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!

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!

Heart of Dakota BHFHG -Week 29 in Review

Monday, April 15, 2013

Here's a little peek into HOD Bigger Unit 29. We continue our study of the Wright Brothers for a few more weeks to come. We are really enjoying The Wright Brothers and Their Sister. It is such a beautiful story of how siblings can really get along and spur one another on to greatness. I'm sure they didn't always get along, but it's nice to show my boys that it is possible for brothers to be great friends. My boys are already really close, but they still bicker like many siblings. I've seen them grow closer though because of our year together in homeschool. They have so many shared experiences to draw from now. Again, I failed to get our notebooking assignments photographed. I really need to take more pictures of the boring stuff we do :)

Our art activity was to make a texture quilt. The idea was to find as many textures we could use to rub onto our quilt.

The kids sprung into action on this one searching the house for interesting textures for their quilt.

Our geography lesson taught us about the polar regions of the earth.

We learned about icebergs and how we only see 10 percent of an iceberg on the surface of the water.

I've seen many the iceberg principal illustrated many times. It was fun to see it actually be true with this little experiment.

We asked the question: "Why didn't the Titanic just sail around the iceberg?"

We read in The Pioneer Sampler about how pioneers entertained themselves during the night with shadow stories.

We read about the difference between translucent and opaque objects. We learned that opaque objects don't let any light through, but translucent objects do.

Our history activity was to learn about how air moves an object.

We learned how air can lift an object. Can you see our little flying cotton ball? :)

Silas has been into putting our GeoPuzzles together these days. I love when I find my kids spontaneously learning!

Elemental Science at The Monarch Room

We completed our sky map! We added Pluto even if it is only a dwarf planet. I wish we had an enormous piece of paper to make the sun to scale.

We learned how a planet's distance from the sun affects the amount of time it takes to complete its orbit.

Aedan's experiment was complicated this week, so we failed to complete it. It was one of the few times I scrapped an ES experiment because I didn't have what I needed. Ah well. I'll see you next week!
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