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Archive for September 30th, 2011

We have finished our year-long study of Life with REAL Science Odyssey this month. To create an enduring keepsake of our Plant Study, we pressed one of the lilies we had studied using this Microfleur Flower Press.  We did 30-seconds in the microwave, then open to the air, and repeat a few more times, with less time in the microwave each time. You want the petals to be stiff and dry, but not burnt or crumbly.

I thought I’d laminate the now dried flat flower, although by doing so the flower ovules part got squished and leaked out. It was actually pretty cool. I’m not sure laminating is the best way to preserve a flower, but it worked for now. I put little labels on the end result and Satori labeled the parts. I set it on white cardstock but later thought it would have been cool to see how it would turn out with just the lamination pages, as the petals were so translucent and beautiful.

We then ate our Celebration Plant Salad, eating all parts of the plant, from the flower, stem, leaves, seeds, fruit, and roots!

Satori loves cucumbers, chickpeas, beans, and berries, and mixed all together, she loved the salad. I wasn’t expecting her to eat the whole serving, but she did with relish!

Last week when we ate our Plant Salad it just so happened it was my birthday, so we finished it off with an indulgent dessert. 🙂

This past week we then moved on to the next REAL Science Odyssey program – Earth and Space. We did their Thermometer Exploration Lab but I doubt we will do the Rain Gauge, Wind Speed, and Weather Vane activities, as the weather here has been sunny and nice lately. If it isn’t, it will turn terribly windy and blow away any of our outside projects. Besides, I just can’t wait to start our Rock and Mineral study, as I loved studying geology in college!

We started reading their informational page on Weather Changes and then proceeded to the Thermometer Exploration activity. I set out two bowls, the first two hours ahead of time for the water to reach room temperature. Then I put ice cubes in the second bowl.

While waiting for the icy water to get cold, we headed out to the front of our house which faces north and is usually shaded. After three minutes of closing our eyes to sense the temperature ourselves, we recorded the temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Interestingly, during the minute I took a few pictures, the temperature dropped down to 65 degrees! Satori said she was too chilly to stay on the front porch.

Then we headed to our back porch which in the sun can get sweltering hot quickly! A few minutes of basking in the sun the temperature raised to 80 degrees on our thermometer.

We recorded these temps on our lab sheet, as well as recording the relatively comfortable in-house temperature of 74. We have no air conditioning, but if it gets too hot, we head to the basement where it is always nice and cool.

Next we headed to our two prepared bowls. Satori stuck this thermometer in the icy bowl and we recorded 38 degrees. She was to put her hand in to feel what this temperature feels like but could only hold it there for a moment. She said it felt ARCTIC COLD!

The room temperature water was a nice 66 degrees.

On our final sheet Satori filled out the various temperatures and her comments how she felt at each temperature.

Today we viewed a few Discovery Education Streaming videos on weather. One of the videos went over making a Rain Gauge just as described in RSO, so we probably won’t do all the included activities, as I mentioned before. We will probably visit the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder again, it was two and a half years ago when we first visited.

We are so looking forward to this year studying Earth & Space and will be concluding this spring with a vacation to the Grand Canyon.

Today is the last day to get 25% off REAL Science Odyssey and History Odyssey ebooks over at Pandia Press. You can view all my RSO posts using the tag RSO.

This month with Meet the Masters we have been studying two famous artists – Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington. Next week we start Georgia O’Keeffe and Satori was thrilled to find out we finally get another “female” artist. So far, Mary Cassatt has been the only female artist we’ve studied.

For this blog post I’ll cover our Winslow Homer study. After reviewing the MTM online video where we learned about the American artist Winslow Homer and his techniques, we then experimented with value, and finished up with a project depicting value – with torn paper in various white, black, and gray shades.

As usual, we strengthen our art study with a Mike Venezia book – Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists – Winslow Homer. We love seeing some of the same paintings being examined in the book that Meet the Masters covers as well as other works of art.

Our DVD “The Artists’ Specials” set also features Winslow Homer as one of the six artists featured. These 45 minute films bring the artist to life, usually with a few children characters intertwined in the plot. In this episode, Homer is looking for some peace and quiet after his exposure sketching scenes of the Civil War. All he wants is solitude but two curious children attempt to befriend him.

We also always set Satori’s computer display to a rotating desktop background and slideshow. Here’s one of our favorite paintings of his. Winslow Homer loves paintings of the sea, and especially perilous situations. Here this poor man looks doomed but if you look closely, you will see a glimmer of hope.

Another activity we sometimes do is find a page in one of our artist coloring books which Satori loves to color. This particular “Snap the Whip” painting is included in Art Masterpieces to Color by Dover. I printed out a sample picture for her to copy.

For Artistic Pursuits, Satori experimented with drawing her first still life. I asked her to do this one over the summer but with no direction, she was flustered and gave up. So I gave her some guidance in drawing what she sees. I set up the still life below and filled up a wine glass with grape juice for her.

I find myself working along and this seems to suit us best, as Satori gets a few drawing lessons from me and I get to exercise the right side of the brain.

We were to use water-soluable crayons but we used our Derwent watercolor pencils, in which we have more color choice. Here’s a closeup to see what they look like with water applied. I’m sure I could have taken my time to make it look better, but we’re pleased with how they work for us.

A few days later, Satori lined up all her stuffed animals  with their name tags. Art was one of the subjects her lucky students learned that day.

She usually teaches her class in the morning at 7am, before I’m even out of bed. I hear her prattling on about various topics like the rainforest, Latin, and history. This particular morning I work up to our whiteboard filled with art projects done by all the students in her class, complete with their names on the papers. 🙂

If her stuffed animals are not her students, a real person will make an even better substitute! Daddy often gets taught, and Satori is very eager planning out her lesson schedule the night before. Even Gramy and Grampy got to spend an afternoon this summer in Satori’s class, learning logic and Latin!