Sunday, November 30, 2014

Give Me Liberty...Kids

We studied Benjamin Franklin and Patrick Henry for history this week. but I was really Lame and didn't do any activities. Instead, we started watching this series:

I definitely recommend it. It's a cartoon that feels a lot like the Living Scriptures, but it's about the revolution instead. It's really good because it covers all sides of the issue. The girl is a loyalist, and the boy is a patriot, and the other boy is french, and another main character is a freed black slave. It's also VERY detailed. It takes 40 episodes to go from the Boston Tea Party to George Washington's inauguration. Obviously we haven't watched them all yet.

Also, there are a tons of famous actors as the voices. Billy Crystal (John Adams,) Arnold Schwarzenegger (Baron von Steuben,) Liam Neeson (John Paul Jones,) Sylvester Stallone (Paul Revere), and Michael Douglas (Patrick Henry) are just a few of them. 

For science I was lame and cancelled it because we had to go Lethbridge, and I hadn't prepared anyway, and well, I was lame.

But the day before I wasn't quite as lame, and I volunteered at the awareness fair that the town does every year. Well, actually a bit lame because while I was preparing for it, I bagged individual school with the boys. But they didn't care and had fun at the fair.

This week was also american Thanksgiving, and although we had thoroughly done Thanksgiving this year already, we did it again on a smaller scale with the Peavoys. This is them lining up for pie. I love all these boys.

Where's Mo? oh well.

Not sure if it has anything to do with school, but we also did gingerbread decorating. Or shall we say Rice Crispy decorating. Dustin's INGENIOUS idea of creating a house mold for rice-crispy-treats made this very easy and fun. Although it took up all our rice crispies and marshmallows ;(  

Naomi is hoping that this does have to do with school because there is a gingerbread contest at the Christmas in Cardston tomorrow, and she wants to enter it in the school category.  Ha ha, we'll see.  I guess we are our own school.

Well I think that's it. And be prepared for another lame week because I have a baby who has the sniffles and won't let me sleep.

And as for something REALY nephew is seriously ill in Africa. Aaron Leavitt (who was homeschooled) was on his LDS mission in the Congos, but to be treated for TB has been moved to Johannesburg and can't travel any further because he's too ill. His parents are now with him and he is having surgery tomorrow. Please pray for him!  I know I am.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Williamsburg and Fun Machines

This week we learned about simple machines i.e. levers. It was a short lesson, and at the end I showed them a Rube Goldberg machine, and had them make up their own. What a success! Here's a Rube Goldberg machine:

He uses crazy stuff to do a mundane job. Here are my boys' drawings:


Every kid at science was so excited to explain what their machine did and how they did it. It was way cute. It got creative juices flowing, and excitement out the roof.

We also studied Williamsburg. We read Meet Felicity and watched the movie for our activity. I think if I had a girl, I would be obsessed with the American Girl world. As it is, Maxwell requested to read all the Felicity books, and I happily ordered them from the library.

And as followups from last week, Maxwell made a beaver habitat of his own volition.

And the alternate school finished their tree for the Festival of trees. I spot a few of our decorations on it. Fun fun.

That's all I have to report, because for the rest of the week, Dustin and I went on a pre-christmas retreat. Whoo Hoo!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The hat that changed the world.

This week we learned about the fur trade, namely the Hudson Bay Company. Of course, we talked all about beaver hats.  We learned how there might not be a Canada (for sure not the Canada we know) without the beaver hat craze.

Hyrum was quite distraught. He didn't like talking about killing beavers. We ended up watching two documentaries about the beaver (WOW what an animal!) and I think in the end we learned more about the importance of beaver conservation than beaver hat making.  Haha.

We also got around to talking about the Filles du Roi. Not sure if my kids would recognize the french name, but if you asked them about the daughters of the king in Canada, I bet they could give you an educated response.

I found a series that's like Magic Tree House books, but Canadian focused called "Canadian Flyer." They have a Filles du Roi book called "Lost in the Snow." I think it's very fitting that the US has a magic tree house while Canada has a magic snow sled.

For our activity we made Christmas tree ordimants out of old books. This might have nothing to do with Filles du Roi who I'm sure didn't throw away books, but the alternate school is putting together a tree for the festival of trees, and asked everyone to chip in.

