This week has been an adventurous week. We all learned so many lessons and met a lot of new people. For starters, we finally joined a local homeschool group. We found the group through friends of ours and the kids had a great time with the kids in the group. They had field trips lined up for every day this week and unfortunately, we were unable to attend them all. We did get the opportunity to attend the trip to Whitney Labs.
Whitney Labs is a marine biology lab with the University of Florida. It is located in St. Augustine, Florida and offers various educational classes to students. Our children enjoyed a 2 1/2 hour, hands-on learning experience there. The instructors were informative and patient. You could tell, they really enjoyed sharing their knowledge with the children. With the children being grouped by ages, they were able to adapt the learning to make it appropriate for each group.
The groups took part in three learning stations. In one station they examined living and non-living aspects of the ocean through a microscope. In the second station, they conducted experiments to determine the types of food a mullosk eats. There they went through each step of the scientific method. During the final station, they had the opportunity observe and handle various sea creatures. There were all sorts of crabs, lobsters, snails, clams, Sea Anemone, Sea Urchin, and countless others.
I would highly recommend a trip to Whitney Labs if you are in the Florida area. Your kids will love it!
Although we enjoyed our trip we still had some class work to tend to. This weeks history focus was on ancient China. We had a great time learning about the Yellow River Valley and the invention of silk. The girls also made Ming bowls. The directions were found in the Story of the World Activity Guide. You need a plastic bowl, air drying clay, plastic wrap, paint, glue, water, and a paint brush. After turning the bowl upside down, you cover it with plastic wrap. Roll the clay out into a square and mold it to the outside of the bowl. Cut away any edges from the bottom and let it dry for a day or so. After it dries, remove from the bowl and decorate. We looked up a few examples of Ming bowls online for the girls to examine before decorating. After the decorations have dried you can cover with a glaze made of 1 part water to 2 parts glue. Let it dry and you have your Ming Bowl.
In math we introduced a unit on geometry. There were no outlined lessons for math this week, I just put out a few geometry manipulatives that we owned along with some paper and math workbooks. The kids took the figures and decided to trace them. I asked them questions about the shape and they wrote down facts about each in their notebook. They also found some pages to do in the workbooks they had. They enjoyed the laid back approach. Next week, we will be adding a little more structure to our study. I am in the process of setting up a geometry station and bookmarking websites for us to use in our study. Hopefully I will be able to complete the geometry lapbook pieces I am working on by tomorrow. We'll keep our fingers crossed.