Thursday, July 30, 2015

Summer Science - AIG Heat and Energy Units 5 and 6

I respectfully ask that you not pin pictures of my children to Pinterest. Thank you!

For unit 5, we learned about waves and sound by
making waves with a rope,
seeing sound waves (courtesy of the awesome bass in our van and the group Home Free),
observing transverse and longitudinal waves, testing objects to see if they reflect or absorb sound, measuring the speed of sound, experimenting with pitch
amplifying sound by making our own stethoscope,
studying waves and interference in waves. We skipped creating our own Doppler and other sound effects, lesson 27, and the special feature on J.S. Bach.

In unit 6, we learned about light. We skipped the blue experiments in lesson 28 but we did experiment with shadows, split light into its rainbow of colors, combined light by spinning our color wheels on a pencil.
We experimented with various materials to see which was most reflective,

showed how the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection. This one works best with a laser pointer. A regular flashlight's beam isn't focused enough to make it work.
We observed refraction and how density affects refraction.
We skipped a few lessons in this section for sake of time. We didn't do lesson 31, lesson 33, and the projects for lesson 34.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

2015-2016 Homeschool Curriculum Choices - 6th and 8th grades

Middle School. I have a youngling and a padawan in middle school. Mind=blown.
I'm certainly not old enough to have two middle schoolers. *wink*
Seriously though, I'm excited for this stage. We've found a lot of things that work for us and will be continuing with them. But, we do have some changes and new things that I think will be fun.
All these books...
The children love the books. :) Actually this isn't even everything. I'm waiting for a few orders to arrive.
Wow! Here's what we're planning to use for the 2015-2016 school year:

Tenor is going into 8th grade. He'll be using
Saxon Algebra I (the remaining 2/3) and Algebra II for math
Rod and Staff  English 8 for grammar and composition (No IEW this year, which is a change for us. We would usually do IEW and skip the comp assignments in Rod and Staff. This year we're doing all of R&S and skipping IEW for a slightly easier year before we hit high school. Tenor is totally on-board with this change. LOL He also won't be doing spelling.)
Across the Centuries for literature (Only two titles: The Prince and the Pauper and Poems by Robert Frost.) 
For his electives, he'll continue with Hey Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! He did levels 2 and 3 last year which will give him 1 level per year until he graduates. This year he'll tackle Level 4 and will start using a Greek/English Interlinear New Testament.
He'll also be starting some computer science courses: Intro to Information Technology and Fundamentals of Programming and Software Development. (He's leaning towards pursuing a computer science degree in college so we're going to provide some opportunities now to explore it a little further.)

Soprano is going into 6th grade so she'll be doing
Saxon 7/6 and Life of Fred Cats and Dogs for math
Rod and Staff  English 6 for grammar and composition
Rod and Staff Spelling 6 for spelling
Across the Centuries for reading comprehension. She will work through 3 books: The Sign of the Beaver, Call It Courage, and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
For her electives, she requested photography and sewing. We'll use The Kids' Guide to Digital Photography and Stitches & Pins (volume 1). She'll also start American Sign Language (through for her foreign language.
Together they'll do My Father's World 1850 to Modern Times.
My Father's World incorporates Bible, history, geography, science, vocabulary, music, and art altogether for multiple grade levels. This is the 4rd year of the 4-year history cycle. This year covers the era leading up to the American Civil War all the way through the early 2000s plus world history of the same time period.
The Bible study will include various verses for memorization as well as these books:
Our history books are:
PA History will be touched on with our regular history studies this year so I'm not adding anything additional for that. Since we'll also be doing lots of map work (from the Story of the World Activity Book) and studying the development of the government of the U.S., I'm not adding any additional civics or geography either.
I found these fun extras though:

This year's music is American composers: Gershwin, Sousa, and Foster.
I'll throw in Copland and John Williams also, using The Young Scholar's Guide to Composers and CDs we already have on hand... because Copland and John Williams. :) I might also add in the Thanksgiving hymn study from I got it for free with a big back-to-school giveaway via homeschoolgiveaways. Tenor will be continuing guitar lessons using, and Soprano will continue with piano lessons with me. Art will be continuing using God and the History of Art.

The science scheduled in MFW this year is too young for my students.
We'll still use the Wired! kit as well as World of Science, but we've been working through some AIG books this summer to fulfill our science for the year instead.
So Soprano will have only review and book basket reading for science for the school year. Tenor on the other hand...
I started to casually look into graduation requirements for our state which led to looking at college entrance requirements which led to looking into which colleges might offer a program that Tenor would be interested in which led to looking into dual enrollment options which led to... my brain feeling like it wanted to explode. :) While we have time, I want to have a plan in place for high school that maximizes our time and the opportunities we have for dual enrollment. All that means that Tenor will have to do another science program during the school year. His AIG studies combined with two Master Books sets will give him a full year of physical science.
He requested The Geology Book and The Cave Book as well as The Archaeology Book and The Fossil Book. I found the Usborne sticker book as a fun extra. I'll probably try to track down a geology sample set too. I'm still waiting for the lesson plan books to arrive so I can schedule it out.

