Friday, October 11, 2013

Chinese Wood Block Printing

As we have worked our way through another chapter in our Story of the World book, we discussed some contributions the Chinese have made to civilization. After reading about wood block printing we went ahead and did a mock printing craft that they had a lot of fun with.
First we drew simple pictures on cardboard and then layed glue soaked yarn on the pictures.
After letting it dry overnight, we coated a paper plate with paint. I used a paintbrush to try to get an even surface for them to press their yarn pictures into. When you press your yarn down on the paint, you have to make sure the yarn was covered with the paint. Seems obvious but the kids didn't really get it until they saw the negative space on their cardboard with paint and then it sort of ruins their design.
After talking about monks, monasteries, scriptoriums and letter illumination, they got the fact that wood block printing was much more efficient to mass produce written text.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall Food- Squash Quesadilla

We went outside today and I didn't start sweating in the first ten minutes. I think fall might be here, but I don't want to get my hopes up, tomorrow will probably feel like 100 degrees again.

Anyways, with the new season comes new food. Today we tried a fall version of the cheese quesadilla, always a favorite in our house.

I started with frozen, cubed butternut squash. After defrosting I let it drain on a paper towel.
I then layed some shredded cheese, the squash, spinach and more cheese in between two tortillas. I think kale instead of spinach would be a great try also. I warmed it in a dry pan until the cheese melted.

Let me say yum! The kids kind of flipped on me when they figured out there was squash in there. They tried to pick out as much as they could. I think it was really great! I might say this is more of an adult quesadilla though.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It's a Monks Life!

We have been reading through the book, Story of the World this year. If you have never seen or heard about this book I would totally suggest checking it out of the library.
The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: The Middle Ages: From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of the Renaiss...
There are 4 volumes that cover the history of the world. I bought volume one last year since it went with the history we were memorizing with Classical Conversations, but never got into it. I went ahead and ordered volume two for this year and we have been working our way through it and loving it. I ordered the activity book to go with it, which is not the cheapest thing out there. However, I think it's worth it. We have just finished reading about monks, monasteries, scriptoriums and how they would make books. To go with this, the activity book has an illuminated letter to color that we did.
 I also looked up illuminated letters on the internet to give the kids other ideas of what they looked like. Here's a few examples to get you started.

We also had a monk's dinner that evening. The activity book had a recipe for this soup and recomended bread, cheese and apple slices to go with it. The kids enjoyed tasting a simple meal that a monk would eat. In all honesty, the simpler the meal, the more likely the kids will eat it anyways.
I can't believe how much I am learning each day!