Category Archives: Hideaways

not here too much…

because I’m busy organizing and brain-storming and researching ideas for our home and our home school and figuring out how to spend good time with ALL of the children, and not just the eldest doing the most “serious” school, and figuring out how to help him discipline himself to focus and work some on his own…

Speaking of… this is what his little creative distracted self can do… how is this for a fabulous piece of impressionistic art? 🙂 “Bridge on Dark Stormy Night”.  Its my new header now… I love the colors… and it might be dark and stormy… BUT it’s not snowy!! 🙂


Some fun stuff we have been learning and making the last couple weeks.

Celtic Chariots… ok… so these weren’t a hit and we didn’t finish them.  It’s not like you learn anything by cutting up a medicine box to make a mini chariot that looks nothing like a chariot anyway.


Frescoes (painting on Plaster of Paris) – like a cave… sort of… whatever. as the monks in India painted.  They had fun! Thad’s (praying mantis) and Keenan’s (tree in wind)



Mosque… I didn’t take a picture because it really wasn’t all that, and it didn’t thrill the kids or myself…

Sand Art – seriously.  SO messy.  But REALLY fun!! 🙂  And I did it too.


Slimy Plastic… this stuff was AWESOME.  This is for the next post… because I want to post all 50 something pictures :).

Ancient Rome, gladiators and the Colosseum

So we’ve been in Rome last week, and this week, and probably next week too as we head into the catacombs.

The gladiators have DEFINITELY been the big hit.  🙂  They played this fun computer game where they have to dress their gladiator and send them into the arena to fight, and see how well you do.  It was very educational, and not gory or detailed AT ALL.  They each ended up ‘owning’ one style of gladiator.  They drew that particular gladiator… and then dressed like them to fight in their colosseum… which they were happy with not decorating. hmmmm… OK!! 🙂  They were happy with the cardboard up in a ‘circle’ (very loosely described as such) and their orops.  a Blanket for a fishing net, swords, medieval helmets and shields… 🙂




I wrote in his description of everything, then added in a different color the ‘official’ name.  I especially liked the ‘red cloth to cover his privacy’ 🙂


Keenan drew his IN the arena.  Complete with the ‘left’ on the left for the animals to come in.  And the exit on the right for the dead bodies of animals and people.  such detail… You can see the fishing net the guy is holding, his trident (pitchfork thing), dagger in his belt and shoulder guard.  He did a really good job.

Besides some maps and listening to Story of the World, we do have a couple more things planned this week.  Try a recipe I ran across with boiled eggs and a pine nut sauce… I have the ingredients so we’ll try it.  And some internet stuff with Pompeii and volcanoes.

Great Wall, Trojan Horse and the Parthenon

Yup.  We are in the Ancient Times in our studies.  We haven’t progressed TOO far though, as we have really gotten into Greece.  Keenan and I are really enjoying all the Greek Myths and Thad is putting up with them, as long as we have some good picture books to go along with them.  Which there are some GREAT ones out there, by the way.

SO here are some pics of what we have been doing the last few weeks.





WE made one portion of the Great Wall of China.  Bryan is so sweet… as you can see here, it is THE most perfectly square kid’s project there EVER was… I had to include the pic of Shand helping… because, you know, that is what 18mth olds do best!!  And its lovely when you look back at pics and realize your kids hair wasn’t brushed, and needs to be cut, and they don’t match and they have food on their face from lunch.  Lovely.  Real life, you know?

On to Greece… we made a shoebox version of a Trjoan Horse, head drawn by Keenan while he waited for Bryan to find the perfect horse head pattern 🙂  Same with the tail!  Thaddeus working with a toy in his hand… always… Trojan Horse meets transformers…. They didn’t want to paint it… they liked the brown that it was (they apparently didn’t notice the STICKER on the top… but, OK!  no paint.  I can deal with that!!)  I was so proud of Bryan.  He didn’t even measure, God bless him!  It was just about killing him.



greece-011 I may seem a little odd that our trapdoor is on the top… but how else will the knights and soldiers get in and out, you know?  (we are fresh out of Trojan and Greek fighters…)

And finally… the Gingergread Parthenon.  You know, these projects are NOT educational.  At all!!  BUT I bet they will always remember the name of the Parthenon, as it has been said 5o million times over the last few days… “Can I have a piece of Parthenon?”



greece-037 Aren’t they just cute… I could not convince Thad to take off the police stuff.  “But mom, I”m a police!!”  ok! 🙂  GOTTA love the dirty dishes in the background and the mess and clutter… its impossible, really…

SO there we are.  our ‘stuff’ we’ve been working on.  We’ll start on Rome next week and finish that up before Christmas and take a break from History before exploring Medieval stuff in January.  Hmmm… I wonder if the boys will like that.

