Saturday, September 04, 2010

I Just Won't Flip the Calendar!

We've been chasing butterflies...

and enjoying playing outside while the playing is still good.  Here Katie is training Bo to Catch the Dog Treat. He learned the trick really quickly!

Last Monday was our first co-op meeting, and it actually went very well.  A little chaotic, but really not bad at all.  We started with history timeline cards, then went right into separate groups for book discussion.  Both Travis and Katie got good marks for their understanding of their books (The Bronze Bow and Ginger Pye, respectively).  After book discussion, one of our moms taught music appreciation, focusing on the stringed section of the orchestra.  She (and I, and another mom) brought instruments to show, and she had a cd to demonstrate what the various instruments sound like when played in an orchestra.  It was very interesting!
Here we learn about the difference between a violin and a viola.

And a cello.  Also, I think, called a violoncello, which is what Mr. Harding played in The Warden.

And a double bass.

And a harp.  Which my daddy made.

And a banjo.  Not an orchestra instrument, but you can't neglect the banjo in our part of North Carolina!

 After lunch we did history, including some great crafts, and I am told that my kids did fine on history as well (moms who weren't teaching didn't sit in, on the theory that this would encourage more free discussion among the children).  It was mentioned afterward that Katie thought the Styx might be the world's longest river, so after we got home we discussed the difficulties inherent in charting the Styx and the fact that it is not, technically, in this world.  And noted that it is mythical.  Anyway, it was a very good start to the Official school year.

And here is something we did last month, which I promised pictures of and then forgot because I can't post pictures from my computer anymore.  In Bill Nye's Great Big Book of Tiny Germs, there is an activity which is supposed to demonstrate how viruses, in order to replicate, break through the cell walls of bacteria.  The bacteria doesn't fall apart or deflate, as you might expect, when its cell wall is broken.  At least not right away.  To demonstrate, you blow up a balloon, dip the end of a toothpick in oil, and poke it through the balloon.  Our experiments have a tendency to go wrong, and I was pretty sure the balloons would pop.  So just imagine my surprise...

By the time they were done, both Travis and Katie got nearly forty toothpicks into their balloons, though, as you can see, the balloons dwindled rapidly.  

And then, more of the usual.  The more complicated the sentence, the happier he is.  

And anything Travis does, Katie does too.

I think it is going to be a great school year.

1 comment:

KathyJo said...

Love the butterfly pics, and I will probably be chuckling over Styx being the longest river in the world for the rest of the day. :-)