I finally got a break this weekend, and have gotten to upload some photos I’ve wanted to get on here for a while. Most of them are history/science related. For science, our main program is Exploration Education (http://www.explorationeducation.com/) which is a computer-based physical science program with LOADS of really cool experiments. It is multi-age, and I’m using it for both of my 4th and 7th grade boys. So far, we’ve learned about force and motion and built an electric racecar, and a steamboat. Right now, we are studying electricity and building a model house that will have light powered by our electrical circuit.
During the month of December, we took a break to try out an ASK kit I had gotten on Polymers. (A link to the ASK website is on the sidebar of this page under links). The kit comes with directions and all the materials you need to complete 8 different experiments! I loved this because I literally didn’t have to do anything but add water. The holidays are a very busy time in our house, and using this for science cut down on a lot of prep time for me, which was good. To round out our study, we checked out library books on polymers, and I even found a really cool website for kids with tons of info/activities on them! (check it out here: http://www.pslc.ws/mactest/kidsmac/)
We completed a study of the Middle Ages last year, and my youngest son LOVED it. He loved the King Arthur stories, the learning about how people became knights, etc. We live near a Medieval Times dinner theater and we were able to take the boys there on a “field trip” and they both loved it. My younger son was so inspired, he created his own knight costume and accessories, out of construction paper!! This year, we’ve begun studying American History, mainly using the Homeschool in the Woods Time Travelers CD’s. We’ve finished New World Explorers and Colonial Times so far, and are getting ready to start The Revolutionary Way CD. These have been a great “spine” for our history studies, allowing us to branch off with library books, videos, websites etc. to explore more deeply when we want to. One of our projects focused on colonial artisans, and we made punch-tin candle holders. This was a REALLY fun activity, and the end result was pretty cool.
Finally, we’ve taken some great field trips with our local homeschool group. This is our first year as part of a group, and I have to say, it’s been a wonderful experience. My kids have made a lot of friends, and are able to take classes and join clubs, which they really enjoy (lego club and yearbook are our favorites so far). The pictures I have here are from our field trip to Kilwin’s Ice Cream Shop. Kilwins has a long history in the handmade chocolates department, and their shop is FULL of goodies. During our field trip, the boys got to hear about the history of the shop, learn about how the chocolate is made, and then make their own chocolate dipped pretzel!
We are looking forward to some upcoming field trips to the ice-skating rink and to go rock climbing! All-in-all, we’ve had a great year so far. I AM looking forward to our winter break at the end of February, but I’m also already thinking about and looking forward to next year! (isn’t that crazy….how can I be thinking about curriculum again…LOL!)