Friday, October 24, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up–The Sick One

At the end of last week, poor Lindsey developed a really bad headache, which we attributed to over exertion at ballet and lack of water intake. By midnight of the same night she had a high fever and still the killer headache, nothing else.   The situation deteriorated over night, and a quick trip to the doctor on Friday showed that she had strep, even though she had no sore throat.   This was one of the longest, most miserable weekends I’ve had in years!  By Monday the fever was gone, but the headache persisted.

We found that laying down was better than being upright, and cold, tight compresses on the head helped too.   This was how most of the early week was spent for this one.

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Thankfully by midweek the wee one was feeling better and was able to rejoin us in our lessons.  She’s still been light on food intake and activity, but I think we’re on the upswing now.

Science:   This week we learned about acids and bases and chemical reactions.   We worked on a few fun experiments along the way.

We bundled up and went to the park to collect water samples from the fish pond, lake and the little stream that runs through the park.  We tested the pH levels in each of these areas.

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Once we finished testing the waters, and feeding the swans, we headed back home to test vinegar and lemon juice.  To prove that acids are sour, I had the girls taste the undiluted lemon juice (I can’t believe they fell for that!).

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We determined that the fish pond and lake were alkaline, the stream was neutral and of course the vinegar and lemon juice are acidic (snicker).

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We also worked with chemical reactions…Mentos and Diet Coke.  Olivia just barely got out of the way on this one (rats.)

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Math:   Olivia is loving geometry.   She really likes working with the little 3-d shapes I found over the summer.   These really do help her visualize the concepts much better, and she’s a hands on learner.  This was a lighter week for Lindsey, and she got to review making change (and yes she’s doing her work in her night gown and bath robe).

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History:  We spent time on the sofa reading a few books about the Industrial Revolution.  Next week we move on to inventors and their gizmos.

That’s about it for the week.   I hope all is well in your home!

Linking up with the Weekly Wrap Up and Collage Friday.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Perils of Socialization

The whole “socialization” issue is a sore topic among homeschoolers.   We know that our kids are socialized, and people who encounter homeschooled kids know it too.   But there are still those who still just don’t get it.   I had one such encounter recently, and out of it came a better understanding of some or the perils that accompany socialization.    Let me enlighten you.

My perfectly healthy nine year old came home from ballet one Thursday evening with a headache.   I thought little of it as she’d worked pretty hard and hadn’t taken advantage of the water break offered.   I gave her Tylenol and she seemed fine when she went to bed.

Midnight….yes, midnight, the bane of a Mom’s existence.   That line where a Mom crosses from blissful sleep into full blown majorly sick child mode.   HIGH fever, sick headache…nothing else just those two symptoms.   After an hour of intervention the child is back to a fitful sleep, and Mom is semi-asleep listening for any sound that might indicate distress.

10:00am and the afore mentioned child is still sleeping.  This is good, we hope.  That hope is short lived as said child wakes up with an excruciating headache and a high fever.   We head to the doctor.  This is where the socialization issue comes into play, ahem.

After the general admittance procedures the doctor comes in  and I once again relay the child’s only two symptoms of headache and fever.  The doctor thinks it’s strep (what, with no sore throat?)   This educated person then asks the nine year old “Is strep throat going around your school?”   “No ma’am, I’m homeschooled”…and here we go.

“Have you knowingly had her around anyone who is sick?”   “No.”

“Well if she IS homeschooled how would she have picked up strep?”

I resisted the urge to choke the life out of her with her own stethoscope, and replied as politely as I could; “She’s in ballet four days a week, church two days a week and there’s this crazy thing called a park that has OTHER KIDS”.   She scowled at me as she stomped out of the exam room.

The nurse who came in to do the throat swab was very nice.   He said he’d already had to check his own son for strep THREE TIMES this school year.  Ya’ll, school started in  late August…it’s only mid October.  THREE TIMES in approximately six weeks.  Two out of those three times his son DID have strep.    Now there’s something they don’t mention when they start talking “socialization”, now do they?  

What are the chances that in this small town someone from ballet, church or the park goes to school with the nurses’ son?  Pretty.darn.good.   Do doctors ask those parents “did you knowingly have your child around someone who was sick?”  Doubtful.  It just goes to show, even the most educated people can be totally ignorant.

In addition to a positive strep test, here’s what socialization earned us this week.  Thanks, thanks a lot.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Wizzy Gizmo–Review and Give Away

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I love to review Bible products, especially ones that help with Bible study for the kids.   I was pleased to get the opportunity to review the  New Testament Fast Track Bible Pack (priced at $14.99) from Wizzy Gizmo.  This is a great Bible study resource for family devotions and individual study, as well as kids devotions!

