Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our Latest Homeschool Adventures

 We have continued our trip through American History. We are now also doing some geography by going through each of the states. Olivia has a notebook that she add pages to each time we talk about an event, person, or state. We also have a timeline hanging on our wall that she adds to. We have covered the first 17 states. We try to enjoy something specific to a state when we study it, like we made peach cobbler when we talked about Georgia, and enjoyed maple syrup on ice cream when we talked about Vermont. For each state she writes the abbreviation, the capital, and colors in the bird and flower. We also find that state on the larger US map in our notebook. She places a flag sticker on the page as well. We learned about the Statue of Liberty when we covered NY. As we trek west through KY, TN, and OH, we have learned about Daniel Boone, Eli Whitney, and Johnny Appleseed. We have also talked some about how the pioneers made their clothing (not going to the local store but making it by hand) and also what their schools would have looked like and how they would have learned to read and such.

We just finished reading Farmer Boy as our read aloud. Olivia was a huge fan of the book. She was sad when it was over. We are going to start Betsy's River Adventure which is set in 1808 and talks about a girls journey westward on the Ohio River.

Our current names for Jesus have been the Way, Immanuel (God with Us), and the Lamb of God. It is so neat how God reveals himself through all these names in the Bible. He is a God that knows us and is able to meet our needs.

We have done some further reading about birds as we talk about each state's bird. We have been watching our bird feeders closely and trying to identify the birds that come into our backyard. We have also been joining some friends to put together a bird lapbook as we learn about them more. We are also learning about birdwatching. Olivia has chosen hummingbirds as her favorite bird so we got some books and have learned more about them specifically. We tried to put out a hummingbird feeder but were only somewhat successful in attracting them. Of course, now it is getting too cold but hopefully in the spring we will have more success. Pictures and more information on the bird study to follow at a later time as we are still working on our lapbooks. :) Also for science we talked about weather and made a weather vane to determine which direction the wind is blowing. We also are learning about how to tell direction and approximate time of day by the position of the sun. We did some experiments to check out how warm air expands and rises and cold air shrinks.

Some recent artwork:

She learned how to draw stars. (Those are feet sticking out of the tent!)

Contour Drawing - Not an easy task!
Color mixing - Learning to observe that there is more than one color to things, i.e. the sky, leaves on trees...
Olivia continues to practice her reading. We are specifically working on punctuation and reading out loud so that it makes sense. We are also working on basic reading comprehension. She is learning to write sentences of her own now. She is enjoying writing letters to family and friends.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The boys and their hair!

Gabe in the morning when I let his hair go too long between clippings....note the grits spread liberally about the scalp. Take note ladies: the butter adds shine.
Ezra after his bath. He ain't got much, but what he has is fluffy and long.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ezra at 6 months

 This little one is on the move now! :) He is excitable! He loves interacting with his siblings and others. He is most definitely "EZ"!

Sometimes he just looks so serious....

Everything winds up in his mouth.

He's getting pretty good at eating his cereal. Not too much on his face. :)

This is how he wakes up every morning. At 7am. Every morning.

His first "real" bath. He just went nuts! He loves to kick and splash and isn't the least bit bothered by it. (btw, both Rebecca and I were in the room watching him and within arm's reach when this picture was taken. I wasn't being neglectful. I promise!)

Like I said: Everything winds up in his mouth. He does love to look at his hands and feet.

Sleepy. no wakey.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jack's Adventure in American History

Olivia and Jeremy got to go to the Children's Theatre of Winston Salem and watch some character's of American history come alive as Jack studied for a test. Olivia had a great time. Her favorite character was Benjamin Franklin ("Flying a kite!"), although she was a little confused on his gender as the actor that played him was female. :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Our Very Own "Good Dog Carl"

We have been blessed for the past 7 1/2 years with our lovable Rottie, Sarah. While, at times, she may be obnoxious with her affection, she's been the most wonderful dog. The kids love her and Gabe even will ask to give "Sah" a kiss at bedtime when he's trying to delay the inevitable. She's very careful around the children and will often just move out of their way when they come into a room to play. If she's especially excited (usually about food), she might accidentally bump into Gabe or Olivia, but usually, she practically tiptoes around them. At mealtimes, she knows exactly where to go for the best "fallout": right under Gabe's high chair.

We tell people that she looks big and mean but she's no danger to them, unless they smell like sausage....

Sarah is so tolerant and patient with the kids. Olivia can sit on her and Sarah doesn't bat an eyelash about it. 

You may notice a pattern here...this is pretty much her default position when she's in the house. Either this or begging to be fed, even if she ate only minutes before...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pumpkin Nature Study

We did a nature study on pumpkins this last week. We were invited to join a group of homeschoolers that follow Charlotte Mason's approach to their schooling. We had a great time. The point of the nature study was to investigate the pumpkin by looking at it, feeling it, thumping on it, then cutting it open to check out the insides. We put our hands in it, smelled it and pulled it apart. It was great fun. Olivia has a nature journal that she drew in to show her findings. The interesting thing was that when we cut open that pumpkin you see in the pictures below, it was practically empty with hardly any stringy stuff or seeds. We are not sure why! Olivia had a great time investigating. While I guided her, I left most of it up to her creativity. (My reference for the nature study was The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock)
She drew the pumpkin on a vine. We looked at pictures and read descriptions of the vine and leaves from a book as I was unable to find a farm to visit with pumpkins still on the vine.

Her journal shows the inside of the pumpkin and also the seeds after we peeled them to take a closer look.

After the nature study, we took a trip to the farmer's market to look at all the fruits and vegetables and talk about classifying them. Pumpkins are actually a fruit. They are also in the same family as cucumbers and then of course squashs and gourds. Then we did some painting and some crafts.

Open our pumpkin to see what's inside...

Olivia's favorite part was the stringy stuff.

We talked aobut mixing colors to paint this pumpkin. We found out that pumpkins come in many other colors besides orange. We also talked about how there are many different oranges. We put our lifecycle cards in order on the pumpkin's vine.

We cooked up the pumpkin, pureed it, and plan to use it to make pumpkin pie. Olivia has really enjoyed helping me in the kitchen these days. She says, "I am learning how to cook" with a big smile. :)