Tuesday, January 12, 2016

BFSU: Air Unit

Prerequisites: Energy Unit and Matter and Magnets Unit

Resources: Magic School Bus episodes

Lesson 1: BFSU A-6: Matter II: Air Pressure, Vacuums, and Earth’s Atmosphere, part 1
Lesson 2: BFSU A-6: Matter II: Air Pressure, Vacuums, and Earth’s Atmosphere, part 2
Lesson 3: BFSU A-6: Matter II: Air Pressure, Vacuums, and Earth’s Atmosphere, part 3
Lesson 4: BFSU A-6: Matter II: Air Pressure, Vacuums, and Earth’s Atmosphere, part 4
Lesson 5: BFSU A-6: Matter II: Air Pressure, Vacuums, and Earth’s Atmosphere, part 5
Lesson 6: Magic School Bus Goes On Air
Lesson 7: BFSU A-7: Air: A Mixture of Gases, part 1
Lesson 8: BFSU A-7: Air: A Mixture of Gases, part 2
Lesson 9: BFSU A-7: Air: A Mixture of Gases, part 3
Lesson 10: BFSU A-7: Air: A Mixture of Gases, part 4
Lesson 11: Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm
Lesson 12: BFSU A-8: Matter III: Evaporation and Condensation, part 1
Lesson 13: BFSU A-8: Matter III: Evaporation and Condensation, part 2
Lesson 14: Magic School Bus Wet All Over


This post is part of my series on using BFSU as a science unit study.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

World Religion Study: Islam

Islam was up next in our study of modern World Religions. As we intend to with all of the religions we're studying, we started by reading the applicable chapter in One World, Many Religions by Mary Pope Osborne.

We then read picture books of stories and celebrations:
  • Nabeel's New Pants: An Eid Tale retold by Fawzia Gilani-Williams
  • Celebrating Ramadan by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith 
  • Under the Ramadan Moon by Sylvia Whitman 
  • Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story by Hena Khan
  • Ramadan by Suhaib Hamid Ghazi 
  • What Will You See Inside a Mosque by Aisha Karen Khan 
  • The Camel in the Sun by Griffin Ondaatje


If you would like to see what else we have done as part of our World Religion Study, please go to the main page for these studies.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Alliterative Action

We had a very alliterative to do list one day:


The stupendous surprise? A new (used) Wii with a small stack of motion-oriented games. Need to beat those winter doldrums!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Rebalancing

The last couple months have been a bit of a struggle in trying to balance The Kid's desire for more, more, more learning and input with her struggles with perfectionism and tendency to get stressed out.


I don't talk a whole lot on here about her intensity or her giftedness. They're parts of who she is, and we're constantly trying to figure out how to manage the intensity.

If something is too easy, she has no interest. If something is too hard, it can cause full scale meltdowns.

She wants much of her time filled with structured activities, but really needs downtime or she burns out quickly. She wants to learn everything, and she wants to learn it all right now.

She is five years old. She would be in kindergarten by age, but her academics aren't. If we covered all the subjects she wants in a day, we'd have 3-4 hours of academics daily. I aim for 2 hours.

We've tried very relaxed school days. We've tried very structured school days. They were both disasters. We're now back to our previous routines - math, handwriting, and Spanish daily in the morning, with other subjects generally once a week or wrapped into our project time.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Splatter Painting

We found a Jackson Pollock painting during a trip to an art museum this fall. Finally, an artist I can help The Kid mimic! We actually did this project a few weeks ago during a warmer fall day.

First, we gathered supplies for practicing:


A few colors of paint in bowls, some water to rinse brushes, a large variety of paintbrushes, and a towel to wipe hands on. Plus several large sheets of paper.

Then The Kid practices what types of marks she could make flicking different paintbrushes in different ways.


Finally, I broke out the great surprise: a real art canvas!


The final product is now hanging above our dining room table! She is so proud of it and talk about her favorite parts of it when we sit down to eat.



Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ancient History: Africa/Egypt

We spent quite a lot of time immersed in Ancient Egypt. The Kid did a homeschool history fair project on mummies, so there's more of a mummy emphasis here than we may have had otherwise. I have been reminded a few times already in our study of Ancients how little information there is regarding some parts of the world, and Africa is one of them. We found what we could, but truly could not find much that wasn't about Egypt.

We started the unit by reading:
  • Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History, pages 172-173
  • Story of the World: Chapter 11a (we have read Anansi stories before and therefore did not do the ones in SOTW)
  • Story of the World: Chapter 2
We then read one more chapter of Story of the World each week for the following three weeks:
  • Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History, pages 116-117
  • Story of the World: Chapter 4
  • Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History, pages 134-139
  • Story of the World: Chapter 12
  • Story of the World: Chapter 13
Nonfiction books we enjoyed:
  • Egyptology: Search for the Tomb of Osiris by Emily Sands and Dugald Steer
  • Kids in Ancient Egypt by Lisa A. Wroble
  • Everyday Life in Ancient Egypt by Kirsten Holm
  • Top 10 Worst Creepy Egyptian Mummies You Wouldn't Want to Meet by David Stewart
  • Egyptian Mummies by Henrietta McCall and Dave Antram
  • You Wouldn't Want to be Cursed by King Tut by Jacqueline Morley
  • You Wouldn't Want to be an Egyptian Mummy! by David Stewart
  • You Wouldn't Want to be a Pyramid Builder by Jacqueline Morley 
  • Top 10 Worst Things About Ancient Egypt You Wouldn't Want to Know! by Victoria England
  • Treasury of Egyptian Mythology by Donna Jo Napoli - we started out loving this, though it is really long and we moved on before we got quite through. 
  • Pyramid by David Macaulay
Fiction books we enjoyed:
  • Funny Mummy: Over 350 Jokes From Ancient Egypt by Steve Bertman
  • Casting the Gods Adrift by Geraldine McCaughrean - wonderful longer read aloud telling the story of the pharaoh Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti as seen through the eyes of a boy becoming a craftsman for the royal family
  • I Am the Mummy Heb-Nefert by Eve Bunting
  • Temple Cat by Andrew Clements
Activities we enjoyed:



Following along in history? Go back to the Ancient History main page.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Kid in the Kitchen

What better week for a post on cooking and baking?

This past month, The Kid has been helping out more and more in the kitchen. She's five, and like most kids she loves to help in the kitchen. I realized recently that she could probably do a lot more than she has been if I slowed it down a bit. She now is my assistant during preparations for most lunches. Starting last week, we now swap roles for one lunch a week and Sunday brunch - she is the cook, with an adult assistant.



What do your kids start out learning to cook? I'd love to find more stuff she could actually be independent on!