Ora et labora
~St. Benedict

Monday, April 7, 2014

Some pig!

The boys and I went on a Valentine's date to the Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary.  We saw all sorts of beautiful animals, like big cats and monkeys to name a few.  We didn't expect to find a common farm pig among the exotics, but there he was, "Babe."

One of the zoo keepers told us that a girl had raised him for show and when it came time to sell the giant pig for slaughter, she could not do it.  The zoo took this guy in and the girl still visits and brings toys and treats for him.

We learned some interesting facts about pigs that day!  Did you know that pigs are really smart, like as smart as a young child?  Babe had actually been tested and he learned how to use a joystick within a day; treats were his motivation.  The same test had been performed on a dog and it took the canine close to one full year to get it down.

Babe also has to wear sunscreen so he won't burn his delicate pink skin.  And one last interesting fact is that the inside of pigs are very close to our own make-up, strange huh?

Meet sleepy Mr. Babe!

Oxidation with atoms and molecules

Big T is still enjoying the science experiments presented in Apologia's Exploring Creation with Physical Science.

In this experiment, he needed:

9 volt battery
Wire crimpers or scissors              

Small glass
Baking soda
Measuring spoon (1 tsp)
Plastic spoon to stir
2 coated copper wires
Safety glasses
Notebook to record data
Pen or pencil

What he did:

He filled his glass about 3/4 full of water & stirred in 1 teaspoon of baking soda.  The 1 teaspoon of baking soda ended up not being enough, so he added 2 more later.  Next, he took the wire crimpers and stripped off 1/4 inch of the insulation or coating on both ends of the wires. 

Here's the tricky part - He attached one of the stripped ends (can use tape) on one of the battery terminals, then repeated with the second wire & was careful not to let the loose ends touch each other. Then, he placed the loose wires into the water (without touching one another).

Bubbles started forming in the water once the additional baking soda was added.  The book said to leave the wires in the water for 10 minutes and when he did that, the wires turned different colors.

He let the experiment run for a much longer duration, probably about 20 minutes.  He noticed that the water started to turn green as well.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

It's a boy

Welcome home Baby T! Delivery and recovery were a bit rough, but I will not bore anyone with the details.  Instead, we have this perfect little miracle to focus upon.  I am honored and most delighted to care for this precious baby boy.  Thank you Jesus for such a beautiful gift!

The boys are quite enamored!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Family Night

This is how we spent our family Night.
Learning how to play Chicken Foot.
We loved it!
Although, the double-blank domino is scary!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Enjoying Story of the World - second time around!

Big T has already read through all the volumes of SOTW and enjoyed them immensely.  We never possessed the accompanying activity book before now though.  As a family, we used to act out scenes from the texts that the boys chose themselves.  It was dubbed as "family acting" or more like "family comedy" night.  They still talk about those "fun" nights, so I plan to implement this again in the near not so far off future.

In the meantime, we have started the series once more with Little T and my God-daughter K.  Big T is assisting and taking part in some of the latest activities that have been inspired by our newly acquired SOTW activity book.

This time around, my students are reading from the text & following along with the audio disc, which was checked out from our local library, along with additional books to enhance our
first chapter. 

My pupils loved making their own cave paintings!  This particular scene was motivated by hunting, but I was impressed to see a farmer's shaduf in the upper right hand corner.

Big T also made a fantastic hunting scene!
 Big K was moved by aliens!
Big T in teacher assistant mode.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bring Them Up Gardening

We are very fortunate to have connections with some wonderful homeschooling families in the area.  Yup, we struck it rich with this bunch!  My boys are not only socialized too death, but they have opportunities to learn, experiment, & do amazing things with homeschoolers like themselves.

A huge learning, experimental, & amazing thing they get to take part in is community gardening.  There are 8 families, including us, working side by side growing our own food.  It has been highly successful in both production and learning how to set up a large garden.

We have tilled the land, planted seeds, collected seeds, harvested, controlled bug invasions, and so much more.  Right now we are in the process of readying its second growing season.  I am not quite sure that Texas has more than two seasons, but when our pumpkins start getting big and orange, it will certainly feel like Fall.

some of our garden harvest

Little T & his buddy M planting seeds.


Our youngest working in the garden for the first time.  She watched the others & quickly caught on. See, she's patting the dirt.

Big T getting the rows ready for planting.  His dad did a great job tilling beforehand.

I'm helping K with the harvesting...shhh, it's one of the best jobs. And another K is behind us watering.

Big T & K prepare the veggies to be weighed and washed.  Math is everywhere!

One of my favorite parts of our last garden group day was when the littlers wandered off & created their own garden.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Apologia - Excellent Experiments

Big T is really liking his new Science course this year.  I decided to try out Apologia and thus we journey into the world of Physical Science four times per week.
I like to preview before I purchase curriculum, so I examined the course at a homeschool convention and ended up acquiring the text and student notebook/workbook.

What do I like about using Apologia so far?  The first thing that I find helpful is the course layout itself in the student notebook.

There are 34 weeks already planned out & ready to go! One could jump right in or do what I did and amend it to suit your own schedule. It is definitely handy to have as a quick reference.

I also like the fact that the experiments do not have me running to the store a zillion times in search of various materials. So far, I have found everything we need right in our own home...big plus!

Another note regarding the experiments is that the student does them as he/she reads along. There is no need to wait until the end of a chapter and they do not seem to be a hindrance to include in a lesson.

Now, what does Big T like about Apologia? He is all about the experiments of course and enjoys playing "Mad Scientist" with his brother.

One of his favorite experiments that he performed recently was titled, "Oxygen and Fire." The boys were so excited to strike matches. And I was more than happy to once again talk about fire safety and chaperone the monumental event.
Hydrogen Peroxide + Yeast = Oxygen trapped in balloon topper

tea light candle under glass jar