Tuesday, September 30, 2008

SURPRISES!

Let me write this before I burst! Yesterday was another amazing day of learning! It started with our Rock Study! We learned how minerals change into crystals and the largest crystal ever found was 42’ x 5’ It took nearly the entire length of our basement to measure out that crystal! Then we started forming our own crystals with gum drops!

Microscopic Crystal


Ta! Da! Small Crystal


Finger Licking Good Crystals


Not pictured is Cutie Pie who bit his tongue and forever hates gum drops and commenced to measuring Milo (his favorite beanie kitty) with the measuring tape and kitchen scales!

Then it was onto our geometry study. Did you know that three dimensional shapes have more than one face? A triangular prism has a triangle face and three rectangles! We made a little booklet describing the many faces of some 3 dimensional blocks! I can hardly wait to get those blocks out again today, but we only have two more activities : ( I’ve GOT to find more.

We are using Family Math for games to enhance our math skills! Praise the Lord for a game that both kids can play and everybody wins. We made a number chart of 1-20. Sweetness wrote down a number and then Cutie Pie had to guess that number. Sweetness would give clues of higher and lower until Cutie Pie won. He placed a disc over that number to eliminate it from the choices. It was a lot of FUN! We’ll play again today using more than or less than terminology. Cutie Pie and I will probably play our frog game of rolling the die, putting the number of frogs shown on the die into the balance bucket. The player who has the most frogs, thus tipping the scale wins! When selecting my frogs for the bucket I make different 4’s like 3 green and 1 blue etc…

OK! Now for the realllllyyyyyy exciting time we went for a nature walk, to “boring Rocky Creek” Oh how we all take God’s blessings for granted. Well along our way we seen a small centipede, a big earthworm, a bigger racer snake

Ain’t he cute all curled up in his leaf bed?



And the biggest of them all



Now I admit this one had me tiptoeing all the way home and every stick made me JUMP! I am trying to identify this snake and am currently communicating with VA Tech to find out!

Now if that was not exciting enough Sweetness discovered a substance from the creek that stuck to her Pony’s foot magnet. “Look mama, it is just like the metal shavings that stuck to the magnet in Mrs. Dietzel’s class!” She discovered a metallic mineral in the water! Which makes crystals in sedimentary rocks. That is my best educated guess and perhaps I will be proven wrong when we study sedimentary rocks. It is okay for mama to make mistakes! I'm learning alongside my kids! Homeschooling is my second chance at a better education ; )

We didn’t get around to reading about Squanto : ( But today is another day and I don’t have 7 quarts of pears to can, so I think we will read about Squanto, do a few booklets for our Colonial Lapbook, and Sweetness will finish reading her Migratory Birds book. Oh, and Cutie Pie will do a page in Explode the Code -- all by himself!

We will also obey orders from headquarters and go for a nature walk every day ! We must go bottle Treasure Hunter some of that metallic mineral.

I can hardly wait to see what surprises God has in store for us today…

Can you believe October is around the corner! Time Flies and my puter time is up! God Bless!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Week of Units

I really think Unit Studies is our path to the road of learning with love and enthusiasm. We currently have our oars in several different seas of knowledge.

Science: We are doing a rock study as you can see below. We will be taking this to the next level of crystal formation just as soon as we get some gumdrops to construct our own set of crystals ; )

History: We are rowing through the Colonial time period focusing on Jamestown and Plymouth. Now I find this fascinating and am so eager to fill in the gaps of my public school education. I really like the Tapestry of Grace curriculum for History and plan to study history from Creation to Present in 4-year rotation w/ my scholars ; ) But first we will do a sample unit before I take the $$$ plunge to invest in the curriculum that is rather expensive upfront, but when divided over 12 years of school is very economical.


Math! We began our Geometry study. This was so fun as I was able to include both children. We built towers, knocked them down, built a store w/ steps leading to it… then we talked of how funny cylindrical steps would be. Cutie Pie is so ticklish and the thought of cylindrical steps and square drinking cups really made him giggle. Of course we just had to try drinking from a square container! We had a shape hunt and found items that were cylindrical, spherical, and rectangular prism and boy wasn’t daddy impressed when Cutie Pie threw those terms around at the dinner table ; )

Art! Sweetness makes the tiniest details when sculpting with her Sculpey Clay (which I found 4 Large boxes of brand new Sculpey at a yard sale this summer)!


She continues to practice the water color techniques she learned in art camp this summer. We still need to purchase some pastel chalks and spend more time practicing those techniques as well.


Music!
Sweetness is moving along in her piano book. We sit down each day after breakfast, & lunch for a 10-15 minute practice session. And my birthday present from my dear sweet mama arrived!


She has planted the seed of singing unto the Lord in my heart and her wish is I continue this tradition with my children.

Well, that is it for now! I pray we will have an even better time of learning next week! Without effectual, ferverent, consistent prayer, none of this is possible. For with God all things are possible.

