Monday, August 21, 2017

Day 170--Solar Eclipse!

Today all we did was watch the eclipse. It was very cool. We didn't have any viewing glasses, so we used the telescope. We aimed it at the sun and put a piece of paper by the eyepiece to project the image.

And the shadows were totally fun. I'm not sure the kids believed me when I told them they were going to be crescent-shaped. 

The shadow of my hair was crazy--all feathered out on the sides. Looked a little 70's to me!

I think Eliza Jayne liked the shadows too. I snatched this picture off Kamille's blog!

The kids also started going to Seminary today. That's an early-morning scripture study class for the high school kids in our church. I think I've mentioned it before. We have a really hard time with things early in the morning, but they're trying it. It starts at 6:00am so it can be before school for everyone. They got out of the house without waking us up, so that's a plus.

See you next time!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Day 169--Legos!

We've had a couple sick days this week. My headache didn't go away after falling asleep on the couch Monday, and Sam ended up with a fever by Tuesday evening. Today was really the first school day this week because of it all. Why is it so hard to do anything constructive after lying around feeling terrible?

Jeff started reading a book with the kids called Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World, I think. It's about an Antarctic explorer. It didn't start out as interesting to them as I had hoped, but I'm sure Jeff can make it better. I think if he just reads it to himself and talks about it like he likes to do, they'll want to at least look at it. Lead; don't push, right?

Sam bought himself a big Lego set from the Ninjago movie. It's a Mech Dragon. Of course it was almost impossible to concentrate on math because we interrupted the building of it. I could only hold him for so long. Good thing it was a review day and he didn't have to learn anything new. I think I would have had to changed plans if that had been the case.

We edited a pamphlet that we got from a company we bought some bulk food from. I was surprised how uncomfortable it was to read. I hope my teaching them to edit by using written material from companies doesn't cause them to be judgmental of others, but it really did need some work. I'm always looking for ways that labels and advertisements could be more clear. That'll come in handy soon, because I think we're going to try to make a product to sell and I'm going to have to write the label. I'll tell you about it a little later.

See you next time!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Day 168--Helping Others

We got up at five this morning! We drove an hour and a half to put together some groceries for some people that don't have enough food. We didn't love getting up that early, but it was fun to do the work. We were at a food storehouse that our church owns. We worked in pairs, but since there are five of us I got to work with a fun girl and get to know her a little bit. She's planning on coming every Monday for a while.

We've all been pretty tired from it. I even fell asleep on the couch, which immediately gave me a headache. It's not too painful so hopefully it'll go away over night. But that never happens. My head is ridiculous.

The only thing academic we did today was read a couple chapters of A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park. We decided to read another one we know we like. We watched old episodes of My Favorite Martian too. We'll call that history and maybe science. Jeff's still on vacation this week, and we need to figure out something fun to do. I don't know that we'll try to go back to that gorge to get some pictures this week or not. It's kind of a long drive.

The other day, we practiced framing photographs. Here are some where we tried to make sure there was something interesting going on in certain parts of the frame. If you draw a tic tac toe board on the picture, you should have something at the intersections instead of centering everything.
This is Sam's with a couple of the bushes placed properly. I love the sidewalk.
Sarah took this one with Jeff's head at one of the intersections.
Jeff took this one with everything centered and then...
he took this one for comparison. See how much more interesting it is not centered?
On to another lesson tomorrow. See you next time!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Day 167

Another "vacation" day. We were going to go hiking today and take some amazing nature pictures, but we got lost! We were going to a place we've been several times, but we've only been there from our old house. We have to take a different way from here, and we never could find it. It was kind of ridiculous. So we ended up just going over near our old place to pick our car up from the shop. We have an honest and inexpensive mechanic there that we like, so it's worth the half-hour drive sometimes. Anyway, no pictures.

When we got home, we finished reading Frankenstein. It wasn't the most satisfying ending to a book that I've ever read, but it was ok. It was definitely well-written, though. After we got done, I looked for some words that were totally new to us and had the kids try to spell them. There were several words in the book that I've never seen before, so that was fun. I should go through it and make a list for us to look up.

We didn't do a lot of other things today. The kids took a walk or maybe they rode their bikes. Well, Rachel rides a scooter. The one we got for Wilson the first year he went away to college. It's the kind you stand on like a skateboard--not like a moped! It's fun.

We watched Arsenic and Old Lace before bed tonight. It's so funny, but I hope Jeff doesn't wake up thinking about it. He's so sensitive. Kind of like a little kid. He was awake thinking about a Hallmark murder mystery the other night. It wasn't even the most creepy one. Poor guy.

I asked for stories for my homeschool book today on a moms' forum I like. I'm looking for stories about just sitting there next to your child like I talked about the other day (Day 160). I think it's such a great concept. If you have any stories about modeling or just quietly being with your kids and it helped them get through a task, please put them in the comments or tell me you have a story and I'll get together with you to get it.

