Friday, December 31, 2010

On the Seventh Day of Christmas... aka New Year's Eve

Mikro wanted to draw. (This is a relatively new thing. He used to resist any drawing or writing at all. Now he will cheerfully zip through half a ream of paper creating imaginary creatures...)

I asked him for Santa and a reindeer, which he did, but then he moved on to Terror Birds, various invented dinosaurs, reptiles and mammals, complete in some cases with life cycle drawings or evolutionary progressions... and (strangely contemporary and normal) birds and a dog. There was also the occasional alien with extra limbs and rocket ship.

Then, after he had me label all his drawings for posterity, he asked me to draw him a couple of things. He got a Santa, and some of his invented prehistoric critters...

Once Dad gets home, we'll be watching some more Christmas classic cartoons, and debating about whether the little monkey gets to stay up to watch the ball drop at midnight... (Probably...) And trying to come up with some good New Years snackage...

At this point, the Christmas carols are still in play, but alternating with the Red, White and Blue Beatles albums that Kev gave me for Christmas.

On the Sixth Day of Christmas....

It was too slushy to go sledding. We spent the day indoors. We watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman, sang the 12 days of Christmas song (which Mikro has become obsessed with, and which will probably turn into a math problem one of these days...), and read some more Jan Brett. And did a huge amount of science with experiments on friction and gravity, and lots of math on the computer. Our homeschool group got amazing group discounts on IXL Math and Dreambox Math (Dreambox makes math a game, IXL is more standard math probems), and we use both. Mikro monopolized my computer nearly all day yesterday between Supercharged Science and the math programs...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

On the Fifth Day of Christmas

I finally got around to the stuff I had planned for yesterday. (We wound up doing science last night, lots of experiments and videos online from Supercharged Science about mechanics (forces, friction, gravity), instead of the snow stuff I was thinking of doing. It just kind of evolved that way, based on what Mikro was into. We made a simple compass and played with static electricity.) These are from last night:

If you look carefully at the second photo, you can see that the negatively charged balloon is attracting Mikro's positively charged hair... (and if you have sharper eyes than me, you might be able to read Mikro's growth chart markings on the wall next to him...) Afterwards, we read some more Jan Brett.

Anyway, that was yesterday. Today we read our snowflake book, and a book about the winter solstice. Mikro looked at salt crystals with a magnifying glass, and found out that each individual crystal is clear, but lumped together, they appear white because they refect the light, rather than absorbing it. Salt crystals are cubes. Snow crystals, however, are hexagonal. That's why snowflakes are 6 sided. (Thanks for the book recommendation to Anet at Purple Squirrel Homeschool!)

We followed the book's directions for folding and cutting snowflakes.

And we went sledding again. Mikro really got the hang of it and was zooming. He had a wonderful time.

Now I'm off to get groceries, and hoping I'll be able to back into my driveway, which is bordered on both sides by 5 foot plus walls of snow... Kevin may end up shovelling some more before the night is over. I'd rather stay home, but he wants to go...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

On the Fourth Day of Christmas

We went sledding again. The snow was more packed down, so it was lots more fun this time. Mikro screams his way downhill! He kept letting go of his sled, which, predictably, flew down the hill, so he had to chase it and tramp back up the hill. This got him a little frustrated, but by the end of the day, I think he understood why I kept telling him to hold on & not let go with his hands till his butt was on...

Earlier, we saw an American Goldfinch and a Red Bellied Woodpecker at the feeder. First time we've seen finches in awhile. And our membership cards for the local zoos came in the mail today (first mail we've seen since Christmas Eve.)

Once I get my boots off, we'll be having hot dairy free chocolate, and reading "The Secret Life of a Snowflake" by Kennneth Libbrecht. Maybe we'll make some paper snowflakes. If my fingers thaw out, that is. Even with gloves, mine are arthritic and achy and cold... But it was worth it to watch Mikro screeching with joy as he came barreling downhill!

Snow Scenes & Feeder Watch Count

Feeder Watch Count (for yesterday):

Monday, 27 December 2010
Clear, 25 degrees F. High winds.
Snow on the ground, averaging about 18-20 inches. Drifts as high as 38 inches.

4 dark eyed juncos
8 house sparrows
1 mourning dove
1 red bellied woodpecker.

Monday, December 27, 2010

On the Third Day of Christmas...

We went outside and played in the snow. Mikro got to try out his new sled. And I made maple snow cream... (Just pour real maple syrup on a cup full of clean snow and enjoy!)

On the Second Day of Christmas...

We had a movie marathon and watched Despicable Me, The Guardians of Ga'Hoole, and How to Train Your Dragon. Mikro also got his very first Peep-like candy-- we found him a vegan marshmallow snowman, with dairy free chocolate embellishments. And we watched the blizzard get started. We were supposed to be at my mom and dad's place, but because of the storm, we stayed home. Hope to get out there soon... At bedtime, we read a story from Jan Brett's Christmas Treasury.

A Merry Mikro Christmas

Mikro had a fun Christmas. Kev and I sort of sleep-walked our way through it, as we were more disorganized even than last year, and ended up staying up pretty much all night... But we pulled it off, mostly, which is what matters!

Santa Claus brought Mikro a Lego Star Wars kit. Mom went nuts on science kits and (mostly educational) games, and Dad picked up some just for fun toys, a tank and an RC monster truck and some army guys...

One of his favorite gifts was the 3D Dinosaur model kit. He put that together right away, with a little help & hinting from his Dad.

Other favorites were the Banshee from Avatar, and the legos Santa brought. He really likes the Robox book and put-together-a-robot blocks. And he was nearly ecstatic about Periodic Table of the Elements cards (which he is hugging in the photo below)... There were also books-- Horrible Histories, Horrible Science and Murderous Maths all the way from England (and Mom is keeping the Royal Mail bag...) Speaking of which, the plastic tie that held the mail bag shut proved to be one of his favorite things to play with, as did the wrapping paper, which made a cool greco/roman helmet (thanks, Daddy!), confetti, and a pile to hide in...

Some quotes from my little monkey:

"Dad, help me find the correct components so I can assemble this."
"I can always locate the Santa gift, because the wrapping paper is unique."
"I'm going to pretend the raptor is male and doesn't have the ovaries."
"This book has been processed." (In a robot voice.)
"Can we open the physics kit, please? Now? I want to do the experiments!"
"Don't forget to say happy birthday to Jesus, Mom!"

We never did find the box with the Christmas stockings, so I improvised... Mikro's new snow boots were a decent substitute.

Merry Christmas!