Thursday, November 22, 2012

Short Week for the Holiday

Ninja with a slinky
Since we were only schooling Monday and Tuesday this week, I decided to make it a fun school week.  We packed the days with math puzzles, reading, hands-on science, art, and documentaries.

Our art project for this week was taken from the website Art Projects for Kids.  The boys both used the tutorial for drawing the Mayflower.  This is the closest we came to incorporating Thanksgiving into our schooling.  Like most Americans, we enjoy a big meal and family gathering to celebrate this holiday, but JT and I both have big problems looking at the early history of the United States with anything less than outrage over the way our ancestors treated the native peoples of this continent.   Our study of American history often turns into discussions on the possession of land and atrocities committed by early settlers.  I sometimes wonder if he would be able to contain himself in a traditional classroom if he wasn't given the opportunity to express his opinions about these things.

Both boys spent time on their reading assignments.  JT is reading the young reader's edition of Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy.  EM is working on My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George.  We are also currently reading John Quincy Adams by Jane C. Walker aloud for our study of American history.  Math has consisted of a review worksheet on multiplication of fractions and a puzzle sheet involving Mayan math for EM and puzzle problems involving addition of positive and negative integers and exponents for JT.

Our science unit right now is covering sound, light and energy.  The first three weeks have been focused on studying sound.  This week we have been reading the chapters related to sound energy in Janice VanCleave's book Energy for Every Kid and doing the related projects.  The slinky demonstrations were especially fun for the boys.  And let me tell you, it isn't easy to get a good picture of a slinky in mid-wave!

boys think they are funny

We have  also been looking at diagrams of transverse waves and longitudinal waves.  When I asked JT to show me how he could represent a wave with an increased amplitude, including a source for the sound, he proved he understood the concept and can be quite a stinker all at the same time.  He will need to work a bit on his portrait drawing; I really don't look that much like Pac-Man.

Finally, we watched some interesting documentaries online this week.  I sometimes forget how many great programs are available for free.  PBS is one site with a good selection for viewing.  On Monday we watched Can I Eat That? and on Tuesday we enjoyed Magic of the Snowy Owl.  We also watched a short program called The Science of Picky Eaters.  I now know that EM's extreme resistance to eating vegetables is more than likely genetic.  There is a good chance he may grow out of it, but for now I can rest easy knowing I am not a parenting failure just because my boy will not eat certain foods.

And that is a good reason to celebrate and be thankful this week.

1 comment:

Annie said...

You know, the quality of your homeschooling always amazes me. I'm sure we are doing fine, but I always feel like we can improve when I read about what your crew is doing. More power to you!