Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Sun in Georgia

So, as you may remember from our last post, we have been studying the sun.  In addition, we had another great meeting with our homeschooling co-op, all about the state of Georgia, so I thought I'd share those ideas with you, too!

First off, I wanted to share Maggie's "sunny breakfast," a waffle decorated with strawberry slices and blueberries!
She approved!  :)
 At our homeschooling co-op, we always have a display table of things we'll be sharing and learning about.  Our host mom decided to teach us all about the state of Georgia, so here is her spread!  (We even had "Georgia on My Mind" by Ray Charles playing in the background!)
 Vidalia onions, Coca-Cola, peanuts, pecans, peaches, and even a Cabbage Patch doll!  All things Georgia!
In our lesson, we read Good Night Georgia by Adam Gamble ...
... and P is for Peach: A Georgia Alphabet by Carol Crane.  Both were great reads!
After we read and talked about Georgia, it was on to the taste testing -- peaches, peanuts, pecans, Vidalia onions, and Coca-Cola! 
 Mags was pleased with the peach!
 Getting a pecan ...
 And trying Coca-Cola ... she was not a fan! 
 Probably her favorite part of today's co-op was getting this snazzy Georgia key chain!  :)
 After our group time, we did our individual projects -- cutting out Georgia places of interest and locating and adhering them onto our large Georgia maps!  It was fun and we now have a few places in mind that we will soon be visiting!
 Finally, we got an activity to take home -- a Georgia book of facts we could make together!  It was a fun co-op! 
Once home, we continued with our sun studies.  (See our last post for a few book suggestions.)  We discussed how the sun shines on Earth, based on the Earth's rotation, then used a flashlight against our globe to demonstrate it.  (Mags is pointing to the part of Earth that is receiving daylight.)  We then rotated the Earth to show how we move into nighttime, etc.
 For a snack, she asked me for a cupcake.  Instead of making a whole batch from a box, I used a glass to cut a circular piece out of the Paleo Lemon Pound Cake I had in the fridge (I've been doing the Paleo diet for a month now) and decided to embellish that instead.  (The point to this is you can use what you have readily available to make thematic snacks versus making a whole batch of something.  Get creative!)
 I then colored a bit of frosting and used some leftover candy corn in my candy/baking bin to make a "sun cupcake."  I added a few sugar hearts to make a smiley face and some slices of star fruit on the plate to remind her that our sun is, indeed, a star!  What a stellar snack!  :)
 I guess my last minute snack idea wasn't a bad one, because this is the face she gave me!  Goofy girl!  :)
Then, it was time for our craft.  I got today's craft idea from, using a large circle cut from white cardstock, newspaper, paints in red, yellow, and orange, plastic wrap, black construction paper, glue, and Q-tips.
 First, place your white circle onto the newspaper, spread out, like below.  Then, squeeze a bit of each color of your paint onto the circle, like Maggie is doing here.
Once your paint is blobbed on, add a piece of plastic wrap to the top of your paint.
Then, squish!  :)
(Be sure you squish your paint under the plastic wrap so that your white circle is entirely covered in paint, with no more white showing.)
 Once your circle is covered in paint, carefully remove the plastic wrap, add some glue to the center of your black piece of paper, then transfer your painted circle from the newspaper to the glue on the black paper, lightly pushing down so as not to disrupt the wet paint.  Before the paint dries, use your Q-tips to drag the paint out from the edges, onto the black paper, to represent the sun's rays, like Maggie is doing here.
 Once our rays were added, we embellished our paper with a few star stickers to make it more space-like.
Looks great, Mags! 
 Happy homeschooling, everyone! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sun Up, Sun Down, and Other Stars

In our continuing learning of space, we today covered the stars and started learning about the one closest to us, our sun.  

Our reading for today included Stars by Thomas K. Adamson ...
... and Stars and Constellations by Elizabeth Bennett.
Of course, what is a study of stars without a trip to the planetarium?  Here we are at one of our local planetariums, ready to see some stars!
 We went with our homeschooling co-op.  Here is a group shot of Maggie with some of her friends!  :)
 Waiting for the show!
 The show was great, and was told by an orange tabby (just like our Emmett!) named Larry, so it was right up Maggie's alley!  Here she is, showing off her take-away coloring sheets!  :)
 After our field trip, we came home to continue our study of stars with a few projects.  First, we decided to make "Stars in a Jar," a project my friend, Amber, did with her son in their own homeschooling studies.  Here is her post:  (I often thieve a few of her ideas, as her blog is one of my favorites to frequent!  Check it out!)  To start, you need a jar, a few glow sticks, a very small amount of water, and scissors.
To start, simply snip off the tops of your glow sticks using your scissors (Watch your eyes for plastic shrapnel!), and shake the contents out and down into your jar.  (Anyone notice Maggie's choice of shirt for today?)  :)
 We read somewhere else online that your glow will be brighter and last longer if you add a bit of water to your jar, like we did here, but I'm not so sure that's true ...
 Finally, we screwed the top back on, shook the jar, and took it into the dark bathroom to see what we got.  (This is a shot of Mags with the flash on.  Silly girl!)
And this is what we got with the flash off.  Disappointing.  Amber had a much better result with hers!  Maybe the water was a bad idea?  Maybe yellow is not the best color?  I don't know.  We called it a bust, along with our volcano explosion and popcorn fiasco.  Next!
 For our next craft, we took the suggestion of another friend and made a constellation using an empty cardboard container, a flashlight, scissors, a pencil, and something sharp for poking holes (we used a meat thermometer).
First, using our pencil, we traced the rim of the flashlight onto our container's lid, then cut out the same, so that we had a perfect-sized hole for our flashlight to fit into.
Then, using our pencil again, we drew a picture on the bottom of our container, one we wanted to make into our constellation.
 Once our picture was drawn, we carefully punched holes along it with our sharp point, to trace the picture in small holes.
Finally, we stuck our flashlight into the large hole we made on the top of our container and headed back to the bathroom to check out our constellation.
 Here is Maggie's constellation, which she named "The King of the Kittens."  Lights out, now, please!
Here it is, folks!  "The King of the Kittens" constellation, in all its glory! 
Then it was time for a snack.  I had some leftover sugar cookie mix from Christmas and baked a few star shapes, which I then let Mags frost and decorate.
Hmmm ... maybe a star fruit would have been a better snack. (Mom, I can hear you nodding from here!)
 Now hardly recognizable!  :)
Later, for our journal, I asked her, "If wishes on stars really did come true, what would you wish for?"  Her answer?  "I would wish for 100 kittens!"  Here is the picture she drew for today's entry.
 After that, we started our reading on the star most important to us, the sun.  (We will continue with this subject tomorrow.)  Included in our readings were The Sun by Justin McCory Martin ...
 ... Sun Up, Sun Down by Gail Gibbons (Gail Gibbons is so cool!) ...
... and The Sun Is Always Shining Somewhere by Allan Fowler.
Check us out again tomorrow when we delve more into this great star!