Thursday, April 21, 2011

Guidecraft Givewaway - Interlox Blocks!

Head over to Cindy's blog, Along The Way, and check out her Guidecraft giveaway!  A lucky winner will receive the Interlox 96 piece building set.  It looks like a lot of fun!  I know my budding engineer(s) would enjoy it.  Check them out:

Doesn't that look nifty? You definitely want to enter to win these!  I will be adding them to Schmooey's wish list!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Archimedes Discussions

The girls and I have been reading Archimedes and the Door of Science together, as part of Living Books Curriculum Year 3.  It's been interesting to read what life was like in Ancient Greece.  We're now starting to learn about some of Archimedes' discoveries of simple machines, like the screw and the lever.

Today, we read about Archimedes making a bet with King Hiero that he could move whatever heavy object King Hiero gave him to move, no matter how large.  The king told him to move a ship out of the harbor that all the king's slaves had not been able to move.  Archimedes set up a system of pulleys, and moved the ship with one hand.  Needless to say, he impressed the king.

We also read about a discussion Archimedes liked to have with King Hiero.  Archimedes believed that the most perfect thing was a well-reasoned idea.  King Hiero said that such ideas were useless unless they could be applied in a practical way.  I asked the girls which they thought was better - thought, or application. They told me they agreed with Archimedes.

I told them we would try dinner using Archimedes' method.  I would think about a fabulous dinner, from preparation to serving.  I would ponder all the ingredients and think about exactly what I needed to do to make such a dinner.  I would ruminate on the process of cooking and what would happen when the ingredients were combined.  Then, when Todd came home, I would tell him all about my well-reasoned dinner plan, and see what he thought of it - all theory, no food on the table.  Somehow, they didn't think that sounded like a very good idea!  Ha.

We read about "work," and how the scientific definition of work is the action of forces on things.  I showed them how hard I could work by poking Emma in the leg several times.  She didn't find that nearly as amusing as I did.  

We also read about level 1, level 2 and level 3 levers today, and found them a bit confusing.  We're going to make real levers tomorrow so we can see how they work.  A level 3 lever is something like a fishing pole.  It really makes no sense looking at the pictures in the book, but we could imagine it better when we thought about how a fishing pole works.  I have a feeling we may need to involve Todd with this lesson.  They are supposed to be "simple" machines, and I'm sure we can make the levers.  I guess I should be thankful we're not to the math part yet.  Bleah.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Another Confessions of a Homeschooler Giveaway!

Well, I didn't win the nifty geography curriculum, but I'm going for the new giveaway!  Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler has a really fun, inexpensive preschool curriculum, Letter of the Week.  I'm getting it ready to use with Isaac, mostly as a way to keep him busy while the girls are doing school.  I think he's going to love it!


Erica just came out with her K4 Expansion for the LOTW curriculum, and is giving away a copy to one lucky winner!  Go check it out.  She has made some great activities for an older preschooler.  (Is that possible? An older preschooler?  LOL.)  There are beginning math, reading, and writing activities.  Isaac already knows most of his letters, so we are going to move ahead with beginning reading.  He will love the colorful, fun activities in this curriculum

Go over and enter now!  You know you want to. :-)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Expedition Earth Giveaway!

Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler is giving away a copy of her Expedition Earth geography curriculum!  I've enjoyed reading about it on the blog.  It looks like a lot of fun.

Here is the blurb from her blog:

Get ready for an exciting voyage across the world! Come along as we walk on the Great Wall of China, wander through the Amazon Rainforest, and climb the Egyptian Pyramids! Within this curriculum you'll discover the sights and sounds of 31 countries across the globe. You’ll get hands-on with fun activities, crafts, recipes and more! So grab your passports, and get ready to go! It's time for Expedition Earth!
CLICK HERE to enter - there are lots of ways to get extra entries, too! I believe it's targeted at K-3, since she has younger children, but we all know you can make of it what you want when you homeschool. :-)  Head on over and enter to win!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Look what I found!

Today, since we finally have some sunshine, I was outside trimming some bushes. It's probably not the right time, but they have been ignored for a long time (since before we moved in a year ago - eek) and some of them are out of control. Actually, Abbie did a lot of the trimming for me last week, but she didn't do the Giant Holly Bush or the Rose Bush Trying to Take Over the World (RBTTOW).

I decided, after attempting to trim the RBTTOW a bit, that it needed a good whacking off down to about 24". I should have done it earlier, and it's showing lots of lovely new growth, but the thing is immense and needs to be brought back under control. As I was trimming, though, I found this:

It's a cardinal's nest!  Of course, I immediately stopped trimming the bush and cleaned up, to get away from there as quickly as possible.  That poor mother bird must have been having heart palpitations.  The RBTTOW looks a little, shall we say, interesting at this point, half trimmed, but I'd rather have the baby cardinals.

Isaac was very helpful yesterday.  He picked up branches for me in his little red wagon, and dumped them on the edge of the yard - almost in the "natural area."  He also used his wagon to clean up after the lawn mower.

He is so cute sometimes, I can hardly stand it.

Update:  The mother cardinal was back on her nest this morning when we came home from church!  I'm hoping to get some pictures of the babies as they grow.