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Archive for January 6th, 2010

Satori and I had so much fun this week! I love having a daughter, I can’t wait to have more children (most likely adoption).

We just finished our Story of the World history lesson, the very first chapter about History and Archaeology. We actually had gone over both very thoroughly way back in May 2009, and one of Satori’s dream jobs is an Archaeologist. Our Archaeology Dig was last spring, which would have been messy to do indoors anyway this winter. Here’s a few pictures from back then, or you can click the above link.

Coming back to the present day, I pulled out our SOTW book. As I read the story, she started doodling on her whiteboard.

A bit worried that she might not be paying attention, I asked her to describe her drawing. She proved she listened to every word, as the items on the ground where from an ancient civilization and the person shown was an archaeologist finding the artifacts in the ground! She also remembered me saying something about learning about the Egyptians soon, as she also included an Egyptian mask, an Egyptian fossil (I don’t think she doesn’t know about mummies yet, or maybe she does), and more. She then begged to learn about Egyptians, but I was not prepared to jump into that yet. We’ll start our Egypt studies in two weeks, have patience honey!

Our spelling lesson started out with her distracted, but I used a bribe of one Nerd candy for each word spelled correctly. (I haven’t used candy as a bribe for half a year, so don’t think this is typical!) At first I didn’t think she was going to get our new spelling rule of how to know when to use a “-CK” or “-K” at the end of a word, but she proved me very wrong as this turned out to be a very enthusiastic lesson of lots of dances, hugs, and of course, a few sugary Nerds! Once she started, she spelled every word correctly – mask, elk, duck, thick, milk, etc…  She begged to spell more and more, and we finished almost 3 Spelling lessons as a consequence. When I said “no more”, she ended with this phrase:

Obviously we haven’t covered the word “great” in our spelling yet, but at least she understood the long e! We have covered “great” in our reading, so I switched the vowels around to show her how to spell “great”, and not a frame of metal bars. 😉

Satori injects humor into her lessons, which is great because I need the laugh now and then. On Monday, in our All About Spelling lesson where we spell on paper, I had asked her to spell “spell”. She doesn’t want me to watch her in the act, so after she wrote it out, she had it all covered up. She then uncovered the “SP” and I said that’s not how to spell it! She giggled crazily and uncovered the teeny tiny word “spell” at the bottom of the page! Lol!

It’s the little things like this that make every day so much fun. I love my family! I love homeschooling!


Jan 6

One of the subjects that got passed over too much last fall was Science. I think that is because I want to make it so relevant and fun to learn that I procrastinate on going to the library to pick up books, to plan out interactive lessons, and so on. But this spring I’m giving science a priority! I know I could just choose a simpler science curriculum, but I really like Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding and think it will give Satori those basic building blocks of science she needs to understand the world.

Today we learned about energy, and the four types of energy – electrical, movement, light, and heat energy. Although I loved science in school, all the way up to college, before today I wouldn’t have been able to name these 4 types. I guess I learned so long ago I forgot so much. Did I mention that I love learning alongside Satori?

I whipped out these cards in a few minutes, using 3×5 index cards and markers.

Satori sat down and together we discussed all the action cards.

After we matched up all the action cards to their energy source cards, we walked around the basement and examined other objects using energy. Her solar-powered calculator uses light energy to work, as plants use light energy from the sun to grow. Stoves and ovens produce heat energy to cook our food and boil our water. We had fun demonstrating movement energy ourselves! From our read-along books, Satori already knew that electricity comes from a power plant of some sort and travels by wires to our house. So she knew how electrical plugs worked, and how appliances and other things have cords that plug into the wall to use the electrical current. Here’s an item that just sits right on our plug.

We hunted down our power box and had fun explaining how this controlled the flow of electricity to sections of the house. I shut down the power to the main basement room, and the light switch no longer worked.

There’s a handy “Notes to teacher’s” section in the chapter to explain things to the grown-ups in more technical descriptions of physics. I love reading these and Nebel’s forums to cover any complicated questions that Satori might ask, that go beyond the lessons.

Here’s an example of stored electrical energy. We found batteries in several items. Fresh batteries will release the electrical energy slowly. Once it’s depleted, the toy or flashlight won’t work.

We read our books on energy and electricity over the past month, but I do mean to get a few more from the library to go over this topic a bit more. We need to cover the storage and release of energy, and energy changes from one form to another. This weekend, we’ll wait for Daddy to experiment with a new Christmas toy that demonstrates energy, more on that this weekend!