Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dioramas Completed

The girls completed their rain forest dioramas on Friday. Here is Peanut's. She is obviously my most artistic child! The only thing that mom helped with was hot gluing the rocks in, and suggestions for how she could do her water. Otherwise, she did it all. Now, where to store it???
Sissy is showing the various layers of the rain forest - the floor, understory, canopy and emergent layer. Notice the little piece of brown fuzz across from the anteater? It is an ant made out of a pipe cleaner.
This week we have left the rain forest and are on to Norway....

Friday, November 13, 2009

Eggs are Good for Your Body and For Supporting Books Too?

I had no idea how strong an egg shell is! We have been talking about various animals in the rain forest and one of those things were birds. We were supposed to do an experiment this week to demonstrate to the kids that egg shells are much stronger than we think and the way God used the "arch" in nature to lend stability. The older girls tried to crush an egg over a bowl by just squeezing didn't work so we cracked 2 of them by tapping them lightly on the edge of the counter (this became mom's breakfast) and then set the 4 pieces of shell on the table with the end up. Then we stacked various books on top of them to see how many the egg shells could hold. The girls guessed 4 and 6, they were shocked (as was I) to see that they were able to hold 11 books! Some of those books were pretty thick too!

Tears of Excitement

No photo to go with this post, just a mom's thoughts...

With last year having been our first year homeschooling, mom is still using the learning curve when it comes to confidence. Her own that is...I struggle with feeling that I am doing enough and not hindering the girls by keeping them home. I will admit that this year there are frequent things that the girls say based on what we are learning this year, that I am gaining confidence that they are doing just fine.

One thing that was freaking me out about this year was the knowledge that I would have a kindergartner doing school. A child that needed to be taught to would I do that? Well, in my opinion, Sweet Baby is doing fine. So fine in fact that the other day she came to me with a chapter book in hand (she loves to pretend to read them) and said, "Mom, does this word say 'pond'?" Upon taking a closer look I discovered that yes, it did indeed say 'pond'. I was so excited that my eyes welled up and I nearly cried. I was so proud of her!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Creating the Rainforest

We are in our last week of studying South America (specifically Brazil and the Amazon Rain forest). Two of the girls needed new church shoes so we had several shoe boxes in the house. I decided maybe they would have fun making a rain forest diorama. I remember making a diorama or two as a child. The girls have LOVED it. Here is Peanut working on her box. She has was making a bromilliad for her box.

Sweet baby wanted to to use pipe cleaners to make trees so here she is trying to shape a tree from her pipe cleaners.

Sweet Baby chose to use some stickers we had in the house to decorate the inside of her diorama. She had so much fun building her rain forest and adding all the different animals and insects to her scene. The other girls should be finishing up later today, I'll share their finished boxes with you then.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fun and Learning at Co-Op

I know that last year I told you about the Co-Op that we are lucky enough to be a part of but I thought I would share some photos of what the kids are doing this year. If you do not already know, a co-op is a cooperative group of parents working together to teach their children. Our co-op has approximately 30 families and is only about 7 minutes from our house. We meet every other Tuesday and my kids just love it. It was a draw to me as a new home schooler who was terrified that I was going to be harming my children if they were not "socialized" (know I know how crazy a worry that was!) It was also a draw to get to know other moms who are doing what I do. The kids LOVE co-op. They get to take classes that I would not otherwise do with them (like Gym). Here are the classes that my girls are taking this semester:

Sissy (5th grade)

Life Skills (pet care, first aid, cooking, etc)


Kinex Levers and Gears

0-Einstein (science experiments)

Peanut (2nd grade)

Recorder (learning to play the recorder)
Great Artists (art history/creating art)
Kinex Levers and Gears
Sweet Baby

Kinder Art


Circle Time

I have a few pictures from some of Peanut and Sweet Baby's classes that I thought I would share.

Here is the Kinder Art class working on a project they started a few weeks ago using primary paint colors.

Sweet Baby showing off the "bugs" she created with her paint blotches. The kids had 5x5 pieces of white paper that they chose 2 primary colors to put blobs on each side. Then they folded the paper and let the paint smear. They then cut the "bugs" out and decorated them.

This week they talked about neutral colors and were supposed to use neutral colored paint to paint an animal. I had to laugh as I looked over and saw Sweet Baby plugging her nose. She said that the paint stunk. Now, for the record, we have used paint at our house before! She has smelled paint before this me!

Here is Peanut in her Kinex class. This has been a class that all the kids have really enjoyed. They are using Kinex to learn about levers and gears. On this day they built a balance.

When they had finished the balance, they were shown what happens when you move the "buckets/tires" along the arm and change the weight on each. Previously they built an old fashioned egg beater to watch the gears move to make the beaters move, a ferris wheel (talking about axles) and a wishing well (to see how pulley's work).

If you are a home schooling parent and do not belong to a co-op in your area, I highly suggest you try to find one or better yet, start one yourself!