28 January 2014

Day 54 / 103 - Smithsonian Animal Cams

We celebrated New Year's Eve in Washington D.C. and of course made a visit to the National Zoo.  While we were there, we discovered that we could take a virtual visit to the zoo any day of the week by tuning into one of their live web cams.  Well I must confess, since we've practically been snowed in since our return, we've spent many hours virtually visiting the zoo's animals.  Here are two of our favorite animal cams:

There is a six month old female baby panda at the zoo who made her public appearance last week.  However, Bao Bao has been visible since shortly after her birth on the Panda Cam (here).  We check in on her several times a day.  She is often sleeping or nursing, but occasionally she will be doing something ridiculously cute.  It's always worth the time to see what she is up to. 

Last Friday, one of the zoo's African lionesses gave birth to two cubs.  Their Lion Cub Cam went live yesterday, and you can watch the newborns and their mama (mostly sleep and recover) here.  I'm sure they will be active before too long.

The Lion and Panda Cams are not their only Live Cams.  You can see the entire list here.  If you're snowed in for another day or two, it's definitely worth a virtual trip.

27 January 2014

Day 53 / 103 - Anna

This afternoon, my ten-year-old daughter drew this picture of Anna from Disney's Frozen.  Independently, she looked up a YouTube tutorial on 'How to Draw Anna'.  I think it's impressive because she's ten.  What I think is more impressive, is that my daughter has the ability to teach herself anything (ANYTHING!) off of YouTube -- usually within the hour.

21 January 2014

Day 52 / 103 - Snow Day !!

Because homeschoolers have them, too!

[Honestly, we accomplished a ton today since we were stuck indoors with no place to be.]

20 January 2014

Day 51 / 103 - Scrabble Tiles

If you are not reviewing with Scrabble Tiles, you should be.

19 January 2014

Day 50 / 103 - Horsin' Around

Even Beckley, West Virginia is not without one of the new, trendy drink-wine-while-you-paint-a-canvas venues.   Fortunately for us, once a month ours hosts a children's class.  Yesterday my daughter attended with several of her friends and painted this canvas (without the wine, of course !).  She had a blast, and is once again contemplating becoming an artist when she grows up.

15 January 2014

Day 49 / 103 - Mastering Geography (with color)


I'll be honest.  If you do not utilize Classical Conversations material, this post will probably not make much sense to you.  However, if you are a CCer, and you are working with your child(ren) to become a Memory Master, I thought I'd share one of our trusty, yet incredibly simple, tips for mastering Geography.

I make a few copies of the maps and the Geography memory work from the Foundations Guide.  Then we assign a color for each week.  We mark that color on the landmarks on the map and the Geography memory work page.  We also mark whether it was on map #1 (world map) or map # 2 (European map).  To label all 24 weeks takes a little bit of time, but it's time well-invested.  Plus parents, if you take the time to make a map for yourself also, I guarantee you will master the Geography in no time.

But, the simplicity and the usefulness of this color-coded map comes when you begin to drill with it.  I use this map to now prompt with the Geography title and the color.  For instance I would say, "European Rivers in pink", or "European Mountains in orange".  My daughter can easily locate the features on the map that she's colored.  After drilling this way for a few weeks, my children can comfortably transition to a map without color.

We have successfully drilled for Memory Master all three cycles using this technique.

09 January 2014

Day 48 / 103 - Latin Verb Endings -- First Conjugation

My children, for years, have always memorized parts of the Latin language in hopes that when they begin actually studying the Latin language they will quickly be able to grasp it.  This year, we have been memorizing the first conjugation verb endings.  Admittedly, they have most of the endings already memorized by list, but remembering which list corresponds with which tense is always their sticking point.

Today, we created these folders to help us study.  We color-coded our tenses to help us remember them better.  My children's instructions were of course written on our patio sliders.  It's a little difficult to see because of the sunshine.  [Side note: I'm super thankful for our sunny weather thawing out our hilly town!]

06 January 2014

Day 47 / 103 - Freezing Boiling Water

I know we're not the only ones who attempted this experiment on this frigid day.  To make it even more educational, I made my children walk through the scientific method before and after the experiment.  You can see the results in the video below !!