Thursday, July 10, 2014

E + E = 2 Great Scientists

New Jersey Unit
Albert Einstein, the German-born scientist, spent the latter part of his life in New Jersey.  We decided to focus on Einstein for this unit.  He is considered the greatest scientist of the twentieth century.  He has no concrete connection to the mathematical concept of "Pi" which measures the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter which is approx. equal to 3.14159.  However, March 14 (3.14) Einstein's birthday is also Pi Day! I'm definitely not going to teach my 7 & 3 yr old about Pi, but we had fun with circles anyway. :-)

 I showed C. how to find the diameter of a circle.  She gathered several round objects from around the house, traced the circles on paper, & then measured their diameters.

We searched through our recycle bin for round objects and placed them in a round plastic sorter.
Then the girls had fun creating a circle collage!

Grand Finale - "Pi" Dessert
(Mini graham cracker pie crust, vanilla pudding, and mini Oreos)

Ohio Unit
Even though we're not on the "O" states yet, we decided to do our Ohio Unit after New Jersey because of another scientist/inventor ~ Thomas Edison.  He was born in Ohio but his 1st lab was in New Jersey. He is considered one of the greatest inventors of all time. 

Interesting Facts about Edison: 
* He was home schooled by his mother.
* He was partially deaf.
* He proposed to his wife in Morse Code.

We really enjoyed the book "Now & Ben" that we read for our Massachusetts Unit. When I found out that the same author wrote a book about Edison, we checked it out! We liked how the author explained how many of the modern technology we use today is because of Edison's inventions. Some of the things he invented were the phonograph, transmitter for telephones, alkaline battery, & the motion picture camera. But he is mostly known for his invention of the incandescent light bulb! 

We had 2 light bulbs go out the week of our unit.  The Lord always sets up these things for us by providing exactly what our homeschool needs exactly when we need it! 
The girls had fun coloring the bulbs.  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Science Fun with Kool-aid & Rain!

We still have school over the summer months but with a more relaxed schedule.  We definitely do more hands on activities because who wants to be stuck at a table doing seat work after six months of a gruesome winter?!?!
Nebraska Unit
The Official State Soft Drink of Nebraska is...Kool-aid!  
This was a good excuse to buy a beverage we never drink.  But, the girls didn't like it because I refused to add the required amount of sugar it takes to taste good. :-/
So, we had much more fun using it for activities! 

We poured 4 packets of Kool-aid onto poster boards & the girls used their spray bottles to create works of art. 

Their creations were beautiful! C. said hers (on the left) looks like Northern Lights. I agree!  

We also did a Walking Water Experiment.  K. added yellow food coloring into one glass of water & C. added red Kool-aid into another. We talked about the words, "Absorb" & "Gravity". 

1st Observation (9:00AM)
Final Observation (7:30AM the next day)
 They were ecstatic to see the colored water walk & blend to make orange. 

I found this observation sheet at The First Grade Parade

Grand Finale

Nevada Unit
According to, Nevada takes the lead as the least rainy state in the US, with only 9.5" of rain each year.  That's a lot less rain than our state gets! So, we decided to do a fun Science Experiment for this unit as well. 

After I got a Flash Flood Warning on my phone, I knew that was a good night for our
Measuring Rainfall Experiment. 
We set the container out at 8:00PM when it started raining. 

It didn't stop raining until 12:00PM the next day!

C. predicted that we'd get 1 cup of water & K. predicted 2 cups.
We actually got a little over 2.5 cups (3.5").

Nevada is known as The Silver State due to the importance of silver to its history and economy. 
After reading the book "Silver", we decided to do some silver creations. 

Silver paint pen on black card stock with silver plastic-coated wire. 

Aluminum covered cardboard canvas with Sharpies. 

Grand Finale - sorry for the glare; silver is quite shiny! :-)

May my children grow to love Jesus and seek His wisdom like Silver (Prov. 2:4)!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Let it Go, Moms!

This is funny & So True! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Most Beautiful Wedding...

For the most beautiful servant!

Matt has been serving our family as Christian's Sunday morning helper for the last 2 years!  
He is one of the most humble, reliable, Christ-like young men we know.  He wants to and delights in serving Christian EVERY Sunday morning in order for my husband & I to hear the preached Word together.  He is definitely an answer to prayer and a sweet blessing to our family.  

