Thursday, April 26, 2012

Adventures in Homeschooling - March

Due to being out of town for so long, having a malfunctioning camera, having my computer replaced (and my editing software...), I'm back to playing the good ol' game of Catch Up.  So here are some of the adventures we went on in March.

The Lindsay Wildlife Museum.

What's the first thing Sam does??  Try to rob the donations bank...

 They had a bunch of the birds that live there permanently on display, plus all of their information like how they came to the hospital and why they now live there.

This was by far my favorite part--they do several surgeries each day that visitors can watch!  This was a pocket gopher who's front teeth had gotten too long and had to be cut.  Yes, I said CUT HIS TEETH.  Ouch.

There was also a flight simulator.

And a pretend eagle's nest.

Russ had to try out the simulator as well, of course.

A wingspan estimator.

A kid area with lots of interesting things to look at, play with, and touch.

Sam loves these penny-pressing machines and is starting a collection.

And better yet, it was literally right next to a park.

Before we left, the kids discovered this nifty trick--sliding down the stairs by their armpits! HA!

Sam testing out his eagle skills at home.

 Invitation for making clay dinos.

They turned out great!  ...they didn't last very long, but the kids loved them!

I found Brooklyn in the bathroom one afternoon, conducting an experiment.  It looked on the verge of becoming a giant mess, so decided to grab her a towel.

Was really glad I got that towel, especially after she grabbed the food coloring!

Pattern blocks invitation!

 Got these nifty worksheet things from a homeschooling friend.  I thought they were super cute!  My kids didn't, lol.

Here's Sam's artwork:
And Brooklyn's.  It's a fox.  And he's using his sense of smell to smell the worksheet and his sense of hearing to hear the butterfly.

For weeks, the kids' favorite thing was to decimate my bed in order to make a fort.  Not just any fort--one that you can slide down in laundry baskets and run into the wall with!  Good times.

 Roller-blading with Starbursts.

Our first attempt at ice blocking...I judged poorly at the angle of this hill.  Next time, we'll head to The Big Hill.

A chilly day at the park.

After that chilly day at the park, lol.

Mid-March I headed to visit my girlfriends in Texas (stay tuned!), but Russ documented for me while I was gone.

I've been keeping my eyes out for a good deal on CitiBlocs or Kappa Blocks, and boy did Russ find one!!  1000 CitiBlocs for $170!  He called to talk to me about it when he saw the deal, and I was so excited to come home to play with them!!

They get played with literally every day.

Also while I was gone, someone took off her training wheels!!  PROUD MAMA!

Sorry for the brevity, but I have another month to catch up on!! :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What a week.

Okay, so this post was from well over a month ago...  We took a trip to Washington State for a few weeks, plus our computer died and now I'm forced to learn Linux in order to update this blog.  Alas.  Please forgive.


I don't even know where to start...  The kids wanted to spend most of the week at home (so much for all of those planned outings...bah.  I have a new plan for this next week though!), and some days it absolutely amazes me how much we do just being at home.

I found an unopened Crystal Growing Kit at the thrift store for $5 and had it waiting for Russ and the kids when they got home from their excursions last weekend.  Everyone thought it was super cool, but the only one to try it out was Russ, lol.  Here it is, awaiting crystal growth (which it now has):

Lessons in tattoo artistry.  I found him making this doodle and was actually really impressed that he was drawing it upside down!  He would do the eyes, and then the smile (but would get frustrated that it wasn't perfect...), then the legs and last a t-shirt.  Pretty cute!

Then he got frustrated and wanted me to help him.  "And one here.  And here.  And don't fowget my bewwy!"  He was so proud of it all, he showed it all to anyone who asked about it, ha!

We celebrated Brooklyn's birthday mostly the day before since her bday falls on a Monday.  This was her request for dinner--milkshakes!

Russ went to get some ice cream out of the carton with a crappy spoon and voila...he tried to throw it away and Brooklyn exclaimed, "NO!!  That's my magician's spoon!!!"

This is an invitation I set up one morning--it's an experiment from the science kit that Bubba and Grandpa Jerry got Brook for her birthday.

Writing down observations.

Sam decided he'd rather make more medieval siege weapons.

Pipette practice.  They wanted to put the colors onto white paper to see what it looked like.

Then Brook wanted to dissolve a color tablet on a piece of paper, and under a piece of plastic and see what happened.  It fizzes and gives off CO2, making a pocket of gas, which she thought was pretty sweet.

Crossing the colors and holding them up to the light--can you see the green?  It was very bright with the naked eye.

