Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal ........... painting by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Snapshot Summary, September 26-30, week 4

Snapshot Summary, September 26-30

The most special event this week was that Katie turned 20!

We played with part-whole frames.
We worked on column addition, and how to align numbers so that they are all lined up in the proper places for place value. 
We worked on column addition problems with regrouping with manipulatives.
We subtracted two-digit numbers on the Hundreds Chart, some with regrouping.
We reviewed some vowel sounds and the rules.  We started reading Frog and Toad Are Friends and looked for words that fit the rules. (We looked at the difference between frogs and toads...see below)
We reviewed nouns and worked on identifying the subject of a sentence.
We looked at adverbs and how to recognize them. We looked at their comparative forms. We looked at some adverbs and adjectives that are confused sometimes like good/well and real/really.
For spelling words we worked on long and short o words, and words with -ck and x in them.
Sam took an English test.
Alex's journal
History and Geography
Alex's map showing how the wars in Europe spread to the New World's French and Indian Wars.
Map from Story of the World 3 Activity book.
We studied the French and Indian wars.
Sam wrote about the House of Burgess.
We looked at colonial foods brought to us by the Indians.
The Three Sisters medley -Butternut squash, Lima beans and corn cooked together with butter and a little honey.

We made toys of the Northeastern Indians.
Wampanaog Toss and Catch Game

Northeastern Indian Pouch
and Corn husk dolls.

James using Exploring Creation With Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures to label the parts of a fish.
We began our study of fish.
Quentin only needed to glue the proper words for the most basic parts of a fish, but he wanted to include sketches the growth of a fish from egg to adult.

James also glue down the names of the most basic part of the fish, but also hand labeled the names of all the fins. He decided to add color to his background, which kind of made the labels in pencil hard to see. We will go over them again with a black Sharpie.
Alex and Sam labeled the inside parts of the fish.
(bones pictured here, and the organs)

Then James wanted to label the bones of the fish, too.
Our study of fish tied in with our nature study.

We worked on this project but we didn't have the materials to finish them, so we will probably finish it up next week.
We looked at the difference between frogs and toads.
We had fun with surface tension and buoyancy.
We even made art with it.

Foreign Languages
Sam is still working on Greek and Latin. In Greek, he just finished the second declension masculine and is working with vocabulary and sentence practice with them.
He worked on the vocative case in Latin.

Our Favorite Resource This Week
If you have a high school student who does not want to do dissections and is not planning on going into a biology related field, you might want to use this coloring book instead. This is no kiddie coloring book. It has as much detail as you would need for high school or even college biology. It also has a write-up that goes with each structural identification.

Household Ways
Katie made some Green Eggs and Ham (Canadian Bacon) croissants.
We tried some new recipes this week...

Potato Onion tart

 Greek Steak Salad Pita Pockets,

and Rustic Tomato Tart,
which were all very good.

Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast

Everyone loves this favorite from Dr Seuss.

Katie decided to celebrate the book this morning with a Green Eggs and Ham breakfast sandwich.

She fried Canadian Bacon in one pan and some scrambled eggs dyed green in another.
Some cheese was melted on a croissant in the microwave. The breakfast sandwich was easy to put together from there.
We like them anywhere...we like Green Eggs and Ham!

Nature Connections in September

that transition month between summer and fall usually has us outdoors a lot, but with Steven's injury, we were not able to get out as much as we like. The boys did ride their bikes, of course.
Marsh pastels
We did a fair amount of pastel work relating to geography and our nature studies.

The little boys enjoyed playing on a downed tree from hurricane Irene.
frog, dragonfly and backyard yard pastels
We made fall leaf cookies for the first day of fall. I didn't have a leaf shaped cookie cutter, so we gathered a few leaves and used them as templates for our cookies.

Quentin set up his paints outside to do portraits en plein air.
Katie gathered some willow branches and made an Indian game with the boys.
They also made corn husk dolls.
She also took them to gather Magnolia seed pods for a Nature swap...

and a little stop at the town park to play.

Nature Study: Lesson 36: A Study of the Fish

"A fish lives in the water where it must breathe, move and find its food. The water world is quite different from the air world and the fish have... form, senses and habits which fit them for life in the water." -Handbook of Nature Study, p.147
The Handbook of Nature Study suggests to show a diagram of a fish with all the parts labeled to the children so that they "will be able to learn the parts of the fish by consulting it and not be compelled to commit them to memory arbitrarily." We decided that they could include a diagram in their notebooks that they could consult, but I did not require them to memorize them. I did, however, immediately began using the terms in my questions to them about the fish.

We talked about how the fish moved and how they used their different fins. We also talked about their scales and about how the mouth is always moving, making swallowing motions.
We talked about how the fish takes in water like we do air and as the water runs over their gills, the oxygen is removed just as the oxygen is removed from air in our lungs.

sources and inspiration:
  • The Handbook of Nature Study, Anna Comstock

Milk Colors: where science and art meet

This is another oldie but goodie. We have done this before as a science experiment alone.

Pour about a cup of milk in a bowl.

Drop a few drops of food coloring along two sides of the bowl. Add a few drops of dish soap in the middle of the bowl. Or, instead you can dip a toothpick in a little dish soap and have them to put it in the food coloring in the milk.

Either way, the reaction of the soap disrupting the surface tension of the milk causes the colors to radiate away from the soap.

We then decided to make some colorful swirling colors paper (similar to the shaving cream marbled paper activity) by dipping heavy paper (we used watercolor paper) in the colorful milk swirls and then pulling them out, and then just letting them dry.
They turned out quite well and will make nice note cards or backgrounds for their school work journals.

North Eastern Indian Toys and Games: Cornhusk Dolls

Making corn husk dolls has been on my list of things to do with the boys for a long time. I had made them with Katie when she was little, but I hadn't made them with the boys yet.
Many Indians made them to resemble their own tribes. The Iroquois and the Seneca have legends centered around the corn husk doll.

Gather a half-dozen or so corn husks. Some make them while they are still green. They are easy to bend then, but they have a tendency to mold as they dry out. If you use fully dry husks, they are difficult to bend. Some people soak them in water about an hour before making the dolls. We dried our husks out a few days and they were partially dry but were still limber enough to bend.

Arrange your husks so the thinner ends are at the top. Tie your husk ends together a couple of inches down from the top. We used string. You could also use raffia, some thin strips of the husk, some leather thong or yarn. Trim off the ends so that it is even at the top. Take half of the corn husks and fold them over where you have tied to cover the string and make a nice surface for the face. Tie a piece of string at the throat.

Now take a couple thin pieces of corn husk and roll them to form the arms. Tie at both ends and trim neatly at both ends. Lift half of the bottom of the body corn husks and slip the arms up in place.

Tie a string at the waist under the arms.

If you are making a girl, all you have to do is trim the bottom to make her skirt even. If you are making a boy, divide the bottom husks into the two legs by cutting them in the center. Part them and tie at the ends to form legs. Trim the bottoms of the legs evenly.

We found the easiest way to make hair was to hot glue gun some corn silk on the head. This of course is not as authentic as tying it on or the like, but is the easiest.
Other tutorials on how to make a corn husk doll can be found here: (If you have one, leave your link in the comments.) Everyone seems to make them a little differently.