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ALL ABOUT THE RAINFOREST
with a splash of Brazilian knowledge too!

So going through a BIOME each week has proven to be fun!
In all honesty, it is actually my class I teach at our Tuesday Science Co op,
along with my co-teachers discussing a country  per week,
thus we compliment each others activities well!!

This Week:  The Amazon Rain Forest & Brazil

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We opened up class discussing the 4 layers of the Rain Forest,
and what animals lived in each level.
I was fortunate that my co-teacher can draw!

I then passed out a small picture of each animal to the students
where they had to act out that animal for the rest of the class to guess which one it was.
Sometimes the most simple game ends up being the most fun.  This was one of them!

We then moved on to the map to show where Brazil was…

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Story time covered details about Brazil;
Although the Amazon River runs through Brazil, there is no bridges to cross it.
The cacao plant aka the cocoa tree is a small evergreen tree where we get cocoa beans,
yep, those beans that are used for cocoa powder and chocolate!  Mmmm….
The Rubber tree can be tapped for latex once it matures to 6 yrs of age,
which is much like tapping a maple tree.    Fascinating, huh?

The fun part of participating in a Homeschool Co op
is that you get to take home the lessons to live out loud for the week!

We all know that our family’s core studies (via Robinson Curriculum style) is reading, writing, and doing some math, independently in most cases.  However, I find that doing group activities as a family in the afternoons adds some fun to our day.  All ages included.

OUR RAIN FOREST

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Katie-girl began by making all the leaves…

Then TJ put together the base of the project;
tree trunk, branches, and layers of the rainforest.

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Next, the boys (Andrew & Bryson) made snakes…

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and birds.

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I, the least creative of the bunch, simply cut out monkeys.

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Katie-girl worked on a Cheetah…

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then added the finishing touch of a Red-eyed Tree Frog…

tree frog

and low and behold,
A Rain Forest!

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Other Rain Forest activities included watching a couple of videos on Netflex;
2 episodes on Wild Kratts, and 1 episode on The Magic School Bus.
This gave us the extra details to explore further on,
such as learning about the peccary, spider monkeys, and sloths.

If you would like to know the details of how to do these crafts,
Please visit Katie-girl’s DIY blog:

Concealed Foundation

 

It’s a bit wild to be a homeschooler!

An Arctic Blast

Got snow?

We do!

Well, not the real stuff, but what does one do when the winter is mild and the season is coming to a clear end?

Why, add your own snow of course!

Our Arctic theme!

We began by discussing the habitat and landscape, both in the summer as well as the winter.
which then led us into doing a Venn Diagram~

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where we observed the variety of arctic (land vs ocean) animals,
as well as discussing these animals and their camouflage coatings.

Then the fun began…

Shaving cream…

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used for Arctic spelling words;
Arctic, Antarctic, caribou, fox, owl, seal, whale, walrus, winter

Blubber Science experiment…

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2 bowls ice water, 2 sandwich baggies.
1 baggie with a chunk of shortening (or butter).
Using your index fingers,
stick one finger in the “blubber” baggie,
on the other hand is just a baggie.
Place fingers in ice water.
Which one feels colder?
Why?

Snow dough…

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2 boxes cornstarch, 1 can shaving cream; mix til crumbly.
Appears like real dry snow, yet it does mold into shape also.

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Throw in a few arctic animals,
and you have yourself hours of fun!

POSTER BOARD WALL MURAL

Snow Paint!
Elmer’s glue and shaving cream;
mix 2 parts glue to 3 parts shaving cream,
lightly stir to keep fluffy.
It totally dries to a fluffy, spongy, soft texture!

We added snow to the board,
then colored arctic animals using card stock.
Strategically place animals to be camouflaged.

Katie and Dad worked together on adding the Northern Lights,
by using this Chalk Pastel Lesson.

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I must admit the board wasn’t chalk friendly,
but they smudged it on as well as could be expected.
They used a clear sealant to keep the chalk from dusting off.

The final masterpiece:

“The Arctic Blast”

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and the snow?  that snow dough stuff? 
continuous entertainment I tell you!

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It’s snow much fun to be a homeschooler!

Got Snow? 

Why no, as a matter of fact we don’t. 
We will just call this The Winter of the Great Fog.
So much fog this year.  Makes for an odd winter nature study.
I mean seriously, the trees are starting to get buds already.
I walked outside early one morning to run an errand,
and the birds were chirping away as if to say “Hello Spring!”

~FEBRUARY GOALS~

Bible:
1st & 2nd Corinthians
We will be reading through both books as well as doing an in depth study of 1st Corinthians 13:4-13.  After all, it fits well around Valentine’s Day right?  We are not into the commercialism of such holidays; however, to discuss true love and grasp the opportunity to share what that looks like in our daily life IS a lesson worth teaching.

INDEPENDENT STUDIES

Literature:
Up From Slavery
Slave Dancer

Writing:
Daily essays; emphasis on predicate nominative, adjective nominative, & direct objects.
The younger kids will be learning the basic subjects/predicates.

Math:
no clue.  ha ha.  and I’m serious.  *confession of a homeschool mom*  My older students are self-motivated, so I’m not quite sure where they are.  TJ faithfully goes along doing his basic requirement (give or take a lesson here or there), and I’m pretty sure Katie is still devouring her math book (15 lessons per week average).
Andrew and Bryson reviewed tally marks and telling time in detail; we will continue with our flash cards while skip counting to get familiar with the multiplication process.  Money and measurement is always added in for fun!

