Monday, September 20, 2010

Labor Day and MFW Adventures, weeks 4 and 5

Week 6 is just hours around the corner and I have yet to update you on weeks 4 and 5. For those of you who don't really care that much about our homeschooling adventures, just enjoy the pictures and understand that one of my main objectives for blogging about them is to keep a record of sorts of our year. Thank you for dropping by.

Of course, we started out our week 4 with Labor Day. We stayed home…slept in, enjoyed a late breakfast, worked in the yard, sat around and read, watched the girls play outside, and then grilled some ribeyes and roasted marshmallows. Mmm

(Note the lovely non-matching outfit!)

Glen was proud of his perfectly roasted marshmallow, so of course he tweeted it. :)

Besides keeping up with our basics (math, phonics, spelling, handwriting, reading—Mouse Tales by Lobel), this is a bit of what we learned:

Bible: During weeks 4 and 5, we studied "Jesus, the Light of the World." Carli memorized John 8:12—"I AM the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life." As a reminder of this special name of Jesus, the girls both decorated a votive candle that we burn during supper.

We studied several passages from both the Old and New Testaments concerning the Light that has come to the darkness. I absolutely love the Discoverer's Bible for Young Readers. The language is so simple and clear. I find Carli reading it when we're not "doing Bible" or quiet time.

(Carli unscrambles the words of John 8:12)

Science: Our science studies for the last two weeks were tied into our study of the Light of the World. Studying the universe, the sun, other "close" stars, and constellations, specifically the Big Dipper. Carli now thinks that we need to go outside every night to look at the stars.

Study of the universe fascinates me. For instance, you probably remember that the sun is 93,000,000 miles from us. I ran the numbers for Carli to break it down a bit—that's 25,000 plus trips to Alaska for us. I don't think she could even wrap her mind around that, but she knew it was a lot. Proxima Centauri is the next closest star, and it is 25 TRILLION miles away. If we could travel at the speed of light, it would take us 2 seconds to reach the sun, but 8 minutes to reach Proxima Centauri.
To illustrate the difference in size between the sun and Betelgeuse (pronounced beetle juice), we cut out a one-inch circle to represent the sun. Olivia stood with it while Carli and I measured 16 ¾ yard away, which is the diameter of the shrunken Betelgeuse compared to the one-inch sun.

There are an estimated 200 billion stars in our galaxy, and possibly billions of galaxies. That just boggles my little mind. God is so great, such an awesome Creator.

History: Week 4 covered the Native Americans. Lots of hands on activities.
A wigwam…
And a teepee village. One of my dear friends (awwwwwwwwww), Kirsten, and her sweet mother, Diana, took Carli and Olivia for the day while I took Madeline to several doctors' appointments in Indianapolis. Diana homeschooled four girls and has homeschooling so etched in her that she loves any chance she can get to work with little ones. I love it when my girls get to go to Nana Di's. Kirsten is a fixture in our home (or almost), loves reading as much as I do (and can describe exactly what I feel about books in general or a book we both love), and most importantly, is in love with my little girls.

All that to say, when my teacher's manual scheduled making a teepee, I knew Kirsten would do that better than I. Not only did she help make a teepee, but entire Indian village, complete with teepees, a river with fish, trees, a fire pit, Indian children, and baskets full of beads and corn kernels. The girls had to show everyone who entered our house for the next week, and they still stop and admire it several times a day.

Week 5 launched us into a brief overview of the Mayflower and the Pilgrims. We'll be doing a unit study more in depth Thanksgiving week. Our activities were a lot of fun for this study…I learned something! I did not remember that the Pilgrims used oiled paper for windows when glass was not available. The oiled paper not only was a lot stronger, but was waterproof and let in a lot more light than non-oiled paper would have.

The non-oiled paper (above) doesn't let in as much light as the oiled (below)
(testing with water)

Second, we planted corn, planting alongside in one cup, as Squanto taught the Pilgrims to do. We will be watching the corn grow to see which grows more quickly, the one planted with fish or the one without.

Carli was very sad to wrap up Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims. We also read Native American Indians, and from American Pioneers and Patriots and The Story of the U.S. (We still have a bit to wrap up in the last one since I forgot it on our trip to Brown County.) Our book basket books included selections about Native Americans, the Pilgrims, as well as universe and our galaxy in particular. (Because I couldn't find the some of the recommended books in the manual, I had to substitute with some that mentioned the Big Bang. This opened up discussion for us, all the while looking at some awesome pics!)

Our selection from Celebrate America is "America" aka "My Country 'Tis of Thee."

Art: We have completed part of lesson 2 in Draw Write Now. We didn't get much art in the second week due to our trip, but we did enjoy Vincent's Colors, a delightful book of van Gogh paintings, using his own words to describe the colors that moved him so much.

Field trips: On Thursday and Friday of this last week, we totally enjoyed some time taking in the slower pace and fresh country air in Brown County. Glen had a work obligation in Nashville, and we tagged along with him. The girls spent a lot of time in the pool as well as rollicking around the park and wandering the streets of Nashville. I'll be posting more on this later (hopefully soon). We did a few lessons, but left the math and phonics at home.

Funny story: While the other children were trying to sleep, Carli was exclaiming loudly every time she found a flag of a country she knew about. She had picked out this DK Flag book to bring along, but I had no idea how much she'd enjoy looking at it. She was almost giddy with excitement.
On Saturday, I took Carli, Madeline and Kirsten over to Koh-Koh-Mah & Foster, a living history re-enactment centered around the French and Indian War. I had no idea we had this major of a production in the Kokomo area. Not only was the reenactment exciting, but the various camps were amazing. (I heard that our Indian camp is the best in the nation in these sorts of events.) Again, more on that later. I'll just leave a picture for now.


Shore Girl said...

I (for one) enjoy reading your school updates (especially since we're doing the same curriculum for the most part). Wow -- what an impressive Indian village -- Makayla was taken with that right off --- see what you get me into (smile)!
Looks like you had fun/profitable weeks these past two weeks.

Monica said...

I absolutely LOVE the Indian village your kids made! What a fun week. We are working on week 7 this week.

Melodie (Granny!) said...

All I can say is WOW!! You are doing so much with Carli and including the other two right in the middle of it all! No wonder they love school, reading, etc. -- YOU do!! So glad you are her teacher!

Pamela said...

Awesome, Pam. I'm proud of you. Makes me want to add some children's books to my basket!

Alyssa said...

Amazing stuff!!.....I can see why you want to blog about it, you really do a lot with those girls!

You are an amazing teacher and mother! You must be so tired, but if you are, you sure never show it:)

PS. I agree with Glen, his marshmallow was perfection:)