Quarter One Done

We finished the first quarter on Friday. It’s hard to believe we are already done with nine weeks of the school year.

In history, we learned about American government, the expanding nation, the industrial revolution, revolutions, and Africa. In Geography, we learned about the USA, the Pacific states, US landscapes, the mountain west states, and US political maps. In Science we learned about heat and temperature, motors and engines, energy, energy sources, and energy conversion. In the arts, we learned about patriotic music, tall tales, romantic art, and impressionism. We started every day by watching CNN 10.

Cameron read (listened to) The Bill of Rights Primer by Akhil Reed Amar, Sacajawea by Joseph Bruchac, The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie and The Gospel of Wealth by Andrew Carnegie, Black Potatoes by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, and King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild. His grades were excellent:
History A
Geography A
Science A
Art A
PE A
English A
Math A

Fritz read American Government 101 by Kathleen Sears, Sacajawea by Joseph Bruchac, Bread and Roses, Too by Katherine Paterson, Black Potatoes by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, and David Livingstone: Africa’s Trailblazer by Janet & Geoff Benge. His grades were very good:
History A
Geography A
Science A
Art A
Piano A
PE A
Religion A
English A
Math B
Latin A

Adrian read How to Build Your Own Country, Soft Rain: A Story of the Trail of Tears by Cornelia Cornelissen, Kids At Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor by Russell Freedman, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, and Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink. His grades were great:
History A
Geography A
Science A
Art A
Piano A
PE A
Spanish A
Religion A
English A
Math A

Fritz, the Baby Whisperer

We’ve known for a while now that Fritz is like magic with toddlers. They love him and will do anything for him. Some people jokingly call him the toddler whisperer, he’s that good.

Well, it turns out he’s got the magic touch with babies as well. The foster babies adore him. They seem Fritz and they only have eyes for him and get so excited when he plays with them or holds them. If a baby is sad and having trouble settling, they are instantly calm in his arms.

One day last week we baby-sat a two-year-old and 6-month-old. Somehow Fritz managed to get both 3-months-olds and the 6-month-old down for naps all at the same time and within just minutes.

All we can figure is he’s so incredibly calm that little ones feel that and absorb that calmness into themselves. Whatever the reason, we’ll take it. Bring so amazing with babies and toddlers is a pretty awesome skill to have!

The Arts: Romantic Art II

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks seven and eight of school we did unit 4. Our arts topic was romantic art II.

We read the original version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and acted it out.

We discussed several poems from that era.

We learned about Robert Louis Stevenson.

And Charles Dickens.

We illustrated Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

We learned about Williams Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and John Keats.

And about Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley.

We listened to Beethoven’s Fifth and identified different parts of the music and watched a biography on Ludwig von Beethoven.

We watched two videos of songs by Frederic Chopin.

Science: Energy Sources

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks seven and eight of school we did unit 4. Our science topic was energy sources.

We learned about how a nuclear reactor works and then took a virtual tour of a nuclear power plant.

We learned about how nuclear chain reactions happen and then watched a demonstration using mousetraps and ping pong balls.

We learned about Enrico Fermi

We learned about fusion and colored a worksheet explaining it.

We learned about three major nuclear power plant meltdowns and their causes and results and discussed whether nuclear power deserves the fear surrounding it.

We watched a video of a mushroom cloud from an atomic bomb.

We demonstrated how turbines spin using a milk carton and water.

We made a water wheel using butter tubs.

Butter Tub Water Wheel

We traced the path of energy through a power plant.

We made a little light light up using a photovoltaic cell and a Snap Circuits kit.

Snap Cicuits Light With Photovoltaic Cell

We talked about the costs of different energy sources and the pros and cons of each.

We watched a video about responsible use of energy.

Geography: Mountain West States

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks seven and eight of school we did unit 4. Our geography topic was the mountain west states (Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Colorado, and Nevada).

We labeled a map with the mountain west states and their capitals.

We learned about Kit Carson.

We made Idaho Potato Gems cookies. Adrian especially liked them.

We learned about Buffalo Bill.

We learned about outdoorsy things to do in Montana.

We looked at the sis states’ flags and picked our least favorites to redesign. Cameron picked Idaho.

We learned about the Hoover Dam.

We learned about the Pony Express.

And boom towns.

We added all six states’ flags to our passports.

We finished up this study by coloring in the mountain west states on our folder maps.

History: Revolutions

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks seven and eight of school we did unit 4. Our history topic was revolutions.

We’ve pretty much given up on having an orderly timeline. Some pages are more than covered now.

We learned about the three estates and the storming of the Bastille.

We learned about Marie Antoinette, Jean-Paul Marat, Maximilian Robespierre, Lord Haratio Nelson, Arthur Wellesley, and Napoleon Bonaparte.

We did mapwork of European revolutions around 1848.

We watched a Crash Court video on Latin American revolutions.

We learned about the Irish potato famine.

We watched the barricade scene from Les Mis.

We made two French flags – a red one and a tricolor one – and discussed what they both represent.

We made a Karl Marx bobblehead and discussed some of his quotes.

We learned about Florence Nightingale and her work during the Crimean War.