Digging Degas

The final artist we studied this year was Edgar Degas. The boys painted their own (and rather very abstract) version of The Bellelli Family.
Digging Degas

They raced to put together a puzzle of The Ballet Rehearsal on Stage. Cameron won as is typical.
Digging Degas

They created works of art in the style of Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. Cameron and Fritz completed theirs with clay, but Adrian gave up and painted instead.
Digging Degas

That completes our art study for the year. We’ve really learned a lot (and Cameron’s art skills have improved quite a bit) over the last two years with Confessions of a Homeschooler World’s Greatest Artists.

I love this time of the school year…

With just one more week – just 5 more days – left in the school year, we are slowly finishing things up. Fritz finished his vocabulary weeks ago and Fritz and Adrian finished Math-U-See Delta and Beta around the same time (though they are continuing with Epsilon and Gamma, getting a head start on next year). Last week Cameron finished logic and this week he finished vocabulary, grammar, and math. We just have one more page of religion, two short books to read for history, a science experiment, and a picture to paint next week. This week we finished music and stopped Latin for the year (since we had finished a chapter and don’t have enough time left to complete another). It’s always fun to get things done and move things to the to-be-made-into-portfolios pile. Soon I’ll be putting next year’s stuff in the binders and bins and putting them on the shelves to await the end of August giving us three lovely months of vacation.

Playing the Stock Market

Since last fall we’ve been doing a long term stock market project in history. The boys were each given a maximum of 1,000 virtual dollars to invest in one single stock. They’ve been following the ups and downs of their stock every week for 22 weeks.

Cameron chose to invest in Apple (AAPL). This was a mistake (though he says right now would probably be an excellent time to invest in them). He bought at $112.49 and was able to get 8 shares for a total of $899.92. He sold today at $93.90 with a loss of $148.72.

Fritz picked PepsiCo stock (PEP). He earned a little bit over the course of the project. He bought at $98.83 and was about to get 10 shares for a total of $988.30. He sold at $102.82, giving him a profit of $39.90.

Adrian likes Skylanders and other games so he invested in the company that makes them, Activision (ATVI). He is our big winner in this project. He bought at $34.47. He was able to purchase a 29 shares for a total of $999.63. He sold today at $38.60, the highest Activision stock has been in the last 22 weeks, earning a profit of $119.77.

Meet Filli and Kree

We are Filli and Kree. We are very loving and happy sugar gliders who have very distinct personalities. We were born (came out of our mother’s pouch) on St. Patrick’s Day.
Meet Filli and Kree

*Kree must do everything first before Filli will. She has to eat the food, drink the water, play with the toys, climb the cage wall before Filli will follow her example because it’s safe.
Meet Filli and Kree
*Filli usually steps back and lets Kree do whatever she wants because Kree is a bit rougher and more energetic unless apples are involved… then Filli shoves Kree out of the way so the apple can be hers.
*Kree will stand on Filli’s head if things aren’t going her way. She has to be the dominant sister.
Meet Filli and Kree
*Filli will happily sit and watch everything Kree does and get the same enjoyment out of it that she would if she were doing it herself.
*Kree will lunge at Filli to play fight and then stop just before we collide and we start grooming each other and then we chase each other around our cage or the tent happily.
Meet Filli and Kree
*We are not good at sharing so the people we own must give us each our own apple slice when in the bonding pouch so we don’t fight over one. They even had to buy us a second food dish so we wouldn’t shove each other anymore.
*Kree is a little bit smaller than Filli which amuses the people we own because Kree acts younger, but also tries to glide more which is an “older glider” thing.
Meet Filli and Kree
*We don’t really know what to think about the dog yet… she just growls at us like we’re a danger.
*We love to play together, but we always play with separate toys because, again, we’re very bad at sharing.
Meet Filli and Kree


Meet Filli and Kree
Hello, my name is Kree. I’m one of two Sugar Gliders that adopted a family of Duks last weekend. I figured I should introduce myself to everyone.

*I am hyper, clumsy, outgoing, jumpy, brave, and trusting.
*I like climbing, toys, chewing on everything plastic or fleece, sleeping, standing on my sister, crabbing (my annoyed “LEAVE ME ALONE” sound), drinking, my ball pit, and my banana sleeping pouch.
Meet Filli and Kree
*I DON’T like when my sister gets too close, when my sister tries to eat my apples, when anyone tries to wake me up and I’m not ready to get up, and being picked up and not being allowed to run around that person’s back and shoulders.
*I love dangling toys and running in my wheel.
*I will crab at you if you attempt to wake me up before I’m ready.
*I will happily bury myself in my ball pit and sleep for hours.
Meet Filli and Kree
*I will chew on the bars of my cage loudly if I want to run around in my family’s tent.
*I will try to do things as fast as possible because I’m so excited and then get confused and fall down because I don’t know where I should go next.


Meet Filli and Kree
Hi, I’m Filli. I’m the other Sugar Glider… Kree is making me introduce myself.

