Heart of Dakota - HOD RtR - Week 29 in Review

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring has arrived which means our year is quickly coming to an end. It's always a bitter sweet thing. Once you start feeling really comfortable with something it's time to start a new chapter. That's how I'm feeling about our year in RtR. We have covered a huge portion of history. It has been so interesting! I even picked up some history books to read on my own. I love how we get to learn alongside our kids. These guides have been so full of life and human story. This week we covered a lot of ground. We learned about The Thirty Years' War, Squanto & the Pilgrims, Isaac Newton, William Bradford and Rene Descartes.

Our history project this week was to make a gourd rattle. These were used by Algonquian and Iroquois tribes in ceremonies.

First we added cord to the balloon and then inflated it. We taped together a piece of paper that would become the handle.

Next, we taped the handle to the balloon. We also stuffed the handle with paper to make it stiff.

Next, we made a mix of flour, salt and water to be our glue for for paper mache.

We left it to dry overnight.

We used gold paint to paint the whole thing, and then Aedan added his own design. We added a handle like the notebook pages (right.) Aedan added info about William Bradford to his notebook page and labeled a portrait of Squanto. The boys really enjoyed an audio book about the life of Squanto. I did too! What a wonderful man he was!

Aedan researched Amsterdam and added his timeline entries: The Thirty Years' War, Pilgrims land at Plymouth and Squanto Lives at Plymouth.

Aedan's written narration was about Rene Descartes. Apparently he got the point that Descartes was a great thinker and had a very big brain.

For Geography he labeled a map to show the expansion of Sweden.

Aedan completed his reading of Romeo and Juliet.

Aedan is reading a biography about Isaac Newton for science. He illustrated the many things Newton invented or discovered.

We did a few experiments to demonstrate The Three Laws of Motion. I didn't get pictures of these, but maybe this gives you an idea :)

We chose to also do science option 2 for HOD which includes reading Our Weather and Water in addition to option 1. We don't always do the experiments, but since we were studying tornadoes this week I bought a Tornado Tube.

We did this experiment 3 years ago but taped the bottles together. This was MUCH easier!

Of course it wasn't long until my boys wanted to torture their toys in the tornado. Obi Wan made many travels down the funnel!

Amazing how much a little piece of plastic can entertain a boy :)

Silas had so much fun with this. He played with it for quite a while. We eventually added glitter to the water to define the tornado a little more. So fun!

Apologia Botany - Lessons 7 & 8 - Roots & Stems

We are moving along in our study through Apologia Botany. We skipped lesson 6 which covers leaves to give time for spring to happen around here. Bud just started opening, and the grass is getting green. I'm so thankful for signs of life after a long winter! These last few weeks we covered Roots & Stems.

This lesson we learned about the water pipes of a plants: The root system. It's so fun for me as an adult to cover these lessons. As we eat our fruits and vegetables lately we are far more curious about them because we know more about how they are made up. That has been so fun! One of our activities was to see how roots soak up water and nutrients.

Fortunately I had some carrots on their last leg in the fridge! We cut off the tips.

We added water and food coloring to a bottle.

Then we soaked one of the carrots in the blue water for a few days. We left the other carrot in the refrigerator.

After a few days we cut both carrots in half to see what happened.

The carrot soaked in the blue water carried that water up through the root tip. The other one started shriveling up without a source of water.

Here is one of his root notebooking pages. He wrote down all the things we learned about roots.

We moved on to lesson 8 about stems. We learned about auxins in the plant that cause phototropisim or how a plant knows to turn towards the sun. We made a stem out of clay.

Next we pinched the side of the clay that was on the dark sight (or facing away from the light.)

The part facing towards the light then bends toward it.

Oh celery experiment. How many times must I be asked to do you before I s.t.o.p.? Ha! We did it anyway (again) to show how xylem carry water up to the leaves of the stem.

The next activity we did would demonstrate how important light is to plant growth and health. Silas colored one cup completely black and left the other white.

We soaked our peat pellets in water. These are the times I am so glad I got the science kit!

Silas poked a small hole in the dark cup. This is the only light this sad little plant would receive.

Our peat pellets were ready for us to plant now!

Silas added one to each cup.

He then planted one bean seed per cup.

We covered the black cup up and left the other to have all the light it could find.

