Friday, October 20, 2017

Corn Mazes, Train Show, Spiny Lizard, Stonehenge and Poster Boards

I have not been feeling well all week.  I was struggling with carb withdrawl and allergy issues because of all the extra yuck in the air from the heat we are still being hit with in Ohio.  Fall weather has been in the 80s-90s...instead of our normal 60s.  It's been weird weather this fall season.  It took all week to finally feel better health wise, just the regular fibro pain is what I ended up with by the end of the week.

We went out to lunch one day.  Brayden loves McDonald's pancakes.  I made him cut his own food, since we weren't eating in the van.  He did very well!!  This might not seem like a big deal, but it really is for him!

In spite of the warm temps, still doing our fall science activities.  The girls planted some spring bulbs.

They also planted a mushroom garden.  We'll see what happens there.

We went with Brayden to the Fall Train Show at Sauder Village.

It's a neat museum.

Brayden running his Star Wars train.

Then we all road in antique cars.

As if we didn't have enough fun already, we went to do our annual fall corn maze/pumpkin farm trip.

Lydia started an Equine Careers class.  She is so excited to spend the next 4 weeks learning about careers with horses.  She also gets to tour the University of Findlay's Equine department.

She had a physical this week.  No issues..declared healthy.

We had a little family time with Grandpa and Grandma.

For Science Club we started learning about animal adaptations.  This week we talked about animals in Arctic and Desert habitats.  They build edible arctic soil  It's frozen permafrost (Frozen Twinkies), soil (ground up chocolate graham crackers), and snow (vanilla ice cream).  They had to wait to eat it while they watched the snow melt into the soil.

We also talked about the special oils that many arctic animals have so that they can get wet but then not freeze.  It's just water sprayed onto wax crayon coloring.

The girls also planted some bird seed so that they can see how plant roots must curve and grow in a thin layer of soil in the Arctic due to the permafrost.

We also learned about the spiny lizard and how it drinks.  It drinks through it's belly and legs.  The moisture transfers to the mouth.  So it doesn't need to "drink" water normally.  It can absorb moisture from any source it's on.

This paper towel represents the scales of the spiny lizard.  The water transferred to the lizard's mouth.

It was very cool!!

In Art, the learned about Illuminated Manuscript.  They did their names in this fancy style.

They also worked on some calligraphy.  I bought the Crayola calligraphy set for them to practice with.  They used the markers and tracing paper to outline the letters.

Next week is Geography Fair.  So all the kids have poster presentations to get ready.  The last two weeks they were writing their reports.

The girls covered 3 chapters in our history this week.  We talked about the Shang Dynasty, Stonehenge, and Minoans on Crete.  We watched several little specials on these topics.  There was a new Nova special on Stonehenge I recorded.  An episode of Expedition Unknown about the mystery of the Minoans.

We watched and then we just watched a Youtube video on the Shang Dynasty while they worked in their student workbooks.  (We only watched half of this since we only covered the Shang Dynasty this week.)

They built a small model of what Stonehenge is believed to have looked like originally....according to computer models.  (Did this while watching Nova...makes longer documentaries more bearable for short attention spans.)

Working on Shang Dynasty pottery design during their video.

Caty using paint brush markers to practice her spelling this week...hey I don't care.  As long as she is getting her work done.

Caty working on her math.  I added in to help her practice her Living Math work.  She also practices topics we are reading about in Life of Fred.  It's been great!  She either uses my laptop or my tablet to get her work done.

The girls crystal project has been sprouting.  This is leftover from Cave Science.  We saw the beginnings of Stalactites when we were on our cave tours.  Crystals forming...this was stalagmites forming.

Their fall science activity this week was to plant acorns and see if they can get the seeds to sprout.  I found some pin oak acorns at Sauder Village on Sunday.  So the girls planted them this week.  We'll keep this post updated to see what happens.

We re-homed Roscoe this week.  Our rooster was getting very loud and since we live in town, we found him a farm home.  We already miss his crowing a little bit.

