16 December 2009
We homeschool through a public charter school so we have an annual allotment of money to spend on curriculum, supplies, lessons, and field trips. At this point I've got some extra money and would love input on how to use it. There are some restrictions: it must be grade-level appropriate (first grade), it can't be sectarian (religious) and it must be purchased from an approved vendor (which include Lakeshore, Dick Blick, Rainbow Resource, and Barnes & Noble to name just a few.
So what do you think?
23 November 2009
Recently Gracie and I went on an extended field trip to the Bay Area. We went to see the King Tut exhibit currently at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco and the Egyptian-themed Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose.
Unfortunately there was no photography allowed in the exhibit, but we were quite surprised to see a stunning resemblance between King Tut and certain members of our family! Who knew? Maybe we're descendants of royalty! At the Rosicrucian museum, we felt like we had been transported to Egypt. The grounds were beautiful and filled with intricate buildings and plants like papyrus and pomegranate that made us feel like we were walking along the Nile. The highlight for us was a recreation of an ancient Egyptian tomb that we could walk through. The walls of the tomb were decorated with images from Egyptian mythology. On the right hand wall you can see some of the gods weighing the dead man's heart to determine if he will make it into the afterlife.This is a recreation of Hammurabi's Code that is supposed to be almost identical to the original.
There were also recreations of the Rosetta Stone and King Tut's actual mummy case (the original never leaves Egypt). There were plenty of original artifacts in the museum as well, but the recreations pleased us just as much. We learned about Hammurabi and different types of ancient writing, like cunieform and heiroglyphics earlier this year, so it was neat to see something close to the real thing. And it will be a while until we can travel to Egypt or Europe where those artifacts reside!
Although it's fairly small, it's a very comprehensive museum. On their website they have a 10-day curriculum guide to go along with a museum field trip, including a quiz, which we used as a scavenger hunt at the museum.
20 November 2009
Put up Mondrian Wall
Began art lesson from Masterpiece of the Month by drawing grid lines with a yardstick,
tracing them with a glue and black paint mixture,
filling in spaces, and numbering the work. (Notice the tiny #1 at the top center?)
Used electrical tape (much quicker and less messy, yet no less inspired!) to create another Mondrianesque work of art:
09 November 2009
After the group worship time we divided the kids up into 3 groups and they rotated through 5 different activity centers led by different moms.
The kids made their own aquarium using paper plates, cornmeal sand, crepe paper seaweed, and foam stickers from Joann's. Unlike my example, they also decorated their plate before putting anything else on.I prepared the front of the aquarium top beforehand, since it was both time consuming and tricky for little hands to do. I used blue plastic wrap taped to the back of a paper plate.
Science Center:The kids learned about floating and sinking by making a hypothesis about which objects would float in both fresh water and salt water. Both an uncooked egg and a potato should float in the salt water and sink in the fresh water.
What's the difference between whales and fish? Inspired by this activity, we made a giant Venn diagram with two hula hoops to sort different characteristics written on index cards.
We had lots of books available for the kids to read or look at independently or have read to them. I don't think my local library had any ocean-themed books left after I raided all the shelves! Here's a list of some good ones:
The kids played charades, pretended to be different animals, and put on a puppet show based on some of stories they had read.
After centers we finished up with a "sharing" time. This seems to be a favorite activity for everyone! The kids are able to present something they learned, read something they've written, or recite a poem or verse they've memorized. Some of the little ones just like being in the spotlight! It's great because public speaking is one of those skills that are hard to develop when you're homeschooled.
This was our third meeting and the kids are really starting to feel more comfortable with each other. Meeting for co-op once a month has been great for all of us and our kids since it makes coming together a treat and not a drudgery. Hopefully our co-op will continue to be a blessing to us all!
27 October 2009
In this book, dancers twirl about with different colored scarves making all kinds of beautiful new colors. Color mixing is introduced, but goes beyond the basic red + blue =purple. There's also aquamarine, vermillion, magenta, and chartreuse. (So that's what chartreuse is!)
After reading this book, you might feel a bit inspired, so have some paint on hand for some color-mixing experiments of your own.
See what else is being read this week at The Joyful Chaos. Happy Reading!
16 October 2009
01 October 2009
Such a delightful movie! And it captured the imagination of my daughters, as well. We dug out our copy of the Beatrix Potter The Complete Tales and reacquainted ourselves with Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin, and other little creatures.
Gracie was inspired in her own way. Last Thursday (our unschooling/masterly inactivity day) she decided to make her own picture book, with the help of many of Beatrix's characters.
29 September 2009
25 September 2009
You'll need: a Barbie (of the dollar store variety), oil, spices, salt, and gauze or other cloth.
Make an embalming fluid by mixing oil and spices and spread it all over the doll.
Tuck in some "amulets" which served as good luck charms.
Mummies Made in Egypt is a great book to go along with your study of mummies which describes the mummification process in great detail.