We also talked about the 7 Year War, also know as the French and Indian war. When I was looking for books at the library on this subject I forgot that this war had two names. I was frustrated that I couldn't find anything on the Seven Year War, but now I look, and can find lots on the French and Indian War. Oops.

Oh well, the History of US account was sufficient. Although I'm thinking I might get some kind of version of "Last of the Mohicans" to read anyway.

This was one of those history subjects that was interesting to learn from both Canada and US perspectives.

For our activity we made hoecakes. I couldn't find a hoe, so we used a small shovel (covered in tinfoil.) I got the idea for this out of the Four Year Plan book, which has tons of recipes. I just assumed that they had a recipe for hoecakes since they suggest making them, but when I was ready to do the activity, they said "just do the recipe in this book"

Well, I didn't have that book, so I got a recipe from Paula Deen. They ended up to be really tasty.

And as for Science, we didn't have science because it was Remembrance day. Canadians know how to do this holiday justice. Cardston had a Remembrance day service. Maxwell took part as a cub scout.

Truly Canadian.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

William Penn, My Hero

Up until this year, I didn't know much about William Penn. I was listening to Story of the World with my kids (I SOOO RECOMMEND THIS SERIES!!!) and there was a section in there about him, and I fell in love with his story.  I knew we needed to study him as part of our history.

A Religious Freedom story at it's finest.

We made pull taffy as our activity. I made it too hard. They could hardly pull it, and then it turned into HARD candy. I got it as hot as the directions, but I think I won't let it get that hot when I try this again.

For science, we learned about potential and Kinetic energy.  As part of it, we got out a Mouse Trap game I borrowed from the alternate school. Has anyone got this game to work well? I never can.

But what the kids really liked was this youtube video about potential and kinetic energy (well---it is!) So cool, check it out:

I also took some experiments from Steve Spangler. He's a hero in my boy's eyes. They could watch his youtube channel for hours.

And this week, Heather Burton put together a fun morning of good food and good work to celebrate the book "Farmer Boy" by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Such a good book. I enjoyed reading it with Maxwell.

I so appreciate Heather and all those in this community who make homeschool a group effort. Heather even gave Maxwell a pumpkin. Although, it was not milk fed like Almanzos. ;)

Also, I went to a couple meeting teaching about the brain. I am a little obsessed with learning about the brain these days. It really fascinates me. It affects how I interact with my kids. In fact, after this week I plan on working with Hyrum differently before his one-on-one schooling. I plan on doing simple messages and words of affirmation before we start learning.

Hyrum had a traumatic birth and he got hit by a horse as a toddler. I feel that it is up to me to do everything I can to help his brain and skin on skin touch has been proven to overcome brain damage. We are already doing a bit of Brain Gym and we always have fish oil, but bit by bit I need to include more and take out more that will help my kids.

Anyway, here's a couple awesome videos that Alberta Family Wellness has put out about the brain:

And that's it for this week. I was going to teach about the Filles du Roi, but I had THREE extra boys all week long since my friend and her husband went down to Utah, and I think I did pretty awesome just plugging along, and Filles du Roi will have to wait.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween, with Pirates, Witches, and Scary Closets

Happy Halloween! I LOVE this holiday.

Here's my cute crew...

My William dragon.

 My Abraham puppy.
 Hyrum the scary lizard.
 My vampires, Maxwell and Daniel.

 And my cute hubby. As ummmm a guy from the past I guess.

Fun fun. Our history went along with the season. We learned about pirates (I used to do pirates at the beginning of modern world history, but I decided I had more time this year than that year, so I changed it.)

We dressed up, made Blackbeard's jolly rogers, and went on a treasure hunt.

We also learned about the Salem witch trials. We carved pumpkins as our activity.

For science, we learned about different kinds of energy (Light, heat, nuclear, etc) As one experiment we lit sparklers and talked about the different kinds of energy it was making.

And as for scary closets---take a look at what my school closet USED to look like:

yah, scary-----but check out what it looks like NOW!

BOOM BA DA BOOM! No more searching frantically for that eye dropper while a dozen kids are waiting for me and the next experiment. I KNOW WHERE IT IS NOW!!! WHOO HOOO!

And my kids have finally memorized where all 50 US states are.

Well, Maxwell memorized it at least.

Happy Halloween!!!