Monthly Archives: February 2012

Skills and Topics – February 27 through March 2


This week won’t be quite as chaotic as last week, but we still have tons on our plate. 🙂  Here’s what we’ll be up to:

  • Math:  Grace will continue her algebraic pursuits!  She will continue practicing with the order of operations and problem solving.  She’ll also begin solving one-step equations.
  • Language Arts:  We’ll still be working on descriptive writing (with a focus on sensory details) and review of reading comprehension skills.  We’re still reading Eragon (and loving it).
  • Social Studies:  We finished up our unit on resources found in North America, so we’ll be moving on to the cultures found in North America….religions, tourist attractions, art, and more. 🙂
  • Science:  We will start a unit on forces and motion this week…lots of fun experiments in our future. 🙂  Grace is going to start doing her science independently (something she wants to try), so we’ll see how that goes.  I will, of course, still be checking over her work and discussing new concepts with her….never fear, I’m not slacking off. 😉  We’ll also continue reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
  • Mythology:  We *still* haven’t finished the Persephone and the Seasons puppet show.  We didn’t have much time to work on it last week because of all of our field trips, but we’re hoping to get that all wrapped up this week.
  • Field Trips:  We don’t have any official field trips this week, but we will be going for a couple of hikes to see what we can see. 🙂


Have a wonderful week!


Alka-Seltzer “Rockets” Video


As promised, here is a video of Grace’s Alka-Seltzer “rocket” using a film canister.  These are quick and fun (and cheap) to do…with lots of potential for science discussion and exploration. 🙂  I’ll be posting weekly pictures and our plan for the upcoming week later today, so be sure to check back.


The Phrie’cra



Grace's illustration of the Phrie'cra. 🙂

Grace is working on descriptive writing in language arts.  Today’s assignment was to write a descriptive piece about an unusual animal, so she chose to write about a fictional, bird-like creature that she enjoys drawing.  Enjoy! 😀


Nobody really knows where they came from, or where they went. All we know is what the creatures look like and what they were called. We know them as the “Phrie’cra,” or “bird people.” They had long hair that turned white at the age of 400 years. Phrie’cra liked to keep their hair shiny and wore it in long braids or ponytails. Their eyes were large and often red or violet. Their noses were hard and pointed, good for hunting and flying. Their ears were small and very pointy. Phrie’cra had small fangs that just poked out of their mouths. The most graceful part of them was their wings. At several times longer than their bodies, they were big and powerful. They were covered in soft feathers and folded at the creatures’ backs.

Phrie’cra wore smooth furs and hides. They sometimes wore blue and black fabric and preferred softer material. Phrie’cra liked to sharpen their talons, so their claws were very sharp, on both feet and hands. The bird people hunted at night and slept during the day. Phrie’cra used to be allies with the humans, but Phrie’cra quickly deserted us when they found out about us hunting birds for feathers. Phrie’cra left when people started making tools, which the creatures knew would lead to more sophisticated ways of living. Phrie’cra were right. When Phrie’cra left, they warned us that we would end the Earth and all its beauty by polluting it. Unfortunately, we didn’t listen. I guess we should have thought about their psychic abilities.


More Alka-Seltzer Fun


Yesterday we played with Alka-Seltzers by watching them dissolve, but today we had some real fun.  We gathered a pitcher of water, a film canister, and Alka-Seltzers.  People, don’t try this at home…do it outside.  =-)

First, place the film canister open side up on a flat surface, and in a spot where you can retrieve it if it flies off the table.  Next, open the package of Alka-Seltzers and place one next to the canister.  Then, pour a little bit of water in the canister (Remember, the smaller amount of water, the better.).    After that, (be quick) drop the Alka-Seltzer in the canister, place the lid securely on the top, flip the canister over, and run.   Finally, turn toward the table and watch. (You may have to wait some time before getting results…ten to twenty seconds is best.)  What happened?  Why did it do that?  Post your results as a comment!  Happy Learning!




We’ll post a video later in the week of some of the fun we had with this. 😀


Alka-Seltzer Fun

Alka-Seltzer Fun

I’ve started a new story, “Ambushed”, and I’ll try to write a few parts a week.  But for now, I’ll write about my science experiment.


