Heart of Dakota Beyond - BLHFHG - Week 2 in Review

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Welcome to our second week of school! Can I just say how happy I am with our choice to work through Beyond instead of moving forward into Preparing? This has been such a sweet guide. I am loving our history readings, and can see that Silas is connecting with what we are reading. I love that the history is read from the perspective of children that would have lived during the period we're studying. Our studies took us to Jamestown where we learned about how it was settled, and what it was like to live there.

Our art project of the week had to do with our Bible study reading in Ruth. We made a field of grain, and scattered little pieces of wheat that Ruth would have gathered after the harvesters had passed through.

It wasn't in the instructions to add Ruth, but Silas added her anyway. I thought that she was so cute :)

Scholastic Teacher Express has $1 sales on their ebooks a few times a year. I have an embarrassing amount of them that I haven't used. I'm trying to make use of some of them this year. I found this model of Jamestown in the Easy Make & Learn Colonial America book. I think it helps kids to see what we're learning about as well, so it was worth the effort of putting this together. It helped Silas learn how the gates that protected Jamestown looked.

My kids have always loved Safari Toobs. I bought the Jamestown toob this year because I knew we'd be studying this at some point. Here is Captain John Smith. BTW, I used a coupon at Joann to buy it for 40% off. I think I may have paid 6 bucks.

Now these dudes just look scary, but they were in the package too. I guess the settlers needed to defend the fort. My kids had so much fun playing with these. There is a lady that has a soup pot. We pretended about what kind of soup she was making. I forget to sometimes engage kids on their level and play with them like this. I need to remember to do this more often :)

A new friend of mine gave me the Scholastic 15 Fun-to-Read American History books. There was one on Jamestown, so we cut it out and read it. What perfect timing!

I loved Silas's answer to the last question. We sold our house this year and are renting. We read about how one of the houses nearly burned down in Jamestown. Silas said he would be double-triple-quadruple worried if our house burned down because we have a landlord.

In history we read about a girl who was left to care for her little brother. For our geography activity we made a map of the route she took to find him through the corn fields and into the forest.

Our memory verse this week was great. What a good reminder for homeschoolers everywhere!

Our poem of the week was "Father, We Thank Thee." It tied in perfectly with our history reading. The family nearly lost their house in the fire, and had no food to eat. Their neighbors shared what they had, so they wouldn't go hungry. There is always something for which to be thankful.

Sometimes I look at our little HOD science activities and think....that's so simple! I forget that my kids are still little, and still have so much left to learn. I am always so surprised at how much joy they find in these simple things. We read in history about how one of the pioneer children kept a squirrel as a pet. We read how they flatten their body out, so that they fall softly. The first thing we did was crumble up a piece of paper, and dropped it.

Then we dropped a flat piece of paper to see if it would fall more slowly. It did! So simple, but a great illustration.

This inspired Silas to see what would happen if he dropped both at the same time.

Here is his science notebooking page for the above experiment.

I love how the simplest of experiments inspires a desire to learn more in my kids. I went upstairs to work with Aedan, and when I came down I discovered Silas with this. He wanted to see if Tin Tin could fly....

And guess what? He did! So fun!

We're enjoying IEW's Bible Heroes. It is a very different way of teaching writing, so I'm still getting used to it. Silas is already getting the hang of it, and did a few really good key word outlines. He was able to retell the story from his outline successfully, so I was happy. Bible Heroes has little games to play every so often. This week we played an adjective game. We had to use descriptive words to describe the animals when they went into the ark. He had a lot of fun with this. When he rolled a one he got to place the little picture he drew of himself into the "I am safe in Christ" envelope.

This week we didn't have any experiments in Elemental Science Biology. We did learn about some of the biomes. I had the boys help me color and put together a few different biomes from my Scholastic Easy Make & Learn Animal Habitat book (another from the $1 sale.) I didn't get a picture of the desert one Aedan made. The ES teacher guide suggested watching an episode of the BBC Planet Earth series. Aedan loved it! He asked me if we could watch an other. I bribed him to make the desert habitat by paying him with a documentary. LOL. I love that I can bribe my kids to do work by paying them with an educational video. These are great, and really worth watching. I wish the DVD set wasn't so expensive, or I might be tempted to buy it. We rented them on Amazon. I wish they were free on Netflix, but sigh, they aren't.

