Sunday, May 9, 2010

Roxaboxen - FIAR Volume 4 Co-op

I know this is Mother's Day and I will hopefully post more on that tomorrow.  My sweet family made this a wonderfully special day.  I am abundantly blessed to be a mom!!!  I can't imagine anything I would rather do than be a mom!  Thank you God. 

I have also been blessed *with* an amazing Mom.  I wish I could have spent the day with you Mom.  I'm thankful for you and for all the things you have shown me and taught me.  You have been a wonderful example and I continually pray for you and thank God for you!

I'm going to be working on some catch-up posts too.  I won't be posting everything, but do want to share our co-ops and field trips as well as some other really neat things God has been doing. 

This was last month.  It was the week before the performances and it was a hectic time - so I'm just now getting around to posting it.  I was co-teacher for this one.  We were rowing the book Roxaboxen.  If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it.  What a fun story about sweet childhood memories (and its true as well!)  We tried to keep it simple - focusing on two main areas.  We had a blast - and I think the kids did too.  I have so enjoyed this co-op (I know that I say this every time I post about it, but I'm just always very thankful!).  I'm thankful for God providing the impetus to form the group and for placing each family that is in it. 

We started by reading the story and then talking about the colors of the southwest in the pictures.  We asked the children to work in groups and to try to match up some of the colors in one of the pictures with paint chips.  It was fascinating to see what they chose - from a dominant color to one that just added a bit of pop to the picture. 

Next, they brought their paint chips that they had selected and painted a desert scene on the sides and bottom of a shoebox.  We were making dioramas.  Each one was so different and creative.  I so enjoy seeing each child express themselves through art.

One of the sad parts of this day for me though involved Daniel.  I tried to get him to come in and work on this project as I knew he would love it!  He started in the room with picking the paint swatches and soon left.  It was just too much for him - lots of people and the inevitable noise that comes with a room full of people.  It's just overwhelming for his senses. 

Part of what makes me sad though is that this was in *our* home with a group of friends he sees every week.  I'm not sure that the setting could have been any more comfortable or that there was anything more that either of us could have done.  I didn't push it.  When the group left, he immediately asked if he could make a diorama.  He did have a lot of fun doing - as I knew he would.  This is not something I would have done on my own and I'm so thankful that my kids (and I) got to experience this!  Thank you Jen!  For those that read regularly, remember this incident as I will be sharing more about some successes and answers to prayer regarding this.  (I don't mean to leave things dangling, but this post is already really, really long!)

We also learned about the six simple machines.  I found a wonderful book at the library (Simple Machines by Deborah Hodge) which I used for experiements to illustrate the various machines.

We learned about the lever.  It took less force to lift a friend using a lever.

The wheel and axle.  This windmill (the wheel) turned the axle (the pencil) to lift the candy.

The pulley multiplies the force you are using so that you can do more than you could with just your strength.  In this experiment, one child was able to pull the two poles together despite having two children pulling them apart.

Inclined plane.  The force of an egg falling from the height of a can straight down is greater than one falling from the same height down an inclined plane. 

The screw.  Water could be lifted up by using the motion of a screw.

The wedge.  I cut a carrot into slices and also wedges.  The children could see that it was much easier to use a wedge to push into the apple than it was with a circular piece.

Next, we played a game to see how much they knew about simple machines.  I put a card with the name and definition of each machine on the ground.  Each child then picked 3 pictures.  They then tried to pick what type of machine was illustrated in the picture. 

We went around the circle taking turns so that can see all of the pictures and learn together.  Some were easier and others were difficult!  They did a great job!  If this doesn't make sense and you want more details, please ask.  It was a simple game to put together using pictures from the internet. 

For snack time we had several recipes from the FIAR cookbook.  They were yummy.  The green things in a separate dish is cactus (to put in the chicken salad).  I loved it and thought it was very mild.

The children then had time to finish their dioramas.  They could choose from some many things - and add in their own things too.  There were cacti and octillo plants made from pipe cleaners, cotton balls for clouds, rocks (like in the story), lizards and snakes, and even sand.  I just loved seeing all that the children did!  I tried to figure out how to make a collage so I could show more pictures, but couldn't get it to work.  Sorry.

We ended the day with having the children go into the woods in our backyard to make their own Roxaboxen.  They went straight to work! 

I love this method of learning and am thankful to have this opportunity with my children.  I'm thankful for the wonderful memories we are making together.  I'm looking forward to having co-op at my house again so we can continue our fun playtime back in Roxaboxen.