Monday, July 26, 2010

Literature Camp

Sean had a little piece of paper with story ideas on them when I picked him up from Literature Camp today. He said he had one story that was real, and three stories that were not real.
I think he'll have a fun week. His teacher is his best friend's mom.
I'm thinking of bringing out some math this week. He has been talking a lot about math lately, so I think I should put it out while he's wanting it.
His teacher said I can come into the classroom this week and she'll show me presentations of some of the lower elementary materials. I'm quite excited about this. What an opportunity to have a trained Montessori teacher show the presentations.
Hope you all had a great Monday.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Deadlines and VBS

This week has been nuts. I've been working on deadline, and Sean has had VBS. It was a trying week for both of us, and I'm not sure why. He invited a neighbor to come with him to VBS, and that worked out great. They both had fun.
The theme was iGogreen, and it was all about recycling and taking care of the Earth. It tied in Bible scriptures and they did all kinds of crafts with different recyclable materials.
It did extend the day together for them, though. I took them and picked them up, and then they wanted to play together longer. I had to have a talk with Sean about recognizing when he's getting tired, hungry, or just needs a break. He tends to keep going even when he's starting to lose it. He got a little aggressive the other day and I had to intervene when the friend ended up with a bump on the head.
Summer seems to be flying by. It's already almost August and I feel like summer is almost over, but it has just started for us. Really, we've finally had some sunshine and warm days. Most everything is about three weeks behind as far as gardens, etc. Just this week we had a day that barely saw 60 degrees. In fact, I'm not sure it got to 60 that day.
We're getting ready for another great week of camp. He'll be attending Literature Camp this week at the Montessori school. Not sure if there will be much photo worthy there, but if there is I'll post some of it here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Last day of Science Camp

This has been a great week for us. Sean loves science and has come home each day with excitement and enthusiasm to tell me all about the work he has been doing. He has also enjoyed reconnecting with his old friends, and today made a point to say goodbye to each of them individually.
On the way this morning, he said that if they could have science camp next week he would go.
They ended the day with a bang-- the volcano work.
Yesterday he worked on a graph and I will incorporate that work into our shelf when we get into full swing again.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 4 of Science Camp

Sean is really enjoying camp. It's good for him to spend some time immersed in a subject, and he's having fun too. He asked yesterday if his neighbor friend Kyle could go to camp, and I explained that it's a Montessori camp. The school requires that students either be enrolled for the coming year, or that they attended Montessori school previously. So because he attended the school he will be able to attend camp each summer, if he wishes to do so. Sean said, "I'm really lucky to be able to go to camp."
Right now summer camp is only for infants/toddlers, primary and elementary. Maybe they will add something for the middle school kids at some point. His teacher said they don't have interest from the kids in that age group right now, and there aren't that many enrolled.
Yesterday they played in a sprinkler for recess, and I think they will again today.
Here's what they're working on today. (I think the teacher forgot the "s" on the word volcano. Forgive me, I am an editor.)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 3 of Science Camp

I was able to stop in and take some pictures of what the kids would be working on today. I didn't get pics of the kids because I didn't want to violate anyone's privacy. 

I watched as the teacher used an electric tea kettle, a metal tray filled with ice cubes, and a pie pan beneath the tray to catch the droplets of water. She was showing them how to make rain, and one of the girls piped up and explained the process of condensation. She was probably about 9. One boy, about 10 or so, believed the droplets would form without the ice, so the teacher said they should act as scientists and test that theory later in the day.
Then the children followed the teacher to the different stations she had set up for various experiments. She gave presentations, or explanations of how to do each one and then the children were free to choose what they wanted to do.
I snapped these shots and then I left. I could tell having me in the room was distracting for some of the children, and especially for Sean.
I hope these give you some ideas for things to do with your homeschoolers.
She brought a large bowl of water over to this table after I took the picture. The kids were already hypothesizing which would float and which would sink.

As I was leaving a girl was doing this experiment. The balloon was expanding and she was getting nervous. It blew and spewed baking soda all over the place. 
(Sean and I did this one at home last year too.)
I don't know if you can tell what is happening in this one. She was using a long toothpick to pick up this stack of bolts one by one. I didn't catch what this one was about.
There were a couple of others that I didn't photograph. One where they put droplets of paint onto paper and used a straw to blow and make designs, you can see in the background of this photo.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A little bit of science

Science camp week has begun, and we're adjusting to the new schedule. We just aren't used to being somewhere at a certain time every day, so we're both like the walking dead in the mornings.
But it's worth it. Sean had a great time yesterday, and said they started a project to make crystals.
He knows all the kids in the camp.

A view of part of the playground from the parking lot. 
This is the first time he's been allowed to play on the big kids' playground. The school has the primary playground for the 3-6 age group, and down the hill at the elementary building there is a playground for the big kids. I used to wonder why they were so strict about the playground rules. The little kids were absolutely not allowed to use the big playground. It's for insurance purposes.

Today's activities look like fun. 

Friday, July 9, 2010

changes in attitude

It's been more than a month since I posted anything here, so as you can guess we're in summer mode.
It took a long time for the weather to catch up with our attitudes. We're finally seeing 80 degree days.
We've been outside a little more, and Sean was on a vacation for two weeks to visit his dad's family in Calif. Next week he starts a series of camps at his former Montessori school. We're both excited, and he chose the subjects that were interesting to him. I attended a July 4th party while Sean was away and someone asked if he was attending our local summer camp. I explained we decided to do educational camps this year, and their response was, "Well that doesn't sound very fun. Is he happy about that?"
They don't get it. I told them he was excited about it, and he had chosen all of the camps on his own. (Sad isn't it, that learning becomes no fun when we get to about 2nd grade when we're in a traditional school setting.)
First up, Science camp.
I don't expect I'll get any photos, but if I can I'll share some asap.
One of our favorite museums is the Museum of Flight in Seattle. We took a little trip there to meet with some homeschool families and enjoy a day of airplanes and such. Unfortunately we didn't find any of our homeschool families while we were there, but we had a great time anyway. I'm just as fascinated by it as Sean is, so we'll be going back soon. I should invest in the membership.
It's filled with every imaginable airplane. 
This is one of my favorites. SR71
You can even go into space;)

We've been a couple of times now, and it's really so big it's difficult to see everything in one trip.
It's one of the few non-profit flight museums in the country, and if you're ever planning a trip to Seattle, be sure to put this on your list. It has a neat little gift shop too, of course.