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I say this hesitantly, but I might be sort of getting the hang of homeschooling. The porch got painted, the gardens got some weeding, the kids were both occupied and edified, and dinner never slumped to the level of frozen pizza. And, in a amusing way, it’s been one of those “you know you’re a homeschooler when…” kind of weeks.
You know you’re a homeschooler when…
1. You see a large, dead beetle on the patio table, and your first reaction is, “Hey, we can use that for a model for Egyptian scarab beetle beads!” And you actually bring it inside without a second thought.
2. You’ve checked out so many books from the library, the librarian gives you dirty looks. (and, in spite of that, we will be renewing The Winged Cat by Deborah Nourse Lattimore at least once more.)
3. Your idea of a fun afternoon with the kids playing with clay involves three reference books and accurate reproductions of ancient Egyptian jewelry. (scarab beetles, protective eye amulets, and fish amulets (for protection from drowning, since everyone lived within a few miles of the Nile, and probably much closer to numerous irrigation and transportation canals)). Diva was having so much fun, she insisted on “just one more” project: she browsed through the books and decided on the bowl of dates in the upper left corner. (and I found this awesome coloring page for an Egyptian hawk breastpiece that I’m going to use as a template. (The craft books suggested making tin foil outlines, then filling them with tinted plaster. You have got to be kidding me!) I plan to roll out the gold clay, cut out the outline, mark the major lines, and the kids can decorate with clay dots and snakes to their hearts’ content.)
4. Oven bake clay is your friend. And poster board. And the art projector.
5. “Do you have any poster board?” is a major insult (husbands, especially, take note; my DH found this out the hard way). We just bought another ten sheets of the stuff. It won’t last long: we’re planning tomb mural reproductions. (Updated: Diva picked (what else?) a queen playing a game with two musicians added in behind her. Crash picked the pharoah in a chariot conquering a city.)
6. This is your idea of a really exciting day of deliveries.
Two pounds of yeast, a cheesemaking book, a retractable clothesline for swimsuits in the shower, and a set of heiroglyphic stamps. (Ok, I’m cheating on that one… this day was actually several weeks back, but I haven’t done 7 Quick Takes for two weeks. Still, it fit the mood. And I was really excited… in a “my gosh, this is kinda pathetic/weird” kind of way!)
7. And the final reason (for now) of why this has been such a “you know you’re a homeschooler when…” week is that I’m not going to bed yet because I am a) writing this blog post, because I’m sure lots of you out there would love some great unit study/Virginia history SOL ideas* and b) because I want to set up for the fig banquet balls so we can have them for breakfast. The kids will be so thrilled. I’m serious. Here’s the recipe, from Make It Work: Ancient Egypt by Andrew Haslam and Alexandra Parsons (my abriged version: they have you grinding things separately, I’m just going to throw them all in).
- 1 1/3 cup fresh figs, water, 1/3 cup walnuts, ground cardamom: mix in food processor. Add more water only as needed. (Other books recommended dates instead of figs; both were common foods in ancient Egypt.)
- Shape the mixture into balls. Roll in honey, then in ground almonds.
I’ll update tomorrow with more photos and a report on the recipe. Yum!
[Update: Added above photo of Diva coloring her poster.
Also, the fig cakes are way too liquid as the recipe is written. We added flour and smashed Nilla Wafers until it was still pretty wet, but solid enough to scoop up, dredge in honey, and roll in almond flour. They’re still squishy, but very good.
Crash also had time this afternoon to try my idea about the falcon breastpiece. Also, he was just desperate to get that sidelock tried on, so there it is, attached with packing tape, with his fish amulet pinned to it, just like the picture we saw. Of course, Empress was jealous that he was getting his picture taken, so I wrapped her in a scrap of white fabric, pinned with another fish amulet.
*Yes, I would’ve taught Egyptian history to my kids with or without the SOL’s. (That’s the Virginia Standards of Learning. Yes, it may be the dumbest choice of acronym ever, although it would seem to reflect what that style of testing does to students’ ability to write and think.)