Sunday, September 29, 2013

Week Seven of Logic Stage Homeschool Schedule

Ok, week 7 is over! Grammar, Maths, spelling and the whole lot is wrapped up. We need a break... but we can't leave town during the coming week (eight) because of commitments to volunteering, band and Bible study.  So, we're doing a reduced load of maths and grammar to keep those muscles engaged, but leaving off of science and history.  I'll post about the events as they come off - because even I don't know what might happen ;-)

This is what we worked on during week seven: 
Tiner, Exploring the World of Chemistry Chapter 2: The Money Metals     12
Kindle:  Wonder Book of Chemistry, Ch13 (A Talk on Tools) and Ch14 (Oxygen)
Hands of a Child Notebook with questions
Review about common properties of metals.  (list 8 things)
Test aluminum foil to determine if it is an electrical conductor
DK Chemistry pages 18 and 19

SOTW3CHChapter 7, begins on page 71
The Spread of Slavery
Tobacco-and Unwilling Colonists
Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates, and watch "Amazing Grace" movie.
Guerber Story of the Thirteen Colonies:  Virginia, Ch. XLI, The Old Dominion, Rolfe, Virginia, Slavery. 1624-1673,
I.  Queen Nzinga of Angola
Marshall – This Country of Ours:  20. Bacon's Rebellion 1676
Guerber Story of the Thirteen Colonies:  Virginia, Ch. XLII, Bacon’s Rebellion, 1583-1663, 1675-1676, Virginia, Ch. XLIII, A Journey Inland, 1676-1688, Carolina, Pirates, Georgia, Ch. XLIV, The Carolina Pirates, 1663-1752,
PAST FACT:  1663, Queen Nzinga of Angola dies

Monday, September 23, 2013

Habitat Study otherwise known as Physical Geography

My theme for teaching PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY was all about field trips and short-to-the-point pieces from Hands of a Child through the vendor  Truly, my focus was on ecosystems, but so much from my teaching assistant position in the Geography/Geology University Department came through these discussions of ecosystems into landforms and weathering factors. 

Over the past six years we've covered ocean, desert, polar, forest, mountain, rainforest and grassland.  We began with the Apologia book about oceans and swimming things.  I enjoyed it, but the book tended to drag on and on even though I brought in the compelling H.C. Holling book, Seabird to read.  So, we moved on to polar topics with a lapbook product that coincided with the winter Olympics in Canada.  Desert ecosystems were next when we got to visit the high desert in Utah several times.  Then the mountain topic because, while in the high desert, there was skiing down a mountain, and it all related so well together.  Deciduous and evergreen forests were discussed while we enjoyed H.C. Holling's book called, Paddle-to-the-Sea.  We studied the rainforest after visiting Hawaii.  I really LOVE field trips!  Lastly, we are now finishing the grassland materials.  Truthfully, I never considered the various grassland habitats on each continent and how those differ. 

We don't do these products as lapbooks anymore.  Even though I have one tactile learner, the others get so bogged down by cutting and coloring, and that wasn't why I wanted this study in the first place.  These studies allowed my 3Gs to read, think and write about each bit of information presented by the HOAC authors as well as other story book materials.  Nature studies were best organized through these topics for us over this period.  Now that we're concluding these habitat studies, Nature Study will take a different direction.  (Including a hummingbird moth in front yard.)


Friday, September 20, 2013

Logic Stage Week Six and a.little.about.Scheduling

My theme for teaching these homeschooled Logic Stage students is DIVIDE AND CONQUER. Now that doesn't mean anyone will meet their demise.  Of course not!  But, it means that each student has a different subject that they engage in during the days of the week. For example, Wednesday G1 does his history readings, narrations and writing while G2 researches her habitat, flag study and Illinois state study questions.  G3 reads and investigates science.  I patrol and guide from their elbows as needed.  Each must accomplish breakfast and Bible study first which takes some "herding" toward task accomplishment, but once they decide which topic or source to start with each day, the Logic Stage is for me to ask the "Why" questions as often as possible and encourage discerning thought.  G3 tends to get his maths done early because it works for him. G1 does his intermittently with other subjects, because he can sometimes hits a wall that needs a change of direction in order to clear the mind of vexation.  G2 gladly works independently in her room and gets her music practice time done along with her maths, because she's all about visiting with her friends when they get home. 

This is in contrast to the Grammar Stage in Classical Education when I taught all three students the same subjects at the same time.  However, I was divided and conquered most often.  I gladly gave up early each day back then because I was so very weary.  I'm grateful for independence seeking tweens during school time.

