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Monday, March 15, 2010

SPACE DAY 2010

One of the last activities that we participated in at Roper Mountain Science Center (in addition to a great star show on winter constellations) was the presentation of Exploring Mars and the Moon in 3D! The speaker for this presentation was a NASA scientist who is also a teacher at Cornell University. He is the lead camera operator for the Mars Rover Spirit! The boys and I were so excited to hear him! We have been keeping up with the progress of the Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity for a while now and to be able to listen to one of the operators for our favorite rovers was a real delight!! We even went up to talk to the presenter afterwords and asked a few questions about Spirit! I know that I sound like a total nerd for being so excited over this, but after moving to Spartanburg in such a rush and then being able to continue the boys astronomy education in such a fun, informative and exciting way, was just a great blessing to me. And not not mention, the boys loved the 3D aspect of it. We got our own 3D glasses to take home with Spirit and Opportunity's launch dates on the side!
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SPACE DAY 2010

One of the highlights of the day at Roper Mountain Science Center was launching a rocket. Carter was chosen to put together the rocket, including all of the launching "stuff". He got to press the ignition switch and everything! He was so excited to do this!

Another great activity at Roper Mountain was weighing yourself on earth and comparing your weight to what you would weigh at different places in space. The boys had already participated in this activity at co-op, but this was a great reinforcement of those ideas!
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SPACE DAY 2010


When we lived in Spartanburg before, we really didn't have school age children. Now that we are back in Spartanburg and have children that age, we have found that Spartanburg and Greenville offer some great things for kids, if you know where to look! Saturday, March 13 was SPACE DAY 2010 at Roper Mountain Science Center. Since the boys have been studying space at our homeschool co-op (and since we will continue to study Astronomy through the end of the year), I thought this would be a great family activity. As you can see, Roper Mountain Science Center boasts an observatory, which on this day, allowed you to look at the sun. Roper Mountain Science Center has night programs called Starry Skies, where they are currently studying and observing the planet Mars!


The two budding astronauts (astronomers), ready for their voyage into learning more about space!!
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OLD FORT JACKSON FIELD TRIP!

The boys and I are not currently studying the Civil War (or the Northern War of Agression or the War Between the States or any other war, for that manner). However, the opportunity came up for us to attend a field trip to Old Fort Jackson in Savannah, where students would be taught from beginning to end the duties and responsibilities of a Civil War era soldier that had just arrived at Fort Jackson. The first lesson, taught by the Captain of the Regiment, was marching. In order to enter the fort, the "soldiers" had to march into the fort!
One of the next lessons that the "soldiers" were taught was how to signal the other encampments that surrounded the fort. Here, the Captain of the Regiment is teaching the students the "code" for each letter of the alphabet and how to signal using the different flags. Carter was chosen to be a signaling soldier and he was very excited to have this job!

The students were also taught about wire transmissions and communications. The Captain explained that this box would have been connected to wire and the message transmitted via wire. The Captain also explained that many of the southern "codes" transmitted via wire were easily broken.

One of the last lessons taught was Civil War Era clothing. Here, the Captain is explaining the type of hat worn by soldiers. The students also learned the types of shoes, socks, underwear, outerwear and weaponry worn by the soldiers. After the presentation, the students were invited to try on and feel the clothing. Carter and Cooper were surprised at how "rough" feeling many of the items were and said that they would rather be wearing their own clothes, if they were soldiers!
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MORE SNOW 2010!

Who, in the south, can have an inch or more of snow and NOT make a snowman? Not our family. The boys were intent on making a snowman and sending pictures of their snowman to everyone they know and everyone who knows them! This is the first snowman. He has a Ford Assett hat, eyes of carrots, a nose of a lego, a mouth of what I think was electrical wire and arms of sticks! Ahhh, a true southern snowman!
This is the second snowman! He has a Tim Smith Racing hat, eyes and a nose of carrots, and arms of sticks. Yet another, great snowman by the Smith boys!
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SNOW 2010

O.k., so snow is not educational, but it was fun for the boys, so I am posting it! We were trapped on I-95 the night it snowed in Savannah, because we were on our way to Spartanburg to celebrate Cooper's birthday. We were able to drive the next morning and luckily, there was still plenty of snow at Joyce's (Grandma's) that the boys could play in. As you can see, even Otis (the dog) got in on the fun!
Carter could not resist making a snow angel! These boys have been waiting on snow for YEARS now, so snow angels it was!!

Ah, the devilish grin that accompanies a large snowball aimed at a brother!!
Run, Forest (Carter), Run!!
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TOSTONES!


