Monday, March 3, 2008

Plan vs. Reality

The mud pie near fiasco made me think about all the things I plan and what actually happens. I will confess, I am a planner. I love to make lists. Every week I make a Week Plan (all the appointments, meals, things to do, buy, etc), and I have another plan for each day roughly in the order I think it will happen. Things don't have to go according to the plan but there has to be a plan or...I'm doomed, basically. 6 kids+no plan=BAD.

Looking back at the post about the Middle Ages unit, I was interested to see my plan and where we've gone so far.

We really did make paper! Here's how, if you are interested. I always wanted to do that, and now I am set up to do it at will! Huzzah! This did turn out to be a Klenda and Mxyl project unless you count feeling the pulp as a sensory experience.

Still, the older kids loved it! They added glitter and feathers and tiny wisps of colored paper. They used their paper to write impressive letters to their godparents! We tried writing with quills, but all I had was duck quills. A little too small to be practical, but fun to try. We also tried a pen with a metal nib, but settled on calligraphy markers as the most practical solution. We had a fascinating afternoon looking at a book of 200 calligraphy alphabets and trying different styles.

We have gotten somewhat off on the research front, mostly because I've been reading aloud every knight and castle themed book in the house. I'm almost done, I will start The Black Arrow tomorrow as a grand finale. I have an animated movie of this too, for later. Hm. I also have Robin Hood and The Court Jester.

Today we tried the first of the planned stained glass projects. This involved designs for the windows, a flour paste 3-D colored leading and translucent paint. This looked terrific, except that I can't seem to get the consistency right on the "leading" and it keeps sliding down the window in a slimy mess... I'm giving it one more try and then I'll move on! We'll try the wax paper/crayon/iron thing next. I am also contemplating tissue paper. We'll see!

I dug up a fascinating book on heraldry and all the kids have been drawing (yet more) coats of arms from the book. Tonight I cut out tabards: long rectangles of white knit material with a hole for the head (real knights wore woven tabards over their armor to display their crest and colors, but, then, they had people willing to hem the fabric). The kids will paint coats of arms on them tomorrow. I will also be making construction paper helmets. These are very cool and easy. I will look for a link or just post a how to when we have examples to show you.

I have printed the 3D castle I linked to in my original post, but we haven't started it yet.

We did make and eat a medieval pottage and bread. I own a medieval cookbook called Pleyn Delyt, but I haven't found it yet since the home school books are overflowing onto the cook books. I can't find Men of Iron, or A Hole in the Wall, either! At on point I thought I would plan this unit around those 2 books! You see why I need a plan.

We have a date for the Feast (3/13) and have invited some honored guests, so that establishes a trajectory for the research projects and everything else. We'll wrap up just in time for Holy Week.

We haven't done the embroidery yet, but we still might!

Finally, Zorg wrote and illustrated a short report on how to attack a castle! That was a happy surprise. Just don't let him near your castle.

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