The only other things we have to cover are fire safety and phys. ed.  Tenor will most likely continue with Taekwondo. Soprano would rather not do TKD. We did a few weeks of tennis camp this past summer and I found a few other lesson options. So they'll both do tennis this fall. We will also use the Junior FitDeck cards again this year.

Our field trip ideas this year include a trip to Gettysburg, Washington D.C., and New York City. Our local library has free passes to Wheatland (President Buchanan's home) and North Museums (natural history -- geology), there's Smithsonian Museum Day in September, and Charter Day for PA in March so a lot of those will be at no cost. I'm sure we'll find some library or local conservation center programs to go to as well as concerts. We are blessed to live in an area where the arts abound, and there are lots of free or low cost opportunities.

This will be our last year of learning history together. Next year, I'll have a high schooler, and the whole ball game changes. I'm going to try to really enjoy it!

Linking up here:
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

iHomeschool Network

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Gray Ombre Dresser

Soprano's room re-do is now 98% done due to some new furniture! Huzzah! :)
We fixed some issues with the paint and repainted the whole room, made an art gallery, got new curtains and bed linens, created embroidery hoop art, and repurposed an old drawer into a photo display. With the room re-do, we started considering replacing her bedroom furniture. The dresser was only 3-drawers and becoming to small for a tweenager's wardrobe. It matched the desk so we ended up selling the whole set to help pay for some new pieces.
I found the dresser at our local Habitat Re-Store. (Well, they posted it on their Facebook page and drove over there almost immediately to snag it.)
It had a weird, wood-look faux paint finish. Bass sanded it down so I could prime and paint it.
It took two coats of primer and four coats of paint to cover. The dresser frame is Olympic Crumb Cookie, the color of the trim in our house. For the drawers, I decided to do a gray ombre. I thought about mixing the paint myself but went with (the much easier) paint samples from Lowe's. I would have preferred a semi-gloss, not a satin, finish but for $5, it was worth it.
The drawer colors from top to bottom are: Seashell Gray, Filtered Shade (the same color as Soprano's walls), Rocky Bluffs, Cathedral Stone, and Rugged Suede. (All Valspar.)
 To make the insides just as pretty, I lined them with decorative paper. ($2 from Michael's).
The finishing touches were a silver spray paint over the original brass hardware and a new mirror (Hobby Lobby) and dresser scarf (my fabric stash.)

And yes, this photo is staged. As of right now, there's a bunch of tween "treasures" sitting on top. :)

Linking up to some or all of these great blog parties:
Sunday: It's Overflowing; Sunday Showcase at Under the Table and Dreaming;
Monday: Inspire Me Monday at Sand and Sisal; Tutorials and Tips at Home Stories A to Z; Monthly Before and After at Thrifty Decor Chick
Wednesday: Wicked Awesome Wednesday at Handy Man, Crafty Woman; Whatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts; 
Friday: Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest; Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring;

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Summer Science - AIG Heat and Energy Units 3 and 4

I respectfully ask that you not pin pictures of my children to Pinterest. Thank you!

For unit 3, we learned about electricity by
having fun with static electricity
making an electroscope,
testing materials as conductors and building circuits.
 We skipped a few things including the uses for static electricity activity, the lightning in your mouth demonstration, and the burglar alarm activity.
A tip for this unit... make sure your batteries are brand new or you'll have trouble getting the circuits to work.

Unit 4 was all about magnetism. We skipped the experiments from lessons 17 and 18 and used the Fun with Magnets kit (scheduled in MFW) instead.
The youngling and padawan LOVED this magnet kit. I'll pull it out again for review when we get to those weeks in the MFW schedule. 
We continued in the unit and made our own compass,
and made our own electromagnet.
We skipped observing an electric motor because I didn't want to sacrifice one of my appliances for science. If I can find a small appliance at a yard sale or thrift store for super cheap, I might pick it up and revisit the activity. I think Tenor would love to tinker with it.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer Science - AIG Heat and Energy Units 1 and 2

I respectfully ask that you not pin pictures of my children to Pinterest. Thank you!

We're already starting our third (of four) science book of the summer. I think the youngling and the padawan will really enjoy the next books. We'll be moving from chemistry into physics. I'm starting our physics study with God's Design for the Physical World: Heat and Energy.
This is the stuff I remember from my school days so I'm hoping it will be easy to explain the concepts.

For unit 1, we learned about the different forms of energy by
observing mechanical energy,
Pushing a penny off the table; It had potential energy, and then we gave it kinetic energy.
 harnessing wind energy,
 showing how height affects potential energy,
Rolling a marble down a ramp

We skipped the chemical energy scavenger hunt, researching biofuels, and making a nuclear power plant model.

In unit 2, we explored thermal energy. (Not so much fun standing over a hot stove in the middle of summer. :) )
We heated up water and vegetable oil to learn about specific heat.
We skipped testing insulators and conductors but observed the heat of fusion and vaporization,
and observed convection.
blue food coloring in cold water to be added to very warm water
red food coloring in very warm water to be added to very cold water
We skipped the appliance design activity and the "testing for radiated energy" experiment as well as the lesson 10 experiments.
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