Thursday, September 2, 2010

Show & Tell: Adventures Week 4

Yep, we've worked together all week, and today we're done with Week 4.  (And if you hang on for a paragraph or two, that graphic will make a lot more sense!)

In history this week we studied Native Americans.  (Does anyone else have trouble not calling them Indians, or is it just me?!)

Our text this week was North American Indians, and there's a page at the back with hand gestures the Native American tribes used to communicate with each other.  (Hence the graphic at the beginning of this post.)  It was a language that was universally understood by all the Plains Indians.  We practiced the gestures and played a game like charades where one person would sign a message and the others had to figure out what the message was.

Here's Millie asking for some water.
And here's Hannah telling us that someone has died.
We also made wigwams and tepees.  Buffalo have been scarce lately, plus it just takes too darn long to cure the hides, so we just made them out of good old-fashioned construction paper.  ;)

Millie's is on the left, Hannah's is in the middle, and mine is on the right.

Our wigwams were made out of paper mache—not the girls' favorite thing—but since it was a small project, they hung in there. 
In science this week, we looked at the solar system and gravity.  We did an activity to help the girls see how quickly light travels and to help them understand how much farther away the sun is than the moon.

We started right by our garage door.
The girls walked for two seconds and then stopped.  I told them that if they were light, they would have already reached the moon.
Then they walked for another 7 minutes 58 seconds.  I told them that if they were light, they would be at the sun right now.
It doesn't really mean much to just look at pictures of my girls because you don't know my neighborhood!  Here's our path on a yahoo map.  Maybe that will put it in perspective.

The blue dot represents Earth, the red dot represents the moon, and the yellow dot represents the sun.  Wowsers—that's a looong way away!
For our gravity experiments, we dropped a Kleenex and a quarter to see which landed first.  Not surprisingly, the quarter did.

You can see the quarter is already halfway down, and the Kleenex hasn't gone far at all.The quarter has already landed, and the Kleenex is only about halfway down.
  Then we put both items in identical snack containers.  Since they were identical, the snack containers weighed the same.  That means the one with the Kleenex was still lighter overall, and the one with the quarter was still heavier overall.

Here are the containers on their way down.  The heavier one didn't fall down faster than the lighter one.  Hmmmmm.This picture is right as they landed.
  So why did the heavier container not reach the ground quicker?  Well, apparently it's because both containers have the same air resistance since they're the same size.

Now, if you know me, you know that I have a somewhat very skeptical personality.  I wasn't happy with the above explanation at all.  I thought the reason they landed at the same time was because, once you factor in the weight of the containers, the weights of the two objects are probably much closer to equal than they were when it was just a container-less Kleenex and quarter.  So I had Hannah go fill one of the containers with rocks, and we kept the Kleenex in the other container.  The rock container was much heavier than the Kleenex container, and I just knew we were gonna blow the Usborne people's theory out of the water!

Here's Hannah, ready to drop her very heavy and very light containers.WOW!  Yeah, the rock container is slightly ahead, but when you consider that they probably weren't dropped at exactly the same time, they're pretty close! I guess those people at Usborne do know what they're talking about!
  We also learned that dropping a container full of rocks might not work out so well for the container! :)

(Edited to add:  This experiment is repeated again in Week 28.  Click here for a much better explanation of it!)

In Bible this week, we had our first memory verse of the year, which Hannah wrote as copywork. She was able to write all of this in about 2 minutes, and her handwriting was still legible! Such an improvement over last year!!! :)

We also made a couple of hands-on projects to help the girls understand our verse.  Each of them made a candle with the verse on it, and we turned the lights out and ate by candlelight at dinner every night.  They loved this!  It reminded them of our Sabbath celebration from 1st grade.  It was so wonderful to hear Millie tell Daddy over dinner, "If people follow Jesus, they won't be in darkness anymore!"

And we made a pull for the light chain on their ceiling fan so they can easily turn the lights on and off in their room without climbing on the top bunk and reaching over.  We just printed a copy of the badge we made in Kindergarten, laminated it, hole-punched it, and tied it to the chain.

