Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It's Portfolio Time!

  Originally I thought we were going to dive into French and we may still, but with our little one Henry who is not verbal sign language became a family must. As Henry grows communicating is hugely important for this development so this naturally became and open door for a second language.
Some of the resources we have gathered are geared for the younger ages but this has worked out to be a blessing. The children are eager to practise with the twins, do puzzles, watch the sign language shows all while practising.  They can also be found  trying out there new signs and trying to tell secrets to each other.  The Signing Time DVD's are amazing and I highly recommend them. The songs are catchy and you pick up the signs really fast. A strong point of the Signing Time videos is the fact that each word is demonstrated by several different people. This is important, because everyone signs a little differently. Other videos, which generally use only one demonstrator, have left me wondering how exact I have to be in imitating the sign in order to have it recognized as the intended sign.

For bible right now we are reading through the book of John and really focusing on the way Jesus spoke.  Along side that the children are working through CLE bible work books. We have family prayer once a day. We pray for the continuing needs of friends and family sharing praises we hear about as well. We also use this time to share what is on our hearts of what the Lord is speaking to us about or how we can better handle lives situations.  As well as Sunday worship service together.

Natalie, Rachael, Presley, and Jude are enjoying there dances class once a week, and I must say little boys dancing has got to be thee cutest thing ever. The boys class tends to get a little rowdy causing my boys to get a little flustered with the misbehaviour but they are learning how to use their boundaries and that they don't have to put up with the annoying behaviours of their peers. We did a little bit of role playing at home giving them some helpful suggestion on how to handle these types of situations.  We talked about what it means to be bold in different areas of life. For example: 

Consistently living out the character standards the family has set for themselves, even if others do not understand. Not being afraid to walk away from friends who are engaged in foolish or harmful activities.
The girls however dance beautifully and love there classes every week, spending hours together during the week practicing. 

We used the months of September and October to do the Human Body and for the month of November we will be focusing strongly on Social Studies.  Right now we are building land formations of the continents with salt dough. I plan to show the completed project in an upcoming blog post, but will show a sneak peak tomorrow on Instagram. 

Today was also a very important day for our country as out new prime minister was sworn in. We watched  some of the news coverage as it all unfolded. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Life In The Blood - Week Six

I apologize with the lack of school posts, In the last two weeks a number of our little people have been back and forth to the hospital including a trip to BC Children's. While there have been lack of posts there is plenty of work being done. 
 My plan was to cover the human body in a month but it just wasn't enough time. I am hoping to wrap this up at the end of October.
Topics we covered this week were, our circulatory system, arterioles, venues, oxygenated and deoxygenated blood.  This came really easy to them  because they have an excellent understanding of the heart. [[A topic that is next week]].

 The blood that flows through this network of veins and arteries is whole blood, which contains three types of blood cells:
  1. red blood cells (RBCs)
  2. white blood cells (WBCs)
  3. platelets
In babies and young kids, blood cells are made within the bone marrow (the soft tissue inside of bones), particularly in the long bones like the humerus (the upper arm bone) and femur (the thigh bone). But, as kids get older and approach adulthood, blood cells are made mostly in the bone marrow of the vertebrae (the bones of the spine), ribs, pelvis, skull, sternum (the breastbone).
The cells travel through the circulatory system suspended in a yellowish fluid called plasma, which is 90% water and contains nutrients, proteins, hormones, and waste products. Whole blood is a mixture of blood cells and plasma.
 In the photo below Natalie and Presley created the make up of blood. 
Red blood cells [[ Mike N Ike's]] (RBCs, also called erythrocytes) are shaped like slightly indented, flattened disks. RBCs contain the iron-rich protein hemoglobin. Blood gets its bright red color when hemoglobin picks up oxygen in the lungs. As the blood travels through the body, the hemoglobin releases oxygen to the tissues.
The body contains more RBCs than any other type of cell, and each has a life span of about 4 months. Each day, the body produces new RBCs to replace those that die or are lost from the body.
White blood cells [[Scottish mint]](WBCs, also called leukocytes) are a key part of the body's system for defending itself against infection (this system is called the immune system). They can move in and out of the bloodstream to reach affected tissues.
Blood contains far fewer WBCs than red blood cells, although the body can increase WBC production to fight infection. There are several types of WBCs, and their life spans vary from a few days to months. New cells are constantly being formed in the bone marrow.
Several different parts of blood are involved in fighting infection.

