Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mercury

We've been learning about Mercury!
The kids make a cover page for each section of their astronomy notebook. For their Mercury page, I cut a synthetic sponge into a circle and they stamped it onto the page with gray paint. This gave the picture a nice crater-effect.
Photobucket

Lapbook pieces from JFeliciano.
PhotobucketPhotobucket

They learned about how round craters are formed by irregular asteroids by dropping rocks into a bowl of flour.
Photobucket

Making a salt dough model of Mercury.
Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

We have yet to see Mercury in the sky. When we were camping, though, some astronomers from UT were there at the park with some really big telescopes and a slide show. The sky was amazing and we were able to see other planets, galaxies, and neat stars.

Their Mercury narrations:

Miah's Mercury Page
Mercury doesn't have much atmosphere. the light from the sun goes straight down, so it looks dark. Mercury is closest to the sun. It goes in an oval. It is the smallest planet. I made Mercury out of dough. How you make it is: flour and oil, salt and water. I mixed it all up with my hands, and then I made it into a ball. Then I poked some holes in it to make it look like Mercury. The holes were for the craters.

Larkin's Mercury Page
Mercury is the fastest planet. Mercury has lots of craters. Mercury is terrestrial. Mercury is the smallest planet. It goes around the sun like an oval. It's the closest to the sun. The Romans named Mercury after their false god.

Larkin always likes to give me his narration first so he doesn't forget anything. Miah likes to go second to hear what Larkin has to say.

My favorite part of each chapter is the section that explains how the particular planet or celestial body supports creationism. For example, the sun actually gets a little hotter every year. If it existed billions of years ago, it would have been 30% cooler, which means the earth would have been completely frozen and unable to support any life. Mercury's lack of atmosphere allows it to be hit with thousands of asteroids, resulting in thousands of crater. However, some parts of Mercury have no craters. If it was sitting out there in space for billions of years, the chances of there being any craterless areas is next to zero. I love learning that kind of information!

"We search the world for truth; we cull
The good, the pure, the beautiful,
From all old flower fields of the soul;
And, weary seekers of the best,
We come back laden from our quest,
To find that all the sages said
Is in the Book our mothers read."
- John Greenleaf Whittier

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." - Genesis 1:1

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Art Camp

On Saturdays, Miah has been working on her American Heritage Girl badges. First she chose "Creative Crafts", which was no surprise. She had to pick crafts from a given list. Her choices: origami, clay sculpture, bead-making, and mosaics.
She had a lot of fun with the origami. I found origami folding instructions online, helped her get started, and she really took off with it.
Photobucket

Larkin joined in too.
Photobucket

This past week Miah enjoyed a three-day "art camp" with her beloved artist aunt. I stayed away as much as possible, but I do have one picture of Miah working on her glass mosaic.
Photobucket

It's an underwater scene. I love the little octopus on the left.
Photobucket

They also made pottery on a wheel. The pots are waiting to be fired and glazed, so I haven't seen them yet. I'll show you a play-dough sculpture instead. ;) A fairy girl laying in a flower.
Photobucket

She used a little microwave glass kiln to make glass magnets and beads.
Photobucket

Miah thoroughly enjoyed the special art time with her aunt. And I am so thankful to have someone to help Miah grow in this talent.

The other badge Miah has been working on is the "Memory Maker" badge. She had to learn all about photo storage and scrapbooking tools and techniques. We covered most of the requirements with a trip to Hobby Lobby and the library.
Photobucket

Then she made a little scrapbook of her own.
Photobucket

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thank you to Emma at Rambling Through Wonderland recently sent this my way:
Photobucket
Here are the rules of this award:
Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.

Pass the award to up to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

So here are a few very lovely blogs that are definitely worth checking out.

All About Him - Enjoying and learning about God's amazing creation
Ambleside Classical - A Charlotte Mason-inspired home
At Home Science - Books, tips, and resources for teaching science at home
Four Green Acres - A delightful country-life blog
Jimmie's Collage - A wealth of homeschooling ideas and helps
Red Gate Gardens - Country life to keep your heart happy
Rose Cottage - Homeschooling and adoption
school for us - More Charlotte Mason homeschooling
Sunny Scholars - Did I ever mention how much I like Charlotte Mason?
The Homespun Heart - Home and homeschool with little ones

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Refreshing the Brain

Many homeschoolers are beginning a new school year or finishing their plans and arranging schedules. Here's a tip from Charlotte Mason: remember the benefit of short lessons and don't forget to add variety to your day.

". . . this much is certain, and is very important to the educator: the brain, or some portion of the brain, becomes exhausted when any given function has been exercised too long. The child has been doing sums for some time, and is getting unaccountably stupid: take away his slate and let him read history, and you find his wits fresh again. Imagination, which has had no part in the sums, is called into play by the history lesson, and the child brings a lively unexhausted power to his new work. School time-tables are usually drawn up with a view to give the brain of the child variety of work; but the secret of the weariness children often show in the homeschool room is, that no such judicious change of lessons is contrived." - Charlotte Mason (Home Education, p. 24)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Visiting

We have had a busy, fun week. I took the kids to visit family. The main purpose of the trip was to allow Miah to spend time with Aunt Jessica making art. More on that in another post. We also celebrated a favorite cousin's birthday. While Miah was being an artist, I kept the other kiddos occupied elsewhere. We visited my brother and my gramma. Then my camera battery died, and I forgot to bring the charger. So no pics from the children's museum or the state fair or the picnic or my sister's new apartment, but rest assured, we had a fabulous time. We arrived home around midnight Friday and then headed to Big South Fork for the American Heritage Girls family camping trip on Saturday.
(click to enlarge)
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
Photobucket
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
PhotobucketPhotobucket
PhotobucketPhotobucket
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Photobucket
I think we wore them out!