Friday, 28 April 2017

Weekly wrap up 4/28/17 Telephone museum field trip

I got together with a friend, we only see each other occasionally as our schedules are so busy.  We both had a free Sunday so we decided to spend the day together.  We decided to visit a new museum that just opened in our area.  I will definitely be going back and taking the kids soon.

there was a lovely docent who showed us around and pointed out all the really neat things about the history of phones.  Honestly I was learning so much.

They had a model of the switchboard and showed how it worked when you dialed your phone number.

It was so cute watching two young children trying to figure out how to dial an older phone.  It took several tries and the grown up were trying so hard not to laugh out loud.  Man I felt old!!!

Also learned how the switch board operators had to listen to the sound of the coins drop to make sure the right amount was deposited. when a quarter is dropped it hits a bells that makes a low sound, a dime makes a medium sound and the nickel makes the highest pitch sound.  I can't imagine listening to that all day, oh my!
 We also learned that the original switchboard operators were men but later changed to women as it seems the men were often rude to customers on the phone and did not always manage the heavy call volume as well as women did.  HAHA
Next we saw the St Louis traveling switchboard that was used when the presidents was in town.  It was a secure line.  This system was used by Nixon, Ford and Carter.

the last room were filled with novelty phones throughout the decades.  It was amazing.  Some I had seen as a child but others were new to me!

There is so much more to report on this museum but I will save it for when we visit again but with my children.  I know they will love seeing all the funny looking phones. I am forward to arranging a field trip to this museum next year for our local coop!

MarioFan has been looking at fungi in our science book and we looked more closely at mushrooms and did an experiment together.

Learning about fungi

the cap of the mushroom is the fruiting body

We did a yeast experiment with salt and sugar seeing which one yeast feeds off of.

added yeast and either salt or sugar to a bottle and shook it up

added a balloon and then took some measurements 

we saw early on the yeast likes sugar as the balloons filled quickly.

measuring our results.

we didn't get quite the reaction the book shows (we rarely do) but we still got results that was needed.  Whew:)

Firedrake completed a drawing in her art class and is coming along very nicely in portrait drawings.  She has in the past struggled with this.  Here is a drawing she completed using the color photo as her guide.  I was very impressed (but I am her mother:))

Firedrake love digital art and plans to turn these two art projects in for the annual coop art show which is held next week!!
That is our week in a nutshell.  Keeping very busy!!

Friday, 21 April 2017

Weekly Wrap UP 4/21/17

Book club activities for Westing Game have been going well and the boys are enjoying trying to figure out the mystery.  We introduced the boys to the book by having them play the game clue and build an apartment building as this is where the characters live.  I found some character cards free on the web and the boys are keeping a detective journal on each character.

Since this book is a mystery we thought we would introduce the book by first playing the game clue.  Neither boy had ever played the game before 

I found free character cards online and printed them off so the boys could keep track of the 16 characters of the book and on the back of each card we wrote down clues and other information to help figure out who the murder was.  

SInce most of the activity occurs in an apartment building we had the boys construct an apartment building and label where everyone lived to better visual the characters and the place where all the action takes place. 
the books labeled the apartments and we used another set of character cards to put what character lived with whom and where.

The boys are having fun reading and trying to figure out who the suspect is.  Next week the boys will have gathered all the clues and should be able to guess who the murder is.  They are also working on constructing their own 'whodun it' game for us MOMs to play:)

MarioFan is also attending a Brain Discovery class at the local university in the city.  This is really a review for us as we studied the brain 2 years ago but it is always good to do a refresher class.  SInce I didn't post last week I am posting what the kids have done in the last 2 weeks.
The kids learned the parts of the brain 2 weeks ago and last week learned how the sensory and motor cortex work

they did a experiment (one we did at home) 

Recorded their results

This week they looks at cells under the microscopes

Gathering cheek cells

and looking at motor neurons from rats.

Again the kids recorded what they saw.  I was very please to see and hear just how much MarioFan remember from when we discussed it 2 years ago.  It is always nice to know the kids retain the information.
Lastly MarioFan and I had an evening out at the Science center where they had a mini anime convention going on.  My daughter was out that evening with her Dad attending her anime club.  We try to get together individually with each child quarterly to have some special one on one time.
MarioFan loved seeing all the people dressing up in characters he knew

We also took the time to see some of his favorite exhibits at the science center

And even found a few new ones we had to try out!

 At the end of the evening they had a parade of characters and here are just a few pictures I took.  I have no one who these characters are but my son sure did and he along with the audience cheered and jeered  as appropriate:)  We got home late and I was exhausted but we had a good time, although I still need to learn a lot more about anime!

This has been our last two weeks in a nut shell:)  We are down to the last 6 weeks of our coop and the kids are working hard to complete their classes successfully:)

Friday, 14 April 2017

Weekly Wrap UP 4/17/17

Last week was spring break for us so I took a mini blogging week off in the hopes of getting some work done around the house. Instead we finally got the insurance company to pay for the repainting of our ceiling in the living room due to water damage from an old roof that they repaired months ago.  We have had to deal with our insurance company a lot recently and it has been a royal pain in the neck.  Even after we paid our deductible they still took forever to agree to the price quoted by not one but three painters.
So for most of the week our living room looked like this:( But once the painters were gone I was able to get a good cleaning of the living room as we put the furniture back in the room.  

I signed MarioFan up for a Science class at one of the local Universities.  We will be attending every Wednesday for the next six weeks and the topic is The Brain and Nervous system.  I have heard excellent things about this program.  While it isn't our official science topic at this time, we have covered it before and I am hoping it will be a nice review for him.

We have attended several science lectures at several local universities for homeschoolers.  

Kids were there for just over an hour and learned about the parts of the brain and how and why scientist study the brain

A human brain was brought out and the kids got to hold and examine it.  It was also explained to the kids (and adults) that no pictures could be taken of the human brain as it was disrespectful to the person who donated their body to science.  MarioFan and I had a nice little discussion about that in the car on the way home:)

For our small book club the boys have chosen to read the Westing Game.  I have found tons of activities for free on the web for us to use while we read this book.  We start next week and we are all pretty excited to begin!