Friday, June 9, 2017

Blackfin Sharks, Bowling, Jupiter and Latin - The Weekly Wrapup

This week, we're linked up with Homeschool Highlights at Homeschool Coffee Break.. Be sure to check it out to see what other families have done this week in their schooling :)

Homeschool Coffee Break

It's been a while since I did a weekly wrap up so I figured now would be a great time to let everyone know what the kids have been up to with their studies.

While summer doesn't offically start til June 21st, Mother Nature didn't seem to get that memo.  The temperatures have been extremely high already, reaching up to 104 earlier this week (it's a bit cooler today with it only being in the 80s), meaning it's just too hot for the kids to spend any amount of time outside during the afternoon hours.  While most kids are starting their summer break, we opt to homeschool through the summer so that during the more pleasant spring and fall temperatures, we're able to take a week here or a week there off from our full time studies to enjoy the great outdoors. It makes it so much more pleasant than worrying about sunstroke and 2nd degree sunburns lol

However, our week didn't start off quite like expected.  The area we live in experienced a small earthquake (3.5 on the Richter scale) which caused a bit of damage to the power grid that we are on. Luckily, it was on one of our cooler days this week and happened later in the afternoon.  Thankfully, the kids are use to camping and can handle lack of electricity and electronics without freaking out.  We used what bit of daylight we had left to break out a few board games and opting for a few rounds of "Tapple" and a round of "Beat the Parents".  (Please excuse the poor pictures, the lighting was terrible.  So, excuse the kids wearing the same clothes in everything - for some reason, even though they have tons and tons of clean clothes, they have decided these are their "favorites" this week and keep putting them on - go figure lol ).

Towards the end of Beat the Parents, it was getting pretty dark outside.  What a better time to head outside and do some star gazing then when ALL the lights are out throughout the base, right?

I have to tell you, sometimes when things like the electricity is out and everyone around you is upset, you realize just what you miss when the lights are on.  In our case, as we laid in our grass, enjoying the cooler night temperatures, we had the experience of watching the International Space Station pass over.  Now, this in itself isn't anything new for us, we've often tracked the path of the ISS to determine when it would pass over our home and have gone out to watch it before.  However, on this particular night, a few moments after the ISS passed, we saw a second passing and realized we were getting to see SpaceX's Dragon  on the same path as the ISS, making it's way to meet up for a resupply mission.  Had the lights not gone out, we would have never seen it.

We also decided to break out the telescope and take advantage of the dark skies to do a bit of deep sky viewing.  It's been a while since we actually brought the big scope out.   First we pointed the scope towards the moon and looked at a few craters..

 I took this picture with my phone through the eyepiece, but I really liked the "rainbow" look to it.

After the moon, we opted to look at the next brightest point in the sky, which was Jupiter. We got a really great look at two shadows of Jupiter's moons passing over the surface of the planet, which the kids thought was really cool

We were without electricity for nearly 5 hours, and while the rest of the base took to facebook to complain,  we had a great time and turned it into a pretty educational experience and family bonding time. .

Since it is basically summertime, we are taking a bit off from our really in depth studies in Science.  The kids have really worked their little hineys off doing cellular structure and the likes, so we're taking a break from that course for the summer and we're instead working through a few of the classes with Mystery Science, which is an online course.  This week's mystery was "Why do your biceps bulge?" and gave a great description as to how tendons anchor the muscles to bone and how the muscle shortens and lengthens depending on if it's in a resting or active state.  The kids then created their own Robotic Finger, where they could pull a string that would cause the finger to curl and relax, demonstrating how the tendons in the hand do the same.

The kids with their robot fingers.
 If you saw my review earlier this week about Latin, you'll know that Ashleigh has been enjoying it so much.  So Latin work will continue through the summer.  This is a good thing, since Grandmaw (my oldest daughter's Great Grandmother on her father's side) calls throughout the week and now one of her favorite things is to have Ashleigh get on the phone and recite her Latin prayers to her, so we'll have to continue to give her something to listen to.. lol This week the lesson was on invisable verbs like the words hope and love, and she learned the latin words for "Goodbye", I love, I live in, I prepare, I adore and I judge.  She also added "Hosanna in excelsis" meaning Hosanna in the highest to her recitation of the Sanctus this week.   Here she is doing her Latin assignment. For this portion that she's working on in this picture, she had to read though one of her other books and recognize invisible verbs.

