Sunday, December 29, 2013

Jamaica, Costa Rica, Peru, and a few other countries.

It's the Christmas season, but that doesn't mean that we haven't done anything around here.

We learned about Jamaica and made rasta bracelets as our activity.

We learned about Costa Rica and made worry dolls as our activity.

We learned about Peru and made god's eyes. (My nieces actually taught this to my kids---gotta love family.)

We learned about Panama and made bird molas.

And we learned about a couple other countries without doing any activity.

Notice how the pictures I have are of Maxwell? Yah, my other boys gather round for the reading and sometimes dabble in the activity, but Maxwell is the one who is REALLY interested in crafts. I practically had to bribe and threaten Hyrum to make the bird mola pictured above (top right,) yet Maxwell could do it all day (Maxwell's is bottom left.) Not sure if that's how it will always be, and I don't often force Hyrum to take part, but it is interesting how different all my boys are.

We also had our monthly geography fireside today instead of the first sunday of the month because our speaker thought he had to go back to school by next sunday. Our speaker was Denny Burton, and he did an awesome job of teaching us all about the Netherlands and Belgium.  If you've ever seen The Best Two Years, that was exactly what Elder Burton experienced.

It was really funny, he showed us a picture of his first area which was the same city as the movie-complete with the same people who were members who had parts in the movie. There were the four missionaries who shared an apartment. One was about to go home, one was girl crazy, one was a bit up tight, and one was an enthusiastic new guy all full of hope and nerdy. (Elder Burton was the new guy) They even LOOKED like the actors in the movie! It was awesome to have him come and talk to us.

But it was, of course, CHRISTMAS! And so we had a few Christmas activities that were mandated by the kids, not me. Seriously, these kids do crafts! Even Hyrum--when it's something HE came up with. Look at Daniel's Santa:

And they INSISTED on a gingerbread making extravaganza---LOOK AT ALL THAT CANDY!

And I doubt I'll get much of anything done next week except math. I HAVE to do math because I don't want to get too behind in anything. I want to be DONE on time for summer since-----

Yep, we're going to have one more pupil for next year!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Snow, A synagogue, Guatemala, Cuba, and Play tryouts

This week we did a lot, but we didn't do a lot. Whatever. Welcome to my homeschool.

On Monday and Tuesday, the rest of our immediate world had snow days. Homeschooler's don't have snow days. I did use this as an excuse to not do science club though. In fact, science, robotics, and co-op are on hold until after the holidays (yippee!)

We went to a Jewish synagogue this week. We were going to Calgary anyway, and I was reading cub badge "world religions" requirements, and I got inspired to find the fanciest synagogue I could and get an appointment for a tour.

We ended up going to Beth Tzedec Conservative congregation. It was a really awesome experience. The Rabi was super nice and informative, and we got to ask questions I've always wanted to ask a jew.  It was amazing how many things are affected by not having a temple "we don't do sacrifices because we don't have a temple" "we don't have priests because we don't have a temple" "we don't have tithing because we don't have a temple" and when you talk about rebuilding the temple "That is a BIG if. The Messiah would have to come before that is possible." So fascinating!

Anyway, the boys all had to wear yamakas into the synagogue, and we got to see handmade scrolls that were 100s of years old.

If you live in this area, I totally suggest doing this.

Moving on, we studied Guatemala this week.  We made banderitos as our activity. All the boys loved this.

We also studied Cuba. We made little "Tody" birds as our activity. Only Maxwell was really interested in this out of my boys, but hey, we had a million cousins over. Cousins are more interesting than crafts.

Lastly, we had our Alternate school Christmas party. Can I just say once again that I am one blessed homeschool mom to have so many resources and people who support me? Anyway, as part of this party, they had tryouts for the two plays they are doing this spring. The teenagers are doing Shakespeare, and the littles are doing Peter Pan. I hardly ever check one of my email accounts, so I got this notice late, so my boys didn't have too much time to prepare (one day) but I think they were pretty cute anyway:

Hyrum got the part of Michael, and Maxwell's a lost boy. I have to admit, I'm a bit excited about them being in a play. I sure loved being in them when I was little.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Judaism, Mexico, and the last Astronomy lesson

This week's science really stank. There were hardly any experiment suggestions. We finished learning about the rotation of the earth. We focused on the foucault pendulum. We made our own mini version, which was a pendulum in a jar on a turn table. Needless to say, the pendulum did not care about the turn table.

We also made globes from flat paper to show that the earth is definitely not flat and maps are wrong (we already did this as a family for geography with an orange peel, but whatever.)

For geography we learned about Judaism. It was fun to talk about their "word of wisdom" and talk about what exactly is kosher. We talked about Hanukkah and we made dreidels and played the game with them and then we even had fry bread for dinner since apparently they eat fried food as part of Hanukkah.

We finished our random songs:

We also started learning about specific countries. I think I'm going to like geography from now on. When learning about countries, I don't really care if they remember specific details about each country. It's more of cultural literacy that I'm after. So showing them lots of photos, learning a few facts, but then reading children books from that country (which seem to be easy to find for the few countries I have planned in the next few weeks) gives them tastes of how everyone's different, and everyone's interesting and of worth.

Mexico was our first country. We made a pinata. Maxwell made this 90% on his own, and I think it's our best pinata that we've ever made:

The coolest part of our week though, was our first GEOGRAPHY FIRESIDE! Whooo Hooo, I actually organized it! I had this awesome lady from Mexico come. She was perfect. I've never seen that group of kids be so respectful, and I think we've all learned a lot.

You know how last week I was saying how we had to move school to the counter because William was taking over the table top? Well now nothing is sacred. He climbs on top of the counter. He plays in the sink, he gets in the cupboards, He takes everything out of the school bins. He is EVERYWHERE! We've already had to be DEVOUT at keeping the bathroom door shut at ALL times since he LOVES water (the only water he could reach was the toilet's water btw) and then we had to keep the office door closed because he sits on the computer and climbs up the desks. He finds the ipad and claims it. (The ipad is NOT a toy and NOT for kids in our house.)

I feel like I need a door for my life so I can keep William from it! Holy cow that kid is BUSY!!!! here's William in the sink when it was on purpose, but he's in here at any time of day in his clothes when it's NOT on purpose, and a photo of him with my lap top. It was on my desk closed and is now on his lap open. Yah, uhhu.

But he really is cute, and life is good.