Friday, September 16, 2005

pictures of dragon notebook

Here a some pictures of Superboy's dragon notebook. He is really enjoying putting this together and learning so much, all with the pretense of studying dragons.
This is the cover, obviously. This page compares the develoment of a chicken egg to that of a dragon. He wrote a nice little comparison-contrast paragraph, then made little flap books for each type of egg, showing the stages up to hatching.
Here the flaps are open to show some of the inner pages. There are actually 5 pages in the chicken egg book and 3 in the dragon egg book.
This was just a fun art project where he painted his interpretation of what the different "species" of dragon eggs would look like. He also painted the one on the previos pages. Lots of glitter and glue. The last one on the right is actually covered in sand.

This page shows a comparison of the real-life Komodo dragon to the imaginary European dragon. Under the lower left flap is a wonderful report he wrote on the Komodo dragon. On the right are pictures of Komodo Island, a venn diagram, and an excel spreadsheet comparing the komodo with the European dragon and the Gargoyle.This is proving to be a really fun way for Superboy to learn some pretty important skills: Researching, comparison-contrast, graphic organizers, descriptive writing, report writing, Excel, art, life science, and astronomy (see previous pages on Draco). All with a spirit of fun and enjoyment. I consider this a real homeschool success. We plan to do alot more so look for more pictures to come...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

adopt a dragon

Continuing our dragon theme, today Superboy researched and wrote a report on Komodo dragons. We found some great websites and had alot of fun putting the report together for his binder. In addition to the report, he has pictures of Komodo dragons, a map of their range, a spreadsheet with data on the Komodo dragon, the imaginary European dragon, and Gargoyles, and he is working on a Venn diagram to compare the Komodo and European dragons. After all the research we came across this website where we could adopt a Komodo dragon!
Couldn't resist, so he will soon have an adoption certificate and info packet to add to his notebook!
I'll post pictures of the notebook once he gets these pages together.

dragon hunting

Here we are (Theresa pointing, Superboy looking, JBug shivering, Grandma looking on, Dad taking the picture) up on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Mt. Mitchell. We took our star gazers and went hunting for Draco. It was so exciting to actually see the constellation we had been reading about! It took us awhile, but we were able to identify Polaris, the Big Dipper, Draco, and Perseus. The moon was bright so the southern sky was washed out, and it started clouding up on us, but we were thankful to be able to meet our goal of finding Draco using our star gazers. Made us wish we knew more about the stars and how to identify them. What fun!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Another schedule bites the dust

As I suspected, the timed schedule has bit the dust. But thats OK. REALLY OK!
Superboy and I have been trying out an idea from Barb Wright (link on sidebar) about dedicating a day per subject and I think it is going to work out well for us.
The way we are doing it is in the morning Superboy does some math practice and a bit of history and geography. Then he has independant study until lunch-whatever he happens to be working on. Afternoons are for projects according to our theme day-Monday math, tuesday tea (poetry and other and lang arts), Wednesday history, Thursday science, and Friday all we do is a morning freewrite and then go to homeschool group.
I have seen some of Superboy's very best work ever this week and I think it is due to being able to spend the whole afternoon following whatever trail we are on without worry of having to stick to a schedule. This week he has gotten more pages on his Dragonology notebook completed, started work on his timeline, made a clay model of a ziggurat, written a full page narration of the Epic of Gilgamesh, used the microscope to study parts and types of feathers and made a page for his science journal about them, read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, and let's not mention the rattlesnake episode...and this was a three day school week!
Modgirl is going to try a similar tactic with her more traditional subjects (read-drudgery) in the morning and projects in the afternoon. However, instead of switching project topics daily, she will work on a single subject's project through several weeks before switching to another subject. This will work better for her as hers are more involved, long-term pieces.
JBug is just happy to do some seatwork in the morning, some art after that, and puzzles, etc after naptime. She has some neat new puzzles and games that are for "school-time" only, so they stay special and she thinks of school as a treat!
With this new schedule, maybe we all will!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

passing the test...

Today was a test day.
Modgirl asked me, as she looked out the window, why Superboy was just standing there in the yard very still for a long time. I said I didn't know, but figured he was playing some make-believe game, as usual. I opened the door to ask him to fetch the mail when he signalled me to halt, and I noticed the look of fear and concentration in his eyes. Puzzled, I watched as he ever-so-slowly backed up along the driveway. Only as he got further away did the tears roll and he pointed out to me the 4 foot Eastern Diamondback rattler he had been standing next to!
After I got Superboy back into the house, locked up the dogs, and we got over our initial shock (with much running about and exclaiming) I thought about what had happened. Due to all of Superboy's reading, scout training, and mine and his father's teachings, he had done exactly the right thing. Textbook perfect. I am so proud of him and his ability to keep cool and apply all that he has learned when it really counted.
I guess I can say he aced that test!