Friday, November 16, 2007

Schooling on the road?

We are heading off to Kansas City this weekend to get the car I inherited from my grandfather and to eat lots of barbecue! To ease my guilty over the lack of "school" we have done lately (stomach flu, busy time of year...), I am calling our road trip US Geography :)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Math Play

We are officially "done" with school for today, but right now the girls are playing store using unit cubes as money. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to each cube's denomination, but I keep hearing comments, such as

"I have ten of these and they are worth $10, so I have $100."

"You gave me $20 and this costs $6, so I need to give you change."

"I have a 5 and a 1 so I have enough to buy this $6 item."

There has been much laughing and fun. Pretty funny considering one out the 3 claims to hate math. Oh, and this is a continuation of a game they were playing yesterday.

Matter, Molecules ,and Magic School Bus

Continuing our mini chemistry unit today, we read:

The chemistry section in What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know
What Is the World Made Of?
What's Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew? (I found this book at the NOEO Science website. I can't afford the curriculum, but I have not problem, um... borrowing the book ideas from the website. This book is really good.)

The girls were eating lunch while reading these books and we got into a good discussion of matter changing state - the frozen gogurt changing from solid to liquid and the scrambled eggs changing from liquid to solid. I couldn't explain why the heat changed the eggs from liquid to slid, but changed the gogurt from solid to liquid. I will have to ask our resident science expert (dh) when he gets home. I am sure he will know.

We also watch several Magic School bus episodes that related to our current topic.

The Water Cycle
Makes a Stink
In a Pickle
Meets Molly Cule

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Blessing or a Curse?

Why does it always seem that when one's children get a stomach virus, they space it out 2 days apart and the mama has to spend a week dealing with vomit? I can't decide if this is a blessing or a curse. In some ways it would be easier to just have one whole vomit filled day, but then again dealing with one sicko kid at a time may be the way nature intended for a reason.

Just asking. No reason. Just keep your fingers crossed that my oldest child doesn't follow in her sisters footsteps and need to run quickly to the bathroom 2 days from now...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Halloween Candy and Math

In true homeschool fashion we graphed our Halloween candy this year. The girls enjoyed sorted the candy, but got bored counting and graphing after about the 4th type of candy.

I have discovered, however, an even better way to use Halloween candy to learn math. Actually it was my older daughter's idea and if you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that she hates math. She is not particularly bad at it, she just finds it extremely boring. Anyway, the day after Halloween, she was doing her math after lunch and eating some Halloween candy when she decided to eat a bite of candy every time she got a problem right. She did so well and had such a good attitude, I have decided never to to do math with her again without candy. A week later and math is still going well. I haven't heard a complaint, yet. Yeah, for Halloween candy!

Solids, Liquids and Gases, Oh My!

We started our brief foray into chemistry with the basics: solids, liquids and gases. We read Air is all Around and A Drop of Water. We also read the the section on matter in What Your First Grader Needs to Know.

The girls enjoyed the following experiments:

1. Putting a cup with a paper towel upside down in a bowl of water. It doesn't get wet because there is air inside the cup.
2. Making a gas from a solid and a liquid. Baking soda + Vinegar = Carbon Dioxide We did this in a pop bottle with a balloon on top, so the balloon would blow up with the gas.
3. We made it rain inside by holding a cold spoon over a boiling pot of water.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

How I Love "Fall Back"...

Let me count the ways:

1. Getting an extra hour of sleep
2. Having to get up at 7am and it feeling like 8 am
3. Did I mention the extra sleep!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Africa Picture Books Part 2

We are finally back in school mode after being gone for a week and having fun with all the Halloween festivities.

Here are the books we enjoyed this week:

Honey, Honey, Lion
Rain by Stojic
How Snake Got His Hiss
The Hunter by Geraghty
Nanta's Lion
water Hole Waiting
The Lonely Lioness
Lake of the Big Snake
In the Time of the Drums
Chidi Only likes Blue
Big Boy

I have really enjoyed how these picture books teach us about different parts of the world. And not only do they give us incite about different cultures, most of them present wonderful morals and values that I want to impart to my children.

Next week we will divert from geography and play around with Chemistry. I will keep you posted - literally :) I may wait until December to get back to geography. I am thinking it would be fun to explore the different Christmas customs of the areas as we learn about Europe.