Saturday, August 22, 2009

Much Ado About Nothin'

The heat in Louisiana is nearly unbearable in the summer. For anyone who has never experienced it, we're not just talkin' hot - we're talkin' humidity! It gets so bad here that, for most of the summer, my kids don't even want to brave going outside to get the mail. And so I ask you, what in the world would cause me to want to take 3 entire months off of school just so my kids can be hot and miserable inside? Why would I want to vacation at a time like that? What would make me choose to be amongst a HUGE group of people paying outrageous prices for so-called "fun"? That just doesn't sound appealing to me.

So, being the out-of-the-box homeschoolers that we are, we use the summer months to take in as much learning as possible. We spend each long, hot day inside learning all sorts of fun things. So today, I wanted to post a few of the pictures that we took of our endeavors. Over the last few weeks, we have learned quite a range of things, and the kids have had such a great time doing it, too!! I hope you enjoy looking at our work.

One morning, Colby woke up and decided he wanted to play marbles. Seeing as how I, long ago, threw away all of our glass marbles that we had purchased, I told him how sorry I was, but that just would not be something he could do. So, being the problem-solver boy he is, he decided to make his own marbles. I had a bag of small wooden balls, and he set to work painting them. Later, he came back and painted 2 larger wooden balls for the shooter marbles. Here is his finished work.

We studied triangles for a few weeks. Yes, there is much more to a triangle than just 3 sides and 3 corners! So one morning, we learned the 4 types of triangles, and Colby decided to see which triangles would work best for a kite. He put 4 right triangles together, then 1 equilateral and 1 isosceles triangle, and then 2 scalene triangles. Any of these combinations worked well for a kite.

While we were learning about triangles, we built a pyramid. Actually, the kids each built their own pyramids. I wrote the directions on the white board. I expected their pyramid to have a 5" base squared and each side needed 5" at the base. Their triangles could be either isosceles or equilateral. Other than that, they were on their own. They had to use their rulers and protractors to measure precise angles and sides. Otherwise, the pieces wouldn't fit together well. And, of course, we had to pull out some paint to make it look even better!

While the oldest 2 were making pyramids, my 3 year old needed something to do for her "school." So I set her up with some construction paper, a glue stick, safety scissors, stickers, and pom-pom balls. She had a blast!

But I didn't want to stop there with her. Even though she isn't old enough to make a pyramid, she IS old enough to work with shapes. So she and I made a triangle girl. See the pom-pom skirt?

On the last day of studying triangles, we decided to make some stars to decorate the house. Yes, that seems like a fairly easy task. But not when you require precise measurements! First, the kids had to learn that a circle has 360 degrees. Then, we talked about the different shapes you can make inside a circle - pentagon, hexagon, octagon, etc... They learned how to use a calculator and divide the degrees of the entire circle by how many sides you want. For example, 360 divided by 5 to make a pentagon. After they had divided the circle, they connected the points and labeled them. And last, they connected the points inside the pentagon (or whatever shape) to form the pentagram inside. We made 3 stars each. So they ended up with a 5 sided, 6 sided, and 8 sided star. After the stars were cut out, they painted them with glitter paint so they would "shine." And lastly, we hung them from one of our door facings, so we can see them every time we walk through. It is a reminder to them how hard they worked, how much and what they learned, and how proud I am of them!

These are just a few of the things that we have been doing during these hot summer months. This is the perfect time for us to school. And in a few months, when it cools off some, we'll be taking a fall break to go on vacation - without feeling guilty for "missing school."

1 comment:

  1. I am in agreement with you! Why take off for the whole summer. I love time off during all the seasons. :) I love what you do with your kids. :)


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