Monday, May 21, 2007

Blinded by Science

Well it has certainly been a productive couple of days here. (That means long post, lol.) Sunday we started off the day with Cassia begging to do school. When she gets on a roll with school, she is just all work, all the time. She did a couple pages of Earlybird Math and then some drawing on the slate board. And then Greyson kept trying to eat her chalk and that was the end of that. LOL. We promised her that we could do history instead.

We went to General Vallejo's Petaluma Adobe, which we had been to before but DH never had. That's always a fun place because the kids can just run free and explore without being worried too much about museum manners or any other such nonsense. Next we traveled on to see his Sonoma home, Lachryma Montis. The interesting thing about this house is that although it is made of adobe, the exterior is made to look Victorian. It was built right around the time when the US took possession of California and Vallejo had realized that an American lifestyle would be more advantageous to his political standing. The kids thought the most interesting things were the fountains. We were going to go see the Barracks and the Mission San Francisco Solano del Sonoma too but on the way back to the Barracks (it was a bit of a walk), Cameron slipped in a mud puddle and ended up covered. It was one of those classic "Watch out!" and "Huh??" the "Whoops!" moments. ;)

We came home to a fabulous dinner of grilled pork tenderloin stuffed with prosciutto and provolone; tomato, basil, and smoked mozzarella salad; prosciutto-provolone risotto; and steamed asparagus. Nothing particularly educational about that, (unless you happen to be studying Italy, which we're not) it was just a really good meal.

Monday we started out the day with a Community Service Project for 4-H. We baked doggie treats to donate to the humane society. It was a fun project, but a lot of work. I was definitely glad there were a couple extra parents and a bunch of kids to do all the hard work, lol. Greyson was kind enough to start crying every time I put him down, so I was pretty much free to just "supervise." ;)

After that, we came home and did Cameron's schoolwork. First we did phonics and did a really short lesson on "ue" as long /u/. He read extremely well, which I was especially glad of because DH was kind of listening in. He was really doing laundry (wahoo!) but I knew he was listening too. When we were done he mentioned what a good job Cameron seemed to be doing so that was a nice little pat on the back for me.

Next was science and at first Cameron said, "let's just do these [the workbooks] and that's all." That was a Just-Get-It-Over-With attitude if I've ever heard one! Luckily, I had my multiple-source game plan all ready to go. We started with reading the book My Five Senses. Cameron was not thrilled with the idea of reading books to "do science" but when he heard the book - and that it was a simple picture book, not a science text - he warmed right up to it. Next we did an activity in the Activity Book where you make observations on your eye in a mirror and then draw and label a diagram of it (I just realized that we forgot to label it!). We followed that up with a book called Look at Your Eyes - gee, you'd think I planned that or something. ;) Things started clicking. We did another activity in the Activity Book that was an Eye Spy type of activity where you found camouflaged animals in their habitats. There was no sign of the ever-so-typical "can we be done now?" so I grabbed another book, The Science Book of the Senses. I casually flipped through it and pointed out the page where they show you how to construct a working eyeball with a fishbowl, a flashlight, and a magnifying glass. "You don't want to try that, do you??" And he did! We didn't have a fishbowl so we had to make do with a coffeepot and the Backyard Safari Talking Bug I.D. magnifying glass actually diffused the light making the image harder to see than without it... but it was fun! And we learned! There was still no sign of the ever-present "can we be done now" and so I dragged out my friend, the Kingfisher First Human Body Encyclopedia and looked up the eye. We read the entry and compared the parts to the parts of our fishbowl model and talked about the different pictures.

We ended up doing our own pupil experiments in the dining room, outside, and in a dark hallway. We blindfolded Cameron and sent him to find other rooms in the house. Once he found them, we discussed what other senses had to compensate for his lack of sight. He thought that was so fun that he wouldn't let me put the blindfold (washcloth + the belt from my bathrobe) away. He wanted Cassia to try it too (she was asleep at the time). We looked at the encyclopedia again to see which parts of the brain controlled which functions. We discussed the spinal cord. We discussed sensory integration disorder. We had a FABULOUS science day.

I'm sure all you seasoned homeschoolers have this kind of learning all the time, but this is the first time that we have hit that ideal so perfectly. Homeschool Heaven, I'm telling ya. I love this stuff. :)


G said...

That dinner sounds fantastic.... we love Italian food (not just pasta).

Amazing amount of science there! I'm hoping, now that all the birthday hoopla is passing, that we'll have that kind of flow with dinosaurs. You must have felt very successful afterwards!

We love the Petaluma Adobe. I haven't taken the kids to the other house yet, but hope to this summer.

~Mary~ 4boys4me said...

Wow - that's a lot of Science! And fun stuff that'll he'll remember too! Gotta love it!

I'm going to steal that doggie treat project for our co-op's community service project. Thanks!

Meesh said...

Wow! That sure is a lot of science. Good on ya!