English 6 Lesson 50 Week 10 Review

Free time

 When I’m done school every day I don’t exactly have “free time”, as people call it, because there is always work to be done around my house and my mom and siblings often need my help to do certain things, but there are times of the day when a lot of the chores have been taken care of and I can sneak off to a quiet spot in the house and read a book.

I usually prefer to read alone so I can concentrate on the story that I’m reading, but I can read around other people if I want to (even if there’s music playing in the background), although I sometimes have to reread sentences that I didn’t quite understand the first time because my brain was distracted by something else.

My dad says that reading fiction is a waste of time, but it’s fiction that got me into reading in the first place, and I really like it. I read all kinds of fiction books, but if I had to pick I would say that some of my favorites are The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, Dracula by Bram Stoker, The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, and The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells, along with The Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum, The Rover Boys series by Edward Stratemeyer, the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories by pseudonym Carolyn Keene, and The Hardy Boys Mystery Stories by pseudonym ‎Franklin W. Dixon. I could probably go on and on listing what books I like most, but if I did that I would be getting a little bit off topic.

I used to read all the time, finishing book after book, sometimes a book and a half in one day, but lately I’ve been trying to read less and focus my time on housework or other interests of mine, such as drawing (on the rare occasion that I do) and story writing, something that is a little difficult for me to do since I often get writer’s block and my parents, mainly my dad, don’t want my writing fiction just as much as they don’t want me reading it, so I kind of have to do both in secret, the former more than the latter. What can I say, life can just be a little unfair sometimes, but that’s all the more reason why I should never give up on what I’m really passionate about, just like all my favorite book characters do. I thank all the authors whose characters inspire me to be great because without hope, I would be even more pessimistic than I already am.

To conclude this essay, I’ll say that I really like reading fiction and if someone is really passionate about something, they should do it regardless of what other people think, so long as it’s not harmful or dangerous to you or anyone else. For me, that something is reading and writing fiction.

~Sophie

History 6 Week 36 Review

Summary of grade 6

In the first week of the Ron Paul Curriculum’s sixth grade history class, I had an introduction to what the course was going to be about, along with three other lessons covering the beginning of the Bible up to the Tower of Babel, and finally with a weekly review lesson covering what I learned and giving me a writing assignment.

In the second week I began a World Tour, starting with Mesopotamia, then Asia Minor, Greece, and finally Africa. Then, I of course had another review lesson with a writing assignment.

The third week continued with the World Tour, covering Europe, Asia, North America and Australia, Central and South America, and ended with the weekly review and writing assignment.

Week four covered the lives of the Hebrew Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, showing how God’s sovereignty was displayed in their lives, and ended with a review and writing assignment.

Week five started with Ancient Egypt, covering Dynasties 4-12, 14-18, and 19-31, with the addition of not only worksheets to do, which up to this point I had been doing for every lesson but the reviews, but also reading assignments. And, as usual, the week ended with the weekly review and writing assignment.

In week six I learned more about Egyptian culture, specifically Egyptian geography, Egyptian burial rituals, Egyptian religion and government, Egyptian daily life, and then my review and writing assignment, the week being full of reading assignments and worksheets to go with the lessons.

It may as well be said here that from lesson 1 there had always been worksheets to go with the lessons and from the start of week 5 there were also reading assignments to go with the daily lessons, minus the review, that would last until the end of the course.

In week seven I started off with learning about Hammurabi, an ancient Mesopotamian king, and the rest of the week was spent learning about Moses, the Ten Plagues and the Exodus, followed by a review lesson and writing assignment.

Week eight was all about the Israelites as they journeyed to the Promise land God had given them, covering the stories of the Wild Wanderings, the Mosaic Law and Tabernacle, the Levitical Priesthood, Israel’s disobedience, and ending with the review and writing assignment.

Week nine was about Joshua, the book of Judges, readings from 1 Samuel, and finally Saul, ending with the review lesson and writing assignment.