GROUP STUDIES

History:
African American History Month.  Well, honestly, as much as I love my darker skinned friends and I love the opportunity to learn history, I wonder sometimes why there isn’t a month labeled for every ethnicity?  Indian American?  Mexican American?  Irish American?  Russian American?  French American?  Is there even such a thing as British American?  seems bit of an oxymoron, eh?  especially when referring to American history, but I digress…
Anyways, we are continuing our study of the Civil War…
Lincoln Speeches & Letters

Science:
Meteorites, volcanoes, & touch on the topic of retro grade motion.
TJ & Katie- The Health Hazards of NOT Going Nuclear by Petr Beckman

Fine Arts:
composer- Johannes Brahms, Hungarian Dance No. 5
artist- Pablo Picasso, Mother and Child
poetry/verse-1st Corinthians 13: 4-8,  Love is…

Nature Study:
We are continuing a weekly biome study…
This week will be about the Tundra…
I look forward to sharing our fun ideas for this.
We are going to have an Arctic Party to make up for the lack of a winter we had!

It’s cool to be a homeschooler. 

 

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She’s a cuddler…

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and she loves everyone!

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For being a puppy still, she has been really easy to train!

She really doesn’t have any bad habits really.
An occasional chewed up water bottle or ball,
but the furniture is intact, even when we leave her for a few hours.
She doesn’t get into the garbage, nor bark incessantly.
She doesn’t run off…

Echo is just a big lovely girl who likes to snuggle!

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Do you have any fur babies in your home?

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Monday opened up with our weekly science experiment:

Rain clouds!  ice water over boiling water.

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It took a few minutes to get going, and obviously this blurry picture can’t capture the consistent drips that were happening.

For poetry, we all wrote Lantern Poems:
Here is one…

SNOW                         
                    WINTER
             FLUFFY FLAKES
      SPARKLY WHITE SHEET
                      COLD

Tuesday Science Co op
Andrew learned about rhythms in music, and made peanut butter cookies in cooking class.
Bryson had a biome study.  We review Flora (flowers/plants) and learned what Fauna (animals) was.
We then explored animal classification, specifically vertebrates;
mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects.

Other activities included…

Watching the State of the Union Address.  meh…

Having an in depth discussion about the family who had 7 kids removed from their home.

The younger boys had fun using tally marks to count things in our house;
windows, doors, chairs, stairs…

We ended the week with some lovely weather!

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It was a great day to go exploring…

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Have I mentioned how much my kids enjoy this little girl?

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Adelaide plays and they all join her.
Andrew built her a battleship aircraft carrier out of bristle blocks,
while Katie built Andrew a coin counter out of leggos.

Our days this past week were smooth and easy.  I love that.

Our first week back to our Science & more co op

I teach the 4, 5, 6 yr olds.
My subject is Biomes. 
Thus we began with learning what Flora is (this week will be Fauna).
I figure we should start at the basic foundation right?
Plants, then Animals.

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My co-teacher, Miss Sarah, is doing Geography. 
My lessons will hopefully compliment her lessons.
That is my intent anyways.  *smile*

So after we learned All About Plants,
we did a Cherry Blossom craft,
which lead our adventure to China.
We made “sushi” by using a rolling pin to flatten bread,
then spread peanut butter and jam on it,
rolled it up and sliced it.  and viola, yummy!
We also did a dragon craft.  Fun stuff!

We also have a new hobby!

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Yep, table tennis squished into our old classroom/now called a “library.
Hey, we’ve had a dreary winter.
What better way to add some movement to our day?

We had a few sicknesses along for the ride this week, which led to an in depth discussion about vaccinations, the flu, the measles “epidemic” at Disneyland, and holistic remedies vs drugs.

And for fun we made paper snowflakes to decorate our learning corner,
made cookies, played with play dough, and practiced skip counting 2’s.

TJ went bowling with his older brother and Dad,
while Katie did a variety of creations; crocheting a ninja turtle scarf, made an organic face wash, learned a loop waterfall braid, and is continuing to teach the puppy tricks.

It’s fun to be a homeschooler!

I love school rooms. 
I admit it.
There are some amazing classroom ideas out there.
Yet a classroom is not necessary to be able to homeschool.

I do prefer one.  Like this one at our old house.
(odd angled view, but you get the idea)

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and this is our class room now.

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However, with it being winter, our house is actually more warm and cozy down in our daylight basement where our family room is… thus currently our previous school room is being called the “library”.  I don’t know why *wink*….

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This is our newest learning area set up:

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It’s in a corner of our family room.
That table is right behind our loveseat .
We call it our “learning corner“.
We use the wall for calendar/weather/season/time work.  Also our Spanish words of the week, our math flash cards of the day are up there (along with a picture of a covered wagon that complimented our Pioneer Twins book)

Here is our workbox corner.
(where school supplies go)

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yes, in another corner of the family room;
next to the TV actually.

The older kids actually do their work on our couch and loveseat,
but the table set up is fabulous for the younger kids.
We’ve been doing some cozy evening school work;
math, writing, & our history read aloud.
Reading lessons and some language arts are done right after lunch.

So yes, you could say we ditched our old school room
AND
our newest rhythm chart.
NO more of this either:

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It appears that all our kiddos enjoy playing with the toddler I babysit.  Thus we have free time in the morning now.  Definitely out of my “plan it” box, ha ha!  But I really am enjoying our quiet evenings of study and family time, and it seems to be helping our wild 6 yr old wind down for bed.  So I’m claiming it as a win.

Does your daily routine ever make drastic changes?
Do you like change? or prefer the consistency of what is known?

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