Saturday, February 2, 2013

Week of January 31, 2013

In My Home This Week:  It has been so nice turning the tv off.  I have done this before.  Cut way way back.  Then we get lazy and we build a fire and we say...just one show.  Then it becomes just another.  It is Little House, so that is learning right?  And before you know it we are sucked back into screen time.  Not that I have anything against Little House...I enjoy it now and then.  It has captivated Grace’s imagination and she enjoys not only the characters, but their way of life.  

During the week I am asking for as little tv time as possible.  I love the quiet of our home when there is no laugh track, no theme song, no characters arguing.  I love to look at what the girls do when they are “bored”.  

In My Homeschool This Week:   Yes, I love boredom.  Grace picked up Wonder on her own and fell asleep reading it.  I have finished it and Lilah is close to finishing it.  I am holding my review until we have all read it and then we will each share our thoughts.  We are on disc 4 of Catherine Called Birdy and I truly love this book.  I love that it ties into our period of history (1280) and I adore the main character Birdy.  Grace will be making her confirmation next year and there are references to many many saints, many whom were martyrs.  This has led to conversation and laughs as I offer some of their names for Grace’s confirmation name!

We completed two chapters in history this week, chapters 19 and 20.  We learned about Richard the Lionheart and his brother who took over the throne.  We also learned about the Diaspora, which is mentioned in Catherine, Called Birdy.  

Lilah finished Life of Fred: Dogs and we are waiting for the next two books to arrive.  Grace finished Key to Measurement and we are examining her next book for math.  Right now she is reviewing previously studied concepts in a fun workbook while I carefully consider her next math curriculum which may be Khan Academy pre-algebra.    

Lilah is writing a magazine!  She is using a template in Pages and so far has designed a cover page, a table of contents and has a page dedicated to a cupcake recipe, and a personality test.  It looks wonderful and I am eager to see the final copy.  

In our writing workshop we make a great list of words to use instead of said.  We copied them down on paint samples and bound them together.  They hang in our studio/lessons room next to Lilah’s list of favorite words.  The girls are progressing on their stories.  I am guessing they are at or are close to the mid point which is convenient since we are mid way through our 8 week workshop!

After a month long break from electronics, we met twice this week, once to plan and once to build.  This fall the girls were given kits: Kinetic Creatures.  The project was originally part of a Kickstart funding effort.  The project was funded resulted in production of the product.  They are made of sturdy cardboard and include a motor to make the creature mobile.  These kits could have been assembled back in October.  However we went very slowly explaining the process step by step.  Each piece in the motor was copied using a process that design students use.  Each wooden piece, each gear and notch was shaded, outlined, traced on a light box, copied and stored.  It was a tedious process but a necessary one.

Sure enough, Grace was missing one piece.  This could have spelled disaster as the motor would not work without this part.  However, since each piece has a master “blueprint” making a new one out of balsa wood is easy!  

Before assembly of the motor, the girls watched every video of simple machines on Brain Pop.  They know what a gear ratio is and why it matters.  Assembling the giraffe and rhino will be easy and now that they understand what a motor is and how it works, they will have a greater understanding of what a kinetic creature is.  They will need to apply this in project #2 which will begin soon.....

Our work in Zoology 2 was set aside this week in favor of electronics and meteorology.  Grace began her internship. She will be a peer mentor in the meteorology’s Bridge Program, which links the University Departments with middle school children in the surrounding community.  There is a secondary component to her internship which involves an independent study to develop a project for an upcoming science fair for local schools.  I am not sure of the details yet as they are being developed.  Grace will know more next week when she spends an additional two hours in the weather center going over the parameters of the project.  I do know it will involve a licensed software program, her own writing and knowledge of a variety of weather related topics, and her own technical writings on weather. While Grace is on campus, Lilah is at her friend’s house working on fashion design and sewing.  

