Thursday, February 28, 2013

Science: Stars & Constellations

We are focusing on astronomy in science right now. While studying stars and other bodies in space, I have actually learned a lot alongside of the kids. I love the Answers In Genesis curriculum! It has really allowed us to do as much (or as little) as we want, without becoming too overwhelmed but still learning a lot. 

I seriously don't know how my kids have gotten so smart but both of them really enjoy science and already seem to know so much, which has been great, because instead of spending lots of time on the basics we have been able to take it to the next level in our reading and discussions which have been really fun. 

Heavenly Bodies 

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For each body we studied we made a small mini book to go into our science binder. Illustrating their shape (as best we could) to put into our lap journal helped Treyton to really visualize the similarities and the differences. 

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When learning about nebulae we looked at lots of amazingly beautiful pictures and it inspired us to make our own soft pastel picture of the nebulae. We really enjoy using our pastels, and incorporating art and science together was really fun. 

Meteors & Craters 
We did a hands on experiment using flour in a pan and different size "meteors" (salt, rice and marbles) we even included houses (blocks) for an extra sense of reality :)  

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Stars & Constellations 

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Of course as we learned about the stars, we focused on constellations. I printed out a set of constellation flashcards and had Treyton pick out five to recreate on black paper. 

We also tried to make some constellations of our own, but that didn't work as well. 

Experiment: Stars and Sun

The kids already knew that our sun was a star, but they still had questions as to how it was so much bigger. They assumed that it was just bigger in size.

So we did an experiment using flashlights comparing the light close up versus far away to understand better why the sun is so much brighter to us than the stars are, while some of the stars are actually bigger. 


Alexa's Preschool Extras 

Because Alexa doesn't always understand and/or participate in all of Treyton's assignments I had a few for her own, that I picked up from 1+1+1=1 and Homeschool Creations. 

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The kids have really been enjoying about outer space. I'm really looking forward to posting our weeks on studying the solar system - we did quite a few fun things in our studies. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Greek Helmet and Olympic Headband

We are currently studying Ancient Greece and while doing so we have, for the first time in a while, been able to do a few hands on projects, and I'm so glad this was one of the weeks we were able to. I think it has (in a sense) reminded us all  why we love school and learning as much as we do, and that learned can be and should be fun to do. 


We decided to make two different types of head wear. 

The first of which was an olympic games olive wreath. I got this idea from one of the extra books from the library. I forgot to write the name down and have already returned the book (sorry). 

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Both Alexa and Treyton made these and had fun showing them off. 

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The second one, was a Greek soldier helmet from a paper bag and duct tape. 

This one took a little trial and error to complete, but after two attempts we managed to make something that worked very well. 

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I took a paper bag and cut it flat, smoothing duct tape along the length of it. 

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I then wrapped the bag around Treyton's head and folded down the top (almost like you would wrap a gift). I took pieces of duct tape and "shaped it" to his head giving it a more round shape. 

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I had Treyton point to where his eyes were and drew the eye holes/slits, which I then cut out. 

Lastly, we took a red (Treyton's color of choice) piece of card stock, and cut feathered slits which we duct taped along the top of the helmet. 

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He ran and grabbed his homemade shield and plastic sword from his room, to complete his ensemble. He has had so much fun with his new helmet and loved showing it off to anyone who comes over. 

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

TOG Week 19-24: From Solomon to Persia

In the last several weeks, we have been learning lots of Biblical history, from Solomon, to the divided kingdom of Israel to the Neo-Assyrian, Neo-babylonian and Medo-Persian empires, including the Biblical accounts of Daniel, Jonah and Esther.  

Books & Resources:

  • Bible 
    • 1 & 2 Kings
    • Isaiah
    • Daniel 
    • Jonah
    • Esther 
    • Nehemiah 
  • Usborne's Encyclopedia of the Ancient World 
  • Story of the World Volume 1 (select chapters) 
  • What's In the Bible DVDs 
    • I am not sure exactly which DVDs went with this historical period but I think it was 6-8, we have really REALLY enjoyed these DVDs and I would highly highly recommend them whether for home or church. 

Lap Journal Pages and Geography 

We are still not able to do as many hands-on activities as I like, but are doing well keeping up with draw and caption pages, lap journal pages and mapping. 

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The Divided Kingdom 

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 The Prophet Elijah 

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I have started having Treyton work on typing his history draw & caption pages. Using word, I have him copy and paste pictures from the internet onto his draw and caption sheets. Teaching him simple copy and paste techniques as well as how to print the document.

He enjoys using the computer, but it takes him a little bit longer. I can tell his typing is improving though, which is exciting to see. He has great "typing hands" placing his fingers in the correct position. Once he learns where the letters are, he will cruise!  

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I loved studying the popular story of Jonah with the kids from this historical perspective. It really showed, Treyton in particular, why Jonah didn't want to go to Ninevah and the amazing character of God and His mercy. 

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We tried a new thing with this story - I illustrated the picture on the chalk board and the kids copied it. I was really proud of her Alexa's attempt to draw. 

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Two of my favorite activities these past several weeks were two separate Bible studies. While studying Isaiah we listened to Seeds Family Worship CD Isaiah 6:1-3 (which is phenomenal by the way), which has led to the entire family memorizing this portion of scripture. So we took a little time and studied the entire chapter, and looked at the calling of Isaiah. After discussing it together Treyton, Alexa and I each drew our own interpretation of what the chapter said. 

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Treyton's (above), Alexa's (below) 

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We have added the Bible characters that we've studied over the past several weeks, as well as color coded lines to illustrate when the different empires (Assyria, Babylon and Medo-Persia) reigned. Treyton really liked doing this as well as making his own timeline on paper. This is one of his strengths and interest for sure. He really enjoys learning and "seeing" time. I love our timeline more every week!! 

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Treyton made his own timeline for his history book.

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God Will Provide 

While studying Elijah, we made a rain cloud mobile, with rain drops listing the ways that God provided for us, just like he provided for Elijah during the 3 year drought - first at the brook with ravens, and then at the widow's house. 

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Cyrus Scroll 

In the weeks we read about Daniel and Esther we created a Cyrus scroll. Treyton wrote a letter. I told him to write down something that he would want people to know if he were not here to tell them. What he wants people to know about him in 100 years. 

This is what he wrote:  

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We then rolled up the paper and put it inside of a paper towel roll. 

Clay Seal 

Treyton also made a seal from clay. The seal was meant to resemble one that would be used in ancient Babylon or Persia as a man's signature. A kings seal was obviously of significant importance. 

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