Museum Day!!

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I love Fridays… work is crazier because it is so close to the weekend, but the day is normally swift and there is the added bonus of the weekend right around the corner.  The boys have begun sleeping in a bit more more now which is wonderful.  I get a bit of quiet time to myself to get some much needed work completed.

Today I rushed them a bit to complete their work.  I had a surprise for after lunch, so I wanted to make sure that they were able to complete their work and their chores in time.  They swiftly worked on their work books and completed Day 15 in no time.  Then we moved on to the journals in which they wrote about one thing that they liked about the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum that we had looked at yesterday.

Once lunch was over, I spilled the surprise.  We were headed to the local art museum to check out their latest exhibits.  The Polk Museum of Art is rather small, but they have some pretty neat stuff right now.  Admission was free (Currently they are offering free admission on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, but this may change in the future.  Please check their website for current specials or deals), so my wallet remained silent for the entire trip.  The largest exhibit currently is regarding skateboarding, so it was pretty cool to look at all the neat art on something as simple as a skateboard.

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Science Time!! Water, Water Everywhere!

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Science day!!  Always tons of fun for the kiddos.  I decided to work on the water cycle, because it ties into a paper that I am currently writing for my class, and I came across several neat ideas for experiments in my research.  So, after the boys had worked day 12 in the workbooks, I opened up the topic with their journal.  The topic today was “Why is water important?”  The boys talked about how their bodies are made mostly of water and how rain is important to plants.

We then moved on to watching Bill Nye the Science Guy’s episode “The Water Cycle”.  I was able to find the entire episode (commercial free) on youtube.  You can watch it free here.  The boys really like Bill Nye.  It is fun, and it gives me the giggles because it reminds me of being a kid in the 1990’s.  For example, the water cycle song, is done to House of Pain’s “Jump Around.”

Next, we decided to do a neat science experiment to drive home the idea of the water cycle.  It was really easy, and all the ingredients you can find in your kitchen.  You need 1 large clear glass bowl, 1 small glass bowl, plastic wrap, 1 teaspoon of salt, water and ice.  The whole thing takes about 10 minutes and was pretty neat.  You can watch the experiment on youtube.  This video goes step by step on how to “make it rain” in the bowl.  Our experiment was successful, as we got a small amount of rain in the little bowl.

 

Our water cycle experiment

Our water cycle experiment!

A Virtual Field Trip

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I was really excited for today. I spent 2 hours last night checking out our virtual field trip and I could hardly sleep a wink. The boys had no clue what was up, all I told them was that there was a surprise once they completed their assignments for the day. First they finished up day 11 in their workbooks and then moved on to the writing journals. Today’s topic was to write a story with a ninja cat. K was so excited for the surprise that he didn’t get as creative as usual, which was kind of a let down, but I guess we can’t expect an awesome story everyday.
Finally, it was time! I had picked the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. K had mentioned in an earlier journal how much he wanted to visit the museum. Washington DC is quite a few miles from us, and would require a hotel stay, so it is out for a weekend trip. Since I am I class all summer, we don’t have the time available for a proper family vacation, so I thought this would be the next best thing. It is completely free, no crowds, no snacks to pack, and no worries about where to eat. The perfect trip if you ask me!

If anyone knows of any additional virtual tours, please let me know as I would love to do some more virtual field trips!

The Tuesday Cleverly Disguised as a Monday

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Today was a bit hectic to say the very least.  I started a new job working from home as a Freelance Paralegal.  It just took my juggling act up a notch as I now try to keep the kids busy and quiet while Daddy is sleeping and Mommy is on the phone with a Judge.  They did really well today, I was pretty impressed, I just hope it keeps up.

Both boys are in a routine now that it is the second week.  After breakfast, K passed out the work books and the journals.  I had written the writing topic on the white board in the kitchen, so they knew right away what they were suppose to do.  The topic today was “If I was a superhero..”  and it was to encourage them to think creatively.  Both of them even drew a picture of their superhero without me having to tell them.   They came up with some neat ideas and A even gave his character a backstory!

