Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Only My Millie ...

Greg helped the girls clean out their closet on Mother's Day.  While I was sewing with one, he would take the other one back and have them try on clothes; then we switched.  Millie found a camo shirt I made Hannah for a VBS dress-up day a couple of years ago and became enamored with it.

This is how it was intended to be worn ...

But this is how it looked best according to Millie's taste ...

So what do you think?  Is she bound for New York or Paris in 15 years???

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Show & Tell: Adventures Weeks 30-32 (Gasp!)

Goodness gracious, what kind of slacker have I turned into?!  Apparently the kind who's so ready for summer that she's doing good just to get school done, much less blog about it!  Hang on to your hats ... we're covering some ground today!  Here's what we've been up to in school for the past three weeks!

In Bible we spent Weeks 30 and 31 focusing on Jesus as the Resurrection and the Life.  Now, travel back in time with me a couple of weeks.  It's Easter week.  Easter. Week.  We're studying that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life on Easter week.  Score one for our homeschool!  Plus, I noticed in the teacher's manual that resurrection cookies was one of our scheduled activities.  WOOT WOOT!  Perfect, right?!  Yeah, I thought so, too.  So don't ask me how in the world we managed to get through the entire unit (and the entire holiday!) without ever making them.  :(  Sounds like a bad case of end-of-year-itis to me!  But at least we got to read some timely Bible verses. :)

In Week 32 we shifted our attention to Jesus as the Word of God.  We spent some time talking about how words are important because they communicate ideas.  We discussed how Jesus was with God from the very beginning, but He didn't come into the world in the flesh until he was born as a baby in Bethlehem.  We spent a good while talking about how his appearing in the flesh meant that people actually knew him, rather than just knowing about him.

One of Hannah's Bible activities for Week 32 was rearranging the words to see what Bible verse they made.

Behold—the finished product!
In history, we spent Week 30 looking at the Transcontinental Railroad and the way it changed our nation by making it so much easier to travel to the West Coast.  We learned that a Chinese crew worked on the California end of the railroad and an Irish crew worked on the Missouri River end, and the track was completed when the two crews eventually met in Utah.

We did some mapping to get an overall picture of the growth of our country's mainland.

The red area was acquired in the Treaty of 1783.
The blue area was acquired in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

The orange area was acquired by the Florida Treaty in 1819-1821.

The lavender area was acquired by the Annexation of Texas in 1845.

The pink area was acquired by the Settlement with England in 1846.

The yellow area was acquired by the Treaty with Mexico in 1848.
And finally, the green area was acquired by purchase from Mexico in 1853.
And we also learned that Colorado was the next state (#38) to be added to our country.

In Week 31 we shifted our attention to life on the plains.  We read our last story from American Pioneers and Patriots, and we're all sad to have to say goodbye to that book!  It was one of our favorites this year!

We added the next two states to our notebook (North Dakota and South Dakota) and learned about Mount Rushmore, which I have never seen in person but would really, really love to someday.  I can't even begin to imagine the artistry and ingenuity it took to carve that mountain.  I am completely and utterly fascinated by it!

And in Week 32, we added four more states:  Montana, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming.  I would be lying if I said Hannah will be sad when I give her her last state sheet.  I would also be lying if I said Mommy would be sad to give it to her.  :)  But I have to give that kiddo credit for being a trooper and doing what she's asked to do.  She still thinks it's fun to guess the state abbreviation before she turns the paper over to look, which is getting a little harder now that we've covered so many "M" states!

Here she is working on her Wyoming state sheet.

I try to add in hands-on activities for the states whenever I can.  When we studied Wyoming, we read a few facts about Old Faithful here and watched a video of it erupting here.  Then we simulated our own geyser eruption by blowing through a straw that was placed under an upside down funnel in a trifle bowl filled with water.

Hannah went first.

Then Millie wanted a turn.  Look at Hannah's cheeks in this picture!  She's blowing right along with Millie!

Daddy even wanted to get in on the action, and we got quite an eruption from him.  We're not always fond of Daddy's big eruptions, but this one was okay.  ;)
We also began looking at inventions that changed our world.  This week we looked at McCormick's reaper, the sewing machine, and Thomas Edison's many inventions, including the light bulb.  Other moms out there who know how to read probably studied Alexander Bell and the telephone this week, but moms like me just skipped right over that section and moved along to Edison.  (Really, don't ask.  I don't even get how my brain works.)  Next week we'll go back and learn about that telephone.  After all, it will be a huge part of the girls' lives in about 5 years, right?!  :)

The girls picked out fabric to make pillowcases, oh, maybe three months ago???  So since we learned about the sewing machine this week, we finally went ahead and made them!  Oh, the things you can get a mom to do when it's in the name of educating her children!

