Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Q: How does a homeschooler change a light bulb?

A: First, mom checks three books on electricity out of the library, then the kids make models of light bulbs, read a biography of Thomas Edison and do a skit based on his life. Next, everyone studies the history of lighting methods, wrapping up with dipping their own candles. Next, everyone takes a trip to the store where they compare types of light bulbs as well as prices and figure out how much change they'll get if they buy two bulbs for $1.99 and pay with a five dollar bill. On the way home, a discussion develops over the history of money and also Abraham Lincoln, as his picture is on the five dollar bill. Finally, after building a homemade ladder out of branches dragged from the woods, the light bulb is installed. And there is light. ~Author Unknown

Kinda lame, but it made me giggle.
We continued our weather unit last week and made a tornado in a bottle. For fun, we made it purple. Can you even see it?
The next day (whatever day that was) we learned in our Roman unit that their houses had mosaic floors sometimes, so we "created" our own. Not on the floor, although I HAVE been picking up sticker after sticker from the carpet for a week straight. Maybe I should've just let them do that in the first place. Very authentic.
Yesterday we made Roman bread pudding from a recipe in our book. The first batch was mushy and gross, but luckily we had more. Yum - fried bread with honey!
Today after learning about rocks and fossils during Science, we tried to make our own. Fossils, that is. I followed the directions and made some "fossil clay."
Isn't that amazing? I think we captured the almost-extinct Fingerprint Bug quite nicely. No, really, there's a leaf print in there somewhere. I can't even see it, so good luck.
We cut our cable last week after the price got jacked up to a billion dollars a month and we signed up for DirecTV, but it doesn't get hooked up until the end of the month. While Shawn and I are slowly dying a tortuous death, the kids haven't even noticed. We (and by we, I mean they -- the kids) don't watch a whole lot of tv anyway, but I hate knowing that a football game is being played somewhere and I can't watch it. One. more. week. And, we get a DVR again! Hooray! We haven't had one for about 2 years and I'm excited to start watching 30 Rock again. I haven't watched the last two seasons because it came on so late, and I'm too lazy to find it online after the fact. So now I can DVR it and watch it later! Or, more accurately, keep it on there unwatched until it gets too old and gets deleted.
An ending note - I checked out this Learning Tree: Beginning Spanish dvd out of the library last week for the kids. EVERY NIGHT when I try to go to sleep, I'm singing ridiculous songs about balloons and colors and birthday parties and singing dogs. I am SO GLAD it's due back today.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weekend Update

I don't know what I was doing this week, but I when I uploaded all the pictures I took, there was only a couple. I thought I had been documenting things well because I knew I was only going to get around to posting once this weekend. Huh. I screwed up.
Anyways, I have no idea what we studied or made in school because I was trusting the camera to remember for me. Something about the Egyptians...? I know for sure the Egyptians because they made these fancy collars like the Egyptians wore, except I forgot to cut out a half circle around their necks so they look really silly. See how well Little Man did?
So yeah. I know we did stuff Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday too, but who knows what it was? Not me.
I DID also complete a felt project that was inspired by a photo on Pinterest. Here's the inspiration wreath:
Here's mine (I think I'll add another circle to the top right where there's kind of a bare spot):
Hopefully I'll do a much better job this week either posting more often so my memory is fresh, or just taking more pictures.