Corn Syrup was used for the Plasma. A liquid that carries nutrients, hormones, and proteins through the body.  

 This weeks coffee table books.

The interactive notebooking Natalie and Presley are doing is a little over Rachael and Jude's heads so we've been doing lots of hands on learning.
Rachael and Jude putting the pieces in the right places using the anatomy apron. 

     This a fantastic wood puzzle building the layers of the human body.  Jude has been really enjoying this puzzle and seeing how fast he can get it.

 We have been going over the names of different bones, even right down to the youngest two littles. In the photo below Seamus was asked "Where are your Phalanges? Smart little cookie knew right away but also pointed to the toes!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Digestive and Renal Systems Week four

Because we regularly work with a GI doctor at BC Children's Hospital this unit was fascinating for the kids. It helped us all understand how each little system works.  We took a measuring tape and measured out 20 feet, it was amazing to think something that long fits inside you. 

Digestion Theme Park
Our Friday project this week was to design a digestion theme park. On a piece of paper they had to write down all the different organs of the digestive system. Then on separate sheet of paper brainstorm each attraction and what it will look like. 
Using construction paper they began building the theme park. 

A few more photos from our school week. 

On the first day of autumn my middles and littles painted fall trees using TP rolls. 
They turned out super cute!

Autumn Leaf Mandala - "When finished, collect leaves in a basket, and ceremoniously release into moving water or back into nature. This reminds us of the sweet impermanence of life and the joy of letting go." 
                       For baby school we are going through all our colours while we have a bath.
Seamus mimic's "boo baff" and "wed baff"  we are also signing the colours for Henry as well. Two is one of my favourite ages. Everyday they are learning something new or saying something new. It's just too much fun! Ahh twins!

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Muscular System Week Three

                        With uncles that body build the kids were right into this lesson.  One of the first things we did  was weigh everyone we then multiplied the kids weight by 0.40 to show them how much muscle they had. They were impressed to learn their muscle made up 40% of their weight.

  We got out a timer and set it for five minutes, Natalie and Presley held their arms straight out away from their body, after 2 minutes both of them said they were getting sore. We talked while they were holding their arms out how the cells in the muscles were taking turns doing the work, but then they became tired. As a result, it starts to hurt your arms. The nerves don't get tired, but the muscles do! We talked about doing this everyday and that eventually the muscles would get stronger, and get larger.

Let's Face It!
We tried to make as many facial expressions as we could to move our muscles in our face. 
This is Natalie's "mad" although she kept laughing. 

                     Henry copying his siblings doing "surprised". So cute!

                                                   Friday's Experiment! Growing Muscle

This week as we discussed the more you use a muscle, the bigger it grows and the better it works.  We did an experiment, where we predicted how many times they could open and close a clothespin with their right hand for one minute.  We set the timer and began counting. It's a lot harder than it sounds! They are to do this everyday for a week and make a graph for the results and will likely see as the week goes on the will be able to do it more times in a minute than earlier in the week.

And a sneak peak at the notebook. [Presley's]

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Skeletal System Week 2

School is back in full gear this week! The boys started their dance lessons in the midst of babies having hand foot and mouth, but we are on the mend. We just have a one that is croupy. 

This week we dove into the skeletal system. We started with the skull. We talked about how wise God is to create us with thick skulls to protect our brains, and how he put a special layer of fluid between your brain and skull for added protection. We did an experiment by putting and egg into a glass sealed container and each of the children took a turn running through the house with it. When they opened it the egg had cracked. Next we did the same thing but this time we added water to our container and again each child took a turn running. This time when they opened it the egg was fine. 
What a great way to show God designed our body to protect us. 

We also read about cartilage, and how it absorbs shock.  I had each of the kids slap the table, and then I had them slap it again but this time onto a pillow.  Explaining that is exactly what cartilage does for out bones.

We then covered all the bones of the body, which were the smallest which were the largest.  We talked about how your arms together are about the same length of your entire body is tall. They each took a turn laying on the floor measure their arms spread open and then laying down inside the markers.

Did you know there are 27 bones in the hand and 26 in the foot? All together if you add that up there are 106 bones just in your hands and feet! Pretty amazing when there are only 206 bones in your whole body! Just so we could get an idea of how important the bones in our hands are we taped two of our fingers together during chores one afternoon. This made things a little more difficult but oddly was very motivating.

