Friday, 25 September 2015

Weekly wrap up 9-25-15

This week we have been plugging along nicely in all areas even adding in a new sport for each child,  much to the chagrin of my eldest who says she is not interested in any sport: wanting only to read, write and draw.

Really pleased that both kids seem to be able to do their school work while in between classes at our coop for the most part:)  It is not perfect but we are working on it!  

We took a field trip to the City museum which is a favorite of the kids and we try to go one or two times a year as it is a great place to run around.  Kids love all the climbing and activities 

So many places for the kids to hide and explore

Since it was a pleasant day the roof top play zone was open and the kids loved the roof top ferris wheel!

and there is access to a ten story slide that they went down forgetting that they then needed to climb back up ten flights of stairs LOL

MarioFan is still happily working on electricity and we pulled out a electronic scooter kit for him to assemble
This kit was a bit of a pain as it didn't work as planned so I had to jimmy the scooter with larger washers from my husband told box to get it to actually work and by that time MarioFan lost interest, sigh, not a great project in the end...oh well I tried

Firedrake working on her science labs and after a month of seeds being in either fresh water or salt water looking at her results.  We were surprised to see that some seeds did sprout in both types of water.  Now they are planted and we are waiting to see if they really grow.
 MarioFan is began taking soccer lesson this week but I forgot to take a picture:(

Firedrake is taking fencing lessons through the local parks and rec.  My husband did fencing in high school and college and is hoping this is an activity she will enjoy and they can do together...honestly I am not holding my breathe for that to happen.  While she participated she made it quite clear that she was doing so under protest:(  Right now the kids are using foam swords for safety but soon they will be using the real equipment

After class we got to see how fencing looks using the equipment.  We are hoping that she will give this sport a honest try as she really does need to get in some exercise of some type...the hard part is finding what her passion is:(  
My husband has been away all week and returns home today so it will be nice to be all together again.  Next week we are going to a local Spanish festival and to Jefferson Baracks for a field trip on the Civil War in Mo.  

Friday, 18 September 2015

Weekly Wrap Up 9-18-15

Another busy week for the family, but this time my husband and I were able to sneak away for a date!  The kids also had some field trips on top of the weekly coop classes and work at home.  Our schedule is pretty crazy right now trying to fit everything in!

We went to  Korean restaurant.  Our first time trying this cuisine and we both liked it a lot.  We will be going back again and maybe even take the kiddos;)
This week I had scheduled a trip to a TV station for our local field trip coop.  It was pretty neat.  Fire drake opted to stay home as she had lots of coop homework and was worried she wouldn't be able to get it done.  I am please to see her taking her school assignments more seriously and hope that she will be able to balance her time better as the year progresses, but I am allowing her to make decisions on what she thinks she can manage in her week.

MarioFan was very excited to see in progress the weather report and see how the free screen works!

after the live broadcast he got to sit in the broadcasters chair.  I was very surprised to  find out their is no camera men in the studio, it is all done automatically these days!

The activity we all looked forward to the most was attending an IEW workshop locally!  We have been using this program for three years and we all love it!  So when I heard that Andrew Pudewa was coming I signed the kids each up for a 2.5 hour seminar.  

MarioFan did a review course on story sequence skills and I sat  in on it as I wanted to see if I was missing anything with how I teach the kids.  

Firedrake attended a different seminar looking at how to do research papers as that is a topic we have began to work on at home.  I was so please to see after class she had taken 4 pages of notes (an area we have been working on) and she was very excited about her paper and said Mr. Pudewa said she was very talented.  She was smiling ear to ear after that compliment!  Writing is her passion at the moment along with art!

I finally captured a moment of my Husband and daughter working on Biology together and Firedrake completed her first Test which was written by my Husband.  Boy, he is a tough teacher!  Firedrake did well over all and he was pleased with the results of the first test!  I have never given the kids tests in our homeschool so Firedrake is having to learn how to study and prepare for a test, which is a process all on to itself I am discovering.  I have no doubt she will get there!

MarioFan is learning about electricity and this week we work on understanding the difference between parallel and series circuits.  First we did a few with our snap circuits

Then I brought out our new electric circuit board that is more real life like.  It took a bit to figure it out

But then he had success with it ands so happy!
In History this week and for the next several weeks we are watching Ken Burns Civil war documentaries.  MarioFan finds them a bit dry and does lose interest about mid way thru but we are encouraging him to focus!

IN addition to the documentary we are reading these books to help cement the kids understanding of the many battles  and political agenda of the war.  

The second week of coop classes went well and the kids are managing the new schedule with little resisitance:).  Next week we add in Fencing and Soccer lesson into the mix!

Have a great week!

