Monday, November 24, 2014

Brazil - MFW ECC & 1st, Weeks 9, 10 & 11

Here we are "flying" to Brazil! I was the pilot, and I held out books with pictures of the rain forest as we were "flying" over the jungle. It was fun! We didn't try much Brazilian food because the kids were sick for 2 weeks. Ugh! But we did try tapioca pudding. I had to make it with almond milk since Rebekah is allergic to milk. It wasn't very thick, but it did taste good. Unfortunately, the only kid that liked it was Matthew. Since I have a lot of tapioca left, next time I'm making it with milk!

Can you guess our science topic? The rain forest! We made a rain forest model to help us remember the layers. I stuffed some green tissue paper in the tops of the tree trunks to make the leaves, but I forgot to take a picture before it got played with. Their favorite part was making the vines! We also had play dough fungi and foam monkeys.

Here is Caleb measuring 30 feet, which is the length a female anaconda can get, yikes!

We've been using The Complete Book of Animals to add to our animal study too, here is the spider monkey page.

And here are a few pages Caleb did for Brazil. I decided to let them add some of the Brazil play money to their flag page.

We read several books, and watched Wild South America (beware of nude Indians). My favorite part of South America was reading our missionary biography of Nate Saint. My son really loved this book because Nate came from an inventing family, and he also came up with some neat inventions as an adult. But while the story is tragic, it shows God's amazing grace!  When we finished the book, we watched the Torchlighters: The Jim Elliot Story , and we also found a series on Youtube called Journey to the Amazon that was very enjoyable and without violence or nudity.

Our curriculum came with some yellow paper airplane models too!

In math, Caleb started a new math book, Singapore 2B! So far, so good!

Along with the rain forest, we also talked about birds and how strong the arch shape is.  Here are 4 egg shells holding up 20 pounds of books!

For bible time, Caleb's been copying some verses from Matthew 5.  We also read about the Quechua Indians in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia in our book, Window on the World.

Caleb's been doing a good job writing lately.  If I set the timer, and tell him he can be done when the timer goes off, he writes without complaining.

We're still using Spelling Power, but I'm still not sure I like it.  I think we might modify it so that he doesn't get a test every day.  Even though it's not as efficient, he would probably do better if he studies every word.  That way, he'll feel good about himself when he gets more correct.  Here are a few activities we added to practice his words, a fill in the blank and letter tiles.

Rebekah just loves math!  She's been doing subtraction and is really good at it.  She's doing her workbook pages faster then scheduled.

Here are a few Proverbs copywork pages.  Her handwriting looks very good to me.

Lastly, we started a homeschooling group through our church!  I'm so excited about this group.  We'll be having a Mom's Coffee Night once a month and then at least one field trip with the kids.  Our first field trip was a meet and greet at a local pizza place.  We got a tour and then everyone made their own pizza, yum!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Clara's Kitchen Book Review

I checked out a delightful book at the library last week called Clara's Kitchen by Clara Cannucciari and her grandson Christopher. It is part cookbook, part history book, part autobiography. Clara was a grandmother that lived through the Great Depression, and she shares her recipes and her stories in this book. She has passed away now, but she left a great gift. Her grandson started videotaping her cooking recipes like her mother cooked when she was a child. You can view the videos on YouTube, Depression Cooking. There was not a lot of food during the Great Depression, yet they didn't go hungry. Clara's mother was a great cook, feeding her family from their vegetable garden. People were very resourceful and frugal during that time, good qualities for anyone today as well. I think I enjoyed this book so much because Clara was only 1 year older than my grandmother, who also grew up in Chicago.

I tried her recipe for Pasta with Escarole, although I used Kale instead because that's what was ready in our garden. I have made this dish twice for lunch, I think it's great with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese!