*I am shy, nervous, sleepy, slow, happy, friendly, loving, cuddly, and curious.
*I like playing with my toys, cuddling my tail, cuddling any fleece blankie around, cuddling my plastic frog, sleeping in my toy bin, cuddling my sister, chattering, hanging upside down, watching my sister do everything, and chewing hair and fingernails.
Meet Filli and Kree
*I DON’T like when my sister crabs at me, when anyone looks at me, when I can’t climb, and when my sister is asleep and I’m awake.
*I love apples and watching Kree run in our wheel.
Meet Filli and Kree
*I will chew on everything in the toy bin. I especially love the frog, snake, and rings. The bracelet is okay, but it’s a little big for my mouth.
*I will find the smallest hiding place possible and hang out because it’s warm there.
*I will try and wake up my sister if I’m awake because I need entertainment.
Meet Filli and Kree

Filli running in the wheel.  Usually Filli is content to curl up behind the wheel in the x-mount or just hang out watching Kree run (and run and run) in the wheel, but sometimes she gets in the wheel, too.  This is a Stealth Wheel from AtticWorx.Com.

(This is a slightly modified form of three posts my daughter made on Facebook. She took all the pictures and I took the video.)

Sopapillas!

I love sopapillas. Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to make gluten free things that are just like their gluteny counterparts. After several tries that weren’t bad, but weren’t right, either, I am finally getting the hang of sopapillas.

I use Gluten Free on a Shoestring’s recipe .

I make the dough and then Cameron does the rolling and cutting. We usually get around 30 or 32 per batch.
Sopapillas!

I have found that I have to put four in the boiling oil pretty much all at once. Otherwise some of them won’t puff up. I have no idea why this is.
Sopapillas!

Once they’ve been in the oil about 30 or 45 seconds, they are floating and nice and puffy. I poke them with a big spoon and they flip over so the other side can get brown, too.
Sopapillas!

I drain them on paper towels and they come out nice and brown and puffy and delicious.
Sopapillas!

We eat them dipped in warm honey.
Sopapillas!

Perfect! And the best part is they don’t taste gluten free. They just taste good.
Sopapillas!

Elemental Science Physics for the Grammar Stage Review

This year we have been using Elemental Science Physics for the Grammar Stage. It is working very well, including for Cameron even though he is a middle schooler (logic stage). I’ve read complaints about how boring this curriculum is, but that has not been our experience. I suppose it could have been boring, but I chose to do most of the optional experiments along with the required ones making it very hands on and fun.

I bought the ebook version of the teacher and student guides. Before the school year started, I printed the pages they would need to write on and put them in notebooks for the boys. I went through and selected all the experiments we would be doing (and, if you’ve been following along with our homeschooling adventures, you know we’ve done A LOT and we’ve still got another month to go). I made a list of what items we’d need. For the most part, it was stuff found around the house or things we could collect over time (like empty soda bottles or newspapers). Some things normal people probably have laying around, but we didn’t (like a comb or flashlight). So I made a list of everything we’d need over the course of the year and went shopping. Once I had everything I separated them into baggies. Those experiment bags are probably the number on thing that has made science go smoothly this year.

There are three main books I had to buy to go along with this Physics for the Grammar Stage. The Usborne Science Encyclopedia, Physics Experiments for Children, and Gizmos and Gadgets. Most days there is a section of reading from the Usborne book. It is basic quick information with lots of pictures (typical Usborne). I was hesitant about Physics Experiments for Children because it is so old, but it turns out the best experiments (by far) came from that book. Each experiment includes an explanation that is short, to the point, and very understandable. I am not, however, a fan of the other book the experiments come from. It is kind of ironic that the subtitle of Gizmos and Gadgets is “creating science contraptions that work” because quite a few of them didn’t work without adjusting and three or four didn’t work at all.
Elemental Science Physics for the Grammar Stage

At the beginning of the school year, we were doing science 2-3 times a week. In January we switched to once a week. Either way, each lesson begins with reading (usually from the Usborne Science Encyclopedia) followed by experiments. When we were doing science 2 or 3 times a week we did one to three experiments each day (the more the better according to my boys!). That meas once a week we do 3-9 each science period. After the experiments, we do a short oral quiz (there is only one per week) about that week’s lessons. Then we open the binders and complete the writing portion of the lesson. Writing takes, at most, a quarter of our science class. I strongly believe science, especially in elementary school, but even after, should be made up mostly of experiments and this curriculum definitely fit that requirement.

There are three types of writing. One is a weekly write-up of an experiment. Some of the write-ups are a single page, some are two. Most include space to draw a picture. The second type is defining words. Each word has a picture to cut out and glue next to the definition (written in the student’s own words). The final type is a description of what they learned about a certain topic that week with a large picture of that topic glued next to their description. They can write as much or as little as they want to in that space.
Elemental Science Physics for the Grammar Stage

I’ve been very happy with Elemental Science Physics for the Grammar Stage. In my experience a good, solid, elementary level, experiment heavy science curriculum is not easy to find. This one was very nearly perfect for us. My only complaints are the Gizmos and Gadgets book and the annoyance of finding the correct pages assigned, particularly when more than one is assigned in a single day, since they are not in the order used. For those two things, I knocked my rating down to 4 stars (which, honestly, is pretty impressive since I’ve yet to find a science curriculum I would give 5 stars to).

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

(Note: I was not compensated in any way for this review. I bought everything required to use this curriculum myself.)