Saturday, August 23, 2014

Weekly Highlights: Lots of Field Trips! Tellus Science Center,Booth Western Art Museum, High Museum of Art and a Visit with Family

We completed Week 6 in My Father's World Creation to the Greeks and managed to squeeze in some great Atlanta area field trips, too

Here are some highlights from our week:

Since we knew we would be going out of town for a few days, I assigned homework last weekend - gasp.

We learned about Job, mapped Abraham's journeys, learned more about Abraham, Sari, Lot, Hagar and Ishmael and read more about Sumer, Ur, and the Indus River Valley. The kids also completed their other core subjects.

We finished up Pyramids (Learn About Series), the book we've been using for science for the past few weeks. We were supposed to grow crystals but decided to save that activity for next week when we will actually be home! We learned about modern pyramids which was great since we traveled into the big city of Atlanta - at night no less. Seeing the bright lights of the city exaggerated the building shapes. It was awesome! We found lots of examples of modern pyramids and continued our discussion on the strength of pyramids and how in earthquake prone zones a pyramid structure is ideal.

 (We had the privilege of staying in Atlanta at the W Atlanta - Midtown at for a few days while Daddy attended a convention.)

Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, GA

We've been wanting to visit this museum for a long time now. Poke around on the website and you will, too! We stayed for four hours and still didn't see all the fabulous exhibits - so we bought a membership! We plan to go back to a few of the special educational days they host.

The kids had so much fun panning for gems. Each child got a small bag to collect their stones in to take home!

This is where the kids spent the majority of there time: Fossil Dig. The dig sites are filled with REAL fossils and lots of them! Jonathan had the hardest time picking just one to take home

He decided on an ammonite, one of the oldest fossils in the dig area. Here he is comparing his to one on display. Is that not super cool?!

Who wants to see a mammoth and saber-tooth cat? We sure do! And we got our chance at Tellus. There are so many cool dinosaur fossils there!  There is a huge megalodon mouth, full T - Rex, pteranadons, dino eggs and so much more. Dinosaur lovers will be in heaven.

We also saw two shows in the planetarium. One was a live astronomy show. We learned a plethora of information from the 35 ish minute show. It's digital, so the interactive features were amazing. I highly recommend seeing Tonight's Sky if you get a chance to go.

The second show we saw in the planetarium was a thrill ride. Totally just a fun activity that the kids loved! We rode futuristic amusement park rides around the ice rings of Saturn, on a moon of Jupiter, near our sun, and more. Caraline and I just weren't thrilled with the choice of lyrics to the music. They could've left the voice off and just let it be instrumental. The music was fabulous - but that is just our opinion.

Our next stop - The Booth Western Art Museum also in Cartersville.

This museum is amazing. We've only recently become aware of its existence. It is a gem for sure. If you are studying American history, this is a must see. If you have a horse lovers, like I do - this is a must. If you are interested in cowboys and Indians - this is a must. In fact, I've mentioned this before, but four of my great grandparents were pretty much full Creek. One was more European and the another had a lot of Native American blood, too. I'm not sure about the other two. So, we have a special interest in learning more about Native American culture.

The exhibits are beautifully displayed in this modern museum. Here are a few of our favorites from a couple of the galleries. If you decide to go, I encourage you mamas to find the painting "Wind Beneath Their Wings." It is one of my many favorites.

I often found the kids sitting and quietly examining the beautiful art work.

There is also an exhibit area with either a handwritten or signed letter from every single president. The presentation of each is beautiful. I heard a docent tell a group that teachers will give their students an hour and a half to explore this one room with instructions to read each letter and to pick one to write a paper on. What a great idea!

We loved this large painting with many of our presidents sitting together. My little ones picked out the portraits of Washington and Lincoln inside the painting and thought that was super neat (they noticed before I did!). Plus the idea of having presidents, who could've never meet each other, in the same painting and looking so real was truly awe inspiring.

There are a couple of stage coaches to explore too. We took special notice of the gas lantern. The Lamplighter audio drama we listened to last week, the Robber's Cave, spoke of lighting the lantern on the outside of the carriage. It was really cool to see this one. Once we walked over to the other side, we could see in the carriage since the door was open.

