That’s no moon…….

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It’s a space station!

We are doing energy this week in science and were watching a show on HuluPlus called Powering he Planet. This was about  technological concerns limited the adoption of clean, sustainable energy solutions. Today, economic and political issues often represent the biggest obstacles. What does the future of sustainable energy hold on a world-wide scale?

Now remember, my son…… he thinks outside the box.

This got us into a discussion on what it would take to power the death star. Yep, we went to Star Wars. This then turned into how would you power a light saber, speeder, Luke’s house, and Darth Vader himself.

As for the Death Star, we decided it had to be be a clean source of energy that could re-power itself. We found our answer on the Wookieepedia. At the heart of each Death Star was a gigantic hypermatter reactor, which possessed an output equal to that of several main-sequence stars. Within this chamber burned a reaction of prodigious proportions, fed by stellar fuel bottles lining its periphery. Facilitating the Death Star’s realspace propulsion were a network of powerful ion engines that transformed reactor power into needed thrust. In order for the Death Star to be a deadly threat, it needed to be mobile. Using linked banks of 123 hyperdrivefield generators tied into a single navigational matrix, the Death Star could travel across the Galaxy at superluminal velocities. The incredible energies harnessed by the station combined with its great mass gave the Death Star magnetic and artificial gravitational fields equal to those found on orbital bodies many times greater in size.

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This turned into how much energy would the vessel require to pulverize the Earth? We found that answer here.  Just in case you ever wanted to know……The Death Star’s superlaser derived power directly from the hypermatter reactor. Its faceted amplification crystal combined the destructive power of eight separate tributary beams into one single blast with the intensity of a stellar core. After firing a blast, though, the Imperial engineers had to recharge the reactor, which took at least 24 standard hours. Though the energy output of this blast could be scaled to fire at smaller targets such as capital ships, as was the case during the Rebel assault on the second Death Star, the two major instances in which the superlaser was fired were at full power at planetary bodies.

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Lightsabers we learned is also referred to as the “laser sword“. The weapon consists of a blade of pure plasma emitted from the hilt and suspended in a force containment field. This field contained the immense heat of the plasma, protecting the wielder, and allowing the blade to keep its shape. “Every lightsaber has a standard power source.  One of the other crucial pieces is a focusing crystal. The most powerful and sought-after gems are rare Kaiburr crystals. “

We have had quite the day talking about the power sources and how each thing was powered. We even found some Star Wars activities.

Snowflakes Snowflakes and Snowflakes

Rainbow Loom Lightsabers

Star Wars Lego Science

Star Wars Crafts

X-Wing Fighter from toilet paper rolls

Milk jug Stormtrooper

Star Wars Yoga

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We even found this parody about Star Wars that we have been singing all day now. You have to get past the outfits! *One bad word in the song!

Just remember that even young padawans need to learn…….

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Shannon

 

Our way of learning

Recently on a Facebook homeschooling support group for my state this question was asked:

I decided to piece together my curriculum because that is what I believed would be best for us as we are on a tight budget and the kids are at different levels than they maybe in public schools.

This is only a part of the post but this was me this last July! I second guessed myself, I didn’t know what I should be teaching him, and worried about what if he went back to public school and would he be left behind.

First thing, if he goes back to public school they will test him and put him where he needs to be. Plus, he is working one on one with me and we are moving at a much faster pace then the public schools. He is not being left behind.

This is how we put together our curriculum.

I bought the books What your Fifth Grader Needs to Know and What your sixth Grader Needs to Know.

I bought teacher planner and I went through and marked the days we would not have school. We don’t go to school on Fridays and we are taking Thanksgiving week off and two weeks at Christmas, Spring Break is two weeks, and what not. I write everything in pencil in case things change

I then opened up the What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know book and I started with one subject and started filling in the days.

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This is last week’s lessons. I highlight when we did something, that way if we didn’t get to something I can figure it out easier.

I use Khan Academy for math and some science.

I subscribed to Brain Pop to help with other things. Math, Science, History, Health, and Art.

We also found matching Magic School Bus episodes to help with subjects.

I found free spelling lists here.

I bought one of the grade level Comprehensive Curriculum workbooks and use it for math, lang. arts, reading comp, and a bit of science.

I use a site Schoology to make computer tests and as a digital planner.

We use Duolingo for our Spanish, Flashcard Stash for our flashcards, and Timemaps for social studies.

