"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."

"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Lego Challenge #11: Make a Maze


Inspired by Sam's Lego Quest, (which is no longer active),  I wanted to start a 
weekly Lego challenge 
that kids can do and you can link up to. 
82
This linky has been open for a whole year, and will be closed soon. If you want to link up, please do so this week. 
With the photo, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation.This can be simple or extremely complex, it's up to you. The only real rule is that it has to be custom built. Your own creation, not a pre-designed one.
You can write a separate post for the challenge or you can just add the photo of your child's entry for the challenge to a weekly wrap-up post.

You can also get inspiration with these posts, even though their linkies are closed now.
With the photo, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation. 

Lego Challenge #11: Make a Maze
Build a marble maze using Legos. You can view the directions here and video tutorial here. You can use these printables to give you some ideas.

I would also like to bring to your attention to
The Tutor House
has offered free downloadable Lego Summer Day Camp instructions, and the first activity is building a maze!

Our Homeschool Weekly Report, April 11-17, week 28

April 11-17
week 28
Math

Money

Quentin reviewed different ways to write monetary amounts, solved money-related story problems and practiced returning and counting change.

from Learn Math Fast System
Percents

James is working through the first couple of books of the Learn Math Fast System, and so we reviewed converting fractions into decimals into percentages. It was mostly review for him, but it is nice to see that he does have it down.

English

from Write from Ancient History Level 2 Manuscript Models: A Complete Ancient History Based Writing Program for the Elementary Writer: Developing Skills

Grammar: Prepositions and Prepositional Phrases

We picked prepositions out of their history text and we talked about prepositional phrases.
We also worked on outlining and writing paragraphs in conjunction with their history work.

History

Ancient Greece: Classical Greece and the Peloponnesian Wars

There is so much to study when you get to Classical Greece that we felt we just touched on it, but they were ready to move on, and so we did.There is always more time to get into more of the details the next time we get around to this period. 

We covered mostly people this week, rather than things. We also touched on the Peloponnesian Wars but there is not as much about them for the younger crowd as there was about the Persian wars. They mainly got the idea that they were between Sparta and Athens and why.

Other Stuff

The most exciting news this week was that we found out that we are going to be able to perform the final production from our co-op's drama class at the local theater, instead of just at the church in which we hold co-op. This means that it opens it up to the community at large and that the kids get to experience being on a real stage, with real lights, etc.
Katie was very proud this week to have been able to master modular origami, which are separate pieces of origami, which are then folded together to make one piece. She made a handful of throwing stars.
kale salad with pear, toasted almonds and aged gouda

I have been enjoying continuing my obsession with kale. We had 

Kale Salad with Pear, Toasted Almonds and Gouda CheeseMiso Kale Salad with Miso Roasted Tofu and Butternut Squash and Kale Casserole.

We also enjoyed this week trying a new recipe, Tilapia and Shrimp on a Bed of Sweet Onions.


Join me at...

Ancient Greece: Classical Greece and the Peloponnesian Wars, 510-323 BC

There is so much to study when you get to Classical Greece that we felt we just touched on it, but they were ready to move on, and so we did.There is always more time to get into more of the details the next time we get around to this period. We covered a lot of people this week. We also touched on the Peloponnesian Wars but there is not as much about them for the younger crowd as there was about the Persian wars. They mainly got the idea that they were between Sparta and Athens and why.
Pericles
Sophocles
Euripides
Herodotus
The Sophists
Phidias


Sam's reading
source
The Peloponnesian War
Hippocrates
Quentin's narration of a history reading

Aristophanes
Socrates
copywork in Quentin's history notebook

Sparta
Execution of Socrates
Thebes
Plato
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

Lego Challenge #10: Earth Day

Inspired by Sam's Lego Quest, (which is no longer active),  I wanted to start a 
weekly Lego challenge 
that kids can do and you can link up to. 
This linky has been open for a whole year, and will be closed soon. If you want to link up, please do so this week. 
With the photo, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation.This can be simple or extremely complex, it's up to you. The only real rule is that it has to be custom built. Your own creation, not a pre-designed one.
You can write a separate post for the challenge or you can just add the photo of your child's entry for the challenge to a weekly wrap-up post.

You can also get inspiration with these posts, even though their linkies are closed now.