Week Six of Chemistry and Early Modern/USA History found us using new sources as well as our Kindles.  Did I tell you how much I appreciate the Heritage History resources that bring non-fiction, fiction and biographies from the public domain to the Kindle with images and maps that enhance our learning? Me included!

Tiner, Exploring the World of Chemistry Chapter 1: Ancient Metals  p. 4
Kindle:  Wonder Book of Chemistry, Chap 11 (Burning Metals) & Chap 12 (Salts)
Hands of a Child Notebook with questions
·         Read Sections:  METALS Intro, Properties of Metal and *The Periodic Table
·         Define:  Elements, Lustrous, Malleable, Ores, Ductile, Reactive, Electrical Conductor, Thermal Conductor, Atom, Periodic Table, Atomic Number
DK Chemistry pages 16-17

SOTW3CHChapter 6, begins on page 61
New Colonies in the New World
I.                    Strangers and Saints in Plymouth
·         Synge Awakening of Europe:  The Pilgrim Fathers
·         Marshall –Our (An) Island Story:  ch. 75 The Story of the Mayflower (1620)
·         Marshall – This Country of Ours:  15. How the Colony Was Saved 1610-14, 22. The Story of the Pilgrim Fathers 1606-1620, 23. The Founding of Massachusetts 1620-1692, 24. The Story of Harry Vane 1636, 25. The Story of Anne Hutchinson And the Founding of Rhode Island 1638, 26. The Founding of Harvard 1638, 27. How Quakers First Came To New England 1656
·         Guerber Story of the Thirteen Colonies:  Pilgrims 1620, Ch. XXVIII, The Mayflower (1620), 1620.  Pilgrims, Ch. XXVIX
PAST FACT:  1625, Charles I becomes king of England
II.                  The Dutch in the New World
·         Synge Awakening of Europe:  The Founder of Pennsylvania, The 'Pilgrim's Progress' (Read Pilgrim's Progress)
·         Marshall – This Country of Ours:  Part 3 Stories of New England, 33. How the Charter of Connecticut Was Saved 1687-89, 34. The Witches of Salem 1692, Part 4 Stories of the Middle and Southern Colonies, 35. The Founding of Maryland 1632-34, 36. How New Amsterdam Became New York 1626-1664, 37. How a German Ruled New York 1689-91
·         Peter of New Amsterdam.   by James Otis
·         Guerber Story of the Thirteen Colonies:  New York, Stuyvesant, Ch. XXXVIII, The Beginning of New York, 1620-1664. 1614-1702


Friday, September 13, 2013

Logic Stage Week FIVE! We've made it to a New Stage

A new stage of learning, volunteering and fellow-shipping with each other and our social groups at co-op, church and home.  This is our fifth week of school and everything is going so much better with the daily schedules, tasks and assignments.  I may yet make it through this homeschool gig and so may they.  There are many more reminders to reward brave math effort, wise choice of a response to sibling jabs, trustworthiness, responsibility and getting a job done well.  These 3Gs are growing up.  Yes, they still need help avoiding screens at our house for the television, computers/Internet and portable devices, but, when they are deterred from those distractions, they make great choices to help, cook, read, play games, run, bike, pull weeds, mow the lawn, maintain their rooms and other public spaces here. 

We're finishing the Hands of a Child Chemistry product this week as well as How Science Works from the Reader's Digest Publishing from long ago.  We've begun study of Hebrews with the co-op at CBS, and will begin homeschool band tonight.  The Illinois state study materials from Knowledge Box Central are almost done, so I've picked out books, some juvenile, some easy reader, some fiction and some non-fiction, from the local library to continue notebooking about the state through October.  The USA History course on-line at CurrClick is slow, but helping us learn about the format.  We hope to take high school government and economics from this teacher, so it's very good to get familiar with her teaching methods, hand outs and homework habits.

Below is the list of readings and narrations that guide us along the history and science schedule.  Math, grammar, spelling, art, Latin, French, logic, flags (human geography), habitats (physical geography), and state study went per their regular course.

SOTW3CHChapter 5, begins on page 53
Warlords of Japan
I.  Hideyoshi, Japan's Great Leader
·         Yei Theodora Ozaki.  Japanese Fairy Tales narrate about those
·         Peeps at History – Japan.   by John Finnemore.  Sections:  The Rise of the Samurai, The Coming of Christianity, Three Great Men—Nobunaga, Three Great Men—Hideyoshi, Three Great Men—Ieyasi, The Christian Martyrs, The First Englishman in Japan, The Hidden Kingdom, The Hidden Kingdom (cont.)
PAST FACT:  1592              Hideyoshi directs Japan's first invasion of Korea
II.  The First Tokugawa Ruler
·         A Boy of Old Japan - R. Van Bergen Japan Asleep
Library hardback book
·         Hoobler, Dorothy.  The ghost in the Tokaido Inn,
PAST FACT:  1623, lemitsu becomes the third Tokugawa shogun
                              1633         lemitsu closes the ports of Japan
                              1641, European traders are forbidden to enter Japan

