Monday, April 21, 2014

Chapter 8: Animals

Chapter 8 of Weaver was all about Animals. This was by far our most favorite unit of the year. We read stacks and stacks of books about animals from the library, and watched hours of Netflix documentaries and Planet Earth DVDs. They learned how the plant and animal kingdoms depend on each other, and memorized the classification of animals. (Remember that mnemonic you learned in school for Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species? Like riding a bike.) You can find the PDF file we used for animal classification here. A mom from a Weaver Facebook group shared the website.( If you use Weaver, it's a great source for support and great ideas!) They learned what a mammal is, and how animals protect themselves while under attack. They each made their own animal notebook, filling out pages for each of the animals they learned about. Many of the papers were completed during a trip to the zoo and aquarium. 

My sweet babies.

We spent lots of time watching the sea otters play.

The next day we spent some time at the Science Center. This was in the model train room.


Loving the homeschooling life!

Field Trips

One of the best parts of homeschooling is all of the field trips that we have time to take. We're members of a zoo and aquarium, as well as museums in both our state and a neighboring state to the north. Last fall, I set up a field trip to our local fire station and police station. It was originally planned in August for the first unit of Weaver, but had to be rescheduled when the kids woke up with pink eye. 

Fire station- every little boy's dream. My nephew asked about 10,000 questions that day. He's as cute as a button.


Police station- getting booked in. (Is that what they call it?)

Trying out the handcuffs. Pushed the thought of germs far out of my brain.

We took a two day art class called "How Great Thou Art" by Berry Stebbing. It's seems unreal that he was able to teach around 100 students of all ages at the same time- but he did! And he did it well. I bought some of his art curriculum, and the kids love it.

This field trip was to our state museum. My husband grew up in the state capital city, and we lived there for six years after getting married. Some of the cousins came along for this one.

The kids filled out a treasure hunt map while walking through the museum. I can't believe we never visited in the six years we lived here! I can't wait until we study state history. This museum is amazing.

Inside the Governor's office.

Our beautiful Capital building.

Not exactly a field trip, but there was a quick ski weekend in December, thanks to my in-laws. Our baby girl went to ski school, and she was awesome! Her cousins called her the Pink Blur. 

Back home, we watched my cousin's dog star as Toto in a local production of The Wizard of Oz.

 I love spending so much time together as a family. Field trips are the best! 

Chapter 7: Plants (In the Dead of Winter!)

In real time (not "neglecting the blog" time) we are nearing the end of the school year. Our portfolio review is next week, so I've been working on pulling everything together. I'm including the blog posts about school in the portfolio, so I'm playing catch up. For chapter 7 of Weaver's Volume One, we covered plants. It was the dead of winter, so most of the information came from library books, but we were able to do some hands on activities inside. 

I found seeds from seed packets and my spice cabinet, then organized them inside an egg carton to see what the kids could identify. 

They then created their own seed charts.

I dug up old mums from my planters outside so we could examine the roots.

They love using the microscope.

Daddy helped teach science that night.

Roots close up!


There were lots of other activities that we'll be able to do in the next couple weeks when we plant our garden, and spend more time outside. It was a looooooong winter, but spring is finally here! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Weaver Volume One Chapter 6: Famine and Water Cycle

We started Chapter 6 of Weaver just before Thanksgiving. The timing around that particular holiday was good, because one of the main topics included world famines, past and present. The life application continually reinforced was that we are to become personally involved with famine.

Social studies included the most common causes of famines, as well as the importance of access to clean water. We researched parts of the world that don't have clean water sources, and the struggles that they face. In Bible lessons, we discussed the first famine recorded in Genesis 12.

In science, we covered the Earth's water cycle, clouds, and oceans. There were also several creative writing topics revolving around our Weaver unit, including one where they imagined their life without clean water. One Saturday I took the girls to distribute bread and hugs to the local community where we volunteer. I'm very protective of their safety, while also showing them that there are urgent needs not far from their own home.

Other subjects outside of Weaver are still going well. We switched up some curriculum in October, and so far, the switches have been positive.

Thanksgiving dinner. So. very. blessed.