Weeks 16-17 Germany

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Weeks 16-17 Germany

Unread post by Marie »

Weeks 16-17

NOTE: You may also find related Science ideas (on forests & trees) posted on other boards:

Kindergarten Unit Ideas board

My Father's World First Grade board

George Muller in Hero Tales
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... p=542#p542
Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota


Unread post by Julie in MN »

Okay, can you tell ds is sick in bed today :o)

1. Since beeswax clay was hard to find, we made beeswax candles. It's just rolling the sheet up around the string (a kit cost only a few dollars at Michaels). It became a little science experiment to compare how well a tightly-rolled candle burned to a loosely-rolled candle. It makes a HUGE difference, & ds learned to roll really tight LOL!
[Since then, I have seen modeling beeswax at Dick Blick art store & other places, and we have tried it, but it was okay doing ECC without it, too.]

2. Bill Nye The Science Guy videos, Forests (& Deserts) -- not for those who want to protect their children from crazy rock songs etc., but for my ds he enjoyed the humor, started looking at scientists as cool, & wanted to watch them over & over. These were at our library.

3. Trees was a good study for us in Minnesota. I copied the world map page so we could color in areas of deciduous & coniferous forests, like we did for deserts. There are more tree books recommended earlier in ECC under Nature Walks. Plus there was a book someone on the boards recommended that was good about How The Forest Grew. We had fun outside in the snow with the blindfolded tree activity! But it was so easy in our yard, since our trees are so easy to tell apart, that I plan to try again in spring at a local park where it will be harder to distinguish between trees. It's always good to have something to bring us outside, & ds stayed & built a snowman :o)

4. We have several examples of German "half timber" architecture around town. (Also a Norwegian-style painted house!) Keep your eyes out, as this seemed more meaningful to ds than seeing it in books (one in Richfield looks like a castle, & he told everyone how much he wanted to go to a country like THAT!).

5. With each new country, ds enjoys comparing its *area* and *population* to various states in the USA. We try to find the closest match in our road atlas. (e.g. Germany vs. Texas or California) If you have the Geography Coloring Book, it also has many overlay drawings of countries overlaid on the U.S. for comparison.

6. We enjoyed a Switzerland day, as recommended in week 16. Ds really enjoyed the Shirley Temple version of Heidi :o) I remember he had a hard time choosing a science topic until we read an extra page (pg. 12) & got to mountain animals -- & he saw Peter's mountain goats from the movie!

7. The YWAM book on George is a HOOT! He starts out as the most awful boy! For notebooking or just visualizing, here is a good site. As far as I can tell, this is a SECULAR site that honors God's work thru George!

8. The recommended Count Your Way Thru Germany had an intro that went well with the German language day in week 17. I think it also had a page about the architecture. The "Count Your Way" books are always good.

9. Tons of composers are German -- Bach, Handel, Beethoven, Schumann, Greig. I'm trying not to overdo the classics since we'll start studying them next year in Creation to the GReeks, but I think connecting them with countries we've studied will be good.

10. In the Geography Packet, the page on *languages* is an interesting one for Europe. For my 3rd grader, I just set him up at the CIA Factbook online, and he just had to click in each country & find the official language. For the final question on that page, about Romance Languages, there is a map at

11. We had a Grimm's Fairy Tales day. I never read them to my kids as toddlers because they seemed scary. But they had a cultural gap! Not until reading a few with ECC Germany did ds knows old sayings like, "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair"!

I would like to mention that sometimes having more than one version of a Grimm's story is best. The ECC ones were great & we also liked ones by Paul Zelinsky. But for instance one version of Tom Thumb (by M. Mayer) somehow had Merlin the magician in there, very strange.

Even very subtle differences can affect the moral of the story -- for instance, some original translations of the Frog Prince have the princess throwing him against a wall in anger, but then getting to marry him. I prefer the ones without that event (!), but if you do want that original, you need to also have one that clarifies the reward was for her father's behavior, not hers!

