Monday, January 26, 2015

building with cups!

I am mentoring a "fun with science" 6-8 year-old class at our co-op on Wednesdays.  Last week we had a "builders" day, and one of the building/engineering activities I had was stacking cups.  I picked them up at the dollar store.  My boys had a lot of fun with them at home....

See this picture, he was holding him back from knocking them down until I took the picture!

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 I think the kids in the class came up with some pretty great towers.

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I loved how one girl did it this way, inverting the cups.

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Then she did rows of colors in a pattern.

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 I am amazed at how much fun kids had building with some colorful cups.  I even liked doing it!

Desiree

Friday, January 23, 2015

New year's day at the A.C. Gilbert museum

Back on New year's day we went to the AC Gilbert museum down in Salem as a family.  It was a fun day, and a fun way to ring in the new year.

They have a nice huge outdoor area for playing.  It was a beautiful day, though very cold!

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Over Christmas we watched the movie "The Man Who Saved Christmas".  I knew we had the museum down in Salem, and we've been there plenty of times, but after watching the movie over Christmas I was more curious about why we had A.C. Gilbert's museum in Salem, OR.  So, I kept my eyes open as we were there, and I definitely looked closer at the timeline up in one of the houses.  What ties does A.C. Gilbert have with Salem?.....He was born there!

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After watching the movie, it was so much more interesting to look at everything that we had looked at the last 20 times we had been there!

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It was exciting to see 2015 up in the dress-up room.  I had a good feeling about the new year when I looked at this sign.

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This boy cracked me up as he was looking in the mirror at himself.

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They had a craft room of making masks.

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They all requested to sit on the huge rocking chair for a picture like we have done before with all the cousins.

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The grocery store room...

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This room is kinda neat.  There is a camera (of some sort?) set up and the kids can dance around and watch the screen change patterns.

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Desiree
 

Pinewood derby time

Aaron finally got to experience his first pinewood derby last night!  He was so excited especially the final few days before when he was finishing up his car.  He had a lot of late nights, but he finished his tank just in time.  It turned out pretty neat looking, and all his design. It was fun to see all the different cars and their reflection of each boys' personality.
 
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It was fun to be a part of something so awesome and exciting as the pinewood derby race.  There really was a lot of excitement, especially as the boys were bringing their cars in to get weighed and any adjustments made.  

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All the boys got to sit on the inside of the track so they could take their cars back and forth, and watch the race as their car went down.  Aaron was actually nervous before the races started, but once they finally started he warmed up.

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 Once the races started it got loud, and even more exciting.  Everybody cheered for different cars and boys.  It was a long night, but oh so fun and worth it.

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It cracked us up to watch Aaron put his car up on the track. Every time he would carefully set it up there and look at it to make sure it was lined up perfectly. That's the kind of boy he is, always wants everything to be just right.

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 Alex hung out with some of his friends watching the cars for a while, but then he got bored and started climbing all over Dad.  I love this picture of these 2.

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The boys ran their cars several times in different groups.  I don't remember what the totals were, but Aaron said he won 8 races and lost 4 so that means if he was counting right he raced 12 times. It sounds about right for the number of times each boy raced, and there were 22 boys which made for a lot of races!

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 The boys got to stand down near the end when their car was racing and watch.  It was fun to watch their reactions, and hear the comments as others were cheering.

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 I bought 4 boxes of ice cream sandwiches which was 80 bars total. We handed out all but 2!  I'm so glad I bought 4 instead of 3 like I was thinking at first!  This was one of our most packed meetings this year.

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The whole night was so fun, and I was happy with how everything turned out.  I was happy to see all the boys excited and happy about their cars.  As their leader it's fun to see them get excited about all these things that they get to do.

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There were awards for each boy in a category that best matched their car.  Aaron got the "best military tank", and we heard him say when he sat down "mine was the only military tank!"  It was cute. Yes, they were creative and funny for the categories.

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Aaron's den was also in charge of flag for the night. It's always nice to see the boys doing this.

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Aaron won 2nd place over-all, so he was a pretty happy guy afterwards. I think it was definitely a night he'll never forget.

IMG_7735 Thanks to all the hard work from everybody that made this fun race possible!

Desiree
 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Home depot for kids

I finally remembered to take my boys at the beginning of January to the kids building thing at Home Depot.  They had a good time making mini sleds.

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I love having a big sister helper.
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Glue was everywhere! But, that's half the fun right?

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The finished product!

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Desiree
 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Our week in review...

highlights of the week... 
The boys started wrestling! Mat club at the local high school started up again, so they'll get to do that 2 times a week until the end of February.  It is so good for them, they get some good exercise and they get to wrestle (one of their favorite things to do!) 

Aaron has been working all week with his Dad on his pinewood derby car. I didn't get any pictures of them working, but it's looking pretty good.  It's almost ready for this Thursday's race!
 
Things we created this week...
Aaron made this drum set out of old yogurt and sour cream containers, and duct tape.  I was impressed with his creativity!
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Aric was playing with our suspend game, and made every rod balance all at once.  We had a co-op science class on playing with balance.  He was able to get that pretty well!

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What we are reading...
This beautiful piece of paper called "book bingo" has worked wonders for reading around here.  I realized this week that the boys just weren't picking up books (unless I did for them), and that they needed a little encouragement in that area.  I found this great little printable at Our Busy Homeschool, and filled it in with choices that I want them to pick up on their own.
It did the trick.  They were itching to get a bingo and a blackout.  I gave them incentives (more books from scholastic book order) to help them along. Now we are all reading more! Wish I would have gotten more pictures of them reading, it was a happy sight!  Oh, and our library book basket has been overflowing all week.  They have been looking more at the library for choices too!