The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA

We love the High. We try to go at least four times a year. We only had a couple of hours to explore on this day. Big thunderstorms were quickly approaching and we wanted to get home before the storms.

There is a special program called Discovery Backpacks at the High. Inside the red backpacks you'll find three activities designed around three different pieces of art in the modern collection. I recommend each child borrowing the same color backpack so that they can each work on the same pieces of art together - on the same floor. I was impressed with the backpack activities and we truly enjoyed our experience - once we figured out how to find the art pieces. The Discovery Backpacks take about 45 minutes to complete.
After returning the backpacks, we toured the Dream Cars temporary exhibit once again and listened to the iPhone app  on Dream Cars.

Visit with Family

We spent the weekend with our north Alabama family. The grandparents have a chicken coup (thanks Cousin Taylor!) and the kids got to gather eggs each day. 

We enjoyed the local highschool Pep Rally and cheered on our favorite #42, Cousin Sam, at a jamboree game.

Cousin Taylor plays volleyball in the fall and she's always so good about practicing with Caraline and giving her pointers on the game. Caraline eats it up. We also got in lots of target practice, swimming, and frog and katydid catching, too.

So, our week was filled with museums and family and fun. =)

We are linking our Weekly Highlights with our friends at Homegrown Learners and Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Weekly Highlights: Carschooling Favorites, Pyramids and our Luna Moth Eggs Hatched!

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We've been learning about pyramids this week (week 5) in My Father's World - Creation to the Greeks. One of our activities involved sugar cubes! Daddy was watching us build our square base, step pyramids in the floor. He must have thought it looked like irresistible building fun ;-) because he joined us! He is always so good at joining in on our activities!

The kids and I continued using the book Pyramids for science. We learned about mummy preservation. (The really cool preservation experiment will have to wait until we are home for more a couple of days at time. I'll be sure to post!) To go along with our introduction to mummies, we read Tut's Mummy: Lost...and Found. We also learned a lot about the pyramids of Giza and theories on how they were built. We explored friction and how rollers can be used to our advantage and watched a Magic School Bus episode on forces. We learned what the pyramids and stars have in common (so cool!). Plus learned how to find north and south using two methods, the sun and a globe. 

The kids completed a notebooking page about how rocks were quarried in ancient Egypt, and we threw in some more geography with a current map of the Middle East for our notebook. Plus we located Memphis, Egypt's capitol, on our map. We also reviewed the Egyptian and Mesopotamian geography we've been learning for the past few weeks.

We watched a few Youtube videos on how the pyramids might have been built and read the chapter titled "Ancient Egypt" in The Mystery of History.

Here's an interesting theory on how water could've been used to build the pyramids:

We explored the internet linked pages of Ancient World and discovered lots of interesting sites about mummies and the pyramids, and learned even more by reading in Ancient Egypt (Make It Work! History).

God and the History of Art Volumes I and II
Here is one of the art activities from the week. After reading a paragraph about King Tut, instructions were given on how to create a maze. All three kids drew one (freehand - not with a ruler as suggested) with traps and dead ends. They then exchanged mazes with each other to work through.

We completed a lot more learning, but I'm not going to go through the rest of our core subjects, read alouds, music or Latin/Greek during this week's highlights. I'll try to catch up later.

Remember our Luna moth story from last week? Well, her eggs finally hatched!  I kept thinking, We know your Mama, little fellas. I couldn't help but tear up.  It reminds me so much of  one of my favorite childhood books, Charlotte's Web.

There are five larvae in this zoomed in picture and the eggs are visible, too.
Field Trip
The last days for peach pickin' are quickly approaching, so we loaded up and took one more trip out to the peach orchard. Daddy came along, too!
We picked 1/2 a bushel.

Box Turtle Rescue
While on our way home from church last Sunday, this little cutie was standing in the middle of the road - it was near our home. We turned around and saved her from the highway. After watching her play in the rain in our backyard and in the stream that forms during heavy rain there, the kids released her close to where she was found.

