Sunday, January 22, 2017

Lungs, Muscles, and fish guts

You may have noticed that I haven't posted any science photos lately. Umm that's because we haven't done much lately.

Before Christmas we actually had a club where we learned about lungs. Complete with a model.


And this week I've committed myself to a science club every week I am home from now on! (That is-until we go to Vanuatu in a month and a half.) We started out this commitment with a club about muscles. I made a pretty cool model, but it got broken in the first demonstration. Oops. but we had fun with other things and I know learning was happening.

I knew I wanted a tendon model, and I showed Maxwell the youtube, and while I was teaching math to his brothers, Maxwell made three models! So fun that I can count on him. He made them so well that they could grab things nicely.



We even had an activity where they practiced fine motor skills with muscles that weren't used to it.


And this Saturday we went and fed the seals fish guts at Fisherman's Wharf and went to Chinatown.


As far as math goes, Maxwell is now able to get the areas of almost any shape. including ones with curves!



But I must say, Rightstart is not perfect (at least in the first edition) These are the things they need to focus more on:

*Order of Operations
*Converting fractions into percents and decimals
*Balancing Equations
*The Distributive Property
*short cuts of multiplication and division with multiples of 10
*multiplying and dividing decimals.

These seem so important! how did they do such a bad job of covering them? but I guess these topics will come in Jr high math ?!? Sometimes they go over it lightly or just expect you to know it. We revert to the youtube channel "Mathantics" when that happens.

Hyrum is now able to understand written numbers in the millions.

and Daniel is working on fractions inside equilateral triangles that he makes himself.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Catching Up

I "Let it Go" quite a bit, and with Christmas and my birthday....well... be grateful I'm writing now...not sure who should be grateful....my Westwind teacher? Hi John.


I've been trying to figure out my homeschool life. Trying to find to joy in motherhood. One day we went on a hike with my sister in law and then we went to her house and painted, and I felt like it was a perfect day. I wanted homeschool to feel more like that.




I think trying to do Seeing Stars threw me over the edge. It was frustrating and not working. I probably didn't give it a fair chance, and I paid a lot of money for the materials and training. So I feel torn. Should I do it for all the wrong reasons, or stop for all the right ones?

I stopped. In fact, I hired my niece, Amalie, to teach Barton to Hyrum and Daniel at the same time (they are at the same level now...did I mention that?) And that has seemed to overcome the burnt out-ness or maybe it was just MY burnt out-ness that it helped. Whatever the case, she is a God send.

I feel better about reading (perhaps this is because I'm not teaching the bulk of it anymore.) I'm having Hyrum and Daniel reading the post-level-three chapter books to me, and they are doing great and..........drum roll please........

MAXWELL IS READING CHAPTER BOOKS FOR FUN!!!!!!!!!!


Do you know how I longed and prayed and cried to be able to post this photo! He didn't know I took it. It was not posed. This is the book "Bunnicula." I read the first chapter to him and gave him a wink and handed the book over and he stayed up until midnight reading and didn't want to do anything but READ all the next day!!

There have been a handful of books other then this one that he's read since this photo, and I don't even have to read him the first chapter anymore. He's really liked the "Littles" by Petersen. He can go through those quite quickly and easily.

DYSLEXIA GOOD DAY!!!! I just keep thinking of this post: Bad bad Dyslexic Day

Where I wrote this "I'm still going through the sludge. Dreaming of the day that I will see Maxwell with a chapter book that he picked up on his own account. Devouring it because he loves it. Then I take a photo. I post it on this blog, and I say how wonderful it is that he's reading. How all those countless hours are worth it. And how now I know Hyrum will be okay too. All I have to do is persevere and he will have his own photo too."

You guys!!! THIS IS THAT POST!!!!

I'm still insecure and a worry wart, but Maxwell will be okay.


Anyway, this post is already too long so let's go through history really fast...

We learned about early immigration/Ellis island and we made Lady Liberty crowns as our activity. It was fun because we did this on a boat heading to USA!


