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 :)

Heart of Dakota BHFHG - Week 7 in Review

Monday, October 15, 2012


Here's a look at week 7 here at the Monarch Room. We had a great week! We're still getting used to living together with family. So far it has worked beautifully. It's fun to get the cousins involved in a few of our projects and activities. This week we learned about John Winthrop, and his faith that God would provide food for the settlers in Boston. They were desperate for food and decided to fast, and pray that God would provide. On the day of the fast the supply ship came, so they had a Thanksgiving instead. We also learned about Thomas Smith, and how he found that rice would grow well in the wet soil of South Carolina.


This week's art assignment was to make a wigwam out of clay. I only had "real" clay, so it was a little difficult for the Silas's little hands. They all worked very diligently to make their clay pliable. I though they all did such a nice job.

Our character trait was industriousness which tied in beautifully with how a woman named Eliza Lucas discovered how to extract indigo dye for coloring clothing.

Our science notebooking assignment was to label the parts of the flower.

 These are our vocabulary and timeline entries for the week.

 In HOD science we learned about how fossils were formed.

 On the left is Aedan's science experiment form about fossils. It's always fun to see their little interpretations. Our poem this week was called Thanksgiving. It was a great poem to read to help us understand why John Winthrop and the settlers would have been so thankful for the food with which they were provided.

Elemental Science at the Monarch Room

Silas leaned about the ocean and currents in ES Earth/Space. We learned about how the temperature of the water affects currents.

Our first experiment was to add cold water to hot water.

Next we added hot water to cold water. We learned that the hot water rose too the top of the cold.

Cold water sank to the bottom when added to hot water.

In ES Physics we learned the 2nd law of motion.

This week we built another K'nex project. We chose to build the crank fan this time. I'm amazed at how quickly the kids put these together when they put their minds together.

Out and About

 This was a full week for field trips. Our homeschool co-op took a trip to a local apple orchard.

  We learned about bees, and how they help pollinate the apple blossoms. Incidentally, the teacher told us that our group was the best behaved group all year. You gotta love that :) Go homeschoolers!

 Next we took a hayride. The kiddos loved this.

I'm really enjoying having my nieces and nephew in town. God didn't give me daughters, but he gave me little girls to enjoy.

 I was surprised, but there were still plenty of apples to pick this late in the season.

The kids also got to pet kittens, ponies, and chickens.

Late in the week, we took an impromptu trip to the museum. Kansas City has a great art culture for a Midwest town. There's always so many galleries and museums to visit.

That covers it! How was your week?

Heart of Dakota BHFHG - Week 6 in Review

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Well we're back after a week break for 6! Our family is somewhat in transition. We just sold a house, and are homeless for a few months. Serendipitously, my parents are going out of town for 6 weeks, and want us to hold down the fort over there. My husband just finished his masters in family counseling, so we're waiting hoping to move to Denver to work with a friend/mentor. Our plan is to work with hurting marriages and families. All of the pieces are falling into place, but there is still more left to do before we can head in that direction.

We were back to school this week after taking a necessary week off for packing and moving. It was hard getting used to our portable school (everything is in crates.) We're making it work though. I've been covering mostly our studies in HOD and Science. I hope to comment soon on how grammar, spelling, geography and math are going as well.

This week we learned about William Penn, and the founding of Pennsylvania. He sounded like an interesting fellow. It sounded like he was a man of conviction. I'd love to learn a little more about him. We also learned a little about Benjamin West. My kids loved learning about him. They are both little artists, and loved learning about how West used what he had to create art. I loved that even though the Quakers didn't value art, they recognized a God given gift in West despite their common beliefs. I have Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin on hold at the library. I've heard it's worth reading. 

Benjamin West wasn't a great student, but he was a lover of art. He skipped school to paint. We learned that his father found him painting with poke-berry juice.The Indians later showed him how to make other colors. We used orange, strawberry, berry, grape and lime juice (which we enhanced a bit with food coloring.) I was drinking a cup of coffee, so the boys decided that would be a great brown. I'm sure if the Quakers drank coffee that West would have stolen a few cups :)

This was a super simple art project, but my kiddos loved it. 

You can see they went a little crazy with the coffee :)

We learned that William Penn was somewhat of an athlete. He joined the Native Americans in competitive jumping games. The kids loved seeing how far they could jump. 

 We are reading Science in Colonial America in HOD science. We learned this week how our body fights off infection. We learned about inoculation, and how it prevented the spread of disease. All I have to say is I'm glad I wasn't the first patient to figure out if inoculation worked or not. Those were some brave souls. We watched this little video that went well with our lesson.

 I love seeing the kid's interpretation of their experiments each week.

Our poem this week was For a Child by Fannie Sterns Davis. This one was fun to talk about since we have been making it a point to study nature.

Elemental Science at The Monarch Room

 This week Aedan entered the Motion unit in ES Physics. Last week he read a biography on Isaac Newton. Reading the book was a great setup for the things we studied this week. We learned about Newton's 1st law of motion. We learned about inertia, and momentum in a hands on way. Our first experiment (on the left) was to make a Inertia Zoom Ball. This helped us understand the 1st law of motion. The kids played with this until the strings broke - twice. Super fun :) Later in the week we built a working egg beater out of the K'Nex Intro to Simple Machines Kit. Normally Aedan doesn't have the patience to do this. Fortunately his cousins helped him build it. They made short work of it. I was impressed. It's quite the contraption to build out of little plastic pieces.

My sister in law and family are in town. They are missionaries in Spain, and on furlough for 6 months. It's been nice having them here in town. They are homeschooling while they're here too, so we plan to do lots of field trips, and fun art projects together.

Silas learned about mountains and glaciers in ES Earth/Space. Our volcano from last week was supposed to be completed this week, but I wanted to do it before the move. To demonstrate how a glacier moves we were supposed to freeze a pan of ice, and put a brick on top of it. This is our first failed experiment. It is supposed to slowly move through the rack. It's still in there, so maybe it will eventually do something! 

Well that about covers it! I'm so behind on getting this done. I hope I'm more organized next week!
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