We have started to study La Clase Divertida, which is a spanish curriculum. As part of the curriculum, you are encouraged to make different spanish crafts and cook different spanish foods. One of our first forays into spanish cooking was tostones. These are really easy to make and really yummy. To begin, I took both boys to a mexican grocery store. We went in to buy our plaintains and the lady asked me what I was going to cook. I told her that we were making tostones as part of our spanish curriculum and then she encouraged both the boys to both say "hello" and "my name is" in spanish. They were a little embarrassed, but did so and were proud of themselves when they left! So, after we bought our plaintains and went home, the next step was to cut them into one inch slices. I was nervous, but I allowed each boy to cut his own plaintains.
After cutting the plaintains, you have to fry
them in about three tablespoons of oil until lightly browned. When lightly browned, you take the plaintains out of the oil, and "smoosh" them with the flat end of a cup. The boys delighted in this, they giggled each time they smooshed! After the smooshing process, you fry the plaintains for another few minutes or until lightly browned again!
After the plaintains are lightly browned, you take them out of the oil, place them on a paper towel to soak up the remaining oil and dust them with either salt or powdered sugar. Then you have TOSTONES!! Mmmmm . . . these were a yummy little treat and the boys loved eating them!! I have to say, now I love spanish, too!!
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SHREDDING!

Carter and Cooper love all things EXTREME. Anything that is (or could be) a sport on the X Games, they love it!!! For Christmas, the boys both got a pair of skates and skateboards and Carter got a ripstick. This picture is of Cooper practicing his "moves" on his skateboard! And yes, the neurotic mom makes them wear the protective pads and helmets!
Carter rocks it out on his skateboard. His "moves" are a little better than Cooper's on the board, but Cooper is beginning to hold his own!
This was an awesome trick, and he fell, but he got up and was so excited that he had jumped the board and "almost" stayed on!
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

HANDS ON LEARNING - LOWE'S STYLE

Usually, Home Depot and Lowe's are the "Dad and Kid" type trips. Mom is usually spared from these trips unless something is needed for our house in which I am needed to help make a decision about. This Lowe's trip was an exception. I have never brought the boys to a "Build It" workshop (ALONE) before. In all honesty, I was terrified!!! Two boys, hammers, nails, instructions, goggles . . . what was I thinking? As you can see, Cooper is ready for the task!!
The "make it take it" as the crafter in me likes to refer to it, was a fire truck. I must admit that I decided to take the boys to the workshop because it is educational, in a manly sort of way - and they had to read the instructions, so we can count that as reading aloud to mom, right? Ha! Just kidding! Carter is hard at work here, with his hammer and nails. I did my best to keep my OCD under control and let him hammer all the nails and place all the stickers. All I did was set the nails in place and he went with it. He did great!!
Alas, two completed projects. They received their aprons, patches and got to chat with real firemen and sit on a real fire truck. Lowe's is AWESOME! I know that you cannot tell it by the picture here, but the "cab" of Carter's fire truck is upside down. I insisted that the cab went one way and Carter (who read his directions) said to put it the other way . . . mom won the argument and was wrong. Go figure:) But, all in all, I got over my fear of doing "manly" work and I think both boys had a great day!

Do you want to go to a Lowe's "make it take it" or A Lowe's Build and Grow as they call it? Click here!
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Friday, September 25, 2009

ART SCHMART!!

Carter and Cooper are studying Art and Art History at our homeschool co-op this year. One of the suggested activities for extra credit was to visit an art gallery. The suggested gallery was the S.P.A.C.E. gallery, here in Savannah. An artist named Erica Rollings was having a exhibition called, "Stained Glass: Beyond The Traditional". As you can tell, it was beautiful. There were a variety of works, ranging from game boards (a favorite of the boys) and parts of
the human body to Celtic designs and zodiac symbols.
This stained glass divider showcases the zodiac symbols. During this field trip, we found out about many of the programs that the City of Savannah offered here at the S.P.A.C.E. gallery. We were so impressed that we decided to take an art class through the city called Hands On Clay for Kids.

A work of art and a work of heart!

This is the group of children (all boys in such a breakable environment . . . whew) who went to visit the gallery. All of the boys are on the GCAT Swim Team together and attend co-op together. The lady in the picture is Ms. Tiffany, an artist herself, who has planned a great deal of the co-op art study. If you look behind the boys and Ms. Tiff, you will see the beautiful stained glass gameboards that all of the boys loved!!
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