Please let me know if you have questions!

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Shannon

Rock Candy

The joys of homeschooling is that you can be learning about one thing and all of the sudden is spirals into another subject all together.

We were learning about Erosion and the Rock Cycle a few weeks ago. This sparked a conversation about crystals which lead to us making Rock Candy.

We used the Science Bob method for making our Rock Candy.

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I let him do most of the work, but I was always close by.

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Having the candy thermometer can in very useful. It helps when mom went to culinary school.

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We even flavored our rock candy! This one was bubble gum!

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We watched as the crystals formed. It was very cool, I mean hot!

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Shannon

Trip to the Zoo

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We live just outside St. Louis. The St. Louis Zoo is an amazing zoo and it is FREE! The zoo has  more than 19,800 wild animals.  Located on 90 acres in beautiful Forest Park, the Zoo is home to more than 600 species of animals, many of them rare and endangered. It is one of the few free zoos in the nation.

Since its inception in 1910, the Zoo has been renowned for its beautiful naturalistic exhibits and for its diverse collection of animals from the major continents and biomes of the world. It is widely recognized for its innovative approaches to animal management, wildlife conservation, research and education.

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We get there when it opens so we can go to the Children’s Zoo and Stingray Cove, free. After the first hour it cost to get in there.

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Inside the Children’s Zoo they have a petting zoo and you can pet goats and chickens. Chickens are not really petable, we own them and know.

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This goat looked like he was smiling, little creepy! Not going to lie!

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We went through the zoo deciding and listing where the different animals where from we were also deciding if they lived in a Rain forest or Desert biome since we just learned about that in Science.

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We visited the Hippos and reaffirmed our want to have a Hippopotamus for Christmas. Yep, we need one.

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We went and visited the Pumas and this girl decided to get up close and personal with us. Yes, she is really THAT close and yes I did almost pee myself when she jumped up.

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We spent hours reading about each animal and watching videos using the app the St. Louis Zoo has to go with your visit. He even tried to convince me we needed a ball-Python for the house. He doesn’t realize that will eat our beloved chickens whole!

He took lots more pictures and will be working to put them into a video slide show or scrapbook shortly. We will post when it is finished.

All in all it was a good day and the crowds did start to get to him later in the day when the foot traffic increased. But at the end of the day he found his happy place, getting a bag of rocks.

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Love. Peace, and Cupcakes

Shannon

Wind Walking

A few weeks back I had to be with my high school daughter while she was in the hospital being treated for MRSA.

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I give my dad one job, watch the boy. Understand my dad is a pilot and flies for a living, he also has a small private plane. This is the photo I received while in the hospital with my daughter.

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Now he is training to be a wind walker. How do I fit this into my homeschooling?

Science – aerodynamics, wind speed, how to properly fall from 10,000 feet up

Health – first aid, how to properly bandage broken limbs

no more ER visits 101

Psychology – how to drive your mom crazy and into a home in 1 easy step.

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I guess we look at this as a unique learning experience for two days!

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Shannon

Math makes us cry

I remember as a child learning and memorizing my multiplication tables. It was something you just had to learn and you HAD to memorize. Now in the the public school system they say they don’t have time to make the kids memorize and it is not that important. NOT THAT IMPORTANT? It means the world, I can fly through 5th grade math problems, because I have memorized and retained that information from 4th grade. It drives my son crazy that this is easy for me and hard for him. We have had complete meltdowns at the kitchen table over this subject.

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We work with Khan Academy to help explain the concepts better than I can. We also use a white board to work out the problems. Experience has shown us, it doesn’t matter if you get the problem right you have to show your work. Our oldest son could work the problem in his head but failed to show his work and failed many test in high school for this simple reason.

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Now I can’t explain it, but the child can solve for X or Y like it is nobody’s business. I don’t understand it, it is basically multiplication with letters. This type of math makes me cry. I want math to get over her X and not worry about finding it. But this to him makes sense. My dad said it is because this is the way his mind is wired.

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My husband and I were talking about this last night on the way home from the ER and we both agreed when it comes to math he is very smart. We both agreed, we can see him working in a cubicle making video games or inventing things. English is not his thing and writing is out of the question but Math and Science are right up his alley.

So, while simple math makes us cry we will continue on. We will continue to learn and memorize multiplication tables, Maybe Legos will help?

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Shannon