Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Church in the Rock; Idar-Oberstein

This is my favorite church. It is amazing. Somehow they built it right into the side of a rocky hill.

Cologne Church

The Cathedral in the city of Cologne, Germany is the most visited site in the country. It stands in the center of town right next to the train station.

The church is world famous because it was one of the only things left standing in Cologne after World War II. Over 90 percent of the city was destroyed. Some say it was a miracle and some say the allies left it standing to use for guidance from the air. The steeples could easily be seen and were used to determine direction.

Sometimes bombs and other war items are found in and around the city. Just last year a bomb was found in the Rhine River. The water level dipped lower than it had been since the war and the bomb became visible.
Chestnut Grove Academy Field Trip Friday Blog Hop

Our Village Church

Here is the beautiful yellow church in our village.

Oppenheim Church

There are so many churches and cathedrals in Germany. This one is in Oppenheim and from the Gothic period.

Celtic history co-op. Week 4: Beliefs

Week 4: We made Celtic robes.

The Celts were in tune with nature and worshiped many Gods. Stories were told by the Druids which served as a historical record and as a way to teach life and moral lessons. In later years when the Romans had contact with the Celts, many of the legends were written down.

Tales from Celtic Lands by Caitlin Matthews - This book was great for my third grader. It had beautiful illustrations. Many of the stories involved a peasent or a prince.

Celtic Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs - This book is free on Librivox and also free on the Baldwin Project. The stories in this book were a bit longer and better for my fifth grader. My daughter liked the Talking Egg Shell fairy tale best. It was about a troll who switched human kids with gobblin kids.

Celtic clothing was made primarily of wool. Robes were often worn over tighter fitting clothing to keep out the cold. Our Celtic robes were made from old sheets.

First a hole was cut for the head near the middle of the sheet. Next, the length was trimmed depending on the height of the child. Finally, the shoulder pins constructed from the previous co-op were added to the robes.

To read more about our history activities, click on one of the cultures below.
Ancient China 

Celtic history co-op. Week 3: Jewelry

Week 3: We made Celtic fibulas (shoulder pins).

Celts didn't have safety pins or buttons. Instead, their clothes were held together at the shoulder with pins called fibulas.

The first step in creating fibulas is to create or purchase a jig. Ours were constructed by placing pegs into holes in wooden blocks.  Artistic Wire Deluxe Jig Kit are not too expensive and can be purchased at Amazon.

Next, a 25 inch long piece of copper wire was wrapped with the fingers in circular patterns around the jig.

Once the wire was wrapped, it was removed from the jig and pounded with a hammer into a sharp point on the ends. This was done with the help of an adult.

Since each jig was a little different, each of the fibulas were different.  They turned out very nice. Both of my daughters enjoyed it so much we went home with all the scraps, tools, Celtic Jewelry book and a jewelry making kit.

To read more about our history activities, click on one of the cultures below.
Ancient China

Celtic history co-op. Week 2: Houses and Homes

Week 2: We made Celtic round houses.

The Celts lived in houses made from wattle and daub. Wattle was the woven portion of the houses which would have been made from tree branches. Daub was made from several materials such as clay, earth and dung.

Our houses were constructed with clay, vegetable skewers, yarn, flour, water and paper.

The bases were created by placing vertical skewers around the perimeter of a clay circle.

Next, yarn was woven around the skewers to create the wattle.

Once the wattle frame was constructed a flour/water/newspaper daub mixture was added to the woven wattle.

Finally, the roofs were constructed from a sheet of paper, colored and glued into a cone shape. At our house after the history co-op, we made Celtic people to live in the houses.

To read more about our homeschool history co-op activities click on one of the cultures below.
Ancient China
Sciencesparks3 For the Kids Friday

Celtic history co-op. Week 1: Salt Maps

Week 1: We made maps with salt dough.

When the Persian Empire thrived and Alexander the Great was busy conquering, the Celts lived in the northern European countries of England, Scotland, Germany, Austria, and France. To gain a better understanding of their territory, we created maps with salt dough.

Salt Dough Recipe;
1 cup of salt
2 cups of flour
1 cup of warm water

Mix and it's ready to use

Beginning with a map of Europe and a handful of dough the land was created. More dough was used for high land in the area of mountains, and less in low areas near the sea.

The dough and paper were painted with blue, green and brown paint to represent water, land and mountains.

Rivers were painted onto the maps.

Important cities were labeled with toothpick paper flags.

To read more about our homeschool history co-op activities click on one of the cultures below.
Ancient China

This post is linked to:
Share-it Saturday
It's Playtime
Hearts for Home

The Village School

Our village has a pre-school which is called kindergarten in German. Both American and German children attend, and those from other cultures are welcome too. All the teachers speak German and most speak English very well.

Our House and Car

Our house is the white duplex. The red brick house which touches on the far side is the neighbor's. The laundry room has a seperate entrance from the house thereby requiring me to go outside and back in again to wash clothes. This is actually pretty common in Germany.

Our car is a Renault Scenic. It comes from the MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) class of cars not sold in the United States. It is smaller than a minivan and SUV but filled with seven seats. The seats fold down easily to create storage space, but if there are seven passengers there isn't much room for baggage. Everyone would be allowed a purse and a jacket...... just like the airlines!

Benches in the woods

There are benches all along the trails through the countryside. We often see people sitting on them just enjoying nature.

Roe Deer

The Roe Deer that live around here are so tiny (about the size of large dogs). Whenever I go on the trails in the morning I see several. It isn't uncommon to see up to twelve on one outing.


We love the happy free range German cows!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pear Trees

In addition to apples, blackberries and plums are pear trees. This tree along the walking path was loaded with them. Fruits and vegetables seem to grow so easily in Germany.
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