Friday, August 5, 2011

You Can't Do That on Television*

Today was the first day of public school in Valdosta ("real" school in our household... apparently homeschool is not real school). We decided to go to the park this morning before it got broiling and then make a stop at the library before returning home to do a little school. The playground was pretty empty due to the "normal" kids at "real" school (if my kids don't have a complex yet, they soon will! heh heh heh...). When we were all hot and sweaty, we ventured across the street and hung out in the Children's section of the library for awhile. As I was checking out our books, I learned that homeschoolers can get a special library card much like a teacher's card that allows for longer check outs on materials pertaining to school. Score! I love this because the two week limit is just often not long enough.
At home, we did a short Art Appreciation lesson. Bug copied the portrait of Edward VI as a child and pronounced it "perfect." What do you think?
Then we courageously attempted a science experiment from our fun science DVD. We learned that a piece of cardboard would stick to a full glass of water when you turn it upside down because no air could get in. So... we filled a glass with water:
See the bowl underneath? That's supposed to prevent the water from spilling all over the counter, cabinets, and floor. Can you see where this is heading? So the cup is FULL:
We put the piece of cardboard on top:
and turned it upside down:
It is AMAZING how much water one measly little glass can hold.
Take two (with a smaller plastic cup) - water in:
Cardboard on:
hold your breath... SUCCESS!!
So that's that! One week down, 35 to go. Enjoy the weekend!

*The title has nothing to do with the post. I was just remembering that show on Nickelodeon, especially the part with the lockers where they'd tell jokes.
"Hey... Moose."
"Yeah, Alistair?"
Good stuff.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thursday, Thursday...

Today was so so so much better. I think we're getting the hang of this homeschooling thing! I spent an hour or so this morning preparing and the day went by so much smoother. Is smoother a word? Or should I say much more smoothly? I don't know.
Anyways, I woke up pretty tired this morning. Maybe I should spend less time vegging on the couch late at night watching Storage Wars and Twilight movies reading War and Peace and more time going to sleep. 6:00 in the morning seems to come pretty early when you're woken up by your sweet adorable little 2 year old munchkin who bangs into your room and shouts, "Mommy! Up! Up! Up!" Incessantly. For 45 minutes, or however long it takes you to drag yourself out of bed.
Ahem. Back to school. Today we read about the way people used to cook in the really olden times, like with fire and rocks. Since I don't have any rocks and my kids are too young for fire, we just made cookies.
Delicious, brilliant idea, no? I'm sure they learned tons. They're oatmeal and m&m, in case you're wondering. Don't judge -- it was pretty much all we had.
The girls made a chart about the seasons. Bug got inspired and made additional animals that fit into each season, while Bear... well, at least she drew SOMETHING.
Bear always wants to hurry up and get done with whatever we're working on and move to the next thing. She LOVES her math workbook, though, and asks 50 times a day if she can do more math.
So that pretty much sums up the morning. We are doing a science experiment this afternoon so hopefully that'll go all wrong and I can manage to get some pictures. Tomorrow we're taking it easy and heading to the library and the playground. I think we all deserve it!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Homeschooling: Brilliance or Insanity?

Well, here we are on day 3 of homeschooling. Yesterday I almost went downtown and registered them in public school. Today was better: you know what I learned? I actually have to prepare to teach my own kids! Shocker -- at least it was to me. I don't know what I was expecting. For them to sit perfectly still and actually listen? For the baby to play blissfully with his trucks in his room for three hours so the girls could learn? Ha! Ha ha ha ha on me.
The subjects that the girls learn together (Bible, social studies, science)are interspersed with screams, bouts of laughter, and lots of interruptions from brother. The subjects they learn individually (English, handwriting, and math) are punctuated with brother climbing all over them while they try to work and cries of, "Hey! Stop!" as he colors all over their papers.
Ugh. How long do you think it will take before I get the hang of this? Today we tried something different. I taught the together subjects at the table as we ate breakfast then sent little sister to play with brother while big sister did her work. Then we switched (kind of) and little sister did HER work. It sort of worked, although brother got tired of playing and wanted to see what was going on from time to time.
It took much longer today, and actually we aren't done, but mama still needed her rest time. We can finish up Reading and Science after my break.
Anyways, here's a picture of what we made today: (they are placemats that the girls wove after learning about people making their own clothes and textiles on a loom)
Here's the finished product (you can see that I'm holding the mats - Bug is taking the picture. Around here, we call that the Photography elective):
And check out what Little Man was up to while my back was turned:
Yup, that's an entire roll of toilet paper in the toilet. I think I could start a new blog and call it "Stuff My Son Does." Rest time is almost over and I haven't rested yet, so stay tuned for more exciting adventures in homeschooling tomorrow!