Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Narration on Bloody Queen Mary

Hailey did this narration about Bloody Mary, probably the most infamous queen in England's history. Mary was the oldest daughter of the also-infamous Henry VIII. During Mary's reign, she slaughtered more then 300 protestant Christians, imprisoned and executed many people for perceived treason, and kept her younger sister in the Tower of London, one of the most horrible prisons imagined.

Hailey has learned about the story of Queen Mary's life for several weeks, and in her narration she asked to do it all as one piece, and she told me to add the subtitles so that it is divided up pretty much as she read about them. Next week, we will be learning about the magnificent reign of Mary's little sister, who became queen after her death, and changed much about life in England during the Renaissance. This is the story of the family Tudor family. (There is on fact in here that Hailey has stated incorrectly, and that is that Lady Jane Grey was the 'rightful' heir of the throne. Opinions differ on that matter. :) )

Bloody Mary

Lady Jane Grey was the queen that was rightfully an heir. And then Mary started a rebellion to be queen. She got lots of people that wanted her to be queen, and they took over Lady Jane Grey, and she was very glad about that because she didn't really want to be queen. And so were the people.

At first.

And then Mary was so happy that she became queen that she was very nice to the people. And I say again, at first. But then suddenly she started being mean to the people once she felt that she was securely on the throne for good. And that nobody would take her away.
And then she started executing people, and then she executed Lady Jane Gray and her husband. As you can hear already, she was a very bad queen.

And then how she locked up the princess.
The princess was very ill. And Queen Mary decided to send men to the princess's house, I think it was three of them. And the men went to the house and the nurse came in a said, “people would like to speak to you.”

And she said, “tell them to come tomorrow, it is very late at night and I am very ill.”

And then her nurse said, “they said they are from the queen, you must come now.”

And she said, “tell them to come in.”

And they went in. And they said, “you must come with us now.”
She said, “wait till he morning.” So they did. And then they were off. To the Tower! And she had heard of many people who came to the Tower who had never come out alive.

And the princess was long in the Tower for many longtime. And every one was taken away but there was a little boy who always came and brought her flowers every morning. And then even he was taken away. Then she said, “I would rather be a peasant and be free then be a princess locked away in the horrible Tower.”

And then her wish came true. They let her go to a poor peasant's house and she was under house arrest.

How a candle was lit and never put out.
Bloody Mary got a husband and then when the husband came in everyone was not happy but they acted like they were happy. Now that Bloody Mary had her husband she decided to make the pope again the ruler of the church, and she thought it was a cruel thing of Henry VIII to fight with the pope. She tried to make very many people obey her and the pope. But they wouldn't give up their religion that easily, even though they had hated Henry VIII. Everyone that tried to go against her got put in prison and executed the very worst way- being burned alive. And life was horrible for the people.

As two people were being walked in to be executed they said, “there shall be a candle ever lit and it shall never be put out”, and even to this day it is still shining in a way.

And then her husband went away and she was very sad. And he only returned to get money to fight. And then part of the land that Mary rules was taken away and she was very sad. And she said, "when I die let the name of the land be on my heart." And that same year she (very happily) died, and the princess became queen.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Easiest Meatloaf Ever

My little ones love meatloaf and meatballs. But I absolutely hate crunching up bread crumbs. In fact, it is probably my second-least favorite thing to do in the kitchen (second to crumbling bacon... eww its so slimy!) One day, in desperation, I used stuffing mix for my crumbs. The rest, as they say, is history....

Easiest Meatloaf (or meatballs) Ever

1 package stuffing mix... chicken and turkey both work fine.
about 1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
Chopped onion (I use dried onions, chopping onions is my third-least favorite kitchen thingy.) 

Mix it all well. If you have a stand mixer, throw it all in. Even easier! Add 2 lbs ground beef. Mix well. Tada! Meatloaf. No crumbling required. 

If you mix it for awhile in the mixer, the pieces of bread all disappear and the whole thing gets stickier.... best for meatballs. Mix it briefly and you have larger chunks of everything, and it is more solid. Perfect for meatloaf. Throw it in the freezer and you have it all ready for that busy day running kids to classes, working, or just organizing that back closet that you are sure will someday eat one of your precious little ones. 