So, discussing more than one version provokes good conversation!

I created my own matching page for the stories based on one I saw at english.unitecnology.ac.nz/ (they had a good idea, but too many obvious answers & a few weren't even Grimm's).

Edited to add: I don't see that page any more, but there are some various Grimm-related worksheets on their new site:
http://englishonline.tki.org.nz/English ... Activities .
However, just making a simple matching page like we used was easy & fun -- here's my little list from stories we read:

Tales of the Grimm Brothers
Match the story with the important parts.
Rumpelstiltskin – _____
Rapunzel – _____
The Falling Stars – _____
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – _____
Cinderella – _____
Tom Thumb – _____
The Frog Prince – _____
The Golden Goose – _____
Sleeping Beauty –_____
Hansel and Gretel – _____
Little Red Riding Hood (Little Red Cap) – _____

a. A spinning wheel with a sharp point
b. A princess who made a promise to an animal
c. A spinning wheel that spun gold
d. People stuck together
e. Someone who wished for a child of any size
f. A girl with very long hair
g. A talking mirror
h. A wolf that dressed up
i. A brother and sister
j. One lost shoe
k. A poor girl who gave away everything she had

Some original Grimms are online at

Finally, I would HIGHLY recommend the Grimm story listed in ECC, "Falling Stars." Who knew the Grimms wrote one about a girl giving away all she had & trusting in God?! I did need the illustrator before it would come up on my library search (Eugene Sopko).
Last edited by Julie in MN on Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
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Unread post by Tina »

We have wrapped up our study in Germany. Here were some highlights for us:
--Grimms fairy tales were fun. We read many. Dc enjoyed hearing some familiar stories in a different way (the seven little goats was very much like a version of little red riding hood and the three little pigs.)

--The tree experiments were fun. Of course, we modified for our yard and six inches of snow being on the ground, but playing "guess that tree" was a hit, as was trying to find the height and girth of trees. Dc of course, love outdoor activities with mom.

--We learned more about classical music and composers. Interesting to them.

--We always try to make at least one recipe from one of the books. We had beef stew one night (not exactly the "one dish meal" germans ate, but close enough) and we made the potato pancakes from "A trip around the world".

--Reading of Heidi was excellent. Our favorite thing in Germany. We all loved this story including dh. Dc drew pictures of Heidi and Peter on the mountain and we appreciated the science topic in the Alps. We are trying to get the Heidi movie--maybe this week we can get it. (I was very impressed with how much Grandmama encouraged Heidi to keep praying--beautiful story!)

--The castles were cool. We really enjoyed looking at pictures of them on the internet and in books. We drew some of our own. It was interesting to learn that one castle in Germany inspired the making of the castle for walt disney's magic kingdom! Studying about the Berlin wall being taken down was also interesting to the dc.

We enjoyed our study in Europe and look forward to going to the grasslands in Africa!
Tina, homeschooling mother of Laura (1996), Jacob (1998) and Tucker (2003) In MO
"One of the greatest blessings of heaven is the appreciation of heaven on earth. He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."--JIM ELLIOT
Gwen in FL
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Don't Miss For Germany!

Unread post by Gwen in FL »

We have so enjoyed all the countries we have been visiting. I wanted to take some time to do a few recommendations for "Don't Miss" items for each country. For Germany - Of course don't miss "Heidi", we used "The Whole Story" version and it was just excellent! I found an absolute gem called "Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot" by Margot Theis Raven. This book is a true story of the Berlin Airlift and the candy that dropped from the sky. If you can find it, borrow it, or ILL it, please get it! I laughed, I cried, I was so moved! The illustrations are beautiful and the story will stay with you long after you close the book. This book shows us so beautifully how seemingly small things we do for others can have a BIG impact. I don't want to spoil it for you, so I won't say anymore. Did I mention that we LOVED this book?! Blessings as you travel through My Father's World! Gwen :o)
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Unread post by niki »

DH found a great book for book basket...

Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot (a true story of the Berlin airlift na dthe candy that dropped from the sky) by Margot Theis Raven

Beautiful and heart warming (mommy cried) I just saw that Gwen found this book too - Don't miss it!

Strong Tower Academy
DD 6th DS 5th DD 3rd
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Unread post by LoveBaby »

lyntley wrote:Has anyone been able to find modeling wax for german art?
I bought Stockmar modeling beeswax. it smells so yummy and is awesome to work with. it does take some getting used to, since you have to warm it in your hands to get it soft enough to begin molding it. my kids love it though...after mom warms it for them!

You can find it online
http://www.achildsdream.com/arts_crafts ... crafts.htm

...or my mom is a wholesaler for mercurious and they carry it and it's much cheaper. mmm...i wonder if anyone would be interested in doing a coop of sorts? they also have other art items, like really nice colored pencils, paints, papers, etc.
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Unread post by lyntley »

Momto3princesses wrote:The craft store near us sold bees wax in a rectangle shaped block that was too thick for me to break off a piece so I warmed it in the oven and was able to get a little bit off. However, it got all crumbly immediately. Just wondering if anyone else can shed some light on it for me.
Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:13 am

From what I've read and seen here, they use the large block to melt down for candle making. I thought I saw on the Stockmar site that it is just mixed with more oils or something making it more workable. Thanks for your story though I wont be getting the block...

Unread post by cbollin »

(I realize this has been discussed in this section before..... just repeating with some extra stuff and a link to a retail searcher for this item)

Help! Where is the modeling beeswax? That’s not a common household item!!!

Maybe you’re wondering that too. I did and still do. I was quite surprised that MFW put this as a "do this activity" instead of "this is optional" activity. But it has been the only item in my many years of using MFW that I didn't easily find. So that's ok.

*When I did ECC the first time, I didn’t get the real stuff. My memory is poor about what we did. Knowing me, I probably used regular modeling clay and ate some honey, or let the kid play with a cheap tube of Burt’s Bees lip balm to feel the difference.

*Order ahead of time from an online source of natural baby toys. A common brand of German modeling beeswax is Stockmar. I decided to order from a company called Hazelnut Kids. I had to – I mean, MFW is written by a family with last name of Hazell. I had to!!! There are lots of online options. So that's not the only company out there. :) (I could have order from a place 50 miles up the road too.) further up in this thread another store is mentioned.

*One option may be to look at a retailer list of this company that distributes StockMar products in the USA.
http://www.mercurius-usa.com/ams_index. ... ailer_us=1

One suggestion for using the zip code locator on that link…. Just use the first digit of your zipcode to return the maximum possible stuff. I had considered buying the stuff while I was in Indianapolis a few weeks ago, or having Grandma in St. Louis pick some up and bring it out here on her recent visit. Might not be possible too far in advance, but might be an option. Even if you don’t have a store near you can still do something similar to this project.

*Do you have any friends who always order all of the organic and wooden and natural baby toys? Maybe they have some modeling beeswax you could borrow.

*Are you in a larger city that has a “waldorf school”. Maybe they have a local supplier of the stuff and you could ask or shop there for it?

No, it wasn’t an easy to find item for me. So I wanted to share quick ideas to help find it or to make a quick sub.

Sheena IA
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Interesting George Muller Links

Unread post by Sheena IA »

I was doing some research and found a picture of the orphanages at Ashley Down on Wikipedia:


Then I found out that the orphanage was later turned into a college, I was curious if the buidlings were still standing and they are. Here is a video clip of the buildings now. Just click on the video link at the bottom.

http://www.cityofbristol.ac.uk/school-l ... /index.php

Just wanted to share my finds this morning:)
Sheena Mom to Sabrina-10, Sara-9, Ashlyn-7
Creation to Greeks

John 10:10
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Re: Science Fair Project

Unread post by schelean »

Crystal and Julie
You two have given me some great ideas. Thank you so much! We are just about to finish up Week 4 in ECC and we will be taking a break from MFW next week to work on our project. The actual science fair is the following week. I will take lots of pictures and try to post the finshed product here.

