Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Homeschool Day at Liberty Science Center

Yesterday was Homeschool Day at Liberty Science Center.

Princess and I brought Little Miss Peanut and her Mom as
Peanut's Birthday present. We all drove up together and met another homeschool
friend and her boys there.

While the gals worked a skyscraper construction site, one of the boys took
on his fear of heights by walking the skyscraper beam, way overhead.

He did great!! To celebrate we went to look at the creepy crawlies and other live
critters...Princess and E. check out the various cockroaches (the Hissing ones were the fave
along with the "puffer" fish)
It was pretty exciting! (A. sure thought so)

Princess checks out how the human eye works.

I hope this patient has good coverage..there certainly are a lot of docs
on his case!

This bubble thing is by far the favorite attraction..they NEVER want to leave it.
You can't go to the science museum without learning about static electricity...
Princess trying out the rock wall... Taking a break before heading over to check out the Hudson River (another perennial favorite)
They all took turns doing an experiment about estuary water composition.

These turtles were also popular

Another big hit? Dredging the Hudson.
Princess could have stayed here for hours.

Our view of Jersey City during lunch. We watched for a while after lunch. But more fun was calling our name...
can you see Angela and myself in the mirror? Those kids sure had fun chasing the fishies!

A group shot before parting ways to head home.
We all needed to watch the Hoberman Sphere do it's thing...
The gift shop beckons.... Princess,Peanut and Naomi outside on the way to the car.
After hanging out at their house for dinner and dress up, we went home
to show Farmer Dad what we picked out from the gift shop.
Another bird for her collection and a necklace. It was a good day.

Books for children in the spring

Here are some lovely Spring books to enjoy
with your children...

Princess and I were hoping to have this book in time
for the Spring Equinox, but it was still in processing
at our library.It was worth the wait. The bright illustrations
are cheery and fun and we enjoyed reading about all the different peoples
around the world and how they celebrate Springs arrival.
There are also recipes and craft ideas in the back.

Mr Whiskers is shocked to hear there will be no Easter Egg Hunt
this year as Cranberryport is about to lose it's general store owner
and some other lonely older residents.That is, until Mr Whiskers, Grandmother
and Maggie come up with a solution to make everyone happy.
Princess wasn't surprised by the happy ending, because she knows,as Mr Whiskers says,

"that in Cranberryport friends always take care
of one another.On holidays and the whole year round

Princess and I have both been enjoying this tutorial
on sketching nature in the spring from Jim Arnosky
very much. We need to head over to the farm to see the baby
animals soon with our sketchpads.
Now I am off to pour myself another cup of coffee and get to work
spring cleaning our school room. I picked up many boxes
of books and learning supplies last week from a lovely freecycler,
and I need to make room for them. I got so many lovely things,
I think there will have to be a give away of some kind, so stay tuned.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Backyard fun

The weather has been cooperating a bit to give us some quality outdoor time.
We go outside for a bit every day, unless the weather is truly unruly, then we play on the 3
season porch (aka,the schoolroom).For me,there are some days when our back yard feels like a wonderland.
When the cherry blossoms bloom, when the bunnies first come around to nap
on a hot summer's afternoon, or when the balance of shade and sun
is just perfect on a summer morning...Princess only needs one thing for it
to be paradise....to be out in it.Lessons at the picnic table are her favorite.She will help clean up and weed with great enthusiasm.Riding the range, climbing over a fallen tree...
Invite a couple of her best girlfriends, and she is in heaven! Here, P,B,and J (I didn't even have to reach for that one, it just fell into my lap!)
look through the bird guide to identify birds they have seen in their yards.
Then they played everything from swings to dress up, including..

playing in the sand box the two Moms were discussing replacing with something bigger
and better suited for group play. Could a day down the shore be far off?
This was Friday. It rained a bit over the weekend.Rained out our plans for
Earth Hour, (although we did still get to the library for the Aquarium "visit") salamander watching on Sunday and planting lettuce.
My peas are happy about that I am sure. Today the sun is shining and the tank is clean.
We're going on a FIELD TRIP!!! See you back here tomorrow for a long over due book post!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Green Up Saturday

First things first..tonight is Earth Hour!