After they had finished up, it was time for me to go into an online video meeting.  The boys were really good about heading into their bedrooms to finish up their library books from last Monday while I worked.  I got worried about halfway through because I did not hear a peep out of them!  They were so good that they had even rounded up all the books and put them neatly back into the library bag.  So, after we ate a bit of lunch, I figured that it was a good time to head back up to the library for some more reading material.  This momma loves quiet learning!!

Daddy Day

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K writing in his journal

K writing in his journal

Today was my first that I had to attend class at the University.  I had to leave the boys after lessons today and head to class.  They finished day 6 and then moved on the journals.  Today’s topic was “What I want to be when I grow up…” A chose to write about being a firefighter, while K’s goal involved me spelling words like Paleontologist, Megalodon, and fossil.  Next, K worked on his handwriting on the iPad, while A practiced his math facts drills.  His 3rd grade Alpha Math Teacher gave me this awesome site that allows me to create math drills for him over the summer.  You can get your own at TimesTables.me.uk!  After lessons the boys had fun with Daddy while I sat through a boring lecture. 🙂

Time for a Science Experiment!!

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The rain let up for a little bit today, so the boys were finally able to get about 10 minutes of outside play. I have never been so happy to see the sun, even if it did mean that there would be muddy footprints through out the house.

Today we rocked day 5 in the workbooks. The kids have finally adjusted to the new schedule, so they tend to get right into it. Next was the journals. They each wrote a story about their masks that they had made yesterday. A’s was pretty straightforward and filled with facts from yesterday’s assignment, K’s was more imaginative (somehow iron man was involved).

I decided to end the day’s lesson with a simple experiment regarding chromatography. It was designed to see how ink dissolved into water. We took a standard coffee filter (I only had the basket type), crayola markers (not permeant), and three glasses of water. Used those plastic cups that the boys always get when we go out to eat because I could throw them away when we finished the experiment. We cut the coffee filter into three strips. Each strip got a different color dot about 1/3 of the way up the filter strip. We used Blue, Red, and Yellow as our test colors. Next we dipped the filters into the water leaving some dry area between the dots and the water line. Finally we watched and recorded how each of the colors reacted when the water finally reached them. The whole thing turned out pretty neat and the boys seemed to enjoy it as well!

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Our Chromatography Experiment

Another Rainy Day

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This rain is driving me and the boys nuts! We have not been able to have any outside time for three days now. The most we have been able to do is run outside and take the dogs out before the next thunderstorm comes.

Today we worked on day 4 in the workbooks. It was pretty much all math, so it was a relaxing break for the boys (they both love math). Then we moved on to the journals. The topic for today was “How can you help prepare for a hurricane”. A wrote about 2 pages, K was having a grumpy day so I was only able to get the bare minimum out of him.

I picked Social Studies for today. It is my favorite subject, and I really look forward to these lessons. The topic was the Calusa Indians of Southwest Florida. They are a bit of a mystery because they disappeared in the late 1700’s, so the only accounts that we have are from the very first Spanish explorers. When I had visited Tallahassee a few years ago the Florida History Museum had several masks from this particular group and I was absolutely fascinated by them. I found a reading and worksheet page at the Florida History Curriculum website. It has tons of worksheets for 4th grade students regarding Florida History, and they are all easy to download, pdf files. They are all still based off of the old Sunshine State Standard, but I figured that they would work well for my purposes.

I couldn’t leave K out of the learning process. After A had finished the reading section and the corresponding worksheet, it was then his turn to play teacher and explain to his brother what he had just read. After they had finished, it was time for them to make their own masks. I found some really neat ideas on the website for the Historical Society of Palm Beach County. The handout is really long (like over 100 pages), so I just skimmed through it until I got near the end where the art projects were. They had two ways to do the masks, the first being paper mache, but I was not in the mood for the mess, so we went with the coloring sheets. They turned out really cool though! Now I am trying to convince the husband that we need to go on a field trip this weekend to South Florida. 😉

A's Calusa Mask

A’s Calusa Mask

K's Calusa Mask

K’s Calusa Mask