I did not receive any compensation for this review, I just liked the book!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Canada - MFW ECC & 1st, Weeks 7 & 8

We enjoyed our study of Canada! Above are soap carvings that the kids did.  The Ivory soap was really easy to carve with a toothpick, but the legs and ears were easy to break off...  Have a few extra bars of soap if you do this!  Rebekah's whale had to be wet and stuck back together, and I had to help her with the tail.  They thought it was great fun though and want to do it again.

We had a lot of fun trying new recipes from Canada to go with our study. I have a few friends that are from Canada, so I asked them for recipes. Below are pictures of our pate chinois and poutine, (click on the links for the recipes). Everyone loved both of them,

We also made blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup, and below they are enjoying puffed wheat squares, very good! Then, we solved a family mystery too! My husbands grandma was famous for making a desert for Christmas. Kevin loved these bars, but we never knew what they were. His grandma passed away a few years ago, and while I'm sure some of his Aunts have the recipe, we did not. I was surprised when I clicked on this recipe that was recommended for Canada:  Nanimo Bars. This is what his grandma always made! I wonder where she got the recipe? We do live in the upper midwest, but still a few hours away from Canada. I did not make these though because Rebekah is allergic to dairy, and that wouldn't be fair to make a "school" desert she can't have. I am going to make them at Christmas though for my husband, then there will be plenty of other deserts for Rebekah.

Here are some of the geography pages we worked on. The ones shown are Caleb's, Rebekah also did the same ones.

For science, we continued to study trees and plants. We did a fun experiment with celery. First, we learned what xylem and phloem were, then we peeled the xylem off of two sticks of celery. In each cup, there is one stick with the xylem on, and one without. They guessed what would happen, and then we waited a few days to see if they were correct. They were!

And we read a little about life cycles, then made a notebook page:

We got outside to enjoy the beautiful fall weather several times. Canada has an abundance of maple trees, and so does our neighbor! We tried to make maple leaf stamps, but it didn't work well, so instead we painted the outline. I love how Caleb's paper turned out.

We've been reading through the book of Matthew for our bible time. I read a blog article by a fellow My Father's World user about copywork and dictation, that I found very helpful at I have been doing copywork and dictation with Caleb, but I think I was focusing on the wrong things, and making it more stressful for him. This week went much better. I decided to use Mama Jenn's copywork pages because they have the verse written at the top of the page. Caleb was getting stressed out by having to copy it out of the bible. He'd loose his place, or be overwhelmed by how long it was. Even though it's the same length on this paper, it didn't bother him at all.  

Caleb is not a fan of writing, but I discovered a trick that has worked really well lately. I set a timer for 10 minutes, and then tell him he doesn't have to finish what he's writing, he only has to work diligently for that time. It works! Below was an English assignment to write an autobiography. There were a lot of questions that overwhelmed him at first. Once I told him he didn't have to do them all, just do his best for 10 minutes, he happily started writing and completed all but one of the questions!

It also worked a few days later when he had to write a play! No more asking if how many sentences he had to write and then trying to come up with the shortest ones possible!

And then we got to an easy assignment that turned into a battle...  Below is a poem that was in our book. He was supposed to memorize it, but since he memorizes bible verses through church, I only asked him to read it aloud to me. He didn't want to do it, and it turned into a big fit. When daddy came home, daddy decided he would have to memorize it after all. Once he quit having a fit (a very long one), he was able to memorize it fairly quickly. The next two days were spent copying it, and he did a great job.

For read alouds, we finished our missionary story from Mexico, Cameron Townsend. Then we read a funny book that the kids just loved called Owls in the Family.  I wanted to read Anne of Green Gables with them because it is set on Prince Edward Island, but we ended up just watching the movie instead due to time.

Rebekah made this adorable book in her 1st grade lessons. She copied each sentence from her workbook. I had to share each page:

She really loves math. We started addition by having a store and a restaurant.

Above, there is a picture of a modified game of candy land. Before she could pick a card, she had to read a word card. And below is a picture of Matthew's new favorite past time. Dumping!

That was our trip to Canada. Next stop, Brazil!
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