Friday, 29 January 2016

mid year wrap up and accountability 1/29/16

Around this time of the year I like to look back on where we started and where we need to go to see if I am falling behind on anything--I usually am! This gives me a chance to sum up all the kids have learned and help guide thru the next few months.

Math--Both kids are working on their respective Math U see book.  Fire drake is on Pre Algebra and MarioFan is working thru Epsilon.  ON target

History--This is the only subject the kids are doing together this year.  We started with the Civil War, worked thru the Transcontinental railroad, immigration, Industrial Revolution, and Women's suffrage movement.  Next we are going to look at how the West was Won, the destruction of the Plains Indians and the forming of the rest of the states in the mid west.  Hope to be at the beginning of WWI by June and for us to be working on learning (once again) about WWI through the summer.  ON target

Science--Firedrake is earning a high school credit working on Biology using the EO Wilson book which is free on iBooks.  Currently she is halfway thru book 2 and we want her to be completed book 3 by June.  Lab work is also included in this course  ON Target

MarioFan science took off in a completely different direction this year from what I posted I wanted us to do back in July!  Instead of working on cells and hereditary we spent time working on electricity and electrical engineering as he expressed an interest in this.  This month we are beginning to learn about Bridges and civil engineering and will be delving deep into this topic as well as completed many styles of bridges over the next few months!  OFF target from our original plan but ON target for what interests my son at this time:)

English--Firedrake is taking a high school Literature Class at a local coop and is doing excellent.  All aspects of English is covered in this class:)  ON Target
MarioFan has completed All about Spelling  book 5 (not sure if we will begin the final book 6 now or wait till this summer), working on growing with grammar book 6, using IEW to address writing and I am pulling various literature books out for him to read and complete either book reports , lap books or comprehension question.  ON Target

Art--Firedrake is taking a watercolor class at a local coop and MarioFan is taking an art appreciation class at a local coop  ON Target 

Drama--Both are taking this class at a coop  ON Target

PE--MarioFan is taking various sport class at a local place trying all kind of team sports out for 6 weeks, so far he has taken soccer, gym and basketball.  ON Target 
Firedrake was to take a Fencing class last term but broke her foot and had to withdrawal from the program.  Her foot has healed and we signed her up to take Fencing this term:)! OFF target due to broken foot but getting back on target this term:)

Piano--Both kids are taking private piano lesson locally  ONTarget 

Computer--MarioFan is taking a class at coop but I recently signed him up for Homeschool programming independent study which we are doing at home.  This is something he is very interested in so we thought we would try it out  ON Target 

Firedrake is not taking any computer classes this term  but if the Homeschool programming works for MarioFan that may be something she does over the summer months:)

Spanish--Firedrake is taking high school Spanish level 1 at coop and doing very well  ON target
MarioFan is taking intermediate Spanish at coop and also doing well  ON Target

Geography -- Firedrake put together a presentation on Nicaragua for her Spanish class as well as listened to 15 other presentations of Spanish speaking countries.
MarioFan did a presentation on Costa Rico for his Spanish class as well as listen to 8 other presentations of Spanish speaking countries.
This is the one area where we have not accomplished anything at home:(  Way behind on our target

As I look back and am pretty happy with where we are this year!  According to my schedule book we are at 120 school days and over 600 hours.  My state requires 1000 hours.  We should easily met this by end of May or early June.  We tend to school a much lifter load in the summer months:)

So how is your School year going!?!

Friday, 22 January 2016

Weekly Wrap UP 1/22/16

Happy Birthday to Firedrake who turned  14 years old this week!!!

She choose to go out for dinner at her favorite restaurant the Melting Pot

The stain glass lamp that I made for her birthday 

Look what we found feeding at our bird feeder-- a Pileated Woodpecker

We took a field trip to our favorite museum-- The City museum and met up with some friends.  We tried to hit this museum at least twice a year when we can get in for homeschool price of $5 which is much better than the normal $12 admission fee.