Both kids will continue to work through their Literature/Reading during the summer, especially Garrett who still struggles with reading and comprehension.  Both kids have been reading "Sarah, Plain and Tall" independently as it is the selection both of their curriculum uses. Ashleigh is using it with Apologia's Readers in Residence and Garrett has been reading it for Lightning Literature 3rd Grade (Review coming soon, btw).   Garrett finished the book this week  as his curriculum only uses each book for 2 weeks at a time, while Ashleigh has been working with the book for several weeks now.  However, his curriculum has him reading a chapter or two each day, while her's only has her read a chapter once or twice a week and then spends the rest of the time focusing on a particular aspect of the reading.

For Garrett, this week concentrated on adjectives, sentence diagramming and the difference between fiction and non fiction.   Ashleigh's focus this week was learning how author's use conflict to develop their story and recognizing the conflict that the characters in Sarah, Plain and Tall are currently facing. She also learned about how authors use paragraphs to separate topics and conversations within the book.

This week we decided to go back to using The Mystery of History and pick up with Book 2, which focuses on the history of the Early Church immediately following the Ascension of Jesus until the Middle Ages.  We had taken a bit of a detour over the last few weeks to learn some about American history as we talked about George Washington and read through a few of the Rush Revere books but I decided I wanted to continue down the path with Mystery of History.  We had already completed book 1 and I had book 2 waiting in the wings for a few months now, so I figured it was time to crack it open.  For this weeks lesson, we discussed the Day of Pentecost, and began talking about the life of Paul (AKA Saul of Tarsus).

Here's the kids reinacting the healing of the Lame Beggar at the Beautiful Gate.  Needless to say, I don't think Hollywood will be knocking on our door anytime in the near future. LOL

Math is a subject we will continue throughout the summer as well. This week, we started our focus on multiplication.  Now, the kids do know multiplication from Times Tales but I do want them to be able to do problems without having to go through the whole Mrs Snowman stood on a chair to get 3 buttons and 2 pins, or however the video goes. lol   This week we started with an Introduction to  Multiplication of 0, 1, 2, and 5.

Fridays are going to be our "Field Trip Fridays"..   We were given Lesson Plans through Homeschool Buyer's Co-op for Virtual Field Trips that use videos and live cams off the internet.  This week, we took a "trip" to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland where we were able to watch different live streaming cams.  The kids really had a great time observing blackfin sharks, whip tail leopard rays, Blubber Jellyfish, Emperor Angelfish, Spotted Unicorn Fish and so much more.. They were disappointed that Calypso, the green Sea-Turtle, never made an appearance though. Maybe next time.  It really was a neat experience to turn our television into a life aquarium though.

While not exactly "school" related, we did have a few new things to report. The kids joined up with the Summer Reading Program at the Library on base, where they both received Tshirts to kick off the summer.. The kids goal is to fill up their cards before the end of the summer, which means many hours of reading ahead of them.

Finally, we took advantage of a program that the base was offering for Free Bowling throughout the summer for the kids.  It's really a cool program where we are all able to bowl two games a day, every day, for the entire summer.  While we won't be going every day, it will be our Friday tradition as every friday night they turn on the blacklights have "Glow Bowl"..

Here's our scores from our last game.  They started off using the Slide (that orange thing in the top picture) but quickly got bored of it and have moved on to "Granny Shots".. It's been loads of fun for them and another great family activity to get us out of the house, get active, and have some family time together.

So there you have it, that's the week in review.   Looking forward to what next week brings.


  1. Sounds like a fun week! We love the Beat the Parents game and those outer space photos are amazing; I love the rainbow.

  2. How fun. I love to read your posts. - a

  3. What an amazing week! Glad you made the most of the power outage and found ways to enjoy it. Thanks for sharing on Homeschool Highlights!


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