Friday, November 19, 2010

Our eleventh and twelfth weeks in review: November 8-19

Two weeks for you to peruse this time :)   I missed posting last Friday's wrap up as Mike's up-to-that-point-uncomplicated knee surgery recovery became complicated with a blood clot in his calf!  We spent all day Friday in various waiting rooms and various offices.  I hope to never experience that again.

On to the fun!

We mixed up the math during the past two weeks.  Daisy spent several days with Challenge Math for the Elementary and Middle School Student, working through various sections on problem solving with venn diagrams, charts, and other methods.  She also reviewed the addition and subtraction of negative integers, order of operations, and the associate property.  I found some worksheets on that she really enjoyed---she asked for me to print more one day!  Weirdo.

We missed our Patty Paper Geometry day last week due to the clot.  Yesterday she worked through the Guided Investigations for chapter 1----intersection of two lines, finding the shortest distance between a point and a line, vertical angles, adjacent angles, and linear pairs---and completed one of the exercise sets.  Next week on our geometry day she'll complete the other four exercise sets.  I took a picture to show exactly what is produced in an investigation.  Since the first chapter is really basic, the picture isn't that exciting LOL  The left paper is finding the shortest distance from a point to a line (Daisy drew on the folded paper with a sharpie) and the right is discovering that opposite angles are equal.

Finally, last Thursday was the first homeschool competition day for MOEMS (Math Olympiad for Elementary and Middle School).  Daisy was a bit nervous heading in, hoping she'd be able to answer one out of the five problems correctly (only 50% are able to answer the first one! The percentages decrease with each successive problem.)  She answered the first three correctly and would have gotten the last one correct had she not made a silly addition error.  Yippee!  One other kid of the 20 or so there also answered three correctly.

Last week we covered Chapter 6: Weather and Climate in CPO Earth Science.  In addition to the usual reading and discussion of each section, Daisy watched two Bill Nye DVDs, Wind and Storm.  We totally skipped Investigation 6B as it relied completely on a set of radar image plates only available as part of CPO's lab package.  I didn't have enough time nor energy nor motivation to replicate the plates.

This week we finished Chapter 6 with reading of the Chapter Connection (hurricane scientists) and completion of the Chapter Assessment.  Daisy had a busy science day on Tuesday----we did the first lab for Chapter 7: Oceans (you can see the separate post for our not-so-much-of-an-adaption of Investigation 7A) then met with the other Elementary Science Olympiad homeschool team members (grades 4 and 5) for the first time.  She handed in her event choices and should learn today which events she'll be doing and with whom, in the case of partner events.   This week she also covered the first section in Chapter 7 and watched a very hilarious Bill Nye Oceanography dvd.  This afternoon we'll do Investigation 7B: Wave Speed using our adapted "GeoBox."   If I can get good pictures, I'll make a separate blog post for that lab.

Last week Daisy studied ancient China with the addition of a few resources to the reading from Human Odyssey:

This week we've done a quick comparative run-through of world religions with foundations during ancient times, Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism.   She read relevant chapters from Human Odyssey (unit 2, chapters 3-7) and associated chapters from the Oxford Press series The World in Ancient Times

From the K12 Student Pages for the History Odyssey textbook, Daisy filled out a chart comparing religions and philosophies for Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism.  She will add the information for Christianity and Islam once she gets to those chapters.  The various categories include founder of the religion/philosophy, date of founding, principal beliefs, principal sacred texts, geographic regions where the religion/philosophy predominates today, and current number of followers.

English/Language Arts
NaNoWriMo continues!  Older Sister estimates Daisy has written about 2000 words.  She's writing longhand in her notebook and Older Sister is typing it up in chunks.  I hope she makes 3000 words by the end of the month :)

We finally finished Chapter 3 in Galore Park's So You Really Want to Learn French 1 (aka French Prep).  Now we can converse about all kinds of food and all sorts of rooms in a house LOL

Other fun stuff
This week's Earth Explorers class at the local state park was historical, the everyday lives of boys and girls during World War II, held at a local historic estate.  There were lots of girls this time, including two from the previous classes Daisy had attended :)

Girl Scouts met on Tuesday for a fun meeting.  The girls made apple pies for their families, as they did this time last year.  We put Daisy's pie in the freezer to be baked for Thanksgiving.