Maybe next time I make this I will take a picture!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Weekly-Wrap up, Week Eight~ Narrations

This week I had the kiddos do some narrations for me to type and save. Hailey's got to be so long, that I will not be writing much else! Her first narration is about the American tall tale of Stormalong. This narration ended up being two fill-length typed pages! I am going to give you just a little bit of intormation on the purpose of narration, so you will understand why we do this. Keep in mind I am not a Charlotte Mason expert!  

Narrations are given after each school reading, whether read to the child, or by them. The narration is simply the child telling back what he knows, or 'got' from the story. There are a couple of things narration is, and couple that it isn't. Narrations isn't comprehension questions, although it is a way to test the child's understanding. Narration isn't testing on knowledge, like a history test, although it does tell you some of what the child knows. Narration isn't for the teacher, it is for the child.

At its most basic, narration is a way for the child's mind to DO something with the new knowledge he has been given. Our minds are not recording machines, simply copying down what is stuffed into them. Our minds have to DO something with that information to remember it. Connections to other information, and the process of the mind making those connections, is the process of learning and remembering. Narration gives that power to children.

It is important to know that narrating is hard work. The child's mind does a lot in order to narrate well, and after a few years of this work, the child will be ready to begin written narrations, which are basically the beginnings of writing essays. The work of narrating orally in the early years paves the way for written compositions. So you can see that narrations fulfill the work of several processes- learning to write, remembering what they have learned, making connections, and reading comprehension skills.

Caiden's narration was much shorter. Remember this is not a test, so hers is not better then his! They both told back what THEY got out of the story, what 'clicked' with them, and they both did a good job composing their thoughts and connecting with their learning. Success for them both, even though one was much shorter! His was also a much harder selection to narrate, from his history book.

No one really knows where Stormalong came from. Some people say that Stormalong came from a place that ends with and 'ig' or an 'oog' or something like that. But all we do know is that he lived by the sea. One day Stormalong got out but before he could even say anything he could tell a knot on a ship from a knot in his mother's yarn. When he could talk he told him mom “I want to be a sailor when I grow up.”

But his mother said, “too many people in this family has been a sailer. You can not be a sailer. If my husband had stayed on shore I would not have been a widow.”

Then he decided to make a boat for himself. He picked up an old house that he knew that nobody lived in and then he set in on the sea. And before he could count to ten that thing floated down. And then when he went back in a little later his mom said, “where is that house?”
And he said, “it sunk.”

And then his mom said, “people bought that house and were going to fix it up for a sea house.”

And then he said, “I think I should be going now that I sank their house,” and for once his mom didn't argue.

So his mom packed him up a bunch of lunch and got the ladder which was made just for that purpose and climbed up on the ladder and gave him a hug and a kiss goodbye. And then he was off! On his journey. And then he went a little ways and he saw people that were signing up for a trip to china. And he said, “I would like to sign up for a cabin boy.”
And then they said, “Okey dokey artichokey!” and then they signed him up.

But before they signed him up he said, “oh, look, your mast is crooked”, and then he lifted it up. Because, in case we didn't already mention, he was thirteen and very very tall, taller then a boat. And then, they were off!

And they sailed and sailed and sailed for a long, long while. And then, the ship was stopped. And one of the sailors said, “on no its a kraken!”
And then the captain called forth all the men and said, “who would dare to go under the sea to see what is holding us back?”

And then everyone except for Stormalong took two steps back. And then he said, “I will go! Except for will somebody get me a knife so I can go see what it is doing?”

And then he saw a monster down there and it had one long tentacle grabbing the boat except it had a claw on the end. And then he saw one eye looking out from the darkness of the depths of the sea and then he saw from a familiar head which had lots of other tentacles to it, with claws. And then he got the knife and started cutting at his arms but the first time it bounced off like rubber. And the second time it did the same thing. But the third time it cut it off but the monster quickly attached two more arms to the bottom of the boat.