Lego Challenge #10: Earth Day
April 22nd is Earth Day
What does Earth Day mean to you? Create something that reflects your ideas about Earth Day. 

source
Tell us all about your creation...what it is inspired by or what function it has that relates to our Earth.

With the photo, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation. 

History and Geography Meme #113: How Do You Study History?

How do you study history?
Some people study world history in a year or two and then focus on American History (or the equivalent according to where they live).
Some people go through a cycle, rotating between world and their country's history.
Some people do it unit study style, focusing on one time and place at a time. 
We go through a cycle beginning at the beginning of history and go through to current events, but we don't separate out our country's history from world history.

We study our country's history in context of world history, because we are a part of the whole. America's history is so influenced by what was happening around the world, it seems like you are not telling the whole story to tell just what was happening in our little corner of the world.
What do you think? 
How do you study history?

What interesting things are you doing in your history and geography studies?

All Things Beautiful
I hope that you continue to link your new (and old) posts with any history and geography topic to this meme every Thursday.


 Please include this button on either the post you have linked or your sidebar or mention All Things Beautiful History and Geography meme in your post with a link. All posts that do not link directly to a history or geography post will be deleted. Remember that I am pinning all posts to Pinterest.

Lego Challenge # 9: Vehicle


Inspired by Sam's Lego Quest, (which is no longer active),  I wanted to start a 
weekly Lego challenge 
that kids can do and you can link up to. 
82
This linky has been open for a whole year, and will be closed soon. If you want to link up, please do so this week. 
With the photo, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation.This can be simple or extremely complex, it's up to you. The only real rule is that it has to be custom built. Your own creation, not a pre-designed one.
You can write a separate post for the challenge or you can just add the photo of your child's entry for the challenge to a weekly wrap-up post.

You can also get inspiration with these posts, even though their linkies are closed now.

Tow Truck
James, age 12, Maryland, USA

Lego Challenge #9: Vehicle
This can be any type of vehicle, from a car to a fire truck to an futuristic vehicle. It can be as simple or as complex, as you wish.
Build a Lego Car - Lego Challenge - So fun and even includes storytelling practice.
You can also link up your creations at Mom with a Lesson Plan.


The Secret to Science Fair Success, Part IV: From Data to Display

This is part four in a series about how to make a successful science fair project. In part one, we talked about picking your topic. In part two, we talked about how to narrow down your topic and develop an hypothesis. In part three we talked about how to develop an experiment to test your hypothesis, using the scientific method as a guide. This week we will talk about how to take all that data you collected while doing your research and your experiments and turning it into a dynamic display.

source

Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion

Now that you have all your data you have collected, now it is time to draw a conclusion. First, you might want to put your data into a chart, graph or table. These present important information in a way that makes your data easy to understand, and they can also be used to make your display board look great. If you choose to make a graph, you will need to decide which type of graph is the best to use to display your information. Bar graphs are great for showing comparisons or how something changes. Line graphs are great for showing how things change over a period of time. Pie charts present information in percentages. For any chart, graph or table, make sure everything is labeled clearly.
using text and images in science fair exhibits
source

Communicate Your Results

Now it is time to make your display. Usually these are made on a three-paneled cardboard display board that you can purchase very cheaply at department stores, grocery stores, pharmacies and office supply stores. Make sure you read the guidelines of the science fair you are entering to make sure that what you want to use falls within their rules.
You will need to include all the things we have been talking about on your display:
  • Title: Make sure you make this large enough to see from a distance.
  • Problem/Question
  • Hypothesis
  • Abstract
  • Experimental Materials
  • Procedure: Include photographs of your procedure and results.
  • Data Results: Create attractive graphs and tables to show your data.
  • Conclusion
Once you have all these pieces typed up, lay the board on the floor or table and arrange the information so that it looks good and is in a reasonable order. Make your display attractive by including colorful borders. Another tip I have picked up over the years is to use rubber cement to glue down your papers. The glue doesn't make the paper pucker and look crumpled and the pieces can be taken off the board, if you do it gently, without tearing in case you want to move them around after you have glued them down.


I am linking this to Science Sunday at Adventures in Mommydom and Saturday Science at Lemon Lime Adventures.

