Wednesday, March 13, 2013

School Days Summary -- Elijah and Elisha

I respectfully ask that you not pin pictures of my children to Pinterest. Thank you!
Eden Olympics for Science
A Summary of February 25 - March 8
We're back on track and looking forward next week which marks the end of the 3rd quarter. Now the end of the school year is in sight, and I'm wondering how it got here so fast.
Here's what we did:

Things that were scheduled as usual:
Language Arts (Grammar, Spelling, Penmanship, Reading, and Writing)

Civics: Community Helpers Factory Workers 
We're getting to some random occupations that they put in the Community Helpers cards. I couldn't find any extra books on Factory Workers for this week.
Health: a worksheet on 'Choosing Healthy Food'
PA History: We did worksheets on Crops, State Holidays, and the State Nickname.

My Father's World Creation to the Greeks-
We completed weeks 25-26 which focused on the ministries of Elijah and Elisha, mostly in the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
Bible: We finished learning Psalm 1. I wasn't paying as much attention so I didn't memorize the whole passage but the younglings did. We also reviewed the Old Testament books. 
We read through the rest of I Kings discussing how the kingdom of Israel was divided and how most of the kings following Solomon were not godly.Then we read about Elijah's ministry and then the calling of Elisha, who took Elijah's place.
Science: They finished up Day 6 (people and animals) in science these past two weeks.
They did the Eden Olympics, 

the Veins and Valves experiment, Bagel Brain, explored their sense of touch, hearing, smell, and sight. They skipped the tongue mapping (sense of taste) experiment. 
Seeing through Things experiment
Trying to drop pennies in a cup
History: We did a notebooking worksheet about Solomon and one for Elijah. We read about the decline and fall of Israel after the kingdom split into two, and then spent time learning about the caste system of India as well as Hinduism and Buddhism.
We continued reading a chapter a day in the Children's Homer. We are now in the second part which are the stories about Odysseus. I'm still butchering the pronunciations. :)
Elijah and Elisha both made it on to our timelines too.

Other MFW: 
Music: We listened to several music pieces by Handel. The younglings notebooked about 1 song each week using these sheets.
Art: We finally got to the painting lessons in art. The first one was simply creating blended colors. They each blended colors and painted samples on the included paint cards. Then they recreated the Stag Beetle painting (originally done by Albrecht Durer) while creating more blended paint shades.
Tenor's blending and beetle

Soprano's blending and beetle
We also read about Tintoretto and they drew a colored pencil sketch of Christ at the Sea of Galilee.

Elijah the Prophet (part 1, part 2, and part 3)
Lego Elijah
Elisha Man of God
Hinduism and Buddhism

Favorite Books:
Albrecht Durer by Ernest Raboff
Wild Tracks! by Jim Arnosky
Your Insides by Joanna Cole

Sunday, March 3, 2013

School Days Summary - King David's Reign and King Soloman's Wisdom

I respectfully ask that you not pin pictures of my children to Pinterest. Thank you!
A Summary of February 8 - 22
February may be the shortest month of the year but for some reason it seems to just drag on. I think we've all been suffering from some winter doldrums. The weather has been a huge tease too! It got warm for two days tempting us with spring sunshine and then it went right back to snow. We are all anxiously waiting for warmer temps so the younglings can spend some time outside. To combat the winter blahs, we spent one week just doing our My Father's World studies and then jumped back into a full schedule the next week. Perhaps it would have been better to not do any work that first week but it will be worth it for an easier end-of-year workload.
Here's a quick look back at what we did:

Things that were scheduled as usual:
The first week they just did flashcards and played math games online.
The second week we went back to just plugging away one lesson at time with both younglings. Tenor will be moving up to the next level of Saxon math in about a month. He's is naturally talented in math so we're going to just keeping moving him up as he finishes each level.
Language Arts (Grammar, Spelling, Penmanship, Reading, and Writing)
One week off, one week as usual.Although Tenor did do his IEW Ancient History based lessons writing assignment to keep it coordinated with our MFW work.
Health: a worksheet on the 'Benefits of a Healthy Diet'
PA History: We did a worksheet on our current governor, Tom Corbett. The state website had a great biographical page about him as well as a picture that we included.

My Father's World Creation to the Greeks-
We completed weeks 23-24 which focused on King David's reign and then his son, Solomon.
Bible: We continued learning Psalm 1. The younglings had learned part of it for their Tae Kwan Do class but they hadn't finished. Our first two weeks working on it was more of a review for them. We also reviewed the 10 Commandments and Psalm 23. 
Our Bible reading has been all about the first kings of Israel. We read through most of 1 Samuel, all of 2 Samuel, and began 1 Kings.
Science: More Day 6 (people and animals) for science these past two weeks.
We tried making the fruit fly farm. Any other time, we can get fruit flies without even trying. This time... nothing!
They did have good success making fossils
doing the Solar Critters experiment, learning about Enzymes, and they loved the Oxygen In, Carbon Dioxide Out and Take Your Breath Away experiments.

History: After notebooking about Saul, we continued studying King David these two weeks. We read about how he brought the ark back, how he cared for Mephibosheth, how he sinned with Bathsheba and the consequences that followed. We also notebooked about David using sheets from this set. After that we read about his Solomon. We also looked at the Phoenicians and their alphabet and Arabia.
We continued reading a chapter a day in the Children's Homer.

Other MFW: 
Music: We listened to Handel's biography. The younglings wrote out what they remembered on notebooking sheets.
Art: For art, they created a Diptych, did a nature study with pen and ink, and drew some still lifes of household objects.

