Storm the Castle: Mini Weapons and More - momgineer

Storm the Castle: Mini Weapons and More

It's been awhile since I linked up for Five for Friday! I am finally feeling much more like myself after surgery 5 weeks ago so I'm excited to link up this week with Doodle Bugs Teaching.

Come storm the castle with us! We have been project-based learning after being inspired by Keva's trebuchet project, which led me to find this great book by John Austin at our local library. Now my kids, with the help of their dad (since I am still unable to do much with my dominant arm/hand), have been building mini weapons of mass destruction! Most of the weapons in the picture are directly from the book, except for the Lego catapult and the cannon which I machined in college. All of the weapon building has inspired tons of fun creative play, as well as creating mini castles to knock down (made from TP tubes and index cards).

I can't believe it's June. It's a little hard for me to believe we are at the end of yet another year of homeschooling. We just kind of fell backwards into it, but it really does seem to make sense for our family. The kids want to keep homeschooling for another year, so next year I will be homeschooling a fourth and second grader for our fifth official year as homeschoolers. You'd think I'd know what I'm doing at this point, but really every day is different, not to mention I won't be doing the same "second grade" year with kid #2 as I did with kid #1. This is one of the perks and challenges of being a homeschooling parent. You get to come up with an individualized curriculum for each child. The drawback? You are the only one you can rely on to get it done.

I'm still not quite ready to call it done, and I still need to make the photo yearbook I've made every year so far, but we are definitely heading into our transition to the next year. We typically do more traditional schoolwork in the summer because we are actually home more instead of traveling to all of their homeschool classes! Both kids actually just started their new math courses, and I'm hoping they will power through them before September because it seems like there is never time to get to everything, especially with all the playing and extra classes.

Spring brought flowers in my strawberry garden! We are now harvesting strawberries daily, which has always been part of our homeschooling curriculum. The kids harvest, count, and weigh the strawberries, and then we track the harvest on a spreadsheet and graph. This year they will be learning some basics of using spreadsheets and how to make the graphs themselves. In the past I have always done it, but I am happy to pass the torch onto them. How many strawberries have we picked so far? 170 in the past week, about 1.5 kg. It's easier to talk about averages, ranges, metric and imperial conversions, etc. when it's in relation to something so sweet!

Another fun math activity we worked on this week was Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School by Louis Sachar. I think kids who aren't very into math might find this book a frustrating or tiring. Even my brain was feeling a bit stretched by working through some of the problems with my third grader (or maybe it's my aging brain). These problems start with addition and then work into more challenging problems, replacing numbers 1:1 with letters and ending up with valid math problems. It's a book I hung onto from my own childhood because I loved it so much. It's better to read after reading other Wayside School stories, because you'll already know the characters, but be forewarned: this is not a relax-on-a-hammock type of book. You will need to engage your brain in these tough logic problems!

I have recently completed two new All About Me resources. I'm really excited about these, and I hope your inner geek loves them too! Math About Me will get you talking about various number systems, mathematical expressions, and breaking out your rulers and tape measures. There are six different options (because who doesn't love options) for all levels of math abilities. I have included "Maths About Me" pages as well for all my friends not in North America. I've been working on ideas for Science About Me for months, and finally had the chance to organize them and put the banners together. Get into genetic traits, body systems, weather, and more with this fun activity!

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

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