This is the result. I'm pretty sure this will preach. How tall and healthy can we grow without light? The answer is not so much. The poor little light-less bean still hasn't grown a healthy leaf. We're still wondering if it will eventually overcome its sad beginning.

Silas filled out the things we learned in his notebook. Next lesson we will cover trees! It's such a perfect time to see all the new growth happening. I'll see you then!

MFW ECC - Weeks 27-28 in Review - Japan

Friday, March 20, 2015

Konnichiwa! Here is a peek into our travels through Japan. This might have been one of our favorite countries to learn about, but I think I may have said that on each post. Japan is so rich in culture and so different from our own. The book basket books and activities were especially fun. We absolutely loved the story of Gladys Aylward as well. We added plenty of our own activities to our week. I'm not sure how I will top all the fun we've had. This has turned out to be such a sweet and special year for Silas.

I absolutely love sushi. I mean I really, really LOVE it, but I knew this little guy might not enjoy seaweed and raw fish as much as I do. Instead we made candy sushi!

We don't usually have this kind of junky food around so for my boys it was a special treat. I used pre-made Rice Krispie treats and formed them into these different kinds of sushi. I used red and orange Airheads for the sashimi and wrapped them in green fruit roll ups to represent seaweed. I did the same Swedish Fish. The rolls were made with gummy worms in the middle and wrapped in fruit roll ups.

I got major mom props for these!

Silas went and grabbed his trusty chopsticks he has gotten pretty used to using these days.


Of course Aedan always joins us when sweets are involved.

I also made us a Japanese meal. My husband has gotten used to coming along for the ride on our international eats!

I made onigiri or Japanese rice balls. They had tuna in the center with seaweed panda faces :) We dipped these in soy sauce and a little wasabi :)

We also had edamame beans.

I also got this miso soup. I love miso soup. This was pretty good for instant.

It was a fun little meal!

We looked up how Silas's name would translate into Japanese and painted a picture with his name.

His Japanese name is Sairasu. He thought that was really cool :)

We visited our museum to see the Asian art. We visited the Chinese and Japanese sections. This is a Chinese work.

It is so fun seeing all of this culture and history up close when you are studying it.

We saw a real kimono and kabuki masks.

This is done by a modern Chinese artist.

This is another Chinese work, but it was cool to see both areas of the museum.
Brave Writer Poetry Tea Time - Haiku Edition

My kids get onto me if I don't do our Brave Writer Poetry Teatime. Sometimes I'm better about it than others, but being in Japan was a perfect opportunity to do it in a new way :)

I found these Japanese Tea Cakes.

Instead of reading regular poetry I picked up this book of Haiku.

This is what the tea cakes look like out of the package.

We had green tea with our tea cakes.

The boys have learned to really enjoy reading poetry. Having treats of course makes it more fun!

Silas enjoyed his green tea.

I love that we can all share some of the activities from each of the boys studies this year.

I may have to buy this book :)

There were several great books in the book basket that had origami in them.  We read the story of Sadako and made a paper crane. I actually enjoyed the brain workout that this is. I checked out a few more origami books from the library for Silas since he enjoyed it.

Silas really enjoyed the challenge of doing this. I found him several times after school folding away. Some of these can be really challenging!

Oh my...Gladys. How I love her! She was a missionary to China, but we finished up the book at the end of Japan. We learned some history along the way about the conflict between Japan and China while Gladys was there. I struggled at first with these missionary stories. Silas was very disturbed by the violent way that Nate Saint died. I put them down after that but decided to try again. If you have sensitive kids some of these biographies have some very mature content. I appreciate that MFW does warn you when things are coming.

There were a few parts I skipped in this book, but the heart of it really impacted us. As I finished the book today Silas simply said, "Wow." That's how I felt too. Wow. What a wonderful, loving, strong, brave and Godly woman she was! We were both very impacted by her sacrifice. She gave so much her body even gave out. What a precious woman - and I get to meet her someday! I am going to check out her autobiography. I'd love to hear the story from her pen and heart.

We learned about the culture and geography of Japan through various books. We have learned to look up the most recent stats on each country. Another Trip Around the World tends to be pretty outdated.

The two verses we read were even more precious after reading Gladys. This was a woman who loved God with everything in her. We both want to be more like her because she was just like Jesus.

Gladys also loved above and beyond. I pray we can all be more like that. Thanks so much for sharing our journey with us :) Next we board our little cardboard plane to Russia. See you then!
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