Friday, October 5, 2012

Homeschool Mother's Journal - October 5th

In my life this past week…

We wrapped up the 12 in 12 project for September and began thinking of things we want to do for October.

Sophia and Olivia petting the dogs at Northwoods Humane Society.
It was one of the places that we help each month 
through donations of cans, cash, and Kitten Chow.

In our homeschool this week…

One of the things we learned about this week was electricity. Using Sonlight's TOPS Learning Systems book about electricity, we did experiments about connecting cells in series, opposition, and parallel.

This is an example of cells in series.
The batteries are lined up in the same way,
so the light is the brightest with 3 batteries.
It has a medium-level of brightness with two batteries,
and is dim with only one battery.

By doing this, we were able to see how the way the batteries were positioned affected the brightness of the light bulb.
This is an example of a parallel arrangement.
There is a strip of tinfoil under the batteries as well as on the top.
The top strip of tinfoil is connected to a light bulb.
Because these batteries aren't in a series, 
the light bulb is rather dim - 
as if only the energy from one battery is being used.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

Whenever you can tie into a field trip or hands-on activity to what the children are learning, it makes it all that  more engaging and fun for them.

This past week, we went to United Noodles in Minneapolis. It is the largest Asian grocery store in the Midwest. We saw some things we had tried before, things we purchased to try at home, and some things that we probably wouldn't be trying...but nonetheless were interesting to see.

The ice tray on the left hand side has squid and octopus.
This isn't something we typically see in our local grocery store.

One of the things that we were surprised about where the variety of eggs that are used in Asian meals. There were even egg yolks that were sold separately from the rest of the egg. We had never seen anything like that before.

Some of the eggs that are available at United Noodles.
We saw quite a few duck and quail eggs.

I am inspired by…

The beautiful colors of autumn are still here in rich shades of orange, gold, yellow, and red.

Some of the leaves I enjoy seeing.

I'm constantly inspired by nature - the variety of colors, the wildlife that I've seen during the past week (pheasants, turkeys, and deer), and the changing temperatures.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

The girls have their regular activities during the upcoming week combined with homeschooling. At this point, there are no extra trips or activities scheduled which is a change from the past few weeks. I think having a week where it's a bit more quiet is a welcome change.

My favorite thing this week was…

Sophia, Olivia, and I enjoyed going to the alpaca farm for the annual Alpaca Farm Days that they hold each year.

This alpaca came right up to us and 
wanted us to pay attention to her.

The farm has over 60 alpacas, many of which were quite friendly.

Sophia and Olivia with one of the alpacas.

What’s working for us…

We are using A Reason for Spelling this year. I wish I had used this curriculum many years ago. It is one that both girls enjoy, and is helping them retain the way to spell 15 words each week. It's a

According to A Reason for Spelling's website, the curriculum "incorporates a variety of successful teaching techniques: daily practice, self-correction, visual imaging, detailed student feedback, learning games, the test/study/test sequence, and much more. It also includes special activities in every lesson to help motivate visual, auditory, tactile, and multi-faceted learners."

Things I’m working on…

I finished my September embroidered quilt square for the Embroidery Journal Project...making it nine squares total so far this year. Only three more quilt squares left and then I can begin making the quilt.

September's Embroidery Journal Project
quilt square.

I’m reading…

I went to the library on Thursday and picked up quite a few books for the Wellspring spiritual growth program I'm doing this year (from October through June 2013).

While I was there, I went back to the craft section and came across Craft Activism - People, Ideas, and Projects from the New Community of Handmade and How You  Can Join In by Joan Tapper.

The book is packed with beautiful pictures, fun projects, and inspiring ideas. I'm looking forward to reading more of Craft Activism this weekend.

I’m cooking…

I've been trying quite a few new recipes that I saw on Pinterest. If it weren't for that site, I wouldn't be finding such delicious recipes.

One of the highlights from the past week was Easy Egg Casserole. The recipe will be posted soon.

Easy Egg Casserole.

I’m grateful for…

Getting to the car dealership's service center when I did. On Tuesday, I had to brake quickly for a low-flying female pheasant. Had I not, she would have gone through the windshield. After braking, I noticed that the brake pedal went almost to the floor. Something wasn't right.

Brought the car in on Thursday when I was dropping off the girls for equestrian vaulting. Drove to the dealership, and they said that it was good that I brought the car in when I did. Essentially the whole brake line was rusted and the brake fluid was leaking. What potentially could have happened was that I could have been driving, tried to use the brakes, and would have found out that they didn't work.

Needless to say, I feel incredibly grateful that the brakes didn't go out before I got the car to a dealer. I'm even more grateful for the fact that it is a fixable problem. As much as I would like to get a new car, the reality is that the cash needed to purchase a car hasn't all been saved. Until it's a matter of being patient and waiting.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

"I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and 
in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, 
the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. 
And for that I am grateful."
~ Elizabeth Edwards ~


Dorie said...

I agree - hands on activities and field trips are wonderful times of learning and connecting book knowledge with tangible life experiences.
And, ohhhh, the fall colors! Just lovely. The rain has stopped for the day here and we plan to spend the afternoon out in the woods soaking in the season.

Savannah McQueen said...

That egg casserole looks delicious.

Anonymous said...

I wish teachers would have had more hands on in my classes - but I guess that is the benefit to home schooling

Rita said...

That pheasant was sent to you as a gift. :)

The Asian grocery store looks fascinating. I will have to check out their website.

The alpacas are so interesting! I've never seen a real one up close. So cute.

Enjoy your weekend! :)

Were Parents said...

The battery trick is so cool. And I think seeing all those eggs would be so neat!

Elisebet Freeburg said...

I'm enjoying your posts. You always seem so busy!