Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rocket Launch

I am not going to say much about our rocket study. We have just scratched the tip of the iceberg so far.  As a part of our lessons we included building rockets then the following week launching them. The following pictures are of the launch. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Not Planning to Stop

I cannot imagine a day in my life that we consider ending the homeschool journey. Don't get me wrong, there are threats to put Faith into the public school system just so she knows what it is about. She is the one child that has not been there. She is also the one child that finds a way to challenge a soul's patience. I am certain she would hate being bored as she would be in school with children her own age. I am sure she would use that show off attitude and be put into place by the teacher.  Other than the occasional threat there is never any real consideration of the girls attending the public school again.  I see that others are winding down the year and planning on sending their children on to the public school.

I am so baffled by this action. Perhaps they are worn down and tired. Perhaps they feel the children are now old enough to handle the pressures of the system better. Perhaps they have not been able to make progressive learning and find they must put it into the hand of an actual trained instructor.  I cannot begin to understand why a person goes from the home system to the public system.  The only way I can see that happening for Grace and Faith would mean that I have gone to heaven. I hope by that time, Kelley feels very confident and continues on with their home education.

Let me tell you what we have been busy doing. Tomorrow we will launch our rockets from the rocketry class that they attended.  I have taken some time to teach more about rockets but have great plans for next week to cover the subject more. As usual, there have been doctor appointments and procedures that take our focus away from the text book. Weeks like this one, we find a way to incorporate what we can and teach the importance of family structure and support.  Massive work has been accomplished in the work toward our school house as well as clearing out the horrible mess that the girls created in their basement.

I find that I am not always patient and kind. I went into our old classroom at their house and let us just say, the girls saw me shoot to the sky like a rocket.  The mess that they dug into was horrible. The items that I felt were my own personal possessions that I use to aide with instruction were not as I had left them.  I really need to get this school house completed. I need to move from my kitchen as soon as I can. 

I know many use their kitchen every day. I use mine as well. The point is that I have the ability to have a great area that is not part of my kitchen to have traditional lessons held.  We will still have couch time, we will still have outdoor time but I want my kitchen table to be free. If I did not have an area to move toward then I would be thrilled to use my kitchen, my couch, my bed and my yard as usual as I am sure it does not diminished their ability to learn.

Next week the replicas of Nina and Pinta are gong to be in Grafton, Illinois. We plan to take a visit there and enjoy the experience. We will also attend the Magic House in St. Louis as the Magic School Bus display will soon be gone.  Owen will be in the hospital for a few days as they conduct a video EEG and seek the focal point of his seizures.  When Kelley and Owen are at the hospital it is a stressful time for the girls. We can decrease it by taking some field trips during the week. 

Seems I have been so busy helping the get the girls basement in order that my own house has suffered. Therefore, I will close for now and get to work on my home. I will work again this weekend. I pray it goes better than last weekend. I ended up crying myself to sleep due to the pain. It was my first full weekend back at work after my long illness.  Now...up and at 'em, there is work to be done.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Rocket Building

A new opportunity has presented itself to us. It was a chance to be with a group of other homeschooled children to build rockets, learn a little about the rocket and then next week we will launch the rockets.

The class was held in the home of a friend's mother. The friend was homeschooled by her mother and now teaches her own children. We have attended group classes before but it was always in a public setting.  So lesson one was about bringing a small hostess gift. On the way there we stopped at the florist and Faith picked out a small but nice bouquet to give the hostess of the house.  She was tickled to do this rather old fashion activity.

Overall, they did well paying attention to what Mr. Fischer had to say. I noticed Grace trying to look around him so I know was paying attention.  Putting the project together required my assistance to a very small degree. Grace did will in following the directions she was given.  Mr. Fischer had determined that the two youngest ones were go have a rocket that was mostly built already. It meant that Faith did not have much to build on her rocket and so she was bored a bit at the end. 

We will launch the rockets next week and the girls are excited. I am sure Grace will count down the days along with Faith.  In the coming up week we will have some extra learning opportunities about rockets and the role they serve in today's world.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I Want to do It All Syndrome

It is a terrible thing indeed. I have so much that I want to do and I want to do it all right now. Why now? Because so many opportunities are presenting themselves to me.  I want to do the science as it is in their books but I want to do it as it is in my mind and I want to do it as the Lord presents it to us in our daily lives.  I want to incorporated the bird identification with United States Geography. I want to do it all. I get these moment of great inspiration and need to have the time and energy to do it during those times.  Of course that would require constant lessons being carried out but I have fun ideas and ways to do it.  Still, I think I would have a mutiny on my hands if I never stopped lesson time.

I hope that sounded as enthusiastic as I feel.   We had planned a trip with a group of peers to a local watershed. In preparation for it Grace checked out some books for herself. Many of the books involved turtles, frogs and toads. Just in time we had a huge influx of toads in the yard.  We were able to look at the examples in the books to identify them and to find the ears and poison glands on the toad as well. So far we have temporarily captured only three toads. One is a real singing fool so they know they have a male as well.  Learning more about the life cycle of a frog seems silly as we have covered that topic in the past but it seems that when they can teach the teacher and learn even a little more then review is a fun thing.  I managed to incorporate math with our toad observations.  WORD FOR THE WEEK IS OBSERVATION.  They measured the distance each toad could jump. They compared them with each other. They made determinations about why one was able to hop further in one jump and the other was faster instead. 

You may ask how we did this. We made a line in the middle of the living room floor as a start point and then placed a coin at the location where they landed. That is right, it seems more fun to let them do this in the living room.

We have done so much more than just toad stuff but I once again am lacking the time to place it here. I guess I will need to do that in the middle of the night.

Here is a great picture of Grace's toad, you can clearly identify the ear and the poison gland.
 Below, Owen is not sure he likes this activity. He has been around more and more. He has begun to pretend he is writing as well.
 Here is Faith giving her toad an encouraging talk for the leap frog contest.
 Grace's was fast and she had to hang on to her well.
Listen to Faith's fella. 

Please know that all toads are released back to their environment and were left unharmed. They were provided with a tasty snack as well.