We were honored when he & his lovely Bride-to-be asked Kempton to do their wedding counseling and officiate their wedding.  The wedding was this past Saturday.  As everyone knows in our city, it thunderstormed that whole morning.  We started praying that the Lord would favor that afternoon with nice weather for the wedding.  Well, He heard and answered!

Look at that sky! 

God was so faithful to His faithful servant! 

May the Lord bless you & Caitlin to keep walking faithfully with Him. And may you have many breath-taking, God-glorifying days as your wedding was! 
We Love You! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

From Nature Walks to Lewis & Clark

I highly agree with the Charlotte Mason's approach to Science in the primary grades which focuses on Nature Study.  Exploring God's creation lays a good foundation for future science knowledge. Now that it's nice outside, we go for Nature walks daily.  I typically don't require the kids to journal what they see but we always have good discussions.  I really enjoy hearing the girls make connections to our USA Unit. Here are a few things that Carysse found on our walks -

"Look, there's the Michigan State Bird - Robin!"

"I found a rock shaped like Minnesota!"

While eating lunch, she exclaimed to her sister,
"You just made the shape of Minnesota with your sandwich!" 
Not quite a nature walk finding, but I just had to share. :-)  

"Look, I found a long arm like Benjamin Franklin invented!" 

 They found a small frog during a playdate at a friend's house.  
I'm so glad they didn't inherit their mother's dislike of touching and exploring God's outdoor creatures...I actually moved away from it! :-/.

My girls definitely weren't the first two who liked to explore God's creation together.  Lewis & Clark were two men commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson to lead the Corps of Discovery Expedition through the West.       

We decided to focus on these two explorers for our Montana Unit. 
In Montana, there is a Lewis & Clark...

We also talked about Sacagawea, a Native American woman who accompanied L&C on their expedition.  She greatly helped them as a guide & interpreter all while caring for an infant! 

God Incident - During that same week, Carysse happened to finish the last book in the American Girl Series: Kaya. The book ended with a write-up about L&C and Sacagawea. I love how the Lord sets up connections in our homeschool! 

Here's an activity that C. enjoyed. 

Montana Unit
Other printables & activities - Discovered Animals, Coloring Sheet, & Fill in the Blank

Monday, May 19, 2014

Half Way There!

We have studied 25 states so far!  We're really enjoying this USA Unit Study!  You can read here to find out the embarrassment inspiration behind this unit :-).  Here are some pics showing how we weekly review the states.

C. adds the state names to our wall map.

K. glues the states on our map puzzle

C. researches each state's flag & other facts on the iPad & then completes the coloring sheet

I made these Travel Books for them (Yes, I purposely wanted them to look like passports :-). Each week they add the state flag and stamp the date next to it.  I found the mini state flags here

I printed the State's name cards from a USA game that I found at Currclick (Sorry I can't remember the name; it was a limited time Free Offer). Then I added the person/place/thing that we studied for each state to the back of the cards. We enjoy playing Family Charades with these!

Come Back Soon for more Carysse & Kalia Cruising the Country!

Monday, May 12, 2014

A "Special" Mother's Day Gift

The highlight of Mother's Day for me was spending time in Christian's Sunday School class.  The class is called "His Strength" and it is an adaptive classroom integrating sensory activities, worship, and simple Bible stories.  The first day I walked into the class, I cried tears of joy.  My precious son had a place that he could learn about Jesus at his level.  I can't say enough about the team of workers in that class.  I want to specifically thank Michelle Ryan (team leader), Laura Lunger (teacher), & Elise Anderson (aide) for the never-ending patience, kindness and compassion that exudes from you to these "special" blessings each Sunday!  Through the days that run smoothly or the ones that are quite bumpy, God gives you grace to continue to show the love of Jesus to all of the children.  My heart overflows with gratitude to you for your sacrificial service in this class.

 Here is a snippet of the grace that my son experiences each Sunday - 

Sensory Table

Tent Play

Floor Time

Gross Motor Activities

Soft, Relaxing Corner

Hallelujah, The Lord Has Done Just What He Said! video
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? ~Romans 8:32

Thank you Jesus for the gift of this class!