Monday, October 18, 2010

::Pumpkins & Pyramids::

::Week 6::
A peek into a week of learning.
{These are excerpts from my journal
Monday, October 11th~ Thanksgiving! No work. We had a Pumpkin Fest instead, as I mentioned already. A few more pumpkin tidbits from the weekend:
And an apple tidbit, for good measure: Josh and Karin's Caramel Apple Pie. . .

Tuesday, October~::Bible:: Cae and I have begun having our devotional time together first thing after her brother heads off to school. She reads a full chapter and writes notes in a journal. I adopted an idea from my friend ::Heather:: She began a dictionary with her son for any unfamiliar words he encounters. So, Cae and I pasted some big colourful ABC's to 26 sheet of lined paper and her own dictionary was born. Caelah's Bible reading this morning introduced her to "array" & "vast".

::Math:: This is our final week before moving on to Math.u.See. I'm hoping she becomes a little more independent once she begins watching DVD tutorials. A note of excitement from me: A month ago I tried to read through "Sacred Geometry". I could barely grasp it. But what I did grasp was beautiful. The author describes the earth as being patterned on Fractals: Repeating patterns that appear chaotic, but are actually very precisely ordered. As a Christian, the argument that the world, although seemingly in disarray, is, at it's foundation, perfectly ordered resonates strongly with me.
I was so enamored of the book that I began to create snowflake fractals, and even replicated a Golden Mean.

On the agenda: Write a Personal Narrative . Half of the battle for Caelah is coming up with the idea. Without prompting she decided to write about Thanksgiving Day. I printed her this TimeforKids idea organizer. We slowly made our way through the process: 1st draft, 2nd draft, third. . . Then she typed it out:

". . . At one point, we went for a walk with my dogs, Summer and Cooper. We went to a field and had a milkweed fight. The fluff went everywhere! . . ."

Cae had a hard time with the advanced wording of this ::French:: book. I had to agree. We added many words to our dictionary while reading this. She managed to glean this:
"A little boy who likes Christmas. At the end of the book him and his friends Pete and Yvo get a baseball bat. They play baseball in winter, spring, summer an Fall. They are waiting for next Christmas because then Rocky Parsons will give them a new bat."~Cae's Narration~
"A little boy named Ahmed and each day he has many things to do. He carries bottles of fuel to everyone. It's very heavy and he has to go up and down high stairs. He was waiting to tell everyone a secret. He did his work. He stops at his friends house who owns a food cart. Ahmed has some food: beans. His friend tells him stories and jokes. He continues with his job. He gets some beans and rice at a different cart. He leans against a very old wall, that's a thousand years old made before his great-great-grandfather's were even born.He continues on again. Finally it's night and he tells his secret. His secret is writing his name! He shows his family he can write his name."~Cae's Narration~
I took a risk and watched a Hollywood version of ::Shakespeare's:: Midsummer Night's Dream with Caelah. I vaguely rememberd it being a bit sexy. Sure enough there were a few moments. However, she had no desire to watch smooching, and my finger was on the pause and fast-forward buttons. All in all, I think it really helped her grasp the plot.

Tuesday, October~I laid out our work for the day in piles along the island. The island is full. . . We finished up our Soil unit in ::Geology:: today. For fun, I have a pottery workshop lined up in November at The Potters Guild in Almonte. I look forward to that. In the meantime, I taught Cae how to use Polymer Clay. We worked on pendants. Our ::Africa:: studies revolved around Egypt and Libya. Cae read from National Geo's "Egypt".
"The President has had the job since 1981--that's 29 years! He was trying to make peace between Egypt and Israel. The festivals: sometimes kids dress up as if it was a wedding. There is a dance called "stick dancing" you have to be very quick or your ankles will get squashed. Women carry dates. If they are wearing bright robes that means that they are single If they are wearing black robes, that means they are married. The government were convincing families to have less children, five or less-- so mommy, you have followed the rule-- because Cairo is overcrowded. Food: onions, dates, vegetables spices. They eat orange blossoms and roses. The most popular sport in Egypt is soccer."~Cae Narration~

We constructed a ::Scale Model:: of the Great Pyramid, along with a scale model of the Statue of Liberty and an oak tree. The pin represents our house.
Libya sounds like a very scary place for Christian to be. Absolutely no tolerance for Christian witness to the citizens of the country. "I am so glad we don't live in a place like that," Caelah said. Amen.

". . . A guy named John Harrison who was a carpenter, who tuned bells in the church. He was good at hearing. An announcement was sent out that whoever figures out the problem about the time at sea. . . Harrison heard about it and made a clock called H1. It stands for Harrison First, I'm pretty sure. It worked really well at sea. Then he made an H2,H3, H4. H4 was like a little pocket watch with little flowers around it in the clock. H5 was a normal pocket watch. The prize should have been handed out to Harrison but instead it wasn't handed out to anyone. Harrison went to see the King. The King was called George III. He showed the clock to the King and John got the prize."~Cae Narration~
Weekend~ As a wrap-up of our soil unit in :Geology:: I bought junky food from the grocery store that, I hasten to say, I NEVER buy and made the kids edible dirt! Orea wafers, pudding, gummy worms. . . Ugh.
It was meant to show the layers of soil: parent material/bedrock, clay, top soil etc. The teaching moment was greatly eclipsed by the joy of eating the treat. Naturally.