Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Dot Game

Have you ever played the dot game? If not, you should. It's fun and simple. I used to play this game with my father when we were waiting for food in restaurants. Recently I introduced my eight year old son to the game when we were waiting for the girls to finish a dance class. He loved it. It's free, fun to play and good for logical thinking.

It's somewhat similar to tic-tac-toe in that you can play with a pencil and paper almost anywhere.
Players start by drawing a grid of dots.

Then players take turns drawing one line between two dots.We have taken 5 or 6 turns each.

Players acheive points by completing a square of grid lines. If the player makes a square he/she writes his/her initial inside the square and gets another turn to draw a line.

The play ends when the grid is filled in with squares. Whoever completed the most squares is the winner.

Here is an on-line version so you can get a better idea of how it is played. The Dot Game.

This post is linked to
Real Family Fun
It's Playtime
Tuesday Tots 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hand Carts in Istanbul

This was a common site in Istanbul, Turkey. Men hauling heavy loads of store goods down the street. Now that will make you tough!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Leukemia - How is Jemma? - Day 134

The favorite mode of transportation in the cancer ward for little kids is riding on iv cart. It is a common sight to see parents pulling or pushing their children down the hall. When the parents are busy the kids take care of their own carts. They are so used to being hooked up that it seems the machines have become part of them.

Jemma was released one day early from her planned hospital stay last week. I was shocked when the doctor said we could go home. Her body is extremely efficient at eliminating methotrexate from her system. When she received her first dose of the drug, the doctor said he had never seen it eliminated from anyone as fast. The same thing happened last week. Since the drug was gone after three days, there was no need for her to stay a fourth.

One side effect of the chemotherapy I haven't mentioned yet is the lack of reflexes. Many of the drugs impact the nervous system while they are being taken. Jemma's legs do not give a little kick when the doctor hits her knees with a hammer. The same is true for her arms. These reflexes help us to maintain our balance and posture. Some children in the cancer ward have difficulty walking. Luckily I haven't noticed any issues with Jemma. She walks, runs, jumps on the trampoline and dances like normal. The doctor said she doesn't need her reflexes right now.

Now that we are home, Jemma has been catching back up on her sleep and playing like normal. She's making plans to travel to Michigan and go on another cruise when she is through with her treatment.

Election Week Lesson Plan

With the elections only eight days away we plan to focus our studies this week on government. It will be a true crash course. Here are some websites and resources we plan to use.

 Day 1: Research
 Ben's Guide to US Government for Kids

Day 2: Branches of Government
School House Rocks Branches of Government Song and Video
How to Understand the Three Government Branches

I created these two simple Branches of Government worksheets. You are welcome to download and print them for personal use.
Branches of Government worksheet 1
Branches of Government worksheet 2

Day 3: Political Parties
Political Parties Rap - Smart Songs

Day 4: Electoral College
Electing a US President in Plain English
Electoral College

How many votes does each state get?
Electoral Vote Map
Blank USA Map

The electoral vote map in the link above is based on the 2000 census and many numbers have changed. The first thing I had my children do was compare the numbers to the Wiki state population page and update their maps. It turned out to be an excellent geography lesson. My son knows some of the states, and this activity focused his attention on the rest.

Day 5: Current Issues
Read this library book. - Duck for President 
2016 Election Issues

I plan to read some of these questions to the kids and let them decide where they stand. Then they can select their candidate.
68 Issues - Where do the candidates stand?

Day 6: Track Elections
How to Elect the US President - Parents please preview this one. Depending on your sense of humor, you could find this in poor taste.
Why do we vote on Tuesdays?
Blank USA Map

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern is an underground water storage cavity about the size of a football field. It is located under the city of Istanbul, Turkey and was built during the reign of Justinian about 1500 years ago.

 The roof of the cistern and the city above are held up by 336 marble columns which are not all the same.

The head of medusa is carved into the bases of two of the columns.

One is placed sideways and the other upside down.

Chestnut Grove Academy Field Trip Friday Blog Hop

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Shopping in Turkey

Shopping has never been one of my favorite things, in fact I usually put it off as long as possible. However, in Turkey it was loads of fun. Between the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Bazaar and the maze of stores Turkey was a shopper's dream come true. Not only that, but prices are low and can become even lower when the negotiations end.
Dried apricots, figs, dates and other sweet treates are available at the Spice Bazaar. The sweet smell inside is reason enough to visit.
The Grand Bazaar is known as the world's first indoor shopping mall.

