MFW – Week 11

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This week we started studying the individual states and I plan on slowing down our pace just a bit so we can have more time to devote to each state. For each state, while she colors the state bird and state flower on the student sheet, I read her the state facts.

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In an effort to introduce Jenna to being able to find information, I created a worksheet for each state. She has to use the internet, her flashcards, and her MFW student page to find the answers.

We have been visiting the site facts.co for information and videos on the different states, but it is an incredibly difficult website to search. The easiest way to find the state is to google “facts.co (space) state name”. When you can find the page you are looking for, it’s worth the effort! We are also experimenting with using google’s new kid-specific search page called Kiddle as it is a safer alternative than Google.

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I am trying to do a “state snack” for each state we study, and this week we had peaches and strawberries with granola and yogurt to celebrate Delaware. It was a big hit!

Science was all about water this week. We did the experiment in the book where you put a teaspoon of water on a plate and test different items to see which one absorbs the most water. We used a tissue, receipt, and a washcloth for our experiment.

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We also did a “water walking” experiment that they really enjoyed. Basically anything that has the potential to be messy is a hit in our house!

MFW – Week 10

We took two weeks off from school for Christmas break, and it happened to be while we were right in the middle of week 10. The beginning of the week went great, but when we came back to review and continue learning, the amount of information that was forgotten was astounding!

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This was about all I could drag out of Jenna for a summary. It was painful. Coming back from break is always a little bit rough though.

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We did take the time to make quill pens and that was  a fun activity! I used the slotted spoon to strain the strawberries from the juice because my small mesh strainer disappeared after being used as a sifter in the sandbox. Once you just have the juice from the berries, you add 1 teaspoon of salt and vinegar.

I happened to have brightly colored feathers tucked away in my “random items” box. I knew they would be useful someday! I cut the tips off at an angle and the kids dipped their “pens” in the “ink” and practiced writing like they did in the “olden days”. They asked if that was how their Great-grandma Pugh had to write when she was little… I’m just glad they didn’t ask if that’s how I wrote when I was a kid!

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Jenna drew a Chinese lady, pretend Chinese writing, and the real Chinese symbol for love. Connor drew something… I’m just happy he gave it a good ten minutes of drawing before getting bored.

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We have been watching Kung Fu Panda quite a bit in our house lately, so Jenna asked if we could practice writing in Chinese. I would google the symbol for the word she wanted and then draw it and she would copy what I drew. Considering she was drawing with a feather pen and berry ink, I think she did a pretty impressive job! (My symbols are on the left and hers are on the right)

I’m glad we took the time to do this activity because it turned out to be really fun for everyone!

MFW – Week 3


We did school for 5 days this week instead of just 4 because Cory had to go in to work on Monday. This week is a little lacking in spectacular ideas or projects. We spent our time working on “boring” subjects like Handwriting, English, and Math.

Jenna learned about John Smith in History this week, and it would have been fun to watch Pocahontas, but I was in the middle of potty training my youngest (stubbornest) child, and my brain totally forgot!

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We did made time for our weekly science experiment though! We were learning about air that pushes, and did the “Upside-down trick”. You fill a plastic cup full of water and put a piece of cardboard on top. then you turn the cup upside-down and the cardboard should be held in place. The key is making sure there are no gaps between the cardboard and the cup. As you can see in the picture, we had gaps and water went splashing absolutely everywhere! We finally got it to work after a couple of tries though, and saw that the air pushes on the cardboard keeping it in place, making the water stay in the cup.

After the water experiment, we blew up balloons to demonstrate how they are floppy when there is no air inside, and then as we fill the balloon with air, the air pushes on the sides of the balloon making it expand.

So, not a lot to report on week 3, but to make up for it, I plan on doing extra projects next week!

MFW – Week 2

This week felt a little light. I don’t know if it’s because we aren’t doing the Bible portion of the curriculum, or if it is just starting out gradually, but it worked well for us because we had a couple of sick days!

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I wanted to really focus on map skills this week, so we took a trip over to my Grandparent’s property for some map-making practice. We pretended to be explorers discovering a new land and had to make a map of our discoveries. We brought a compass, snacks, and flashlights. The kids were really hoping to make it up to the “dark woods”, but our plans were thwarted with a potty accident and getting distracted at Grandma’s fish pond.

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This is the map that Jenna made of our discoveries. The houses are all placed accurately, but she added some interesting landmarks like “old truck”. I try really hard to let her express her creativity even when it’s not what I would have it look like. I don’t want to look back through her projects years from now and see my work!

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We also did this fun activity that I found on Teachers Pay Teachers. I splurged and bought the template for $2 because it was well worth my time to not create my own! I’m trying to help the kids understand the difference of city, state, country, etc. and I’m hoping this will help them associate it better. After they colored their circles, I cut them out and laminated them so they have a chance of surviving more than a day.

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History and Science were intertwined this week. We learned about Christopher Columbus in History, and Science with Air (pages 2-3). We created boats (Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria) from tinfoil, straws, paper sails, and a blob of play-doh to hold up the sail.

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Then we learned about how air is all around us and can also be used to push things around. I gave the kids straws to blow on their sails and make their boats “sail” across the water. It was a fun and easy project, and ended with them putting the straws in the water blowing bubbles and trying to tip their boats over!

MFW – Week 1

Our first week in our new curriculum went much better than I had hoped for! The day before we started, I took several hours off from regular household chores to get everything organized, laminated, and set up. I think this was the biggest reason for our success from the start!

I was pleasantly surprised to find that both our Spelling and English books are at a good level for Jenna. Most of the lessons in Language Lessons for Today are a little below her current abilities, but they are providing a great review and practice to make sure she is really solid on everything.

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Science this week was really simple. We read about what science is and what scientists do in the First Encyclopedia of Science. Then we did a “floating egg” experiment. We put one egg in a glass of fresh water and one egg in a glass of saltwater. Before dropping the eggs in the water, I had the kids tell me what their hypothesis (guess) was. Would they sink or float?

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After the experiment, they had to fill out their science worksheets that I made for them. We will start using this format for most of the experiments we do. Connor got his own worksheet to “record his findings”, which was him saying random letters while writing scribbles. Even though he can’t write yet, I think it’s an important part of the process to teach him.

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This is Jenna’s completed worksheet. She was having a tough day, so I helped her decide what to write, wrote it down, and let her copy my example. She had a hard time fitting all of the words on the page, so I may switch to a full page worksheet instead of the half-sheet that fits in her science notebook.

For our history lesson this week, Jenna learned about Leif Ericsson. After two days of learning about him, watching videos, and writing about him, I asked her who Leif Ericsson was and was met with a confused stare.

I offered her a multiple choice guess. Was Leif Ericsson an Eskimo, pirate, or viking? She decided that he was a pirate that discovered Hawaii.

It’s times like these that you just have to shake your head in disbelief and move on!