She's been crafting up a storm lately.  You may have seen her fingerknitting obsession or her interesting take on Thanksgiving turkeys.  She also decided to do some of the activities in the Klutz sewing book.  This was completed, from cutting out the pattern to finishing with floss, without any help from me (except for knotting the thread occasionally):

Isn't that the cutest little mouse?

Ballet continues with a ramping up of Nutcracker rehearsals.  Oy.

I attended a homeschooling "teacher in-service" night this week, with workshops on topics ranging from early elementary language arts to the college process.  I didn't really learn anything new, just looking on the few hours as a networking possibility.

The best of the week(s): the ability to adapt Daisy's schooling to a destroyed schedule.  Even on the absolute worst days, we've done history and math and she's read and read and read.  And <drumroll please> Older Brother finally submitted a college application!!!!!!!!  He swears the rest will be submitted by the end of Thanksgiving weekend.  I sure hope so as I don't think I could take this stress much longer...

The worst of the week(s): Mike's complicated recovery, duh, followed by sleep deprivation in both of us and a mysterious rash on Older Sister's face.  Just back from the allergist now---possiblity an eczema flare or something viral.  I would like to go a few days without a trip to a doctor or to the pharmacy!

Looking ahead to next week:  Thanksgiving!  We're hosting as usual.  Daisy keeps adding desserts to my meal plan---if she had her way, we'd have 4 different types of pumpkin pie, her apple pie, a cheesecake tbd, a spice cake and cookies.  For 13 people!

I hope you all have an enjoyable weekend, leading to a fabulous holiday :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Not-much-adapting of the Global Winds and Ocean Currents lab (Investigation 7A)

Almost all the supplies for Investigation 7A are household supplies, so not much adapting was needed.

We used 4 clear plastic cups, 2 foam cups, 2 pipettes (called for 1 eyedropper and 1 pipette), salt, 1 tsp measuring spoon, smidge of cardboard, a pencil, staples and food coloring (the paste-type as that's what we own)-------in addition to hot and cold water, of course LOL

Salinity-dependent layering:
Daisy first made some green salt water.
We created a pouring stick by pushing the tip of a pencil through a small cardboard circle.  The cardboard was held under the liquid in the cup while plain cool water was poured down the pencil, so that no uncolored water splashed into the colored water.  I couldn't get a picture of this process as I was the pourer.  After the water was poured in, we could see two distinct layers simulating two ocean layers separated by salinity.
Then Daisy took a piece of foam cup and added staples, one by one, to it.  It took many, many stapes for the piece to eventually sink to the boundary between the two layers.  I didn't get a picture because my silly camera ate the batteries.  By the time I had changed them, Daisy had fished the foam piece out to add more staples so that it sank all the way to the bottom of the cup.

Temperature-dependent layering:
Using the pouring stick technique, Daisy combined cool blue water and hot red water to simulate ocean layers separated by their temperatures.

Creating an underwater waterfall:
Daisy began with cool water in a clear cup.  Hot, salty red water was mixed up in another cup.  She carefully filled a pipette and squeezed a layer of red water onto the surface of the cool water.

The red layer began to form tiny "waterfalls" within the clear water as the red layer cooled.  At first, the hot red layer was less dense than the cooler clear water but became more dense as it cooled.

Observing underwater springs:
We needed really salty water for this demonstration!

Daisy used a pipette to carefully release same-temperature blue water at the bottom of the cup.  The blue water traveled upward within the cup, simulating an underwater spring.  The blue water, being less salty than the clear water, was less dense and created a upper layer in the cup.

After 15 minutes or so, the layers of the underwater waterfall demonstration (red, third from left) had pretty much disappeared but all others remained long enough to show off to Older Brother after school.

To quote Bill Nye, "Science rules!"

Wordless Wednesday----that poor turkey!

Yes, he is being strangled...  I assume that's why the turkey in the center is giving thanks!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Our tenth week: November 1-5

Good gravy, ten weeks?!?!

This has been a week of good (Halloween fun) and bad (the one year anniversary of my mother's death).  Right now I'm writing this in a sleep-deprived fog after waking at 4:30am to drop my husband off at the hospital for a knee reconstruction.  The next  few weeks will be a little challenging to us both, I expect!   For now he's doped up on the couch after successful surgery :) 

I ended last week with uncut fabric on the dining room table (Friday afternoon)

and miraculously was done before the neighborhood Halloween party at 4pm Sunday, despite the almost debilitating neck/shoulder pain I woke with Saturday morning.

