WELCOME!

Welcome! I am using this blog to share our family's homeschooling thoughts and experiences.

THIS SCHOOL YEAR (2016-2017): We will be using a variety of different curriculum this year, with Notgrass' Uncle Sam and You as our main History, Bible and Literature focus. Our oldest, EL, is in 12th grade this year, but has special learning needs due to autism. JJ is our youngest, an active boy with Tourette Syndrome. He is in the 8th grade.

Please feel free to follow along....

Friday, March 25, 2011

Two Weeks of China - Lots of Pictures!

For the past 2 weeks, we have learned about China in our History and Geography lessons.


It has been a fun two weeks. Here are a few pictures from only some of the activities we did...

We learned how to play Chinese Checkers.

We ate a Chinese meal of stir fry and fortune cookies. The noodles you see in the stir fry are called rice sticks. It was a nice change from the usual rice grains, or wheat noodles.

We used our Global Art book to learn how many Chinese artists will not sign their name to their artwork but, instead, will stamp their initials onto it. To explain this, we gouged out the kids initials on a small eraser, then used an ink pad to stamp the "signature" onto their artwork.


We learned about Tangram puzzles, where shapes are cut out and designs are made with the shapes. Here, the kids used their shapes to make a swan.

We also made paper Chinese lanterns and watched You Tube videos about the Chinese New Year, a time when a lantern festival takes place and hundreds of lanterns are released into the night sky.

I finished up our studies of China by pulling out some of the keepsakes given to me by my pen pals from Taiwan many years ago. My husband and I also received some things from two Korean college students who stayed with us for a weekend (before we had kids). The kids enjoyed looking at all the items, but especially the delicate art of papercutting. After we looked at all the paper animals, each of the kids chose one they wanted to draw and put into their school notebooks.

Road Runner took a look at the purple dog and decided she wanted to draw that. Not a surprise, since dogs are her favorite animals!

Coyote decided to draw a dragon.

We also listened to Chinese music, learned a little about Buddha, learned about the ancient practice of foot binding, and read about some missionaries who went to China. 

For Science, we mostly concentrated on oceans. We labeled the 5 oceans on a worksheet, learned about the different levels of the ocean, which animals live in the ocean, and got to see what the ocean tastes like when I mixed 1 tsp. of salt with 10 TB of water.  

Aside from our usual school studies, we also took a field trip to the local Bank and Post Office.

Here we are inside the bank vault where all the safe deposit boxes are kept.

Here we are in the Board Room.

At the post office, each of the kids took a turn at hand-stamping a letter.


And, since our Aggie Cat has been feeling much better, the kids have been enjoying spending some extra time with her.


Next week, we start learning about JAPAN!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

India, Mountains, & Volcanoes

For the past 2 weeks, as part of our studies about Asia, we mostly concentrated on the country of India.

The kids colored the flag, and learned what the different colors represent:

Orange = Courage & Sacrifice
White = Purity & Truth
Green = Faith & Fertility
The wheel = Ancient symbol called Dharma Chakra (Wheel of Law)

We learned about the Taj Mahal, one of the world's most magnificent buildings, and did a crossword puzzle containing different facts about India. 


We also tried a popular unleavened bread recipe that is eaten in India, called Chapattis. I mixed 4 cups of flour with 2 TB of canola oil and 1 tsp. of salt. Then, gradually mixed in 1-2 cups of water to make a thick dough. Then, the dough was divided into 12 equal balls and flattened with a rolling pin into a 5-inch circle.


The bread was then fried on a hot griddle and served warm with butter and honey. It was edible, but not our favorite. Too bland, and too heavy. Maybe it would be better with a little sugar mixed in and/or some cornmeal instead of all flour.


For Science, we learned about mountains and volcanoes. The kids made models of a mountain by, first, taping a plastic cup to a paper plate with masking tape.


Then, covering the cup with newspaper and taping it down onto the plate.


Then, painting it brown....



After it dried, they added cotton for the snow, green tissue paper for the trees and bushes, and dried beans for rocks.


And, here was the final product....


A few days later, we used a Volcanoes Kid Kit (from Usborne) to learn more about volcanoes and watch one “erupt” on our kitchen table. I believe this kit is currently out of stock with Usborne but, if you do an online search for it, similar items will pop up for purchase elsewhere. Or, you can follow the instructions in the My Father's World manual for ECC and make a volcano out of clay. (We would have done that if we didn't already own the volcano kit.)

First, we gathered all of the ingredients we needed: dish soap, baking soda, vinegar, tissue, empty bottle, and our volcano model. We added a food coloring tablet to ½ cup vinegar and let it dissolve.


Then, Coyote poured it into an empty BBQ sauce bottle (hidden under the volcano), and Road Runner added a squirt of dish soap.


After that, I added baking soda rolled up in a piece of tissue. Then, we waited a couple of minutes for the reaction to occur. It was a neat site to watch as the “lava” flowed from the top of the volcano.


On Friday, we heard about the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan, so spent some time learning about tsunamis, as well as praying for the people who have been affected by it.

We also had a Dr. Seuss day at the library on Friday, with several other homeschoolers, and shared what some of our favorite books are. From what I could tell, we don't even own a Dr. Seuss book anymore because I think we gave them away before we moved a couple years ago. But, the kids do enjoy watching "Horton Hears a Who" on DVD, which we still have.

So, that's it for now.... Next week, we start learning about China!
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Monday, March 7, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Prince Andrew and the Queen Mum, over at GROWING FRUIT, gave me this "Stylish Blogger Award" to add to my blog. Thankyou! So, now, its my turn to pass it on to a few others.


First of all, the rules for the award are as follows:
  • Thank and link back the person who awarded you
  • Share 7 things about yourself 
  • Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers 
  • Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

Now, on to the 7 things about me....
  1. Summer is my favorite season, but I am soooo ready for Spring to be here!
  2. I have a huge sweet tooth for candy - just about anything as long as it doesn't have coconut in it.
  3. My favorite candy bar is York Peppermint Patties.
  4. I enjoy going on walks and nature hikes with my family.
  5. We have 2 cats that are like our "babies." They will be 14 years old in April.
  6. My favorite color is purple.
  7. I am not athletic and do not like to play sports.

And, here are the other bloggers I am sending this award to. Feel free to check them out, as they are ALL great blogs. (Some of them - you know who you are - just need a little nudge to get busy and write something new! Hopefully, this little award will help with that. LOL)...

Vanderhoof House
SnowDEN With the Fam
Snips, Snails, & Puppy Dog Tails
Kelly's Ramblings
John 15:5 Academy
Frugal and (mostly) Fake Food Free
Abernethy Airmail
Cooking Up Faith
Duckett Duckett Goose 
For One Another
McIntosh 7
A Stranger in the House of God
Living, Loving and Learning with the Lord
Lives & Times of the Larsons
Pitcher Perfect Moments