Hannah has really amazed me with her skill on the sewing machine, but I decided to just let Millie push the pedal while I guided her fabric along.  ;)

Here they are with their finished products.  Millie chose Disney princess fabric, and Hannah chose dinosaurs.  Is that them, or what?!
In science, we spent Week 30 completing the second half of our magnet activities.

The girls measured to see how far away their magnet had to be to pull an object toward it ...

 ... then they saw that if they were trying to pull that same object up against gravity, they had to get their magnet closer to overcome the force of the gravitational pull.

They learned that their magnet could be used to guide metal objects that are in water ...

... and that the magnetic force will even travel through the water to pull them!

They had lots of fun using a magnet to make a paper clip "float" in the air ...

... and using like poles to push one magnet away from another.

(Especially the one in the picture below!)

We leaned that magnets can be used to temporarily make non-magnetic objects act like magnets.

The bar magnet is causing the washers to act as temporary magnets.
This new knowledge was used to build some pretty impressive structures out of washers and nuts!

And under Daddy's supervision, they even constructed an electromaget!  (This is one Mama would have skipped right over.  Woo hoo for Daddy being home!)  :)

The battery made the metal rod magnetic, so the washer stuck to it.

We put a compass up to one end of the rod and saw that it attracted the South Pole of the compass.

Then we switched the battery around, which changed the direction of the electric flow through the coil, so the same end of the rod attracted the North Pole of the compass.

In Week 31, we moved on from magnets and looked at light and color, friction, and air power.

We learned that, although light shines in straight lines, you can make it turn corners.

We saw that the friction created when you rub a coin on my teacher's manual not only makes the coin hot but also smears the ink on the teacher's manual!  :(  (Stuff like that really bugs me.  And this poor manual not only now has those smudge marks, but it also was apparently the victim of a brutal glue incident at some point.  But it's okay; I'm taking it one day at a time and managing to cope with these little tragedies life throws my way.)  ;)

I wish I would have had a prism on hand for our light studies, but I've never picked one up.  That's one of many things on my school "to do" list for next year.  :)

Our air power lesson had several activities.  There's a slight chance that I may have put these activites off for one or two or seven days because the page just looked so daunting with stuff to do E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E I looked!  It wasn't daunting in reality, but it looked daunting in the book. And when something looks daunting, I do what any rational girl does: I ignore it until it goes away. Only it didn't go away, so we finally got around to doing it a full week later. (Which might be why I'm posting three weeks' worth of updates in this one post!)

First we looked at how sails help boats move by catching air that then pushes them along.

Not much "wow" factor with those results!  We may have to redo it in the pool when it warms up a little so we can really get a feel for how much the sail helps the boat to move.

For our second wind power activity, we taped a balloon to a straw with the goal of trying to get the balloon to move from one side of the room to the other using the air inside the balloon as its power source.  First we tried using a long balloon (the kind clowns use when they make balloon sculptures for kids), but it just didn't have enough "oomph."

Don't you just love a 7-year-old who knows everything about everything?  But we redid it, just to see if maybe she did know what she was talking about.  :)

Nope, the long balloons just didn't work.  But don't think they were wasted!  We now have a collection of oddly-shaped balloon dogs, fish, and hats scattered around the house.  ;)

When we used a regular balloon instead, our activity was a success.  (Proud Mom moment:  Listen to Millie at the end of this video!  You go, Millie-Girl!!)  :)

And for our final wind power activity, we made a windmill and used air to power the windmill so it would wind up a string with a button tied to the end of it.

Here's a picture of Hannah's windmill.
And here's the windmill in action.  (She couldn't get it work the first time, so she swapped the button out for a lighter one.)

And in Week 32, we learned about sound.  The main point of all of our activities was to reinforce that sound is just vibrations.

We put a balloon up to our CD player so we could "feel" the music.  (And I'm not too proud to tell you that our music just happened to be the Armed Forces Medley.  Nothing wrong with multi-tasking.  And besides, it's May, and at this point Mama's all about doing whatever we can to get. it. done.)

We also put tissue paper over the end of a toilet paper tube so Hannah could feel the tissue paper vibrate when she sang into the tube ...

... and plucked a rubber band so she could see the vibrations.

We also made a couple of musical instruments that used vibrations to make different sounds.

Hannah really loved that last instrument we made.  She's not allowed to take electronics to church camp this summer, so after we made this, she proudly told me she would be bringing it to camp because it's not an electronic.  :)  Then she carried it around for the rest of the evening, trying to figure out how to play Jingle Bells on it.  But the funniest was this morning before church when I caught her doing this ...

And this is where I was going to put pictures of the butterfly release we went to for Earth Day (that was during Week 30), but this post is now so ridiculously long that even I can't stand it.  And I'm a really wordy kind of a girl!  :)  So the butterflies will have to wait for another post.

Next time, I'm reporting on Week 33 and only Week 33.  ;)

Hop on over to Kathi's A Heart Like Water or Kris' Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see what others did this week!