February’s Science Experiments

We scratched a ruler at a point 13″ from our ears, once with the ruler 1″ away and once with the ruler 12″ away. We found that we could hear the sound better when carried through the ruler than through the air.
February's Science Experiments

We clicked two rocks against each other in and out of water. We found that the clicking sound was louder under the water.
February's Science Experiments

We hung Cheerios from a hanger and plucked a rubber band near them. The cereal moved due to the vibrations moving through the air.
February's Science Experiments

We used a piece of rope to demonstrate transverse waves.
February's Science Experiments

We struck a fork on the table and listened to the sound it made.
February's Science Experiments

We whispered into different lengths of straws to hear how the sounds changed based on length.
February's Science Experiments

We felt the sides of our throats while humming to feel the vibrations our bodies make when we talk.
February's Science Experiments

We listened to the sound a rope makes when plucked.
February's Science Experiments

We put music on very loud and held a balloon near the speaker. The vibrations coming from the speaker made the balloon vibrate, too.
February's Science Experiments

We clapped our hands gently and then vigorously and observed how the sound we made was different.
February's Science Experiments

We made a megaphone with a piece of construction paper. We could direct our voices in whatever direction we pointed it.
February's Science Experiments

We put different amounts of water in soda bottles and blew across the tops to see what different sounds were made.
February's Science Experiments

Cameron blew across the top of an empty soda bottle while the little guys held up matching bottles to their ears to see if they could hear a sound that would indicate the bottles were in resonance.
February's Science Experiments

We cut a spiral and balanced it on a pencil.
February's Science Experiments

We put clay in a half eggshell and stuck a straw into the clay and threaded an index card on the straw. We could push the straw over, but it would always balance to being upright again.
February's Science Experiments

We used paperclips to balance a “parrot” on a hanger.
February's Science Experiments

We balanced critters on a tightrope by using pennies to properly weight them.
February's Science Experiments

We used Warheads and toothpicks to make geometric shapes.
February's Science Experiments

Latin for Children Review

Several years ago I did Latin for Children A from Classical Academic Press with Ani and Cameron. We got about 2/3 of the way through it and hit a wall. There were quite a few errors as well (it was newly released at the time; these errors have been corrected in the current version) and that made it a bit frustrating. So we quit.

This year I’m doing it again with Cameron and Fritz (and Adrian listens along). We’re taking it very slowly in the hopes we will not hit a wall and give up this time. In fact, we’re taking it so slowly that we’re only up to the beginning of chapter 4 after almost 3/4 of the school year, but that means we have taken enough time that the boys have totally committed the vocabulary words to memory.

Latin for Children Review

Latin for Children gives the choice of classical or ecclesiastical pronunciation. We choose to use classical. There is a punctuation guide for both ways in the front of the workbook.
Latin for Children Review

The DVD/CD set is extremely useful. The biggest help is every word is pronounced so you don’t have to use the guides to sound things out every time. The entire thing is done once with classical and once with ecclesiastical pronunciations.
Latin for Children Review

When we start a new chapter, the first day we watch the DVD. It goes over the chapter maxim and the vocabulary words, and then gives other things like derivatives or just silly videoed bits.
Latin for Children Review

Then we spend as long as it takes going over and over the vocabulary words until they are completely committed to memory and the boys can translate from English to Latin and Latin to English. We spend about 15-20 minutes a day doing this. Once or twice a week we go back and review the vocabulary and other information we learned in previous chapters to be sure nothing has been forgotten.
Latin for Children Review

Once they’ve learned the chapter’s vocabulary they move on to the worksheets in the main book. The couple pages of assignments include translating words from Latin to English, fillings in charts of chants they’ve learned, fill-in-the-blank activities about grammar concepts, and working with derivatives.
Latin for Children Review

In the back of the workbook, there is an end of book review, a unit by unit Latin journey checklist, reference charts, and a glossary both by chapter and by alphabet.
Latin for Children Review

I got the whole set so we also have the activity book.
Latin for Children Review

This gives us a few extra pages per chapter to work with the vocabulary words. The activities are fun and include things like crossword puzzles, matching pictures, and fill-in-the-blanks (a few of the activity book pages are also in the regular workbook).
Latin for Children Review