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Weekly Wrap UP 9-04 and 9-11

I missed typing up our weekly wrap up last week so I am putting it together with this week's wrap up. We have been so busy that writing a blog more than once a week is just getting too difficult for me.  Even my weekends are filling up:) and if there is any down time I am resting. So for the time being I have decided to just try to put our our weekly wrap ups until further notice.

So last week activities included:
My husband had another Birthday!  Red Velvet cake, his favorite!  I made him crab cakes for his birthday dinner which is another favorite!

Mario Fan worked on building a log cabin since we are studying Abraham Lincoln

HIs Finished project.  My daughter, Firedrake opted out of this activity and since we are requiring her to do more high school level work she wrote an essay on the reason for why she felt the Civil War began.  My husband and I were really please with her effort!

MarioFan is learning about static electricity and did several experiments  

Picking up pieces of paper with static electricity

He was super excited to see water move with static electricity although that is hard to see in this picture

 Firedrake is continuing to work with her Dad on her Biology and doing really well.  She is getting ready to take her first test!  I need to get a picture of the two of them working together!

For the this week's wrap up we had plenty to do with several field trips scheduled.
We took a took of Pilot Knob Civil War battle ground in MO.

They had a little museum there so we learned about the battle 

Saw the location where U. Grant received notification that he had been promoted to B. General
 On what seem like the hottest day of the year we attended a Japanese Festival at the botanical gardens!
 they had a bonsai exhibit--I love bonsai!

Japanese flower arranging

Saw Shrines and learned a little about the Japanese culture. 

Took a guided tour though the Japanese garden to learn about the way a Japanese garden is laid out.

Watched a sumo wrestling match!

Started our first day of Homeschooling classes!  
Attended a baseball game and while it was raining on and off all night, we luckily had seats under cover so stayed dried!  We only stayed still the fifth inning as by that time our team was losing 6 to 0:( and we all had things to do in the morning!  Firedrake opted to not to go since she isn't much of a baseball fan.

Today we are attending IEW seminar's and meeting the man behind the videos we love so much and that we have been using for the last 3 years for our writing curriculum.  I will post about that next week:)

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Lincoln's Museum

Continuing our learning about President Lincoln and his life we spent some time at the Licoln museum in Springfield, Illinois a few weeks ago.   Currently the children are reading some books, looking at videos and getting a better understanding on who was this great man.

Here are just a few of the books on our bookshelf that we are looking at!
While at the museum we got to see a little about about each section of Lincoln's life
Lincoln was raised in a one room log cabin and rarely went to school.  

He tried to run a store but it was unsuccessful

Met and fell in Love with Mary Todd and despite the stories their marriage was not always rosy due to both having depressive tendencies.

Lincoln often took his boys to his office and it was known the boys were a bit wild and often cause hi jinx with the Lincoln's staff...Mr. Lincoln was a very lenient parent

Lincoln became famous for the debates he had with Steven Douglas while running for the Senate a race he lost!  But these debates helped him get the nominations for the republicans to run for President

Mary Todd was not well liked in the Washington circles and was often criticized for her extravagant spending during the war!

Walking through the hallway of the political cartoons from this era was eye opening...unfortunately not unlike the many things said today about our current kids were shocked at the racist and down right cruel cartoons

The death of their son Tad while in the White House  traumatized both Mrs and Mr. Lincoln

Mrs Lincoln in mourning which some say she never got over

The war cabinet was often a contentious bunch.  While Lincoln is credited with freeing the slaves , the proclamation of emancipation actually freed not a single slave and was not issued until 2 years into the war.  Lincoln is known to have said if he could keep the union together without freeing a single slave he would do it.  Lincoln's view on the intelligence of the African American people was not high, believing they were unable to adequately take care of themselves.  

It was interesting to see the changes in Lincoln from the beginning of his first term of Presidency to the end of his term.  His face ages quite a bit

It has been reported Lincoln grow his beard after receiving a letter from a 11 year old girl telling him to grow his beard:)

For Lincolns second term he changed his Vice President to be Andrew Johnson as the Republicans felt that he was a Southern man who agreed with the Norths point of view and it would be help bring the two sides together.  Funnily enough Johnson was then impeach by congress because it was felt he was hard enough on the South after the war.

Attending the fatal performance just days after Lee's surrender.  Lincoln was not alive for the Formal end of the war.

Lincoln lying in state.  He was the first President to die in office by murder and it was a shock to the country.  It was reported that Mary Todd was unconsolable and had to be removed from his death bed.
After returning to Springfield Mary Todd had a difficult time.  It was said she spent incredible amounts of money and her oldest son finally tried to get her committed.  She never fully forgave her son of that injustice!