Friday, September 19, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up–Science and Sling Shots

We’ve had another pretty good week here at Learning Curve.  On Saturday, the girls had costume fittings and role announcements for this year’s Nutcracker.   Olivia will be a Russian, Arabian and a soldier.  Lindsey will be a party girl and Arabian.  I will be busy, yes very busy.

With the exception of my being EXTREMELY fatigued all week, things have gone really well.  I feel like someone has just  drained every ounce of energy out of me, which may or may not have cause a bit of crankiness as well, but I digress.

Before I forget, I’m hosting a give away this week.  I have a copy of the book Rubber Band Mania up for grabs.  Be sure to pop over here and enter for a chance to win.

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In Language Arts, Lindsey is preparing to work on a  research paper unit.  She mailed a letter to the state capital asking for anything they might have that would help her learn about the state.  She was thrilled to receive a huge package containing work books on the state governing, industries, symbols and lots more.

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Science: we mostly reviewed what we’ve learned about matter, and added to our science notebooks.   We did however create a little water cycle project.  I up cycled and old candle jar and then had the girls layer rocks, sand and top soil in the jar.  We then added a little container of water (a medicine dispenser cup) and a couple of the “hens & chicks” from my flower bed.

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The girls were really happy when they started to see the condensation building up on the lid, causing the rain to fall.   We might add a few miniature pieces to this and make it a fairy garden, if it does well.

History:  We are continuing our combined Wild West/Native American unit study.   We took the opportunity to combine those studies with the Rubber Band Mania review and created sling shots.

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Thursday was hectic.  I had to run a family member to a doctor appointment, followed by our monthly Activity Day (and my 2 hour board meeting), and of course then off to ballet.  So yeah, it was busy.

Friday is normally our short day, but we had to make up for what me didn’t get to on Thursday.  We’re also adding a couple of boys to the mix this afternoon….so I’m thinking our Friday tea may get put off this week.

Linking up with the Weekly Wrap Up and Collage Friday.

 

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Rubber Band Mania–Review and Give Away

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I imagine the rubber band craze has hit your house, just like it has mine.   The kids are always making some new creation, and I’m constantly finding little rubber bands all over the house…van…washing machine...

When I was asked to review Rubber Band Mania, I assumed it would be a book about making bracelets, and it is…but it’s so much more!   

The author includes projects that use both the crazy bands and regular rubber bands to create everything from bracelets to catapults and musical instruments.   The book has color photos, and easy, numbered step by step directions for each project.   It even has a little symbol to let you know if it’s novice craft or if it’s for Super-Craft-Person.   You might laugh, but for those of us who have had  a craft flop because you just couldn’t wrap your mind around it, this is a BIG thing.  Too bad the particular project I picked didn’t have that symbol, ahem.

None the less, despite the fact that “tie in three or four knots to secure” was a bit ambiguous, we were able to create these lovely slingshots.

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I also love that the book has little Snap Facts laced throughout the book. For example, did you know Columbus “discovered” rubber while in Haiti?

My only complaint is that I wish the descriptions of the SIZE of rubber band was a bit more…helpful.   “Use 1 wide rubber band and 12 regular rubber bands” is a bit vague to me, and slowed down our project as we tried to figure out how LONG the WIDE rubber band needed to be.

Give Away:

The publisher’s have graciously provided an extra copy of  Rubber Band Mania as a give away!   To enter, just leave a comment letting me know why you’d like to win the book.  Entries must be received by midnight on October 3, 2014.   I’ll pick a random winner and send out an email notification.  Winner will have 48 hours to respond or I’ll have to pick another winner.

 

I received a free copy of this book for review purposes only.  I was not required to write a positive review, nor did I receive any other compensation.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Artist Study–C.M. Russell

C.M. Russell (March 19, 1864 – October 24, 1926) was an American artist who was famous for his Wild West artwork.   Russell moved to Montana at the age of 16 and began his life as a cowboy, and artist.  During his lifetime, Russell created more than 2,000 pieces of art about cowboys, Indians and landscapes of the old west.

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For this particular project we used watercolor paints, watercolor paper and black construction paper.   I’m not opposed to using the cheaper watercolor sets in plastic cases that you buy at most stores.  However, you’ll find if you have tubes of watercolors, and use watercolor paper, you’ll end up with a much nicer finished product.

