Well, I certainly didn't mean to take such a long break. One thing I wanted to do this school year was to update this blog on a regular basis. However, we have been dealing with a few issues so finding time to sit down and blog has been difficult. So, today I am catching up on the last three weeks of our homeschooling year!
Annie took another art class. This time she was learning how to use oil pastels. She worked on blending with both her fingers and with the use of baby oil. She also drew her first still life!
It's hard to tell from the lousy photo above but we set up an experiment in science. We hung two identical bird feeders in our backyard. One feeder is filled with sunflower seeds and the other feeder is filled with thistle seeds. The idea is to see which seeds the birds in our yard prefer over the course of a one week period. We hung our feeders near our patio which we can view from our finished basement/schoolroom. The kids have had a fun time observing the birds that have visited our feeder.
I taped a sheet on the wall next to the patio door so that the kids can record their observations. I thought it would be neat to not only see which seed our backyard birds preferred but to also see which types of birds visit each feeder. We have been using our field guide quite a bit to figure out which types of birds we have seen. Even Lily, at age six, is able to locate birds in our field guide! The neat thing is that by doing this experiment we have become more aware of all the various types of birds that live in our backyard. We even saw a hairy woodpecker and a ruby throated hummingbird (male and female)!
Megan and Lily are continuing to learn about what life was like for the pilgrims. This week we focused on what a typical village would have been like. We learned about the job of the town crier and the job of the tithing man. Do you know what a tithing man does? His job is to stand in the meeting hall during church services. He holds a wooden stick with fur on one end. If a child whispers or giggles during the service he would rap them on the head with the wooden stick. If a child or adult fell asleep during the service he would tickle their nose with the furry end of the stick. The girls made their own tithing man sticks and had quite a good time tickling one another with the furry end. I did have to confiscate them once they began to whack each other on the heads though. :)
In keeping with the theme of oil pastels, we tried our hand at working with oil pastels and water color. I have found several fun art ideas on Pinterest, so we tried one of them. On a side note, what in the world did we do before the days of Pinterest? I am forever scouring my Pinterest boards to come up with ideas for us to use in our homeschool classroom, what to make for dinner, fun ways to celebrate birthdays, etc...
Here is the finished product! We simply took a leaf from our yard and traced it on paper with a black oil pastel crayon. After that we kept enlarging the image over and over until the paper was filled. The final step was to paint the leaves with water colors. The kids thought it was neat how the water color would not paint over the oil pastel lines. I love how they turned out! I plan to frame these and hang them along my stairwell.
We have also been plugging away at math. Annie has been reviewing the metric system, which is a huge step out of my comfort zone. I remember learning the metric system in school and despising it. Fast forward 25+ years and nothing has changed. I still despise it. I suppose it's mostly because I don't use it on a regular basis so each time I have to teach it I have to relearn it all over again. Thankfully, she doesn't seem to struggle with it the same way I did/do.
So, that's what we have been up to. We only have one more week of school before Fall Break! I am so looking forward to the time off. Normally my Mom visits us during Fall Break but this year it didn't work out that way. So, I am looking at our calendar and it is blank! That's exciting! It means lots of sleeping in, movie watching, book reading, library trips, park visits and bike rides.