Okay so I have to tell you about this---I had read to my kids in the ferry line-up for awhile (we got there really early) and when we actually got on the ferry I read another quick story or two and then quickly talked about modern immigration issues.

I thought I was rather nonpartisan in my speech, but I did include talking about the prophet and Pres. Uchtdorf.

While we were making crowns, my sister in law (who was grateful I was teaching her children) was questioned by an older couple close to us:

Them "Who do all of these many children belong to?"

Kirsten "Oh, some are mine, and some are hers."

Them "She's homeschooling isn't she."

Kirsten (thinking they were impressed as it was a Saturday and instead of shoving devices in their hands were being educated) proudly said "Why yes, she is."

Them "oh yes, well, I don't approve of any of this."

and huffed off!!!!

Cracked me up! Yes immigration is a very sensitive issue right now, but guaranteed your kids' public school teacher has her own agenda! And you don't even know what that agenda is!!!


On the return ferry we learned about the Wright Brothers, and no one huffed about that!


We've also learned about Henry Ford and the assembly line.  We made assembly line car cookies. We had a bottleneck in our assembly line, but they were tasty in the end!



We also learned about Charles Lindbergh (I emphasized that he was Lucky Lindy) and Amelia Earhart and made lots of paper airplanes from that awesome World Record Paper Airplane book.


We learned about the early movies. We read The Invention of HUGO Cabret and watched Steam Boat Willy and they made their own stop animation movies.

They did this one 100% on their own:

video

And this one Hyrum did 100% on his own, and I thought it was so cute that he chose the good Samaritan!

video

And we learned about Women's Suffrage.....actually, I was gone ALL day and my niece Maria actually taught them and helped them make picket signs. I had left the instructions to make "Votes for women" signs and they did "vote for women" signs....one letter can sure change the meaning!


Maxwell had read "Make it Fair" which is a chapter book about Canadian Women's suffrage ON HIS OWN because of Grandma's class.

And for History's records, this book series looks really good:



And we learned about lighthouse history a bit yesterday when we visited a lighthouse:



If you look very closely you can see OTTERS in that lighthouse photo!

And since it was Christmas, we had Christmas activities. My sister Danette, the best sister anyone could ever have-who actually reads her sister's long winded blog posts ;) -invited us over to make our own gingerbread houses-


And invited to see the Gingerbread house she made...that was in a contest that may have been a little more impressive than ours-


My parents had come for Christmas, and my Dad loved the ceramics they had made for him:


And my mom loved spending time with the kids including going to the aquarium-


And my incredible sister took us to Butchart Gardens, and although the kids didn't go, I thought I would include this photo because it's just too cool:


And my boys were in the church's nativity and we had fun with TONS of family.



And for Christmas, the boys got their very own 3D printer. They had loved Papas and helped make a 3D settlers of Catan game.



Now they make their own 3D creations:


But after all the gifts, all they really wanted were the boxes they came in!




So I haven't mentioned math-well, I was totally caught up before we had Christmas break, but now I'm a few lessons behind- I blame that whole "Let it Go" thing- anyway, it will be easy to catch up because I have help from Amalie with reading, so I have more mental ability.

In math, Daniel is a year ahead of his grade at least, but he still has Dyslexic quirks that show up once in awhile. For instance, he has been able to tell time forever, but we were trying to talk about concepts like "five minutes before the hour" and it was like I was dealing with a different Daniel. He had no capabilities to do this. "Before and after" being indicated by going left or right on a round clock? One of the hardest things for a dyslexic mind.

But good news: He's doing perimeters like a pro----don't you think that should be a harder concept?----not to dyslexics!!



Hyrum's finally gone through his times tables chart for this year. He completed it last year, but we needed to do it again this year. He's excited for his date to celebrate. Now I'm going to have Daniel do it!



And Maxwell has been doing very advanced things. He knows all about Pi, tangents to circles, bisecting angles, perpendicular bisectors, angles in arcs, and much more.

WHEW! I'm caught up!