Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Pumpkin Kind of Day

Little Man's smiling pumpkin

Silly Guy wanted to carve his pumpkin with the spirit of football in mind- The Baltimore Ravens.  My husband found stencils on that you can print out at home and use for pumpkin carving. 

Sweet Girl's pumpkin...she loves wolves.

We made some chocolate chip pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese icing.

and some pupmkin seeds. Yummy!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up- A Bit Chilly

 Our week was great but very COLD!!  We just moved from a tropical island a little over a month ago to the desert.  We had no idea it would be getting so cold so fast.  One morning we woke up to a temperature of 26 degrees!!!  We are not prepared at all for the weather.  We had to make a trip to the store to get hats, coats and gloves. 

When my husband came home from work we had to drain and shut off the sprinkler system.  Inside the access panel we found this little guy all cozied up.  Immediatley the kids asked..."Can we keep him?"  I convinced them that he looked like he was ready to hibernate for the winter and we should leave him be.  Sweet dreams...
On to our school week...Some highlights...
Silly Guy is studying plants in Science.  This week he learned about photosynthesis.  An experiment he did was to compare the effects of keeping the leaves of a plant in the dark and in the sunlight. 
He covered one leaf with a black trash bag.  Then after a few days we brought both leaves inside to investigate.
He boiled alcohol and dipped each leaf into it.  Then afterward he used iodine to determine which leaf contained starch(product of photosynthesis).  Kind of neat!  The leaf left in the sunlight turned black which showed that it had contained starch. 
He did a research assignment on George Washinton Carver.  Now that it is getting colder, I asked him if he wanted to finish studying plants in the spring.  He replied,"No mom.  I am having fun learning about plants."  He decided to purchase his own plant with some of his birthday money -a venus fly trap.
In Math Silly Guy did an invesigation about fractions and percents.  He loves the Saxon investigations acutually now that I think back Sweet Girl did too.  He has been struggling with math lately.  I am not sure if it's just been the move.  I am hoping now we are getting settled things will become less frustrating for him.  He usually does well in Math so I am going to give it a little more time to adjust. 
He is still reading Sign of the Beaver and enjoying this tale.   

In History this week we are still learning about the American Revolution.  Some things we read about is week:  Battle of Bunker and Breed's Hill, the surrender of General Burgoyne, women and children of the revolution, soldier life during the Revolutionary War, the winter of 1777 at Valley Forge and how important that winter was, and The Declaration of Independence.  They memorized some of Thomas Jefferson's words from the Declaration:)
I did find a couple of links I wanted to share...
Valley Forge on Youtube - this a 5 minute slide show about the winter at Valley Forge.
John Adams-Declaration of Independence on Youtube- a 5 minute  scene from the John Adams mini series.
The Road to Independence - this is an online Revolutionary War simulation.  The kids enjoyed!!
A Revolutionary Webquest - I went under the" lifestyle and culture" icon and we listened to some of the music played during the time period we've been studying. 

Art this week we studied Winslow Homer's "October Day".  Here is a link to the Winslow Homer page at the National Gallery of Art for more information about the artist.  This is Silly Guy's interpretation of the painting using pastels. 
Science for Sweet Girl involved some reading and three experiments.  She made these cardboard boats each having a different motor- chewing gum, soap, tissue, and no motor.  Which motor would make the boat move?
Soap was the winner, but why?  The next two experiments gave her the answer...
The pepper didn't do much with either the chewing gum, tissue, plain tweezers...

but wow look at what happened when she put the soap in the pepper...

After the third experiment(much patience and some help from mom. no pictures)she learned that the soap decreased surface tension causing the boat to move through the water. 

Sweet Girl took a Math test this week and got a 93%.  She is doing very well with Algebra.  She finished up Indian Captive but is still reading The Case of Benedict Arnold.
In writing this week Sweet Girl finished up her assignment-writing a colonial newspaper.  Dad and I thought she did a good job. 

Little Man had a great week too!
(Coloring and counting in his pumpkin counting book)
 He was intrigued by big sis's science experiment.  So he joined in too.

On a home improvement/moving note...I am happy to report the last of the carpet has been replaced and the last of the boxes have been unpacked(excluding the garage).
Great week!!
Join in " Weekly Wrap UP" over at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Way It Was Museum- Historic Virginia City

We took a field trip to Virgnia City.  This is such a neat little town.  As you walk down the board sidewalks you are taken back in time. 
In the 19th century this was a booming mining town.  The mountains were full of gold and silver and  turning folks into millionares.  It was the most important settlement between Denver and San Francisco. 
We stopped in The Way It Was Museum to learn something new.  This museum was full of artifacts from the period. 