In handwriting, we finished up the daily drill pages and ate some alphabet soup to celebrate.

Millie especially loved that!  She had fun finding the letters (and numbers) while she ate.

Speaking of which . . . in Pre-K this week, we focused on the letter L.  Millie has done so well with her Pre-K lessons!  Not just knowing the names and sounds of her letters, but also knowing which words do and do not start with them.  This kid took some major blows to the head as a toddler, and I praise God and thank Him every day when her lessons are successful!

Here's Millie putting together the capital and lowercase L, our letter of the week.
She worked hard to get all of her letters matched up!
***We interrupt this school day for teachable moments!***

We had a couple of great teachable moments this week.  Well, one teachable moment, I guess, and one little . . . something (I really don't know exactly what to call it!) that Hannah figured out on her own.  The girls were making hot chocolate at snack time one morning, and they were both boasting about how their mug was the bigger one.  Here are the two mugs in question.

Millie said that hers (pink and green) was taller, so she would get more hot chocolate than Hannah. Hannah agreed that Millie's was taller but noticed that hers (American flag) was bigger around, so she would get more hot chocolate. So I did what any homeschooling mom would do: filled them to the rim and got out the measuring cup. Turns out they both held exactly the same amount!

And to go along with our Science with Air studies . . . one day Hannah figured out that air would hold a piece of paper against her stomach as long as she was moving.

If she wasn't moving, the paper would fall when she let go of it.But as long as she was moving, the air would push against the paper, keeping it against her tummy. I can't tell you how long this kept her entertained! :)

And this rarely happens, but we even had time to go on a little nature walk this week.

We found several magnolia trees that were ready to drop seeds.
Here's a magnolia seed pod. I'm not sure whether the seeds haven't appeared yet or whether they've already dropped. We'll have to watch and see how it changes over the next couple of weeks.
Anyone know what this is? I think it's some type of weed, but it's so pretty!
I don't know how many times we've walked past this little rock bed and never even noticed this huge rock! It's about the size of a basketball. I can picture this rock from my geology professor's rock collection, but I can't identify it to save my life.
This was in the same rock garden, and it's also about the size of a basketball. I think this one is granite.
If you want to know what school looked like in other homes this week, grab a cup of coffee and head over to Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers!


Danaly said...

My google reader told me you were back to updating your blog and I was thrilled!! :) I am enjoying the pictures and stories greatly. Thank You for taking the time to share. I love it!!!

Wendi said...

Wow! Looks like you guys had a great week. I love all of the science kiddos would love the gravity one :)

Catherine said...

Love all the science experiments - especially the one about gravity! It's also cool to see you use the teachable moments - that something that can't often be done at school. Have a great week!

See Jamie blog said...

I love the wigwams & teepees! And hurray for nature walks! :)

Monica said...

Hey! Your photos and teachable moments just crack me up! I wish our kids could just do Adventures together. Also, I'm freaking out about joining 2 co-ops this year and then I read that you are in two. My problem is they are on Monday and Thurs morns. Will I survive?
Monica at

beaglemamma said...


I feel your pain, girl! At the end of the year last year (when EVERYTHING felt doable), I volunteered to teach a Math & Literature class at co-op. And over the summer I found out that our Sunday school curriculum was being changed from one that used to take about an hour of prep to one that's pretty time-consuming to prep. So I feel like my whole life is planning right now!

But yes, YOU WILL SURVIVE!!! (That sounds like that old disco song!) :) I think it will take little tweaking of the MFW schedule, but you CAN do it! And remember ... the TM isn't your master, it's your servant. Your kids will be getting plenty at co-op, so don't feel like you have to do everything in the TM just because it's in there. And maybe you can even include some of their co-op goings-on in your Weekly Wrap-Up so we can read about them! :)

Stephenie said...

Somehow I missed this post. It's fun seeing what you are doing being that it's just behind what I'm doing! I am not doing the solar system stuff right now though. I just wasn't into it. We are learning about frogs instead (my daughter is very much a creepy crawly girl.)

That is SO funny, my daughter did the SAME thing with a piece of paper when she learned about air!