Girl box turtles have brownish orange eyes and boys have reddish orange eyes. This is definitely a little girl.
Jonathan had his first ever soccer evaluation for Upward. He is so excited about playing.

Visit to my hometown

On the drive down we carschooled. We listened to Lamplighter's the White Gypsy. It's a fabulous story. All of Lamplighter's audio dramas are amazing. Then watched lots of Magic School Bus episodes. On the way home we listened to another Lamplighter audio drama. This time we chose The Robber's Cave and then continued DVD episodes of Magic School Bus. Hands down,  two of our favorite carschooling items are Lamplighter Theater and The Magic School Bus!

I also took some of our MFW books and completed some history and science lessons while at my mom's.

More nature in Alabama
The kids found lots of tree frogs, tadpoles and toads!

 We went fishing with my brother and trail riding. Isn't this pond beautiful. It was the perfect spot for my brother and sister-in-law's wedding.

This is my grandparents' dog, Malley. She's always reminded me of an Egyptian because of her dark eyeliner on both eyes! She's such a pretty and sweet little girl!

We also did some target shooting with a rifle and bow and arrow at my brother's. Safety is always first and a review of the safety rules always precedes target lessons. We all shot bull's eyes!
My niece and I checking out the next target.

My grandmother cooked for the family two days in a row which meant I got to see lots and lots of family and boy did I ever eat too much! We didn't think my dad would be able to make it home while we were there, but he surprised us! We got to spend lots of time with my mom, brother, sister-in-law, and sweet little niece, and lots more family. It was so good to be home! We even toured a school bus.

We had a wonderful week of learning, exploring and....Jonathan learned to pronounce his L sound correctly. He used to say yizard, and yike, and rewey, etc. - but now he pronounces his L words perfectly. We also discovered his first loose tooth. He is certainly growing up...they all are...way too quickly.

I'm linking our highlights with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Weekly Wrap-Up

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Weekly Highlights: Sabbath, Ancient Egypt, Pyramids and a Luna Moth

 Celebrating the Sabbath:

This is our fourth week using My Father's World: Creation to the Greeks as our spine curriculum. We finally enjoyed our Sabbath meal from week one. We deviated from the proposed plan in Celebrating Biblical Feasts here and there, but overall we had a lovely and as true to a Messianic Sabbath experience as we could. As a couple of examples of change, our challah was store bought yeast rolls - not actually challah and definitely not homemade. Also, the covering was simply a handkerchief  that used to be my great-grandmothers. We chose to use this one and not make our own bread covering with the traditional Jewish symbols. We also used three candles instead of the traditional two. The first represents Creation, the second represents Christ our Redeemer, and the third - the one we added, Caraline decided would represent our family in Christ. We did, however, recite the beautiful prayers and blessings as described in our Celebrating Feasts book.

Fresh flowers, candles and our best dishes for celebrating the Sabbath

This was certainly our best meal of the week. Again, for this celebration we weren't going for kosher or even perfection, we were simply enjoying a beautiful feast with a few of our favorite foods and remembering the Creator of all things and our Redeemer.

Homemade peach ice cream for dessert!
Nature Study: let's veer off MFW for just a second because this is so cool!

Jonathan found a beautiful Luna moth last Sunday. We felt she was near the end of her short week long life because even when dark came, she still did not fly away. After observing her with delight for an extended amount of time, the kids carefully placed her in the tree fort for the night. There she would have cover but would be free to fly away as she wished.

We didn't know Luna moths were covered in so much fuzz. It would fly off the moth with the slightest breeze. I actually thought it was a tiny bit of dog fur I was seeing floating around, but upon closer examination it was from the Luna moth!

