Sunday, April 16, 2017

Brains, Cyclones, Communism and Easter!

Wowzah! lots has happened since I wrote last! The main reason I didn't write last week was because our power was out because of a CYCLONE!!!

Life school at it's most intense folks.

We learned all about hot air rising and creating a vacuum for cold air, and the 1-5 scale of magnitude of cyclones, and how they name cyclones (in the Australian tropical zone, it's called a cyclone, not a hurricane----same thing though.) What cyclones were the worst in recorded history and on and on.

It turned out that ours was named "Cook" and didn't go directly over us, and was only a 2 when it went by. The only thing that happened was a small palm tree falling over in our back yard.

Maxwell said he was scared but mostly excited, and Daniel was disappointed it wasn't worse, but I was just glad it was mild. The hail storm in Cardston was way worse than this!

HOLY CAMOLY!!! I JUST *NOW* FELT AN EARTHQUAKE!!!! I'm dead serious!!!  I started feeling my couch rock and I thought "Everyone's in bed. Why is my couch rocking?" and then my blood ran cold as I imagined that some animal must be inside my house rocking my couch.

And then I looked up and realized my WHOLE WORLD was rocking! And then I thought "should I go for cover, should I wake up my family?" and I then heard debris falling on/off my roof.

But then it stopped, and me being in an ocean-front property inwardly screamed:


But then rationalized that it was a very gentle rocking and went on the Vanuatu Tsunami warning site that took so long to load that I would have drowned by the time they said anything.

So I'm guessing all's clear. First earthquake of my life!

WOW! nothing's boring around here!

Umm yeah, more happens then just natural disasters though. I put together this!:

Everyone was late, but some people DID come! I'm quite shocked that more people don't homeschool here though. There's quite a big population of "expats" here, but they send their kids to private school instead.

I've realized that I'm very fortunate to have next door neighbors that homeschool.

I've decided to make this picnic thing a monthly thing and hopefully get together with the families I did meet individually now that Easter's over.

Anyway, it's awesome that I have homeschool neighbors, because they do science with us and their dad brought us a BRAIN!!!!

(and you thought I just made up a weird post title....)

We learned about the nervous system. We checked our reflexes and tested our learning abilities, and we DISSECTED A PIG"S BRAIN!

My nephew (8 yrs old) had at one time wanted to be a doctor like his dad, but is now reconsidering if he has to dissect stuff....uh....homeschool fail? 

It was awesome for most of us, but I did have a brain lapse (get it?) when I cut open the brain because I couldn't remember all the parts and functions.  Whatever, I did remember a bit, I just wish someone could have taught ME that lesson! I'm too hard on myself. I was able to teach them a lot.

And yet again, the dog creepily loved eating the end result.

One of the VERY FEW books I was able to bring here was about the brain, and Maxwell's been reading it to Abraham (2) as a bedtime story! CUTE

By the way, Daniel has been asking and commenting such scientific thoughts lately! He's always taking things we've learned this year and applying it to real life "I was looking at all the green grass so long, my green color cones in my eyes turned off, and when I looked up, everything was red!"

Or asking further questions "How does electricity get to your brain?

Anyway, he's pretty cute.

As for history, we are continuing on our Cold War unit.

We learned about the infamous Mao. My stomach turns when I learn about what he did. We made mandalas in honour of the Dalai Lama and his exile by Mao and communism.

They were all quite proud. They were also all proud of the submarines that they made while we were learning about the Cuban Missile Crisis.

We talked about Che Guevara as part of it. His influence is even felt here. Good intentions. Bad results.

We also watched "Night Crossing" about East Germans who flew over to freedom in a hot air balloon they made.

We talked about the Korean war and how it's on the news TODAY that North Korea has never left the Cold War.

But then we talked about fear and what that can do to people, and talked about Mccarthyism.

We played a game where one person got the red card, but only black cards would get candy, and I accused someone, and told them they would get candy if they would accuse someone else and then I accused that person unless they blamed someone else etc  until I told them they were all in cahoots and NO one got candy! Until I said, just kidding, here's to Freedom of speech! and passed out the candy!

Our Cold war unit is not done. Too much to talk about.

We also have been having awesome cultural experiences. We have been having palm leaf weaving lessons from Matilda. We've learned balls, and purses and mats! (I can only make balls without her help, but I'm determined to learn how to make fans when she gets back from Easter vacation.)

Also cool living things all around us!

 See the chicken? A gift from a village that we visited. They meant us to eat him, but our boys LOVE him. They put him on a leash and take him EVERYWHERE they go and feed him and pet him and talk and console with him...yeah....we can't eat him.

See Maxwell reading with the chicken? He's towards the end of Voyage of the Dawn Treader. He tells me all the differences between the books and the movies, and how it relates to the gospel. So amazing!

But there are still dyslexic moments:  Me "Oh, yeah, I remember that happening to Lucy." Maxwell "but her name's not Lucy in the books. It's 'Lucky.'" ---facepalm----you gotta laugh or cry, right? Hahahaha

Also, in his math, he has been learning "Pick's Theorem" which was created by Pick who was sent to the gas chambers by Hitler.

That's how he found out the estimated square km of Efate island (where we live) by doing this:

He was pretty close. The actual area is 899 km2.

The other boys have been doing math and English too. Hyrum and Daniel have been reading Aesop's Fables to me. Their tutor, Josh, got a little burnt out last week because of an ear infection and how difficult it is to teach a ADHD processing delayed and dyslexic boy.

We'll see what happens. I've felt burnt out since Friday when I got some news that has sent me into a spiral of depression. (News that is not about me, and is not mine to share.)

I thought it was fitting that it was Good Friday. for even though we have our fridays, we also have our Sunday mornings of Easters in our lives if we look to Him. Right?


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