Wednesday, November 30, 2011

All Those Secrets of the World

In November we rowed All Those Secrets of the World and talked about Veterans Day. This book is out of print, but I was able to get a used copy fairly cheaply and easily and really felt it was worth it. Jane Yolen based this book on her own experience of when her father went off to war.

Jack was stunned to find out that he had sent his own dad off to a war--and we even had pictures. "I thought he went to the desert!" was his reaction. Being medical in the military is kind of a different category, so we never mentioned anything about a war since Jack was only three at the time.

We learned a lot about family history with this book. Two of his great-grandfathers served in World War II--my mom's dad on the left and Jay's mom's dad on the right.

One day my grandma told him all about life back home when four of her six brothers were away at war. She was about 12 or 13 at the time--about when this picture of her and her twin sister was taken. I am pretty sure the thing Jack will always remember is that she accidentally broke her dad's thumb when she threw some hay into the loft and didn't know he was there. Jack looked at her like he thought she was some kind of 81 year-old ninja, out breaking appendages with a flick of some straw.

We talked about horizon lines and tried out watercolor pencils for the first time.

The story takes place near the Chesapeake Bay, so we talked about estuaries. I used this site to find pictures of different animals in the Chesapeake Bay and we put their pictures where they would live in the bay.

We also listened to music from the 1940s and tied in our current artist study (Norman Rockwell) with a discussion of "Homecoming."

If you can find this one, you really should read it. It is very sweet and I teared up at the end when her dad comes home every. single. time. It's good.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving School

We've been doing Thanksgiving school this month. Honestly, after our dinner, I was pretty much Thanksgivinged out, so maybe next year I need to not do that quite so early. Nevertheless, we started out with Cranberry Thanksgiving. We don't own this one, but we do have Cranberry Easter and Jack has enjoyed the Cranberry Christmas movie.

Lapbook pieces from Homeschool Share!

A cornucopia of twisty pictures! We worked on learning the New England states.

Ocean Spray has some good information about cranberries and at certain times you can check out the live bog cam!

We discussed setting, too. (Idea from Heather!)

Jack's trunk with the list of items he would take with him.

Handprint turkeys--the unit had some other kind of turkey, but I went with this kind because it was flat and would fit in his notebook easily and Alice could do one, too.

We read through both of these books are we were working on the items in the pockets.

These are good resources, too. We didn't read through them this year, but Jack used them for some pictures he did.

My actual Thanksgiving Day pictures are pretty few. Jack played Skip-Bo with my grandma before lunch.

After lunch he played another game with his cousin. We went to our second dinner at Jay's sister's house and were home in time for Charlie Brown.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fun Friday: Decorating

The tree is up!

Teaching Art....

I have a new post up today at Metro Family Magazine about an art activity we did with our Picasso study! Check it out!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Nina and The Pinta

We braved some crazy fog this morning to visit replicas of The Nina (I don't know how to make that squiggly thingy over the n) and The Pinta, two of the ships Christopher Columbus used.

The Pinta--this is actually almost the same size as the Mayflower, which we have been reading about this week.

We had a guided tour, which was great! The kids got to try using a windlass, the tool used to raise the anchor. (I think that's right.)

The crew's quarters are below deck and Jack was really wanting to see what was down there!

This is a ballast stone, which they still use in the replicas. In the past, when explorers would get to the new world they would dump the ballast stones to make room for the things they were taking back. Later, these stones were used for streets and buildings.

Taking a whiff of the pine tar that was used to coat the boat--thankfully they don't use that anymore!

Next to the tiller, which was how they steered the ship.

Alice slept through most of the tour, but when we woke up she was fascinated by these rope-covered poles.

The Nina

Another view of The Pinta

The kids loved this hill, and thankfully we didn't have to fish any of them out of the water!

Monday, November 21, 2011

And The Winners Are....

Rachel will be getting Wonderplay, Too! (and I will get to save on shipping!) and Julie will be getting Draw Write Now.

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fun Friday: 347.3 Miles

Technically not all 347.3 miles were driven today, but it was all part of our road trip that started Thursday.

Our first stop was the new Oklahoma WONDERtorium in Stillwater.

This place was so much fun!

It's all in one big room, which was nice, because Jack could go play where he wanted to play and I could still keep an eye on him. And sometimes they even ended up playing together!

Alice liked picking vegetables.

She was really excited when she found beans to scoop! Sister loves her some scooping.

Trying out the chopsticks and sushi in the Japanese area. Jack had just done this in his geography class this week!

Jack figured out just where to stand so the balls and scarves would hit him when they came out of the air tubes.

Water table--When she was done here, Alice took off her shirt and gave it to me so I could dry it under the hand dryer.

There was an old fashioned washing machine in the farm area. Can I just tell you how glad I am to have a modern washing machine? So glad.

The kids liked gathering eggs. On the other side of this wall was the general store and you could put the eggs in slots there and they could come out in the hen house.

Playing store

Alice loved playing with the babies.

She also liked playing with the pager and the computer. I think she may be hitting Jay up for a job in a few years.

I piled the leaves on the bottom of the slide for her about 76 times.

We loved this museum! It is much closer than Jasmine Moran and the small size is much more manageable if you're taking the kids on your own, so I think this is going to be a new favorite spot.

The kids went to Eskimo Joe's for the first time for dinner.

Part of the point of making this an overnight trip was getting to swim at the hotel. I thought I was so prepared by remembering flip flops for me, until I realized I had brought sandals from two different pairs--and both of them were for the right foot! Thankfully the pool was right across from the elevator, which was right by our room.

I also forgot Alice's turtle swim ring, even though she talks about it every week when Jack has gym class and she sees one exactly like it in the gym office. We had a good time anyway.

This morning we set off again. Perry was not on the itinerary. Oops. Thankfully the kids were patient, which may or may not have been because I bought them a bag of Reese's cups when we stopped at a gas station for directions.

We went back to Leonardo's!

Alice was not as keen on the animals this time. I'm sure they weren't sure what to think of her, either.


Alice recognized this costume and made up a song to sing on stage.

Since it wasn't 200 degrees this time, playing outside was much more fun.

If you see Alice in person, you should ask her about this bridge. That's all I'm going to tell you.

After all that playing we were worn out and not really up for the two hour drive home. We made it, though, and now it's time to catch up on all the stuff I left undone!