Pompeii from the British Museum

Tonight our whole family went to the local Cinemark theater to see “Pompeii From The British Museum”. This was a super-cool documentary-style rebroadcast from the British Museum in London, who had an extraordinary exhibit on Pompeii and Herculaneum last year.

Fathom Events, The British Museum and More2Screen are thrilled to bring back Pompeii from the British Museum – an exclusive private view of the major exhibition Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum. This extraordinary one-night event will take place on Thursday, October 23 at 7:00 p.m. (local time) in select cinemas nationwide.

The exhibition, first shown in cinemas last year, explores the homes and lives of the inhabitants of the thriving industrial hub of Pompeii and the small seaside town of Herculaneum nearly 2,000 year ago when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD. Introduced by British Museum Director Neil McGregor, cinema audiences will be treated to an exclusive, family-friendly view of the exhibition with insights from renowned experts who help bring these fascinating objects to life. With accompanying music, poetry and readings from eyewitness accounts, you will go behind the scenes of the exhibition to discover the stories of these famous Roman cities. Don’t miss the chance to travel back in history and experience daily life in the Roman Empire before the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius left Pompeii and Herculaneum frozen in time.

Mount Vesuvius

Minecraft Homeschool: This Amazing World Week 5

This was the last week of new material in MCHS, and we are all a little bummed that this session is coming to an end so soon. This week, the kids learned about the Northern Lights. Then they had to build an observatory with “northern lights” in the sky. Most kids opted for colored panes of glass; I think O8 used wool because she liked the colors more saturated. I have not grabbed the screenshot off her computer to verify that, however.

Sample shot from MCHS’ Facebook page:

this amazing world week 5

Next week the servers are open for the kids to visit any of the past weeks’ builds, or to play in the creative or PVP servers. O8 has learned a lot about Minecraft, the subjects she studied, and also about teamwork and cooperative play. This has been a very good experience for her and we are signing up for the next session as soon as it is available!

Minecraft Homeschool Week 4

This week on MCHS, the kids learned about Mount Erebus, the ice volcano in Antarctica.

The Learn It was actually a cool documentary done by a science writer who joined a team expedition to Erebus. They started in a little town in Australia, took a helicopter to Ross Island in Antarctica, and climbed the peak (mostly by helicopter, but still– cool.) The film was especially interesting because it talked about the conditions on the mountain that the team would encounter and the preparations they needed to make to do the trip. O8 seemed rather interested in the whole thing, which was nearly 20 minutes long (lengthy, by her standards).

After the quiz, she started on her build: an ice castle.

This is not her actual build, but it was posted on the MCHS Facebook page from this week’s class:

this amazing world week 4

Next week: Northern Lights.

Minecraft Homeschool: This Amazing World Week 3

This week on MCHS, the class is learning about the Volcán de Parícutin, which appeared in a Mexican cornfield. After reading and watching a video about the Volcano and the Ring Of Fire, O8 took her quiz. This is the first time she missed a question, and she was kind of bummed about that (a good sign, in my opinion!) After the Learn It section, she headed over to the Minecraft server to work on her Build It project. The assignment was to build a farm field and place a volcano in the center of it. The team build project was to make a village surrounding a farm, with a volcano in the center.

Some screenshots from the MCHS Facebook page:

this amazing world week 3-2

this amazing world week 3

Minecraft Homeschool: This Amazing World Week 1

O8 has signed up for a class through Minecraft Homeschool, which offers a variety of 6-week classes ostensibly for homeschoolers (though I imagine other students participate, too, as it is SO COOL).  This was the first week of her first class, “This Amazing World”.  They’re learning about a variety of, well, amazing things, starting with the Grand Canyon. Someone bothered to create a model of Grand Canyon in Minecraft, and the students can interact with it fully on the MCHS server. They can build shelters in and among the canyon walls, just as the ancient peoples once did (well, minus redstone!)

First, she had to do a Learn It module, which consisted of reading materials about Grand Canyon on the National Park Service’s website. We visited Grand Canyon in 2011, which she still remembers (who remembers things from when they were 5?!) After the quiz, on which she scored 100% (and was rather proud of) she did her individual Build It. This was to be a shelter that was camouflaged from any casual teacher or principal flying through the Grand Canyon. She chose a spot in the canyon wall that already had a little “crack” (empty block) and mined in one layer, over several blocks, and then into the wall before opening it up into a small room.

We did not do the team build project as we ran out of time, and she wanted to move on to Week 2. I am hoping she will come back to it before the class ends.


Mount Saint Helens

While we were on our vacation visiting family on the west coast, we took a day to visit Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument in Washington.




It was a very cloudy and foggy day, so we did not have spectacular views of the mountain, but the clouds did part long enough for us to get a glimpse into the crater. The girls (and adults) were appropriately impressed. The kids did the Junior Ranger activity offered here at MSH. First, we watched a movie about the 1980 eruption, which complimented a video we watched back at home before we left for this trip. It talked about the events of that day in May but also the smaller, crater-building eruptions that took place over the next few years after the big one. We saw the lava dome grow and the crater glacier change size and shape. It was very interesting. Next, we attended a ranger presentation. The ranger discussed the changing shape of the summit and crater, showing us before and after pictures and also pointing out the rebuilding sequence that has since occurred.


After the ranger signed their booklets and they finished the activities inside, we noticed that the sun had peeked out and that we might be able to see into the crater from the observatory. We went outside and hiked up to the outdoor observation point, and did manage to see it for a brief minute or two before the clouds moved back in.







Finally, the girls went back in and were sworn in as Junior Rangers. They got their pins and trading cards, plus a certificate signed by Ranger Grace. I bought them each a patch, too. We had remembered to bring our National Park Kids Companion Books along, so they also got stamps in those. Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled