Friday, October 21, 2011

Fall Leaves, Texas Style

Fall looks very different from what I grew up with in Missouri here in the piney woods of Texas.  My kids are missing out on the fun of raking the fallen leaves and jumping in the piles of leaves.  They won’t experience that here.  They have seen many shows and movies that have children playing in the raked leaves, so they are familiar with the tradition.  They decided this year to create their own version, Texas style!


Raking the pine needles….

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and more raking….


and more raking!  We only have one pine tree, but it produces A LOT of pine needles!

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Finally, they get to jump into the “leaves”… it was very short lived since the pine needles are very pointy and hurt when they stab you!

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Then they cleaned up their pile.  They even did it without being asked!  Great helpers!

While all of our friends up north are enjoying raking and playing in real leaves, we will enjoy the shorts weather until Christmas!  Oh the joys of living in Texas!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Experimenting with Science

At the homeschool conference this summer, I was able to put my hands on the science curriculum I have been eyeing on the internet for quite some time now.  Now, I absolutely love the Apologia Elementary series, but right now, that is more above Little TD’s head than I think I want to go at this point.  While I love our main curriculum, I have been struggling with the science portion for several years.  It seems more light than my kids are needing, but most homeschoolers that I talk with don’t worry about science in the early elementary years.  I guess it is the engineer in me that makes me want them to want science.

After I actually put my hands on the curriculum, A Reason for Science, and had my hubby look at it as well, we opted to go with Level B for both Princess TD and Little TD.  We decided that combining them in science and Bible would be the most advantageous for both of them and for me as the teacher!  One of the things that I loved about this program was that everything that we need for the experiments is included in the package.  When I pulled it all out to get started, I noticed that the first unit required something extra that I didn’t buy!!  It was not a huge deal, but I had to do a bit of searching to find the flowers that were needed.  Needless to say, we had to put off the first unit for a bit.

The first unit was to learn about how plants get water and nutrients through the stem. 


Princess TD inspecting the inside of the stem.


Little TD inspecting the inside of the stem.

In order to see how the plants use water, the experiment had us cut the stem of a white carnation in half and put half of the stem in blue colored water and half of the stem in red colored water.  We had to let the flowers stand for 24 hours without touching them to see the effects.

IMG_5317 The experiment set-up and ready to go.

IMG_5318 The flowers before.


The flowers after.

Little TD labeled the experiment a failure since the flowers were not as deeply colored as the picture in the book.  It is not clear in the picture, but half of the edges of each flower are colored red and the other half are colored  blue.  The entire petals did not color, but the edges did.  Princess TD loved the experiment and wanted to do it again. 

They love this new science program and can’t wait to do it every week!

How the Drought Affects Playtime

We recently took a trip to the local lake to have dinner along the lake shore for Mr. TD’s birthday.  We were looking at the docks and were discussing how we wouldn’t be able to pull our boat up to dock for lunch.  Even if there was enough water to float the boat, there would be no way we could get out of the boat and on to the dock!  The marina usually employs people to help you to tie off when you come in for shopping or dining.  They had a 8 ft. ladder laying on the dock to assist those who dare to pull in to get out of their boats!  I don’t think we’ll be heading out there anytime soon!

While Little TD waits for me to work on different subjects with Princess TD during school, he builds with his Trio blocks.  He has become very creative with what he builds.  This day, he was building boats. 

Here’s the story.  The picture is worth a thousand words!

IMG_5335 “Hey Mom!  This is how it is usually when we pull up to the dock.”



“This is how it is now.  There is no way we can get out of the boat!”

And for reference, here are a few pictures of the lake about 3 weeks ago.  I am sure the water levels are even lower now.  We are all praying for rain!

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