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 January 11-15 {week 17}

We started our morning's activities looking at how a periscope works, mapping the path of light as it goes from the eye to the view, bouncing off the mirrors within. And then on to other kinds of maps. We colored and labeled maps showing the lands of Egypt, Canaan and the Philistines. We colored and labeled maps showing the Phoenicians and their settlements, trade routes and exploration routes. We also learned that they gave us our alphabet, although looking at it, it is clear to see that it went through a few changes before it got to us. We also learned about how they used a shelled sea creature to get a purple dye, for which they were known. Katie made a T-is-for- T-shirt for Quentin to paint which led to James wanting one too, just for fun.  While some of us did our chores, others pretended to be all sorts of  things, and built all sort of things. Then Steven gave each of the boys a battery and a light bulb with two wires attached and let them figure out how to get the bulb to light. They each discovered how to their own satisfaction and delight. He showed them that it didn't matter how long the wire was as long as it was a circuit it would still make the bulb light.  They experimented with insulators and conductors, discovering which ones would make the circuit work and which wouldn't and why. Some didn't want the "lessons" to end.

In the morning there was another frosting of snow on the ground. We read Mummy Math, which led to our investigating the property of polyhedrons. We built 3-D shapes out of paper and counted the faces, vertices and edges. Katie had just sat down to have her breakfast, and got involved in helping Alex count these,  which led to our exploring Euler's Polyhedron Formula, V-E+F=2, which led to negative and positive numbers. Quentin decided he wanted to complete handwriting pages, painting the pictures, and completing a math page with dot-to-dots. Alex worked on his language arts, math, science lapbook and wrote about the Rosetta Stone. Sam worked on his Epic literature and learned a new Greek word...
James and I worked on "sound mapping." One person writes a word and the other person underlines the sounds in the word. Sometimes a word can have, for example, five letters but only three sounds. Quentin and Katie worked on making dinner together, "T is for Turkey Tacos." Sam played Othello, first with me and then with James. He has gotten quite good at it. And of course, Legos were rearranged to make something new.  Quentin enjoyed a small but great creature, the grasshopper. And, of course, there is always time for a great deal of cuddling.  Then Steven took Sam and Katie to Square Dancing lessons, and the rest of us were at our own peaceful activities, as the day neared its end.

This morning my sweet better half greeted me with coffee and Oats cooked with milk and then topped with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. The boys drew a simple circuit from memory, and we read about Venus and talked about how radar pictures are made. Then they chopped cucumbers and put them in yogurt with garlic and mint, a Phoenician dish, which led to the boys adding some honey to the leftover yogurt and having it as a snack. James and Sam played Othello and Katie helped Quentin play a game sorting trucks in all sorts of ways, (T is for Truck). Then Katie decided to take on the project of cleaning out the kitchen cabinets. She took everything out and scrubbed down the shelves and put things back again in a much more orderly fashion. Meanwhile the boys cleaned windows and dishes. Afterwards they enjoyed the fun of building, and playing pick-up sticks by yourself, and with others. They took up battling the packing paper, from the book order earlier this week, as a sea serpent.
Today's activities started with finding rainbows in prisms, and getting them out on paper. We found it a bit harder than we did with the glass of water and mirror. Made some interesting discoveries while thinking about Euler's Polyhedron Formula. We made fire-starters with melted wax and pine cones. Katie helped Quentin draw, T is for table, Tomahawk and Tepee. Meanwhile Sam determined area of irregular shapes and added dates to his timeline. Then he played a phonics bingo with James. James also wrote some about a race car and illustrated it. Alex worked on his usual language arts, math and wrote some more about the Rosetta Stone. Quentin and I played store. By this time it was chores time, which then led to my making dinner. Dinner can be tricky at our house. Not only are there the usual keeping a budget constraints that most of us have, but we also have two who can't have milk products or wheat products, one who doesn't eat meat, and two who are incredibly picky. So, we end up having to make two dinners usually. Tonight I made a cream of turnip soup (the non-milk eaters don't eat turnips anyway), one ham, cheese and potato casserole and one mushroom, onion and potato casserole. I basically take a scalloped potato recipe and add whatever suits us to it and it works out just fine. I just love soups and casseroles in the winter because they warm the soul as well as the stomach.
Remember when we talked about radar? The first project of this day was to illustrate this concept. Their task was to determine the topography of an unknown object in a box. They stuck a skewer in to see how far it went down. When they were finished recording, they got to see what I had put in so they could compare the two. We also learned how to diagram circuit with schematics. Then we talked about how we see colors; how all the colors of light hit an object and that only the color we see bounces back to our eyes. The rest are absorbed. That led to us getting out bubble mix so that they could see the colors in them. Bubbles are a lot of fun too; an unexpected surprise especially in the winter. Lunch itself turns out to be a lesson in fractions...one-half of one vegetarian, one -sixth light pepperoni only and 2-sixths heavy pepperoni. The other is three-quarters pepperoni and black olive and one quarter with the addition of mushrooms. The afternoon was filled with many games of Othello, and Katie invited Quentin to play an alphabet version of "Go Fish," "Go Alphabet," where pairs of letter were to be made. And then a dinner of Curried Butternut Squash and Chickpeas. In case you are wondering, the boys had TV dinners instead.

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