Saturday, March 31, 2012

Week 29 (Adventures Week 25) Iowa, Wisconsin and Gold in California

Fine Arts: Field Trip

Treyton and I had the opportunity to go this week to see Stomp at our local Performing Arts Center. We LOVED it!! Such a great opportunity and blessing. The percussionists were AMAZING and we had a great time. Treyton thought their humor was hilarious, at times he was laughing so hard for so long, he was the only one laughing – it was awesome!



In addition to doing our state pages and read-alouds, we enjoyed a popcorn snack in honor of Iowa’s great corn harvest!  IMG_1440




Obviously living in Wisconsin, Treyton was pumped to finally get to OUR state :) We enjoyed a nice cheese snack, and I had plans to go tour a milk farm, however, Tim was a little busy at work and we haven’t been able to (yet) but we will. IMG_1538In addition to our yummy snack, we read the book “More Cheese Please!” and watched the video How It’s Made (Season 1, Episode 2) making Mozzarella Cheese from our netflix account. Treyton (as I knew he would) liked the “How It’s Made” show, so I plan on using it again in the future. IMG_1537

Gold in California

Reading about the Gold in California, has refreshed Treyton’s love of history. I’m not really sure what it was about this topic, except maybe for the fact that he (for the first time) realized what the “Forty-Niners” meant (from the football team). He was PUMPED putting the two and two together, it was the first thing he told dad when he got home. IMG_1539

He also grasped the concept that most people did not actually get rich from the gold, but that they gold-rush did cause California to become a state before the other states in the west.

MFW did a great job of illustrating this in having us continue to color a US map, every time we study a state. Treyton just pointed out (last week), how we had this (the west) whole section left, and west virginia…. we talked then about how the country was slowly growing out from one side of the country to the other.

Treyton connected a lot of dots this week, and somehow formed a connection to what we were learning. It was fun to see him excited to do history again.

To keep up his excitement I added in a hands-on project. IMG_1457

We went outside and collected some small rocks and dirt. I filled up two pans, one for each of the kids, and dropped in five small “gold colored” beads (that didn’t float). IMG_1464They swished the pans and searched their pans until they found all five of their beads. They both did great, and then did it again…. and again :)  IMG_1460 

Daily Notebook

I created new Daily Notebooks for the kids (I’m hoping to post much of what I’ve added in soon), we started using them this week. I still have a little too much in there it seems, for it takes us far too long to complete our daily notebook portion in the morning (about 30 minutes), it’s hard because it’s all good stuff.

One thing I did want to point out is that we are currently working on adding in Catechism into our daily routine using “A Cateshism for Girls and Boys” which I borrowed from the Reformed Reader. We are currently on question 3. 

Science: Mollusks

The nice weather has also had a energizing effect on our science. This week we learned about Mollusks. The characteristics of Mollusks are:

  • usually have shells (either on the inside or outside)
  • a soft body
  • complex organs
  • have eyes

Some examples of Mollusks are octopus, snails, oysters, and clams.

R.E.A.L. Life Science recommended going outside and looking for garden snails to examine. However, it’s not quite warm enough here, and even if it were, we don’t really have any garden snails in our yard. We can find an occasional slug, but even those, I don’t think it was warm enough to find yet. We decided to go to the pet store and we picked out two fresh water snails. IMG_1547One black, the other orange…. we named the black one Daisy, and the orange one Todd. They have been SOOO much fun to watch. IMG_1546

Treyton completed a lab sheet comparing a garden snail to other animals. IMG_1427

IMG_1542This was a great way to show WHY a snail is a part of the Mollusks family, rather than another animal family. IMG_1544Next he labeled a picture of a snail, and then completed a lab sheet on his pet snails, drawing the snails and measuring them (the best we could in the bowl at least). IMG_1545We are seriously loving this hands-on science program. From a teacher’s viewpoint I love how they are explaining the animal kingdom and breaking it down by families, clearly showing the relationship and unique qualities of each family. IMG_1543Science: Worms

Because we were on such a “science kick” this week, and the weather was nice, we decided to do two units this week, and learned about worms as well. IMG_1471

Coincidentally, one morning it was a little “rainy” outside, so we headed out and picked up about a dozen worms off our driveway and the road in front of our house.     IMG_1456We completed most of our labs and experiments (safe for the worms, don’t worry) on this day, instead of dragging it out over the entire week or several days. IMG_1458 

IMG_1459Our first lab was actually for worm hunting, which we didn’t end up doing, because we found them so easily in the rain. Treyton did, draw and label a worm, and we discussed the fact that worms do not have antennae, wings, legs or eyes. IMG_1468Treyton was fascinated by the fact that worms have both boy and girl parts (as do many varieties of snails, though not all), and that the “puffy” part of the worm is where the girl part of the worm holds the eggs/baby worms.IMG_1467We did complete a composting experiment, filling a jar with sand, dirt, oats (repeat). In an attempt to illustrate how worms “stir up” the soil and keep it moving. After a few days, we realized that our worms did not like this arrangement, and were not properly “composting” – so we decided to empty them into our garden instead. IMG_1472

Nature Study

The week before we actually took off of school, and the weather was gorgeous. But of course, we can’t help just how much our daily life and school are intertwined. So even on our weeks off we manage to do some “school”. One morning, we did some nature study in the woods across the street.

We heard a lot of great bird sounds, including a wood pecker which the kids picked out themselves.

Treyton is really interested in the fungus that grows on this log. It’s almost always the first place he heads, when we go to these small woods.

IMG_1414The girls, love to participate as well. You can see here, Audrey’s hilarious drawing position, placing her face, literally on top of the piece of paper. :) IMG_1410 We love nature study. IMG_1412 



Kristina said...

Thanks for sharing! I always enjoy reading your posts! Great idea to go buy a couple of snails--R.E.A.L Science is one I have been looking into... would you recommend it? You've also peaked my interest in looking into MFW!

Oh the choices homeschooling provides!!

Kristina @ School Time Snippets

Anonymous said...

What a blessing! I stumbled on to your blog by searching for a frog craft for Sunday School. And have been reading your posts for about a half hour now -lol! We just finished MFW K and I just rec'd MFW 1st for next year. What a blessing to find someone who is blogging a year ahead of us! YAY and Thank you for sharing your time! -

Alexis said...

There is a cheese factory near Fon du Lac that I had checked into when we did Little House. The guy was really nice and welcomed us coming - maybe we could get together for a field trip.

Amber said...

Kristina, Thank you for stopping by my blog and taking the time to comment. Yes, we love MFW. I have used Kindergarten, which ended up being a little easy for my son (and even my daughter), First grade I LOVED the Bible portion, their phonics was a little weak, but we supplemented a few things and made it work. Adventures has been a dream. We have thoroughly enjoyed the program and I can't imagine doing anything else this year. We will be switching next year, though I have heard great things about Exploring Countries and Cultures - we are switching to Tapestry of Grace, and while I wanted to do ECC, I decided to switch earlier than I originally planned to line up with a local co-op (who is cycling on year 1 this coming up year). Once you get past ECC, I personally didn't love several portions of MFW core curriculum and didn't see a need to stay with the program if I was going to need to "tweak" it so much.
I know this is a long answer, but the short of it is that I like it for K and 1st, LOVE it for Adventures, think I would love ECC, not a huge fan after that, but don't think it's a bad curriculum or choice at all.

Mama Teaching 3 said...

I am loving your little visitors in the classroom!