Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Peter Rabbit: Five in a Row

Oh, what a delightful time we had with this story!!!  I purposed to spend more time planning our week and boy did it show in the things we were able to do.  I really want all of our weeks to be like this, but the reality is that some are and some aren't and I'm thankful for both!  

I need to find a schedule (for me) that works for planning for all of my children so that we can have more weeks that are like this!  I'm hoping to use the summer to do some planning.  Though I may need to work on a 6-8 weeks on and then 2 weeks off in order to have some built in time for planning.  Anyone want to share what works for them?  

We read Peter Rabbit.  I gathered resources before we started our week from printables (there is a free fold n learn from Five in a Row to go with this book), to books (other books in the series) to art lessons.    Planning and preparing really helps *me* to be better able to do the fun things that I want to do.

We read the book each day and had some great discussions on various topics.  We did some map work.  (Printable from Homeschool Share)

One of the fun things that we have done over the years in our notebook is to have a title page for each story.  I love doing this because it is fun to see their artwork and what grabs them from each story.  Typically this is done after reading the story for the first time.  I love Daniel's picture here!

So many of our lessons don't end up in pictures.  Like acting out the vocabulary/action words in the story.  That is always a silly, but fun activity!  And the discussions.  What a great tool - stories - to use to talk about life and how we would act in the same scenario.

We made a trip to the store to buy seeds.  

Of course he wanted carrot seeds!

We planted these in pots.  

Daniel worked hard in getting the pots ready.

The seeds are so very small.

As is often the case, Eliana wants to join in on the fun too!  Its so good for her to have siblings to learn from and with.

And any excuse to get messy and dirty is alright in her book!

We also bought some plants and put those in these planter boxes on our deck.  We also tried some in the yard.  We have not had much luck in the past planting in our yard (too much shade) so we'll see how it works for us this year.  It would be so much fun to have some produce from our own garden!

One day I did a fun snack idea that I read about from Gourmet Mom on the go.  It is so cute, isn't it?  Its a Peter Rabbit garden snack.  
I took a muffin tin and filled it with fruits and veggies and then covered it with green tissue paper.

Then Daniel and Eliana poked to see what was planted in their gardens. 

Eliana loved the surprise of it even though she would not try all of them

I mostly used things we had on hand and tried for a variety of colors and a mix of fruits and veggies.

This was a huge hit!  This is it for pictures.  I didn't take that many, but we did have a fun time.  Daniel loved reading more stories in the Peter Rabbit series and adding in the hands-on activities really made our time memorable.  I think this may go down as one of our favorites.  

I have more ideas on my Pinterest board if you want to check it out.  There is also a community board with more ideas for Peter Rabbit here.  


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Another Awana Post

Doing a little catching up on May as I work through hundreds of photos from our last field trip and beach trip.  :-)  Gotta love digital when you can take soooo many pictures.

I posted about Daniel's Sparky award already.  (Click on the link to read more.)  He continued to work on his verses until  he had done all of the review work and the extra verses too.  He has earned all that he can at this level.  He worked so very hard and more importantly, he is learning to hide God's work in his heart.  I pray that it will bless and benefit him his entire life!  Way to go Daniel!

Eliana also worked hard with her verses this year.  Here she is with one of her wonderful Cubbies leaders.  Many of the leaders are students who volunteer their time to serve.  This sweet leader has been with her for 2 years.  She will be missed next year!
 Can you see how very proud my sweet girl is of her reward?  Look at that face!  I love it!  She completed her book again this year!
 Also this year, she was given a special award.  Last year, she signed most of her verses.  This year we worked with signs and words.  She said her verses this year often with me doing the signs with her.  She has grown and improved so much.

What a delight too when I see others enjoying our little girl.   I'm so thankful to be a part of this group - an encouraging and uplifting place to be sure!  Thank you Nikii and David for all of your work this year.  You will be missed!!!
This program has been a great practical way to work on memorizing more Bible verses.  Thankful to be a part!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Beyond FIAR co-op: Neil Armstrong 4

Well, this is our last co-op of the year.  Its also the end of our Beyond FIAR co-op.  We started 4 years ago with FIAR volume 4 and then did a volume of Beyond each year following.  This past year was volume 3 and our last book was  Neil Armstrong.  What a blessed and amazing group this has been and I'm so very thankful for all the sweet memories I have from our time together!

On this last meeting, we covered Sir Isaac Newton and the Laws of Gravity, Rockets, the principles of light and more.  

This was a peek of things to come for those who are really observant.  ;-)

We covered more chapters than usual in this meeting as the ending chapters were shorter or rather had fewer lessons.  As a fun review of the chapters, the book was passed from student to student to share what they liked or learned from each chapter.  (Each student would take a chapter and then pass it to the next person to move forward to the following chapter if that makes sense.)