I have to admit just saying the name “Wizzy Gizmo” makes me grin, and isn’t this little guy just the cutest?

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The set contains 28 cards;1 for each book of the Bible, and one overview card.  The overview card lists the book of the Bible, major theme, date, author and number of chapters.   The front of the individual book card has brief biography of the author of that book, and in the case of those who wrote more than 1 book, there is key information as to what was happening when the particular book of the Bible was written.  The back then  has an outline of the book, key chapters, key passages, key doctrines and key people.

I love the heavy duty cardstock that’s used for these Bible cards.  Durability is a must when you’ve got kids handling things, right?!   I also like the color coded sections on the back of the cards, as it helps to keep me focused on where I’m at, not that I get distracted a lot or anything…

In addition to the New Testament Fast Track Bible Pack, Wizzy Gizmo also offers audio dramas ($14.99) and books that your kids are sure to love ($12.99).   Also, the Old Testament Fast Track Bible Pack is currently in the works and should be ready by Christmas.

To read more reviews of this fun Bible study help, click here.

GIVE AWAY

The wonderful folks at Wizzy Gizmo have graciously offered to give one of my readers their choice of either the Fast Track Bible Pack, OR the Audio Drama.   To enter, just leave me a comment letting me know which product you’d choose if you win.   I’ll pick a random winner on November 1, 2014.   Winner will be contacted via email and given 48 hours to respond, or another winner will be picked. PLEASE leave an email address in your comment.

Mosaics Review Disclaimer

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up–The One With All the Rain

The monsoon’s set in over this past weekend and it POURED every day until Thursday.   It was SO INCREDIBLY nice to see the sunshine again.   We’ve had flooding, and tornadoes, very out of character for our area this time of year.   Based on all that rain, our field trip was cancelled until I find a hole in the schedule to plug it back in.

On Tuesday I was thrilled to have my friend Jolanthe from Homeschool Creations  come and speak at my homeschool support group meeting.   It’s great getting to spend time with old friends (as in we’ve known each other for about 12 years, not that EITHER of us is old, ahem.)   You’d think I’d have take a photo…but nooooo.

Thursday was our Activity Day with our support group.  Isn’t this a great looking group of kids (and Flat Travelers)?

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Science:    We have entered the world of crystals and polymers.   We had a few fun experiments, one of which was creating bouncy balls out of  some around the house items.

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We also learned about how polymers mold around items.   The skewer through he inflated balloon was pretty neat.   The girls were sure it would pop when we began pushing the skewer through.  They were stunned to see that the balloon then sealed itself around the skewer keeping the air inside.

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Our final experiment of the week was seeing what happens when Styrofoam comes in contact with acetone.

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Math:   Olivia is working with more geometry now, so we’ve begun using the geo-boards quite often.

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Language Arts:   We’re just plugging along on this one.  Both girls are really enjoying their LLATL courses.   They’re also adding lots of extra reading, of their own choosing (score!).

History:   Our rained out field trip was to be our big history item for the week.  Based on it being cancelled, we had a history free week, with the exception of what the girls are reading about.

Linking up with the Weekly Wrap Up and Collage Friday.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Degas in Chalk Pastels

Edgar Degas was born on July 19, 1834, in Paris.   His full name at birth was Hilaire-Germain Edgar de Gas, but as you can see he shortened it up a bit over time.

Degas is one of Olivia’s favorite artists.  She shares his love for horses and ballet.    As we studied his work and techniques, I decided we’d work with chalk pastels, as it’s a very forgiving media and fun to work with.

I gave each girl a dark blue piece of textured cardstock, the box of chalks and set them to work.  In all transparency, my girls are not brilliant artists (although Olivia is very talented).   The ballerina was traced using one of the patterns found here.   The girls decided where to place their dancer and then traced the outline of the dancer with pencil, everything else is their own work. 

Lindsey chose to put her paper at an angle.  She used greys and whites to fill in the background, as if you are looking into the backstage/curtain area.   Then she added the stage lights as well.

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Olivia spent a great deal of time adding layers of colors and background to her artwork. I love the contrasting colors, and the spotlight on the ballerina.

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Once the student has finished their project.  Tap the edge of the paper lightly to jar loose any extra chalk.   Then spray a thing glaze of hair spray across the artwork.  This step keeps the chalks from smearing.

Books:

Edgar Degas; by Joanne Mattern
Edgar Degas – Paintings that Dance; by Kristin N. Cole
Degas and the Little Dancer; by Laurence Anholt
Marie in Fourth Position – The Story of Degas’ “The Little Dancer”; by Amy Littlesugar
Edgar Degas – Dance Like a Butterfly; by Prestel

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