And then he had an idea. He threw the knife down and tackled the first arm and tied it into a figure eight knot. Then he took the other tentacle and put it in another knot. And then it quickly latched on two more arms, and he kept making knots and knots until the thousand arms that were on it were all in knots.
But then when he went back up,he saw that there were giant waves and he caused the giant waves tackling the giant monster. Then he got up as slowly as he could, then everybody cheered and hoorayed. Then he decided to go back. And everyone was familiar with him except for the cook. Because she had to make barrels and barrels and barrels of soup for him, because he was a growing boy, and a big one too!
And then he decided he should go, and then he built himself his own ship at his home. And it was huge! It was so big that sometimes it knocked stars from the sky. So he made it that he could lower the masts down. And he was bored with just getting normal stuff so one day he saw a whale! And he decided to be a whaler. And if they were too small he would throw them off.

And then they would have to go through a little place that was only 30 miles wide. So he told the men, get some soap and scrub it everywhere. So they scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed. And they scrubbed so much that all the barnacles slipped and fell off. And then they went straight on ahead. And guess what? They made it!

And since he was a whaler, if the whales were less then ninety pounds he would throw it back and say, “I better let that poor whale grow up some more before I take that one on again.”
And then he started getting worried about the new steamships that were getting bigger and faster every year that went on. And then one day he saw one go “whoosh!” right past him. And the next time he saw them go right past him, he said, “I will take you on if I have a good wind!”

And he said, “we don't need a good wind, we've got coal and gasoline!” And then it whooshed past.

And then the next day their sails started to flutter. And then they started to whoosh. And then a giant hurricane wind came and the people said, “lower the mast, lower the mast, it is going to tear our sails up!”

And he said, “no I will beat 'em!” And then they whooshed past the other little boat.

And people saw him laying on the wheel of the giant boat with the masts all torn up, and they saw him laying on the wheel. And then he thought that maybe his mother was right, maybe he was just supposed to stay by shore. And some people think that that wasn't the end of him. Because then at the same time there was also a farmer named Stormalong and they maybe thought that he was him because he was so amazing that when there was a driest drought he worked so hard his own sweat watered the plants.

The end.
Narration by Hailey Snyder, age eight

The Story of King Stephen
After he died, they refused to let Matilda be the queen. So they made Stephen the king. But then some of the people wanted to have Matilda, and they fought. Lots and lots of fighting. And some people put people in prisons. They imprisoned people and they really did not like Matilda at all. The country did not like it at all either. And they built a wicked castle to imprison all the people in. So they had a very long fight.

But eventually some soldiers went to guard Matilda cause she got prisoned too. Then some people dressed up as white and took her away almost like robbers. Then they took her to a castle and then the two men decided to make peace. And throughout the land it was peaceful for a few years. And they also decided to make when the king died they made the son of Matilda king after that.

From Our Island Story
Caiden Snyder, age 7

Friday, September 6, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up Week Seven

This week was busy! We don't have enough leeway in our school year to take the week off, so we were right back to school even though we are working on moving and just had a wedding! I did change up our regular math and reading schedules, though, as those are the most mom-intensive parts of the day.

For math the kiddos have been doing either fun worksheets that they can do on their own, or playing a educational website called ZooWhiz. The website is neat because it is really EDUCATIONAL, not simply a game with some letters and numbers added. I can set the kid's learning levels and subjects, and they have to do a lot of learning before they can earn coins, which they use to buy animals for their zoo. The 'fun' aspect is probably not engaging enough to keep them captivated for months, but it will work for a week or two!

The kids had a little trouble focusing on their history, science, and other readings, because life was so exciting... new house, new rooms, trying to get their stuff all set up.... it was pretty tough for them at times. :)

One of Caiden's favorite readings this week was the chapter from A Child's History of the World about castles. The chapter really lit his imagination, and after it was done I gave him a lift-the-flap book full of detailed pictures, explanations, and diagrams about castles.

I forgot to write down narrations for the kids, maybe next week?? I would also like to share how we are using the Life of Fred series to enhance our math studies.  Soon.......

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