Wednesday, October 4, 2017

September Wrap-Up

We're starting to get into a decent routine with school and it no longer feels like we're still trying to figure things out.   Mostly.  Okay, maybe we're still working out history, science, art, music, writing, and health.  But math, literature, grammar, reading, PE and nature study are going great.

The kids start their morning with their one hour of required reading.   This allows them time to wake-up slowly, enjoying their morning chocolate milk.   Squidy is working his way through The Lord of the Rings, while Vicki is on the second book of The Mysterious Benedict Society.

Once the kids finish school, they usually have some time before they are allowed on screens.  We've been playing lots (and lots and lots) of board and card games.  Their favorites right now are Aggravation and Pokemon Headbanz (both birthday gifts), and the old favorite Uno.

 I got fed-up with chasing dice and having to get them away from the dog so now we use the "dice monster" to hold the dice.

We haven't started our formal nature study yet but we've taken quite a few nature walks.  We even managed to find a geocache that we couldn't locate last year.

I finally got brave enough to take the kids to the top of the Tourne.   We've gone there before but just on the lower paths, because I wasn't sure about tackling the route to the top which is steep and long.  We went with some friends (so another adult along just in case) and gave it a try.  It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and there's a great view of NYC from up there.

We studied some mycology, both in our backyard and on our hikes....

and we did some caving.

Squidy has been doing some science as part of his 4-H project for this year.  He's been asking for a fish tank for his room for a while so we decided to finally get him one.   We are currently working on getting the Nitrogen cycle properly set-up, which involves lots of water testing.  He has been keeping records on the test results and once he gets his fish (a Betta), he will continue keeping records on its care.

We are continuing with our 4-H STEM club this year.  Our first meeting we worked on a cup stacking challenge, using rubber bands on strings to stack cups.   Because one of the set-ups used index cards between the layers, they were allowed to touch the strings and the index cards.  Vicki's group mainly used the string/rubber band set-up but it didn't take Squidy's team long to figure out to use the index cards like gloves to touch the cups.   They declared themselves "Team Loophole".

Since we are still working on Ancients this year, but we haven't done much over the summer, we are reviewing what we've done so far (Paleolithic, Mesopotamia) by watching the first few episodes of The Great Courses - The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World, and reading through our DK Ancient Civilizations book.  We will start on Egypt in the next few weeks.