The hubs and I had a date night.  We participated in another Trivia night for a charity event.  Trivia nights are very big here in the St. Louis area!  Our team tied for second place, but after the tie breaker we came in third.   YAY team!

These were the topics for the night--we scored 91 which means we missed only 9 questions at of 100. 

Firedrake worked on a Biology lab with her Dad measuring how much glucose is released from certain foods---basically she measured farts:) as she put it!
First they smashed up some beans pills 

Got they vegetable samples-- they used Kidney beans, black beans and broccoli as they samples

Mixed up the individual veggies into s slurry juice and sieved it with cheese cloth 

measured the level of glucose 

and recorded their results 

My husband has been doing a great job with teaching Firedrake biology this year and I know it has been adding to his work load.  I really do appreciate him for taking on this responsibly as it frees me up to do other things for the kids school.

MarioFan is continuing to work on engineering and bridges.  We have spent the week looking at bridge structures and why certain ones are better than others. First we looked at which pillar would be stronger, columns versus a more triangular shape and why.

We used a single sheet of paper to construct each pillar  and then places books on top to see which would hold up better.   

We tried the same again for the triangular pillars.  Would you believe I forgot to count the number of books each took.  But it was impressive--the triangle pillar won out by only one book

Next we read that Beam bridges are the simplest and earliest form of bridges.  Anything could make a beam bridge but the one draw back is they can only be used for short distances and we read why and did a simple experiment to look at the disadvantages of a beam bridge.

Taking a card stock and placing it over two books we tried to balance one of MarioFans light weight figures

It wasn't successful and we discuss previous weeks strategies again showing how weak this bridge system can be.

Next we read that Arch bridges were also one of the oldest bridge systems around and how the Romans constructed them.  We again did an experiment to demonstrated the pros and cons of this bridge.

An arch bridge with no abutments 

and the results.

Next we placed the arch bridge between two strong abutments (heavy books)

Success!  We discuss the forces that were placed on this bridge and why it worked!

 Next week MarioFan will be building his own arch bridges, one out of plaster and one with his K'nex kits.  We are continuing to look at the vocabulary, forces, pro and cons of the arch bridge and the history of this type of bridge!

Friday, 15 January 2016

Weekly Wrap UP 1-15-16

We have been keeping busy and getting back  into our routine which always takes a little adjustment for the kids and I.  Coop classes have resumed along with all the kids extra curricular activities!
Both kids have earned A's in all their classes so far this year. While over the Christmas break I started to plan out our History lesson (both kids still work together on this area) and plan out science for MarioFan.  Firedrake is doing HS biology with her DAD.

I decided that I wanted to continue working towards the end of the Industrial revolution and continue with another important issue that was brewing during this era, Women's rights.  While it started in the 1830's it wasn't fully amended into the constitution until 1920.  We have been working on the Industrial revolution and the changes in city living for several months.  After this we will go back in time to concentrate on the way of life for the settlers and the eradication of the plains Indians.  Then we will learn about WWI again (we touched on this several years ago)

Here are just a few of the books we will be reading over this next few weeks.  We will also be watching the movie Suffragette and Iron Jaw Angels. In addition to learning why women wanted to vote we will be looking at the reasons many (including other women) opposed this view.

For MarioFan's science lesson he seems to have an interest in engineering so I thought he might like to work on learning more about bridges!    I am still waiting on a few resources that I have ordered to come in.

Here are some of the resources we will be looking at for the next few months.

In order to introduce the topic to MarioFan I had hime build a few bridges and a look at why they may have failed succeeded.  We haven't done any reading yet so he will discover the answers to why some of these models worked and why others did not work very soon.  This was just my way of introducing the topic and sparking the interest! And as you can see by his face his was very interested in this process!
We used an envelop and placed it over 2 toilet paper roll and added pennies to see how many it would take to make the bridge collapse,  by the 5th penny the bridge was already compromised and by the 10th penny it collapsed completely

Next we took five envelops and stacked them together and did the same thing.  by the 34th penny the bridge was compromised and by the 44th penny the bridged collapsed!

