HMJ: The Renaissance and Early Exploration

In my life this week…

I have several weeks to combine and highlight for the HMJ. As they say “the heart is willing but the flesh is weak”. At least the flesh is spread thin some weeks, am I right?

I had my first OT appointment this week. It was slightly painful, as I expected it to be but it was also beneficial. I learned how to do an “edema massage”, which is really helping with the fact that my hand and fingers are still swollen 😦 The good news is that I can almost touch my thumb to my ring finger. You may think this is an easy feat but it has been a challenge for me since the cast came off.

My kids and I registered for BookIt this year and they have a really fun minute tracker that you can use online or as an app. If your class would like to challenge our class in a ‘read off’, our class name is the Dunka-readers. It’s just for fun 😉

This week in homeschool…

We have often played this game in the pool, In fact we have adapted the game to play on dry land as well. My children really enjoyed learning where the game originated. Did you know that Marco Polo was a merchant from Venice? Did you also know that he was sort of pressed into service by Kublai Khan to act as ambassador in Asia? Kublai Khan was a progressive who wanted to use Marco’s knack of keen economic observations to scout around Khan’s vast empire, wanting to maximise on the resources available. Marco died while his written exploration had not recieved much regognition nor respect. It would be later, with knowledge from other explorers, that most of his written adventure was deemed accurate. You can watch a great 45 minute video on the life of Marco Polo here

 Genghis Khan
This week we utilized free videos at biography.com and watched four small clips about Genghis Khan. I also put this useful link in the Middle Ages of our History Hunting directory. His early childhood did indeed help shape the warrior he was as an adult. The kids and I discussed the differences in our cultures and how our upbringings help to shape us as we mature.


We begin our study of the Renaissance this week. I had no idea that it was spun in Florence Italy and I also had no idea that it was such an intense marriage of paganism, humanism, and Christianity. I must also confess that while the nudity of the arts was bothersome, I really appreciated the most natural appearance of those subjects. No ridiculous beanpoles in their art. Purely natural bodies.

This week we had several free videos from Amazon that I thought were excellent for a history lecture. These links are also available within the History Hunting directory found in the ‘pages’ tabs above.

Only the first part of this video is necessary 
for an introduction to the Renaissance. 
Beware, this video has nudity and towards the end 
quite a bit of darkness portrayed in the art.
This website highlights the major players of the Renaissance.

Renaissance reproducible’s
This website has some great reproducible study guides
and activities centered on the Renaissance


My daughter is making a State Book for her writing assignment. We actually do this for every state we get stationed in. I found the history of the Alaska state flag interesting!

Alaska adopted the flag for official state use in 1959. The blue field represents the sky, the sea, and mountain lakes, as well as Alaska’s wildflowers. Emblazoned on the flag are eight gold stars: seven from the constellation Ursa Major, or the Big Dipper. The eighth being the North Star, representing the northern most state. Alaska’s flag was designed in 1926 by a 13-year-old Native American boy, Bennie Benson, from the village of Chignik. Bennie received a 1,000-dollar scholarship and a watch for his winning entry in the flag design contest.

 You can find this fact and many other states facts at the 50 states website.

Links to share.. 

I have a friend who is raising a child who is autistic.She wrote an inspiring and encouraging post which you can check out here.


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