The clown of God illustrates the Renaissance period in Italy, and one can discuss a multitude of topics from it, but I'm pretty sure if you were to ask Abishai what he remembers about the book, he would mostly talk of "Fools".
Abishai called this his jugglers hat. We own a lot of costumes, but we don't have everything and when Abishai wants to play a character he will search high and low to create a costume from what we do have. This hat went everywhere with him, even to bed.
Micaiah didn't even bother trying to juggle. He just gathered as many balls as he could, then threw them in every direction. After, he would laugh and laugh and laugh.
We coloured the map of Italy and marked it on our world map.
We read about the life of Francis of Assisi. We talked about monks and monasteries and how they devoted their lives to God. We also talked about Giovanni the juggler from The Clown of God, who does his best performance for God at the end of his life. We talked of how we too might give God glory through the work we do.
When Giovanni the juggler got old, people didn't care about him anymore; they made fun of him, threw rocks at him and laughed at him. To offset this injustice, we chose some books from the library about how we could love and care for the elderly in our lives.
We read books on Venice and Gondolas. We also watched a mini video on how Venice was built and maintained. So fascinating.
Since Giovanni was an orphan, we read a book about an orphan. We talked about how God wants us to care for the widows and the orphans.A book all about Renaissance-age fools.
We briefly looked at Renaissance painters: Michelangelo, Raphael, Durer, Bruegel, Bellini as well as Renaissance inventors. I look forward to covering this in greater depth in the later grades. But Abishai did have one very profound question: Why do these famous painters have the same names as the Ninja Turtles? I had to laugh.
The in-between moments: Micaiah looking at art work by Walton Ford. Walton's all about animals, which is probably why Micaiah shows interest in his art.
Abishai playing a word spelling game.
Micaiah playing a french vocabulary game.
When I first envisioned home schooling, this is what I had in mind. Abishai learning math in his constructed fort. He calls this fort his hamburger store. I also envisioned him reading some classic high up in a tree house or memorizing multiplication facts while jumping on a trampoline: learning without walls or boundaries.
Asher trying to sneak his way in.
My monkeys eating their bananas.
The boys are learning the first 14 books of the New Testament. I asked them if they would sing it for you.