Thursday, October 25, 2012

Halloween homeschool Day #4

       Today my boys surprised me by having breakfast right away as soon as they turned on Wild Kratts.  This is something I've been trying to get across to them since school started; I don't mind if they watch some educational TV in the morning as long as they are doing something to get ready for the day at the same time.  They learned all about the porcupine today and then headed off to get dressed.  They then took turns (OK, fought over taking turns) on a new web game my sister shared with us called grammar ninja. The boys practiced finding the nouns and verbs in sentences on the game complete with all sorts of fun ninja sounds and throwing stars.  They loved it.  There are so many great (and free!) education games that I'm always finding links for and forgetting to show the boys.  I I want to start making an effort to show them to the boys in hopes that they find a site that really clicks with them enough for them to remember and ask to play it again.
       After "screen time" we settled down at the table for some candy math.  I gave Evan two cups; one with candy corn and one with candy pumpkins.  He had to guess how many were in each cup, write down his guesses (to practice writing his numbers), guess which shape had more and then dump them out and count them.  Once he counted them he had to write down the actual number of pieces in each cup (again to practice his numbers).  I was floored when he told me 44 was a 4 and a 4!  He needed help forming a 4 but at least he knew what numbers he needed.  Alec had two cups also; one with 10 pumpkins and one with 10 candy corn.  He had to write all the possible combinations to make 10.  He easily did this without using his counters!  The only problem he had was remembering which combinations he had already used.   Ian and I played multiplication memory using pumpkin spice Hershey kisses.  I bought a bag of them yesterday and some of the neon dot stickers at Target.  On each neon dot sticker I wrote either an equation or an answer and then affixed a sticker onto each kiss.  I used almost the whole bag but only concentrated on the times 3's, 4's, 5's and 10's.  He beat me quite gleefully and happily ate some of his "winnings."  It was a fun, low pressure way to practice his times tables, especially once he realized (on his own) that if he figured out the answer to ALL the equations that were flipped over he just had to remember where he saw the answer. 



          After math we read a few of our Halloween books, including a few chapters from the Kitten in the Candy Corn.  We read Midnight; the Halloween Cat and The Spooky Book.  Later in the day we read a fictional book about Egypt called The Jewel Fish of Karnak.  Alec and I had already read this one night before bed, but I thought the other boys would enjoy it too.  It led us to a short discussion on Ancient Egypt and a reminder of some of things we've been learning about. 
           In honor of all the black cats we've been reading about we did a folk art cat painting today.  I found this idea on Art Projects for Kids blog (I love her ideas so much I've subscribed to her blog!).  The boys weren't too sure they'd be able to do this but with lots of coaching and modeling they were able to get some great results.  We also finished our mixed media pumpkins complete with Jack- O- Lantern faces.  Aren't they adorable?

          We checked on our Alien Monster Eggs from yesterday and  found most of the shells were gone with just the membrane remaining.  All but one of the three eggs split open but we left the one remaining egg in the vinegar to see if we can get rid of all the white and have a transparent membrane.  We felt how squishy the egg became without it's shell yet I showed how fragile the membrane was when I broke it open easily with one hand.  We then conducted a new experiment called "Magic Popcorn."  When trying to find the site I found this on the other day I tried to Google it and discovered two ways to make popcorn "float".  One way was to soak the popcorn in a water and baking soda solution and then drop it in vinegar just like our dancing gummy worms the other day, but since we just did that I wanted something different.  I went back to Pinterest, followed my pin back to this site, and we made our Magic Popcorn.  Taking two clear glass jars I put corn kernels in the bottom.  I added regular water to one of the jars and we watched nothing happen.  We then added clear soda (tonic water) to the other and watched the kernels magically start to float to the top.  The boys were pretty impressed with this and immediately guessed they floated due to all the carbonation in the drink.  We could see bubbles around all the kernels and we left the glass sitting on the table for an hour or so to see if the kernels would sink as the carbonation left the soda.  They did so our hypothesis was right! 


           We made homemade applesauce and mummy hot dogs today in the kitchen.  This wasn't considered part of our schoolwork today but just some fun holiday treats we've always wanted to make but never had time to really do together.  But, of course, they were learning.  They read the recipe, learned a bit more about real- life fractions and the same kitchen science we're continually adding to.  While lunch was cooking, Alec read There's a Fly Guy in My Soup to Evan and Ian read Job Site to Evan.  It was so nice to see them reading together without having been asked by anyone to help out.  While Evan can't yet read he loves to listen to stories and it's great practice for the older boys too to read out loud every now and then. 
            We also ended up doing a bit of extra science today, again not as part of our school work, but because Alec had checked out a book at the library called Animals in Motion and this book had many experiments in it.  Alec wanted to try a few.  He made a sugar glider using Popsicle sticks, twine, a penny and a grocery bag then he learned about surface tension by floating a sewing needle in a glass of water.  It was a wonderful self- guided science discovery that pulled in his brother with his enthusiasm. 

        

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