Home School Life Journal

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

Celebrations and Our Homeschool Weekly Report, June 28-July 4, week 33

Week 33
Science (and English)

Oceans of Oobleck

Lab Investigation

We began scientific explorations using a concoction for play, Oobleck. I told them that a space probe has just returned from a planet in another star system. The planet is covered with large oceans and a sample of the ocean material was collected by the space probe. 
You are one of a group of space scientists gathered to investigate the properties of the ocean sample.
I acted as a scribe for them as they experimented with the Oobleck, since it would have been difficult for them to write with Oobleck on their hands.
This was also an exercise in using adjectives and adverbs.

Scientific Convention

Professional scientists come from all over the world to attend meetings called scientific conventions. During a convention, scientists listen to each other's experimental results and critically discuss them. The goal of the convention is not to prove each other right or wrong, but to find the truth and state it as clearly and completely as possible.

We took the list that we had complied and I had the boys write their own reports on their observations of the Oobleck. They then presented their reports to the family, who could then ask clarifying questions.


The Fifties, President Eisenhower and the Korean War

I have had a lot of trouble finding resources and materials for the Korean war, but we did complete some map work and discussed communism. We also learned about our 34th president, Eisenhower and about the culture of the fifties.


Coordinate Graphing

Exploring Area

Last time we explored coordinate graphing and perimeter. This time we explored area. 
What happens to the area of a rectangle as more rows or columns are added? Does the same thing happen to areas of other shapes? What happens to the perimeter of a rectangle if its area is kept the same but the tiles are rearranged to make long thin rectangles or short fat ones? What numbers would be graphed to show if there was a pattern? If the graph this question produces is not a straight line, can it still be used to make predictions?


I finished my radiation therapy...
so we celebrated the next morning with breakfast out at our local restaurant, just a block around the corner.
We celebrated James' 12 1/2 birthday with a carnival party. James' birthday is December 28th, and it gets lost in the celebrations of Christmas, so we always have a half-birthday party in June.
Quentin and I had lunch with an old friend of mine. Angie and I used to work together twenty-two years ago. We have kept in touch with Christmas cards and the like, but it has been years since we have seen each other. It was great to catch-up.
We try to keep traditions on the 4th of July as it seems that patriotic holidays seem to call for them. We started the 4th of July with Strawberry Crepes for breakfast.

Katie made gfcf crepes for her and Alex.

 We planned a cook-out for lunch, but the weather was so hot and humid, we decided to eat inside, after cooking on the grill.
Because of the heat, we decided to forgo relay races and other outside games, and played the games from James' birthday party inside.

Until dinner time we relaxed and watch a few episodes of The Andy Griffith Show which featured holiday picnics and the like.
 Then we packed our own picnic dinner...
 and went down to the beach, where their were lots of other picnickers.

 The little boys swam after dinner, but the olders just walked along the beach.
 We went back home and had homemade ice cream and then it was time to go to Georgetown.
 We picked a spot to settle and some passed the time sketching.
 We had fun with sparklers...

until the fireworks began. They are beautiful as they are shot over the Geogetown River.
A very happy 4th of July, indeed.
"...when as a nation of individuals we come together with family and friends to celebrate Independence Day, it's more than a birthday of even a country. For what we really celebrate in our hearts is the birthday of an ideal and, like our forebears, a deeply personal vision of contentment. And really, we do have a great deal to celebrate...for where else on earth is there a nation that sets aside one day a year to exault life, liberty ad the pursuit of happiness?" - Sarah Ban Breathnach, Mrs Sharp's Traditions

Summer Fun

 Lots of building...
 and playing...

and swimming at the beach.
photo by Quentin
We have been enjoying the long days of summer and watching the sun go down in the evenings.

Garden Update

 The lettuce is at the end of its production now that the hot weather has hit. 
We are letting it go to seed now.
This is two yellow squash that have fused together during their growth.
 We are beginning to get squash now.

 The tomatoes are still green, but will be plentiful as soon as they ripen.
It has rained so much that we are having trouble with too much water, even in a raised bed. See the mushrooms growing in the garden?

  • Down to the sea in ships, Philemon Sturges
  • Good masters! Sweet Ladies! : voices from a medieval village, Laura Schlitz
  • Titanic : voices from the disaster, Deborah Hopkinson
  • I have a dream, Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Lancelot, Hudson Talbott
  • Freedom Riders : John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the front lines of the civil rights movement, Ann Bausum
  • DK Money, Joe Cribb
  • Speaking out : the Civil Rights Movement, 1950-1964, Kevin Supples
  • Escape from Saigon : a Vietnam War orphan becomes an American boy, Andrea Warren
  • Blackbeard's last fight, Eric Kimmel
  • RosaNikki Giovanni
  • Reaching for the moon, Buzz Aldrin
  • 10,000 days of thunder : a history of the Vietnam War, Philip Caputo
  • Fireworks, picnics, and flags, James Giblin

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  1. Your weeks are just unbelievably chock full of wonderful things Phyllis! I can't believe all you accomplish in one week. The beach, a 1/2 birthday, a gorgeous garden, fireworks, oobleck, a carnival, a picnic, the 50's and more! Are you sure this was just ONE week???!! Love your pictures as always!

