Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Celebrate Banned Books Week!

Celebrate our freedom of speech! This week is Banned Books Week. Pick one up and read it with your child! AH and I have read quite a few found on the list, why not one more?! We started A Wrinkle in Time. What are you reading?

Some books that have been challenged or banned:

The Holy Bible, Huckleberry Finn, Don Quixote, The Koran, Tom Sawyer, Arabian Nights, Gulliver's Travels, Canterbury Tales, Harry Potter, Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, Leaves of Grass, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Les Miserables, Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin, Book of Common Prayer, Grapes of Wrath, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Origin of Species, Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty-Four, To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, Farewell to Arms, Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Jungle, Gone with the Wind, All Quiet on the Western Front, Sun Also Rises, Doctor Zhivago, East of Eden, I know Why the Caged Bird Sings,The Talmud, James and the Giant Peach, Little House on the Prairie, Go Tell it On the Mountain, Chocolate War, Hatchet, The Catcher in the Rye, Flowers for Algernon, A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak, Harriet the Spy, Blubber, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings, The Pigman, Lord of the Flies, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, Forever, Bridge to Terabithia, Sounder, The Indian in the Cupboard, Julie of the Wolves, A Wrinkle in Time, The Giving Tree, The First Captain Underpants, The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book One), and the list goes on and on and on!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Not Back To School Camp: Day 3

Castle Mania Day!
AH told me he wanted to do a diorama of a castle. Since our original plans for day 3 fell through, I thought we could easily do a mini study of castles for the day. Our day started bright and early with AH speeding through his breakfast to start on his castle diorama.

He has an idea in his mind of what he wants to build and he started right in! His goal is to finish by Thanksgiving. After an hour or so he needed a break, so he headed outside for some movement time. When he came in we sat in the living room and read several books about castles, including David Macaulay's Castle, Mrs. Frizzle's Adventures: A medieval castle, and several others.
At lunch we ate sandwiches and watched a PBS video based on the David Macaulay book above. It was a pretty good video, a little slow by today's standards, but AH seemed to enjoy it, too.
I'll keep you updated on the progress of his castle.

It's Finished

AH's self portrait in the style of Austrian artist Hundertwasser.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Why Do They Call It Homeschooling If We're Never Home?

AH is very happy with the t-shirt I gave him. He's folded it nicely each night and put it back on each morning. I asked him why he doesn't wear something else. "Because I thought it was a Not Back To School CAMP. You have to wear the t-shirts each day you're in camp!" I guess he told me!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Not Back To School Week: Day 2

Welcome to Art and Math Mayhem day!
What a fun day we are having using our new Prismacolor coloring pencils. We made self portraits in the style of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Where do I get these wonderful ideas? Kathy at my favorite art blog, Art Projects For Kids , gives me lots of ideas for studying art and artists. Here is the post that inspired today's art project. AH hasn't finished his yet, but it is turning out fantastic!! We've never used Prismacolor pencils before and I now see what all the fuss is about. They are fabulous!

After art came math. AH was dreading it. I'm sure he was envisioning the dry, dull math of last year, but Mom is shaking things up this year! I pulled out a new game, The Allowance Game, that I got at Lakeshore Learning. For some reason I was under the impression that AH's money skills are lacking. Hmmm...Not. Even. Close. But he had fun and practice will give him more confidence with money and making change. We laughed and giggled our way through two games when we were overcome with hunger! We made grilled cheese sandwiches and watched the entertaining and very educational DVD, The Story of 1.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Not Back To School Week: Day 1 - Science

Happy first day of your last year in school, AD! A senior this year...where has the time gone? Thanks for letting me take the last first day of school photo of you. Have a great senior year, bud!

While his brother is back to school as a 12th grader, AD is a 6th grader celebrating Not Back to School Week. Below, he is sporting a new T-shirt designed especially for him! It states, "Why is it Called Homeschooling When We're Never Home?" Below is a list of every single place we've gone since we started homeschooling.
We started out the day studying lenses and light. We used the book, Exploratopia, as our guide today. We completed the chapter on light. We made a 2 litre bottle lens, collected various lenses from around the house, discovered the terms convex and concave and the properties of each. AH got to project a TV image (light) through a magnifying lens and onto a poster board(the image turns out smaller and upside down!!!). We read how eyeglasses work and made our own lenses out of ...Jell-O!
Why study lenses?
Because AH now understands how light and lenses work in his new microscope! He was definitely surprised and happy! After reading a little about and filling out a worksheet I made up to familiarize him with the workings of the microscope, he spent the rest of the afternoon (well, 2 hours of it, anyway) looking at the slides we bought him. He also stole some fur from Solvay, our Samoyed, to inspect under the lens!
A good first day!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Yellow Ketchup, Anyone?

Did you know AH's favorite color is yellow? It has been since he was tiny. Well, early this year AH asked me if he could plant yellow tomato plants and use them to make yellow ketchup. Being the *perfect* homeschool mom I, of course, said yes! Anything to get him interested in tomatoes! We found some yellow heirloom tomato plants at our local co-op this spring and planted them in a nice sunny location in our garden. (I meant to remember the varieties, but I cannot find them in my notes anywhere. I believe one was a Russian tomato?!) It took quite a while considering our weird summer (lots of rain and cool days) but last week we had enough to make a yellow ketchup! While the tomatoes ripened I went in search of yellow tomato recipes. There are none. So, I went in search of a ketchup recipe. There are millions!! Most, however, call for 20 lbs of tomatoes. Even though AH did a good job of taking care of his two plants, there was no way we were going to get even 10 lbs out of them! I finally stumbled upon a recipe at this lovely blog, Eggs on Sunday,which called for 2 1/2 lbs. That was something we could do!!!
AH and I chopped up the tomatoes and onion.
Then added vinegar and a spice bag.

We let that simmer on the stove for around 40 minutes.

We removed the spice bag and AH got to try out the immersion blender! He was a little nervous using it, so I helped him instead of photographing it. After that another 30 minutes to simmer down to our desired consistency. And then the final step: tasting it.

I think he likes it!

Well, it didn't exactly turn out yellow, but a kind of orange. We've never made homemade ketchup before and we were impressed with the flavor and consistency of this recipe. It really wasn't too hard. We would change a few things about it, but what a great way to spend a late summer afternoon with my yellow fanatic!