Sunday, November 27, 2011

Home School Weeks 12 and 13

 The last two weeks of home school have been slightly abbreviated.  The first week we took some time to go to a theater production of Ben and Me and to tour the Ben Franklin exhibit at the Ford Museum.  That week we also went ice skating with the FRC home-school group.   Last week, of course, was Thanksgiving and we only had three days of school. 

The older kids (and Seth by osmosis) have been studying the call of Moses and the Ten Plagues.  We made a booklet with each page describing the plague with pictures and then giving the name of the Egyptian god that God was showing his power over.   The girls had fun making construction paper frogs and putting them all over the house--in the beds, in the fridge, in the showers, on Dad's razor, etc.  They also took red food coloring and colored all the toilet bowl water, Smokey's water dish, etc.  Pretty cute to see them planning their "plagues".

We continued on the third day of creation for our science unit, learning more about molecules.  We learned about chemicals and acids and bases.  We made our own acid/base indicator from red cabbage and were able to test various substances (water, lemon juice, buttermilk, vinegar, baking soda, etc.)

In art we looked at how the Egyptians changed from etching pictures on the walls of tombs, to painting them on the walls of the caves in the Valley of the Kings.  The walls were too rocky to etch pictures so they painted instead.  So, one afternoon we painted our own rocks.  We also just had some "free" drawing time. 

We began a unit on Bach for our fine arts/music appreciation since we finished our Vivaldi unit.  So far, we have just talked about and listened to part of his life story, but will soon move into listening to some of his more famous works.

Seth completed his units on "w" for "water" and "i" for "insect".  In the water unit we had lots of fun (i.e. experiments!) looking at the water cycle.  Seth also learned the difference between a solid, liquid, and gas and made the cutest little chart where he drew pictures of examples from each category.   Seth also learned about "living water" and memorized the words, "Jesus gives my spirit living water to drink."  For insects we got our ants and set up our ant farm.  So far, they are thriving and the kids are enjoying watching them work hard and make their tunnels.  We learned that many insects work hard and the Bible uses them as examples for us to be diligent in our work as well.  Seth memorized the words, "I am a wise child, so I work hard."

Seth's "water" books:  A Drop of Water by Walter Wick; Squirts and Spurts:  Science Fun with Water by Vicki Cobb; Water Everywhere by Jill Atkins; and All the Water in the World by George Lyon. 

Seth's "insect" books:  Ask a Bug (DK); Bugs are Insects by Anne Rockwell; Insect Detective by Steve Voake; Don't Squash That Bug!  The Curious Kid's Guide to Insects by Natalie Rompella; Insects by Sandra Markle; On Beyond Bugs by Tish Rabe; Have You Seen Bugs? by Joanne Oppenheim.

Last week Saturday we had a nice afternoon and were able to go pick up the walnuts we had been unable to get to earlier.  Sharon overpaid my kids, but I couldn't talk her into anything less.  The kids enjoyed working hard and getting paid (they even had fun!) and I enjoyed watching them try to figure out how much to tithe and what to do with the rest.  Seth took most of the pictures that afternoon--all except the ones he is in. 

Russ is getting close to the end of his semester and will have quite a bit of crunch time getting all his papers in.  He did purchase a new "toy" that will save him quite bit of time.  This C-pen allows him to scan the words from a book or article right into a Word document.    He preached both services at a small OPC church in Kalamazoo last week Sunday, and this week he preached at another small church in Dorr, MI (about 25 minutes away).   The first opportunity came through the seminary, and the second came from the church itself.  A member of the first church he preached in had a brother in the second church and when that church was in a bind for Sunday night he recommended Russ.  The rest of us worshiped at the FRC to keep continuity in Sunday school and for Caleb's youth group.  Tonight, however, I decided to take the family to Harvest OPC and realized after we sat down and looked at the bulletin that Pastor Dale and Kevin DeYoung did a pulpit swap.  The best part (other than hearing Kevin preach) was that Trisha and family joined him.  We were able to visit briefly with Trisha and see their newest addition--Mary--for the first time. 

We had a great Thanksgiving as Cora and Marlon and family came up for a visit.  More about that in the next post.  I also had a wonderful surprise phone call on Saturday night from my sister Lynn in Haiti.  How awesome it was to hear her voice and listen to her laugh! 

We look forward to a busy few weeks and then getting ready to head to Iowa for the next holiday.  Weather permitting we plan to leave on Dec 17 and make the drive straight through.  

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