__________November 23, 2015__________

Periodic Table of Elements

s7This year, we’re adding in a study of the Periodic Table of Elements, and I thought maybe it might be helpful for me to share the (very cheap or completely FREE!) resources that we’re using in order to do this.

First, we needed a chart for the wall.  Something larger than I can print out on an 8.5×11 sheet of paper.  So I ran off to Amazon, and found a place-mat (large and laminated, already!) for $6(ish) dollars.  That’s not bad at all!  And it’s the only thing I’m paying for, so there’s that added bonus!  You can find it here:  Periodic Placemat on Amazon

Then we downloaded all of the TED lessons on periodic elements.   They’re free… I’m noticing that all of the free resources that I find are British, and anything American is costly.  Makes one pause at the thought…!  Anyhow, the lessons are found here:  TED Element videos

Next up, a worksheet for printing out the elements and information about them (what they can do, what they’re used for, who discovered them, etc.)  There’s a lovely worksheet free on-line for that, too, by blessedlearners.com.  It’s found here:  https://app.box.com/s/m3gvku3mqt3vm34p6pwa

The next thing would be flashcards – to test the kids on their knowledge as we go along (and to post as we learn them, as I’m wont to do).  I found a free, lovely set here (pages 5-16):   Periodic Element Flashcards

They are offered by Ellen McHenry, who took things one brilliant step further, and created a game to be played with the flashcards, too.  The game instructions are at the beginning of the flashcard .pdf, or on her site, here:  Quick Six Game

We aren’t going to do this one, but if you’re into steampunk or jewelry or just kewl things, there’s also a periodic table cuff available.  You might like to take a look at it:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/176142638/periodic-table-of-elements-gold-plated  Kind of fun, isn’t it?

Anyhow, so there are some really good links to help the homeschooling mom to tackle the elements!

__________November 15, 2015__________

Our Adventures:  The Martian”

In the middle of quite possibly THE worst cold I have ever had in my life (ever NOT be able to swallow, before?)… I collapsed on the sofa in a mass and had a movie marathon.  Schooling was impossible – I wasn’t eating or talking.  I lost six pounds in one week!  It was absolutely insane.  So we watched some movies, and called school.  (We school pretty much year round, anyhow.  We always clock way more hours than our PS counterparts.  I’m not worried.)

First up were ‘The Bourne Trilogy’ films.  Love watching Matt Damon kicking global booty in my stead.  Then the next day I pulled out ‘Speed’, and we watched Keanu and Jeff Daniels go after homeland terrorist booty.  (It wasn’t called that at the time, but you know.)

So… you know how I am about threes?  Well, my pen-pal Cal (he’s 73 and ex-USAFSS, and an amazingly great guy to talk to) said that he’d gone to see ‘The Martian’, and that it was a good movie.  Then another pen-pal (why am I telling you about them?) said he was thinking of going to the movies that weekend.  Then later, I asked Brian what he thought we should do for our adventure of the week.  He had no ideas, except “maybe a movie”.  That’s THREE.

I got on-line, and started looking, and Cal’s movie, “The Martian” was still playing.  AND it had Matt Damon from the Bourne films, and to my utter shock, it had Jeff Daniels from ‘Speed’.  You know me… it’s a sign!!  But the movie was LONG.  And not going to be for kids.  Would they make it?  Could we do it?  We decided yes.

We chose a theatre we never go to – a place that has $2.50 before noon, $4 before five, and $5 evening shows – and these are newly released movies!  So we piled in the car, drove down to the theatre…

‘The Martian’ is a fictional story about a team that goes on a Mars mission, and there’s a giant storm that causes them to have to evacuate the planet or lose their ship.  Just before that, Mark Watney – the botanist on the mission – was trying to get back to the ship, was hit by equipment and flung into the dust storm, wounded.  They realized there was no way he could make it, so they called him a casualty, and evacuated.

Mark should’ve been dead, but because of the clotting of the blood to his suit, it sealed up the hole that would’ve cost him his oxygen… and he lived.  Except that he’s alone on Mars, and has to survive at least four years before the next ship arrives.  He goes into depression at first, but then decides to fight for his life, by ‘sciencing the hell’ out of the Mars station (‘Hab’) and trying to grow his own food, etc.  It was SO fascinating, and the kids were absolutely riveted to the film, the entire time.

WP_20151114_006 (510x666)Later, when we got home, I read the trivia on IMDB about it, and NASA says that the story – excepting for the initial storm – was completely possible, where there a station on Mars.  The science behind the film was all completely believable.   I learned a lot, watching the film, seeing how he worked out problems, how others tried to help him.  It was very, very good!

… and I’d forgotten that the theatre that we went to was… well, a little different.  The floor in it is red-orange and cement, done in such a way to be cratered and uneven.  We went to ‘Mars’ to see the ‘Martian’!  How fun!


__________November 14, 2015__________


_______November 12&13, 2015_______

Calling in Sick.
Sorry for the Inconvenience.

__________November 11, 2015__________

Rearranging Day.

Just a heads up – today I’m going to throw everything into upheaval, here.

Remember that month or two that I didn’t write, last year?  Well, it turns out that there’s a place on WordPress that shows which days you posted and which.  And I’m FAR too anal for missing days.  The other problem that I’m running into is that I need to ‘protect’ instead of ‘privatize’ personal posts, or they don’t show up.  See the big space of *nothing* below?


Yeah, that.  There are posts almost every day of it, and I can’t work around them, because I can’t SEE them.  (I miss Xanga.)  Anyhow, my plan is to post stuff for school/adventures, and then MOVE them to fill in spots, afterwards, and fill in the spots with stuff that matters to *me*.

I know that’s weird and kind of confusing and all sorts of other stuff.  I don’t frankly care.
It really will be okay – and the links will be fixed, and everything will be fine.

Speaking of broken links (and other unfinished business!)… do you remember the Mythology playing cards I always meant to share, but couldn’t because the file was too big?  Well, this week I learned how to compress graphics in MSWord docs…!  Long story short?  The mythology cards are uploaded to the Internet, after THREE years.  Is that not amazing?  (And pitiful?)  Better late than never, I suppose.  Anyhow, you can access them via Story of the World post #20, in the homeschool section.  Just… as an FYI.

So there’s what’s happening, today.  In case anyone wondered.

__________November 10, 2015__________


This week’s theme:  Scarecrow!

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