8:30pm local time (your local time).

We'll be participating here in our little corner of the Garden State, and

we hope you will all be joining us!

Need ideas of activities? How about a rousing game of flashlight tag

in the backyard? Or, a walk around your neighborhood by flashlight.

Too cold, or wet where you are? How about shadow theatre on the wall

using your hands and a flashlight? Like this...http://www.shadow-puppets.com/
Now, you are all wondering what you can do today to help make the world a better
place between now and 8:30 pm....how about a little activism?
Have you ever heard of Milk Protein Concentrates?

Honestly, until recently,I had not. According to several food/environment/consumer watch groups,these unregulated imports of cheap milk protein concentrates are driving down the price of domestically produced milk and putting American dairy farmers out of business. No one in the government is checking to make sure that they're safe to eat, and now the FDA is considering an industry proposal to change the "standard of identity" of yogurt to allow for the use of MPCs. This change would mean that even while U.S. dairy farmers are facing historically low prices, more of their milk could get displaced by imports - and that consumers will be faced with this unregulated ingredient in yet another food.
MPCs are made by putting milk through an ultra-filtration process to remove all of the liquid and all of the smaller molecules, including the minerals. What is left is a dry substance that is high in protein and used as an additive in products like processed cheeses, frozen dairy desserts, crackers and energy bars. Because MPCs are a dry powder, they can be shipped long distances very cheaply, and almost all of the dry MPCs used in America are imported.MPCs have never been tested enough to make the list of food ingredients FDA considers to be safe - and they are not allowed in some dairy products that have regulations on how they are made.

What is a consumer to do?Tell the FDA that you don't want MPCs in your yogurt
Two things that tick me off, companies trying to put crud in my food, and
companies messing with our Farmers.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Too long gone

I know, I know...BAD Blogger!!
I have been way too busy to blog..not an excuse
I will take from any of you..just so you know!!
I have not even had time to read your blogs!
It must be SPRING!! ;-)
Here are some quick shots of how we've been spending our time

Visiting with family..Princess and Grandma L. snuggle with little X-man.
Princess's Great-Aunt A. flew in from Denver.
Quiet time with Cousin A. and her nephew Little X-man.

Backyard fun

A makeshift tee-pee keeps Princess occupied after the thrill of seed starting has worn off.

Princess and Farmer Dad relax together with a computer game.(if I had a lap top, I could have been blogging right then...)

We were given a pair of Flamingos for the Butterfly Garden by a lovely Freecycler.Finally...a shot of us...the entire Garden State Homeschool crew!I'll do my best to get caught up with your blogs and hope you'll stick around

for some more fascinating adventures from ours! Happy Spring!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

Where will you be when the lights go out?

Will you be sitting at home watching the lights go out all around the world,
on your television? Wondering why and thinking..."I should have done something..."
Turn out. Take action.
Please be a part of this historic event.March 28, 2009, 8:30 pm local time .
World Wildlife Fund is asking us all,individuals, businesses, governments and organizations around the world to turn off their lights for one hour – Earth Hour – to make a global statement of concern about climate change and to demonstrate commitment to finding solutions.
They have a cute site for kids here..

Last year, our little Garden State Homeschool took part,
and we had a great time, the dining room table was set up with board games,
and snacks. The candles were lit all around the room, and we turned off everything we could.
Turned the volume to "off" on our phone, and sat down together for some old fashioned fun.

Princess and Farmer Dad provided some music. We'll be doing it again this Saturday.

I really wanted my town to get involved, but it slipped through the cracks of all I want to do.

Will you join us?

What will you be doing when the lights go out?

I can't wait to see your photos the next day!

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My homeschool buddies and I are all posting pics of our "home schools" as part of our idea sharing.

Plato said...

Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind. Therefore do not use compulsion, but let early education be a sort of amusement; you will then be better able to discover the child's natural bent .