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Friday, December 10, 2010

A good and productive day

It was a good and productive day.  We got throught all of our lesson and didn't get frustrated with each other. 

The devotion today was about the National Football League’s attendance exceeding 1 million people during the 1939 season. Today’s Sunday football attendance totals 16 million people and that doesn’t include those people watching the games on TV. On any given Sunday while those people are watching a football game more people are sitting in a church somewhere. According to studies, 44% of adults attend church regularly, so that makes 65 million a week. (Personally, I think that number is inflated.) Then the devotion transitioned into Matthew 16:16 which reads, “Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” Of course Jesus was talking about people, not buildings. Nothing can be more thrilling than to hear God speak through his word and watch the Holy Spirit transform lives. See you in church.

The math lesson was so easy today JD asked why we had to go through the whole lesson. It was detailing all the labels of a table that records data. So we relearned the terms: title, scale, intervals, and frequencies. Unfortunately, we didn’t grasp the scale or intervals as well as we needed to and JD only scored an 80% on the test.

Today in science JD learned all about climatic zones. First we learned about the North American climatic zones and then we did further research on world climates. To label a climatic zone the climatologist look at the region's general pattern of weather conditions, seasons and weather extremes like hurricanes, droughts, or rainy periods. Two of the most important factors determining an area's climate are air temperature and precipitation.  Then we learned about the Köppen Climate Classification System that was introduced in the year 1900 by the Russian-German climatologist Wladimir Köppen and is still used today.

I tried to make social studies fun today. Yesterday we did a review on the states. Today we did a game online to review the capitals. Our challenge to our followers is to go to the site select “capitals” and then “play.“ At the top it will name the capital. Drag and drop the star (down by South Carolina) and place it in the correct state. http://www.yourchildlearns.com/mappuzzle/us-puzzle.html.  We would like to know how long it takes you to do this. JD’s first try took over 18 minutes. His second - 9:21 and his final try took - 7:12. I tried it right after him and got a 2:47. (Please play our little game and email back your time to hyderzoo@charter.net

JD begged to do a language arts lesson in Time4Learning. Not only did he do one he did TWO on his own. The first story was a fable about how the tortoise has the pattern on its shell and the other was an informational story of crabs and their medicinal purposes for fighting human diseases. They were think aloud stories that teach children to read a paragraph and think about or question what they read. He scored 2 100% on comprehension. I’m so glad I didn’t have to concentrate on comprehension this year or last. I just have the dreaded grammar to teach.

JD has been reading a little bit of this and that. I finally talked him into reading all the way through his Star Wars book so we could do a book report. He read for thirty minutes.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A frustrating day

It was a frustrating day on behalf of JD. It was frustrating waking him up, getting started, and continuing lessons after our breaks. The phrase of the day was “you’re wasting MY time.” (Meaning slack off on YOUR time.)

The devotion today told us about the first newspaper in New York City. The American Minerva came to life in 1793. Today not many people get their news from papers. Instead they get it from TV, radio, and the internet. Before all that “technology” paper vendors would stand on the street corners yell, “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” when something important happened. I think the worst news of all is people who are dead in their sins and have no hope for eternal life. The bible calls the message of Christ the good news. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. But the problem is God doesn’t stand on the corner shouting the good news to our family and friends. We need to live out the good news and when the opportunity arises we should be telling others what God did for us and what he can do for them. And finally, we can show them the bible so they can “Read all about it!”

The math lesson today was all about picking which one of the eleven types of graphs to use to chart data. Oh, I dreaded these lesson s last year. It really is up to the author. Most of them make sense but there are often times where multiple graphs could be used., and if we pick differently than the lesson we get the answer wrong. This year they added some additional graphs for us to memorize. Let’s see there’s bar, double-bar, line, double-line, circle, histogram, Venn, box and whisker, stem and leaf, pictograph, and scatter plot. Most of the questions were pretty easy and JD got a 100% on the quiz. There are many more lesson s on graphs.

Today in science we learned about the New Madrid fault in Missouri. In the winter of 1811-1812 history recorded the largest earthquake in the United States. It was a nine on the scale. It was a short lesson that led us directly into social studies.

In social studies today I printed out an outline map of the United States without the state names. I had JD label all fifty of the states. This lesson came up because JD needed a quick refresher. He had a terribly difficult time remembering where Missouri was and even guessed the state with the fault as Connecticut. He finished this lesson rather quickly with the help of the internet.

For language arts I had JD do two worksheets on homophones. A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning. He only got two wrong out of about 20 sentences. Funny thing about those worksheets and the assessment last year. JD can correctly pick out the right word by selecting the word that he would never spell like they spelled it.

JD read his Calvin and Hobbes book for more than thirty minutes. You know, it was comic books and books like Calvin and Hobbes that really got JD into the love of reading.

Random thought: Roxie our “old” dog is still kick’n it. She’s slow, deaf, and grouchy, but my wedding present to Jeff is 14 years old this month. (That‘s 98 in human years…you go girl!)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A highly distractible day

It was a highly distractible day and hard for us to concentrate fully on the lessons. Hence the name Hyder Zoo.