In week ten I learned about David, Solomon, Hebrew literature, and how the kingdom of Israel was divided, followed by the weekly review and writing assignment.

Learning about the kings of Judah and Israel was what all of week eleven was about, with the review lesson and writing assignment, of course.

Week twelve was about the prophets of Israel, the fall of Israel, the fall of Judah, prophets during the Exile, and my weekly review and writing assignment.

Week thirteen was just about my favorite week in the course because I got to have an introduction to Greece, I got to learn about Homer and the Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil and the Aeneid, and I had the best review and writing assignment ever.

In week fourteen I learned about the founding of Rome, Greek government, Greek Olympics, and I had my review and writing assignment.

In week fifteen I learned about one of my favorite places in the ancient world that is still around today, Greece! I learned about life in ancient Greece, religion in ancient Greece, and had my review and writing assignment.

In week sixteen I learned more about ancient Greece, going over mythology in Greece (one of my favorite things about ancient Greece), Greek art and architecture, Greek fine arts, and my review and writing assignment.

Week seventeen taught me about Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, math and science in Greece, Archimedes, and gave me a writing assignment with my weekly review.

Week eighteen went over Cyrus the Great, Cambyses II and Darius the Great, Ezra and Zerubbabel, Nehemiah, and my review and writing assignment.

In week nineteen I learned about the Persian wars, Queen Esther, more about Persian wars, and had my review and writing assignment.

In week twenty I learned about the Peloponnesian wars, the Corinthian war, and had my review and writing assignment.

In week twenty-one I learned about Philip II of Macedon, Alexander the Great, Alexander’s conquests, after Alexander’s death, and had my review and writing assignment.

Week twenty-two was about King Romulus, Numa Pompilius, Tullus Hostilius and Ancus Marcius, later kings of Rome, complete with my review and writing assignment.

Week twenty-three went over the Roman Games, Roman religion, Roman Republic, and my weekly review and writing assignment.

In week twenty-four I learned about Rome’s military, Rome’s early legal system, Rome’s early wars, the Samnite wars, and had my review and writing assignment.

In week twenty-five I learned about Carthage and the Pyrrhic war, Punic wars, Hannibal and the second Punic war, the third Punic war, and had my review and writing assignment.

In week twenty-six I learned about Julius Caesar and Pompey, Mark Antony and Cleopatra, Octavian Augustus Caesar, Tiberius Caesar, and had my review and writing assignment.

Week twenty-seven had some interesting topics to learn about. I learned about the Intertestamental Period, but what I found more exciting was the birth of Jesus Christ, the ministry of Jesus Christ, and, quite sad really, His death. As was normal, I had my review lesson and writing assignment, and I liked the topic that I had to write about.

Week twenty-eight was when I learned about Caligula and Claudius, Nero and the Year of the 4 Emperors, the early church, the Flavian dynasty, and had my review and writing assignment.

In week twenty-nine I learned about Pompeii, Nerva and Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius, and had my review and writing assignment.

In week thirty I learned all about Rome, going over the Roman economy, Roman cities, Roman homes, Roman family life, and I had my review and writing assignment to end the week.

Week thirty-one was packed with more information about Rome, covering topics such as farming and hospitably in Rome, clothes and fashion in Rome, medicine and science in Rome, more science in Rome, and ended with my review and writing assignment.

In week thirty-two I learned about the third century crisis in Rome, Diocletian, the east and west Roman empires, Constantine the Great, and had my review and writing assignment.

In week thirty-three I learned about Apostolic Fathers, Church Fathers, Athanasius and Ambrose, Jerome and Augustine, and had my review and writing assignment.

Week thirty-four was about Theodosius, Honorius, Romulus Augustulus, the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and my review and writing assignment.

Week thirty-five had another World Tour in it, and I learned about the Middle East, ancient Greece, ancient Africa, ancient India, and had a review and writing assignment about it.