We also got the Libellus de Historia (Latin History Reader). This is a small book that introduces students to Latin translation. Each story gives the unfamiliar vocabulary and any other information needed to successfully translate the story’s sentences. Since they recommend beginning it about halfway through LfC A, we have not yet used it, but it definitely looks like it will be fun and interesting once we get to that point.
Latin for Children Review

The other book in the complete Latin for Children A set is the Answer Key. So far, I have not needed to use it since I go over and over the vocabulary with the boys so I know if their answers are correct or not. I like having it available, though, just in case it is needed at some point.
Latin for Children Review

I’ve been very happy with Latin for Children A this time around. We haven’t noticed any errors, the video is way better, and, most importantly, the boys have actually learned and retained quite a bit of Latin over the last few months. We will definitely continue on with it next year and I am 99% sure once we finish level A (whenever that might be) we will carry on with level B.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

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

Chef’n GarlicZoom (Review)

Ani asked for kitchen stuff for her 16th birthday so we headed to Bed Bath and Beyond to shop. There, I found this cute little Chef’n Garlic Zoom Garlic Chopper set.
Chef'n GarlicZoom (Review)

We have quite the history with garlic mincers. We’ve never been truly happy with one, not even the Pampered Chef one that cost a fortune and was supposed to be the best ever. So I decided to give this one a try in the hopes it would be better than the others we’ve tried just because it is so incredibly different.

I am happy to say I love it! It’s not perfect, but it’s the best gadget for chopping garlic I’ve ever had.

It came with a little rubber thing that helps you peel garlic cloves easily. You put it in, twist, and magically the peel falls off. It’s great if you only have a clove or two to peel. If you have more, using that thing takes forever so it’s easier to do the shaking method. I just put a bunch of garlic cloves in a plastic bowl.
Chef'n GarlicZoom (Review)

Then I put the lid on it.
Chef'n GarlicZoom (Review)

And shake it like crazy. Somehow all that shaking makes the garlic peel fall off.
Chef'n GarlicZoom (Review)

It’s seriously the easiest way to peel a bunch of garlic cloves at once.
Chef'n GarlicZoom (Review)

Okay, back to the Chef’n GarlicZoom. So once the garlic is peeled, whether I just do one or two using the twisty rubber thingy or a whole bunch shaken in a bowl, then it is ready to be chopped up and gotten ready to be used. The GarlicZoom is this little wheeled gadget with a removable sharp blade that sits inside. It has two doors. One opens it all the way up for cleaning (and, boy, is it easy to clean – you just open it, take out the blade, rinse both parts in water, and let it dry).
Chef'n GarlicZoom (Review)

The other door opens to allow you to put in the whole garlic and take it out when after it has been chopped up.
Chef'n GarlicZoom (Review)

After you put in the garlic clove (or two or three if they are small), you get to have fun running the wheels around your kitchen counter. Car noises are optional, but do add to the fun. If you run it around for a short time, your garlic will be coarsely chopped. Run it around for a long time and your garlic will be chopped nice and fine.
Chef'n GarlicZoom (Review)

Once you’ve got your garlic how you like it, open the door and shake it out. I usually use my finger to get as much out as I can. And this is the one thing that makes this funny little gadget not perfect: It’s impossible to get all the garlic out of the crevices without washing them out. It’s a small problem, really, and definitely doesn’t make it fall from the #1 spot of all the garlic mincers I’ve used (and, oh, there have been so many!).
Chef'n GarlicZoom (Review)

Bottom Line: The Chef’n GarlicZoom Garlic Chopper works as promised and is fun to boot. It’s totally worth buying. It runs anywhere from $10-15 depending on where you buy it.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

(Note: I was not compensated in any way for this review. I bought my garlic chopper myself.)

This is Terrifying

This is Terrifying

My oldest child, aged barely less than 16 years, is now legally allowed to learn to drive provided someone over the age of 21 who has been a licensed driver for at least one year is in the vehicle with her.

This is Terrifying

So of course she wanted to try out driving on the way home so we let her drive around the church parking lot a few times. Notice I am the one outside taking pictures, not the one inside (that’s her dad) telling her what to do. One of these days I’ll get in the car with her, but I’m not quite ready for that yet.

This is Terrifying