Archive for May, 2014

Week In The Life (Where Have All The Flowers Gone?)

May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day.

Papa and I both history lovers have viewed a lot of war movies together, some definitely not suitable for children. However one in particular has became a family Memorial day tradition in our home, The Fighting Sullivans will leave a lasting impression that is for sure.

As far as our week well,

Language Arts: Continuing with our measuring time theme the girls have moved on to months copying the first 4 months of The Garden Year poem by Sara Coleridge.


Miss Sky worked on both words adopted by other languages and oxymoron’s with her Latin root word being lev. Little Sis’s vocabulary word was solemnly.

Miss Sky read book 3 of The American Girl Rebecca series and Little Sis finished book 2 of The Jewel Kingdom.

Mathematics: Besides sticking with our review the girls played more Money Master from Math is Fun with Little Sis playing Add and Remove and Miss Sky playing make change, and of course games. Miss Sky and I did rock, paper, scissors probability from

I found out I must not like paper as I threw rock and scissors equal amounts.

Science: Continuing on the trail of acid, bases, the 3 properties of matter, touching briefly on the water cycle, and still conversing about Dirt The Movie we did the Pretty Flower experiment from the book Science For Fun Experiments with our peonies.


This experiment helped explain how water is carried up by the flowers roots, stem and dispersed through the flower turning the water into a gas. Did you ever wonder what happens to the water from the flower vase?

This also helped explain and brought up a wonderful discussion, if soil is Earth’s skin and the roots of plants are like veins carrying nutrients up into the plant then the plants eat whatever we put into our soil. Which leads to us eating whatever is in our soil. Not just on the outside but inside the fruit or vegetable itself, why organic is the better choice.

But with Earth constantly recycling our water supply, yeah we could be drinking dinosaur spit 🙂 , then even though our garden is organic we are still getting pesticides from people who spray their farms and lawns every time it rains.

We did the same experiment with celery and watched Bill Nye’s episode on flowers.

We also mummified an apple.


5 days later


The mummified apple weights less because the salt mixture soaked up all the apple’s moisture.

These topics brought out our DK Science Encyclopedia.

Social Studies: American History: We watched movie shorts from Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton. It is no wonder actor’s careers didn’t last long back then hurting themselves for a laugh. I much prefer Laurel and Hardy not because they were better but it hurts me watching Keaton perform some of his stunts. We are enjoying our movie study very much. 🙂

World History: Miss Sky: “Mom did Egyptians drink wine? I know the Romans did.” Papa: “I think Egyptians drank beer.” Me: “Well let’s pull out the Living Long Ago book and have a look.” We were eating breakfast.

P.E./ Health: Walking Away the Pounds.


Home Economics: With the return of the heat the girls made gluten and dairy free Rice Krispy treats.


They taste best the next day after sitting and I love them with peanut butter spread on top. Yes they are another pretty popular “no bake” summer treat.

From the kitchen: The best vegetable broth!



We love our chicken and beef broth and now we have vegetable broth for meatless nights.

The Arts: We finally watched the movie Frozen as a family. It was actually Little Sis, while flipping through The Art Book, that said this painting is in Frozen (the girls watch song clips of movies on YouTube before we watch the movies.). The painting is The Swing by Jean-Honore Fragonard. Yay for our home library.

Peace for the journey.


Week In The Life (What’s The Matter?)

May 19, 2014

Everything! Okay took that one from Bill Nye. 🙂

I have a lot to list this week so be warned.

Language Arts: The girls copied the recipe for cookie dough bites into their recipe books.


Both girls spotted and corrected my mistakes on the board. I could say it was a test but then I would be lying. Little Sis: “Mom don’t you mean chocolate chips, not chocolate chip cookies?”. Miss Sky: “Mom it’s bona fide, not bana fide.”. Yeah, I love my little editors.

Little Sis’s vocabulary word of the week was Mirage and Miss Sky’s root word was fid. She also learned onomatopoeic words and the prefixes homo and hetero.

