Saturday, September 18, 2010

2010-2011 School Year, Week 2 - COMPLETE! and TOG Year 3, Week 2 Napoleonic era tea party and foot soldier hike

Whew! This was a busy week, but then, aren't they all?

We are now up to speed with all children and all subjects - and we're staying afloat - yay!

Miss Baby and Mr. A play while I work with Mr. E, Miss E and Miss A.

When Mr. E's work is done, I work with Mr. A a bit and Mr. E plays with Miss Baby. A wonderful system that is helping so much in getting everything done in the mornings except History and Science which are done after lunch. Yay for a system that is working great!

Today being Friday - we had a SUPER DUPER busy day. Each week in our History program, there are arts and activities projects that can be done to help the children remember what we've discussed that week and to really reinforce all that they've been learning in a fun and creative way. This week, I decided to let each of the older 3 choose their projects and if they were all different, so be it, if they were all the same, that was fine too.

They each decided on a different project. Whew! Today was B-U-S-Y!

We are studying the 19th century this year and have been discussing Napoleon some more this week. For Mr. E's activity, he elected to take a hike dressed like a Napoleonic foot soldier. The notes suggested he bring some extra clothes since he'd be gone for a few months.  :)

Well, he did just that - here he is, about to head out....I fully realize he looks more like he's about to go camping, but we did the best w/what we had on hand....he's armed and dangerous, isn't he?

The older girls decided to join in on the fun of dressing up. I did not require them to since they were each going to be doing their own activities, but was glad to see their zeal for fun in learning!

They're off:

We "hiked" around our neighborhood one full circle. The whole time I acted as their commanding officer urging them to keep up their light step and move quickly and quietly.

Napoleon spent a lot of time analyzing the way wars had been fought for years and made some changes for his armies. He put some officers up front so they could see what was going on and make changes and decisions swiftly as needed instead of having long delays waiting for scouts to convey messages to the back of the forces from the very front. Napoleon also offered a prize to the one who could find a better way to preserve food - hence the invention of canned food (Miss A added 3 cans of food to her pack). Napoleon did away with supply wagons because they were so cumbersome and slowed down the pace so much - creating the light foot solder - able to march longer distances and also required to do so at a faster pace so they could cover more ground per day.

Along the way....

Stopping to camp for the night....

The point of the exercise was to get a tiny taste of what it was like to carry all your necessities on your back as you traveled along in Napoleon's army. The conclusion - it was hard!  :)

Truth be told, they all would've been shot - Mr. A was out ahead and being so loud that he would've been picked off first and then the rest of us would've been ambushed. Ah well, it was fun!

2nd project of the day - Miss E chose to do a collage of the flora and fauna of France. She did :) It turned out well and is now in her notebook. (no pics on this one)

3rd project of the day - Miss A chose to have a Napoleonic era tea party. So...we did a little research on tea parties of the time and found some interesting information.

The table is set:

According to legend, one of Queen Victoria's (1819-1901) ladies-in-waiting, Anna Maria Stanhope (1783-1857), known as the Duchess of Bedford, is credited as the creator of afternoon teatime. Because the noon meal had become skimpier, the Duchess suffered from "a sinking feeling" at about four o'clock in the afternoon.

At first the Duchess had servants sneak her a pot of tea and a few bread items. Adopting the European tea service format, she invited friends to join her for an additional afternoon meal at five o'clock in her rooms. The menu centered around small cakes, bread and butter sandwiches, assorted sweets, and, of course, tea. So, after lunch and Miss Baby's nap, we headed to the store to pick up the essentials because, well, the castle maid was too busy to go herself before now.

We adapted British accents, well, one of us did, ahem, and commenced our tea. Five guests came to tea and I was suspicious from the start of their lack of British accents, but we carried on in high fashion anyway.

(note Miss E's raised pinky - this was done to help balance the cup)

The ladies discussed Napoleon's war efforts as the young men talked of sailing from America. My suspicions were raised again.

Someone smuggled in some fancy fruit flavored teas....I suspect this young gentlemen....his accomplice in the background pretended to be a lady-in-waiting, but I have my doubts...   (If you'll kindly take a moment to come back to present times - note the stickers on the front of Mr. A's shirt - he proudly wears them after reading 3 books to me earlier in the day - he is coming right along w/his reading - such a smart boy - he anxiously awaits his turn to do some sort of schoolwork with me every day and I am so pleased with his eagerness to learn and blessed we have that time together)  (In the background, Miss Baby really enjoyed this special treat - she has been having a great time working on puzzles and learning her letters/numbers and SOOO much more during our days together!) Ok, back to 19th century England...ahem....

After tea, Lady E and Lady A took a few "tea dainties" to our dear friend, Lady ADG who was unable to join us for tea due to illness in her family. The young ladies returned just in time to escape a downpour!

I'll leave you with this last suspicions were correct, to some degree, it was decided by all present at the tea party that this young man was a time traveler from America circa 2010, specifically TX and he seems to have a message to TX fans....hmmm.....  ;) I believe as he bid us all farewell, he uttered a strange departing message....something akin to "Gig 'em?" I honestly do not know - such a strange day this was for all of us. Hope you enjoyed reading about it :)  Now, where is that maid.....


Pam said...

What a fun and lovely day!! LOVED reading about it CAB! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm amazed you had the presence of mind to snap so many photos during all the busy-ness.

Tina said...

in my best English accent ~ I say, what a remarkable tea time. Indeed, you have inhabited the depth and spirit of that time and offered the splendors and richness of true culture. Bravo, madam. Bravo.

Courtney said...

Very cute!