I can't believe we are heading into week 20 of our school year already, and summer still seems so far away when I look out my window. Before we know it . . .
For my weekly wrap ups rather than go by days of the week, or even by subject, I decided to just post the highlights of what we accomplished. While I love lots of moments throughout each day, much of it would put you to sleep if recounted here, so I'll spare you the details.
- Blake is enjoying reading through The Secrets of the Universe (a great book, by the way, if you can find it. It puts fairly complex scientific laws into easy to read language) and often takes initiative to attempt the various experiments as well. Following this picture and its accompanying description in the book:
We constructed this apparatus:
I run experiments the same way I cook, making substitutions based on what I have around. We didn't have aluminum screws, so we used foil. We didn't have a "lantern" battery so we connected two nine volts. We did have the test tubes and a large pan (or cake topper lid . . .) By running the current through the water under the two test tubes we separated the water into its hydrogen and oxygen components.
If you look closely, you can see the tiny bubbles rising in the tube.
The result was pretty cool. The tubes start filling with water by the reaction and one tube fills with hydrogen, the other with oxygen.
The one of the right in the picture is collecting the hydrogen, hence the bigger bubble already visible.
The hydrogen fills twice as fast, since it is H2O. When it was full (took about a half hour after we connected a couple more batteries to speed things up). Then, we lit a candle, lifted the tube out of the water still upside down and held it quickly over the candle. Since hydrogen ignites easily we got a few impressive pops as the hydrogen came out of the tube.
- One popular craft we did this week was a "dancing ballerina."
I pulled a ballerina from clip art and blocked out half of it. Created a rectangle with alternating lines going up the sides for them to cut on when folded in half. They had to draw the other side of the ballerina and cut it out and it kind of dances when you dangle it over the table.
- Running so many levels at once. I could get everything done easily if the kids all worked in their own separate boxes. Not that I want to discourage their curiosity, but sometimes I have a hard time balancing their desire to do everything that everyone else is doing, and hear every lesson that I teach to everyone. They don't have time to do 3-4 grade levels worth of work everyday, but they try to. It is great that they are all eager to learn so much, but hard to get done what has to get done, and I would think it has to impair the depth of learning of their material when they keep hopping around from the Dark Ages to Colonial America to Ancient Greece!
- Corrie Ten Boom. Can't say enough about this book. Each week we get more involved in the story, in the secret room, in understanding life in times of war. Amazing faith, incredible challenges to appreciate what we have, and riveting incidents to spark our thinking.
- Started Rebbecca of Sunnybrook Farm. New books always take a few chapters to love the characters, but once we got acquainted and got comfortable, we have enjoyed the story. We loved when she "borrowed" the neighbor's baby. She had complained about all the babies back home, but realized that no babies was far worse than too many. I definitely agree.
- Bible time -- I realized that while I have made Bible time a priority in terms of time (it is always the first thing we do so it doesn't get missed), I have not made it a priority in my planning. I want my kids to love this time of day and interact more with it. So, this week I set a bit more of a routine and planned participation activities for the kids.
This year we are working through the fruits of the spirit and are currently on patience. I typed up the word on a paper and put 12 references on the page (one per reading child per day, except Friday). Each morning they would choose a verse to look up, read aloud, and write on a sheet what they learned about patience from that verse. These sheets get stuck to the door around the original picture and will serve as reminders in the weeks to come as we read and act out the life of Job.
To wrap up some other weeks, look here.