When I was little, I went through an extended period of wanting to be an astronaut. Obviously, that didn't work out. But, I still love to gaze at the stars. When Keil and I were first dating, we would take long walks at our local state park under star-filled skies. He was the one who taught me how to locate the North Star, and now all of our children can find it immediately. Quite often after sending Little Louie to bed we will return to check on him and find him gazing out his window at the North Star. What none of us has ever been totally clear on though, is how the North Star always stays in the North, while all the other stars rotate around the sky. What a mystery! Or....not! A recent science project taught us that there is really no mystery at all. The North Star happens to be located almost directly about the axis of the Earth. So, it appears to stay still while the rest of the stars rotate around it. Our older boys were quick to point out that when God placed the stars in the sky He must have put the North Star there on purpose, in order to keep us from getting lost. God is awesome!
Here's Keil and Buggy working on the science experiment together. The boys used gold and silver star stickers on black paper to diagram the Big Dipper and the North Star. Then, Keil held the paper directly over their heads and walked around them, keeping the North Star still , and only rotating the Big Dipper. It was such a simple project, and the whole family learned from it!
Okay, so after all my raving about that science project, I have to admit that not EVERY project has gone quite as well. In History a couple of weeks ago, we studied the Wampanoag Indians. The art assignment for this unit instructed me to give the kids clay, sticks, and string, and have them recreate a wigwam. I decided to have the boys work together. Here's a picture of what a wigwam really looks like:
This is what we ended up with:
Yeah, not so great. About a week later, a mom in one of my Heart of Dakota groups linked to this awesome idea from Almost Unschoolers. I haven't gone back and had the older boys redo this project, but we may still. Either way, I will definitely be saving this idea to use when the Littles are ready for it!
I've been working at about half speed with the Littles through Little Hands to Heaven. We are having so much fun! And, it's not just the kids who are learning. I'm finding that I am learning to be more relaxed, and let the kids get more hands-on and involved physically in the lessons. A couple of weeks ago, the Littles used finger paints to fill in the letter 'B.' I was so amazed at how well they did at keeping the paint inside the lines. They were so proud of themselves!
By the way, if your husband happens to be a mail man, old postal shirts make great paint smocks!
And finally, I just have to show off my beautiful kiddos. We have made it a family tradition that every fall we take outdoor pictures of the kids. This year, we decided to use real apples as props. After I get this posted, I'm going to spend the afternoon peeling, coring, cutting, and freezing apples for pie. Lots of pie!
Our whole little crew!
Have a great weekend!