I am not sure if you can tell in this picture but the water pipes were made of wood and then wrapped in wire. 
Timbers used in building this "Square Set" and thousands like it came from Lake Tahoe region.   Most of them were floated down the mountains in "V" flumes to the Carson River(and other locations along the river).  Then they were hauled up the mountains to Virginia City. 

This "cage" is one of the older ones used to lower miners into the comstocks.  No safety features here...they were added later.  Men would just hold onto the iron bar in the middle.  More men died from accidents on the cage than on the mine floor

Don't think anyone could get into that safe. biggest fear!! Snakes and not just any snake...the rattlesnake.  I am hoping to NEVER run into one of these guys.  So far so good.

Nevada's state flag at the time it was admitted into statehood.  October 13, 1864

Now I thought this was the sweetest thing.

I am not sure I would've been brave enough to sit in this dentist chair.  Notice the tools(on the tray)!! Yikes!!

Weekly Wrap Up- We're Back!

I have been reading on other homeschool blogs their "Weekly Wrap-Up".  It's a weekly meme hosted by Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers  where homeschoolers can share the happenings of their week.  It sounded fun and thought we would join in too. 
This was our official first week back since the big move across the Pacific Ocean.  It went pretty good!! It is   a great feeling for normal life to begin again.  
Anywho...Silly Guy started studying flowers and plants this week in Christian Kids Explore Biology. We don't have many plants or flowers at our new house.  We did find some snapdragons along the fence.  Perfect for a little science dissection!
He dissected this guy here...

After taking the flower apart he made a page for his science notebook labeling the parts he found.
One project we created this week...planting a fall garden in front of the house by the entry.   
We bought some mums, pansies, and kale.  The kids worked very hard and were so proud with the end result.  It added some color and life to the house.
What started out as Silly Guy's "Science Project" turned into a family project.  It was great fun!!
 In art this week we studied John James Audubon's "Blue Heron" from the Birds of America collection.  Click here to check out the website we are using for the picture study.  I hadn't prepared anything ahead of time since I'm still unpacking.  We always enjoy picture studies.  Not only do we learn a lot from studying the art of others but it's a great last minute lesson. 
(Sweet Girl's "Blue Heron")
In History we are at about the middle of A History of US Book 3, getting into the American Revolution.  The kids and I are captivated by the brave American's who paved the way for our freedom.  It is truly inspiring.  I am so glad I decided to teach  them American History together.  It's sparking great discussion.  Moments like these I feel so blessed to be homeschooling them:)

Silly Guy finished reading And Then What Happened Paul Revere? by Jean Fritz.  He loved this book and the story of Paul Revere.  Today he started reading a great book The Sign of the Beaver  by Elizabeth George.  We are currently reading aloud Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes.  When we pulled it off the bookshelf Sweet Girl's eyes lit up(she remembered reading it a few years ago).  I have to say I am loving this story as much as Silly Guy:)
This week Silly Guy has been writing a business letter.  He chose to write to The Trash Pros.   They pick up our rubbish and don't have a recycling program.  So, he is writing hoping to persuade them to start a program.
                                                                             (Working hard on math)
This week Sweet Girl started reading Traitor The Case of Benedict Arnold by Jean Fritz for her independent History reading. She has also been reading Indian Captive The Story of Mary Jemison by Louis Lenski for her Literature study.  She is enjoying this book. For her writing assignment she continued working on(week 2 of 3) an 18th century American themed newspaper. The topics included in her newspaper are News, Sports, Entertainment, Editorials, Weather, Obituaries, Cartoons, Advertisments, and Classifieds.  The assignment has had her researching the time period a lot in order to stay authentic.  My husband is always telling her she is a natural reporter. That is because she keeps us very informed with everything.  I mean every little detail, lol.  We'll see dad.
                                                                 (She always finds a cozy spot to read)
Little Man just hanging out this week. He always joins in during art and music. He has had a great time playing with his toys he hasn't seen in almost two months.   Opening up boxes has been like Christmas!!

In the beginning of the week I had Sweet Girl look over Module 2 in Apologia's General Science.  We didn't pack the Science books into the suitcases so I just had her review a bit.  Then she started Module 3 How to Analyze and Interpret Experiments.  Some pictures of her "A Floating Egg?" experiment. 
In this experiment she learned variable changes are useful.  Many times by changing the variable(in this case the salt)new things can be learned... 

                  Saltwater is more dense than pure water. A great way to illustrate the lesson:)
Our week ended with a family game of soccer. The kids vs. their injured father.  He's a trooper!!

So in a nutshell that was our first normal week in a long time.  Very comforting.


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