Places We Are Going and People We Are Seeing:  We sure did a lot of driving this week!  Our car always looks like we are going on a trip but it is just all the various things we need to get through our day.  Common items are rain boots, lunch coolers, backpacks, computer bags, electronic bags, basketballs, duffel bags, random books, sewing kits, a bag full of hats and mittens and a blanket we keep just in case.  It is always a chore to empty the back of the car at the end of the day!

What We Are Reading:
Behind the Staircase
First Darling of the Morning, Thrity Umrigar
Perfectly Unique, Annie F. Downs

image from Pinterest
A Quote To Share:  Have you ever almost missed an amazing opportunity because in that moment you feel tired or worn out and the thought of venturing out into the cold and bundling up with hats, coats, mittens and boots seems too much, especially after a hard morning with tired cranky children and you could say yes instead to a hot cup of tea with a dear friend in front of a cozy fire?    This was me this week after a tough morning and a long ride.  We were asked to venture out to check out Kent Falls which froze in the recent cold snap.  Grace wanted to go.  Lilah not so much.  Me...I wanted to go, but... I also really wanted to sit by that fire!  

This is when I just kept pushing and we went.  Oh how glad I am!  This was a glorious moment.  A glimpse of beauty  that may not come again for quite some time.  This was other worldly.  This was stunning and humbling.  This was living.

Homegrown Learners


Dr. Jill E. Steeley said...

What a beautiful outing in God's classroom!! These pics will make some happy scrapbook memories! Wish I could have homeschooled my son.


Becca said...

Gorgeous pictures. I love the frozen falls.

Karen said...

I know I say this every week but I would so love to live on your street and come to all the amazing things you do with your girls. Just chocked full of beautiful and amazing learning.

I SO know what you mean about saying yes and being so glad you did. One of our best ever field trips we almost backed out because it was such a long drive. 3 1/2 hours. It was amazing and we talk about it to this day. I love seeing all the things Grace and Lilah are doing Jess.

Savannah @ HammockTracks said...

What a beautiful frozen waterfall. I hope you'll consider sharing this at my end of the week link up, Its a Wrap. -Savannah

Jessica said...

Thank you for stopping by! God's classroom is a wonderful place to learn and discover. To think I almost let the moment pass me by.....

Jessica said...

Thank you. I grew up in Massachusetts and remember some pretty cold winters, but I have never seen anything like a frozen waterfall!

Jessica said...

I just added my link. I copied your button to the bottom of my post but it is not showing up as a link. I will keep fiddling with it!

Jessica said...

Wouldn't it be so much fun! I often think when I saw your strawberry cupcakes for church. Our girls would have so much fun together! For all the complaining I sometimes do about social media and technology, I really appreciate the ability it has to connect people from all over who share similar interests and become friends!

Shelly @ Homeschooling Despite the Labels said...

Oh my! I want to go to that waterfall! We went waterfall climbing in October in Michigan's upper peninsula but none of them were frozen yet! How beautiful! My boys would love those gear projecs!

Dawn said...

What a awesome week. I like how you are using the paint samples for writing.
Blessings, Dawn

Lula B said...

Wow - what a wonderful week! Such beautiful pictures.

I completely relate to your feeling about unloading the car at the end of the day! We also keep a bag of scarves and gloves in the car, plus ikea crib quilts in stuff sacks for time spent waiting in the car. And now we have a (usually muddy) dog to unload too - what fun! :-D

Mary said...

Wow- the pictures are fabulous!

Jessica said...

I am going to post video when the motors are installed but you can see how they operate on the Kinetic Creatures website!

Jessica said...

I got the idea off Pinterest. I am always looking for ideas to share with our group that make writing fun and exciting.

Jessica said...

I love the idea of Ikea quilts! Perfect size for the car and inexpensive in case they get dirty....hmm.....Ikea is only 20 minutes from my house. This might give me a reason to go!

Jessica said...

Thank you! It was impossible to get a bad picture with the majesty of nature that day!

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