Friday, September 30, 2011

Full Day of Fun Exploration at the Nature Center

I love our Nature Center. Repeat: I LOVE our Nature Center! The Howard Christensen Nature Center, now operated by Lily's Frog Pad, is one of our favorite places on earth, and it's one of the BEST places to enjoy a field trip. The entire staff is friendly and welcoming. Our homeschool group took pleasure in a sublime field trip there this week, with two elementary classes split up of younger students and older ones. Everyone reported they had a splendid time! Our guide, Kare Greenup, was simply wonderful. She is a talented instructor for young kids and teaches with a thought-provoking, lovable character that the kids just soak up as they learn all about God's big, beautiful planet! Here are some photo highlights of our latest adventure!

A true adventure in education!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Johnny Appleseed Day!

We hosted a small apple unit study today to celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day. The kids had a couple of friends over (with the help of a great homeschool mom friend!) and we made Johnny Appleseed books filled with various apple crafts, experiments, math and geography studies related to apples and the story of John Chapman, a.k.a. Johnny Appleseed. The kids helped make Apple Muffins & Apple Pie and we enjoyed cider, applesauce and many different kinds of apples and the seeds inside--which we used to play a fun Apple Seed Toss game. Fun day!

One of the coolest projects we did was each of the kids picked an apple out of the bowl and studied it. They answered questions about it, filled out a worksheet (is it lopsided, does it have any dents or color streaks, is the stem long or short, etc.) and even named their apples. When they were done, they put the apples back into the bowl and we mixed all 9 of them up again, and the kids had to find their same apple again. It worked, they all could find their same apple. :)

And here's Disney's 1948 Johnny Appleseed movie on YouTube. :) (It's in multiple parts)

Apple Muffin Recipe
1 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup applesauce
1 apple, peeled seeded and finely chopped
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Grease/paper 12 cup muffin pan. Sift dry ingredients in large bowl. In another bowl, mix egg, sugar, applesauce, apple and oil. Combine wet and dry. Diving into muffin cups, bake 20-25 minutes.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Highlights from our Homeschool Week

A snapshot review of our homeschool adventures last week.

Praying Mantis: The kids jarred a praying mantis with dad and we continued with our fun insect studies (recently also enjoyed adventures with Click Beetles and Honey Bees).

Computer learning programs

Weather Wheel

During math time with our oldest, our youngest stays (mostly) occupied with puzzles, or playing with various math manipulatives as we learn.

Making orange people, a craft my daughter thought up to create "Little Miss Helpful"

Kindergarten Workshop: once a month on Mondays with kindergarten-aged homeschool students, they enjoy seasonal and holiday related activities, crafts and shared learning.

We were dog-sitting Brutus for a week for our friends. My daughter loved him!

Checking on and re-flooding our homemade Nile River.

Soccer Practice.

Reading time with dad!

Social studies and history lessons

We are studying Egypt all through September. This week my daughter enjoyed making a mummy coffin out of clay and I even wrapped her and her brother up like mummies for fun after reading the book, "You wouldn't want to be an Egyptian Mummy" by David Stewart.

First night of Girl Scouts!!! She is so excited to be a Daisy!

Reading to her brother, cuddled up on the couch (heartwarming homeschool moment #5,712)

Making their Bee Book

Awana!!! She brought a wood-carving of her first verse that her Grandma made for her when she was a baby. She is really loving AWANA and she is thrilled to have one of her homeschool friends from co-op there, too.

Honey Farm Field Trip... See our Bee Study here with lots of pictures from this trip.

Friday is our weekly Homeschool Learning Cooperative Day!!! Last week was writing/music, sign language, art and playground.

After co-op we joined nearly 200 homeschoolers at the movies and thousands more across the country attended as well for Homeschool Movie Club's choice pick of Dolphin Tale! It was completely awesome. Highly, highly recommend this movie. Family fun, based on a true story, and it even involves and pays a nice tribute to home education. The Homeschool Movie Club's website even offers related curriculum. Very exciting.

Soccer exercise and fun!

Making oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with mom...

...and wanting to know if they can eat the dough. ;)

Relaxing with some old-school video games---my husband's original Nintendo! :)

Geography with our interactive map of the United States

A busy, but extremely blessed week!!!