We were going to see how fast an Alka-Seltzer would dissolve in cold, room temperature, and steaming hot water.  We poured the water in three glasses; one for the cold, one for the room temperature, and one for the hot.  We dropped an Alka-Seltzer in each of the glasses and recorded how long it took for the Alka-Seltzer to dissolve in each glass.  In the cold water, the Alka-Seltzer dissolved in 104 seconds, or one minute, forty-four seconds.  The room temperature water took twenty nine seconds, and the hot water took twenty-four seconds.  The purpose was to find how temperature can affect how long a reaction takes, or in this case, how long it took for an Alka-Seltzer to dissolve in different temperatures of water.  I learned that hot water takes the least amount of time to dissolve an Alka-Seltzer, while the ice water took the longest.  Happy learning!




Dan checking out the experiment. 😉


Grace used some of her graphing skills to summarize the data. 🙂


We’ll be doing a fun activity with Akla-Seltzer on Thursday…I’m sure Grace will find it quite blog-worthy, so be sure to check it out. 😀


Ambushed: Part 1


Now that Grace has finished “The Escape,” she’s started a new story for us.  Enjoy Part 1 of “Ambushed.”  More to come soon. 🙂


Mama and Papa were both screaming. They were carrying me to the bomb shelter three miles away. I buried my head in Mama’s shoulder.


Nari, when we get there, I want you to hide right away. Don’t wait for anyone. Okay?” Mama asked. I nodded. Tears were streaming down our faces. A man ran up to us and yelled. I couldn’t understand what he said, but Mama did. She ran toward the school with Papa close behind. Mama put me down in one of the classrooms and told me they would be back. I never saw them again.


* * *


I pried my tired eyes open and peeled my forehead off of the desk. I got off the desktop and scuffed the floor as I shuffled over to the janitor’s closet where my dog, Carver, slept. I kicked open the door and clapped my hands.


Come on lazy bones, if I have to get up, so do you,” I sang. He whined, but raised his head and yawned. I smiled.


We walked down the hall and toward the big double-doors. I pointed out the window and into the meadow. A squirrel was running into a nearby tree.


Breakfast,” I said. I opened the doors and let Carver run out into the meadow. He tried to climb the tree to catch the squirrel, but had to settle for a rabbit, which wasn’t nearly as tasty.


After breakfast we threw a stick around in the meadow and drew pictures on the black-board (Carver wasn’t very good at that part.).


I was washing the floor with some soapy water when I heard something outside. I tip-toed outside and hid behind the bushes. When I looked over them, I gasped.



Meet Dan


This is Dan. 🙂


We found Dan sitting on a table at a park.  He was all alone, and he seemed a bit scared. 😉  We kept him company throughout our science and social studies lessons, and no one came to claim him, so we decided to give him a nice home.  Grace is quite enchanted with him for some reason, so we’ve taken to bringing him with us on trips.  Needless to say, you’ll see him pop up in lots of pictures.

Dan likes coffee!


Dan found his way into a bird's nest at Carolina Raptor Center.


Having his volume measured.


Dan loves a good color. 🙂


Enjoying a bit of geocaching.


Checking over Grace's work. 😉

Skills and Topics – February 20 through February 25


We have another cram-packed-full-o’-fun week planned….so much so that we can’t even fit it into 5 days. 😉  Here’s what we’ll be up to:

  • Math:  We will continue working with algebraic concepts.  Grace is doing very well with variables and expressions, so we’ll move on to tackling the distributive property.  We’ll also have a nice review of the order of operations.
  • Social Studies:  We are currently studying the natural resources of North America.  We will continue our study with a look at some important crops and wildlife.
  • Science:  More chemical reaction fun!  We will be looking at the effect of temperature on chemical reactions (experiment time!), creating molecules (from clay), and working through a chapter assessment.
  • Language Arts:  We are still reading Eragon, and Grace is loving it.  We will continue to tinker with descriptive writing, reading skills review, grammar, and spelling.
  • Mythology:  Grace is getting more involved in her puppet show than I had predicted.  She will spend next week working on backgrounds, props, and script revision. 😉
  • Field Trips:  We will be attending a Bloggers’ Open House at Discovery Place where we’ll have the chance to meet some of the staff and see the Mummies of the World exhibit again (for free…woohoo!).  We’ll also be going to Old Salem where Grace will be taking classes on pottery, quill-writing, book-making, and paste paper.  As if that weren’t enough, we’ll also be taking in a class at the local nature center (using microscopes to investigate things found in nature) and an Underground Railroad event.  Of course, we’ll squeak some geocaching in between our other activities.

Shew!  I think we’ll be ready for a contented, well-educated nap after the week is over. 😀  Have a wonderful week!

I’ll be introducing a new “friend” in a post tomorrow, so be sure to stop back by. 😉