In the last and thirty-sixth week of the grade six history course the World Tour from the previous week was continued, and I learned about ancient China, Americas and Oceania, ancient Europe, the lasting effects of Rome, and had my last review lesson and writing assignment, which is the reason for the existence of this essay.

There are a lot of things that I liked in this course, and I didn’t really dislike anything. I admit, sometimes I really didn’t want to do certain reading assignments, but when I did I found them very factual and sometimes quite interesting. My teacher did a very good job giving me plenty of information on what I was learning about, and I’ll look forward to having him teach me again.

I used to not like learning history, but now I realize that it’s very important to know what happened in the past, as it affects the present and every luxury that we have today is due to the hard work of others, and I want to learn just who those others are so I can thank them by learning just what they did to make my life better.

~Sophie

History 6 Week 35 Review

Things that I liked learning about

There are a lot of things that I found were interesting in the sixth grade class from the Ron Paul Curriculum, but looking back at my weekly essays, I see that there are a few things I learned that really jump out at me, the first being God’s sovereignty.

Near the beginning of the year I learned how God’s sovereignty was displayed in the lives of the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, and I found it quite interesting, especially when I had to write an essay about it and add how God’s sovereignty is displayed in my own life. Adding personal information about myself combined with the already exciting task of writing about the Patriarchs just about adds the icing on the cake, so to speak.

After that I learned about ancient Greece, which was quite interesting, but what I found was really fascinated were Greek myths. And of course, I got to write at least two essays about myths that I always heard about and thought were interesting, The Odyssey and Pandora’s Box, but didn’t know much about. Thanks to homeschool, I got to learn plenty about these famous stories that I enjoyed writing about. In fact, I consider my Odyssey essay to not only be the longest, but best thing I ever wrote.

Then I learned about the greatest person that was ever in existence, Jesus Christ! Even though I already knew his story, it was nice to learn it again in full detail, and I got to write an essay about it. I enjoyed going to my Bible for information instead of Google and Wikipedia for once, and what I liked most was the opportunity to learn about how much both Jesus and God care about all of us. That’s why when I see all the evil in this world and I occasionally (I want to be honest) read my Bible and happen to come across Jesus’ story, I cry. Not cry as in bawl my eyes out, but cry as in shed silent tears in His memory.

Before I get talking too much about my personal feelings, I’ll move on to the next thing I liked learning about, the Apostles and early Christianity.

The Apostles were the best followers of Jesus, and after He died it was their job to spread the word of the Gospel all over the world. Considering how they were all treated (some were even killed for their teachings and beliefs), the Apostles were very brave to do what they did, and thanks to them Christianity impacted much of the world as we know it, even if it doesn’t seem like it. I liked writing an essay about the Apostles and early Christianity, and it indeed was an interesting bit of history to learn. In fact, someday I want to read the whole Acts of the Apostles so I can learn even more about what the Apostles and Paul (formerly known as Saul) exactly did because to me, knowing stuff like that is important.

~Sophie

History 6 Week 34 Review

Fall of the Roman Empire

It all started in around 200 AD when the Western Roman Empire started to show signs of declining. There are a few reasons why this happened, including that the politicians and rulers of Rome became more and more corrupt, infighting and civil wars were fought within the Empire, attacks from barbarian tribes outside of the empire such as the Visigoths, Huns, Franks, and Vandals began to occur, the Roman army was no longer a dominant force, and the Empire became so large that it was difficult to govern.

By 400 AD Rome was struggling under the weight of its giant empire, and in 410 AD, a Germanic barbarian tribe known as the Visigoths invaded the city and looted the treasures, killed and enslaved many Romans, and destroyed many buildings. The city of Rome finally fell in 476 AD when a Germanic barbarian named Odoacer became king of Italy and forced Romulus Augustulus, the last emperor of Rome, to give up his crown. This was the end of the Western Roman Empire, although the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as the Byzantium Empire, continued on for another thousand years.

~Sophie

History 6 Week 33 Review

Polycarp, Athanasius, and Augustine

I will summarize some interesting things that happened in the lives of Polycarp, Athanasius, and Augustine, starting with Polycarp.

