Final Friday’s Factoid 33 (by Titus and Joel)

This week we learned more about technology in space and we did more experiments. My favorites were the ones with balloons. We tried to blow balloons up in a bottle but you can’t because of the air pressure. Then we put a balloon on a bottle in ice and the balloon sank in but when we put it in hot water it got bigger. Then we let all the balloons go from the balcony and they flew just like rockets (Joel, 7 1/2).

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I had to do a science project. It was about why the sky is blue. It isn’t really blue it just looks that way because the white light from the sun gets scattered by particles in our atmosphere and you mostly see the blue rays of color. The sky is different colors on different planets. I did an experiment with clear water and with water that had drops of milk in it. The clear water just looked blackish clear when I shined a flashlight on it but the other water looked blue just like our sky.

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Teacher’s Two-Cents (by Mom)
Whew! I can’t believe we’re done for the year! I’m super proud of the boys for completing all 33 Factoids. This is the only time they have ever worked with a computer and I think they did a great job. Here is a little progress report on each of them.
Titus: 3 huge accomplishments stick out to me from this year. The first is your diligence in reading through the Bible. I can’t believe you only started in December and you are already half way through Psalms! Thank you for finding those great verses about birds along the way for our memory work next year. The second thing is the bravery you showed last month when you had to go to a “real” school for a whole week to do standardized testing. I know you didn’t like it but we are so proud of how well you did! Finally, I really admire how you committed to playing tennis with the “old guys” 3 days a week and how you stuck with it even when you didn’t feel like it. You are proving to be extremely reliable and I suspect Al might live to see his hundredth birthday in a few months partly because of spending time on the courts with you. God has gifted you in so many special ways and I am daily in awe of the things you can do.
Joel: You have come so far in your reading and writing skills this year. I love to hear you reading to your little brothers and I know they appreciate it, too. You are a great story teller/writer but it is your letter writing that has blessed me the most. Your little notes are treasures to me and you always know exactly the right words to encourage. I have also been super blessed by your ability to make friends and your heart’s desire that they all know Jesus. I pray that the Lord will continue to use you in mighty ways for His kingdom.
Nathan: Some poor school teacher out there is missing out on the sweetest, most eager little student! But I’m keeping you all to myself! Congratulations on finishing not just one, but 2 whole math books and for learning to read whole sentences! Your compassionate spirit continues to bless me and others. Thank you so much for always taking such good care of Mommy when she has been so sick. You are my little ministering angel.
Samuel: You learned to swim and to snorkel before you even turned 4! You are amazing! And your big brothers did a great job teaching you your ABC’s and to count. You are also developing some great artistic talent. I especially like it when your pictures end up on paper and not on you or the furniture. Those are real masterpieces! The “plays” you perform for us keep us all laughing and unlike some of Daddy’s drama students, we never have to tell you to “pro-ject.” I can’t wait to see what you will be accomplishing next year!

To Blog or Not To Blog…

As our school year draws to a close, I’m thinking more and more about whether or not to continue blogging about it next year. Because we were studying astronomy and had internet for the first time ever, it seemed a perfect complement to our studies. But next year our focus is on birds and other creatures that hatch from eggs and all the high tech accoutrements don’t seem as fitting to the subject. So here are the pros and cons of blogging our school year. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

Pros
1. The state of Hawaii requires me to keep a record of what we’re doing anyway so why not do it on-line?
2. We live really far away from family so this has been a great way for the grandparents and other family members to keep tabs on what we’re doing with our days.
3. Since we don’t allow video/computer games, assigning our older boys the “Friday’s Factoid” was a great way to get them comfortable using a keyboard/computer.
4. It was super encouraging connecting with other believers and homeschoolers in the blogging community. 3 other blogs I discovered through this process that I highly recommend to others are parablesofthesky, ihavenogreaterjoy, and hiseternalworld.
5. I loved sending our weekly memory verses and hymns out into cyber space with the prayer that they might be used to encourage others. According to our stats God was Made Known in this small way in 57 countries around the world. How cool is that!

Cons
1. Internet is expensive here!
2. It creates a strange sense of vulnerability giving strangers such a close look at our daily lives.
3. Blogging takes up precious minutes of my day that will probably be pretty full with Baby Boy #5 due in August!

So what do you all think? Is it worth the time and expense? Is it time to call it quits?

Friday’s Factoid 32 (by Titus and Joel)

We are studying about astronauts. There are astronauts in space right now on the International Space Station. We have seen it flying over Hawaii. You can see it fly over your house too if you look it up on the internet (Joel 7 1/2).

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The astronauts in space are mostly doing science experiments. We did more science experiments this week too. We learned about a law called inertia and how fire needs oxygen and how heated up air particles can make things move (Titus, 9).

Teacher’s Two-Cents (by Mom)

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To kick off our space travel and technology unit, we took a little field trip to see our neighbors, Dick and Linda. Dick is a retired helicopter pilot and therefore, the closest thing to an astronaut in our neighborhood. And according to my boys, helicopters are almost as cool as rockets and definitely worth learning a thing or two about. So armed with a page full of questions and empty tummies (gotta have room for Linda’s yummy homemade cookies), we headed next door for a lesson in “lift.” This is the second time we have done an interview/lesson with one of our elderly neighbors and it is a practice we will definitely be continuing. Not only do our boys gain valuable information, the older folks seem to genuinely enjoy being put in the spot light for a while and having their wealth of knowledge and wisdom tapped. Next time you are tempted to just Google a subject for answers, think first if there isn’t some older person in your life who might be an “expert” in that field. I guarantee you’ll walk away richer and wiser for the experience and you’ll leave someone else feeling a little more valued. That’s way more than an hour spent surfing the web could ever offer.
(For more on building relationships with seniors click here).

Friday’s Factoid 31 (by Titus, Joel, and Nate)

We started learning about space travel. We learned about rockets and the Space Race with Russia. Russia sent a little dog named Laika into space in a rocket and everyone loved Laika but Laika died because the Russians didn’t know very much about staying alive in space (Joel, 7 1/2).

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We did lots of science experiments this week. We turned water upside down and it didn’t spill and we tried to drink water through straws with one straw in the cup and one straw not in the cup. That doesn’t work at all. We hung balls from a string and blew in between them and they banged together instead of blowing apart (Nate, 6).

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Yesterday was a Solar Eclipse. We used special glasses to watch it and we made a special viewing box that made a picture of the sun on a screen so it wouldn’t hurt our eyes (by Titus, 9).

Our Hawaiian/American/Japanese/Canadian/Mexican “Boys Day” Celebration

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We bought a Hawaiian calendar as soon as we moved here and the first thing we noticed was how it was full of holidays we’d never heard of. They celebrate everything here, including a Japanese holiday called “Boys Day” which falls on May 5 and consists of the eating of sweet rice Mochi wrapped in a Japanese oak leaf (apparently you’re NOT supposed to eat the leaf. Now we know.) and the hanging of windsocks shaped like carp fish to represent all the manly males in your house.
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This year we hosted a Boys Day party and it was a true multi-cultural affair. Our Japanese friend brought the Mochi (minus the leaves this time) and taught all the boys how to make origami carp while they munched on very carpish-looking Swedish Fish candy.

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Then we partook in a good-old American hot-dog BBQ. This was followed by a rowdy game of floor hockey in honor of our new friends on vacation here from Canada.
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And of course, we couldn’t just ignore the fact that this was also Cinco De Mayo so we finished off the festivities with a pinata. We made it shaped like a puck and the boys whacked it around on the ground with their hockey sticks until the candy came flying out. So here’s to boys and “Thank you, Lord for them!”

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