Little Sis started book 2 of the Jewel Kingdom The Sapphire Princess Meets a Monster and I read the Magic Tree House Research Guide Mummies and Pyramids.

Mathematics: Continuing review both girls also played Money Master games from Math is Little Sis worked with adding up change and Miss Sky worked with giving change back.

Little Sis also learned greater than, less than by separating heads from tails and adding the change. Sky found the ratio of heads over tails as well as the mean, median, and mode.


Little Sis is still at her Nintendogs 3DS game buying food for her animals and saving up $1000 to purchase a new home.

Science: The girls learned the 3 states of matter, liquid, solid, and gas as well as compounds, elements, and heterogeneous, homogeneous mixtures and the PH chart.


We watched the study Jam videos from Scholastic

and the Bill Nye episodes on Atoms and Molecules and Matter.

We made root beer floats showing the 3 states of matter,


we made lemonade explaining homogeneous mixtures and a Chex trail mix explaining heterogeneous mixtures.



My recipe for Chex trail mix: Vanilla Chex, Enjoy Life chocolate chunk chips, peanuts, gluten-free pretzels, and dried cranberries.

Fresh lemonade:

We also made Oobleck. Is it a liquid or solid?


2-3 cups water, 1 box cornstarch, food coloring of choice. Keep mixing until you get Oobleck.

Let’s see another spectrum of light


and we watched Dirt, the movie. I highly recommend just to hear Wangari Maathai tell the story of the hummingbird and I love Vandana Shiva anyway.

Cosmos, Enheduanna, Gilgamesh, project Diana, radio waves, and climate change.

Social Studies: American History: We finished the Perils of Pauline and our History Museum had Civil War days.





When they fired the cannon Sky said it reminded her of what her brain feels like when watching Cosmos. I have to say my brain sounded like that several times last night. 🙂


A Major’s tent,


and history of the Gatlin gun. You were lucky if during combat you could get off 3 shots a minute until this invention which shot 20 rounds a minute.

We also learned the science of embalming.


From the kitchen: The girls made honey lemon cookies


in which they report dough good, cookies okay.


It is all about texture with this family of mine.

P.E./ Health: Walking Away the Pounds

The Arts: We watched the original movies King Kong and The Mummy as a family.


Peace for the journey.

Week In The Life (“Don’t Soil Yourself”)

May 12, 2014

Hope all you mamas out there had a wonderful mother’s day. Yesterday here in Indy started out beautiful then quickly turned to storms, hail, and tornadoes. We very much needed the rain though. We’ve had a pretty dry spring here and I am predicting, though hoping I am very wrong, drought in our corn belt state but enough gloom and doom.

Language Arts: Sky read book 2 Rebecca and Anna, Little Sis read Mummies in the Morning from the Magic Tree House series, and I read The Mitten by Alvin Tresselt.


The girls copied the last season poem, winter and Little Sis’s word of the week was forged. Miss Sky’s Latin root word of the week was culp. She also learned about idioms. Both girls are fans of the Amelia Bedelia books so this pretty much a review for her.

Mathematics: more review for both girls and games.


3DS Nintendogs plus Cats was Little Sis’s game of the week were she earned over $800 to finally purchase a cat she named Snow.

Social Studies: World History, we watched the WW1 Crash Course video from the series and the movie War Horse as a family (thanks Dad 🙂 ). This movie carries a PG-13 rating due to some intense war scenes and may not be suitable for sensitive children but if you are looking for an accurate WW1 movie I highly recommend this one. Besides Hiddleston and Cumberbatch (typing over fangirl screams) the horse will tug at your heart.

American History: deep discussions about immigration and how scary it must have been to move to a new country. Discussions about my great-grandparents who immigrated from Belgium in 1910 with my grandparents being first generation Americans.

We watched the Crash Course video of America’s involvement in WW1 and listened to the song The Grand Old Flag on YouTube. We are also enjoying the Perils of Pauline serial. Though the series we are watching came out later in the 30s you can still get a feel of the times. We also had fun learning about the actress Pearl White from my home state of Missouri.

Science: I will start with Cosmos and Michael Faraday’s inventions of the electric motor and electromagnetism. Only 3 episodes left 😦 .