One more thing..thanks for reminding me to have fun. I really need to hear that again and again. :)
Schelean in Texas
MFW user since 2006
Exp-1850 w/dd 11& K w/ds 6
Julie in MN
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Forests & Trees

Unread post by Julie in MN »

http://minnesotaforests.com/lookingfor/ ... rials.aspx

Minnesota Forest Industries will send a teaching kit called Where Would We Be Without Wood, which they will ship out for really less than their shipping costs ($5 within MN and $8 outside). It includes sample slabs of 22 different types of wood that grow in Minnesota, with a teaching guide book.

They also have several other related kits.

Other states may have similar materials, or it seems possible this Minnesota group will send their materials to other states.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:27 pm

Re: Weeks 16-17 Germany

Unread post by doubleportion »

The Getting to Know the World's Great Composers Series by Mike Venezia are really great for connecting the composers and their music with their home country. We checked out Bach, Beethoven and will get Handel next week. We enjoyed listening to recordings of the music as we looked through the book on the composer. The Comic style illustrations are very silly, but dd loved them.

There are some clean videos called Visions of . . . The videos are helicopter footage of different countries, a little narrative, and music (which is representative of the country the DVD is about). We enjoyed the Visions of Germany. It helped us to get an idea of the architecture and landscape of the country. Very beautiful!

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Re: Weeks 16-17 Germany

Unread post by BHelf »

I can't remember if it's week 16 or 17 but the grid has an optional assignment to look at castles and research them. As a compliment to that, I thought maybe we could make one. We haven't done it yet but I found this website that looks great and easy to make with things you'd already have on hand!!

http://www.stormthecastle.com/paper-cas ... castle.htm
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
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ECC Idea for Europe

Unread post by doubleportion »

We are currently listening to Vivaldi in CTG and the music made me think of this idea for ECC.

There is a beautiful tone painting piece by the Czech composer Bedrich Smetana called The Moldau or Vltava. It depicts the great River Moldau as it runs through the country. You can read complete description of the piece and what it depicts at http://www.classicalnotes.co.uk/notes/smetava1.html. You will hear the river flow by a hunting party, a wedding, the castle, water falls etc. Beautiful music to add to your experience in Europe.

Youtube has a good performance played by the Berlin Philharmonic with some pictures showing what is being depicted.
(the original page is in German)

I think this piece depicts the picture desired to be painted by the composer in music. Personally I find the Vivaldi piece not nearly as vivid a tone painting. We may paint to it instead of the Fours Seasons movement.

Happy listening. Guten tag!
Julie in MN wrote:Why thank you Edie, for thinking of us :) We're doing ECC right now. We love musical ideas at our house !!
LOL! Ithink it comes naturally to me having BME (Bachelors in Music Education).

I just thought that piece would inspire great art work.

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Great George Muller video

Unread post by 4in4years »

We finished the George Muller biography today and searched for videos on YouYube. We came accross this:

Robber of Cruel Streets: George Muller
[ search youtube for " Robber Of The Cruel Streets: George Muller, 1/6, joe32Xcel " ]

My kids ate it up.

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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: Weeks 16-17 Germany

Unread post by MelissaB »

Don't forget to read Heidi.(!) Read the original version by Johanna Spyri - a revised version on this one just won't do. :-)
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4
Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Re: Weeks 16-17 Germany

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Amazing Buildings, by Kate Hayden
DK stage 2 Reader

This is a little DK Reader that has photos of the Disney Cinderella Castle and the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, side-by-side on one page. I thought it was fun to see, since I remember when we read about that.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
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