Thursday, April 2, 2009

Water and Insects

What do they have in common? Well, they were our last two units in Kindergarten.

Our water unit was really fun. Probably my favorite to date. Our character verse was "Jesus gives my spirit living water to drink". The week was broken down into a day for liquid, a day for solid, a day for gas, and a day for dissolving and evaporation. Toward the beginning of the week we set out two jars with the same amount of water in each. One was covered and one was not. Then we checked the jars each day to watch the evaporation. On the liquid day we poured water into several different shaped pitchers to see that liquid takes on the shape of what it is in. At the end of the day we put that water into the fridge to use for our "solid" day. We saw that the ice the next day didn't change shape when poured into a pitcher. Then we put some ice in the refrigerator and some outside to see which would melt first. On our gas day we measured out water in a pan on the stove and let it boil for a while. We observed the steam (evaporation) and then measured it later to see that it really did evaporate. We had a really fun week of learning, and we even used our "hand" octopuses from the week before for a mural of the ocean.

Our next week was Insects (which may be the kids favorite so far). We had an ant farm a few weeks back. It didn't last too long, but it was fun to watch the ants. I'm happy to say I have no amusing stories of any escapes.

We spent a day studying ants, a day on lady bugs, and a day on bees.

Aunt Teri sent the kids a lady bug land. We sent away for the larvae, and wouldn't you know, they arrived right on our lady bug day! We are having fun watching them grow and we are looking forward to setting them free in our garden once they turn into lady bugs.

Here Danny is releasing the larvae into the lady bug land. I imagine they had quite a trip in the mail and really love their new digs.

Here are my little scientists observing the larvae and making sure they are all moving. We were worried about a few at first, then read that the larvae molt, so the curled up ones we saw where actually old skins of the ones that were doing just what they were suppose to do.

Here is the larvae a couple days ago. They have grow much more... I'm so happy we don't have a snake unit (this year anyway!).

Just one more thing before I step away from the computer for the day... We went to Apple Valley last week to visit Grandma Butler's desert property. We met my cousin Christie and her family up there for a picnic. On the way home we decided to take a side trip to peak at Silverwood Lake. This is as close as we got, but it made for an impromptu photo shoot.

I'm so blessed!!

I hope to post soon about how we have set up our "little" school this year, and some of the things I've done to try and keep me organized.

Spring has Sprung

The weather lately has been beautiful. Upper 70's, even a few day's of 80's. The windows are open, the breeze is blowing, and the kids are spending tons of time outside (Praise the Lord!!). I've been very busy with typing assignments for work. I've been working on my laptop down stairs in the family room where I can be within ear shot of the constant chaos outside. Plus I'm close to the kitchen, so I can throw food out to them occasionally.

A friend at MOPs brought me a tomato plant that her talented husband grew from seed. It's a small yellow pearl variety. I took it only because this year I have a small planter in the back that has a drip system set up that is on the sprinkler timers. I've started and killed many gardens over the past several years. Anyway, getting in the swing of things we went to that local gardening place and bought two other tomatoes, a Big Boy and another cherry tomato vaierty (Emma eats them like candy). We also got a 6-pack of strawberries (which our dog Jack keeps eating), some basil, mint (summer mojitos!!), a bell pepper, and some sweet peas. Not too much, but enough that it will be fun to watch them grow and get a little harvest this year.

Tending this fun planter sparked an art day. I've been wanting to implement more drawing into my kids school days. They draw all the time, but it is usually inside. I had purchased two sketch pads for them and some new colored pencils. I sat them both up outside in front of our new garden to draw what ever they wanted to, and here's what we got...

Emma's drawing is an orange sunflower in a lavender pot sitting in the dirt.
Zach drew a tomato bush, daddy's favorite grass bush with pink flowers and the sun.

It was really good to see them taking their time and working so hard on these drawings. They have been asking to do this everyday since then, so I guess they enjoyed it as much as I did. I really think it is important for them to love and enjoy the time making "art" no matter what or how it is done. I don't see myself as an artist, but some of my happiest times is when I'm creating things. I hope I can pass that along to my kids.

No Training Wheels on the BMX Track...

...Because of this, and her obsession to do everything her brother does, Miss Emma had daddy take her training wheels off. Of course she was dressed in head to toe riding gear because, well, a girl has to look good, you know. She started just like Zachary did, running off the sidewalk so she could stop in the grass. She picked it up pretty fast.

And before we knew it she wanted to go out front where she could do longer rides. Monday night daddy took her to the track and she rode around out back while Zachary practiced. It won't be long now... just wait until she passes Zachary in a race. That will be quite the day!

Zachary has become quite fond of the scooter that Aunt Teri got for him. He loves to make up "free-style" tricks for it, and show them off. Check out the air time here!! ...and I'm not talking just about the hair : ).