Next we designed this bridge and went to work to see if it was any more sturdier than the earlier bridges.

And it was!  It held all the pennies we had which was 122 pennies with no noticeable changes in the bridge.

Next we took a single envelop and folded it to make a channel and placed it on top of the columns 

We added all 122 pennies and it held up:)

Lastly we tried the arch bridge and it managed to make it work with about 60 pennies.  This one should have done better so I chalk it up to building error (mine)  We will be taking a closer look at Bridge arches very soon
Over the next week we will be discussing what made some of our bridges work and why they may have failed!  We will also be learning the parts of bridges and discussing forces, tensions and other vocabulary words relating to bridge engineering.  If you know of any resources and want to share please link them below:)

Friday, 8 January 2016

Weekly Wrap UP 1-8-16

We had an interesting Christmas break and now are fully back into our crazy homeschooling schedule! We had a little bit of excitement when a beautiful Cardinal flew into our garage....
It appeared he didn't know how to get out!  I opened both garage doors and put out a little bread on the ground and after about 30 minutes the finally flew outside.  

Also our little town experienced major flooding just a couple of days after Christmas.  Here of some pictures of what our town looked like.  I have never seen anything like this before.  As fast as the water rose it also fell but not before causing major damages to businesses and family homes.  We got out to take pictures and to help with the sand bagging.

This is the sports field and the building at the local high school.  The water did flood the major school building but it wasn't nearly as bad as the sport fields.  
Here we watched as a local businessman who was trapped in his truck with the rising flood waters.  The fire department was able to rescue him and his truck

We also witness a family being evacuated from their home as the water rose 

Several communities in our area were literally trapped as the road into and out of their communities were flooded.  Several Fire departments sent in fire trucks  and personnel into the areas to remain in the community in case of emergencies during the flood.  

Our small but thriving business district was ruined.  It was heartbreaking to see all the business that were flooded, including our favorite restaurant that has just expanded:( To give you a better feel for the depth of the water we saw a large dumpster floating down the main street at one point.

We watched a newscaster broadcast our plight on the national news 

News crew reported that had to move further up the street to avoid flood water at least 3 times in the time they were there 

A emergency call out was sent to the local residents to help with sand bagging.  My husband and I went up to see what we could do.  

Those sand bags are heavier than you think so after only lifting a few I was reassigned to just tying the bags.

My husband shoveled and loaded bags almost non stop for two hours.  He was really sore for several days after this.  It was nice to see the community pull together to help out homes and business trying to avoid flood waters.

Another local mall that was flooded this was at full flood levels 

This is the same shopping center the very next day and already the water levels were going down

Our area was completely closed off from all majors highways so we were pretty much housebound during the Christmas holiday.  We took the kids out the following day so they could see the damage, already the water levels were significantly decreased.

While on a break I started working downstairs in my glass studio.  I have several projects I wanted to complete.  I will have to find some free weekend to complete them but I should only need to put in a few more hours and both will be done this month.
I am making a flat panel lamp for my daughter birthday that is coming up this month

Just have to put the base cap on and patina it and it should be done.  My daughter chose the colors.  Now my husband wants one for his office:)

I also started working on another larger panel to hang in the second large living room window.  One window already has a viking ship that I did over the summer.  I have already picked out a project to put in my master bathroom window., not sure when I will be able to start that project:)  I do enjoy working on my projects again.

 MarioFan has completed his unit study on electricity here is is working on finishing our Alexander Graham Bell  project making intercoms similar to the earlier phones.

He was very happy when it worked and had great fun with it!
In our history lessons:
We also finished up our study on immigration, living and working conditions of the newcomers as well as child labour laws.  I had the kids complete a Mock Citizen test and then we took a look at sample questions from the real test we found here 

While I told myself I would do no school planning over the break I did plan out our history and science lessons for the upcoming months.  I will post more about those next week.  Looking at my schedule book the kids have already reached their 100 days for this year.  My state requires 1000 hours and we are already over half way done.  Soon I will do a post for our half year wrap up which helps me stay accountable to what we have accomplished:)