The devotion talked about bird banding. Hans Mortensen developed a system of placing an aluminum band on a birds legs to see if the birds would return back to him. We learned that the blackpoll warbler of North America travels 2,500 miles to South America for the winter. Then the devotion told us of the 24 kinds of birds listed in the bible and asked us what kind we were. Some of those birds were doves, roosters, and eagles. We chose to be like an eagle because Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those that wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

Luckily the math lesson was not terribly difficult. It was about working word problems by charting the data and working them out backwards. We did ok with money problems but stumbled trying to figure out time problems. Lets just say we drew lots of clocks to solve those problems. JD weirded me out by coming up with the answer before me. I was charting and he just added up all the minutes and looked at the clock in his head and backed up the time. (Oh to be visual spatial…)

Today in science we learned all about earthquakes. We learned about the different types of faults (normal, reverse, and strike-slip), the types of waves (primary and secondary), and the terms seismograph and seismologist. We learned what a Richter scale was and what “focus” and “epicenter” means. Then we watched various videos to show the devastation and possible tsunamis that could occur because of an earthquake.

JD read his Star Wars book for thirty minutes today.

Because today was so distracting I combined social studies and language arts together. JD finished his picture (complete with a legend) of his chain of islands. I had him tell me why he was moving from the United States to this new world. He was able to tell me to get away from the government and to start anew. His island chains language is English and the population is 2,000 people. They will be allowed to repopulate and have an extensive community that includes businesses, houses, barracks, an army base, an airport, fishing docks, and a capital building. (Very imaginative huh?)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A good day

Today is the 69th anniversary of Pearl Harbor and the devotion told us again of the sneak attack by the Japanese. Just before the attack Japanese officials had been at Washington discussing peace. Then it transitioned into talking about Satan specializing in sneak attacks. That’s why Christians in God’s army we need to be ready and on constant vigil for these attacks. Those 2,403 victims of Pearl Harbor had no warning of the attack. But we have no excuses. So be ready because Satan is a master liar and twists God’s words to confuse us. Sometimes he tempts us BIG time, but often he is content to have us just become bored with our faith. I have to be completely honest here…Satan is working hard in my heart because that is where I am…bored. So this devotion hit me hard and put me on guard.

We became so frustrated with the math lesson today that we wanted to throw things at the computer. How does Algebra sneak into every other lesson? Today we had to add, subtract, multiple, and divide integers with algebraic expressions too. Can it get anymore complicated?

Today in science we learned about plate tectonics. I’m now going to thoroughly bore you with what we learned about the 12 major plates on Earth. The two types of crusts (continental and oceanic) fit together like puzzle pieces. We learned the three types of boundaries of theses plates. Divergent boundaries are where plates move away from each other. Convergent boundaries are where the plates move towards each other. Transform boundaries are where the plates slide past each other. We learned that the two layers of lithosphere and asthenosphere float and move around. In the mantle hot material rises towards the lithosphere (like hot air rising out of an open oven - ever opened an oven door and felt the blast of hot air coming past your face?). The hot material reaches the base of the lithosphere where it cools and sinks back down through the mantle. The cool material is replaced by more hot material, and so on forming a large “convection cell”. This slow but incessant movement in the mantle causes the rigid tectonic plates to move (float) around the earth surface (at an equally slow rate). This is why we have earthquakes, volcanoes, oceanic trenches, mountain range formation, and many other geologic phenomenon. There, now that we’re all educated about plate tectonics I can move onto social studies

The History Channel had a show on at lunch all about Pearl Harbor. So I let JD watch it and we did a little more research on the internet and called it social studies.

I’m starting a different approach with getting JD to create a story. He started telling me about a fictional island that he wanted to create. So I had him draw it out. It’s a three island together in a chain. He’s got an army island, a forest island, and one island is the capital. I called that language arts and plan to get him to tell me a story from his picture.

JD read the Star Wars book for thirty minutes today and we called it a day. Whew…

Monday, December 6, 2010

A hard working fun day

Today was a hard working fun day. We worked hard and played hard.

The devotion was about “relief.“ It started out talking about Alka-Seltzer and transitioned into other kinds of relief like: relief pitchers, relief workers, and relief from a cold snap. Relief means change, a break in action, or a new approach. We associate relief with stopping pain and feeling better. There’s one place where there will be no relief. That place is Hell. Medicine won’t help and the “weather” won’t change.
Heaven on the other hand is all about relief. Relief from sin and suffering in life. It’s only through a confession straight to God about your sinful life and the need for Jesus to be your Savior can you be assured relief in the after life. Whew, what a relief I will be in Heaven, will you?

The math lesson today was a lot easier than Friday’s but it still seemed like crazy math. Why do we need to know how to multiply and divide positive and negative numbers? Get this…if you multiple or divide two positive numbers you will have a positive answer. But if you multiple or divide two negative numbers you’ll still have a positive answer! (What!?) JD said, “I hear once that two negative make a positive. Did you know if you multiple or divide a positive number and a negative number you will always get a negative number. (Um what?) (Just memorize it and get through the assessment.

The science lesson was all about volcanoes. We learned that there are three types. We also learned interesting facts about the famous volcanoes and the terms or definitions associated with volcanoes. While I showered for our lunch date with Jeff JD was looking at various videos. His favorite video was about the underwater volcanoes.

We had to meet Jeff on Pope Air Base so he could get a new ID card. But what do you know, that office was closed for the day. Grr! So I suggested we go to the bowling alley and have a turkey burger or hamburger for lunch. So JD and I worked in two bowling games. We had fun and we’ll have to do that again. JD like bowling.

JD read for over thirty minutes again today. He continued reading the Star Wars book while I cleaned my client’s house.

While we were there I also had JD work on one worksheet for language arts. It was about correcting double negatives like: I never used nothing so difficult or Doesn’t nobody know how to work on this computer? JD told me, “This worksheet sounds Southern.” (No offense)

JD worked so hard this morning getting all his lessons done that I really didn’t care that we didn’t get to work on the brochure for the social studies lesson. I‘m just happy that he got to play with his friend while I cleaned. So he picked up some socialization points.