Wednesday, September 23, 2015

All Things Being Equal

Liam chose to pose with his ST Math program and make this face.  Such a boy.

The current math lesson is fractional equivalants.  What started out as a slog has finally clicked and Liam is zooming through the level.  It's a metaphor for how things are going lately.

The BrainPop science lessons were a great jumping-off point for the marine biology lessons that led to the filed trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific last week.  This week though, we moved on to human body systems and suddenly BrainPop was not my friend.  The movies are still cute, but the terminology was so technical and advanced, I could see his eyes glazing over a few seconds into the first clip.

So I scoured our bookshelves and jumped online, looking for a few different sources to cover the next few topics I had chosen in the BrainPop Health/Science series.

What would be meaningful?

When we took Jake in for his checkup this year, I brought Liam along.  He loved listening to the cat's heartbeat through the stethoscope.  To make the connection, I found this video online:  (it has the recorded sound of a cat purring along with it's heartbeat and a cute, kitten slideshow).

Liam loved it.

 BrainPop Jr. has a similar series of videos, that are a little easier to digest than the material on BrainPop.

I also found this great series of animated videos from  Liam liked it so much that after watching the video on the Circulatory System, he moved on to the Digestive System all on his own.  It also comes with quizzes and activity sheets.

As Liam would say, "SCORE!"

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Going Skyward

With temps in the triple digits, cabin "fever" set in quickly.  A sudden failing of my prescription sunglass frames was a good excuse to make a run to the mall.  Burbank mall has indoor bungee jumping and Liam loves it.  He was yelling, "I'm going skyward!"

Otherwise, school is cooking along nicely.  Our weekly schedule includes daily math, science and language arts and weekly art and Chinese.  Art is actually a daily event, since Liam will revert to art at every given break, but he's enjoying his private lesson as well.

In the middle of his stop motion camp we made a field trip to the movies, to see "Shaun the Sheep."  He loved this classic claymation with no dialogue.
On the way out of the movies, Liam stopped to play in this ad for "The Good Dinosaur."

Afterward we got to run around Universal Citywalk and play in the fountains.
We've built a set and characters and will soon storyboard an episode of "The Spiffyman Show."  We can use it to work on storytelling and build on his growing animation skills.

Yesterday, after two weeks of study in marine biology, we attended the special homeschool day at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.

It was amazing to watch Liam enter the main hall, take in the full-size replica of a blue whale suspended from the cieling and shout, "Oh MY GOD!"  He also enjoyed petting the sharks.  Whenever he managed to feel one passing by, he'd say, "SCORE."  And he had fun providing a sound track for this shark tank (until the incredibly timed, but way-too-loud ending - see video). 

I enjoyed planning out the lessons on Brainpop  leading up to this field-trip. But the best part was watching the unplanned interactions.  Moving on to how bodies work and the next field trip to the California Science Center.