Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Last Queen of Egypt: Cleopatra VII

This is Serena's 3rd Biography Fair.  After Princess Grace Kelly and Laura Ingalls Wilder, Serena has decided to pick someone from ancient history this year, given her recent obsession with the Greek and Roman gods. Cleopatra was a ton of fun to do - the last Pharaoh of Egypt, full of glam and drama and mystery!

There's a ton of great books in the library on this fascinating historical character:

Cleopatra: Discover the World of Cleopatra Through the Diary of Her Handmaid Nefret by Adele Geras
Cleopatra: "Serpent of the Nile" by Mary Fisk Pack
Everything Ancient Egypt by Crispin Boyer
Cleopatra: Egypt's Last and Greatest Queen by Susan Blackaby
Cleopatra by Haydn Middleton
Ancient Egypt: Tales of Gods and Pharaohs by Marcia Williams

We found a fun online hieroglyphic typewriter. Serena used it to make cartouche hieroglyphs of Cleopatra and the men in her life: Ptolemy XIII, Ptolemy XIV, Julius Caesar, and Mark Antony.
We created pages of fictional diary entries by Cleopatra to tell her story from the death of her father Ptolemy XII in 51 B.C. to her own death in 30 B.C.. To make the paper look like ancient papyrus, Serena stained them with tea bags and I scorched the edges of the papers with a lighter. Playing with food and fire was really quite fun.

Instead of a project board, we decided to use the room divider that sits in our kitchen - an idea that came to us as we were chatting about the project over dinner. Actually many crazy ideas came about, like building a replica of the Pharos of Alexandria and writing the entire project in hieroglyphs.
Serena dug up a bunch of her play jewellery and did a fine job decorating her display board. We kept her wonderful idea of using a "scroll" instead of note cards for comments. Her favourite part, as always, was dressing up in character. That's her area of specialty and it requires zero input from me.

Serena enjoyed being in character as Cleopatra in her presentation, and Daddy seemed to equally enjoy his character as Julius Caesar.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Flutist In Training

Serena has a new flute teacher since October. Thanks to Ms. Christine, we've seen some significant growth in two short months. Serena performed a short piece at our last Wednesday Club meeting - the theme was Fine Arts. We were all thoroughly impressed by these talented homeschoolers: there were many pianists, a couple of singers, some dancers, a movie producer, and even a cake decorator. Serena was the lone flutist and enjoyed showing off her shiny flute to her friends as they ate cupcakes and learned dance moves together.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader concluded the fall term of Planet Narnia Book Club. It was a visual treat to map out King Caspian's voyage toward Aslan's country as Mrs. Cowley cleverly led the readers through an exploration of the imagery of the Sun (Sol) throughout the book.

It's been a pleasure watching Serena and her friends soak in the enchanted world of Narnia. The magic of C. S. Lewis endures!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Reformation & Persecution

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the door of Castle Church in Wittenburg, Germany. Instead of trick-or-treating, we stayed home, coloured the Lutheran rose, memorized Ephesians 2:8-9, and sang "Martin the German" and "Reformation Carol". We agreed that it's a more civilized way to spend a rainy Halloween evening.

This Sunday, November 4, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Serena was struck by the brutality Christians have to endure in many other parts of the world. What a reminder to be truly thankful for our freedom to worship here.