Thursday, August 31, 2006

Supey and the Science Experiment

"Can we see if I'll float or sink? Can we? Can we? Huh? Can we?"

"Awww, forget it!"

It's SOOO much easier!

I've got to say...and feel free to insert a big Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting here, I won't mind....that this week has been MUCH easier with the aid of the lesson plan that I wrote on Sunday!
Go on....say know you want to....Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

We've had a couple of times where Bear has had to go to her room and "get un-frustrated", but doing that beats the heck out of us both getting frustrated!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Science Experiments...that WORK!

We've been using Five in a Row this week for a lot of our school. I decided to start with A Story About Ping (mainly because it's the first one in the manuel!), so we've been learning a lot about China this week. On Monday we looked up a lot of sites about the Yangtze river and Chinese junk boats and yesterday, Bear made a Chinese Flag and we watched a video about Chinese culture. Today we had a little science lesson about bouyancy because there is a part in the book where Ping meets a little boy who has a barrel tied onto his back so he won't sink. (Subsequently, Ping almost gets turned into dinner for the boy and his family, but The Boy has piy on him and lets him go...oops, did I give away too much of the suspense for you?)

I had Bear go and find things that she thought would sink and things she thought would float and we tested them in a big bucket of water. Surprisingly, two of the things that she thought would float did not, so we had some good discussion about why they might have sunk instead. Then we tied a string connecting the object to a small plastic bottle to see if it could be held afloat like The Boy in the story. Bear had a lot of fun with this activity! She just LOVES anything that is hands on!

P.S. The picture in the middle of the page is Ping on his junk boat with the "wise eyes". And where is Deco through all of this? He was playing at the neighbors house! God bless the neighbors!! Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Friday, August 25, 2006


Well, all I'm going to say about today is....
no comment.
It was a really hard day.
But...I called Ched, he made me feel better, and we had a long talk when he got home. There are some things we're going to change about how Bear and I have school, and I think it will make a huge difference.
He did her math work with her right before dinner and I think they both enjoyed the time spent together. It was probably a relief for her to have a new "teacher", if only for a little while!
He's such a great Papa!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

We're Baaaack!

Yesterday was the first day of school here at MorningStar!

We started off the day with Mickey Mouse head pancakes...what first day of school would be complete without those? And, while this doesn't sound like it would be a big deal, it was for them because I only get the Mickey Mouse waffle iron out about every 3 years!

I've changed the decorations in the school room a little bit - nothing major, but I wanted it to be different from last year. I put a new border on the bulletin boards and made new "days of the week" to be put up. I also got some things to decorate the walls and the windows.

We started out with a prayer, which we do every morning, and then Bear put the day of the week and the weather up on the calendar. After that, we mainly did review of things from last year. She did some writing and we reviewed skip counting by 5's and 10's. I want to make sure that we haven't lost everything that was done last year!

The most fun thing that we did was after lunch. We made GUM! I had purchased a kit from Love To Learn and it contained all the things that we needed to make our own gum and The Kids had a great time. We started by heating the chicle (which is the gum part of gum!) in the microwave until it was gooey and then added corn syrup and powdered sugar. You knead that and knead it until it gets a bit harder and divide it into two parts ao that you can add the peppermint flavoring to one half and the tutti frutti flavoring to the other part. This was a neat exercise because not only did we get to make gum (who wouldn't love that?) but we also learned about where chicle came from and how, if only companies would use real chicle in their gum instead of synthetic, we could help little Eduardo from the rainforest buy food and clothe his family. (The literature that came with the gum was a little but tree-huggy for my taste but, oh well, Bear and Deco liked it) It was a good day and we topped it off with homemade chocolate icecream made by my own two hands!

It was messy, it was sticky, but it was a lot of fun!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Why we do it...

There was a debate on homeschooling over at JustMommies, and I shared my 2 cents as to why we homeschool. I wanted to paste my answer here so that I can look back on it and re-fuel my convictions when things look low!

"We choose to homeschool because we believe that our children will get a better education than if they were in a public school. No, I am not a licensed teacher, but, unlike the licensed teachers that they would have in PS, I can take the time to actually TEACH them the subjects that we're working on, not just feed them enough information so that they can pass the standardized tests and make the school system appear to look good.

We also choose to homeschool because we want to be in control of what they are learning. Frankly, there are things that are taught in government-run schools that we don't agree with - such as evolution being taught as a fact and creationism being completely left out of any type of curriculum because it's too "religious". I want them to learn reading and writing skills, math, science, and history - things which are slowly being pushed to the side in public school to make more room for teaching about tolerance and sex ed and how to put on a condom.

My kids are safer at home. Period. In my house, there is no pressure to try drugs or alcohol, there is no pressure to have sex, there are no kids taunting them about wearing the wrong clothes or shoes, and there's slim to no danger of someone bursting in with a gun and shooting us. (I make sure to keep the doors locked! ) It seems that in every instance of school shootings, there is someone saying, "We never thought it would happen in OUR school" and I don't want to be that mom. If my kids aren't there, they can't be shot. We have no need for metal detectors, armed guards, or drug-sniffing dogs because our house is safe.

And think about this....everyone says, "Oh, kids grow up so fast" and we all know it's true. So, frankly, I'd rather be there for those 12,500 hours that they would spend in public school. As for the socialization thing? Realizing that this is an issue, I make concerted effort to have my kids in situations where they are socializing with other people. Not just other kids in their age group, mind you, but other people. Why has it become the greatest thing since sliced bread to put a bunch kids of the same age in a room or on a playground and call it socialization? I just don't understand. Talk about not preparing them for the "real" world! In the "real" world, you interact with people of all different ages."

So, in a nutshell, that's why we do it!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Aaah, how the time flies!

We're going back to school two weeks from this the summer over already? I can't believe it. I didn't end up doing school in July, like I had planned. June just wasn't long enough, you know? I know that, "Thirty days hath September, April, JUNE, and November" but I'm of the opinion that June should have had at LEAST 57 days in it!
Actually, I'm getting pretty jazzed up about returning to school. And, believe it or not, so is Bear! In fact, both today and yesterday she REQUESTED to do "just a little bit of school". After I picked up my jaw from the floor and took her temperature to make sure she wasn't suffering from a fever, AND gave her some water to make sure she wasn't suffering from dehydration-induced dementia, I happily obliged and got out a couple of her workbooks from last year.

And here's what's amazing to me:
there was a page with a list of about 15 color words and
she. read. ALL. of. them.
*jaw drops again*
Now, I don't mean sounded-them-out reading,
I mean just looked at the word and READ them.....WOW!!
So, two weeks and two days from now, we commence with first grade! I got both Bear and Deco some personalized pencils from Lillian Vernon, which is going to be a back-to-school surprise. They went to a Kids Build It workshop at Home Depot with Ched this past weekend and made wooden pencil boxes, so I thought this would be a good treat to put in them.