Heart of Dakota BHFHG - Week 30 in Review

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Welcome to another little peak into our little homeschool week. I have to say that this week was so much fun! I have to admit when I read in the plans that we'd be reading a book on the Wright brothers for 5 weeks, I got a little concerned. I wondered why we would spend 5 weeks covering them, and 1 week covering Washington and Lincoln. I have changed my mind because the biography we are reading about the Wright brothers, and their sister is so good! Not only are we learning about the wonderful Wright family, but we are also learning so much about science in the process. We are having so much fun!

We are continuing through all of our 3 Rs. We are on schedule to complete Math, Grammar, Writing, and DITHOR programs by the end of the school year in 4 weeks. We are going to make it through mapping all 50 states as well even if it kills me! We got behind in that, but we're picking up steam again. Silas has all 50 capitals memorized. Aedan isn't far behind. We are so happy with all of our choices. We are switching to CLE math in the fall, but are still happy we did what we did for this year. More on that later :)

Our art project this week directed us to make a box kit with a paper bag. The Wright brothers experimented with kites and various gliders when they were dreaming up how to make man fly. You can't see the boys' designs well in this picture, but they did add their own flair to each kite.

Off they both set to test if their kites would fly. I'd say they were a success!

This week we went to a homeschool class at the zoo. While I was waiting for the boys I wandered into the zoo store, and guess what they had? Lots and lots of kites! How perfect! I thought it would be fun to try out another kite for fun :)

The boys had so much fun running up and down the street with their dragon kite. I always wonder what the neighbors thing of our quirky little family! Homeschoolers have all the fun though right?

We used a blow dryer to see if they could keep a cotton ball in the air. 

This little experiment demonstrated why they needed the wind at Kitty Hawk to keep their glider in the air.

Our history notebooking pages for the last few weeks have been to keep a timeline of all the important events in the Wright brothers' lives.

We continue to add to our HOD timeline each week. Last week Silas read through the entries, and I was surprised how much he has retained from our year in Bigger. He was able to tell me a lot about each of the men, women and events we have studied.

We are almost finished with A Pioneer Sampler. I'm kind of sad because we have really learned so much in this book about what it was like to be a pioneer. We read about how pioneers made bread. We learned that yeast is a fungus and makes bread rise.

The kids thought it was fun to watch the yeast bubble up :)

Here are our science experiment pages for the above experiment. Silas thought yeast looked a little like cat food. Ha!

As I went to pour the yeast down the drain Silas yelled, "STOP! Can't we make bread with that? Pleeeaassse?" Serendipitously, my mother in law had dropped off a few grocery goodies. I remembered that there was a box of yeast bread in her delivery, so we made it! Silas was so happy to have fresh bread.

We read about how the Wright brothers developed a wind tunnel to experiment with different types of wings. This is a picture of our high pressure chamber.

We asked the question how our stuffed animals would feel if they were all crowded in this chamber. We thought they wouldn't like that very much. We opened the door of the hallway, and the animals all stampeded out. This demonstrated high and low pressure areas.

We read about friction, and learned that the pioneers had a much easier time traveling in the winter over snow than when there wasn't snow on the ground. We rubbed pieces of paper to show friction.

We heavily colored our little paper pieces to add lubricant to each piece.

They were easier to rub together with the lubricant. This was to demonstrate that it was easier for the sleighs to travel over the snow than for wagon wheels to travel over rocky and muddy earth.

Our poem this week was "Who Has Seen the Wind?" What a perfect poem to study this week! We have really enjoyed our poetry study this year. Each week we read on we have studied before. The boys are getting pretty good at quoting much of the poems from memory.

We completed our vocabulary words sheets. I like doing these before we read the book because they often point out the words when we run across them, and understand so much more.

We are loving our read aloud Rascal! This book was in the realistic fiction category, but it makes such a wonderful living science book! I love how beautifully written this book is, and that it is not written down to children. The descriptive writing is beautiful, and really made us want to get outdoors and learn more about the living creatures in our own backyard. The main character, his father, and his pet raccoon Rascal do a lot of exploring in the woods of the northern US. We kept stopping the reading to look up something, so I started  having Aedan keep a list of things we could look up after. We have learned so much from this book. It makes me want to explore Lake Superior!

Silas is learning about meteors, comets and asteroids in Elemental Science. We did so much science this week in HOD that I kept our ES experiments for next week. We will be building a potato clock, and begin our study of the constellations. 4 weeks to go! I can't believe it!


  1. Initially stumbled on your blog because of your post on how you Organize HOD and have browsed around and am a new follower! Thanks for the weekly updates! I am thisclose to purchasing Beyond for my son, but buying it kinda scares a gal who has pieced together subjects for the past couple of years!! But looks like your sons are having a GREAT time learning!! And that is SO SO important!!!

  2. You are so welcome :) It turns out that I'm going to back my youngest into Beyond next year, so hopefully I'll be updating about that next year. I didn't want to push him into Preparing prematurely. This has been such a FUN year! I think you'll really enjoy HOD. We are loving it so much. I pieced everything together last year, and we had a great year, but I wouldn't say it was necessarily fun. I love picking and choosing things too, but more importantly I want my kids to learn to love learning. I'm really seeing the fruit of that already for my oldest who was home for the first time this year. He says he doesn't want to go back to PS because he's having way more fun in homeschool. :)


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