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Places we are going...

We had the usual wrestling, violin, piano, and co-op outings.  We had a science and math fair this week.  Click on the link to see pictures of their completed projects. Saturday we stayed in pajamas most of the day, then Mom and Dad went out for a date night dinner to Gustav's.  It was delicious!  We hadn't been there for years, but we'll definitely be going back!

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 In our homeschool this week...
The science fair projects took 2 whole days this week (Thursday and Friday) so that's all we did on those days.  

I pulled out sonlight science this week to do a lesson, and the experiment was playing with magnets.  The boys had a good time with this.  I didn't get a picture of it, but Aaron made a chart all on his own using different magnets and pins.  I was surprised since he usually hates recording anything if it involves writing.

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All these experiments were from the Usborne book of science activities vol. 1.

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 It is so fun to think back over the week, and see what we have accomplished.  There were a few other things that I never got pictures of like playing with Kinetic sand and geometric solids (super fun).  I'll have to get a picture of that this week.

Hope you had a good week!

Desiree 

science and math fair, and award

I am a proud Momma right now.  All 3 older kids had some amazing science and math projects done in 2 days for a homeschool science and math fair on Friday night. They decided at the last minute that they wanted to do something (even though we've known about it for a few months now).

April and hexaflexagons
Well actually, April was kind of roped into doing her hexaflexagon demonstration but she happily took the challenge to put it together real fast.  I didn't get any pictures of her demonstration for some reason.  But here is a video that is really fun to watch to learn what they are all about.  April even made a huge hexaflexagon scrapbook.



Aric and the frog life cycle

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This child blew me away with this project.  He wanted to decide on every part, and wanted things his way, and he did!  I was impressed with his dedication, creativity, and desire to get it done.  I tried to be as hands off as I could, just giving him ideas, and helping with organization.  That was hard for me, but so worth seeing the satisfaction he had on his face the whole night showing his project to everyone.

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Aaron and the water cycle

I think Aaron had a different idea in his head for his project, but this is what he ended up with.  He wanted to quit, but I helped him through it.  I'm not sure this project really reflects him so much, but he did good, and stuck to it.  I think we'll find a topic that interests him more next time.  Looking forward to the next science fair (with a different homeschool group) in a few months!

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Another part of the evening was awards for the Scholar classes.  April is in the Key of Liberty class, and has a lot reading, memorizing, and more.  Here are the first semester award requirments.

1st Semester Award Requirements:
  1. Memorize and recite or sing the Star Spangled Banner.
  2. Read "The Mayflower Compact".
  3. Watch a related video (selected by mentors; we will have movie days to help you fulfill this).
  4. Read the following books and discuss them:
    • Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang
    • The Landing of the Pilgrims by James Daugherty
    • John Adams, the Reluctant Patriot of the Revolution by Leonard Falkner
    • The Making of George Washington by William H. Wilbur
  5. Memorize and recite The Declaration of Independence (excluding the 27 injuries of the king).
  6. Give a "Class Presentation" on your chosen colony.
  7. Fulfill the requirements for the United States Heritage Award.
  8. Complete 6 of the 12 writing assignments.
  9. Memorize the Ten Commandments (for non-secular award).
  10. Memorize and be able to place the Thirteen Colonies on a map
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She passed off all of them except the writing assignments and the whole Declaration.  She received her "key of liberty", and the ribbons on it represent the individual things she did.

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Now her class is moving onto the 2nd semester portion of this class.  So for the rest of the school year here's what she'll do:

2nd Semester Award Requirements: 
Finish any requirements from 1st semester and:
  1. Memorize the “Preamble to the Constitution.”
  2. Watch these movies: “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” and “A More Perfect Union.” (We will have movie days during the semester to help you fulfill this requirement.)
  3. Read and Understand the Constitution. Quiz on Articles, Sections, Clauses and Amendments.
  4. Write a 2 to 4 page Hero Report and present an oral presentation in class.
  5. Read the following books and discuss them:
    • Freedom Factor by Gerald Lund
    • Fifty-Five Fathers by Selma R. Williams
    • The Great Little Madison by Jean Fritz
  6. Read and discuss the article: “The Proper Role of Government” by Ezra Taft Benson
  7. Complete 9 out of 13 writing assignments.
  8. Read and study George Washington’s Farewell Address (abridged version) and complete a personal vocabulary list.
  9. Memorize five scriptures and five quotes on freedom (for non-secular award).
  10. Prepare to and participate in the end of class simulation.
The end of class simulation will be from what I hear, going to the capitol building, but not for just an ordinary field trip.  I think they will have some sort of experience in the courtroom or something.  I love how this class challenges her, and the great things she learns.  I also love how events like this inspire the kids to do something big and make learning fun.  It was a fun night!

Desiree

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

3 little cubs

Our nature study last week was a trip to the zoo.  We were so excited to finally see the cubs!  We got a membership a year ago, and every. single. time we have gone the cubs have not been out.  We finally got a good look at them this time.  These 3 reminded me of 3 little boys I know really well...

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Can we just name them Aaron, Aric, and Alex?

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It was fun seeing how playful they are.

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We were watching them for quite a while.  Alex didn't want to leave.  Eventually they were all trying to get on this rock with mama maybe?

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Sitting on the statues is always a must...

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We came around to another window to get a better view, and they were still trying to get up on the rock.

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This jeep is always fun, and each boy has to have a turn driving it.

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I love this picture of Alex with the chameleon.  I wonder what he's thinking...

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 The zoo is a fun place.  We'll miss our membership as it expires soon, but it was a fun year.

Desiree
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