Archive for September, 2011

Flight, Freebies, Fabulous

A little project on the four forces in flight — my sons made paper airplanes and labeled straws attached to them. Here are a couple of flight websites — Planemath and H.I.P. Pocket Change. These links and many others are on the Links blog and are part of the free curriculum I’m building. Things like the labels on the paper airplane are all included in the free curriculum.

We’re studying WWI for history, so we look at WWI airplanes: video. We of course also did the Wright Brothers. We’ve been using lots of videos from YouTube: cartoon, historical. This isn’t a video but the story of the Wright brothers in cartoon form. And here is an article from 1903 from when they first flew in Kitty Hawk (read it with the zoom feature).

I made up notebooking pages for the other aviators we read about: Amelia Earhart (younger), Amelia Earhart, Bessie Coleman, Charles Lindbergh. (I had my younger kids only do a written page for Amelia Earhart.)

Some nice things I’ve added into the curriculum as I’m writing it are things like: “Write neatly and do your best and give it to your homeschool parent when you are done so she can put it in your portfolio.” I collect about one thing per subject per quarter. It’s nice having it predetermined and to take care of it right away before something can damage their work. I also add in “congratulations” and “way to go” ecards from time to time and polls like “Did you finish all your work today?” or “Did you do your work as unto the Lord?” I try to put something in once a week.

My daughter is trying to participate in Sketch Tuesday. My daughter got this one done on something that glows. Last week she didn’t finish in time. She’s on track not to finish this week either. She keeps starting and then not liking what she did. I think it will be good if she can discipline herself to turn one in each week.

Around the house though she’s doing lots of artwork. She’s decorated all of my light switches with acrylic paint. I love it! I think they’re fabulous and they make me happy. I don’t like much about our apartment, so I love the embellishments!


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September 25, 2011 at 7:30 am Leave a comment

Times Attack — Live from our Living Room

I have again a child learning his math facts. It’s been a few years since we’ve needed this. You’ve probably heard of or used, Times Attack, right? Well, this is our new favorite way to practice math facts. My son is learning addition, not multiplication, but he loves Times Attack from watching his older brother. It’s about the closest we come to video games, so it’s a big thrill around here. The six-year-old started acting out the game.

The 3-yr-old doing his best ogre face.

He opens the door and comes out as the ogre. He asks us facts and pretends to slime us when we are wrong and gets knocked back when we get one right. Everyone loves to play. We (even my husband and I) take turns as the ogre and ask the questions. Things have gotten a wee bit out of control which is all part of the fun. So my six-year-old and three-year-old don’t know a whole lot of math. They started asking crazy questions like, “What is the ork fraction of negative seven million, four hundred twenty thousand thirds?” Then we answer something crazy and they decide whether or not it’s right.

But apart from the sillies, I get to ask my son all his facts he’s learned so far and he gets to practice them in a way that is fun. In the real game when you get it wrong it tells you the right answer and asks you it over and over again so that’s what I do with my son and he doesn’t get upset and the repetitive drill. He loves it!

Other ways to move while practicing?  Have your child draw the answer in the air.  Have your child clap, stomp, flap, blink or jump the answer (4 times for 4, etc.) There’s any number of ways they can show the answer instead of filling out a worksheet or just saying the answer. Have fun!

September 18, 2011 at 6:11 pm 2 comments

Encounters with Nature

I wrote before how we were desperate for nature and so started feeding the pigeons so that they would come to our balcony. We ended up with a nest of pigeons and soon one baby. Well after that things didn’t go so well. The mother kept laying eggs and they kept disappearing. We didn’t know what was happening until we found a six inch lizard in the kitchen. (The balcony is off the kitchen and the window are open with no screen.) We realized our pigeons brought predators. Didn’t think of that before we invited them.

We did a little research and not too many lizards eat bird eggs, so we thought maybe that was a coincidence. But the eggs kept disappearing. (They lay a lot of eggs.) Then we found a rat in our kitchen. This was MUCH worse than the lizard which scurried away immediately upon being shooed. While in the kitchen, it found my sack of potatoes. We threw the sack on the balcony, shut the kitchen door and prayed it would find its way out. Of course shutting the door may have not helped too much since it has a window in it with no glass. I kept thinking, “The mouse ran up the clock.” I was just hoping it would have the sense to leave and not climb up and out my kitchen door and explore my home. It did. Thank you, Lord.

But the rat stayed. It was living in a hole in the corner of the balcony, like underneath our kitchen floor. Makes me squeamish just thinking about it. I’m such a wimp. My husband poisoned it. We set out rat poison. I never even looked at the body. Husband come in so handy sometimes. But, the result can be seen above. We finally have new baby pigeons.

Actually, we tried really hard to keep them from living on our balcony any more. I don’t want any more visitors in my kitchen! We shooed and shooed, but they wouldn’t learn. I think we’re stuck with them. Only about two more months or so until I can shut my kitchen window.

And in semi-related school news, here’s my attempt at keeping away ants from our sugar crystal/rock candy experiment.

sugar water in jar, in bowl, on pitcher--no ants

BTW, that’s 1 cup hot water, 3 cups sugar, string dangled in with paper clip attached to the end, don’t let the paper clip touch the bottom

September 6, 2011 at 8:04 am 2 comments


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