Monday, May 13, 2013

Weekly Wrap-Up: Turtles. Ned Kelly and Sound

This was a hard week to finish.... finally we are getting some beautiful spring weather and the outdoors kept calling us;) Specifically... the turtles...

Almost every morning we found turtles in the yard... and these weren't little turtles!! I'm talking a foot across turtles looking to build a nest to lay some eggs. The first morning they surprised us by being in the garden...

we moved them, but they were back a few hours later with their eggs already deposited in their hole! Very cool to see!


Needless to say... we spent a LOT of time watching turtles from the windows (so we won't scare them off) and think so far we have at least two holes with eggs. We've also done some research about what kind of turtles that are visiting and how to care for the eggs indoors so they won't get eaten (we found eaten eggs last spring). So, yes...

this is some real-life, hands-on home schooling, but we DID drag ourselves back indoors and away from the windows (not too far away) to get our "core" work finished for the week:)

IMG_2052It was strange not starting the week with an Our Family Way coloring sheet...

but we did fine just reviewing a way each day (minus the coloring sheet) and using a new devotional that I am temporarily borrowing from a friend. The devo is called Long Story Short and it's just 10 minute family devotions that works through the Old Testament. For us it was longer than 10 minutes but it was because all the kids looked up the passage in their Bibles and then we took turns reading the passage.

I can't tell you how much it warmed my heart each morning to see the kids wanting to get their Bibles and reading them!!

 I know you could use ANY devotional or just pick a book to study or passage to read... it's so very simple... and exactly where my kiddos and I need to be as we start our school day!

Yes, even Nate joined in a few mornings;)

Language Arts
Lydia and Chris did two sections of spelling and poor Anna is still chugging through the names of the States:) She 's doing a great job though. We thought we could use a cool computer program to help quiz her but we never could get it to work... so it was back to the Spelling Power model:)

I had to laugh this week when I got to correct Brian's Grammar;) LOL... seriously, THAT Never happens;) So Anna (and I) have learned from Rod and Staff but we are counting down the lessons until we are through for the summer:) Besides doing some Grammar exercises, Lydia and Chris began working on one of their first written compositions... it's very simple but it's a great start to learning to write well.

For reading... Anna started a historical fiction book based during the French Revolution... unfortunately she lost interest in it and read through other books in our library bag:) Lydia read through a book called Hearing-Ear Dogs; it was a non-fiction book about training stray dogs to be helpers for the deaf... I enjoyed listening to parts of it while Lydia read. Chris and I read through a Henry and Mudge book and through some of a dinosaur book called Amazing Dinosaurs by Dougal Dixon. The information was very familiar but it was written for emerging readers so Chris could read it with some help...  it was nice to have a book that fed his dinosaur interest while he could practice reading:)

The older two are still at work finishing their SAXON for the year. Lydia though had a fun week filling in her math hour with (the free practice),, (the word problem of the day- grade 1 and 2) and a game on a little kiddie tablet she has. The older ones can't wait to finish so they can join her;)

This week for history we traveled to Australia and saw the British colony become a commonwealth. SOTW focused on the struggles of the poorer farmers who felt like they were not being treated fairly and how some turned to crime, especially the life of Ned Kelly. Chris, especially, liked the story:)

For the map, the kids used an atlas and world map to label Australia, it's provinces, the bodies of water around the island and other countries on the map. They love doing this and its our geography:)

We were trying to come up with a history sentence  to summarize what we should remember from the whole section. We ended up with a fun poem (a very kid understanding of the situation):)

In 1880,
Australia was a baby,
Ned Kelly died
Fighting for Australia's side.

In 1901,
The fighting was done.
Australia was a Commonwealth,
They picked their own leaders and made laws for themselves.

Anyway... definitely a fun way to do some cross- curricular writing!!


IMG_2081We started our unit on Sound this week;) One of the first "explorations" was to figure out ways to "make" sound... so they banged on tables.. lovely, I know;) Our book suggested  cutting straws into different lengths and blowing gently into those. The kids took it a step further and make little straw pipes with many different lengths.

During the first lesson, they defined Sound and we read through the Magic School Bus: Inside the Haunted Museum. We also read through a couple of small sections in our Usborne Science book (like how sound is measured) and the kids made a notebook page with 2 or 3 things they learned about Sound.

During our second lesson we started talking about how sound travels in waves. We did a silly "experiment" where the kids had to make some dangling cereal pieces move without touching them or blowing on them. As suggested we used a rubber band and pulled on the band to see if we could use "sound" to make them move.

I had to get Anna doing this... she was a good sport... of course Lydia and Chris don't have the teeth to hold the rubber band with;) LOL!!

I pulled out a bowl of water for us to see the ripples when some thing is dropped into the water; just to give them a visual of "sound waves".  But it turned into another lesson;)

We  started talking about where sounds can be made and what are better conductors of sounds... liquids, air, or solids?

Air is a little obvious because that is hwo we hear each other talk. Using my bowl of water we clanged coins together, and we could hear it. A corresponding section in our experiment book gave us some great information to talk about... like how water carried the sound really well so yelling at the pool is loud or animals talking to each other under the water.

To experiment with sounds and solids, we scratched a wooden ruler at the end with our fingernails close to our ears and it was barley audible. Then we put the ruler right on our ear and scratched with the same intensity... it was much louder!

We found that solids are much better conductors of sound than air or water due to their molecules being closer together:) We remembered watching a show  (or maybe even in Rifles for Watie) with an Indian guide listening to the ground to hear for horses running. So we put our heads on the table and tried to guess when someone at the table was tapping (and even what song they were tapping).

Yay, for more fun, hands-on Science:)  And a great video to go with this Sound unit is BIll Nye the Science Guy: Sound... just beware that it is LOUD and old school... lots of references to Janet Jackson;) Other than that it's very thorough and fun and loud:)

 Throw in a sleepover for Chris with his RA class (and Brian tagging along)! An afternoon playdate with friends... even another doggie for Jack to pal around with:) More planting in the garden (more tomatoes, corn, watermelon and cantaloupe)!!! Some Leave it to Beaver shows and conversations! A fun new read aloud called Wonderstruck that we're all wanting to know how it ends....

And I think it was a good week;)

And it was our last 5 day week until August thanks to Daddy's summer schedule starting next week!! 


Bunch of Barrons said...

Looks like lots of good learning! My kiddos would LOVE those turtles!

Heather said...

Chris likes dinosaurs? hehe I think he's read every dinosaur related book in the library. I order him a few from other branches that should be here soon.