February Science Experiments

We pretended to be owls and hunted different colored pom-pom mice. We chose the color we could see the best for the first one we grabbed. Both Fritz and Adrian picked yellow while Cameron chose black.
February Science Experiments

We looked at Lola’s hair under the microscope.
February Science Experiments

We made fossil casts. We pressed shells and things into clay and then poured plaster of paris on top of the clay.
February Science Experiments

We looked closely at the layers of a sedimentary rock.
February Science Experiments

We completed a logic puzzle identifying which fossils are found in what layer at the Grand Canyon.
February Science Experiments

We looked at cut pieces of trees and learned about the rings and what they mean.
February Science Experiments

We compared different soil samples under the microscope.
February Science Experiments

We learned about and made biomes.
February Science Experiments

Art in February

Art in February
Boundaries: The boys had to represent a boundary somehow. Cameron kicked the door to show breaking down boundaries (he wanted to actually kick the door down, but I vetoed that). Fritz connected the boundary between the floor and the guinea pig cage with Duplos. Adrian showed himself refusing an orange because eating one is a boundary he is not willing to cross (he is allergic to oranges).

Art in February
Imaginary Friend: The boys had to create an imaginary friend and give it a back story. Cameron’s friend is an unnamed Asian owl that does not speak English and is an unemployed vagrant. As this owl is imaginary, Cameron chose not to represent him in physical form. Fritz drew a rattlesnake named Jerald. This rattlesnake is always paying attention and reminds him that dreams are not real. Adrian adamantly refused to come up with anything, though he stood on his head on the couch for quite some time thinking about the fact that he wasn’t going to even try to come up with an imaginary friend.

Art in February
The Muster: The boys had to create a uniform for whatever cause they would fight for. Cameron would fight for the right to sleep all day and Adrian would fight for the right to watch YouTube videos all day. Fritz, however, actually took the assignment seriously and made a badge for his uniform. He said he would fight for the rights of all people no matter what their gender or race.

Art in February

Collaborate With Son Lux: The boys had to listen to a song by musician and composer Son Lux (Ryan Lott) and use it for inspiration to collaborate with him. They chose to make a stop motion animation, Boom Goes the Dynamite, with 7 seconds of the song as the soundtrack. The little guys made the backdrop and Cameron made the clay characters.

Art in February
Whitescapes: The boys had to find two white objects and compare the colors. Then they had to change the light source and compare them again and name the colors they saw.

Thinking About Next Year

Late February/early March is the time of year when I decide what we’re going to use next year and do my lesson planning. It’s almost February so I’ve been thinking about how things might need to be changed up. Most things will stay the same, but a few things will need to change.

Obviously, the biggest thing is more books for Fritz. Eleven lasted him three months, so he may need as many as 25 next year. Crazy.

All three boys will do Fix-It Grammar together. I may have the little two diagram the sentences to keep their practice up. Because of that, I will probably no longer use Vocabulary From the Classical Roots and will probably adjust Writing With Ease for Adrian so he only does the narration days (since Fix-It includes daily copywork).

History will be separated instead of all three together (but science will almost definitely stay combined). Adrian will do Story of the World plus the activity book. Fritz will continue with Pandia Press level 2. I am pretty sure I’m going to have Cameron use the open source Crash Course World History.

I’ve decided I want to cut down on the paper and toner we use dramatically. I haven’t decided exactly how we’ll do that. Possibly through the use of tablets or computers. I also want to figure out a way to make their portfolios digital, but viewable in a fun way.

Mostly, the boys will just be moving on to the next level of the same things they are using now (and Ani will have graduated from high school) so that makes most planning easy. It’s just solidifying these changes that takes a while.

Silent Letters That Aren’t

In spelling, the boys have to mark silent letters sometimes. The problem is, we actually pronounce some of those silent letters! I asked about a couple of the words on Facebook and it was split about 50/50 among my friends as to whether the letter was silent or not to them. Clearly, where Spelling-You-See is made, they are silent.

Words like could and would, the l is silent for us (as they are in the answer keys). Same with e’s at the end of words like have or place or one. But with words like talk and palm, we definitely say the l. Those are definitely not silent letters (and, so, I’ve changed my answer keys).

Art in January

Art in January
Surface Test: The boys each chose a bit of ground that appealed to them and made a rubbing of it.

Art in January
Embarrassing Object: The boys had to create something that made them uncomfortable. Cameron’s represents anxiety in social situations. Fritz sculpted a pile of poop. Adrian said he couldn’t think of anything that makes him uncomfortable.

Art in January
Become a Sci-Fi Character: The boys had to create something that they could pretend would make them a sci-fi character. They all decided to use aluminum foil. Cameron made a helmet that protected him from craziness. Fritz made a super powerful armband with an antenna so he could pick up on long distance transmissions. Adrian made super sunglasses that made it so he could see all the way around the earth and back to the back of his head.

The School Year is Halfway Done

Today we finished the first semester of the 2016-17 school year!

In Science we learned about plants and have learned about most of the organ systems of the human body. In History we learned about ancient China, the Hebrews, the Phoenicians, and the Americas. We completed quite a few creative art projects from The Art Assignment. Cameron and Adrian have stopped doing Latin now, but Fritz is continuing it on his own. We are continuing learning how to play the piano. We’re all still doing taekwondo for PE. Cameron will be testing for his second degree in June and Cameron earned his first degree in December (Adrian will be testing for his first degree in approximately 6 years at the rate he is going).

Cameron has completed 14 lessons of Math-U-See Geometry. He’s written several research essays, finding more and more reference material on his own. He read the Epic of Gilgamesh, Iliad, Odyssey, Oedipus the King, and Medea. He has switched to Fix-It! Grammar for grammar and vocabulary. That seems to be going very well.

Fritz has completed through lesson 27 of Math-U-See Epsilon (he will move on to Zeta in early February). He finished Outcast and read The Eagle, The Silver Branch, and The Lantern Bearers. During reading time he is currently working his way through the Harry Potter series (he finished Order of the Phoenix today). He has learned to write through the letter s in cursive. His cursive handwriting is surprisingly neat compared to his printing.

Adrian has completed through the middle of lesson 25 of Math-U-See Gamma (he will move on to Delta in late March). He’s in book 6 of Explode the Code. He can identify and mark vowel chunks, consonant chunks, endings, bossy r’s, and more in spelling passages. He finished a children’s retelling of The Odyssey and read Black Ships Before Troy, The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus, and Atalanta’s Race. He is reading very well, but still doesn’t like to do it for fun.

Grades
Cameron
English: B
History: A
Geometry: B
Biology: A
Latin: A
Art/PE/Music: Pass

Fritz
English: A
History: A
Math: A
Biology: A
Art/PE/Music/Latin: Pass

Adrian
English: A
History: A
Math: A
Biology: A
Art/PE/Music/Latin: Pass