We know it's a female because the antennae are somewhat slender.
First thing the next morning Jonathan checked on Luna in the tree fort. She wasn't alone! She had acquired a husband. Jonathan noticed Mr. Luna fly off as he climbed into the tree fort, abandoning his new bride. We noticed she had somehow injured her wings during the night. They looked awful. There was no way she was going to be able to fly again. We placed her into a nice habitat with fresh sweet gum leaves and things from nature we thought a moth might enjoy. We planned to let her enjoy some peace and quiet during the daytime in the habitat and release her that same night into the tree fort again. To our surprise and delight, sometime during the day she began laying eggs in the habitat! We decided we should go ahead and release her onto a tree her babies could begin eating from once hatched - a sweet gum!
And look at these beautiful Luna moth eggs just waiting to hatch! (It takes about 10 days for the little caterpillars to emerge.) This is nature study at its finest. I just secretly hope little Jon didn't interrupt mom and dad too soon...
Back to MFW: Creation to the Greeks ~

Geography and History:
We learned about the uniting of Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt. The boys reenacted the story in their respective crowns that Caraline made just for their battle. The teacher's manual contained the script and all the information we needed to have a successful dramatization.

We also learned about farming along the Nile, Egyptian boats, and the geography of and surrounding the Nile. Did you know the Nile flows from south to north?

For science, we are using a book called Learn about Pyramids for the next couple of weeks as scheduled in MFW:CtoG manual.  Here's a picture of a fun activity we tried from the book. We made square base and triangular base pyramids and tested the strength of a cube against a pyramid. (Daddy even got in on the building action.) Do you know which is stronger?

We used an older version of the Build and Learn Geometry Kit to make our models. Ryan was the first to figure out how to make the square and triangle pyramids! He is definitely our engineer.
Carline created this neat three tiered pyramid headpiece.

For Bible, Caraline and Ryan are reviewing the order of Old Testament books of the Bible with Jonathan. He needs a refresher since last year was his first year trying to memorize them and Caraline and Ryan have it down pat. We also read the first few chapters in Matthew and Luke.

Read alouds:

On our visit to the library this week Caraline chose Old Yeller. She devoured it in two days, and then we watched the movie together. She has declared from now on she wants to read books about animals. Next on the list is Summer of the Monkeys. I can't decide if I want to make it a read aloud or just hand it off to Caraline for silent reading. I remember one of my teachers reading this book aloud to our upper elementary the class and I loved it! I know the boys will, too. If I don't read it aloud to them now, I will soon.

These are the books we are reading or listening to right now:

I Wonder Why Pyramids Were Built a good little book with lots of interesting facts presented in a style similar to Usborne.

The Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays we read all about Yom Kippur this week

Ships, Sailors and the Sea recommended in one of the Sonlight packages. It explains the history of boating and the types of boats from the beginning of history until modern times. We read up to ancient Egypt.

Boy Of The Pyramids: A Mystery Of Ancient Egypt This is a Simply Charlotte Mason book. We've read the first chapter and so far it's really good.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - This certainly isn't ancient Egypt, but we like to change it up a little. We are actually listening to the audiobook from the library. I have it in print form, too but the narrator is A.Mazing! I highly recommend the audio version. Caraline will occasionally read along in the book, too.

The Whispering Sphinx (Jonathan Park Radio Drama) We are loving Jonathan Park. This the first we've listened to and will defiantly be on the lookout for more.

Ancient Egyptians and Their Neighbors: An Activity Guide I pulled this one out this week for the kids to look through on their own. I'll read through bits and pieces of this with them over the next few weeks and pick a few activities to do. This looks like a really, really good book!

Ancient Egypt (Make It Work! History)  This book is scheduled in the MFW manual. It is interesting and has models for its pictures.

The Ancient Egyptians (History Opens Windows) We've read the first few pages of this book so far. The information is presented in an easy to understand format. 

The Golden Goblet We are just beginning this one. It comes highly recommended by many main stream curriculum guides and reading lists.

And we continued on in our math, Prima Latina, English from the Roots Up, Grammar, handwriting, creative writing and our study of Vivaldi. We've also added in God and The History of Art Volume I  this week (thanks Amanda!). We caught up to the eighth lesson to get on schedule with the MFW manual and managed an afternoon of swimming with friends.

So that's a little peek into our homeschool for this week. =)

We are linking up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers' Weekly Wrap-Up.

Weekly Wrap-Up

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