Polycarp was a Christian bishop of Smyrna and one of the Apostolic Fathers of the church and, unfortunately, I’m going to tell the story of his martyrdom.

Polycarp was arrested by the Romans, put on a donkey, taken into the city, and brought before the Proconsul, who threatened first to throw Polycarp to wild animals and then to burn him alive if he didn’t reproach Jesus Christ. If Polycarp did agree to the Proconsul’s terms, however, he was to be set free. Polycarp wouldn’t speak a negative word against Christ, so a fire was made and Polycarp was put in the midst of it, but instead of burning alive as everyone thought he would another, truly amazing thing happened. The flame blazed like crazy, but instead of killing poor Polycarp, it miraculously shaped itself into the form of an arch and formed a circle around him. Inside this circle, Polycarp didn’t look burnt one bit, but instead looked like bread that is baked, or gold and silver glowing in a furnace. And apparently there was a sweet aroma in the air that smelled like frankincense or some such precious spices. Now, if I had been those Romans and Jews who were trying to kill Polycarp, I would have been convinced by this time that trying to do so was a very bad idea. But of course, the fire miracle didn’t change their evil minds one bit, and so, they had an executioner pierce him with a dagger. When this was done a great amount of blood flowed that the fire was extinguished, and Polycarp, a righteous man who committed no crime against anyone, died in 156 AD at the age of eighty-six.

Now on to Athanasius, an Egyptian bishop who had many enemies and was exiled five times by four Roman emperors for his stubborn insistence that Arianism was a heresy, spending 17 of the 45 years he served as bishop in exile. It was because of his stubbornness and his saying of “Those who maintain ‘There was a time when the Son was not’ rob God of his Word, like plunderers” that an interesting argument between him and Arius happened. It all started when Athanasius became the chief deacon assistant to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria, and while Alexander preached one day and spoke with too philosophical minuteness on the Trinity, Arius came forward and said that “If the Father begat the Son, then he who was begotten had a beginning in existence, and from this it follows there was a time when the Son was not.” Naturally Athanasius and Alexander defended themselves, stating that Christ is not of a like substance to God, but the same substance. This dispute affected the whole empire, finally resulting in Emperor Constantine the Great calling a council of bishops together in an attempt to once again unify the church, for he said that “Division in the church is worse than war.” Of the 1,800 bishops that Constantine invited, only 300 came and they argued, fought, and eventually made an early version of the Nicene Creed. The council, led by Alexander exiled Arius as a heretic and made it a capital offense to own his writings. As for Athanasius, he was declared “the noble champion of Christ”, and the bishop was simply pleased that Arianism had been defeated. Unfortunately for him, the battle wasn’t over yet, due to the fact that supporters of Arius talked Constantine into ending his exile. Arius signed the Nicene Creed, and Constantine ordered Athanasius, who had succeeded Alexander as bishop, to restore the heretic to fellowship. Athanasius refused, and his enemies lied against him accusing him of murder, illegal taxation, sorcery, and treason. Constantine exiled him to Trier, then after he died two years later Athanasius returned to Alexandria, but in the time he was gone, Arianism had gained the upper hand and church leaders were against him. They banished him again, and Athanasius fled to Pope Julius I in Rome before returning in 346, but was banished three more times before he came home to stay in 366, by this being about 70 years old.