Mixing colors.  The kit came with a color wheel and explained that if you took the primary colors on either side of the non-primary colors, mixed them together, you'd get that non-primary color.  Got it?  i.e.  red + yellow = orange
So we wondered if we mixed the two non-primary colors on either side of a primary color if we'd get the primary color. experience says no, but the kids didn't have my experience, so of course we had to try it.  The thing is, I don't know WHY that doesn't work...what makes a primary color a primary color?  Alas, sounds like a problem for a Google search bar.

Brooklyn decided she wanted to make an "apple slushy" and figured the best way was to take apple juice and crushed ice and shake them up.  Sam had a different idea...and honestly, his came out way better (could be due to the peaches, milk, and syrup he added, lol).

Who doesn't play with playdough in their cape during the week?

Brook decided it was sketching time.  On 3 pages she drew 3 different flowers--a lupine, a sunflower, and a rose.  Then the last page she drew a scene with a house and sun and trees and combined all of the flowers she drew and put them in the front yard and wrote, "HOM".  Awww.  I love that she makes use of the smudging tools and adds shadows to her stuff.  Smarty pants.

Brooklyn and Sam decided to make the neighbor kids invitations to a "Geyser Party".  We wrote and drew them all up, delivered them, and went and got our goods.  Soda + Mentos + a funnel thing = about a 13' geyser of soda!!  We had 5 kids (and a neighbor dad) betting on how high it would go and all were so eager to drop the Mentos in...I didn't get a single photo of the actual event.  But I DID narrowly avoid being drenched by soda!!

We asked the kids to go brush their teeth one night and Brooklyn announces, "Uh Mom...Sam found your makeup."  He had only been opening things and looking in them.  So I went and sat down and asked if he knew where it went and what it was for.  Another lesson in colors! lol.  Green covers up red, yellow covers up blue...they were amazed...and excited to put their new-found knowledge into action...

Brooklyn found some shaving cream and decided it was time to play.  

Buuuuut that didn't last for long.  I guess they had to get rinsed off somehow!

When I was cleaning up, I headed back inside to where Brook was first doing her art and found shaving cream sprayed EVERYWHERE!! 

But seriously, how can you get upset at THIS?!
<3 <3 <3

Sam had to join in as well!  ...for all of you that are in the Northern parts...these photos were taken in FEBRUARY.  Bwahahahah.  There are upsides to living in California!

Russ went to dish some ice cream up with this spoon and it bent.  Brooklyn saw and she asked to have it, "It's my magical spoon for my magic tricks!!!"  And then she proceeded to eat her ice cream (and applesauce the next morning) like this.

Playing a rousing game of Hide and Seek.  Yes, this is under Russ's truck.  Ironically, she cared less about being found and more about, "Wow, what the heck does THIS do?!"'re asking the wrong person, Love.

One thing that I absolutely adore about Sam is that at any given moment he will yell, "I'm getting my socks and shoes!" and that's it, he's gone.  Out exploring, playing, climbing, and tinkering.  Here, the wheels had come off of the wagon and he sat for a good 15 minutes, repairing them.  Proud momma!

Aaaand another day where we did shaving cream art--can you tell that we enjoyed it?

Computer gaming!  "Mom, can you pwease hewp me find duh wost dragon baby?!"

One content momma.

Sam loves to blend.  At least this time it was a smoothie...

First, the milk and cheese sticks.  Yes, I said cheese sticks.

Then the berries, leftover salad and sandwich and flip the switch!  Voila!  And no, it is rarely eaten...all in the good name of science!

He's got me twisted around his little finger.
<3 <3 <3

B had been asking for quite awhile to ride the scooters a block over to go down this hill.  The problem was that we always forgot about it unless we were in the car, actually going somewhere.  It was actually getting a bit annoying because she'd ask every time we got in the car.  Finally, a day where we just started walking around the block and remembered.  She got her fill and hasn't asked since.  Need to remember that next time, lol.


Aaaaand more experimenting.  I have no clue what he was trying to accomplish, but he looks pretty happy with himself.

The kids LOVE blossoms, especially when they fall like snow.  So Sam, being who he is...gets a large ROCK and starts chucking it into the air to hit the blossoms.  Sigh.  At least I caught him before he threw it straight up (or attempted to, it was a heavy sucker!), and corrected his angle of trajectory to be more useful...and a bit less destructive.

More shaving cream art!

For a few grocery trips, the kids begged to get some of these.  I put it off and put it off and finally decided, why?  I'd never tried them.  Kumquats!  They were interesting, but I can definitely say that I won't be buying them again, as our composting worms enjoyed most of them!

I now have to figure out how to download and edit my photos with Linux.  Sigh.  Wish me luck!  Hope to get more posts up soon!