Thursday, October 18, 2012

October update

This fall has been a rainy one, but we have done our best to enjoy the nicer days outside. The temperature swings and weather fronts have not been kind to me (in terms of migraines) so that has been wearing on me to the point of actually looking forward to winter when it will mostly just stay cold instead of jumping back and forth so often. Although in New England you never can really tell. ;)

The boys on their swing set this morning. 

This week W wrapped up Chapter 30 of Math-U-See Alpha. Next week he will do the appendix clock section and some review/tests. It is sort of funny since we mostly use digital clocks these days. The following week he will start the next Math-U-See book, Beta. He is on page 65 of Explode the Code book 4 and seems to enjoy it at the pace he is going. 

For Story of the World/History we are reading chapter 5 about Medieval India this week, he likes the reading & map work the best, and the many projects that go along with it are fun too (like making a beaded mosaic this week). As for Science, we had our co-op science class this week which was chock full of experiments and now he wants to get some dry ice for more Halloween experiments at home. :) 
vinegar/ baking soda "hand" balloon project at co-op

The boys are both looking forward to Halloween. Here is a preview of my little pirates in character: Jake from "the Neverland Pirates" and Captain Hook. 

Jake battling Captain Hook

Friday, October 12, 2012

Human Body study

W has always been a little (ok, a lot) creeped out by learning about organs, skeletons, etc. I blame the episode of Curious George when George goes inside his own body when he has a cold. Seriously, W still hates that idea! So we tended to skip those Magic Schoolbus themed books as well. He has done way better with more abstract books (like Enjoy Your Cells).

We did a one day unit study of some of the basics, and although he knew about most of them already from reading or absorbing everyday knowledge, it was a nice project to give him a visual and give a little introduction of  the underrated organs that he didn't know too much about (such as the gallbladder).

We used the science workbook My Body, which had copies of each organ and a detailed description of the functions. We made copies so he could color them in and then we could still read the book afterwards for review.

We taped it up on the wall for a couple of days (supposedly safely away from puppies, although Lucy finally ripped a corner so it is down now). The organs were taped so you could lift them up and view the others underneath.

whole body view

He was glad to get this finished, and we will be reviewing the different systems of the body in the Giant Science book. W already read about the Skeletal system, and with Halloween on its way watching our annual favorite The Skeleton Dance was an inspiring and silly way to bring it up.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Quill pen & ink

Last week we read chapter 3 in Story of the World: Volume 2, The Middle Ages. W learned about monks, and a little bit about what their lives were like. 

I had bought ink tablets & inkwell at a Colonial fair, so we used those as a short cut instead of gathering nut shells to boil down into ink (hey, it was raining!) :) That was a good idea, it took a couple of tablets and W crushed them up in a bit of water, and after a few minutes we had our ink.

making ink

W and his feather pen

a Halloween themed ink picture

We used a feather than Grandma had found in MS, it may be a hawk feather. W soaked it in soapy water for a few minutes, then I cut the tip at an angle to better hold the ink. Both of the boys had fun making ink pictures and attempting to write with it.

That night to go along with our monk study, we made a lentil soup with vegetables similar to what monks would have eaten, with bread & cheese. It was satisfying on a cool autumn day.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Museum of Science

We recently took a day trip to the Museum of Science in Boston. W was familiar with the museum due to his overnight experience last spring, but C hadn't remembered going a couple years ago so it was new-to-him.

They had a Shipwreck! exhibit of treasure and materials recovered from the depths of the sea, so that was really neat. Jacob's favorite were the coins, it was amazing to see such old coins in mint condition. If you get a chance to check this out, it is interesting for adults and older kids but it did not hold C's attention as much.

We also took in a Planetarium show of the night sky which was interesting to the boys and highlighted constellations to look for.

We found a large example of Calcite (the kind of rock that their geodes are).

in the space capsule

big footprint!

touching the snake skin at the animal demonstration

The triceratops that W & I slept under during our last visit

I didn't catch C's expression until uploading these photos. My little stinker! :p

C has been talking about "seeing chickens" at the museum. I think he means the chick hatchery. ;) I am hoping we will be able to get back there sometime later this fall to see the Mammoth exhibit which opens this month. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall rocks!

Our summer ended with a 13 day road trip to SC & FL, packed with family visits and five days at Walt Disney World. I will outline some highlights and tips for Disney vacations in separate posts. We intentionally went off season (the day after labor day) and that resulted in a great time with very little wait times for rides. I have fond memories of going when I was a kid, so it was very cool to see W & C there and see the reactions on their faces when they saw the characters and rides. 

Since getting back from our whirlwind road trip, we have jumped back wholeheartedly into homeschool routines. We attended a couple of local co-op classes on rocks/geology, including a presentation by a local business owner of the Quartz Source in Milford NH. The presenter was very knowledgeable about the examples of rocks she brought in to show the kids, and was very patient answering everyone's questions. The presentation was entertaining for kids and the adults alike. Thanks so much to our Milford co-op friends that set it up and helped with the event!


Some of our other adventures have been a fall festival complete with pumpkin painting and scarecrows, a Little House book club day, an Astronomy fair at UNH, and taking a field trip to the Museum of Science in Boston to see the Shipwreck! exhibit and planetarium show about the night sky.

C building his house out of craft sticks for our Little House club

W cheers C on at Constellation bowling, the boys both loved the games at the Astronomy fair.

W has been wrapping up Math U See Alpha (Chapter 28, subtraction) and began Explode the Code book 4 and is learning about syllables. His handwriting is slowly getting better, and he is focusing more on writing lowercase letters. He has also begun The Story of the World Volume 2: Middle Ages. So far for science he has done Astronomy and Geology unit studies. Generally this fall we do "homeschool" in the morning, and the afternoon has time for more reading, playing outside, and inside play like legos, marble run, and of course his favorite apps including Stack the Countries and Cars 2. ;)

C has had fun tagging along on many of our field trips. He is not quite PreK this year, but we want to begin focusing more on the alphabet for him. He loves hands on crafts, games, and playing outside. C is casually beginning Five in a Row, and we read the Salamander Room for his first book together. I have a feeling we will do more projects for FIAR this winter.