READ and SKETCHaRESPONSE or Narrate (Our soap making process)
·         HSW: Acids and Bases, Salts and Soaps  ACS Chemistry for life topics
·         Kindle:  Wonder Book of Chemistry, Chap 9 (The Two Sparrows) and Chap 10 (Burning Phosphorus)
Hands of a Child Notebook with questions (last week of this source)
·         Sections:  Acids, Bases (soap), Alkalis
·         17. How do we measure how strong an acid is?
·         18. What type of texture and taste does a base have?
·         19. Choose an early scientist and write a brief biography.
·         20. Experiment with invisible ink. Make the pocket book using the graphic.
DK Chemistry pages 14 and 15

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Chemistry: Making Soap with the Cold Process

So, I would never let a classroom of 6th and 7th graders do this.  In fact, I did this experiment as a demonstration once in my 9th grade classroom and it went terribly wrong without injuring anyone.  I learned SO much that time.  And now, I'm letting my kids make soap.  We used the same cold process that I've used about 6 times with my dad to make soap.  This experiment tied in math, science and history because the kids had to research how early soap makers did this without the local hardware store bottle of 100 percent lye.  We did indoor work and outdoor work, but had our safety goggles and masks on the whole time.  They never got close enough to the actual chemicals for the need of gloves.  Another good reason for this experiment in the Logic Stage of learning is for them to understand the dangers and necessity for safety. 

In the first picture you can see the kids in their masks and goggles writing up the experiment with the necessary Scientific Method while I made measurements on the scale.
In the second picture you can see we've moved outside to mix the water into the lye (NaOH) container and record the exothermic reaction with a probe thermometer covered by a plastic bag.

We moved back inside to measure the lard (fats) and prepare to mix with the lye/water.  In the third picture you can see the finished written exercise and the soap poured into cute molds and a big bar in the round yogurt container for Grampa's Christmas present.  These will cure for 4-6 weeks on our side table in the dining room so we can continually monitor the process. 

liquid obtained by bleaching wood ashes (KOH vs NaOH)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Guest Post by G3: My Summer Camp Experience

Three of us boys from our church got to go to Bible camp near Peoria Saturday June 22. It was my first time at camp.  For our schedule in the morning we had flagpole (I liked going to the flagpole early), then breakfast, then cabin clean up after.  After that we had Bible hour.  Bible hour was fun because if I did the study I got a York candy bar for reward.  Then we went to our cabins, and then we looked at our paper to see if we passed cabin clean up.  We had break or time alone with God for Bible.  We went to lunch.  The food was good, because there wasn’t any foods there that I didn’t like – and I’m a very picky eater.   Games were next, but I did not like that time.  I didn't like it that much because during games I ended up in the infirmary.  There was a nurse-mom there and I saw her 4 times.  She was very nice and cool.  There were lots of games.  Many games included water and mud.  There was running games and it was very hot.  Ultimate Frisbee and kickball were the games that caused me to get hurt.  I’m sorta competitive. 

My favorite parts about camp were that my cabin leader was amazing, AND I enjoyed the horseback ride. It was fun. I promised my mom I would go on a horseback ride because she seemed to think it was one of the most important parts of the week.  She grew up riding horses almost every week, so she misses it and thinks it’s more important than spelling.  One of the leaders for the horseback riding people told us we could go down a hill.  So, when I went down the hill, it was very muddy.  Some went down the hill; the horses almost fell all the way down the hill.  The good thing was that I didn't fall down the hill, and I was thankful.  I didn't do paintball though because my mom forgot to sign the form.  Actually, I didn't know we had to sign it, so I will probably do paintball next year.  They also had a pool with one Not-so-springy diving board, but it was still fun though because I had friends there to play with.  When we had chapel (in the evening), the pastor who taught chapel was amazing.  The theme for the week at camp was our identity in Christ, and who we really are.  So we studied the life of Christ. 

I would like to go back to this camp after I try the other summer camp in Wisconsin that my brother went to last year.  There aren’t girls at the Wisconsin camp like there are at the Illinois camp that I attended with my brother and friend from church.  It was weird to be unplugged and I don’t even have a cell phone.  We couldn’t check the Blackhawks hockey match for the Stanley Cup because there weren’t even any cell phone towers to get a signal!  Can you imagine?!

