because even though I know I could drive it around and charge it, I've had too many time when after a battery died that it went out again soon afterwards anyways).  While sitting in their lobby I checked facebook, and a update popped up saying "You have memories today with your mom."  I clicked...usually it's something trivial, a picture of a cat or craft she shared.  Today, it was something for "National Daughter's Day" talking about how much I meant to her and how proud she was.  Tears came to my eyes.  My mom passed away several years ago.   And there she was, still telling me how much she loved me on facebook.  I had to step outside a bit, let a few tears fall unhindered before I pulled myself together and went back inside.

On our way home I stopped to get something in Walmart and in the supermarket isle a couple noticed my "I may live in Texas, but I'll always be a California girl t-shirt" and told me they were from California too (and that she had the sweatshirt version of my t-shirt at home.")  We talked for a long time (well, for a supermarket conversation) about what it was like being Californians in Texas.  It was so great talking with some other Californians...they moved here two years ago, and I moved here nearly 20 years ago, but our experiences were so similar.

Then, I went home, got the kids ready and left for the play:  Fiddler on the Roof.   This was another flashback, since the last time I had been was in high school, when our school did the same play.  Of course this one was more professional...with amazing props and a real orchestra pit.  But it was also a college play, and a dress rehearsal (they let our homeschool group come then for less) there was a few missed notes.  Still, the acting and singing overall was wonderful.  And so many things hit me deeper this time around.  While I had thought the "Sunrise, Sunset" song a little dull the first time, this time, with my youngest curled up on my lap and my older two sitting beside me, when they sang "Where is the little girl I carried...where is the little boy at play?" it made me teary (again...I think my mom being fresh on my mind was part of it).   The struggles Tevya went through about his children also I think seemed more fresh.   But I saw more hope in the ending than I had the last they were leaving, but would carry on, and the beckoning the fiddler to come with.  Really, the first time I don't think I understood the symbolism behind the fiddler, precariously making music on the roof, at all...but now it came in loud and clear.

What a day.  What a cathartic, beautiful, emotional day.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Story of the World: Vol 1: Chap 1: Sect. 2: The First Nomads Become Farmers

Post contains some affiliate links, though which I can earn commission.

Like I did in previous Story of the World lessons, I helped my son pay attention to the reading by asking questions and borrowing pictures from other resources for him to look at while I read.  I also broke up the section into parts to read on multiple days so there wasn't too much reading on any day.  Today I thought I'd show, paragraph by paragraph, how we did that.

DAY 1:  Paragraphs 1-7
Note, the paragraph are a little different in Original vs. Revised- there's also some slightly substantive changes between the two which you can read more about here.

Paragraph 1 - 3 (Original 1-2)
Before reading I had my son look at the map of the fertile crescent from the activity book, and then we found that area on a world map.  As we read paragraph 1-2 I had him trace the rivers and color the oceans on the fertile crescent map.

While the activity book has great maps, if you want a WORLD MAP that has all the major features mentioned in the book (rivers, mountains), Map Treck: Ancient Times has a good one, which I believe is included in their free sample pages (it simplifies some of the continuant outlines, BUT I can deal with that so long as they have ALL THE MAJOR RIVERS mentioned in Story of the World...which I believe they do.)

Paragraph 4 -5 (Original 3)
While reading we looked at the picture from this webpage of a Mesopotamian farming village  (the picture is large enough to print full page, but if you're concerned about copyright, you can sit in front of the computer or look at it through your i-pod or phone) .  I asked my son to point out the canals.

Paragraph 6 (Original 4)
We skipped this paragraph.  In stead we looked at the activity page with the picture of the Shaduf  and I explained briefly in my own words how they used these to water their crops (in the revised version this is also an illustration at the end of the chapter).

Paragraph 7 - 8 (Original 5 - 6)
We looked at pages about country life in  DK Eyewitness Books: Mesopotamia  (pg 18 - 19) while we read this section.  We talked a little bit about the houses pictured, and the types of food they ate.

Paragraph 9 - 10 (Original 7)
We looked at the picture of a walled city on page 48-49 of Stone Age People while we read this section.   I explained that the main picture was of a walled city in Greece, not the Fertile Crescent.  That page actually had a picture of the ruins of Jericho so I made sure to point that out.  You can also find pictures of the ruins of Jericho here

That's where we stopped for the day.

DK Eyewitness Books: Mesopotamia

Day 2
We read the continued story of Tarak (paragraph 8 on) this time without any need for supplemental illustrations.  It had one and that was enough (surprisingly).  We were using the older version though, which illustrations of the children playing in the river for this part of the chapter.  While overall I like the pictures in the Revised version better, in this Chapter I think the older version's illustrations are more engaging.  The newer version replaces the illustrations of Tarak's story with a picture of a man using a shaduf (it's the same picture that is in the activity book I showed my son earlier). The farmer with the shaduf is a useful illustration, and maybe more polished artistically, but, at least with my son, there was more of a connection with the pictures of Tarak from the older version.

Activity Ideas

I tried to get my child interested in making a shaduf, but he really didn't want to.  If your kids are interested, here's some examples of small models, or you could go big like this family did, which I think would be both more fun (and with larger, heavier buckets of water, I think would illustrate better why this simple machine was so useful).

Another activity which would go well with this would be to plant a small garden, and talk about what people need to be able to cultivate plants.  Think about what you would need to do to plant a garden if you didn't have modern conveniences like running water.

Supplemental Books Used

More Resources