Ancient India and Africa

Just a taste of these countries. We split up Week 3 of the Hideaways.

Lots of reading in these two, and the teacher’s guide recommended splitting up the week, or just skipping some.

INDIA.. some extra books from the library

  • “One Grain of Rice” (a mathematical tale of smart thinking with a good moral)
  • “Once a Mouse” (another moral story – other countries are good at those!)
  • “Buddha Stories” (a collection of moral-of-the-story ‘s as told by Buddha
  • Picture book of the Ganges River. Good culture book.

We made a ‘Rakhi” – indian bracelet given from brother to sister signifying him taking care of her.

We made curried chicken and rice. And everyone ate it, including the baby!! 🙂

They colored pictures of Buddha and narrated the story of how he came to be called Buddha and followed by many.


both the boys did maps…

Thad (on top) talked through his copied version of the Usborne Map and his printed ‘clip art’, then we put his hand on the back side of his page.  Keenan (on the bottom of the pic) wrote in his SOTW Activty Guide version of the map (not pictured). We printed out some ‘clip art’ from the Usborne, and put his outlined and painted hand on the bottom of his notebook page.  They are supposed to represent the Africans painting geometric designs on their hands and feet.   (Ours are kind of geometric! 🙂 )

They wanted us to eat something African tonight. I’m uninspired. I’d love some plaintains, but don’t want to go to the store. I’d love to eat some date bars… but don’t want to make them!

Next week we’ll finish the Week 3 portion of Hideaways in Ancient China and Phoenicians.

Egyptian Pyramids

A week of exploring Ancient Egypt… I love… LOVE this! 🙂 I am having a lot of fun teaching history. Let’s reword that shall we? I am having a lot of fun letting Susan Wise Bauer and Usborne recommended web sites help me teach history.

We didn’t make the ‘hideaway’ this week. We did the cardstock version of a pyramid and I let the kiddos draw pics on the inside that ‘represented’ them. Which was hilarious.

Here they are sitting on the table closed up, and then Thad’s opened up… it’s too hard to show you pictures of their pictures and have you actually understand what is in there!! I’ll write what they said about their drawings.  Keenan actually wrote some commentary in his.

Keenan pretended he was a pharoah…  Side 1, Guy practicing for war (with shield and spear) and Man yelling “the Nile is flooding”

Side 2: Keenan in his sarcophagus

Side 3: Wrestling with people watching  (think… olympics 🙂  I know – this is Egypt!)

Side 4: Ox trampling on the grain.  Woman throwing grain and husk flying away. (his drawing is great, with the ox inside the vat.)

Floor:  Map of his pyramid.

Thad’s pyramid (in back) was for his family apparently.  Below is his all laid out.

Side 1: Mom in the ladies room.. ( I clarified… I’m the princess in the princess chamber – not the bathroom)  Its the top room.  There are all my jewels.  hundreds of them.

Side 2: Thad doing his new math, and a picture of a soccerball.

Side 3:  Keenan, mirror picture, a toilet and a can lid. (? – not sure what all the significance there is, but apparently it was pretty funny.)

Side 4: Dad lying down.  A broken TV.  A soccer ball picture.  Something he shot. (animal?) A hammer thing, but, actually a weapon hammer… bam, bam, bam, cause it has apointy at the end.

They played an “apprenctice to a mummy person”… they thought that was just great. we explored the Great Pyramids and palaces online and read some extra picture books… “Temple Cat” and a great King Tut picture book.

We burned incense… why not? 🙂 I love smelly things! A couple state fairs ago the kids (ok, Daddy) bought me a pretty incense holder.