Friday, September 6, 2013

G2 Finds a Volunteering Niche

According to her: 
I got to play with all kinds of fun kids. Well, the oldest kid with 16 months, so they're more like babies ;). There were five other adults there and I helped play with the little ones.  It's for a group that shares English language with Japanese women. It's so fun to be in the nursery, because I get to be with such little kids. One cried the whole time (girl), but she stopped when I was entertaining her.  Another one who cried the whole time finally fell asleep. It was hard for them to be without their moms for the first time.  But their moms were studying English in order to be more active while their dads work in this area.  I was there for 2 and a half hours, but it seemed like only 30 minutes! That's a good thing.

(G2 earned her babysitting certificate this summer and hopes to get more experience with babies before she takes on a job someday to babysit on her own.)

Logic Stage Week Four Wrap-Up

There was much rejoicing that each G got to clear the math vexation cloud in their brains.  These clouds come and go, so we'll just hope for clear skies in the future.  We finished discussing the AIG Dangerous Journey videos and moved onto several videos discussing the pyramids in Egypt.  It was not enlightning, but it did serve a purpose to generate discussion regarding the Bible and ancient history (Bonus: History review).  Art, Spelling and Grammar were done with minimal joy and pain.  Latin, French and Logic were accomplished by G1.  While all three Gs kept up with Grassland Habitat study, Flag study and Illinois State study. 

G2 began her volunteer mission with the Japanese Ladies Language Ministry. She tried the childcare "job" last spring and decided to give the effort a try.  More about that later.

SOTW3CHChapter 4, begins on page 43
Searching for the Northwest Passage
I.   The French in the New World
Synge AoE: 
·         Among the Icebergs,
·         Sir Humphrey Gilbert,
·         The Founding of Quebec
Indians:  Squanto, (easy read)
·         Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Guerber Story of the Thirteen Colonies:  French Explorers, Champlain, Ch. XLVII (part a),
·         Down the Mississippi, Champlain, Quebec.  1604-1608, 1603-1608
Beatrice Home.  Peeps at History – Canada,
·         The Early Discoverers, Samuel de Champlain.  Heritage History
1498, John Cabot disappears in the northern Atlantic. 
1534, Jacques Cartier's first arrival in Canada. 
1553, Sebastian Cabot's expedition sets off on the northeast route)
1638, Samuel Champlain dies
II. Henry Hudson's Quest
Synge AoE: 
·         The Story of Henry Hudson
Guerber Story of the Thirteen Colonies:  Hudson, New York , Ch. XXVII,
·         Hudson and the Indians, Hudson Bay.  1609-1614, 1609
Mara L. Pratt.  American History Stories – I. 
·         English Explorers:  The Cabots (Heritage History books)
1603 Samuel Champlain's first arrival in Canada,
1608 Quebec colony founded in Canada
1607 Henry Hudson makes his first voyage to the northeast Rolfe,
1611 Henry Hudson is set adrift in Hudson Bay
 ·         Continue listening to Witch of Blackbird Pond.

HSW: solutions and crystals, acids and bases, salts and soaps (hard water test), organic chem
·, discover kids magazine about oil
Kindle:  Wonder Book of Chemistry, Chap 7 (Experiments with Air) and Chap 8 (Further Experiments with Air)
Hands of a Child Notebook with questions
Sections:  Periodic Table; Elementary Elements H&He;  Atomic Number; Groups/Periods
DK Chemistry pages 12 and 13
Experiment making soap the way Grampa does with water, lye and lard.   

Local ties in history about discovery in early Canada and Joliet traversing the area where we live.  The Science connection this week, besides making soap, was the idea of water softener system using salt to reduce the need for as much soap.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Nature Study and Transitions

After removing a yucca that insists on crowding the lilac bush at the corner of the house, G1 and I cleared the native perennials that were already processed by the various forms of insects including bees leaving very little COLOR left.  The orange bush I bought from the County Forest Preserve several years ago was fascinating to examine.  The bush looked like this during the summer. Their catalog calls it Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa, and it sits on the east side of our house receiving full sun most of the day. 
Above is what it looks like in the Preserve's catalog when at its height of beauty in the summer.  We didn't get to see any orange yesterday and all the seed pods made the stalks heavy.  We trimmed the leaning stalks and found the seed pods could be opened.  Below we wanted to take special attention to the feathery wisps attached to each seed in the pod.  The seeds were lined up like a peacocks feathers.  This plant is native to the area and these wispy seeds help it get around. 

The transition part of this post relates to the fact that the math hurdle or vexations are past for now.  The long weekend found each G getting special math attentions from the Daddy.  Each student now is ready and willing to finish math expeditiously every morning after breakfast and Bible study. The rest of the day goes so well and tasks were finished in order to examine NATURE.