 These are their interactive notebooks, each day has a section of note taking and writing as well as written activities but I will share that at the end of the unit.

         Lastly for our Friday project day we were analyzing a chicken bone.
First we cooked up a chicken wing, then they removed all the meat from the bone. We were looking to see if there was any cartilage or ligaments. Next we broke the bone in half, looking at the red stuff. That's chicken red bone marrow!! That's where the chicken's blood cells come from. We then placed one half in vinegar and the other in water. The vinegar removed all the calcium salts from the bone, the result after three days was a soft rubbery bone. Where the bone left in water felt the same as it did three days ago.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Human Anatomy and Physiology Week 1 - Cells

This year I am tackling our subjects a little different than we normally do.  We are going to do one subject a month. The children will still do Bible daily and math a few times a week but everything else is going to be done in units.
For the month of September we decided to start with Science. 
We started with the history of medicine, from the ancient Egyptians, Hebrews, Greeks and some famous philosophers including Aristotle. We read about different scientist from the past that discovered new things and how as time went on new scientists would uncover errors and find new information. We talk about how God's laws points us to health and than even before science figured out something God knew all along. The example of wine being used to clean wounds, in the story of the good Samaritan was well before science figured it out. 
  Our first experiment was using water as an magnifying glass.  We used a dropper and a glass slide.
When you  place a drop of water on the slide right above the word you can read the word larger through the water.
We made an edible cell to show the part we have been learning. Different candies represented different parts like the mitochondria, lysosomes, Golgi body, endoplamic reciculum, ribosomes, centrioles, and the nucleus.

 How to:
1. Mix the Jell-o  according to the package and the add one package of Knox gelatine.
drop a few of your candies in.
Let your Jell-o mixture (the cytoplasm) harden for several hours
Once the cytoplasm  is hardened use a sharp knife to cut out small pieces of Jell-o where each organelle will go.
Once you are finished placing your organelles into the cytoplasm, carefully turn the bowl over.

                                          They turn out pretty fantastic!

Presley's cell
  Natalie (grade 7) and Presley (grade 5) each drew out there own cell membrane adding everyday each part that makes up the cell.

They also took sometime to take notes of different facts they are learning, including things inside the nucleus, DNA and RNA. This was really helpful for them to understand what the term "Genetic testing" means since it is something often talked about at home.
Natalie's notes

                                      Then of course a bible verse penmanship and copy work.
They have a couple other things on the go for this unit but it builds on to the next so we will wait to show them until they are done.
Presley's copy work

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Spreading Sunshine Canada

In February 2015,  I joined a very special project called Spreading Sunshine. Henry was on the receiving end of this project and the more I watched this organization the more interested I became. From my own broken heart of watching my own heart warrior I knew that God fills the heart that continually pours out,  after praying and a few meetings with the owner operator I became the administrator for Canada. Serving in this way has become a means of healing and hope rallying around other medical mamas that need a friend to get through this hard stuff. It became my little offering through my tears and fear to say "God make it beautiful".  God calls us to take care of the sick and never before in my life did I see the need for why we are called to this.  Friends, families going through these seasons they need you. There is so much you can do to love these people in the most practical way. The yoke these families are carrying is heavy and there is so much you can do to show them Christ. You have the power to ease that burden a bit and pour love on to a complete strange and let your heart crack open a little and see a small child walk out a big battle.  You don't have to understand it but you can learn and walk beside a family from afar. Jesus calls us to these hard places, he himself came and went to the sick, thee embarrassingly diseased. Jesus went to places he knew he would be misunderstood for it. Let Jesus take you who are healthy to a new place, to a people and places that will make your heart uncomfortable. You may have the joy of watching a baby survive their 2nd open heart surgery or a little three year old win the cancer fight or you may be the sponsor that struggles to write and support that mom who's child passed away. There are no guarantees in this project, but there is a lot of love to be given.

This organization is built on the concept of normal people with a heart to bring joy to a child that suffers and deals with complex medical issues. Children with heart disease, cerebral palsy, cancer, kidney disease, mitochondrial disease, transplant and surgery patients, seizures and neurological disorders, and other chronic and life threatening illnesses and disabilities. Would you consider becoming a sponsor to one of these children? Or if you know of a child fighting a childhood disease please recommend them as a buddy.  

                                       Some of Canada's strongest children.

Click the Spreading Sunshine logo below. 

                                                                 Spreading Sunshine