King David (What's in the Bible? Vol. 5)
2 Samuel (the Fabulous Bentley Brothers)
A History of the Hebrew Part 8: The Proto-Semitic Alphabet
2 videos about the Phoenicians here
Archaeologists Uncover 3,000 year old wall from Solomon's Time
Solomon's Temple Aerial Tour
Solomon's Temple
The Wisdom of Solomon (Moody Bible Story)

We were a little behind on these but watched several episodes of Drive Thru History from
Conquest, Canaanites, and the Holy City Episode 4
Conquest, Canaanites, and the Holy City Episode 5
Covenants, Kings and the Promised Land Episode 2
Covenants, Kings and the Promised Land Episode 3

Favorite Books:
George Handel by Mike Venezia
Why Don't Haircuts Hurt? by Melvin Berger
See Inside Your Body by Katie Daynes

This looked fun but we didn't have time: Phoenican boat craft

DIY Dryer Sheets

My latest money-saving, go green venture was to make my own dryer sheets. I use the little dryer balls to help keep static down and to lessen the dry time but during the winter months, we have too much static cling going on. I found this recipe on One Good Thing by Jillee and modified it a little bit to try it out.
I had some old kitchen towels in my rag basket that were in good shape other than some staining. I cut them into quarters to use as my reusable dryer cloths.

I put 1 cup of hair conditioner and 1 1/2 cups of vinegar in a microwave safe dish and heated it for about 30 seconds to help make the mixing easier.
Then I added 3 cups of water and mixed it very well.
Once the mixture was pretty smooth, I started dipping my towels into it, saturating them thoroughly.
After they're dipped, I squeezed them out and hung them up to dry.

After they dried completely, I folded them to store in a little basket next to the dryer. The extra vinegar mixture fit into a mason jar.
I've been using them for about 2 1/2 months now and am mostly pleased with them. They work about as well as store-bought dryer sheets and last for about 4-5 loads per cloth. During the really dry weeks of winter, we still had some static-y clothes depending on the material. Overall though, it's another DIY win.

Friday, March 1, 2013

School Days Summary - Saul Blows It So David is Chosen

Floating a boat

A Summary of January 28 - February 8

We've just been plugging along and I haven't had a spare moment to do a school summary. I just realized that I'm a whole month behind. Eek!
Here's a quick look back at what we did in the beginning of January:

Things that were scheduled as usual:
Language Arts (Grammar, Spelling, Penmanship, Reading, and Writing)
Soprano is getting to the rough draft stage on her writing so she's been using her scheduled Typing time to get her story into the computer.

Civics: They read about Delivery People. I even found one book at the library on Delivery People too.
Geography: They did an Australia worksheet.
Health: a worksheet on "My Diet"
PA History: State Insect and State Capitol
I changed my mind (again) about our PA History schedule. Tenor is going to do Switched On Schoolhouse's PA History next year, and I have a simple mid-elementary book on PA for Soprano. So rather than only do half of our current year's book and never finishing it, I'm having them do the whole book this year. The worksheets aren't terribly difficult so it hasn't been a burden on our schedule.

My Father's World Creation to the Greeks-
We completed weeks 21-22 which focused on King Saul and then King David.

Bible: We started learning Psalm 1. The younglings had learned part of it for their Tae Kwan Do class but they hadn't finished. Our first two weeks working on it was more of a review for them. We also reviewed the Old Testament books and Psalm 23. I love how MFW builds the Scripture memory review right into the lesson plans.

Science: More Day 5 (fish and birds) science these past two weeks.
They tried the fish swim bladders eye-dropper experiment but it didn't work well. We think that our eye-dropper was made from a material that was too light-weight.
The 'Sinking or Floating' wasn't so great either. Bass postulated that perhaps the properties of aluminum foil have changed since the science book was published in 1997. The younglings got the idea anyway.

The younglings loved the 'Start Your Soup Cans' demonstration. Here's where our cans ended up:

Those experiments finished up the fish and birds section so they began the animals and people (Day 6) chapter. The two scheduled lessons were more than we wanted to tackle so they only read them.

History: We spent time studying how King Saul turned away from following the Lord which led to Samuel anointing David as the future king. We then jumped into stories of David's life: playing for Saul, defeating Goliath, befriending Jonathan, running and hiding from Saul, marrying Abigail, and sparing Saul's life. David is one of my favorite Bible characters so I enjoyed spending time studying him. Along with that era of Jewish history, we looked at the early Russians and the Scythians.

We continued reading a chapter a day in the Children's Homer. The names are, um, definitely challenging but I'm trying to consistently butcher them. The story itself is really interesting. The younglings are doing extremely well in following the plot and characters.

Other MFW: 
Music: We listened to more pieces by Bach. These two weeks are the last of our time with Bach.
Art: They practiced drawing a portrait of me. Let's just say it's a good thing I love my children. They did a great job drawing dragons and a recreation of St. Michael Slaying the Dragon.

King Saul (What's in the Bible Vol.5)
Saul and David (What's in the Bible Vol. 5)

Favorite Books:
Thunder Birds by Jim Arnosky
The Magic School Bus: The Fishy Field Trip by Joanna Cole
David and Goliath by Leonard Everett Fisher
Again for this week, I read through a ton of mythology books to pick out titles that were not too graphic, gross, or inappropriate for an 8 and 10 year old. There are a lot of just plain yucky mythology books out there. Here are the titles we ended up choosing from the library this week:
Atalanta's Race: A Greek Myth by Shirley Climo
Jason and the Golden Fleece by Leonard Everett Fisher
Odysseus and the Cyclops by Warwick Hutton
Pegasus by Marianna Mayer
The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus by Aliki (a good overview)
Another week without many pics... I'll try to get more in the next few weeks.
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