Sunday, September 30, 2012

Paris, France

In our FIAR studies this week, we took a look at Paris, France through the book of Madeline, a story about Miss Clavel's twelve little girls in Paris: a childhood classic.
Colouring the flag of France after we located it on our world map.

The boys watched a video about France.

Looking at photos and colouring pictures of the Eiffel Tower.
Micaiah (left)  Abishai (Right)

The illustrations of Madeline are of real street scenes in Paris (top left).  I found a couple of books with photographs of Paris, so we tried matching  illustrations to the photographs.

Architectural Art: We just happen to own the story of  the construction of the Notre Dame Cathedral.  This book shows the intricate step-by-step process of the cathedral's growth.
I found some additional story books on Paris.  The one on the left is a true story about a giraffe given to Charles X of France by Muhammad Ali of Egypt.  Abishai and I followed the giraffe's travel route on our world map, from Egypt through the Mediterranean Sea all the way up to Marseilles, France and then north to Paris.  Abishai and I stopped reading the one on the right halfway through because we couldn't handle Eloise's constant, hyper chatter (which I know is part of the humour of the book). It's too bad because I think we could have learned a lot from this book (French words and Parisian landmarks).

Grouping and dividing "Miss Clavel's twelve little girls" with blocks.   
While Abishai was grouping blocks, Asher practiced walking by pushing a  box of blocks. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Three Gorges Dam

Early this year we read a book about a Chinese duck named Ping, who lived on the Yangtze River of China.  I picked up a documentary from the library for the boys to watch on the history and culture of the Chinese people living along the Yangtze.  Much to my surprise, Abishai showed much interest in it.  Abishai was fascinated by the Three Gorges Hydroelectric Dam that displaced some 1.3 million people, by flooding the land and creating a lake.  Abishai wanted to know how a dam makes a lake; so while we were at the Assiniboine Park for outdoor sports with other homeschooling families we stopped in at the Nature Playground to see how damming up a river can stop the flow, create a lake and flood the land.
Micaiah taking his turn to close the dam.

Three Gorges Dam, Yangtze River, China

Asher patiently watching the action from his stroller.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Johnny Appleseed

Abishai, inspired by reading about Johnny Appleseed, saved the seeds of his apple from our morning snack and asked if he could plant them.  After digging a tiny hole in our front yard, the boys counted the seeds, divided them among themselves and placed them in the ground.  I have no hopes of anything sprouting, but it was fun nonetheless.
Abishai watering his seeds with a red stake to mark the spot.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Things That Make Me Happy

Thanksgiving reading....family, turkey, pilgrim history

Seeing all three boys playing together...

...And overhearing Micaiah review letter sounds as Abishai and I worked on Math.  He kept repeating to himself, "E is a vowel"  and as he put each letter up he said it's sound.  He's essentially teaching himself to read.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wednesday... What is Yeast?

On Wednesday we moved on to the second part of the parable....yeast.
Jesus said that a tiny bit of yeast can change a big lump of dough.  We saw part of that process over the next two days.
Science Activity:  Yeast makes carbon dioxide gas.  When yeast is mixed into dough, the gas bubbles get trapped in the sticky dough.  That's what makes bread fluffy.  In our experiment we discovered just how much carbon dioxide yeast makes!

Abishai gently shaking the yeast and water to wake the yeast from it's dormant "sleepy" state.

Yeast needs something to eat in order to reproduce.  After adding some sugar we placed a balloon over the bottle, secured it with a rubber band and then waited for the yeast to make gas and fill the balloon.

We came back every 10 minutes for 40 minutes to see if our balloon had grown bigger. 
Standing upright!

20 minutes: Starting to fill!

40 minutes

After 40 minutes of observations, I moved it to the counter to see if it would continue to expand over the course of the day.  This is what the balloon looked like mid afternoon.

Late afternoon: This is about the biggest the balloon got.  By the next morning the balloon started to sag a bit. 

We did another cooking project, we made quick yeast bread.  This project wasn't as successful as the others, but we still had fun.
All of our supplies gathered together.


We ground up some fresh spelt flour!


Micaiah taking a turn.  He wasn't impressed with his hands being sticky.

Letting it rise under a damp cloth.

The risen dough after a 30 minute wait.  

Punching it down.  We might have punched it down too much.
Waiting for it to rise again.

This is what came out of the oven. It was more like biscotti (but soft inside) when cut than a loaf of bread; but I wasn't surprised at all.  The recipe called for white flour and sugar and I changed it to spelt flour and honey.  I find working with 100% spelt can be kind of  tricky.  I make spelt bread in our bread maker with success on most days, but this was my first time working with it by hand.  Maybe I should have followed my own recipe instead of a new one.  Oh well, It still tasted good and the boys kept asking for more. To them it was a success.

Mustard Seeds & Yeast

This past week we studied the parable of the mustard seed and yeast from Matthew 13:31-33.  Small beginnings, big results.
  "The kingdom of heaven begins with one person: Jesus, like a seed, is placed in the ground (in death), but the result is an immense people of God.  People from all nations will come and "perch" in the "branches" of the kingdom." Peter Enns

Little Micaiah holding a teeny, tiny mustard seed. 

Small beginnings.

Math:  So tiny! (note: this is mustard seed spice)

Crafting project:  Abishai tracing a tree onto cardboard.  We glued the cardboard to the back of the tree to make it sturdy.

Sprinkling mustard seeds onto wet glue.  I went to 3 stores to find these seeds.

Our mustard trees full grown.  Big results!


Coloring page: of a full grown mustard tree.  The birds in this picture are the Hoopoe and Martin: birds that also lived in Galilee in Jesus' time.  We found pictures of these birds on the internet so that we could give them their correct colours.  Abishai and I worked on this together.
The Hoopoe, so beautiful!
Cooking Project:  Mustard Seed Mashed Potatoes.
Measuring our ingredients.
Adding in the Mustard Seed
All ready to eat.  Lasagna, cooked peas and mustard seed mashed potatoes!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Walk in Nature

We walked the trails of St. Vital Park the other day.  The changing leaves were so beautiful and every time I tried to capture the beauty of it by taking a picture, it just didn't look the same through the lens.  We came prepared with our drawing books, pencils and crayons and as we walked along the boys picked up leaves and berries that interested them.  We later sat down, picked something to draw from our collection and drew in a Charlotte Mason inspired sort of way.  I just love the way Charlotte encourages so much outdoor exploration and learning to draw from real life.  With our collection of leaves, I hope to make a leaf book and have the kids identify and label them.  Right now they are pressing in a large book of ours.
St. Vital Park

Rubarb leaf

Drawing nature.

Abishai's leaf drawing.  The leaves he drew are in his left hand.

Micaiah's leaf drawing.  His leaves just above his book on the grass.
All the pretty leaves that we collected, now pressing.