Science: Climate & Seasons

The first two weeks of school we learned about Climate and Seasons using Layers of Learning, year 2 unit 1.

We read a book about how the sun makes the seasons.
Science: Climate & Seasons

We put a balloon over the mouth of a jar and placed the jar in a pan of boiling water. The heat from the water blew up the balloon.
Science: Climate & Seasons

We made a sundial.
Science: Climate & Seasons

We pulled the colors out of spinach leaves. We mashed up the spinach and then covered them in nail polish remover. We put a piece of coffee filter barely into the nail polish remover and then waited several hours. Eventually, we could see shades of green, yellow, brown, and red on the coffee filter.
Science: Climate & Seasons

Science: Climate & Seasons

We watched Bill Nye the Science Guy: Climates.
Science: Climate & Seasons

We colored maps showing climate change through ice melt, a climate map, and El Niño weather patterns.
Science: Climate & Seasons

We put one cup of water and five ice cubes in jars. We put a sandwich baggie over one jar and left both in the sun for one hour. After an hour, we checked the temperatures of the water. The jar with the baggie over it was 12 degrees warmer than the jar without, demonstrating how the greenhouse effect works.
Science: Climate & Seasons

We showed how the water moves in an El Niño by pouring very cold (dyed blue) water through a funnel into very hot (dyed red) water and then blowing warm air from a hair dryer over it.
Science: Climate & Seasons

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History: Byzantine Empire

The first two weeks of school we learned about the Byzantine Empire using Layers of Learning, year 2 unit 1.

We added some people and events to our timeline.
History: Byzantine Empire

We colored a snapshot in time (500 AD) of the Byzantine Empire.
History: Byzantine Empire

The younger two boys wrote a jounrnal entry about changing names of people and places (Cameron wrote a persuasive essay about having a state church).
History: Byzantine Empire

We colored a map of Justinian’s Empire in 555 AD.
History: Byzantine Empire

We learned about The Code of Justinian.
History: Byzantine Empire

We played a game pitting Heraclius against Khosrau (Heraclius won pretty spectacularly).
History: Byzantine Empire

We played Hide the Coins.
History: Byzantine Empire

We compared the Romans and the Byzantines.
History: Byzantine Empire

Geography: Turkey

The first two weeks of school we learned about Turkey using Layers of Learning, year 2 unit 1.

We did some map work.
Geography: Turkey

We made some camels.
Geography: Turkey

We had a Turkish feast.
Geography: Turkey

We read a book of tales from Turkey.
Geography: Turkey

We colored the flag of Turkey.
Geography: Turkey

We watched a video of whirling dervishes.
Geography: Turkey

We made a bald ibis hat.
Geography: Turkey

Adrian learned about van cats and told us about them.
Geography: Turkey

Cameron showed us a PowerPoint presentation he made all about the country of Turkey.
Geography: Turkey

A Pretty Good Schedule

We struggled all of last year getting a good schedule for school. Cameron had seminary 6-6:50 am. When he got home, he’d go back to bed and wake up at some point to do all together work with his brothers. It never really worked.

This year, however, is so much better! This year, he has seminary 7:15-8:05 am. So much better. He walks to the church and back so he’s usually home by 8:15 or 8:20. While he’s at seminary I make breakfast and get the boys up for the day if necessary (they usually get up on their own before 8).

When Cameron gets home we eat breakfast while watching CNN10. Then we get to work on our all together work. During most weeks, normal 5 day weeks, we do history on Monday, geography on Tuesday, science on Wednesday, and the arts on Thursday. That makes Friday a short day. A bit of a reward for working so hard during the week.

All together work takes about 2 1/2-3 hours. The little guys have some together work Cameron doesn’t (religion and holidays). Once all of the all together work is done, they move on to their on their own work. Once they finish that, they are done for the day. So far, they’ve been finishing anywhere from 12-3:15 depending on the kid and the day.