Monday, September 22, 2008

VOLCANOES!

Heartfelt had an awesome day of learning. We are currently studying rocks. Our first rock kit arrived last week and I broke it out yesterday. The children chose igneous rocks first, because the are formed from volcanoes! Sweetness thought it fascinating that pumice floats. So did I! We are learning that igneous rocks form in different places inside and outside a volcano.

Before we filled out the diagram of which rocks form where in the volcano, we made a homemade volcano w/ baking soda and vinegar. A whole box of baking soda and a whole gallon of vinegar and a bottle of green food coloring. I know, lava is red, but I didn’t have red therefore we used what we had -- green!


Sweetness also made a paper volcano! Look at the lava spewing out!



And of course went to Rocky Creek and collected and talked about sedimentary rocks too. I never knew that rocks had a cycle nor did I know that there are more volcanoes under sea than above. It is so awesome learning new things with
my kids.

We are also learning about colonization. I want to take a trip to Jamestown
and Plymouth!!! Of course the kids are not too passionate about old ships
and fights for freedom as volcanoes and rocks.

Somewhere along the way we manage the three R's. Treasure Hunter was amazed at Sweetness' reading skills as she read to him about John Smith. She has named her doll John Smith whom is currently in a hospital bed all bandaged up with toilet paper and scotch tape as he slowly heals from gunpowder wounds…

Cutie Pie is a real sport in playing games as he does not fret when he looses, but exclaims LETS PLAY AGAIN! He is picking up a lot of math concepts that way.

Well tomorrow may not be as exciting. We will sit back down at the desks and write about our adventures today. But first we will pray and thank God for all His beautiful creations and marvel at His graciousness towards us.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Camping Out

We went camping last night... we set up at 6:30 on an island on the lake amidst distant thunder. It never stormed PTL, and the moon was full, the fire was crackling, ears of corn roasting, hot dogs, smores, pepsi, red dye fruit drinks. We had it all. Oh and bugs and spiders too : )

It was sticky and humid out, so Treasure Hunter and Sweetness took a dip in the lake. I watched as the memories were made. We roasted our hotdogs and marshmellows on a stick by the fire and stuffed our guts till we couldn't wiggle. Cutie Pie couldn't go to sleep w/o brushing his teeth so thankfully I remembered the tooth brushes, unlike my contact solution and glasses that we had to come back home for : / He was out in an instant the moment his little head hit the pillow.

Sweetness stayed up and ate MORE Smore's. About 2 a.m. we all laid down to sleep. I was snoozing when Sweetness woke me with a tummy ache. Go figure. "Oh mama, I like the fire, and the Smore's, but do you HAVE to sleep outside when you go camping?" she cried so pitifully.

After a few mins of trying to soothe her and go back to sleep on that hard rock ground I said to Treasure Hunter, "Will you please take us home."

And he did. We left all our stuff except our pillows, rode the boat in the moonlight back to our neck of the woods. My head never felt so thankful for a nice cozy bed in an air conditioned house. And here I sit the next morning with bleary eyes typing our memories as the rest of the family went to pack up our tents, coolers and food. I feel a nice nap coming this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back to School!

The first day of school began with making banana bread! Sweetness cracks the eggs, adds the sugar, butter and vanilla. Cutie Pie measures the flour, baking soda and baking powder! Then we mix it altogether adding the nuts and bananas last. YES, they’re still in their PJ’s and it is near 9 a.m.

While the bread is cooking we do our indoor and outdoor chores…

The bread is ready and I fill our handy dandy pampered chef d├ęcor tubes with softened cream cheese and we squirt different designs onto our yummy bread. Once our tummies were full it was time for school.


GOD!
We always start with prayer for our friends, family and our sponsored children in Africa. Then scripture memory from Jeremiah 29:11. Our Bible Story was about King Saul and how his disobedience and hasty attitude nearly led to his own son’s death. We discussed obedience and patience. Sweetness sang Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.

THREE R’s
Cutie Pie read the writing on the chalkboard “I CAN” then did two pages in Explode the Code Book 1 and practiced counting to 100.

Sweetness took her first spelling test: ’ I am begening to be a goo splr. ’ I will let you know how that improves by week end.

Three lessons in Primary Language Lessons including picture study, reading, verb/noun agreement. Also wrote a thank-you note.

Latin Review including a story in which she read all the highlighted Latin words.

Math -- Place value and measurements review.

Piano -- Going from numbered notes to letter notes. Sweetness was SURE she could not play that song, but with a little instruction and extra encouragement she DID it!

This was a fun light day and science and history will be added later next week after we get our groove back!

Not bad for the first day eh? Now I am thinking of adding gymnastics to our schedule on Thursdays…

My goals for this year: Be enthusiastic, quiet and meek spirited, challenge my children more and BELIEVE IN THEM! And most of all PRAY PRAY PRAY!