Monday, March 31, 2014

Storms, a literature study

We have been reading some children's books on storms the last few weeks. This is part of our Five In a Row Curriculum. We use it as a guide. I am just not so good at following things as they are written. :) There are many resources out there to be found on people's blog and the Homeschool Share site. It has been a fun trail to go down. We started with a FIAR Vol. 1 book and then I just kept on going with the storm theme. Our selections were Storm In the Night by Mary Stolz (which was our only actual FIAR selection this time), The Storm Book by Charlotte Zolotow, Thundercake by Patricia Polacco, Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey, and Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man by Robert McCloskey.  We are continuing to do one book a week, reading it each day, and then discussing, doing activities, and making pages for his "lapbook/notebook journal".
For Storm in the Night, we discussed fears, the science of thunder and lightning, the Bible story of Jesus calming the storm, compared Grandfather and Thomas, did copywork, listened close to sounds especially in the dark or with our eyes closed, and sources of light.

For The Storm Book, we discussed landforms and geography, wind and made an anemometer, rainbows, and some poetry. We listened to parts of this book a lot with our eyes closed as it is very descriptive in its writing. We made sounds like storms.

Thundercake was Gabe's favorite he tells me. We again talked about fears and doing hard things, family, did copywork, geography of Michigan and Russia, how to set a table, made more storm sounds, and made our own thundercake. We finally got a storm during the reading of this book.

Next came Time of Wonder and we read Psalm 46:10 and he copied it, we then talked about all the amazing wonderful things that God has given us and specifically the things that make them wonder what or why, we did some geography of Maine, studied time, reviewed our cloud types, talked about hurricanes, made a tornado in a bottle and ocean waves in a bottle, talked about tides and moon phases, and animals that live in the area. We were tempted to take a last minute overnight trip to the ocean but that didn't work out. Maybe soon. ;) We also had a tree nearby that uprooted during an ice storm, just like a tree in the book did, so we went to check it out. Sadly, we didn't find any hidden seashells under it, only water, but it was cool anyway.

Lastly we read Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man. This was Ezra's and Olivia's favorites they tell me. We discussed the lifecycle of a fish, sorted fish (fresh water v saltwater, kosher v non-kosher, ones we have eaten and ones we haven't), compared fish with sea mammals, fishing idioms, types of fishing, gear and safety needed for fishing and Olivia even made a fishing net! We then finished this out by going fishing. Gabe was the only one who got lucky enough to land a small catfish.

During the readings of each of these books, we did a picture study of some of the works of Vincent VanGogh. I came across his work called Wheatfields in Rain, Harvest, and another one called A Public Garden with People Walking in the Rain. That led to our picture study but we have done 6 or so of his more famous pictures including Starry Night.  

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Visit to the Vet

Olivia has spent the 6 months doing a science curriculum through Queen Homeschool called Our Animal Friends. It is part of their Discovering Nature and Science series. Each week there was a continuing story to read. This book is about a girl who lives next door to her uncle who is a veterinarian. She learns through talking to him about many different kinds of animals. After each story portion there are four lessons that require her to do further research and learn herself about the type of animal discussed. We allowed her to use an internet based encyclopedia as well as some other internet sites to do her research. This was a bit of a hard decision for us as we were not sure about setting her free around the internet. But she had pretty strict guidelines about what she could do and we were close by. We actually invested in a subscription to the Encyclopedia Britannica online so as to avoid the popup ads which are really the main problem and distraction that we ran into. Olivia really enjoyed all the animals she learned about. The last chapters talked about animal careers. We have friends that have a veterinarian practice in downtown Greensboro and they graciously allowed Olivia to spend the morning there. John is a talented vet and he was just wonderful teaching Olivia about the work he did.

John showed us around and let Olivia meet the various pets who were "vacationing" with him.

She got to meet Turtle, the practice's resident cat, and hear about how he had lost more than 15 pounds since coming to live with them!

Olivia got to see them remove the sutures from this poor dog who had suffered a mysterious burn, but was recovering well after surgery.

Then came the main event: A feline dental. 

She got to see them put the cat under and do the cleaning part of the dental work.

Sadly, the poor boy had to have a couple of teeth removed, but it was really neat to watch.

In the end, everything turned out well and the cat was recovering nicely.

Thanks again to John and his staff for such a great time!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hands On Human Body Learning

We have been enjoying the human body exhibits at the Greensboro Science Center and SciWorks in Winston Salem. It is nice to have hands on learning to go with our study of the human body this school year.