Heart of Dakota BHFHG - Week 10 in Review

Friday, November 2, 2012


Well, here we are in our first week of the 2nd quarter. This week we continued our study of Benjamin Franklin. If my kids don't know anything about him now, we're in trouble. This week we learned about Benjamin Franklin's later years. My boys were captivated by Franklin's creativity. We are a family of entrepreneurs, and "can-do" types. It's fun to learn about someone as inventive as Franklin. We learned about his inventions, experiments, and the important role he had in America gaining its freedom from England.

Franklin was famous for a lot of things, but mostly for his kite experiment. This week's art project was to paint a kite by mixing colors to make colors of the rainbow.

 Another project was for the boys to come up with their own inventions. Aedan came up with the iPhood. It's a helmet that you wear. All you have to do is type in the food you want, and out it comes. Aedan is always hungry, so this would save a lot of time for me :) Silas invented the "Health Pop." We talk a lot about healthy choices here. It's no wonder that he would come up with a candy that "even grownups love!"

 Franklin was known also for his sayings that he wrote under his pseudonym Poor Richard. As we read them, I was impressed with how much wisdom those little sayings had.

Our geography activity this week was to look at things from a map maker's perspective.

The boys drew the items we set out from eye level, and from a bird's eye view (as maps are made.)

 Our poem this week was "Philosophy." This was such a great one to teach that there is always a positive way to look at things. Aedan really took his time with this one. I was rushing him until I realized how detailed, and darling his drawings were.

 Our vocabulary words were sloop, squall, and shock. Their little drawings never fail to tickle me each week :)

For HOD science we began our reading in John Audubon: Young Naturalist. Audubon was of course famous for his amazing drawings and paintings of birds. The boys learned about the 5 different flight patterns of birds. Here they are soaring.

 The five patterns of flight are gliding, flapping, fluttering, hovering, and soaring.

We learned that storks stand on one leg to conserve body heat.

Science at The Monarch Room

 This week Silas learned about igneous rocks and how they are formed.

I bought these rock kits before school started. I thought it would be better to see the rocks in person, than in a book.


Here is Silas examining one of his igneous rocks. 

Out and About

I told the kids that we would celebrate each quarter's end with a special field trip. Kansas City just opened its own Legoland this summer. We hadn't been yet, so this was a great opportunity. It's fun seeing things through a kid's eyes. Aedan and Silas were sooo thrilled to be there. I think Aedan hugged me at least a hundred times. Both were so thankful to go, and even more so to share it with their cousins.

Legoland has a full city replica made of legos. This was Aedan's favorite part. He couldn't believe it was all made from Legos.

One of the rooms at Legoland had huge tubs of orange Legos for building a Lego pumpkin. Our kids decided to do their own project, and see if they could make a Lego tower long enough to reach to the end of the room. It measured exactly as long as our five kids.

This week was of course Halloween. Each kiddo gutted, and designed their own pumpkin. I forgot to take a picture of the finished pumpkins. They all did such a nice job.

This year the kids all wanted to make homemade costumes. Starting from the left: Ruth was a microwave. Aedan was a healthy boy. When people asked him what he was, he said, "I eat 3 square meals a day." Luke was a birdie. Silas was Mario, and Claire was a ceiling fan. They wouldn't have it when I said I'd buy a costume. They were all so excited to see what they could come up with out of all those boxes we had in the garage. Off we went with this creative crew to get gobs of candy. It was such a fun night. These kids will have so many memories of this time. 

Well, that's all for now folks :)

Heart of Dakota BHFHG - Week 9 in Review

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I can't believe we've made it through one quarter already! Wrapping up week 9 felt good. I feel like we've really hit our stride with HOD. We've learned what is necessary, and what can be dropped. Overall, we're still really loving HOD. This was a really fun week because we have been learning about Benjamin Franklin. Both of my boys are inventors, and creative thinkers. They identified with him a lot. I'm pretty sure neither of my boys would be happy to eat only bread and butter just to buy more books, but I think I can identify with that. It's been a while since I have read about Ben Franklin. It was fun learning about him again. He was such an interesting guy. I admire his humility, and desire to live simply even though he didn't have to. I'm glad we also get to study him next week. It helps when we get to read from many different perspectives about the same man and his life.