Now lastly, I’ll discuss Augustine, a bishop who is most known for his two famous books, Confessions and City of God, the former about Augustine’s life before his conversion to Christianity, the latter showing the differences between the city of God and the cities of man. As a bishop, Augustine fought against false religious teachings, protected the people from corrupt officials and invaders, and cared for the sick, the poor, and those in prison. He was indeed a good person, but what was he like before he converted? When Augustine was younger he excelled in school, but he also went with a bad crowd and got into many worthless activities. When he was older, he began living with a woman that he never married, even though they had a son together and for a while, he also followed Manichaeism. When he finished school Augustine was a teacher in Rome and Milan while his mother, Monica, followed him to these places, begging him to return to the Christian faith. Monica herself was a devoted Christian. Eventually, Augustine enrolled as a catechumen but wavered back and forth about being baptized. Then one day while Augustine prayed to be free from his sins, he heard a child’s voice chanting, “Take up and read”, so Augustine opened the Bible and read Romans 13:13-14, being the first thing he saw, which told him to give up his life of sin, so he was baptized at Easter and began reforming his life. With his mother he planned to return to Africa, but Monica died, so Augustine reached home, gave away all he had and then lived a quiet, prayerful life with a group of friends. In 430, Vandals invaded the province where the city of Hippo was located and for three months Augustine inspired Christian hope in his people, but he unfortunately died on August 28, 430 from a high fever. Shortly after his death, the Vandals sieged Hippo and burned the city, destroying all but Augustine’s cathedral and library, which they left untouched.

This concludes the telling of some very important things that took place in the lives of Polycarp, Athanasius, and Augustine

~Sophie

Sunday

The Diplomat

You’re probably wondering what this post is about, right? No, it’s not about the weekend, well, in a way, it kind of is. I’d better explain.

You see, on Father’s day (which was on a Sunday) my family and I get a pet lop eared rabbit, and I got to name her…wait for it…SUNDAY!!!

Now, I didn’t just name her Sunday because that was the day we got her (although it was a bonus), I named her that because Sunday was the day that God rested after creating everything on this planet and to me, Sunday is a pretty special name. Naming her after the Lord’s day was just meant to be and when you think about it, we got her on Father’s day, and God is also known as the Father. Wow, this is pretty deep, when you think about it. Since when did something like naming a bunny…

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History 6 Week 32 Review

Constantine I

Constantine I, or Constantine the Great, was a Roman emperor who ruled early in the 4th century and was the first Christian emperor of Rome, even though he lived much of his life as a pagan.

Flavius Valerius Constantinus may have been born on February 27, 272 in Naissus, Moesia, now modern day Serbia, and his father, Flavius Valerius Constantius, was an officer in the Roman army. Constantine’s mother, Helena, was either the wife or concubine of Constantius.

Constantius left Helena to marry the stepdaughter of Maximian, the Western Roman emperor. Constantius was made deputy emperor under Maximian and Constantine was sent to the court of Diocletian, the Eastern Roman emperor. There, Constantine learned Latin and Greek and likely also saw the persecution of Christians.

After Maximian’s retirement, Constantius became Emperor Constantius I and Constantine joined his father on a military campaign and fought alongside him in Britain. The next year, Constantius died at Eboracum and Constantine was declared emperor by his troops.

Constantine defended his position against different Roman groups, including Maxentius, Maximian’s son. Constantine fought in Italy, meeting Maxentius and his forces at the Milvian Bridge on the Tiber River. Constantine had a Christian symbol painted on his soldiers’ shields, and he was thus successful in battle and entered Rome.

Constantine then became the Western Roman emperor and afterwards he also ruled the Eastern Roman Empire, after defeating Licinius, who had been previously sharing power with Maximinus. Constantine then founded the city of Constantinople on the site of Byzantium and legalized Christianity, which allowed freedom of worship throughout the empire.

Constantine had been delaying being baptized up to his time but when he realized that he was dying he had himself baptized by Eusebius of Nicomedia Constantine, an Arian priest. After Constantine died on May 22, 337 in Ancyrona, near Nicomedia, Bithynia (modern day Izmit, Turkey), he was buried in Constantinople at the church of the Apostles.

~Sophie

History 6 Week 31 Review

Roman clothing

Clothing in ancient Rome came in different types, depending on who you were in society.

Roman men wore tunicas and togas, which were originally worn mainly by the working class plebes, freedmen and slaves, though it was also an undergarment for any class of people. Besides the classic toga, which only actual citizens were allowed to wear, there were many kinds of togas, like the toga virilis, toga praetexta, toga pulla, toga candida, and toga picta.

