Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Homeschool Week 2: The Fog Dew Collector

So we are getting into our groove and this week did not seem so hectic. Still this 2 kids stuff is no joke.


Let me start by saying that after her second session of school Louie came home with this bracelet. 

It says she is a "Star Learner" because she listens and follows direction the first time. I am 95% certain she found this on the floor or stole it from another kid. Louie NEVER listens and follows directions the first time with me. Her teacher backed up her story but I am still not convinced. 

Language Arts: This week was brought to you by the letters "Rr" and Tt. This week we did a handful of worksheets to practice writing each letter. These were harder for Louie than last week so I headed over to and found somemore great worksheets. Louie and Poppa did a treasure hunt looking around the house for things that start with R. One day Louie and I played "R" and "T" animal pictionary. She also watched some funny Story Bots YouTube videos. Love those!

Reading: This week we talked about how when you put together letters they become words. And when you put words together you can make stories. As a card carrying book worm I love this simple concept. Louie grasped this right away. We did a few worksheets where she had to determine if it was a word or a letter. This was all great EXCEPT that her site words the last 2 weeks were "I" and "A". So again trying to explain to Louie that these are exceptions was like trying to teach a bear to read. Impossible. So we took out one of her favorite books and we searched for all the "I" and "a" that we could find.

Writing: This week we started on Louie's writing folder. We had 3 pages to complete. She had to draw a picture and write a sentence. I decided since this was an ongoing project we would build each week and make a big story. So far Louie's story is about a bird named Peach who meets a cat and then meets 2 monkeys. I'm not going to lie, I am completely intrigued and I can't wait to hear what happens next.

Math: This week we worked on patterns. Thanks to her early years of Dora the Explorer watching she was very familiar with this. These worksheets were a snap. When we got to the number 2 Louie was super confused because last week we did "S" and trying to get to flip it and reserve it for the number 2 was like telling her that the sky was purple. She was just not buying it. We practiced and practice but her 2's need a lot more practice. She did make the observation that the number 2 looks like a snake have coffee.
She was totally right. 

Social Studies: The assignment was to share with her class about herself and her family. We did one of those generic "About Me" posters but it just wasn't personal enough. So I asked Louie if she wanted to make her first Pow-toons video. Phi has been using this program for a few years and Louie was so excited to make her very own. So she choose some pictures and we recorded her audio. Here is her first of what I assume is going to be many video projects!

Science:  We discussed all 5 senses this week. We are still talking a little bit about what scientists do and understanding predictions. Louie did a cool experiment with Poppa where she predicted if certain objects would float or sink. Then they tested each out and she recorded her observations. Then with me we talked about predicting what would happen if we mix colors. We mixed watercolors and made some really pretty colors. Louie's favorite was a pretty turquoise.  Then I used her painting to make a card for a baby shower I went to over the weekend.


Language Arts: Phi continued reading chapters 5-8 this week in Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. I wish I had some time to read long with her. She did the worksheet for each chapter and had to pick another project for the week. This week she went with a book jacket. The only issue I have with these projects is that a majority should be done after the book is read, not right in the middle. For the book jacket she made a cool cover and on the inside flaps she showcased the awards the book has won and on the other side drew a picture of the author and wrote a short bio. On the back she wrote a brief summary and added some quotes from people who have read the book. This one is my favorite. 

Math: We are continuing our journey into expressions and order of operations. This week we used LearnZillion to look at how to read word problems and how to write one. A simple word eliminated can make the expressions completely different. Or can even give you different options with different answers. One of the questions was about video games and Phi said she did not like when they mixed something she loved (video games) with something she does not love (math). I love this kind of math where you have to follow an order. Phi seems to be getting this okay. The fact that we have really broken down the math helps to. We are doing like just 2 problems a day. This way we are doing a little math everyday. 

Social Studies: Phi worked another week on memorized state capitals and researching Hawaii for her state report. She has about half the capitals memorized but I need to check with the teacher to see how they are going to be tested and if spelling counts! She finished all the research for her report and the next step is to put together an outline for her video presentation. I think I am going to see if we can push the report and state test for another week. If we had one more week we could really do it up right. Funny story. We were at the library and Phi asked the librarian for a book on Hawaii and she came back with this.. 

Science: This week we studies Biomimicry. This is a science I had never heard of and it is awesome. It is all about looking to nature to solve human problems. I found this TED talk by Janine Benyus and had Phi watch it to get an idea about the concept of biomimicry. The assignment was to find a problem and solve it using biomimicry. Phi chose the problem of the California drought. Then we did some google research to see if there were any animals that could collect water. Phi found that thin billed shoreline birds have this cool way of collecting dew and fog. They open there beaks and let the water droplets collect and then open and close their beaks to get the droplets to run down into their throats. Phi took this concept and designed a "Fog and Dew Collector". Clear plastic slick panels that are run by solar power open and collect dew and fog and then close to allow the water to run into a bottle. This continues as long as the weather is dewy or foggy. You can then use that water to water your plants, wash your car or water your lawn. Phi made a brochure describing her design and why every house should have one. 

On to week 3! 

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