What a great verse to go with our lesson today and incidentally was also the verse used at our last co-op last year.  :-)
Learning more about Sir Isaac Newton was very interesting and also how his faith impacted his life.  The children learned about the 3 laws of motion.  Then their knowledge was put to the test in a quiz!

Learning more about the sun/moon and their effects on the earth.

Just seeing some of the things laying on the table raised my curiosity about the lessons that lay ahead!

And mamas in the kitchen working on lunch.  Always lots of behind the scenes work to pull off a fun day like this!
Time now for the history of rockets.  The children learned about various people how either made discoveries or inventions that contributed to the knowledge we have today about rockets.  

Then it was time for a visual demonstration of how rockets are made today.  Its not so easy to see in the picture due to the pattern on the rug, but there is a rocket outlined with string and all of its parts inside the string.

Here are some pictures of some of the individual parts like the payload, guidance system, controls and more.  I think if you click on the picture it will become larger.  What a fun way to better understand the roles of the various parts of the rocket.
An experiment to see which falls faster - a heavier ball or lighter ball of paper when dropped at the same time.  This demonstrated Newton's law of gravity.  Do you know the answer?

The both hit at the same time?  Want to understand it better?  You can read more here.
Last we watched the take off of the rocket in which Neil Armstrong rode to the moon!  I love that we can see and share this with our children so many years later!
We did a lot of moving from place to place for lessons which I think helps with concentration.  The next lesson was on light and we gathered around a large round table.  And look what was in the middle!  Moon treats!  Lots of freeze-dried fruits as well as cheese and "rocket" crackers.
This is a poster.  The students had the answers and facts about light which went with the pictures which they discussed and put on the poster.
Did you know that each color has different wavelengths?  Can you see the picture below?
And that some animals can see far more colors than we can?  I think it was 14 wavelengths of color that the Mantis shrimp could see.  (And how did they figure this out?!)
There was a lesson on light and the colors that we see.

We also talked about  pigments and how the blend to make various colors.
This chart demonstrated the difference between light and pigments.

The last item was a demonstration of a "pop rocket" using baking soda and vinegar to pop the cork out of a bottle.  Really went high and I was not able to capture this in a picture very well.  They also used balloons as a means to propel 2 cars in a race.  We found that the friction of the driveway made them go much slower than on a smooth floor inside the house.

We ended our day with a feast of foods from various countries.  Neil visited so many different countries and we had foods from many of them.  Isn't this an amazing spread!

And as a treat to take home - ice cream and moon pies.  They loved that!

Can I share that I'm so not ready for this to end?  I don't want to "graduate" two more students from Five in a Row!  I love using this with them!  I am thankful for 2 more students with which to use these fun books!

I'm also not ready to end this fun co-op.  Thankfully, neither are these gals!  We are going to continue our co-op but using our  own studies.  We plan to spend a semester on a Shakespeare play and then cover 2 books the following semester.  We are still planning but I will share more as we move into next year.

This has been an amazing co-op.  Fabulous lessons.  Wonderful friends.  Memories for a lifetime.

With a thankful heart,

Monday, May 20, 2013

Field Trip to Wholefoods Bakehouse

A fun field trip to ...

This is the facility where the breads for Whole Foods are made.  We started out in a small room for instructions before the tour.  Yes, everyone was required to wear a hairnet.
I wasn't sure if the gluten would be a problem for Eliana, so she and I stayed outside and waited for the others.  A sweet friend took pictures for me (thanks Jen!).  And the narrative below is courtesy of Joshua!

Our group was big enough to be split into 2 groups for the tour.  No age divisions this time, but rather by family.

The tour started with hearing about the various ingredients.
This is where all the flour is kept.
All the ingredients in large quantities.

This is the dough room.  The flour is brought down in a giant chute.
All the doughs are mixed in this room.
They kneaded and cut it in the next room.
There were large trash cans filled with doughs that were rising to get ready for baking.
Do you think everyone is getting hungry at this point?
This is the bread after it has been baked and still in the baking room.
This man is using a knife to slice the doughs.  Each type of bread had a different "slice".  He was very fast and impressed everyone with his skill and precision.
Yet another room where all the breads are cooling.  Look at the variety!
Sometimes even the experts have flops.  (Bet it still tastes good though!)
There was a room for desserts - sweet breads, cookies and more!
Making croissants.  A machine that flattened the dough.  Another cut it into triangles.  A conveyor belt brought these down where the workers rolled them up.

The tour lasted about 30 minutes and is an interesting look at bread making on a large scale.  The tour and process was very different from when we were here 6 years ago even.  There is also a separate facility where they make gluten free breads.  I'm hoping that maybe we can tour that one day as I would  love to see how they do this!
At the conclusion of the tour, they were so gracious to give us some breads to sample!  Everyone was excited to try the breads after seeing them being made!  

It was a gorgeous day so we found a nearby park to picnic and play.

Always a fun way to spend out days with friends!
So thankful for this sweet way of learning with my children.