Hello, my few fans! I'm currently recovering from an episode of Extreme Burnout, which sounds way more fun than it actually is. My beloved children all managed to go through a difficult phase simultaneously, coinciding with my health being not quite so good, and just about everything seeming to go wrong.
Science this week has been all about cell biology. I found a very nifty little game called Cell Craft that introduces the player to some of the cell's organelles and lets the player practice fighting off a viral infection. We then printed out some pictures of different types of cells (bacterium, cyanobacterium, animal cell, plant cell, yeast cell) from the Biology Coloring Book and compared and contrasted the structures. We proofed a packet of yeast and looked at the yeasties under the microscope. My son even practiced drawing some yeast and other tiny cells. He especially likes cillia and flagella.
We've also spent a good deal of time discussing The Lord of the Rings. My daughters are completely in love with the story. Most of their exposure to it is through the Lego video game, but we've watched the first movie, as well. They spend a lot of time playing out scenes with a plush Frodo and Legolas, their favorite characters. The three year old has also invented her own character, named Candy Golumn. We also just started reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (free from Project Gutenberg, because it is out of copyright).
In history, we're studying two different time periods. The six year old is studying ancient Greece, specifically the difference between the city states of Athens and Sparta. We read a children's adaptation of The Odyssey written by Mary Pope Osborne (the author of The Magic Treehouse series). The nine year old is covering the world in the late 19th century, setting the stage for WWI. This week we read about the Irish potato famine (and grandma provided some lovely family history) and the Boer War, which was interesting because he loves the idea of finding diamonds laying around, and he had no idea what Lord Baden-Powell did before the boy scouts.
In math, the six year old is investigating fractions, usually in relation to food and cooking (how typically homeschoolery!). The nine year old is still obsessed with conic sections, especially circles right now. He learned how to graph equations that describe a circle and is branching out into other forms of graphing equations, such as lines. He is really enjoying the new "intuition" activities at Khan Academy, such as Parabola Intuition 2. The three year old likes counting things and making patterns. And, of course, a lot of games at The Family Game Store in Savage.
In health this month we mostly learned all about respiratory infections. Whee.
PE is mostly playing in the back yard, laser tag, and parkour classes. The three year old just started her own little gymnastics class, which is helping her learn how to take turns and follow instructions. She also has a beautiful forward roll.
For music, this month I began teaching the kids about about song structure using Mixcraft (like Garage Band only for the PC and pretty amazing!!) and the radio. The nine year old
played with loops (that is, short bit of a song you can mix together)
while I defined what a verse, chorus, and so forth is. Then we analyzed the rock
songs on the radio while we drove places. Finally, the nine year old wrote a few songs.
They have also been hard at work learning "life skills", such as how to clean the dishes. That is probably my favorite lesson. I sprained my thumb and came down with bronchitis for two weeks, so it was really born of necessity! I'm glad they managed to step up and help out the family.