Science: Humans in Space

Weeks 17 and 18 of school we learned about humans in space using Layers of Learning, year 2 unit 10.

The boys gave oral reports. Cameron told us about John Glenn, Fritz reported on Buzz Aldrin, and Adrian picked Ham the Space Chimp (who was not a human, but still went to space).

We learned about and labeled the parts of a telescope.

We learned about what sorts of jobs are available for people who want to work at NASA.

We demonstrated weightlessness by dropping a cup filled with water. We poked a hole in the bottom and let water drain out and then dropped it. As it fell the water no longer poured out of the bottom.

We demonstrated refraction by holding two magnifying lenses up and looking through them. The image appeared upside down.

We made a paper model space shuttle. It actually flew pretty well!

Geography: Switzerland

Weeks 17 and 18 of school we learned about Switzerland using Layers of Learning, year 2 unit 10.

The boys found Switzerland on the world map.

We colored a map of Switzerland dividing it into languages and cultures.

We compared the size of Switzerland to Texas and discovered we could fit almost 9 Switzerlands inside one Texas.

We had Museli and hot chocolate for breakfast.

We watched videos of yodeling and Apline horns.

We painted Swiss flags.

We made a model of a cable car.

The boys looked up different Swiss castles and gave oral reports on them.

The Arts: Oil Paints

Weeks 17 and 18 of school we learned about and used oil paints using Layers of Learning, year 2 unit 10.

We were painting detectives and examined The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck.

The boys gave oral reports on famous artists (Cameron picked Gerard David, Fritz chose Rogier van der Weyden, and Adrian picked Robert Campin).

We spread thick oil paint on a piece of wood, waited for it to start to dry, and topped it with thin oil paint. The idea was as it completely dried, the paint would crack. So far it’s been a week and a half and it’s not all the way dry so we’ll see if it cracks or not at some point in the future.

The boys drew self-portraits including things that describe them. Cameron included his taekwondo belt, Fritz a computer, and Adrian a Switch and an apple.

We did a blending activity comparing how tempera paints and oil paints blend and also did oil glazing with the oil paint.

The boys played with oil paints and painted whatever they wanted.

Second Quarter Done

On Friday we finished the second quarter of the 2017-18 school year. We learned so much in the second 9 weeks. We love Layers of Learning. It’s the perfect combination of hands-on and lecture.

In history, we learned about Charlemagne, the Normans, the Feudal System, the Crusades, and Burgundy, Venice, and Spain. In Geography, we learned about France, Nigeria, Germany, the Balkans, and Switzerland. In Science, we learned about planets, stars, earth and moon, satellites, and humans in space. In the arts, we covered Carolingian art, the Canterbury Tales, Gothic art, religious art, and oil paints. We started every day by watching CNN 10 and then working on grammar and spelling using The Nose Tree.

Cameron finished learning the basics of fiction writing and wrote a short story. He started working on writing poetry. He read The Origins of Everything in 100 Pages (more or less), Wulf the Saxon, Will in Scarlet, God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades, and God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World. He continued learning about personal finance and opened an investment accounts. His grades were excellent:
History A
Geography A
Science A
Art A
English A
Math A

Fritz learned more logical fallacies and applied some of what he’s learned to current events. He continued learning lots of Latin vocabulary and endings. He learned how to play more songs on the piano and to draw better. He had continued improving his outlines and paragraphs. He read Son of Charlemagne, If All the Swords in England, Catherine, Called Birdy, My Story: The Great Plague, and, The Red Keep. In math, he continued preparing for pre-algebra. Along with his little brother, Jacob, Enos, Jarom, Omni, Words of Mormon, Mosiah, and part of Alma in the Book of Mormon. His grades were also excellent:
History A
Geography A
Science A
Art A
Music A
Religion A
English A
Math A
Logic A
Latin A

Adrian practiced narrating lots of passages from books. He read Stories of Roland Told to the Children, Joan of Arc, One Big Family, Starry Sky, Chanticleer and the Fox, Castle Diary: The Journal of Tobias Burgess, Robin Hood, and Chris Hadfield and Living on the International Space Station. He continued learning to play the piano and to speak Spanish. He had moved on to doing division in math. His grades, like his brothers’, were excellent:
History A
Geography A
Science A
Art A
Music A
Spanish A
Religion A
English A
Math A

History: Burgundy, Venice, and Spain

Weeks 17 and 18 of school we learned about Burgundy, Venice, and Spain using Layers of Learning, year 2 unit 10.

The boys each picked a famous Burgundian to give an oral report on.

We added to our timeline

We did map work.

We discussed the heirarchy of the government in Renaissance Venice.

We attempted to make a Venetian building by putting toothpicks (pilings) in clay and then balancing sugar cubes on the toothpicks in order to prevent them from falling into the water that was covering the clay. It was much easier said than done!

We learned how Venetian glass is made.

The boys painted glass containers.

We made a book of maps showing the Reconquest of Spain.

Our Christmas

We had an excellent Christmas. Everyone was very happy with their gifts and the little guys are old enough now to pick out presents to give other people so they were pretty excited about that. As an added bonus, my parents finally arrived a few days before Christmas and are working on getting all their stuff unpacked making us a multi-generational household once again.

We put up our tree the day after Thanksgiving. Jamie and I also did pretty much all our Christmas shopping that day. Adrian was a little puzzled by all the wrapped packages under the tree. This is the first year we’ve done that (since all the kids have figured out Santa isn’t real and everyone is old enough not to open anything before Christmas).

I got 24 little Christmas books and wrapped them all up with a piece of an Advent Nativity my mom made me years ago. Each evening from December 1st to 24th, the boys unwrapped a book for me to read to them and put the Nativity piece up to finish the picture. The boys also insisted that I make a countdown chain for them to rip off one piece each day. They love countdown chains.

The kids left their shoes out and got candy and little presents for St. Nicholas Day.

We got a huge surprise when it actually snowed. Considering we live in south Texas, this was definitely something unusual.

We went to Main Street Bethlehem in Burnet and the Walkway of Lights in Marble Falls. Both were very amazing displays.

We did our annual Random Acts of Christmas Kindness December 1st through 24th.

My parents couldn’t find their stockings before Christmas (we found them a couple days later), so we got ones from Target for them on Christmas Eve (not much of a selection, but 70% off).

Christmas morning our stockings were full and there were presents for the animals, too. Lola’s pile was a bit bigger than all the others.

Everyone was quite happy with what they were given.

But then there was the totally awesome present. Cameron decided to get a Nintendo Switch for him and his siblings to share. Ani got a couple games to play on it. The little guys were so surprised and so excited.

It really made a wonderful Christmas absolutely unforgettable. Even though Christmas is all put away now (did that on Saturday), wonderful memories were made. Merry Christmas a little late (or really, really early – your choice).