Sunday, November 17, 2013

Museum of Flight

We have been discussing the Wright brothers and very basic principles of flight in our science class. So this district sponsored trip to the museum of flight was very timely!

We got to explore the beginnings of passenger flight, military flight and space flight.  The kids also attended some classes taught by museum personnel.  My 5th grader got to build a computerized moon rover designed to pick up rocks. She also learned about drag and dropped parachutes from a balcony. 

The 3rd and 1st graders got to learn about the various parts of an airplane the control roll, pitch and yaw. Then they built their own paper planes and examined the different wing designs of airplanes in the museum.

Here are a few snapshots of our fun day!

This is a model of a space shuttle interior.  The kids are standing in front of a sleeping area where the astronauts zip themselves to the wall for a nap!

On our way to the airpark

This is how we ride in elevators.

Inside the air force one that carried Pres. Kenney the day he was shot.

Her model parachute earned second place with a drag time of 6.88 seconds

These were the coolest paper airplanes. They flew great!

Learning about Roll, Pitch and Yaw

She was 100% convinced that her "messages" were getting through to the pilots on the runway and she was helping them land or take off.  In actuality, we were able to hear live radio feed from 2 nearby radio control towers.  But this little girl was sadly not a part of that. (She'll never know!)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Celebrating Veteran's Day with the Kids

I don't really recall anyone taking time to explain veteran's day to me as a child.   Someone must have somewhere a long the line, because it's really important to me. I don't have any immediate family in the military, which makes it harder to give a personal "thank you" to all of our men and women in uniform. 

I wanted to make sure that my kids knew what Veteran's Day was and how to commemorate it.  So for our history club today we spent most of our time talking about this important holiday.

We began by reading two books:


The second book was used mostly to illustrate and explain the Tomb of the Unknowns and how it plays a part in Veteran Day observances.

The kids had very little knowledge of these things, so I was happy to share this information.

We also discussed the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran's Day.  This is a great website to help explain the differences and the history  of Veteran's Day.

We did talk a little bit about some of the kids' relatives that had served in the military.  This helped bring Veteran's Day a little closer to home.  But I wanted them to hear from a living Veteran. So I used Facebook to contact a high school friend of mine that I new had been serving in the Navy for many years. I asked him to message me about his experiences serving there and how he felt about Veteran's Day.

It was great to read his words to the kids and get their reactions.  We wanted to show our appreciation to him and all our service people.  So we made a banner (also a suggested activity in one of the books we read earlier) with a message of thanks.


We posted this on his Facebook page thanking him for his time spent teaching us about Veteran's Day and for his service to our nation.  He wrote back a fun message to the kids as well. 

But since we had the actual poster in our hands, we decided to take it over to the neighbor's house.  They are both Air force veterans and we wanted to show our thanks to them also.  Luckily the wife was home!  We also presented her with some cake that we had made from another part of our history lesson.

She was pleased and surprised by our visit, I think.  :)

Doing all of these things helped us earn our Veterans Badge for Frontier Girls/Quest Boys.  bonus.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Getting Ready for Baby

Baby #5 will be joining us in just 11 weeks or so.  The kids are very excited.  We've done a lot of talking about Baby Hazel and how she'll fit into our hearts and our home.

I thought that one good way of involving the kids in the preparation for her arrival would be to have them help me make a blanket for her.  So I chose to do a patchwork blanket this time around, allowing the kids to help me piece the squares together.

They helped pick the fabric and yarn, they helped me wash the squares and then iron them. They chose the pattern for the blocks (I bought them precut to save some time and effort) and then they helped sew them together!

Confession: Some of their sewing made for very uneven rows. I had to take a few of them apart and redo them on the machine. But I'm sure Hazel will still feel their love when she's wrapped up in it!

I'll post a final picture when it's done.  Give me a few weeks!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Homeschool Day at the Zoo

We have attended homeschool day at the zoo several times over the years. It's always a fun treat for us.  And it's even more fun to go with friends, of course.

We started at the Education Center to learn about a couple different animals from Africa.  Oddly enough, these two critters were from woodlands and desert climates.  Not really what you think of when you think "Africa".   We learned a lot about the diversity of Africa, it's climates and animal life.

We ventured out to the Savannah where we saw the Zoo's new baby giraffe, his mom and his auntie.

Apparently dad died of illness not long ago.

The fun part was watching the giraffes being herded back into their barn for the day.  Glad we didn't miss seeing them!

There goes baby.  Born at 6 feet tall, he's now about 8 feet.
Hippo Rides.  Two sets of Bffs.

More BFFs

The gorillas were very interactive!  The kids loved being able to get close and share hand pats through the glass.

Learning about raptors, I think. I was too busy handing out snacks to pay attention.
And who can resist a good pile of leaves?  These kids sure can't!

It was a great day at the zoo.  Happy kids.  Tired mom.  Time to go home.

Frontier Girls/ Quest Boys Service Project -Operation Quiet Comfort

We follow the Frontier Girls on Facebook, which is where I learned that Operation Quiet Comfort needed more Christmas cards from kids to put in stockings for wounded soldiers.

So we got together with a few friends and made about 15 cards to send off!  This also helped us earn some of our hours for the Servant's Heart award.

I love this program!

Don't mind the laundry racks in the background!

Our younger girls were having a preschool lesson for Letter C at the other mom's house.