Friday, November 9, 2012

Presenting: the Periodic Table

Another week has just sailed by and we continue hold on and enjoy life while pulled by the momentum of each week.

As expected, Amber loved her art class at The Painted Pot.  Also as expected, it made the day and week even more hectic.   Thankfully, Amber has recognized that and doesn't think she will want to sign up for the next session in January.  An occasional trip, by ourselves, to the Painted Pot will suffice.  Alas, we still have 5 more weeks of art class to complete. I was a bad mommy, though, and took no pictures.  I pretty much dropped her off, paid for the class, and ran out the door to do errands alone.

1. Amber in her Body Sox on loan from sensory therapy. She LOVES it.
2 & 3. Playing Ticket to Ride as a family. Amber really gets into her games.
4. Amber's new game addiction, Farm Story, on her iPod touch.  She farms any break she gets.
5. Survived double jazz classes. Make-up class was scheduled directly after regular.  They "huddle up" at the end of each class to talk and then pray. I love it!
Amber has been walking around, sitting around, jumping and bouncing around, even doing school work this week in her pink Body Sox, on loan from her sensory therapy practice.  They often loan out equipment, and this is something that really was helping during therapy to give Amber the proprioception input she craves.  Ever since she was a newborn the child has NEEDED to be swaddled, had her blankies pulled tight, be hugged, and everything else she could think of to get that input.  Amber has always called it "being cozy".  She needed to be cozy.  It actually helps calm her and make her more rational during times when she is becoming upset.  I foresee a purchase in our future.

In school this week we changed topics in several subjects, the most obvious being social studies. Having finished the election study last week, we spent Monday preparing for the actual election and reviewing what would happen. Tuesday, Amber went with me to vote. There was no line at all.. it was crazy.  Then, after dance we raced home for dinner so she could start watching the election results.  Her final election assignment was to watch the returns and track the projected electoral votes for each presidential candidate.  Of course, she had to do all this in her Body Sox because it was too exciting and stressful to keep up with it all.

Wednesday,  it was back to regular social studies / history.  We left off our history curriculum right at World War I, and so it was straight from elections to WWI.  There was no graceful segway into it, just jumped right in.  I think Amber had been missing traditional history studies a little bit too.  Still, it was nice to take a break from the regular curriculum to prepare for the election.

1 &2. Starting her very first lapbook, it's on The Periodic Table of Elements
3. Election night - coloring her electoral vote map. Wearing the body sox, of course.
4. Starting her WWI timeline.  It's back to normal history and the timeline project.

Amber also had a test in science last Thursday that not only concluded a chapter, but the unit on Earth.  It was a good unit, while being slightly boring.  The new unit is Energy in Motion, with the first chapter being Atoms and Molecules.  Yippie!  It is followed by Electricity and Magnetism (super yay!), and then Motion and Machines (eh,simple newtonian physics).  These topics make this science  major mom (astrophysics & computer science) giddy.

We've tried so hard, but this curriculum really is quite lifeless.  I'd never ended up loving science if this is how I was taught.  In a desperate attempt to make the chemistry and physics in this unit more appealing to Amber, we are including a small unit study on the Periodic Table to help fill in the gaps where our regular text just leaves you hanging.  Amber already had questions and wanted to know more about elements and how they fit in the periodic table, but the text was ready to move on.  Sorry, only 1.5 lessons on the elements for you, we must breeze through chemistry.

Luckily for me, a very appropriately timed newsletter came on Monday from Elemental Science with a link to their new unit study on the Periodic Table. How fortuitous.  I have been considering Elemental Science for our life science curriculum next year. This seemed like a good time to give their products a little test drive.  The unit study was under $5, a very small investment to try a new publisher, and the spine books were readily available at our library.

So, I spent Tuesday night reorganizing our chapter to include the unit study.  No pressure. It was only needed the next day. I also decided to let Amber actually create the entire lapbook with the study, instead of just a couple of pieces like we normally do.  We'll see how she likes it and may try to include a little bit more lapbook / notebooking work in the future if she takes to it.

We've only done the first lesson, of 13, in the study, but all seems to be going well.  The unit study is actually set up to be 13 weeks of lessons. Each lesson in the study should be split among several days.  Uh, right, that's not going to work for us. We are using it simply as a supplement and are going to do one, sometimes two, lessons per day.  We don't have 13 weeks to work on only the Periodic Table, unfortunately.  This is my favorite resource of the week, and the month too. I haven't had too many favorite new resources lately.

We had to move our Thankfulness tree. Biscotti thought the leaves were toys for him to remove. This works better anyway, and we were able to use Amber's removable wall letters.

This week we were thankful for:
Amber: Mommy & Daddy; Sunflower (the gerbil); baby cousin; homeschool (this was after discussion with some of her parochial school friends); art classes; dance classes; sensory therapy.
Christy:  That my daughter and mother love to spend time together; good checkup and blood results for Fred;  my sweet, helpful Amber; non-existent line to vote; time to play games with Amber; schedule that allows me to sleep in when I have a migraine; ability to let Amber take art classes; exercise equipment in our basement;
Amber is spending the night, again this week, with my mom.  Last weekend we were notified there would be no voice lessons this Saturday morning.  That was AFTER Amber spent the night with Mom and I had to race her to mid-morning voice lessons on Saturday.  So, since she had no lessons this week, she is spending the night again.  I hope it lives up to the fun of last week.

I'm off now to play with a very lonely kitty who misses his little girl. Have a great weekend everyone.

Linking with:

Homegrown Learners Favorite Resource This Week


  1. We started looking at the periodic table this week too. Ours is more of an introductory, "hey I know what that thing is called," lesson. We did play a game I found on Pinterest, but I'm interested to check out some of your links. Thank you!

    1. The study really does look fun! Amber previewed a lot of it with me and is terribly excited to try all the activities. You can use it for multiple levels too.

  2. How fun! That body sox looks awesome! I bet my little guy would LOVE one of those. (His OT never had one though.)

    Oh, I found Body Pods on Amazon for around $32.00! Whoop! LOL

    1. The Body Pods don't have a velcro close section that allows you to get in and out easier. She tried those out at OT too. Amber doesn't like the Body Pods, unfortunately. At least the Body Sox (also on Amazon) aren't too expensive either.

  3. The picture of her in her body sox is too cute! We used large exercise balls and trampolines for my boy. When he was younger, he was only able to focus if he is moving a little bit. Love that homeschooling gives us the ability to let our children learn in the way that is best for them :)

  4. I always just love reading your weeks Christy. I always feel like I am there with you and Amber. :) That body sox is awesome. The periodic table lapbook looks really great too. I love the picture of Amber on the couch working on it with her pink body sox! Your thankful tree is beautiful. Isn't it fun to add to it? Hope you are having a great weekend Christy!

  5. Sounds like a great week, although busy.
    My youngest daughter always needs to be hugged and cuddled,'s how she's always been.
    My girls went to vote with me, too. We had a line, was amazing since we live in a very rural community and it's rare to have such a line!
    It's great that you found a unit study that is working so well for you :) Thanks for linking at Favorite Resources.
    Love the thankful tree!!

  6. We have a body sock too! LOL!!