We are still studying about Colonial America in our history study. When I started this study, I had intentions of making it through the American Revolution by the end of the school year, but I am not so sure we will make it that far with the time we have left in this school year. When we started the year, we studied Jamestown and Williamsburg extensively because we were planning our vacation up there. We spent more time on Colonial Virginia than I had originally penciled into our plans. That's ok though. I was more than happy that the boys got so into it and learned so much. Around Thanksgiving our homeschool landed in Plymouth and we are about to close out that part of our study. On to New York...
We have also been studying the human body this year. Last January I purchased a human body curriculum with the intention that we would finish out last school year with that and would study botany this year. The boys have been so interested in the human body, we have spent so much time in each chapter, averaging a month or more with each chapter. I am not so sure we will finish with our study of the human body before this school year ends. That's ok too. I'm so glad that the boys are getting so much out of their studies.
Here they are making models of blood using syrup, dried beans, candies, and food coloring. I think of all the chapters they have studied so far, the study of blood has been their favorite. Though, I do think they had a lot of fun making models of the lung last month. I originally penciled in two weeks for the chapter on blood, and here we are more than four weeks later, still engrossed by the magnificent creation of plasma and blood cells.
In addition to these big topics, we've sprinkled in a few mini units as well. There's no shortage of mini units to pick up in January and February. I've had to pick and choose. I try to alternate which units I pick out for the boys so that they aren't getting the same things over and over every year. Plus, there's just no way to really get a solid study of everything that happens in these two months.
This year, since the Winter Olympics were taking place, we briefly studied the history of the olympics. We did not go too deep into our study, and actually I chose not to do a continent or country study this year. I must admit, I'm not a big fan of the olympics, so I intentionally avoid focusing too much on them. We did discuss the ancient olympics and Greece very briefly. Instead, we chose to do a study of the Greek influence in the Tampa Bay area, which is primarily the Greek-Orthodox church and the dangerous trade of sponge diving. We live close to Tarpon Springs, which is the largest Greek community in the US. We met up with another homeschool family and spent a few hours exploring that area. We walked around the sponge docks, ate lunch at an authentic Greek restaurant, and went to a sponge museum, complete with creepy mannequins. The rain was brutal that day, but that was ok. It made the day a little more memorable I think.
Here are some pictures from our day in Tarpon Springs.
As I mentioned we live in Florida, which has a very mild climate, so while the rest of the country has been buried under snow, we have been enjoying our shorts and flip flops weather for weeks. Our winter here is very brief and mild. One of the other unique things we have around here are manatees. We did a mini unit on manatees and decided to meet up with our homeschool pals for a field trip to the TECO (Tampa Electric Co) Manatee Viewing Center. It really is an amazing place. We have the uniqueness of the warm winter climate and an abundance of warm weather loving creatures, like the manatee. The manatee would normally migrate to Central and South America during the "harsh" Florida winters, but the power plant releases so much heat that the canal has exceptionally warm water that attracts the otherwise migrating manatee. On our cold winter days (that would be days below 70), the manatee swim into the canal at the power plant. We went this week in hopes that we would see a bunch of vegging manatee, but alas, the past two weeks of warm, sunny days (70s and 80s) has meant warmer waters in other areas of the Gulf of Mexico. They don't go far, but they don't stay in the canal if they don't have to. This particular day was supposed to be in the upper 60s, but it ended up being in the upper 70s. We saw a few manatee, but only got a good look at one. The MVC has a great education and conservation room. I highly recommend it. And it's all free!
Here are some pictures from our day at the MVC. Those big stacks are not releasing pollution, the TECO employees and the self-guided audio tour makes absolute certain that viewers understand that it is water vapor. :) Luke "was" carrying his Mario dolls with him. And in a moment of tantrum, he threw one of them into the gulf. So long Koopa Troopa! One of the volunteers said they would normally send a volunteer down to retrieve a dropped item, to reduce the amount of litter in the water, but a bull shark was hanging around, and those guys are pretty aggressive. We never did see the bull shark but we did see plenty of black tip sharks and more little crabs than we could count. We also saw a snake and plenty of water fowl. Luke loved walking through the mangrove tree canopy.
|The nostrils of the manatee are out of the water.|
The two boys are also still doing wonderful in Taekwondo, learning all of their forms, kicks, punches and stances. They have their next belt promotion test this week, and will be moving on to the high white belt. I'm very proud of them both, but especially Adam. He has overcome so much with his sensory and behavior issues to be where he is at today.
|Adam making a big jump...|
|Even Master H was impressed that Adam made it and landed on his feet!|
|He was so proud of himself...we are proud of him too!|
|Love Master K's reaction to Paul not clearing the jump.|
|They had a wonderful laugh together. I love how Paul adores Master K!|
So that sums up our Sharks Homeschool around here lately. In our Special Sharks Homeschool, Luke is still reading and spelling lots of new words and gaining new words every day. He has done wonderfully with the addition of the new listening therapy we started him on about six weeks ago. We are seeing amazing connections in his communication and behaviors. He has adjusted beautifully to our new church home and has even started to sit down in his Bible class. He's still not ready to go into the sanctuary, and that's ok. After all, it is loud in there...there's a full orchestra, band and choir. I was overwhelmed the first few times I visited there and I don't have sensory issues. Luke appears to be incredibly happy at church, and that means the rest of us are happy too! He starts playing softball with the special needs champions team in just a few weeks! Hopefully I'll have some great pictures and updates for that.
I have other updates that I'm excited to share too, but that's for another post.
I hope all of my readers are doing well. And for my homeschooling friends that are probably either counting down the days with excitement or with nervousness about getting it all done this year, relax, it'll all work out. We are counting down with just ten weeks left in our Sharks Homeschool year. We have to finish up two weeks earlier than I had originally planned because of other events going on, but if you ask my boys, they're quite ok with that! Secretly, so am I! :)
Love to all!