Snapshot Summary, April 4-10 Spring Break


The last week of the semester is our review week and then we have a break week before we begin the first week of the new semester. This is our spring break week.

The boys went roller skating at the monthly homeschooling skating.
We didn't do anything special really. We had some doctor's appointments (of course!) James is doing well with his new medicine for his epilepsy. I went out to dinner with my good friend, Peg (and had so much fun that I forgot to take a picture.) The boys played outside a lot in the nice, spring weather. They played computer games some, particularly Civilization. We just rested and regrouped for our last semester.
 We enjoyed good food this week. This is our Japanese Steakhouse dinner. The carrots were nothing special, but the steak, fried rice and zucchini were wonderful. We also had a simple salad of lettuce and cucumbers, using Yum-Yum sauce as the dressing.
We had homemade hummus, edamame dip and Asian kale slaw for lunch one day. I love the beginning of fresh spring and summer food.
How was your week? Have you been enjoying spring?

Join me at...

History and Geography Meme #112: High School Geography

This week I thought I would talk a little about high school geography since this is a subject that is not talked about a lot. I have helped two students through high school geography, and  over the years I have picked up a few ideas for how to incorporate geography in high school studies.




  • Living Geography Books. This is the heart of our geography studies and that doesn't change once we hit high school. Always have your student locate places from the day's reading on a map. You can start by looking for geography-based adult literature. There are a number of good resources out there for good lists of living high school level geography books as well. Here is a partial list to get you started.
  • Map Drills. Ten minutes of map drills each day, a few times a week or even once a week. Give the student a blank map and let them fill in all the countries (or states, or territories, etc.) he knows. Have him compare his map to a completely filled in map in an Atlas. As the student does this every week, he will begin to remember more and more.
  • Make Your Own Map. I really like Mapping The World with Art from Ellen McHenry's Basement Workshop, as it teaches the student how to make his own maps, drawing freehand. It is amazing how much more attention a student has to use to do this as opposed to tracing a map. If your student has a hard time with this, then go for the tracing and have him make all sorts of maps -physical, population, terrain, etc., tracing the map over and over. Repetition helps retention as well. Salt dough maps from time to time are a good experience, even in high school, especially for terrain/elevation maps.
  • Current Events. Just as your student looks up the places in their readings, have him explore foreign places relevant in news and current events.
  • Foreign Embassies and Departments of Tourism. Have your student write to the tourism departments and  embassies for free brochures, maps, and other travel information.
  • Games. Don't neglect this even for the high school level. I especially love the "10 Days in... series."
  • Recipes. Although I most heavily do this activity with my younger students, your high school students can also benefit from learning about the culture in other countries. In addition to making recipes from other countries, reading books like Hungry Planet: What the World Eats, Peter Menzel are beneficial because as well as other things it has a portrait of each family surrounded by a week's worth of groceries. It is a good experience, even for adults.

Do you have any other ideas for geography studies for high schoolers?

What interesting things are you doing in your history and geography studies?

All Things Beautiful
I hope that you continue to link your new (and old) posts with any history and geography topic to this meme every Thursday.


 Please include this button on either the post you have linked or your sidebar or mention All Things Beautiful History and Geography meme in your post with a link. All posts that do not link directly to a history or geography post will be deleted. Remember that I am pinning all posts to Pinterest.

Lego Challenge #8: Your Favorite Book


Inspired by Sam's Lego Quest, (which is no longer active),  I wanted to start a 
weekly Lego challenge 
that kids can do and you can link up to. 
82
This linky has been open for a whole year, and will be closed soon. If you want to link up, please do so this week. 
With the photo, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation.This can be simple or extremely complex, it's up to you.
You can write a separate post for the challenge or you can just add the photo of your child's entry for the challenge to a weekly wrap-up post.

You can also get inspiration with these posts, even though their linkies are closed now.
With the photo, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation. 
Take a book off the shelf and tell us about it!

Lego Challenge #8: Your Favorite Book
Inspire others to read your favorite book! This weeks challenge is to create something in Legos from your favorite book.You can design anything you like from this book - a character, an object, a scene, a design or even a feeling.

Be sure to include the name of the book you are getting your inspiration from and the author who wrote it. And of course, what you are calling this creation and perhaps something about it that tells a little of the story in which it came.