The toga virilis was a plain toga made in off-white color and was worn by any adult male. Toga praetexta was an off-white toga with a broad purple border and was worn by Senators and Curule Magistrates. Toga pulla was a dark toga worn only in times of mourning. Toga candida was an artificially whitened toga worn by candidates for political office. The toga picta was a special all purple toga embroidered with gold thread worn by a Roman general during a triumphal parade, and Julius Caesar later adopted it as part of his regular dress, as did the emperors after him.

Roman women wore tunicas in almost the same fashion as the men wore togas. There were two types, both adapted from Greek fashion. One was the peplos and the other was similar to the Greek chiton, and was the more common tunic worn by women. Married women were required to wear the loose toga equivalent called a stola.

Foot-wear was mainly of two kinds, but was worn in many styles. The calceus was a sandal like shoe strapped to the foot, mainly for internal wear, and the soleae was a full shoe enclosing the foot, similar to the modern shoe. Shoes and sandals were made in different materials and colors, depending on social status, and leather was by far the most common material and could be easily dyed to reflect position.

~Sophie

History 6 Week 30 Review

Life in ancient Rome

During the Pax Romana (Roman Peace) in ancient Rome, there were different living styles, usually based on where one was in society. You would either have been a wealthy person living in a luxurious house with numerous servants to attend to your every need, or you’d be an average citizen who has to work very hard and live in an average, modest home. The largest class lived in poverty, despite the great riches of the Roman Empire.

When children in Rome were born their parents (mainly their father) decided if the child was to live or not, depending on the gender of the child and the number of children the family already had. Sadly, infanticide was a problem in Rome, especially among baby girls. If the child was to live, then the midwife would place the child on the ground for the head of the household to hold up, symbolizing that they were to raise the child. Several days after birth (eight days for girls and nine days for boys) a gathering of family and friends would take place, with both the former and latter bringing gifts for the infant. A sacrifice would then be made and the child would be given a name and a bulla or a lunula to identify him or her as freeborn. A bulla was an amulet worn by Roman boys to protect themselves by evil spirits and wasn’t taken off until the age of manhood was reached. A lunula was an amulet worn by Roman girls that had the same purpose as a bulla and was taken off on the eve of the girl’s marriage.

Men in Rome had considerable power over their family, and made all of the major decisions. A male Roman citizen enjoyed a wide range of privileges and protections, and he had the power to divorce or even kill his wife if she committed adultery. He could also decide whether or not his children lived past birth, as mentioned above.

Women in Rome had way less rights then men did. They had to manage the household and remain loyal and obedient to her husbands, and were not allowed to vote or stand for civil or public office. Women had the right to own property, to engage in business, and to obtain a divorce, but their legal rights varied over time.

As far as clothing went, most Romans wore togas, an eighteen by six feet rectangular or semicircular piece of wool cloth that was draped and wrapped around the body. A properly wrapped toga required no buttons, pins, clasps, or any other fastening device, and could only be worn by citizens. The average toga was white, but a person in an important position wore a toga with a purple stripe whose appearance varied according to the person’s position, and the emperor’s toga was completely purple. Unmarried women wore a tunic, and depending on the design of the garment it was called either a peplos or chiton. Married women wore a garment called a stola.

The Roman diet consisted mostly of grain for making bread, grapes for wine, and olives for olive oil, these foods of which were eaten daily. Bread made up the majority of many meals, especially for the poor, who relied on bread, vegetables, and porridge to survive. The poor met their protein needs by eating some meat (usually pork) and cheese. Wine was served with almost every meal in Rome and was often mixed with water to reduce the effect of the alcohol. Olive oil provided an important source of fat. The wealthy Romans loved eating jellyfish, peacock, ostrich, pork, and fungus, and held huge banquets that lasted all day. When guests became full, they sometimes made themselves vomit so that they could continue eating.

This was all part of the daily life in ancient Rome.

~Sophie