This week in I Can Do All Things Art we learned about secondary colors. We mixed the paint to make all the shades you see here. I need to buy a better blue. The one we have isn't a true blue, but he got the point.

We do 3 lessons of drawing on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Friday we do one paint card. It helps to know that when he's eying his brother's watercolor, that he will get a chance to paint too.

Silas was dying to get his hands on his brothers air dry clay that we made for CtC. He begged me to make some for him too. Both boys loved playing with this "mush." That about covers it! See you next week!

HOD Creation to Christ - CtC Week 2 in Review

We're finally finding our groove after completing 2 weeks of school. Last week I was really tired! This week I'm starting to feel confident that this is going to be a great year. I am loving having a 4 day week. We work really hard the first 4 days of the week, and then have a lighter and more fun Friday. We had a great time meeting new friends at our homeschool group field trip to the apple orchard. Having that light day built in gives us plenty of time for friends and fun trips :)

This week we learned what happened after the flood. Aedan read about the Tower of Babel, and how God confused the languages there. Aedan knows a lot of the bible stories already. I love that his studies this year are adding a depth to his understanding of biblical events.

Aedan is really enjoying his weekly watercolor painting. Our Robert Frost poem of the week was "The Pasture." This is a painting of a pasture spring.

Aedan is supposed to cut out his poetry copywork to paste it to his painting. I love how he did this one!

Our history project this week was to make a clay tablet with cuneiform characters. We made our own air dry clay out of flour and salt.

We also made a cylinder seal like that of King Urukh. We were supposed to roll it on the bottom of the tablet to seal it with our name. It kinda worked. I kind of wish I had bought air dry clay instead of making, but then Aedan's little brother was so inspired by Aedan's "mush." He wanted to make him some in blue, and he spent a big part of the afternoon sculpting little figures. I love how one project often inspires another.

Aedan read the story of Job, and illustrated it in box 4. He drew all of poor Job's sufferings. My kid is kind of a comedian. I don't know if you've noticed ;) He entered The Tower of Babel, Cushite Shepherd Kings of Egypt, and Abram on his timeline.

His other notebook entry was to continue to record the generations.

We've learned a lot about Turkey since we began. I like that we are learning specifically about the Holy Land this year. Aedan mapped the places we read about over the past few weeks.

Every few weeks Aedan will write about our geography travels on a travel log. He chose to illustrate The Bosphorus Strait (means cow crossing place,) The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, and The Euphrates River. This kid cracks me up!

Aedan will be memorizing Philippians 2 this year. I thought it would be nice to have a hard copy of the verses he would learn. This is in NIV, and goes with the memory songs that came with CtC.

I copied on 2 sides of cardstock and laminated it since it will be used all year. You can find the file here if you would like :)

Aedan is enjoying his Dithor book choice for Biography. This is one of the Dithor pages illustrating the people in Carry on Mr. Bowditch.

Writing instruction has been light so far in Write With the Best. Part of me would like to add something else, but part of me doesn't want to add one more thing to our day. In these first few weeks, I'm glad we are taking things slow. We learned how to use a thesaurus today in our lesson.

My kids love science! This week Aedan learned about the canine family in Apologia's Land Animals of the 6th day. The question was How does a human's sense of sight affect their sense of smell. Aedan was supposed to do this on his own, but I thought I'd help with this one because I knew he'd love to find out the answer by doing the experiment too instead of doing it on us. I made lemon jello, and colored one red.

First he had to smell the jello to guess what flavor it was. He and Silas both guessed that the yellow was lemon and the red was strawberry or raspberry.

Here I am (against my better judgement) letting my kids eat artificial colors and flavors! This one was worth it though. They both guessed again that the yellow was lemon, and the red was strawberry or raspberry. The were SO surprised that the red was lemon, and thought this was such a fun experiment.

This is the lab sheet for the above experiment.

Here are the other notebooking pages for science. Aedan is loving his science book. He was sad on Friday when there wasn't a reading. He is such a lover of animals. He knows so much about them already, but this has been a great review. I'll see you next week!

