6

Monkeying Around

I figured you all might be getting a little tired of hearing my two-cents worth so I thought I would turn this post over to the boys.  This year I haven’t been requiring them to type up summaries like I did on our previous blog sites (click here and here) mainly because we’ve been doing a much better job of recording what they’re learning using the notebook method inspired by Shannon at ihavenogreaterjoy.  Anyway they are all eager to tell you about what we’ve been learning about some of God’s silliest creatures:  monkeys and apes.

Notebooking time

Notebooking time

My favorite monkey is Spider Monkeys.  We made spider monkeys out of modeling clay and Kix and wiggly eyes and pipe cleaners.  Then we had them hang on strings and branches and we played with them all day (Sam, 5).

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We made monkey bread. You can make it too. Open 4 cans biscuit dough and  cut the biscuits into quarters.  Mix 1 cup brown sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon in a big ziplock bag.  Add the biscuit  pieces and shake it all up.  Put all the sugary pieces in a pan and then pour 1/2 cube of melted butter on top.  Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes at 375  degrees.  Turn it upside down on a plate and eat it! (Nate, 7)

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One thing I like about orangutans is that it’s the smartest ape in the jungle.  It eats fruit, nuts and bugs.  They swing around in trees like madmen looking for a nice place to sleep for the night.  As orangutans get older their cheek flaps grow bigger and bigger (Joel, 9).

Thank you Kristin C. for this Big Book of Animals which we have been pulling worksheets out of to supplement our studies.

Thank you Kristin C. for this Big Book of Animals which we have been pulling worksheets out of to supplement our studies.

My favorite primate is the orangutan. I like it best mostly because of it’s orange color and hairy body. Orangutans live on the two islands of Borneo and Sumatra in Southern Asia. They are very intelligent and their face has a close resemblance to humans at dusk. Orangutans build a small hut out of sticks and branches.  Orangutans are very curious animals and often sit up in trees and gaze intently at things for hours. Thus the name orangutan means ”man of the forest” (Titus, 10).

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7

Small Tokens

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNpJ2lFk9yk I was overwhelmed seeing images of the display of 880,000 poppies (one for every British soldier lost in WW1) surrounding the Tower of London.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to see it in person. Looking around on-line I was disappointed that there didn’t seem to be any comparable observances here in the United States in honor of the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War.  In fact, I’m not sure my generation is aware of any form of Armistice observance other than more sales at the shopping mall or a piddly parade.  Even our neighbors to the North still carry on the tradition of pinning on a bright red poppy. It’s just a small token, but it at least brings some sense of decorum to the day, which is something we Americans seem to have flung overboard as effectively as the proverbial tea.

small tokens

small tokens

In Joshua 4 we read about God stopping the waters of the Jordan so the Israelites could pass through. Then He commanded one man from each of the Twelve Tribes to take a stone out of the Jordan and to carry it on their shoulder to the other side.  “When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them… So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever (v6,7).” photo 1-5 Americans need more stones of remembrance.  At the very least, they remind us to be thankful.  To show gratitude to God and others, because there is really nothing at all we’ve accomplished, achieved, or acquired on our own accord.

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Yesterday was a day for small tokens.  Tom read us a story about a lady who used poppies pinned to the shoulder just as the Israelites used stones to teach future generations to remember the great events, the great sacrifices, and The Greater Hand of Providence that governs them all.  The boys cut out little paper poppies while I made coffee and muffins for a small crowd of neighbors we had invited to gather on our beach.  Alec, our resident bagpiper, played a few tunes in remembrance of those who have given much fighting for the freedoms we now give away.  And we “talked story,” as the Hawaiians say.  Small tokens.  Plain stones.  But I hope each one there walked away a little more thankful and a little more determined to remember.

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Make sure you watch this next video, too!

18

Toddler Stations

You may be wondering after reading my previous post how we manage to get any school work done with Hurricane Gideon raging around us.  The secret is Learning Centers or Sensory Play Stations geared toward toddlers.  The idea behind learning centers is for the student (or toddler) to move independently from station to station, each designed to “teach, reinforce or extend a specific skill or concept.”  For toddlers, sensory play is the primary means by which these skills are introduced.  Because we are also very firm believers in “self-motivated learning” and wish to produce “independent life-long-learners” we allow our toddler to create his own sensory learning centers.  I followed him around with a camera one day in order to document his “education.”  Here are just a few of his favorite stations:

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Chances are if you have a toddler in the house you have many of the same learning centers already in place, maybe even a few that Gideon hasn’t thought of!  If so please share them!