Heart of Dakota - BHFHG Week 26 in Review

Friday, March 15, 2013

Spring has sprung around here! After all the snow, we've been enjoying the chance to get outside these days. It was hard to do school on Friday, but we got it done! I want to sail through these last weeks, so we can get to summer. I don't want to miss anything in school, but the end of school is just around the corner.

This week our studies focused on Abraham Lincoln and The Civil War. Lincoln was quite a man. I loved reading about his humble beginnings. I always admire people who determined that they would gain an education whether or not it was available to them. I can relate to Lincoln who could always be found carrying a book. I'm guessing my heavy book bags will lead to back problems, but it is a price worth paying :) The age of slavery in America was a sad portion of our country's history. I am thankful to a man who fought for what he believed in. I love that he said, "I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right, than I do in signing this paper. My whole soul is in it." He wrote that after signing the Emancipation Proclamation. What a beautiful thing to believe with one's whole soul in a work.

This week's art project directed us to draw two cylinders. We turned one into a stovepipe hat, and one into a log. We chose to paint our pictures.

This week I added Abraham Lincoln, and Abe's Honest Words to our history readings. I highly recommend Abe's Honest Words. The artwork is beautiful and moving. Each page has a quote from Lincoln, so you get a better picture of who the man really was. My boys always love the D'Aulaire books as well. Aedan read Freedom Train for his extension readings. I love the addition of biographies and historical fiction in HOD. They really help give a better understanding of the people and place in time we are studying.

We read about The Civil War, and learned about the generals of both armies. We learned about the great cost of this war in human lives. What a terrible time in history.

Our poem this week was "God Bless Our Native Land." In a time, once again, of great division in our country this was a great reminder of how important it is to pray for our country and its leaders.

We learned how to tell directions by looking for the North Star. We read about how the slaves escaped to freedom by following the drinking gourd (The Big Dipper.)

These are our vocabulary pages for the week.

We read in A Pioneer Sampler how the pioneers harvested grain.

We learned how the pioneers had to predict the weather by watching the clouds. This week was kind of a bummer for cloud watching.

Our character trait was forgiveness. This was a great one to talk about when learning about The Civil War. I found myself convicted of holding grudges even this week.

Elemental Science at The Monarch Room

Silas and I continued our study of the solar system. We learned that Saturn is the lightest planet, and if you were to drop it in a planet sized swimming pool that it would float. Silas loved thinking of Saturn as a great big beach ball! We added Saturn to our sky map, and labeled the planets we've studied thus far. This map is supposed to be to scale. Obviously the sun is too small. We didn't have paper that was big enough. Jupiter ended up getting cut a little too small as well, but the rest are about right.

I found this image of just how big the sun is. Uh....WOW! So stinking cool!

Silas's experiment was to learn how we can see through the rings of Saturn. Can't you see the determination on his little face to spin those rings. Cutie pie :)

I love that the boys take part in each other's projects. They always want to try what the other one is doing.

This week we continue our unit on balance in ES Physics. This experiment was called "Wobble ball." We added a clay ball to the inside of the balloon and blew it up.

Because the balloon's center of gravity was off it wobbled everywhere, and was hard to catch :)

The boys were really surprised. I love the expression on my big boy's face. Even big kids still aren't too cool to have a little fun.

This is the experiment page for the above experiment.

We read about how our center of gravity helps keep us upright.

We did a few experiments to show what happens if our center of gravity is off. The first one was to keep your shoulder on the wall, and to lift your foot closest to the wall. Bam! They laughed and laughed :)

The next one was to try to pick up a book with your heels still resting against the wall. BAM again!

Our final experiment in balance was to have one person sit on a chair, and try to get up with just a finger pressed on your forehead. None of us could get up. So fun :)

The ongoing project for our balance unit was to build a gumdrop castle that could stand without falling.

 Aedan worked very hard on this one. I didn't think it would keep his interest as long as it did. He was really happy with his finished product, and it did indeed stand. Another weekend is here. Only 8 weeks left!


  1. Love your weekly updates. Makes me look more and more forward to our HOD Bigger experience next year!

  2. Wow! Love your pictures. Has HOD considered hiring you to sell their curriculum ; )!

  3. So interesting! I think I'm going to try that finger-on-the-forehead experiment with my baby who keeps trying to stand up in his highchair! :)

  4. Jennifer-Anne, You're going to have si much fun!

    Laughing Lioness, Haha, no they haven't :-) I would do a lot for someone who paid me in books!

    Itavitaafrican, You just made me die laughing!

  5. I remember doing the finger-on-the-forehead experiment in second grade!

    Looks like a great week, good job!

  6. Thank you Cara Brooke :) I don't remember doing that experiment, but I don't remember much about anything to do with science in school. It has been so fun re-doing all these early years. The experiments are always so fun for this big kid (myself) too!

  7. Your blog is such an inspiration in our new journey with HOD!!! We are starting toward the end of Beyond and moving into Bigger.

    It has been such a blessing to "see" HOD in action. A refreshing outlook to know that things can be added and tweaked and the program still flows.

    Thank you again! I know that it is hard work to not only teach every week, but you have blogged about them, too.

    Blessings on the remaining weeks ahead,
    ~The Mrs.

  8. The Mrs.,

    Thank you so much for your very kind words :) It makes whatever work I do here worth it. I have tried to make it a habit of only blogging once a week, so as to not burn myself out. I have had 3 other blogs lol! I would love to write some more specific posts, but I know how much time that would take. I wanted to have a way to be able to show the kids what we've done, but also to help others. I'm such a visual learner. Verbal instructions often go over my head, so hopefully there are a few there out there like me this helps. Thank you for visiting. I think you're really going to enjoy Bigger. We have had so much fun :)

  9. Incredible!! I love the huge solar system - that is great! We are studying the Civil War right now too- there are too many great projects to do!


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