I got myself a new play toy.  I wanted a keyboard case for my tablet.  I'm not sure how I'm going to like it.  But trying it out.

Minus my health issues, another successful week.  The kids all finished their assigned schoolwork, and Lydia even worked ahead in her math program!!  Caty also accomplished quite a bit in that area, so I was able to do some adjustments to our lesson plans for the year.  I was pretty excited about that!!

I hope everyone had a great week!!  Linking up with other moms at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Weekly Wrap-Up

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Pencil Grip, Inc. - The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit and The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors Review

All of our kids have trouble with handwriting and pencil grip.  Caty has been struggling more now that she is older and working on more handwriting and copywork.  We had the opportunity to review two products from The Pencil Grip, Inc. - The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit and The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors review.  What a great idea for helping correct bad habits.

We received The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit ($8.81) and it included a set of 3 grips.  This 3 Step system is meant to help kids from the beginning.  All three grips are made of soft, rubbery-type material.  They easily wipe clean if they are dirty.  (We had that issue when changing the grips between pencils and  Caty started out with the Step 1 Grip - The Crossover Grip.  She used that briefly and said it wasn't comfortable.  So I was worried.  I switched her onto Step 2 - The Pinch Grip, and all was good in the world.  She wrote all her copywork and drew her picture with no complaints.

Below is a picture of her using Step 2 - The Pinch Grip.  She held her grip correctly all the way through her copywork assignments.  So I knew this is where she needed to be.  I don't have a picture of it, but we were able to easily switch the grip between her pencil and her erasable pens.  It fit any standard sized pen/pencil easily.

Just to try her out, we had her try Step 3 - The Original Grip.  She was definitely not ready for Step 3.  She struggled holding her pencil correctly, and complained of her fingers slipping.  She is holding it correctly as you can see in the pictures, but the Step 3 grip is smaller in size, so she struggled with holding it.  She couldn't keep her fingers in the correct locations.  So she grew frustrated.  You can even see in the pictures below how her handwriting suffered more than usual due to this grip.

We definitely figured out that Caty is in the Step 2 - The Pinch Grip for proper handwriting.  She has been working hard on her copywork, and with the help of her pink friend....she doesn't complain of hand pain after her copywork.  This is a great win for us.  I had bought some different pencil grips a few months ago, and she HATED them.  They were definitely not as nice as this set that we received from The Pencil Grip, Inc.  We will definitely continue using The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit.  And because I love how it's positioning Caty's hand so well, I'm going to purchase some extra kits to help out the boys more with their handwriting struggles. 

These grips can be used by young and old, people of all ages and abilities.  So even if your little one is just starting to write or you have an older school-aged kiddo that needs some extra help, The Pencil Grip, Inc. has a grip option to help them.

We also had the opportunity to try out The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors that are sold by The Pencil Grip, Inc. 

The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors ($4.00) were created for ages 3 and up.  They look very much like typical safety scissors, except they have a permanent plastic safety shield covering the blades.  I admit, when I first saw these I wished that I would have had these when Joey was little.  He never cut himself with scissors, but he made me nervous.

There is a small opening between the plastic shield and top blade.  This area is where you insert the paper.

And then you use the scissors as normal. 

The cut was smooth, but I felt they were a bit awkward to use.  You could only turn the paper so much due to the plastic guard being in place.

I had a friends young daughter use the scissors to try them out.  She also struggled a bit using the Ultra Safe Safety Scissors.  She had the same struggle I did, keeping the paper at the right level/straight while cutting.  As we cut, our hand that was holding the paper would relax and fall slightly.  This actually messed up the angle of our cutting, and that is where we struggled slightly.

If your child is used to using safety scissors already, I would not worry about replacing their scissors quickly.  If they are struggling and possibly hurting themselves, then you definitely should make the small investment in The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors for your family.  If you have a young one just starting out cutting, The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors are a great addition to your art box.  

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review both The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit and The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors from The Pencil Grip, Inc.  Please visit the link below to read how they used these products in their home and what they thought of them.

Ultra Safe Safety Scissors & Pencil Grip Training Kit {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}
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