 Have you read The Story of Little Babaji by Helen Bannerman? It's set in India and is all about a little boy and his encounter with some tigers. At the beginning of the story he received some new shoes from the Grand Bazaar with "Crimson Soles and Crimson Linings". This story has been a family favorite for several years. Therefore, we couldn't resist the shoes at the bazaar.

Outside the bazaars, the streets are filled with stores. We bought socks, towels, pants and could have gotten much more if we were there longer. On the left is a fabric store and the right the sales clerk is drinking tea. We all had a great time on this adventure. The kids loved it!

jdaniel4smom Chestnut Grove Academy Field Trip Friday Blog Hop The Children's Bookshelf

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cell Unit Study - Week 5 - Cell Structure

Week 5: We built the structural support system of the cell.

We are continuing to follow David Macaulay's The Way We Work as a guide for our cell activities. Cells have structural support systems just like the bones that support our bodies. They keep us from being blobs. Cell support systems are made from three main components.

Microtubules - Represented by pipe cleaners inserted into plastic straws
Intermediate Filaments - Represented by yarn
Actin Filaments - Represented by two strands of embroidery floss

We began by inserting the pipe cleaners into the straws to create the microtubules.

One end of each of the microtubules (pipe cleaners) was attached to a circular pipe cleaner.

The opposite ends were attached to a second circle.

The outward pushing force of the microtubules was then counteracted by the actin filaments. They were tied so that the two circular structures were pulled together to hold the cell in a spherical shape.

The intermediate filament (yarn) was woven around the microtubules to hold the cell in shape.

All of the components of the structure have a bit of flexibility which allows them to be squished or change shape when they are inside our bodies.

For the Kids Friday Science Sunday

Homeschool Hobbies and Handicrafts - Week 5

What have your kids been doing? "Homeschool Hobbies and Handicrafts" is a weekly link-up to share and show-off your kid's projects. Woodworking, knitting, crochet, weaving, paper airplane design, painting, drawing and so many more...... During school time, or when kids are finished - what are they spending their time on? Are they practicing instruments? Constantly crafting? Writing plays? Inventing new things? There are many blog-hops to share pre-school crafts, and many for adults. This one is for kids. Show-off their projects and talents!

Hand constructed furniture, needlepointed pillows, hand-made baskets, beautiful and creative photos, homemade videos...... Kid made items of any type are fair game and they don't need to be homeschooled. This is their chance to shine. What did they choose to make? What patterns/books/tools did they use? How did they get the idea? What inspired them?

Feel free to link-up a post you've already written and comment on the posts of others! I’m excited to see what your kids have created.

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My daughter loves to sew and loves the Winnie the Pooh books. So when we picked up a pattern book with instructions for making all the characters she was hooked. She spent hours sewing this family and then went back and made a second set.


What have your kids been up to?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Leukemia - How is Jemma? - Day 130

I thought you would like to see what Jemma packed to wear at the hospital. Yes - That's six fancy dresses, matching headbands and socks. She is looking good! She told me she needs new fancy shoes and would like the red or white sparkly kind.

Our stay so far has been much like last week - completely exhausting because of all the urination during the night. Even though we are in a hospital, we aren't bored at all. Last night we did a project with the art teacher. This morning Jemma had a spinal tap and this afternoon we have played games with other kids in the hospital, practiced dancing, read stories, cooked dinner and made personal cards using crayons, a hot iron and card stock paper.

Tomorrow we're hoping for another family visit and I'm sure we will again be busy with activities.

Ancient Greece History Co-op - Week 2 - Minoans

Week 2: We made plaster frescos.

Crete is a large Greek island which was inhabited by the Minoans from around 2700 bc until 1450 bc. The home of the Minotaur and the ancient sport of bull jumping are explained well in this youtube video.

After discussing how Sir Arthur Evans discovered the Palace of Knossos and a bit about the palace the kids made their own frescos.

Minoan Bull Leaping Toreador Fresco Art
First they looked at some frescoes from the Palace of Knossos and chose the ones they liked the best to try to recreate.
 Next a thin layer of plaster was spread into an old yogurt lid.

Red, blue and yellow paint was mixed into some plaster.

The colored plaster was mixed in with the wet plaster to create the frescoes. Plaster dries quickly so the kids had to work fast.

 Here is a finished blue monkey fresco.

From left to right, top to bottom: Dolphins, Minotaur, Blue Monkey, Dolphin, Fish

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