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It’s also nice to have various size paint brushes available.  Be sure to give everyone a paper towel or old cloth to remove excess water from their brushes.  Water colors are VERY forgiving. Either add more water, or dab off excess and you can totally change the look.

For this project you’ll want to have your paper in the landscape position.  Use your water colors to paint and blend your sunset over the majority of your paper.

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Once you’ve finished layering your paint, use a piece of black construction paper to make an outline of a landscape.  (I totally forgot to take a photo of this step.)

Glue your black paper over the bottom portion of your painted paper and, tada!

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Happy painting!

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up–Goop & Pop Rocks

Our school days are going really well, but truth be told, I’m having a hard time getting our evening schedule to flow smoothly.  Between the two girls, we’re at ballet 5 nights a week now (that’s about to change to 6 a week, but really who’s even counting at this point?)   The issue isn’t the frequency, but rather the time.   5-6 M/W for one, 5:15-6:15 T/Th for the other, and then 4:15-5:15 Fridays for both.  

Dinner is the big issue. By the time we get home from ballet, and I cook dinner it’s after 7 when we eat most nights.   Wednesday has been deemed sandwich night because everyone can eat in the van on the way to church (which starts at 7).  I’m going to have to get a few more go-to crockpot recipes to make this work more smoothly.   If you have any tried and true crock pot recipes, please feel free to share them with me….please!

Math:   We’re all still happy with our switch to Horizons math.  One thing Olivia and I have noticed is that Math Mammoth wasn’t as “advanced” as it claimed.  She’s running into things she’s never seen and it’s in a review format, so apparently it’s a concept that Horizons covered in 5th grade.  This is slowing us down a bit as I’m having to teach the “review” and the “new” together.   

Language Arts:   I so wish I’d switched to Learning Language Arts Through Literature sooner!  Both girls are really enjoying the format, but they are also learning so much more (and retaining it) through this method.

History:  We’re still working on our Wild West Unit, and have managed to create an American Indian Unit in the works.   I’ll be sharing both of those in the next few weeks. 

Science:  We’re still learning about matter in it’s various states.  Along those lines, Goop, or rather “Non-Newtonian Fluid” was by far one of our biggest hits of the week.  This part of our science experimenting took on a life of it’s own and lasted for several hours.  I was perfectly fine with that, and enjoyed getting goopy myself.

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Remember Pop Rocks candy from way back in the day?   Well that was one of the necessary evils for one of our science experiments, and believe it or not…Pop Rocks isn’t as easy to find as one might think. None-the-less, the combination of soda and Pop Rocks does make a balloon inflate.

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Art:  Our artist this week was C.M. Russell (1846-1926).   He was an American painter and sculptor, and was famous for his scenes of life in the wild west.  He fit nicely with our western theme in history.  I think our sunset watercolor paintings turned our lovely.

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Poetry:   A Home for Mr. Emerson was the ONLY book I could find at our library about Ralph Waldo Emerson.   I find that disturbing, but I’ve found that artists and poets aren’t easy to research with books anymore.

P.E.:  The girls completed 3 weeks of intensive and conditioning at ballet.  I’ve taken the liberty to add what they learned to our daily work and have created a ballet/P.E. hybrid.  I have 4 index cards, each listing 4-6 different exercises/stretches.  Each girl grabs a card between subjects and works on those skills.  It’s not uncommon to see this during lessons.

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Linking up with the Weekly Wrap Up and Collage Friday.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Week 3-The Baby Turned NINE!

Due to Labor Day, and a certain someone turning NINE, we had a short school week.   Yes, birthday’s are school holiday’s in our house.

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The husband and I spent Labor Day installing some new kitchen cabinets.   This is a work in progress, but here’s a teaser.

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Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday were regular school days.  Well, we did math, writing and language arts and went to ballet.   We skipped everything else this week so I could have time to work on the kitchen project, because we have family coming over this weekend and I want it finished, grins.

Thursday was Lindsey’s actual birthday.   The girls and I went to one of Lindsey’s favorite parks and then to the arboretum to watch the turtles and fish.  Yes, that’s what she likes to do on her birthday.  

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It’s been a fun, full week.  Looking forward to sharing with you again next week.

Linking up with the Weekly Wrap Up and Collage Friday.

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