The Discovery of our State

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In case you haven’t figured it out, I live in Florida.  I am technically a native (born here, but I lived up north for the first 12 years of my life), and my husband is second generation Floridian (a rare breed).  For all it’s misgivings, it is not that bad of a place to live… sure it is hot and sticky for 9 months out of the year, but we have Disney and miles of awesome beaches.  So, I decided that today we would continue discussing our state’s history and talk about our European Founder, Ponce DeLeon.  The boys have heard his name on several occasions, in fact we use to go swimming at Deleon Springs State Park (if you ever get a chance to go, do it!  You won’t regret it!)  We watched a Biography special on him that was located on the Biography Channel’s website.  You can watch the full episode here (it is rated TV14 because some of the art work shows nudity, slavery is discussed, and rape and cannibalism is briefly mentioned), and I would watch it before showing it to young children. The only issue that I had was the mention of rape, so I made sure that I fast forwarded through that particular part.

Afterwards, we finished up day 16 in our work books and then wrote a journal entry regarding the interesting things that we discovered on our trip to the Polk Museum of Art.

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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.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY K!!!

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Today was little K’s 6th birthday!  Such an exciting day.  The child was simply glowing from the time that he woke up to the time that he went to bed.  If only I could bottle such a positive attitude! Today was a pretty easy day for him.  Day 14 in his work book included a maze, and the child adores mazes.  Next we moved on to our journals, and we all wrote a story about K.  A’s story started out by teasing K for the fact that he is hairy (he is compared to his brother), but then ended by describing how wonderful it is to receive a warm hug from K.

The Husband and I had hoped to have a fun day swimming and hanging out by the pool, and then grilling some hot dogs.  The weather was against the idea, so we were forced to remain in the house for the rest of the day.  Instead, we huddled around the computer and visited the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.  While it is not a virtual tour like the Natural History Museum, it had fantastic videos!  The boys loved the exhibit on the space race, and by the end of the video they were begging to go to the Kennedy Space Center.  All in all, it was a pretty awesome day even with the rain.

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 Weekend is Almost Here!!

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Today was gorgeous, scorching, but gorgeous none the less. We made it to the pool today and had the whole place to ourselves for over an hour.  I noticed that most people are gone right now for vacation, so we are enjoying ourselves at home and hitting all the normally crowded places.  We are on a cleaning spree right now because of K’s birthday party this weekend.  It is so hard to believe that he is going to be 6 in just a few days!!  He has grown and learned is much in such a short amount of time.

Today was day 9 in the workbooks.  The boys are really kicking butt and get right into.  They finish in less than 5 minutes now, and then they are off to the journals.  Today I asked them to write about flags.  If you had a flag what would it look like?  What would it symbolize?  Where and when would you show it?  A was a bit more into it than K and went into the reasons we use to flags.  K was more interested in drawing and designing a super cool flag.

The difficulty for me is coming up with ideas that will work for both kids at their level.  A is a more logical and analytical individual where as K is more imaginative and a real out off the box thinker.  Don’t get me wrong, they are both extremely creative, but not in the same way.  Their ages also play a factor, as I have to explain many of the topics to K because he doesn’t quite understand what I am asking, whereas other times A gets frustrated that a topic is too “baby.”  So if anyone has any good writing topics, feel free to shoot them my way. 🙂