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Our unit study on Europe in the Middle Ages is going very well. Brody is retaining so much of what we have been covering. He has really jumped headlong into the unit. He is tearing through the historical fiction books I selected for him, such as Adam of the RoadThe Door in the WallThe Castle in the Attic, and Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction. He is building castles and cathedrals out of legos and blocks, playing nobles and knights with action figures, and interjecting random medieval facts into conversations. In addition to that, we are all enjoying our schoolwork so much more. I didn’t plan on involving Adelyn in the lessons and activities because I felt like five years was too large of a gap to bridge, but she is so interested and practically insisting on being included that we are finding a way!

Recently we have been focusing on the art of the period and studying Madonnas, tapestries, illustrated manuscripts, Gothic architecture, cathedrals, and Gregorian chant. We primarily relied on the Core Knowledge Teacher’s Handbook and Art Resources for these, but we supplemented the illuminated manuscripts section with Jonathan Hunt’s Illuminations and our own illuminated letter activity using foil and sharpie markers.

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We also had a lot of fun creating cathedrals. (Brody’s will be a part of a larger project about The Four Alls from the book Knights & Castles: 50 Hands-On Activities to Explore the Middle Ages.)

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Every year one of Brody’s favorite things about the Christmas season is building and decorating a gingerbread house for the Christmas at Old Fort Concho weekend. This year’s theme was Disney, and Brody decided to go with a Frozen creation! He recreated Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post and Sauna, and accompanied it with hand painted characters. That was a new technique he tried out this year, and we really loved how well they turned out. Here are a few pictures!

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And we had fun at the festival as well. Except for the cannons, Truett is absolutely not a fan of the cannons.

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We also managed to get our Christmas tree up, and the kids were very efficient at decorating it with every single ornament we own!

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(Yes, I do realize that I am a couple of weeks late…where does the time go?!?) Despite my tardiness, I sincerely hope you and your loved ones had a very happy Thanksgiving celebration, full of things to be thankful for. Ours was simple and sweet, just the six of us at home (which was especially nice since the hubs has been out on the road quite a bit lately).

We did a couple of simple crafts together to decorate the table. Handsome egg carton turkeys (some of which clearly fared better in the gene pool than others!) and leaves with things that we are thankful for written on them.

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And of course, the food…mmmmmmmm

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