Monday is the day I introduce our biome theme for the week (or more) so there is always a lot of work in this area on Mondays. Actually there is just always a lot of work on Mondays no matter what! Since Caleb was home today, I decided to skip ahead a little and cover water for our biome work this week instead of air like I had planned. Then I skipped ahead a little further and started with land/water forms (which is supposed to be after water and soil have been covered). The reason I did this was pretty simple... I knew Caleb would work with clay and water to make land and water forms for a looooooong time. Think like 2 hours maybe? Chatting with Kylee happily the whole time and asking questions about terminology he couldn't remember. He created a nice set up with all of the major water and land forms included. I'm sure that he taught Kylee lots without either of them realizing it. Aidan worked on a world map, reviewing major world bodies of water and water forms. It would have been nice to do this after our Waseca stencils arrived, but I think this way will work out fine and he will go more in depth later as we study each continent.
Logan worked a little bit with the land/water form tray and then did a land, water, air sort (which was much more his level than the trays). Lucie thought she would get out her cards too and would not relinquish the "cookie" card.
For language and math, Kylee worked more on alternate spellings of the long a sound and the first introduction to static subtraction on the golden beads. Aidan did some spelling work and started polynomials with the products of binomials. Caleb just got to read and play with Logan and Lucie mostly once he finished the land and water forms.
More work on wonderful water today. Today we went back to the beginning and covered salt water and fresh water and the composition of the hydrosphere. (Did you know we have a word for all the water on earth? I didn't until I started studying Montessori....) We measured out 200 ounces of water and then pulled out the percentage that is frozen fresh water (1/2 Cup) and exchanged it for ice cubes and the available fresh water (4 Tbsp or 1/4 Cup). Then we salted up the remaining water and talked about water as a resource. Lucie thought we put that cup of fresh water there just for her. Kylee, Logan, and Lucie did a salt water sink or float activity. Aidan worked with the landform trays from yesterday, pulling out the eye dropper from my practical life shelf so he could make his water "rain" on his formations.
For those keeping track, the hydrosphere is covered in geography charts 41-60. Many of these charts, however, might make more sense at other points in the biome study. Chart 41, for example, covers the formation of desserts in the shadows of mountains, this might be more relevant when we are covering the properties of desert biomes specifically. Some of the charts (49-52, 55-57) also cover erosion and the formation of valleys, canyons, and glaciers which may be more appropriate in conjunction with the study of soil. Chart 60 is a biome map relating water to vegetation so I will save that one as well. The main charts I plan to integrate this week will be 43-44 and 58 (Evaporation, Condensation, and The Water Cycle). I effectively had Aidan replicate chart 48 (Major Rivers of The World) yesterday.
Kylee tackled the USA pin map. Mom admission: I did not think she was ready for even the most basic of presentation on this material but she asked and I didn't want to tell her no. She surprised me by getting all but about 10 states matched correctly before getting tired and asking Aidan to help her finish.
Evaporation and condensation experiment today. We have always done geography/culture/science faster than the pace indicated and oftentimes more than we do other subjects. Now it's just even more interesting to share :) This is (and always has been) the backbone of our homeschool work. We also worked with the corresponding geography charts. Recreating the charts has been a popular follow up work lately, even Lucie was into it today. (You may notice some of my charts are smaller than others- mostly I just realized with only presenting to one or two at a time smaller would be faster to make and more space effective. I don't have digital or black line versions of my geography album so I'm free handing all of them based on tiny black and white images in my album. Some need to be bigger, but some I feel are fine small.)
Logan discovered an old digital camera my mom gave the kids several years ago and has been taking pictures continually for two days. Be sure to check out his Wordless Wednesday post. Taking pictures off the camera is a bit tedious compared to my phone, but hopefully I will get a chance soon to pull this picture he took of Aidan and Lucie. He also worked with the cornmeal writing tray.
Thursday was water cycle day.... which was really just a synthesis of what we talked about yesterday with evaporation and condensation. I assigned Aidan to write the story of a drop of water through the year. (Notice he is using the seasons chart to organize his story.) Kylee thought that sounded pretty fun so she decided to give it a try too. This is one of the ways that science/geography/culture/history all make up the backbone of our curriculum. We will edit the story, working on spelling and grammar as needed and reviewing the writing process. Right now we are focusing extra on quotations and transition words and phrases.
Logan worked with the spindle box and Kylee learned how to record her answers when working with the golden beads. I think she is ready to transition to the stamp game, at least for addition, so I need to fit in that lesson soon.