See you next time!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Day 166-New Bike

Today was non-academic. We read Frankinstein first thing (the monster killed again) and then we had to get ready to go. We went to the funeral of someone we knew years ago. Then when we got home we worked on putting together a new bike. Jeff has worked at the same company for over 25 years so they gave him this gift award thing where he got to choose what he wanted. There were some pretty nice, expensive things on the list; and we chose the bike. We got a women's for Sarah. We finally got it put together today and she tried it out. It was much better than the tiny one she's been riding with her knees hitting her in the chin!

It was a little tall for Rachel's comfort though. I told her that when I can't reach the ground on a bike, I feel like I can't reach the bottom of the pool. That scares me pretty badly. Our legs are much shorter than Sarah's.

We're making Jeff try this procedure for sleeping better that we heard on one of the Great Courses. You set your alarm and get up at that time no matter what, then you go to bed a little later than the amount of sleep you want--like half an hour--and get up at that same time the next day and then back up your going to bed time by 15 minutes until you have a day that you're not tired. Also, you can't take naps. And I told him he can't lie around in the recliner moaning and half asleep. I'm probably keeping him awake typing this in bed though!

Tomorrow morning we're off on a hike to take pictures.

See you next time!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Day 165--Locking the keys in the car!

Rachel locked the keys in the car tonight. Of course it had to be on the night when the other car is in the shop. She went to a young adult religion class about 25 minutes away and I like her to text us that she's gotten there. So she put her keys down and texted; then she got out and shut the door. Of course we always lock the car. She called us, and we called my niece who lives a few minutes away. But she didn't answer, so we called my parents who live 20 minutes away.

My dad said he'd come and let us use his car to go to where Rachel was, and my mom said we should make Rachel a spare set of keys for her purse. But guess what? We did! We all had forgotten that she has a spare with her all the time. So silly. We texted her in her class and told her to check her purse for the spare and go get the keys out of the car. Yay for planning ahead! I guess she won't be as likely to lock the keys in again; and if she does, she'll remember the spare.

We tried to organize our sticky notes today for our writing project, but I'm not sure it went well. I had put my opinion on one, like I said yesterday, but my opposing viewpoint one wasn't really opposing the thing I said. I had said that I think people should have porch swings because they are relaxing and the opposing point was that they're in the way, could get messed up by birds, and the weather wears them out. Rachel said it's ok because they were just reasons to have a swing or not to have one. I don't know. I'll have to think about it.

Sarah had to make a biological key today. She's learning how to classify organisms. She's studying Kingdom Protista. I think that's like algae. It was not easy! I told her she didn't have to do it this time (she had done one for bacteria in the last module), but she told me I discourage things that are hard. Can you imagine? I said that actually she does that because she complains so much that sometimes I just don't want to have her do it. I guess we both have something to work on! She did a pretty good job of making the key though. You have to come up with all these questions and depending on the answer you go to this or that question until you've figured out what phylum (or class, order, species, etc.) the organism is in.

We played tennis today. Sam and Jeff have gone a couple times without us, so Sam's getting better faster than me. It didn't work out too well for me today anyway, because I hurt my arm right away. It's been kind of hurting when I play lately. I'm not sure what I did, but it's a bummer. Also, there was a dead baby bird or something on the court and we were afraid the balls were going to hit it. It was incredibly nasty. Jeff found a piece of bark and a stick to get it with, and he threw it in the woods. I'm going to have to take some kind of disinfectant next time we go. It was just too gross.

See you next time!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Day 164

Today we used an idea I've heard Julie Bogart and Rita Cevasco talk about. It was sticky notes. We started working on some opinion papers we're going to write this week by putting one thing each on sticky notes. We put the topic on one and then answered some questions from Help for High School to get ourselves thinking. We put our opinion, in brief, on one and then we put what the opposing opinion would be on another one. We drew a little too. It was fun. Tomorrow we'll have to decide what order to put them in for our papers and start coming up with sentences.

We read some more of Frankenstein today. I'm getting to the point that I just want to read it until it's finished. It seems like I get to that point in every book. I get more and more impatient for the outcome. Today, Frankenstein agreed to make a female for the monster in order to save his family from being killed by him. I never expected the monster to be able to speak so eloquently or so convincingly. It's a little creepy.

Sarah's reading Shakespeare Stealer right now, and she was saying she doesn't remember a lot of things from when we read it aloud together. I don't know how long it's been since we read it, but we must have done it fast. Whenever we read a book too fast, we can't remember details about it later. I guess Charlotte Mason was right. She said to read a book slowly so you can mull it over in between readings. I guess our brains must think about it even when we don't realize it.

Sam's making his way through The Scarlet Letter. He didn't want to read it at first because it's by Nathaniel Hawthorne. That's who wrote The House of Seven Gables, and he didn't care for that. He says nothing ever happened in it. That it was about the family sitting around breathing. He's kind of right, but I liked it anyway. He's finding The Scarlet Letter quite a bit more interesting though.

I started editing Rachel's sequel this weekend. Ooh it's going to be good! I told her she should try sending Becoming Sencra's Queen to an actual publisher and see what happens. I think she's going to look into that. So exciting!

See you next time!