HOD Creation to Christ - CtC Week 1 in Review

Friday, August 23, 2013

Welcome to our first ever HOD Creation to Christ week in review! I am proud to say that we survived the week. I love our new 4 day schedule. Creation to Christ is much more challenging than Bigger Hearts was. We skipped a guide, and I think Aedan fits into this one beautifully. It is going to take us a while to get up to speed, but I'm really happy with how things went. We start our mornings at 8. The first day we were done at 1:45. Tuesday we finished at 12:30. On average this guide is taking us about 5 hours a day to complete. I keep reading about it taking allllll day long, so I was thankful to see that I could get it done in a reasonable amount of time. I'm finding that if I leave the room too long my little daydreamer does get off track. If I'm a quiet presence in the room he works harder. I have to say that Aedan and I were both really fried, but it got easier. I think we had summer mush brain, and it takes a while to build up the ability to work hard after a long break.

We started our year learning about Creation, and the Garden of Eden. We ended our studies this week at Noah and The Flood. I love that we're learning about history in a biblical context. Aedan already knows many of the Bible stories, but this is going to add a depth that he hasn't yet acquired. He starts his day with his own Bible quiet time. I really love that HOD encourages that as part of his day. He really loves the illustrated Bible he gets to read each day. He will memorize Philippians 2 this year. He also loves the dinosaur books that we are reading.

One thing I really love about CtC is the art and poetry study! This year we will study a Robert Frost every week. Aedan will paint a watercolor picture to go with each poem we study. I love that!

Aedan's first love is drawing. He's never been one to paint much. As he started painting on the 3rd day he said, "Do you think Dad would let me paint the cover of the book he's working on?" For him to say "paint" was a big deal. I love that he is learning a new medium, and that he is already starting to love it.

I was talking to a friend about HOD's heavy use of art and drawing. For us it is a beautiful thing. Both of the boys love to draw, to imagine, and create. I can see how if you have a more analytical kid though that it might be a bad thing. For us it is a major blessing!

Each week Aedan has to do a poetry reading for us. It was fun seeing him try this out.

I love, love, love HOD's notebooking pages in CtC and up. Each week he will have to choose an interesting portion of his history reading to copy, do his own 5-8 sentence written narration, copy a Bible verse, and do 2 timeline entries. These activities are spread throughout the week. He is required to do all of this in cursive. He's still working on learning cursive, but I thought he did a great job. HOD is teaches a young earth creation, hence the creation date on the timeline entry. We aren't necessarily young earth, but it has given us plenty to discuss.

The history project for the student notebook this week was to make a generations flapbook.

He was asked to draw a scene of the Garden of Eden. I thought these were the cutest little Adam and Eve pictures ever :)

The first part of the year we our science studies are out of Apologia's Land Animals of the 6th day. Our first experiment was about camouflage. 3 of these colors were supposed to match the different M&M colors below.

We were supposed to count out an even amount of M&M's to hide in our habitat.

Both boys love participating in each other's experiments. We never have M&M's or things like that around here, so this was a real treat for them :)

Here is our experiment sheet for the above experiment. Aedan loved doing this just as much this year as he did last year. He drew the M&M predators, and the M&Ms hiding. So cute!

3 of the days for science have activity sheets. One day they copy a verse, the next they answer questions from their reading. On the last day they complete their science experiment sheet.

Aedan found this great book at the library this week. I thought it was a perfect book to read since we are studying what animals were like in the garden before the fall. There are tons of stories in this book about predators and prey animals that became unlikely friends. They are all heartwarming to read, and makes you think that somewhere hidden in these animals' DNA is a bit of the Garden.

Our DITHOR activity was to gather 5 items to tell a little about yourself.

Aedan grabbed a few books and a pencil. He is an artist and an animal lover :)

Our Biography choice is Carry on Mr. Bowditch. This is Aedan's collage about the characters in the book.

These are a few of our extras. Our first day took so long that I was thinking I might drop everything not HOD related. I decided to fit them in anyway. Aedan still needs work on cursive, so he is working in Pentime 5. We are doing HOD dictation level 4, and R&S Grade 5 spelling. Aedan loves taking spelling tests, and always insists on extra bonus words. We're really happy with R&S spelling, and will continue with it.

I also added in English from the Roots Up, and Maps, Charts, and Graphs. We are studying the Holy Land in HOD, but these map skills are fun and something Aedan needs to learn. English From the Roots Up is a painless way to add to their vocabulary. They did really well so far in retaining the words we learned this week. 

Phew! We did it! I really loved working on a 4 day week. It makes the long M-Th worth it if I know I have a light Friday to look forward to. The only thing I wasn't able to check off was nature study. We were invited to hang out with a friend. The boys still want to do nature study, so we'll do it tomorrow instead. How was your first week?!
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