This week we dug deep into the topic of soil testing the PH (pun intentional).


We found out our soil’s PH was alkaline probably due to us composting our wood ash (whoops). We also did an experiment to see how much clay, sand, and silt was in our soil.


We added a mixture of peat, top soil, and sand onto our soil before planting our potatoes, onions, watermelons, and sunflowers hoping to bring down the PH (and no more composting wood ash).


I used the worksheets from

The Arts: We watched the 3D animation of Peter and the Wolf (available for streaming on Netflix).

We have a CD of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf so the girls are already familiar with the music. Sky and I happened to catch this animated version on PBS a few years ago but Little Sis had never seen it. Another beautiful animation but again it does show the wolf eating the duck so it may not be suitable for sensitive children.

P.E./ Health: Walking Away The Pounds.

From the kitchen: due to the warm weather, and not using the oven, the girls took the opportunity to fill the freezer with eggless chocolate chip cookie dough bites.


These are one of the girls favorite summer “no-bake” treats.

Whew, peace for the journey and…..


Week In The Life (Acid, Acid, CO2)

May 6, 2014

Carbon dioxide, rainbows, and birthdays equal another full week. 🙂

Language arts, Sky started the American Girl series Rebecca as a read-aloud continuing on our trail of Russia, Jewish culture and now immigration. Little Sis finished The Jewel Kingdom, The Ruby Princess Runs Away and I read Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat.


The girls copied an autumn poem, continuing with our measurement of time theme, and Little Sis’s word of the week was dormant. Miss Sky’s Latin root word was luc and she continued working on analogies.

Plus Little Sis has been write, writing away in her new journal.


Mathematics, including the measurement of time, we did a week of review practicing what they have learned thus far and worked a puzzle.


300 pieces are the perfect amount right now being challenging enough to take a while but also being able to complete it in an afternoon (especially if it is raining). I popped in some music and away we went which brings me to….

Social studies: American history, I searched our music collection for what was playing during the 1900s (1914 the year of the Rebecca series to be exact) and could only come up with the CD Songs Played On The Titanic. There were a few songs mentioned in the series like Take Me Out To The Ball Game and Animal Fair so I pulled them up for a listen on YouTube. Being silent movies were just beginning I figured lots of piano music. Our favorite silent movies that would fit in perfectly here is Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid and The Circus.

We also watched the movie An American Tail (thanks to Sky’s interest in Don Bluth’s animation) which brought up discussions about immigration and Ellis Island.

World history, we watched David Macaulay’s Pyramid (from Netflix) and the YouTube series Crash Course about Egypt.

Science, working out of a book I found at Goodwill titled Science for Fun Experiments by Gary Gibson we made a chemical indicator using red cabbage and tested different acids and alkalis.


The acids turned our indicator solution red and alkalis turned blue.


Next, we found out what happens when we mix an acid and base together creating carbon dioxide.



We also made a CO2 sandwich outside right before the rain came in.


We were able to actually see the gas rise out of the bag once exploded, it was pretty cool.

After the rain mother nature produced a most beautiful spectrum of light (or both a reflection and refraction of light in water droplets in the Earth’s atmosphere) right outside our door.


I love when she cooperates like that.

Once understanding what carbon dioxide is and how it is used the girls made their most favorite science project ever



chocolate cake. The recipe is a chemical reaction of vinegar and baking soda (or CO2) baking together.

Cosmos where we learned about carbon dating, Pangaea, continental drift, Marie Tharp, and the Atlantic mid-ocean ridge.

The Arts, we watched the musical Cats again after reading the book. We were able to understand and appreciate it even more.

Health/ PE, Walking Away The Pounds where Miss Sky had made it to 2 miles.


From the kitchen, thanks to Papa, the most awesome gluten and dairy free cake ever.


It was my birthday treat. He used King Arthur’s gluten free yellow cake mix substituting vanilla Silk and Earth Balance for milk and butter. I see this cake and fresh strawberries in our future very soon. 🙂

Peace for the journey.