Ancora Imparo - I am still learning

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gardens, Geisers, and Grades...

Working Hard

The Green Volcano

Geiser made from diet soda and Mentos mints
We've been having a good time the past few days. First we picked the greenbeans from Taliesin's and Nathanael's garden. We were also surprised to find cucumbers and the startings of tomatoes. We also have sunflowers, along with a variety of other flowers, beginning to bloom in our front yard. What may amaze some is we use no pesticides. I definitely do not want poisons around my sons in any way, shape, or form. And it was nice to eat the greebeans knowing we did not have to scrub away man-made poisons before eating them.
This week, we also finally got to our volcano and geiser experiments. Yes, the lava coming from the volcano is green. That's just because I could not find red food coloring in the cupboard. First, we made playdough and formed it around a bottle containing baking soda and the food coloring, to make the lava even more exciting. Then, after it was set, we added the vinegar. Soon after, we added mentos to a bottle of diet pop to watch the geiser effect. Taliesin and Nathanael then made graphs out of stickers to show which one went higher. They had so much fun. Taliesin has been wanting to do more graphs, but yesterday we just got too busy cooking. Taliesin found a recipe in his Disney cookbook for fairy wands. Since I didn't have frozen and thawed bread dough on hand, we used pancake flour. We prepared the pancake flour the way the box specified, but then we baked it with pinches of salt and sugar sprinkled on top. After the bread had cooled, we added fairy dust (powdered suger) and topped it off with canned fruit. We then cut our fairy bread into four pieces - one for Taliesin, one for Nathanael, one for Mommy, and one for Daddy. We talked about halves and fourths. So, along with the measuring for making the fairy bread, we had a pretty good math cooking lesson. LOL. I love unschooling. Today, we're just relaxing and doing a lot of reading and playing. I'm really amazed at the different directions my sons' interests lead them in.
Speaking of unschooling, I received a nice e-mail from my college professor a few days ago. She thanked me for my input in this class. She told me she could see the students becoming enlightened to unschooling as the class progressed. Then I received my final grade for my teaching class today. I received an "A." Yay! Many people do not understand why my grades are so important to me. I think the best way I can describe it is it shows that I know how to apply what I learned in class to real life. For instance, in this class, I was able to apply the lessons to unschooling. My textbook for the class is now filled with notes - "I agree with this statement because..." "I definitely do not agree with this one because..." And the online discussions for class are the best. That's where everyone gets to post their opinions. Regardless of what our opinions are, as long as we can back up our claims, we get the good grades. Like the unschooling thing. I posted a few posts ago on this my assignment over curriculum standards. Needless to say, none of the other students felt the same way I did. They all find curriculum standards helpful, which they are for public school teachers that are held accountable to No Child Left Behind. As homeschoolers, we have a freedom to not have to go by those standards - to allow our children to learn at their own pace and in their own way. I do have to admit that the curriculum standards did, however, give me a new idea. I had never thought of doing graphs. I should have. Taliesin loves maps. He loves drawing and designing calendars. When I explained a graph to him, he jumped at the chance to make one. We did not use the traditional method. We used stickers, and they designed them however they wanted to. But they understood the concept - in their own way.
Kelsey and I both received our books for this fall's classes a couple of days ago as well. Kelsey's taking an introductory Bible class, an introductory theology class, a business communication class, and global business class (his major is business, of course. LOL). I am so glad he finally decided to switch to Liberty. He liked the classes through Grand Canyon, but I know these ones are going to work for him so much better. (I could say I told him all along that he should enroll at Liberty - LOL). Me... I'm taking a class over the Book of John (I've already started reading the books and am really enjoying it), a church history class (love church history - particularly studying about the Greek scholastic theologians like Thomas Aquinas), a youth ministry class, and my second teaching class. And, more excitement, I blogged on my Passionate About Writing blog, that I recieved my copy of Women of Passions that contains my article "A Difficult Decision." I love it! Other that this, I've been working on my Heath Ledger book dilligently after work each night. Things are coming along so well. It's honestly like the book is writing itself.
Well, that's it for this update. Until next time....

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