Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Learning Notes: August

I apologize for how long this post is. August has just flown by with so much busyness that I never took the time to create separate posts for it. So, all of August is in one post.

I have to admit, our first week back to school I was not up for doing much. We did get some school work done though. And all the kids were happy to be home. Brigid dove back into her puzzles:
And we discovered a yellow jacket nest inside a double swing's support bar. I took out at least 8 of them but it is hard to tell how many others might be dead inside still. I'm going to wait until it is cold outside and then take it apart, clean it out, and seal up the openings that I'm not sure why they were there to begin with. 
 It was still very hot, so we pulled out the slip 'n slide and filled the water table and the kids had a wet time outside.
 We began our first lesson in Chemistry and went over volume, mass and density and did an experiment with different sized rocks in water to demonstrate volume and we watched a video of eggs and water with varying amounts of salt to understand density. We also watched The Gospel of John. And the girls were ecstatic to discover just a smidgen of a double rainbow over our house:
 I think we've seen more rainbows this summer than we have in the last 3 years.
By the third week of August we were back into the real swing of school but Thomas was diagnosed with walking pneumonia.
5 kids at the doctor's office.
With him on the same meds Cecilia, Felicity, Elizabeth and Brigid had had over the summer, we read The Miracles of Jesus and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, watched the 1950s classic Ben-Hur, read the story of St. Longinus, and watched the 1953 classic The Robe. I did the next chapter in Faith & Life 4 with Felicity and Elizabeth and Cecilia reading her assignments in The Story of Christianity and Pope Benedict XVI's The Church Fathers. My kids have whined that they "know the Jesus story" but it is precisely because of that that I'm comfortable watching some films on it before we move our shift to St. Paul and the early Church. Cecilia's reading will particularly focus on the early Church and Church Fathers this year.

We also finished the rest of the first lesson in our Chemistry book and we did another experiment demonstrating buoyancy, mass, volume and density.
 While aluminum has more mass than water, because we have increased its volume by shaping it into a boat, it now has buoyancy and floats. But it will only float as long as its mass remains less dense than the water. As we increased the number of pennies inside the boat, it continued to sink. Each girl guessed how many pennies it would take to sink the boat.
The girls even made second guesses when the first ones proved so off. 
I completed through lesson 4 of Religion with Felicity and Elizabeth which brought us through salvation history through Abraham and the almost sacrifice of Isaac. We continued our history progressing beyond the life of Christ to the beginning of the Church. We read the relevant portion in The World's Story and The Story of the World and then read Marigold Hunt's The First Christians: The Acts of the Apostles.
We also completed Lesson 2 of Chemistry, which focused on the states of matter. We used salt to lower the freezing temperature of ice and freeze fruit juice in a bag surrounded by the ice.
 We used pop rocks candy to release the carbon dioxide in soda to blow up a balloon.
 Of course afterwards there was still plenty of soda and CO2 to toss some Mentos in and watch a still good-sized geyser and the dog spent the afternoon licking soda off the patio. :) We also used cornstarch and water to make a Newtonian Amorphous Solid.
And we took guesses which would freeze first, second, third, fourth and fifth: water, water with salt, water with epsom salt, rubbing alcohol and Jello. Jello won, H2O was second, water with epsom salt was third, water with salt froze partially and rubbing alcohol never froze at all. :)

We had an almost all-day playdate and spent a fair amount of time outside playing with bubbles, water and chalk.
Elizabeth drew a mall with many sweet shops.
Teresa re-drew the birthday cake the rain had washed away and added the characters from Inside Out.
Cecilia's Inside Out characters, which inspired Teresa. 
Thomas even spent a fair amount of time outside and figured out how to climb the "tree house" and go down the big slide!
 Oh, and Thomas figured out his new harmonica. :)

Our last week in August was a "catch-up week", so we did take it easy and enjoy a visit from Grandpa. The girls went with my dad and James to see Kudo and the Two Strings and we celebrated Elizabeth's Baptism Day with ice cream. And we ended August watching the 1951 film Quo Vadis, which depicts the life of the early Christians during the reign of Nero, including the martyrdom of St. Peter. 

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