    1. We do try to keep busy, Karen, just like you and Kei. It was a fun week of celebrating.

  2. Another amazing week. I love the half birthday. Goldilocks birthday is the 28th of December too. What a super full week of fun.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. I didn't know her birthday was the 28th, too. You have had some fun summer weeks, too.

  3. I love the oobleck study, what a great idea.

    I agree there's nothing out there on the Korean War, it's why I ended up making something up.

    1. Yes, and yours was a great lesson, but I wasn't ready to tackle politics that directly yet.

    2. Ha, makes sense to me! It's why we ended up not finishing the rest of modern history, got too much into politics my kids are not ready for.

  4. WOW Phyllis! HUZZAH to finishing your radiation! Love the 1/2 bday celebration...I might have to do that with the kids someday! My garden has died or drowned I should say...yours looks great! Enjoy the day!

    1. I think it is the fact that the garden is a raised bed that saved it this year. Yes, there has been much to celebrate this week.

  5. I really like the 1/2 birthday celebration. I keep wondering if Rose needs something like this because her birthday is December 18th, and I think sometimes she doesn't feel so special :-)....I also love your sparkler photos. What a fun week!

    1. That is exactly why we started the summer birthday parties for James -that and it is much easier to do a party in the summer than in the winter. Sparklers are so much fun to photograph.

  6. Wow your week is super busy in all kinds of really lovely ways. Congrats!! on finishing your radiation. I love your garden I really, really want to do something like that in our garden with the concrete bricks. I love oobleck, what a fabulous thing to do a study of.

    1. Thank you. I highly recommend the concrete block garden. It has saved us this year with all the rains.

  7. I love that picture of Katie at the top! Such joy! And the crepes, they look lovely.

    1. Thank you. It is easy to take a good photo of Katie as she is so photogenic.

  8. You always give me so much to think about, Phyllis. From your amazing opening collage onwards I was inspired, inspired, inspired - thank you!

    1. I take it as a supreme compliment if you are inspired as I love each and every one of your posts.

  9. I thought Oobleck study was brilliant! I am sure James loved his half birthday - another excellent tradition from your family :)

    1. Thank you. The Oobleck study is fun. We do like to have fun traditions, for sure.

  10. Just loved all the building on the beach. I miss living by the coast so much, but really enjoyed seeing your boys drift wood building.

    1. We really enjoy seeing your adventures at your pond. It is such a gorgeous place.

  11. What a review!! My little Stan the man is standing watching as I read your blog. He gave a thumbs up to the crepes...and would like to know what the boys were building on the beach...whatever it was, he liked it :) Tell Katie she looks cute in her hat! And congratulations and HUGS to you on finishing your radiation. But I've missed a BIG post obviously. I had no idea you were receiving treatments. (And feel like a fool.) I will add you to my prayer list!

    1. I am not sure what they were building. They build and rebuild every time they go down to the beach. The crepes were tasty. I will pass the compliment on to Katie. :) Do not feel foolish. I have tried to downplay the cancer on this blog and focus instead on all the positives there are in life.

  12. What a lot of fun learning! And yay to finishing radiation! Thanks for sharing :)

  13. Oobleck is COOL stuff and SO easy to make! It's just fun to squish and play with it! *I* find it relaxing like those squeeze stress balls! LOL Awesome on the radiation treatment. Are you feeling stronger?? A perfect 4th celebration! And your garden is wild! LOL

    1. Oobleck is so much fun, isn't it? I am not feeling stronger yet, but they say the tiredness will go away after 3-5 weeks. We did have a fun week, for sure. That garden is really Katie's -she has done all the work on it.

  14. Oh, we so need to catch up, Phyllis! I tried to send you a Valentine's Day card at the last address I had for you, but it was returned in March. I should have emailed you by now and I'm sorry it's been so long. I'm so happy to be back online! This post made me smile. Your ideas for learning and family togetherness always makes me happy. :)

    1. Yes, we do, Joyce. It has been awhile. We are now back in Maryland to stay, so that address should be good. Sorry about the mix-up. I am glad this little post could make you happy. :)

  15. Looks like you guys had plenty of fun on the 4th! No more radiation is also a great thing to be celebrating!


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