Mike went to the party and trick-or-treating with Daisy dressed as The Mouse himself.  Daisy doesn't yet care how he's dressed----the teens on the other hand...

I stayed at home to hand out the candy and nurse my neck and shoulder.  Older Sister went trick-or-treating with friends one neighborhood away and Older Brother went out with a friend across town.  The weather was clear and dry, perfect for costumes and jack-o'lanterns.  This year's offerings featured FrankenPumpkin, a cat who swallowed a mouse, and a classic face.

Mike really enjoys creating fantastic creatures each year.

Of course, we had to admire the haul!
But alas, the fun was all over the next morning when it was back to school...

We covered a mix of topics this week starting with unit conversions (single and multiple steps as in converting gallons to milliliters), then moved on to a variety of  worksheets solving for x in the forms ax=b and a/x=b and then ax+b=c etc.  Daisy has internalized the steps yet I insist on seeing her work, as I know when she reaches more complicated equations it will be very easy to forget a sign or miswrite a coefficient. 

One day was spent on contest-type problems in

which she is enjoying immensely, more so than the MOEMS (Elementary Math Olympiad) materials, mainly old tests, that we've been using.  I think the amusing cartoon characters interspersed through the problems and solutions really help!

We officially started Patty Paper Geometry after just messing around with the patty paper.  A box of 1000 sheets is a lot of patty paper LOL

The first section introduced/reviewed various terms and techniques

(Sorry about the poor quality of the pictures!)

And one afternoon, Daisy organized her Halloween candy by type, then created a color-coded table and bar chart for the candy.  No one will be able to snitch anything from that bag!

I still haven't posted all the labs we've been doing.  I hope to get to that this weekend.

This week Daisy finished Chapter 5: Earth's Environment in CPO Earth Science-----specific heat of land vs water (including Investigation 5B), the Chapter Connection on crazy hurricane hunters, an activity demonstrating Bernoulli's Principle with cheeseballs and bendy straws, concluding with the Chapter Assessment, done orally still.

Ancient China was the main topic this week.  She read from K12's Human Odyssey, from Oxford Press The Ancient Chinese World (chapters 1-5) and from the April 2008 Dig issue on China's Hidden Caves.  Daisy filled out a map detailing the area around the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers and discussed modern-day geography of the ancient civilizations studied thus far---Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus Valley and the Yellow and Yangtze Valleys.  With that, she finished Unit 1 of Human Odyssey!

Today (Friday) while at my sister's house during Mike's surgery, she began reading about Confucius and Confucianism in both Human Odyssey and The Ancient Chinese World (Chapter 10)
English/Language Arts
On hiatus for the month of November while Daisy works on her NaNoWriMo story!  She's writing it in longhand in a spiral notebook and patient Older Sister is typing it all up for her.  So far, so good!

Never learn French words for foods and eating before lunch.  A growling tummy is very distracting.  We've started Chapter 3 in Galore Park French Prep (So You Really Want to...) which so far has introduced eating breakfast and a bunch of regular ER verbs.  We're been doing a page or two each day and reviewing every fourth or so day.  Fridays are now Flashcard Fridays when we go over vocabulary, writing flashcards for the new words of that week.  Daisy has asked for quizzes/tests so I'm going to purchase the Galore Park assessment CD through an online bookseller next week.  She was able to practice speaking French with my sister today :)

Other Fun Stuff
At Girl Scouts on Tuesday night, the girls made a Thanksgiving craft and started making ornaments for a local nursing home.  They'll be working with the nursing home as part of their Bronze Award this year.  Daisy's Earth Explorers class at the local state park was rescheduled due to rain.  It's kind of difficult to teach map reading and orienteering in a downpour.

The Best of the Week: Halloween!  Chocolate!  Fall foods like butternut squash!

The Worst of the Week: getting through the anniversary of my mother's death :(

Looking forward to next week:  It will be interesting while Mike recuperates from his knee surgery to repair his meniscus and reconstruct his ACL.  I hope he's cleared to drive before Thanksgiving!  Older Brother's very last regular season high school marching band performance will be next Friday, at the end-of-season major rivalry game versus Older Sister's school.  I hope I don't cry and embarrass him at the Senior Ceremony LOL

I'd like to publicly thank everyone who visited the blog and commented this week.  Your thoughts truly helped during this difficult time.  Thank you all so much!