Friday, 26 May 2017

Weekly Wrap Up 5/26/17 Coop ends

Happy 13th Birthday to my wonderful Son!  We now have two teenagers in the home!  They grow up so fast and while I love to see my kids flourish, I do miss those baby days.

Last month we took him to a baseball game, and the Cardinals won!  MarioFan loves going to  the games:)

2 weeks ago was the last week of our Coop where the kids were taking a few classes.  We are very disappointed that the two teachers that teach the classes my kids are interested in are leaving the coop to start up their own more conservative coop.  Because of this we will not be able to continue taking classes with them.  I am waiting to see who will replace them in the current coop and see if we have a coop to use next year:(.

At the Brain discovery class the kids were looking at synapsis and did an interesting experiment using round worms.

First they had a short talk about what is a synapsis

Next they were given two liquids to pour into containers with grids on the bottom

A round worm was placed into each container 

The kids were asked to watch and count the movements of the round worm

Close up picture of the round worm, I am told the triangle end is their tail, not their head which is what I thought.

After observing and counting the grid the worm traveled they compared which liquid the worm was more active in.   the worm in the plain water was not nearly as active as the one placed in the caffeinated liquid.  They discuss why and wrapped up understanding synapsis.
Unfortunately we missed the very last class due to the flooding we had in our town and I was unable to make it in to the city.  We were both disappointed but I am in touch with the teachers hoping we can join in next year if only to do the very last class which was visiting the various laboratories in the University.  We won't know until September if we will be allowed to do this.

At home in Science we have been working on learning about plants and this week we dissected a Lilly.

We examined the parts of the flower

dissected and labels the different parts

Compared leaves and determined which was a Eudicot

and which was a Monocot

Several days later we even noticed the sticky liquid coming out of the pistil of the flower.

Last week was the last week of our mini book club and the boys have read the book wonder and did a few activities to go along with the book.

This is a great book about bullying, kindness and acceptance.  I found a literature guide on pay teachers for about $6 so we had a few activities planned for the boys
the boys used a poster to describe what made them unique and different and MarioFan surrounding his with pictures of things he like, which is mostly electronics:)

The boys had fun reading and learning about each other.  In the package I purchase there were also some photos of the characters in the book and we wrote down their character traits and flaws as we discussed the book (oops I forgot to take a picture of that)

While we are officially finished with our local coop, we school year round taking breaks as we need it.  We usually do a much smaller schedule so the kids can do other things.  I am still working on our summer schedule which I will post soon:)  right now we are just taking a little breather:)

Friday, 19 May 2017

Weekly wrap up 5/19/17

We are quickly wrapping up our school year.  I have already surpassed the required hours needed by the state.  For the first year (in the 9 years we have been homeschooling) we have actually finished many of our school books, YAY!

The boys have finished reading the book Westing Game for our book club and this week they played Chess which had a minor part in the book.  They also show cased the game they created which we played.  :)

The boys played Mario Chess

The boys have been working on creating their own mystery game which they had the MOMs play

The rules were very complicated for the Moms to  follow but we did our very best but somehow the boys still won;)

Firedrake practicing her Japanese by playing a memory game with me one day

She is really enjoying learning Japanese and I must say she is retaining  it so much better than her Spanish lessons which we as a family agree she can drop next year

Coop had their annual art show and I am always so impressed with the art that the kids submitted.  Here are just a few samplings

This one won best of the show and was done by an 11th grader

Firedrake was a little disappointed that her art did not win a ribbon but she was up against some very stiff competition and graphic art is not quite respected as an art by the judges:)

While walking the dog the kids found a snake in the garden.

Coop has ended but I will post our last 2 weeks at coop next week:)  As I am somehow behind on our posts.  We are busy working on our summer plans I will post them soon 

Friday, 12 May 2017

Weekly wrap up 512/17

This week at our coop we had a surprise assembly--first time in 3 years attending that this has happened.  A  performer to came and perform for the kids and explained the purpose of recycling.

 We are continuing with our book club on Westing Game.  This week the boys have recovered all the clues and think they have solved the game--but we still have more reading to do:)
Looking at all the clues and figuring out what it means

And putting it all together.

We decided to add the clues to our apartment building :)
 We are continuing with Brain discovery class and this week the kids learned neuron impulses. and the kids did a fun experiment.
paying close attention to the lecture

Learning how the machine works. 

All the kids were very nervous about who would be wearing the probes.  Instructors had to really talk to the kids about it and that it would not hurt

looking at their reading and recording their results.

This was something we were able to do at home when we studied  neurons so MarioFan was quite happy to do a new experiment. 

Finished results!
In our History lessons the only class the kids do jointly now we have completed our Vietnam studies and are moving on to learning more about the Civil Rights movements.  We plan to go the history museum next week where they are sponsoring an exhibit on civil rights here in our hometown.  I am currently gathering our reading materials.

For Cinco de Mayo we made homemade sopapilla's they were good! which I never posted so here they are as the kids keep asking if we can make them again soon:)

It has been a busy week.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Flooding 5/05/17

My what a week we have had!  Our home town was in the national news again due to record flooding.  Our last flood was just 14 months ago, Dec 2015.  Because of the flooding we have been homebound as all major roads in and out of our area are closed due to water on the roads.
In 2015 we only had about 24 hours notice before the flood and while many, including my husband and I tried to sand bag the local businesses there just wasn't enough time or supplies.  So there was massive damage done to our local home town.  It took approximately 6 months for the business to reopen.
This time around we had 72 hours to prepare for the oncoming water.  The town learned quite a bit from the last flood and the effort to save the town was better coordinated, bettered supplied with supplies and there was a massive about of volunteerism.

This time around sandbagging wall was increased and surrounded the entire premise of the building.  

On Tuesday the waters began to rise and this was what our local high school looked like.  the sports fields and building were covered.  

ON Wednesday people were still in town desperately working to protect our historic district.  In 2015 my husband and I helped with the sandbagging but we were unable to do that this year (due to health issues), so instead we bought supplies to help the ones who could do the hard work.  The local Elks lodge was collecting food, drinks, and other needed supplies. IN addition they had volunteers cooking food around the clock.

This year we had bobcat to help move sand bags, and even the coast guard showed up to help construct the sand bag walls.

This is the picture before the river crested and it was expected to be as high as the last flood in 2015

Thursday morning at about 10 am and the sandbag wall held strong and only a small amount of water got into just a few of the business.  The damage was minimal this time.

However on Thursday a call was put out for even more volunteers to help with the sump pumps and to relieve some of the volunteers who worked tirelessly over night.  My husband and I went down town and did a two hours shift working on the water pumps.
It was cold and still raining.  My husband ran the pump up on the sandbag wall where as I spent most of the time huddled under a building overhead and was available to run to get more fuel, or drinks as needed.

It is expected that the water will recede by Friday and then the clean up begins.  While volunteering we heard stories of people coming as far away as Milwaukee, Kansas city, and Ohio to help with the flooding.   So amazing to see how everyone pulled together.  While we were able to save the historic district there were still many other businesses, and families who were not quite so lucky as the flood waters enters their properties.

The flood this time around was half an inch higher than the flood of 2015 which is a new record. 

We were not able to attend our coop this week or even go to our last Brain Discovery class due to all major road closures.  We were able to get a few school things done but it was a mild week due to needing to do other things, like volunteer to help with the flooding.