We learned that Benjamin Franklin wasn't interesting in following in his father's footsteps. He didn't want to be a candle maker, but from an early age loved books. His father thought that working with his brother as a printer would be a great fit. Our art project this week, was to make letter stamps out of potatoes. This was a hard job for little hands, but with a little help, they did a great job!

 Each kiddo made chose 2 designs.

 Here was their completed print work.


There are so many great books on Benjamin Franklin at the library. In addition to our history reading, I have read some of these books. Each of them had their own take on the same story. It is helpful to my boys to hear the story several times for retention.

This week's history notebooking entry was to write a few facts about Franklin. It's amazing how much he accomplished.


Benjamin Franklin is famous for many things, but mostly for his kite experiment.

Our poem this week was "Consider." I have loved the selections each week. Each boy drew a man with a thought bubble "considering" the works of God.
Our vocabulary selections were lathe, molasses, and scour. I loved Silas's depiction of the word scour :)

Science at The Monarch Room

This week Silas started studying caves and how rocks are formed. This experiment shows how stalactites are formed. It remains to be seen if it will actually work.

An optional activity was to make rock candy.

Here it is after a week. It's already working, so I'm guessing in a few weeks we will have something to show for this activity.

Aedan is learning about levers and pulleys this week. We made a pulley. Before we made the pulley I accidentally set up an experiment that I wasn't even supposed to do. It was a hit anyway. 

That's all for this week folks :)

Heart of Dakota BHFHG - Week 8 in Review

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I am super late in getting this review up. We've been having tons of fun with family. I've had very little time to work on our little blog. We're still having fun in HOD. This week we learned about King Phillip and Captain Church. It was sad period in history.

This week's art project was to make wampum belts. First we drew our designs on the paper, and then we sprinkled our colored rice over the design. We covered the rest of the paper in glue, and sprinkled white rice over the rest to make a nice contrasting design. It's fun seeing how the girls add their own flair to the directions.

We learned that King Philip wore an elaborate wampum belt. Wampum are tiny bits of polished shell that were turned into beads. The Native Americans used wampum as money, as did the settlers.

Our HOD science notebooking assignment was to diagram the planets in the order in which they orbit around the sun. We ran out of room, but the boys still did a nice job.

 This week's vocabulary words were wampum, plunder and sachem. Sometimes I even learn a new word :) I'm not sure if I knew what sachem meant before this week.

 Our timelines are filling up :) It's fun to see what we have studied. I can't wait to get to a permanent place to get our timeline back up on the wall.

Elemental Science at The Monarch Room

This week Aedan worked on the 3rd law of motion. It's been fun to flesh out Newton's laws after studying about him over the last few weeks. Silas learned continued to learn about the different biomes. He didn't have any experiments this week. He instead made biome posters. Both boys really love the Usborne books, and following the internet links for the pages they read.

 This unfortunately was a failed experiment. Our balloon didn't have enough air in it to get to where it was going. They got the idea, but I wish it had worked. It was supposed to be an example of every action having an equal opposite reaction. Ahh well :)

 We made another K'nex  project. This time it was the car window. Aedan is getting pretty lucky by having his cousins around. They are a huge help in building these each week.

 The kids have been enjoying their time with their cousins. They created their own club. This is the initiation of the Burnt Marshmallow Club. In order to become a member, one must eat a burned marshmallow. They really did it. We only have 2 weeks left here, but I think these are memories that will last them a lifetime. So precious.

Well this review was short and sweet. Once I get settled I do plan to write more specifically about math and other things. I've been working on some printables to sell and some to give away. More on that soon :)
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