Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Can You Hear Me?

Mr. Jack had a fun surprise at the Chesnee Home school class last week.  He had the children make mechanical (tin can) telephones.  Oh, boy!  The eyes lit up and excitement built as Mr. Jack discussed the origins of the telephone.  He explained how the wires must be hung and how they only could transmit so far.  He related it to how the tin can phones they were about to make would work.  The children couldn't believe how crude the first telephone actually was.  That is, until they used their tin can phones.

Mr. Jack had an assortment of materials to use.  Large and small tin cans, plastic cups, and string.  The children paired up and selected their materials.  Some chose the large tin cans for each.  Others decided to mix it up with a large and small can.  Still some decided to use a tin can and a plastic cup.  Which combination would work best? 

They tied string to the cups and cans.  They tested the sound quality.  Learning how to stand correctly and keep the string tight was hard for them.  They wanted to face each other! 

Finally, after they tested their creations, Mr. Jack took the class outside to test the quality.  (The library room was too loud and small.)  Mr. Jack had the children line up in a chain fashion.  They were to play the game telephone with their telephones.  He told one child the word to transmit and the journey began.  Many had to repeat what they spoke into the can.  Deciphering was hard at times.  The word didn't always get to the last person the way it started.  Although, it was close.  Dog became dot.  Hot became hat.  Bog became log. 

This fun experiment left a lasting impression on the children.  They understood how far technology has improved the most used communication device.  With my techno driven children, they had a new appreciation for the cellular phones we now take for granted.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Visit to Australia - Headquarters Library Home School Class

The children visited Australia today.  Thanks, to a fellow homeschooling family that presented and shared a piece of their three month adventure to Australia. 

We entered the classroom and saw tables filled with different things representing the Land of Down Under.  A table with wood pieces that resembled rain sticks, which we learned were didgeridoos.  Another table was filled with stuffed animals that represented different animals of Australia.  Boomerangs sat upon another table.  Books were displayed about the country at the front table. 

Ms. Jane introduced the Woodfin family to the children.  The Woodfin boys had created a powerpoint presentation to share with the children.  The younger Woodfin boy played a game of what sound is this.  He was really outgoing and eager to share his experiences. 

The children liked the sound game and learned some interesting facts about different animals and instruments of Australia. 

Mrs. Woodfin passed out a scavenger hunt list for the children.  She explained how they were to explore all the things in the room.  The children were eager to look at the treasures and partake in snacks. 

At the end of the program, Mrs. Woodfin played a couple of videos for the children.  One was one the 'unofficial national anthem' of Australia, "Waltzing Matilda".  She explained the meaning of the song to the children.  We learned about the different vocabulary used in the song and then wandered why they chose such a song. 

It was a lovely introduction to the country.  Thank you, Woodfin family for sharing your experience!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Beautiful Day to Walk in Nature: Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous outside.  The forecast for the remainder of the week looked grim, so I decided to take advantage of a lovely morning.  November seems to be an ugh month for schooling.  The upcoming holidays add anticipation to the schedule and everyone is ready for a break.  So, I try to come up with clever ways to learn.  The clever idea for the day was a trip to Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve.

I have been wanting to take the children to Hatcher for a while.  It just never seemed to fit in the schedule.  However, we were going make a go of it.  Our morning lesson had consisted of a Thanksgiving story and a math/art related lesson on shapes in nature.  I used the math/art lesson to segue into our trip to Hatcher.


We stopped by the dollar store and purchased drawing paper and drinks.  Our nature study was going to include an art lesson.  This, of course, thrilled Egee.  She loves to draw and create.  Little Man only draws on occasion, but he did do one drawing.  He was more interested in exploring his surroundings. 

We saw plenty of squirrels and birds.  Leaves were spiraling down from the tops of trees.  We watched them spin like helicopters to the ground.  Little Man searched for turtles in the pond, as Egee drew the landscape.  We let him pick the trail to take and followed.  Hidden treasures appeared around every bend in the trail.  Small ponds, creeks, drainage ditches, benches, gazebos, decks all offered an appeal to him.  Beautiful fall colors surrounded us.  It was hard to believe we were in the city. 

The children and I identified plants during the walk.  We discussed the natural water filtration in the area from the street water run-off.  They learned about retention ponds and bogs.  They noticed the slopes of the land and how the water ran. 

The garden is a lovely getaway that we will continue to visit.  It is a place to step back and enjoy nature for an hour or two.  A true gem in our county!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Getting Bigger!

Samson has been with us for four weeks, now.  Boy, has he grown!  I was beginning to wander, if he was going to be a small lab, but I don't think he will.  His paws have begun to get larger and larger. He has more than doubled his size in four weeks!  Three weeks ago, he weighed 6.6 pounds.  Now he is at fourteen pounds and growing!

 Samson at 6 weeks
Samson at 9 weeks with Sally B.

His appetite is always on hungry.  I know that labs are notorious eaters and he is no exception.  His daily cup and a half serving of Canidae dog food has increased to 2 cups and he still acts starved!  He eats acorns, grass, leaves, etc. when outdoors.  His favorite thing to do is try and sneak food from Sally B and Missy's bowls.  The vetinarian recommended increasing his food intake to 2 and a half cups.  I asked about adding green beans to the food and she said it wouldn't hurt.  The green beans would give him added fiber content and maybe fill him up.  He loves his new meals with green beans!  All though, he still acts hungry and won't turn down an opportunity to eat more if given a chance.

Checking out the pantry. 

The children are not thrilled with the puppy nipping stage.  They squeal when he nips and he thinks it is a game.  The dog is easier to train than the children!  You would think, they would not squeal after knowing the dog will repeat the behavior!  Slowly, they are learning to gruffly say NO! and leave it.

 His favorite toy is an old tarp.  We make large water puddles for him to play in.

Basic obedience training is nonstop.  He comes rapidly when called and rewarded with the smallest pinch of cheese.  He knows to sit and wait for his treat.  He is responding well to crate training.  I will be happy when he can make it all night without having to go out to do his business!

It has been a while since I have had a puppy to contend with.  It is hard work, but like rearing children, it will all be worth it.  Now, if we can make it through the chewing phase, it should be smooth sailing!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Celebrating Veterans' Day

We made our annual pilgrimage to the Veterans' Day Parade in our town.  The children look forward to the event and it is a nice way to show the veterans that they are appreciated.  We were surprised to see a few home school friends and baseball friends at the parade.  I love being able to take the children to experience events like this!

Thank you to all the men and women that have served and are serving in our military!