Tuesdays and Thursdays Cameron teaches taekwondo 11-11:45. I don’t think he’ll be teaching in the mornings much longer, though, since school has started up again so most of the kids no longer attend that class so that part of our schedule may go away (or Cameron may take class himself). Sometimes the little guys take class, too. Since I have to take Cameron, Fritz works on his on his own work while I’m gone whether we’re done with all together work or not (Adrian still needs me for his on his own work so he gets a break while I am gone). Wednesdays Cameron goes to instructor training 10-12. I drop him off and pick him up, but in the middle, I work with the boys on their on their own work. All three of those days, we have lunch when we get home and then go back to work after lunch. Monday and Friday we have lunch about noon and then get back to work until they are done if necessary.

It’s nice having a good schedule for school. Even though it’s a little crazy with the three days of taekwondo stuff, it still is so much better than last year (which also included taekwondo class for all of us since for part of the year Fritz and I hadn’t gotten our black belts yet).

First Day of School!

Yesterday we went back to school for the 2017-18 school year. As is typical as we get back into the groove, the day was long, but good, too.

Cameron has seminary at 7:15 this year. That is so much better than 6! The boys and I got ready for the day and I made breakfast (cinnamon rolls) while he was there. When he got home, we ate breakfast while watching CNN10.

First Day of School!

Then we moved into the dining room for grammar and spelling. We are using IEW Fix-It Grammar (The Nose Tree).

First Day of School!

In addition to going over the sentences and copying them, the boys are also circling the letter chunks (like they did in Spelling You See the last couple years) and diagramming parts of the sentences.

First Day of School!

Then we did geography. We are studying Turkey (using Layers of Learning) for the next two weeks. We did map work.

First Day of School!

We learned about camel wrestling and made little paper camels.

First Day of School!

The boys did their on their own work including Spanish (for Cameron and Adrian) and Latin (for Fritz), math and reading.

First Day of School!

This year all three boys are assigned to learn about whatever they want however they want. Adrian has chosen to do science experiments and record what he learns. He played with the super absorbent polymer that is in baby diapers. He was fascinated by it.

First Day of School!

Adrian finished school about 2 and the other two around 3:15. Considering we went to taekwondo and so were gone for a bit over an hour in the morning and then had to make lunch and eat it before getting back to school, I figure that’s not bad for the first day of school.

For snack, we had some hazelnuts. Adrian was not impressed.

First Day of School!

For dinner, we had ajvar, a dip made with eggplant and red bell peppers, kebabs and rice, and kuru incir tatlisi (poached stuffed figs).

First Day of School!

NOT Back to School Day 2017

Somehow we’ve already reached the end of the summer and it’s time to go back to school. But, as is our tradition, today while kids all around us went to their first day of school, we played.

We started off with crepes, Nutella, and turkey bacon for breakfast.
NOT Back to School Day 2017

The went to Main Event and played some games. Space Invaders has gotten quite the modern update!
NOT Back to School Day 2017

We played some air hockey and skee ball. Those games can be pretty intense in our family.
NOT Back to School Day 2017

Giant Connect 4 turned out to be way more fun than you might think. And also pretty intense.
NOT Back to School Day 2017

Cameron picked up a pool cue and started doing the jahng bong form right in the middle of Main Event. (Note: Cameron hates this picture because his stance is awful because he was just playing around.)
NOT Back to School Day 2017

Fritz and Adrian attempted the gravity ropes. Several months ago, my brother came to visit and we went to Main Event. Adrian tried the gravity ropes, but he got too scared and came back down. This time he was determined to make it across. Fritz got too scared this time, but Adrian made it!
NOT Back to School Day 2017


(Video of Adrian being brave.)

We played a game of laser tag before we picked our prizes and headed out.
NOT Back to School Day 2017

We had pizza at Luciano’s for dinner. They have some of the most amazing pizza and their gluten free crusts are really good.
NOT Back to School Day 2017

We ended the day with shaved ice from Bahama Bucks. Fritz said he must be making a whole lot of dopamine because he was feeling so happy.
NOT Back to School Day 2017


Check out previous years’ Not Back to School Days: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016. (I missed blogging about Not Back to School Day in 2011 and they went to public school in 2013.)