Monday, August 30, 2010

We did it....

The first day of school is done, mostly. We did math, counting to 10,000 and recognizing thousands place. He even did the worksheets without too much gnashing of teeth.

We read the first 13 pages of Grammar Island, there was a bit of eye rolling and holding of the bridge of ones nose during it, but we made it through it and I even got a question about what something meant that was answered in the next page. It is as thought the author might know what the heck he is doing. ;)

We read Three Billy Goats Gruff together and then had a discussion that covered level 1 and 2 of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. (Doesn't that make it sound like I know what the heck I'm doing?) Really we talked about the basic facts of the story and the Boy's comprehension and memory of the basic facts. Tomorrow we will discuss some application questions and then do a bit of analysis, with Weds having us moving deeper into the story with Synthesis and Evaluation.

I then forced the boy to sit and read on his own. There was much gnashing of teeth and crying about having to actually sit with a book on his lap for any amount of time. He ended up sitting for 6 minutes with his How Things Work book, turning pages quickly, luckily it is a big book so he finished turning pages as the timer went off. Tomorrow he will have to sit with a different book for 10 minutes. This is going to be the hardest part of the school year. At least I'm not surprised.

We will be doing some Astronomy tonight. Good times.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The school year is looming...

Last year when ever someone asked the boy what grade or where he went to school he would happily say he was home schooled. He was proud of it and happy about it.

This year he is more excited about it, but when people ask about school he is more hesitant. He knows that nearly everyone else has started school already and that we haven't is different. He knows that although nearly everyone speak about it as if it is the wonderful thing it is, some people will change their tone and start asking me about how he is socializing. (The ones that kind of drive me craziest are the other scout moms who know him and know that he is great playing with their kids)

I think his reactions proves that he does understand how to act socially. He understands that not everyone will approve and so will start the answer with the simple (I'm in 2nd grade) and then if they press about what school he goes to he will say I'm home schooled. Just a fact, not an exciting fact, just one of many about him. Next subject.

We have one week until the first day of real school. This last week of summer break is going to be a crazy one. I'm helping my sister on Monday, we have Join Night for Scouts on Tuesday, and there are things to get ready for that, and therapy during the day. I have a popcorn meeting on Weds night to figure out how much we are going to order. Thursday is open right now (this is not an invitation to fill it) Friday I am going to pick my BIL up at the airport and then hang out with them. I have a feeling scouts will end up filling in all the time I haven't allotted to something else this coming week.

I'm still trying to get the last of the knitting done for the baby set, I'm annoyed with the booties since they don't match but I need to get over it and finish the project.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Oh the fun of a science kiddo...

The boy was so excited to start school last night. He has been asking for weeks when the Perseids were and when we are going to watch them. It was as though asking over and over and over again might make time go faster. It finally arrived and I was exhausted.

My Dad is in the hospital with an ailment and I had stayed late Weds hoping to hear from the admitting doctor what the course would look like and how long he would be there. She didn't show up until 3am, 11 hours after he had been taken to the ward. I then spent the day on Thursday at the hospital waiting with Dad for the specialist to come in and explain what tests might be needed and what the cause of the problem might be. He showed up around 3 in the afternoon (there is a pattern here) to talk to us. He was very nice and explained what was going to happen. I left then and boy & I went home again. I tried to nap, but didn't get to much.

My plans for a picnic dinner to be taken out on the plains didn't happen. The drive out to the plains (ok farther out onto the plains) didn't happen, but....

We did go out and look at Mercury with the telescope, and the new moon. We saw Mars and Saturn. Found Vega, Altair and Deneb and the boy recognized the 'Summer Triangle' Then to the back yard with blankets and a star map and the boy came up with his own constellations, the canoe, the square, and the little triangle. He found the big dipper on his own.

We saw a few meteors, and 2 satellites, and many airplanes. I wish we could have been out away from town. I want to go camping and stargazing with my guys one of these weekends.

Then today the boy played with dry ice thanks to his Grammy (thanks Mom!) Loads of fun and we still had some red cabbage acid/base indicator left from some experiments last week. So he saw that carbon dioxide creates an acid when it dissolves in water.

One of these days I'll remember to take pictures of what we are doing so this can have some colors as well as words.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

We might be planners.....

The boy wants to have a Plants vs Zombies theme for his birthday party this year. We can blame this cake to start us on this path. By the way you will want to skip the rest of this entry if you don't know the game, or well go play it and then get as sucked in as we are around here and then read on because this is a single idea post.

He has an idea to play a live action Plants vs Zombies game with his friends. I'm trying to come up with a way to do it without hurting anyone and making the game a bit more balanced than just letting the plants throw things at the Zombies. I'm thinking I will either hire teens to play the part of Zombies or well I don't know. Anyone have ideas they want to share on how to do this? The plants I am planning on making little canvas balls and filling them with powdered chalk to make a mark on the Zombies. Is that a horrible idea with at least 2 of the boys pretty good at playing baseball and hopefully not going to bean anyone too hard?

Any other ideas for games that would work in this theme? Maybe pin the plant on the yard? I'm lost on any other ideas.

I'm going to start practicing making little models of the pea shooters and the zombies.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Acid/Base fun...

I made some red cabbage liquid to do some acid base experiments with the boy this afternoon. Cabbage was cheap at the store this week and I felt like it would be a fun quiet day activity. It was. If I was a better blogger there would be pictures of the fun. I'm not. So we will all have to use our imagination. Or go look at the pretty picures on the link I just gave you.

This was so much fun, and so very easy. We would pour some vinegar in first then add some ammonia, then some baking soda, then some more vinegar and lots of foaming and fun. I then let him have a glass of water with baking soda mixed in, a glass of vinegar, and a glass of water and some litmus paper and he had his milk. He discovered that milk will curdle with vinegar and that you can bring the solution back to neutral. Good times.

His only question at the beginning was that this isn't school right? HA! of course not, it is simply fun with acid and bases. heh heh.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The excitment is building...

Our first day of classes for this school year is going to be August 12th. I had been planning on not really starting until August 30th, or maybe even Sept 7th right after Labor Day. I figured we don't have CSAP, I don't have to worry about getting enough 'teacher/student contact hours' before the test in, and in my mind school should start after it starts to get more fall like, and that is Sept for me.

What is moving that date up a bit is the combination of my son's desire to study astronomy for science this year and the Perseid meteor show that is going to be brighter, due to the moon being at 3 days new and in the western sky, and at a really great time of the night for us to view it (right after sunset) Here is an article in Scientifics Sky Talk * about it. If you are on the east coast it will be even better for you.

The great thing is the boy just came into my office and said "Yippee school is about to start!" He is so excited. That we are going to get to study astronomy like this and that it will be his only subject for a while.

I'm still not going to start with the grammar and math until August 30th, music who knows when, I'm pretty sure I've convinced my DH that I am sufficiently horrible at music that he will take it over in the evening. Art is going to be photography, and I'll probably start that soonish as well. Have him start taking pictures and figuring out how he wants to compose them in the camera. Then we'll move onto how to use cropping to change the feel of the picture. This is stuff I know how to do, and again he loves using a camera, he is also not too bad at it either.

* ETA I have fixed the link, as someone (thanks David) pointed out I had linked to an old article on the Perseids, they come around every year at this time of year, but really this year is suppose to be a really good one.