Heart of Dakota - BHFHG Week 31 in Review

Saturday, April 27, 2013

This week we continued our study of the Wright Brothers. My kids laughed at me because I got kind of teary when the Wrights flew for the first time. Of course I knew it was going to happen, but the book we are reading got me all attached to the family. Studying the Wrights has been so fun for my science loving boys. Our character trait this week was Hard-Working. The Wrights were such a great example of this trait and so many more.

I have enjoyed this year so much, but I'm ready for the lazy days of summer. I think I'm officially a little fried. This is the part of the year that type A homeschoolers all over the world are trying to complete all the lessons we're behind on! We've been mapping the 50 states each week, and I had the kids map our final 8, so we could be finally done with them. They have memorized all their capitals, and I don't want to see a state map to save my life for at least a year :) They were shocked that I made them do this, but we're done now with something at least. HOD runs for 34 weeks, but our science runs for 36. I'm so hoping to complete our science lessons in the next 3 weeks. We'll see if I can make that happen.

We've taken some pretty awesome field trips over the last few weeks. I keep meaning to post the pictures. We visited a Mahaffie Stagecoach Farm, The National Frontier Museum, and Watkins Woolen Mill to name a few. Each of these were so perfect to illustrate how the stories we are reading about. We may not have been able to go the the seashore while reading the One Small Square books while here in the midwest, but Missouri is rich with pioneer, westward expansion, and civil war history.

Our art project this week was to make a paper airplane. I showed the kids how to make a basic one, but then they asked if I'd make a few different kinds. This was a test of my spatial skills. I tried to do it at night, but needed to have a cup of coffee in the morning to figure out some of the directions. I love to sew. This was kind of like trying to figure out a poorly designed pattern. It turns out that the red one was the best. It didn't look like it, but it went the farthest every time.

Our history activity was to blow hot air on a balloon, and to watch it rise. Maybe this would have worked better if I had a low hot setting on my dryer. The wind just made it lower, and the boys kept moving their arms. Did any of you have luck with this one? Oh, and FYI: My kids don't leave the house in some of the crazy outfits you see them wearing to school. Just thought I'd claryfy ;)

We started our new science book this week: Thomas A. Edison: Young Inventor. Poor Aedan....This is his 3rd Thomas Edison book of the year. He just finished reading The Story of Thomas Alva Edison for his extension readings. He also read Who Was Thomas Alva Edison? for Elemental Science. I gave him the choice to not listen to our reading, and to read another science book. He opted to go ahead and read about Edison again. If he doesn't know something about him after this year he never will! We read about how Edison got ice skates for his birthday, and went ice skating.

He was told to stay away from the ice that was a different color, but he was determined to make a figure 8 and didn't have enough room to complete his figure if he obeyed. He fell through the ice because he didn't listen. Oh the joy of raising curious little boys :) We saw that the ice formed closer to the edges, and that thicker ice is a different color. We put the pan in the freezer for an hour, and looked at it. We put it in for 2 more hours to take a look, but I forgot to snap a picture.

 Aedan laughed as soon as I started reading the story of Edison sitting on his goose's eggs because he already heard that story twice before. We learned why eggs don't crack when the goose sits on them. We were to try and squeeze the egg as hard as we could with just our palms. I knew that they wouldn't crack, but I put a bowl under their hands just in case. These are curious and impulsive little boys, but they used self control fortunately.

My kids are in the habit of drawing Woody from Toy Story lately. I can't even remember when we saw the movie, but they think he always makes a funny face. That's why you see him in all our pictures lately :) These are the experiment pages for the above experiment. I thought they were really funny!

 Our poem was about how our worries and troubles can often be cured by spending a little time outdoors with God. My boys love being outside as much as possible. I'm so thankful to be able to homeschool. They are learning and discovering so much out in the fresh air. That is something they wouldn't have as much time to do if they were in school all day.

 Our memory verse was Proverbs 14:23. We learned that it's better to be a doer than a talker.

Here Woody is again showing up on our vocabulary pages!

Elemental Science at The Monarch Room

 This week Aedan is in the magnet and electricty units of ES Physics. Our ongoing project was to make a potato clock. There were instructions in the TM to find the parts for the potato clock, but fortunately there was a kit at Hobby Lobby. Armed with my 40% off coupon, I bought this kit for 6 bucks. That was way easier than finding all the components. Next week we'll see if we can get it to work with an apples, lemons, tomatoes and coke.

We learned that magnets attract through glass, and water.

Magnets attract through paper.

Magnets also attract through wood. Ok, this is more like "wood." If we had a stronger magnet we could have moved the tacks up and down I'm sure.

Silas has begun his study of the constellations. Ok, so this is a really lame picture, but I thought I'd put it up anyway. We made a constellation planetarium with cards of each of the constellations we will study. This is Ursa Minor...sort of :)

We also learned why stars appear to twinkle. They twinkle because we are viewing them through our earth's atmosphere. They wouldn't twinkle if we were standing on the moon and looking at them from there. 

Well that about sums it up :) Tell me about your week!


  1. Can't wait until we study the Wright Brothers! Looks like a fun week with ES too! Aedan looks like he's ready for summer with his new hair cut. :)

  2. It was a fun week in both! Yeah, all three of the boys (my husband included) needed haircuts :) I'm the teacher, cook, and stylist around here!

  3. You are so amazing!!! I just can't say enough about how much your weekly posts are such a blessing to "see" HOD in action.

    Every week is so inspiring! I was worried that so many weeks with the Wright Brothers would be a lot, too, but you have shared the excitement and the ::tears:: with us :)

    Thank you again!!!!! and again!!!!

  4. You are so very kind :) It makes it worth the work knowing it is helpful to someone. I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one who wondered if studying the Wright brothers for weeks might be long. I've really started trusting HOD's plan way more after getting to the end of the guide. The biographical approach really helped the kids connect with the people we studied, and therefore made them easier to remember. They will never forget John Audubon after our time in HOD.


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