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My hubby sent me the link to this article this morning and I wanted to pass it on.
I don’t talk a lot on my blog about homeschooling. I am passionately committed to it, but I also believe we all have different viewpoints as to the value of homeschooling versus public schooling and as to the value of the different types of homeschooling that are out there. I hang out with people who range from unschoolers to people who use a complete curriculum and classroom desks. We are in the middle somewhere.
I am deeply disturbed that what was a given a hundred and fifty years ago (education taking place in the home) is now questioned. I understand that there are parents that abuse their children or who aren’t competent, but that has always been the case. There are parents of children in the school system that abuse their children and are competent in regards to bringing up a child. And those children are not always found out just because they are in the public system.
Our government was created on the principals that we are to be ruled by the people. The people are supposed to be in charge, but we seem to be willing to hand over more and more of our freedoms to a bureaucracy that doesn’t always have our best interests at heart. And I think we do this because we are lazy. It is easier to let someone else settle these matters than put forth the efforts ourselves.
I hope that things will even out in California as the rest of the country has a tendency to look to Californians as leaders. But if things go against homeschoolers in California, the rest of us have a duty to speak up and to make sure our rights as parents are not trampled on.
This morning we were reading about minerals and I found out something I didn’t know before, so I thought I would share. I knew that people have always treasured salt. I remember it being a more expensive and rare commodity in the pioneer days.
What I didn’t know was this:
Roman soldiers were paid partly with a salarium: a quantity of salt. Salarium became salary, the money you earn by working…
I love homeschooling..I learn something new most every day!
Yesterday our 4-H group had a Science Fair. The kids have been working on their projects over the last month.
I thought you might enjoy seeing them.
Katrina made a homemade volcano. We had so much fun building the volcano and it was the hit yesterday…all the kids wanted to see her explode it again and again! The judges gave her an average score of 90.5 out of 100.
Yesterday afternoon, our 4-H Homeschool Nature Group met. The crafts for the day were musical instruments. My son decided not to come. The class is really geared towards younger children at this point. Here is what we did.
First we made banjos. You take two sturdy, deep paper plates. One you paint on the back with your beautiful design. The other you cut a whole out of the center, and then you paint the back of that plate with a beautiful design. Once these masterpieces are dry, you glue a paint stirring stick to the back of the plate for the neck of the banjo, then you glue the plates together(back parts facing outward), then you make strings with rubber bands. Of course pictures are worth a thousand words, so check these out:
E and Katrina are working on the back of the banjos. They both borrowed painting ideas from one another.
Today, I arranged for, hosted and set up a Valentine’s Day Party for whomever in my Homeschool Party wanted to attend. I was a little disappointed with the fact that there are over 170 people on our list, but only 6 families signed up and in the end only four families came. It is frustrating when you have people saying ‘hey, let’s do something, let’s do something’ and then you plan something and people don’t come. However, those of us that came did have some fun.
The kids and I got there early and decorated:
We had another fun group meeting yesterday with some fun projects.
We made an air pressure gauge, a rain gauge and a bird feeder.
The rain gauge was straight forward, a plastic tube, which we marked at 1 inch intervals, then we taped on a popsicle stick to help hold it upright in the ground.
The air pressure gauge was a wide mouth jar with a balloon wrapped tightly over the top (tight enough to bounce a penny on), then wrap a rubber band around it to help hold it in place. To get the balloon to wrap over the top, cut off the neck of the balloon. We did some other stuff with a straw and then you put a board behind it to mark when pressure was up and down (the straw moves up and down), but it was a bit complicated and we were told to use crazy glue and it stuck mostly to our fingers. I think, just putting the balloon over the top is enough. It was neat to see it go up when we were inside a nice warm room and be sucked into the jar when it was cold out.
My most favorite was the bird feeders. Take a toilet paper holder. Use a hole punch to punch two holes on one end that you can run a string through to hang the hanger from. Then take a knife and pierce both sides of the tube on the other end. Later on you can push a popsicle holder through and it will act like a perch. Pour honey onto a plate (or you can use peanut butter), roll the tube into the honey, getting it nice and sticky. Then roll the tube into bird seed…let it get cold so the honey crystallizes. Insert string and popsicle stick, hang up and watch the birds come in flocks!
Katrina is a big worksheet gal and she does well with math. So we started with a second grade workbook for her math back in August. She finished it in the first week of January. This was a 300 page book, so it wasn’t tiny or anything. We decided to let her go on to grade 3 math. We had Saxon 3 math from when Jack used it a few years ago. I like the Saxon math Jack is currently using, but found the repetition of Saxon 3 a bit tedious. So we tend to do the meeting time part only until the child has it down pat. Anyway…this math is set up for homeschoolers, but then they have things like the ‘class birthday graph’. Well, we have a class of three, my kids and me. Hard to make much of a graph with that. So in the two previous lessons, we just used our whole family to work out a birthday graph.
Today, Katrina and I reviewed her lesson, then I left her to do the worksheet.
She asks, “Mommy, how many days are in a year?”
“365,” her brother answers helpfully. He often answers to Mommy and Daddy;)
Yesterday our nature group met. The topic of the day was the moon. One mom brought some crafts for the kids to do. These included making an earth and moon with stryofoam balls and then attaching the moon to the earth so that it could spin around the earth. The kids had a lot of fun with that. For the earth we started with a green styrofoam ball and then painted on the oceans and clouds and ice caps. Here is what Jack and Katrina’s looked like:
Katrina’s earth had quite a bit more cloud cover. Jack’s earth had some lovely continents that actually resembled real ones! The kids really enjoyed this activity.
Then the first group came to me while another group started on making their earths and moons. My group learned a bit about the Geology of the moon. I had a book with some great photos that were taken by astronauts and it really gave them an idea of what the moon looked like.
After we took down the Christmas decorations, my daugther commented on how bare the walls looked. I had taken down a few wall hangings to put up Christmas stuff and since I hope to get a cabinet to put in that spot sometime this year, I just left the wall hangings off. So of course, we needed to fill that spot. And since it is the middle of January and we have had a total of .5 inches of snow, we figured we best just make some of our own snowment. In case you would like some fun snowmen for your house, here’s what you will need.
Black construction paper
First you make circles of three different sizes on the poster board. Make as many as you want to make snowmen. We made 9 snowmen, so we had 9 very big circles, 9 big circles and 9 small circles.
Then using the smallest circle we drew 9 hats on black construction paper. Basically a thin rectangle with a square on top.
Here’s what the pieces look like.