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Monday, April 20, 2015

Earth Cookies, Planting Herbs and Earth Day Minute To Win It

Both of these ideas were found on Pinterest, and adapted to my needs.  April 22nd, is Earth Day, and the kids and I love to do something each year to show our appreciation for Earth.  Last week, DJ and I watched, Plastic Paradise, on Netflix.  It was a very eye opening documentary.  We are not zealots, but we do think that if you can make some simple changes in your life to reduce, reuse and recycle, then you should do it.  Water bottles, and plastic bags are the two biggest offenders.  If you really want to know the true stats of those two items, I would suggest some basic research.  It will stun you.  I was stunned, and a little ashamed.  So, all this week, we are dedicating a little bit of school time to Earth Day.

Today, Caitlin and I planted an herb garden.  Now, we had been wanting to do this anyway, we just chose this week to actually do it.  We planted Garlic, Parsley, Cilantro, and Sweet Basil.  We also decided to try and propagate a Mimosa Tree, by planting a clipping.  It will hopefully grow roots, and become a beautiful tree.

Because, we have 4H tonight, and we all bring a snack to share, we decided to make Earth cookies.  They are easy, just a standard sugar cookie recipe, add blue and green food coloring, shape in a ball and bake.  Also, because DJ is the VP of our group, we come up with a fun game, or Ice Breaker, for each meeting.  Again, keeping with the theme of Earth Day, we came up with a Minute to Win It game using a styrofoam egg container.  Because I forgot to print stuff for Caitlin today, she had a little extra time.  So, I told her to paint it blue, like water, and then use green to make the numbers.  The idea is to get as many beads in the number slots in a minute.  The player with the most points wins.  Of course the kids had to try it, because they said it was too easy.  Ha, no it isn't.  Caitlin of course will save this, and torture her father with it at a later date.

I haven't decided what tomorrow will bring, but I think a writing assignment for both of them will be good.  


Saturday, April 18, 2015

4H Volunteer Day at Otter Springs

Today was our volunteer day, with our 4H group, at Otter Springs. We only had one real young child show up, and her mom was with her. So, this time the kids were given a little bit of a harder, and more adventurous task. We walked to nature trail, and the area around it, in search of trash. We found quite a bit of it, unfortunately, most of it glass bottles. We probably walked a good mile, out, and then back of course. We were able to find, and take pictures of some animal tracks a deer, and possibly a bear or fox, for Caitlin's project book. You can see common Florida animal tracks here. We had a lot of fun, and the kids got to swim in the camp pool after, for half price. DJ does not like pools, so he wanted to go and see if the springs were in fact cleaned up. As we got closer we could see people swimming, so we were optimistic. They in fact had been cleaned up quite a bit, and were quite lovely. There was quite a few people swimming in the spring. We did see one snake, it is in the last picture. Everyone cleared out of the water real fast, lol, and it didn't bother anyone. They were saying it was a Water Moccasin but I was not where close enough to tell. Everyone got back in after it went on its way. All in all a fun, and productive day.











Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thinking of Next Year: 10th Grade

So, DJ and I sat down this week to discuss 10th grade curriculum choices.  After some debating, and negotiating, we put in stone what he will be doing.  FLVS offers certificate classes now, so he decided rather than dual enrollment, he would like to do one of the certificate classes.  He decided on Digital Design.  Plus he will be taking the 5 hour driving class for his permit, through FLVS. Here is what his year will look like.  I have not figured out the daily schedule yet, that can wait. 

Driving- FLVS
Digital Design- FLVS
Guitar-  for anyone wondering FLVS does offer Guitar 1, but DJ decided to keep doing what he is already doing.
Algebra 1 and Business Math-  We talked, and decided that we will continue to work on the Math U See Algebra 1 curriculum, through the Summer and 10th grade.  I was given a Business Math curriculum, and it did not look too challenging.  So, he will do both.  We will worry about Geometry or Algebra 2 in 11th grade.  That way he can continue to learn it at his pace, and be sure he understands it.
Comprehensive English and Vocabulary- sometimes called English2, LA grade 10 etc.  We have a textbook and workbook, with a focus on writing.
Biology with Labs-  In Florida there has to be a lab component to at least three of the four High School Sciences.  We decided to use CK12 and online labs.  I will list all the resources at the end of this post.
Civics and American Government-  This was the hardest one for DJ.  He had his heart on doing Greek Mythology.  But, Civics and American Government is perfect for next year due to the upcoming presidential elections.  I am hoping to get to some live town hall meetings, and other rallies.  It will be fun.  Eventually he gave in, and will do Greek Mythology the next year.
The only other issue was a second year of Japanese.  He decided to wait and do that for 11th grade as well, and review all his info he is learning this year, from time to time. DJ's curriculum for next year, will not be expensive.  That will be very nice.

http://flvs.net/Students/Pages/find-course.aspx#highschool
http://www.teach-nology.com/teachers/lesson_plans/history/government/
http://www.cyberlearning-world.com/lessons/usg.htm
http://www.findingdulcinea.com/guides/Education/High-School-Government.pg_00.html
http://www.civiced.org/resources/curriculum
http://www.ck12.org/biology/
http://onlinelabs.in/biology


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Polliwogs and Frog Eggs In the Pool!

We usually have our pool open by now. But, this year we decided to wait due to tight finances. Well we got polliwogs and frog eggs in there now. You can only see one polliwog in the second picture. They are a little camera shy, lol. The eggs were there last evening, and have already hatched this evening. No eggs left to hatch, and no croaking frogs looking for mates. Now, we will watch them and wait for them to grow into frogs. I hope it won't take too awful long. About 12 weeks I think, which is really late to open a pool in Florida. But, that is OK, what a great learning experience. A couple of years ago, a friend of ours gave us tadpoles from her pool. I looked up all the info of how to care for them to adulthood, there were a lot of rules. Unfortunately we did something wrong and we found them deceased. We were so sad. They should have a much better chance in a great big pool, with tons of algae to eat. They have eaten a lot of it too! I will post more pics as they grow and change.








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