Posts Tagged ‘Homeschooling’

High School Astronomy for Homeschoolers

Monday, October 7th, 2019

high-school-astronomy-homeschool

I have been researching high school astronomy for homeschoolers for quite a few years, and it wasn’t until this year that I found a curriculum that looked beautiful, was beefy but not too mathematical, and that was understandable. I finally found it! I ordered the majority of these from Master Books, but my dad already had several of the books and DVD’s. The large Hubble coffee table book we got from Costco.

Here is a list of books that we got:

  • The Stargazer’s Guide to the Night Sky (includes planisphere inside back cover)
  • Survey of Astronomy: 9th -12th Grade Teacher Guide
  • Our Created Moon
  • Taking Back Astronomy

The four books listed above are all you need for a full year of high school astronomy. Besides the huge Hubble book, I’ve also added:

  • The New Astronomy Book
  • The Privileged Planet (DVD)
  • Our Created Moon (DVD)
  • The Heavens Declare (set of 3 DVD’s)
  • Binoculars, and hopefully a used telescope at some point

Unboxing High School Astronomy

To see the books up closer, take a look at this unboxing video, where I show you the beautiful photos and describe what I am doing for astronomy this year:

High School Field Trips for Astronomy

Just during the month of September, we have already gone on 5 astronomy field trips! The first one was an astronomy workshop at a local library, where the speaker presented many different astronomy activities that would be taking place in my area. I asked him where the nearest observatory was located, where the best place to see the Milky Way was, and when the next star party was scheduled.

nasa-space-suit

On a different day we went to a planetarium, where we leaned back and observed outer space from a domed ceiling. I’ve always love planetariums because it makes me feel like I’m an astronaut in outer space, just floating and looking at the nebulae and planets.

solar-flares

We looked through telescopes at the sun during the daytime, to try to find solar flares and sun spots. On the day that we were looking, there were no sun spots or solar flares, but it was still cool to look through the expensive equipment to see the sun without hurting our eyes. The Spokane Astronomical Society had a booth at a local festival, and they were getting the public interested in astronomy by having their telescopes set up.

sun-spots

At night we attended a star party, which was also hosted by the Spokane Astronomical Society. We were able to find basic constellations, the north star, and some planets. We actually got to see four of the moons of Jupiter, and a red stripe going across it! (I’ve never been able to see that in real life before, so it was definitely cool.) And we also saw the rings on Saturn!

nasa-space-stuff

Our family also attended another workshop at a different library, presented by a NASA representative. The workshop was entitled “Space Frontiers.” We saw a space suit, Shuttle EVA suit glove, small rocket steering thruster, Martian meteorite, and other artifacts. Joe Bruce was the speaker, and he had witnessed four space shuttle launches and the launch of Space X Falcon Heavy from the Kennedy Space Center. He described what it was like, from the perspective of someone who was there!

star-party

We have learned so much high school astronomy so far and have experienced it! I’m always astounded at how much fun I have homeschooling my kids, and this year is no exception. Hands-on is the best way to learn about a subject, and we plan to go star gazing many more times this year.

Field Trip to British Columbia, Canada

Monday, September 30th, 2019

field-trip-to-british-columbia-canada

So my grandma wanted to go up to Canada, and this time she decided to haul me and my mom along. Here’s how it went.

Actually, not much of the trip had to do with my grandma at all, although I did see her a bunch, but for the most part, we split up: grandma to hang out with her brother, and the rest of us to have a sunny day out. Lunch was fish and chips by the shore of Steveston Harbour. The birds really liked when I randomly threw french fries everywhere.

fish-and-chips

For some reason, the wind decided on being weird. So whenever we went back to the car to get the kite, it would die down, and when we’d come back, there it would kick up again. Hmm. Oh well, the wind can’t foil our plans to explore the salmon cannery!

steveston-harbour

A while back, the cannery closed down, but later on some people came to clean it up and make it into a museum. Joke’s on them, because the previous owners of that place didn’t clean up the fish guts before leaving. So there was five-year-old salmon in every cranny of the machines! I don’t envy whoever had to clean it.

salmon-cannery

Coming into the place, there was a life-sized wax scene with a boat and fishermen. All around the place were little pieces of history that were interesting to look at.

picnic-at-cannery

There were different machines for everything in the cannery, and apparently no safety features, as some of the workers lost fingers. I also heard that if anything was caught in the machinery, someone had to run across the building to yell to someone to flip the off switch, and by then, what was likely your hat got caught off your head and is now torn up and has messed up the gears and chains. Congratulations.

Other than that, the machines looked pretty cool. Oh yeah, there were fish scales permanently embedded in the walls and ceiling. At one point, scales were dripping down like a stalactite. It was a lovely learning experience. Well, I’ve probably grossed you out enough…

fish-cannery-scene

We got to see labels of tons of different cans from each decade, even cartoons to advertise them. But it really made me realize how racist everyone was back then. It was a bragging right on labels if it was canned with “100% white labor”… yikes! Because most of the time, Japanese women were hired for the fish gutting.

fishing-boats

The drive home (and driving throughout Canada) was quite pretty actually, and made me realize how lucky I am to live in Washington, which is literally an extension of Canada. The landscape included hay farms that wrapped their bales in white tarps and scattered them around randomly, making the whole place look like a marshmallow farm… Well, anyway, I’m back, and I enjoyed my time there.

PS. This blog post was written by my daughter Rachel.

Korea Day Activities

Monday, September 23rd, 2019

korea-day

Isn’t it lovely when there’s a little Korean town in the middle of a bustling city? And isn’t it even better when that town holds a festival of its own to attract attention to its little self? Welcome to Korea Day.

korea-in-british-columbia

This is the event I went to recently on my trip to British Columbia. The place itself had a grocery store, a bunch of restaurants, and clothes stores. Oh yeah, and ninety percent of everyone was Korean.

It was interesting. It was as if I was actually in some place located in Asia; I felt out of place as an American. But after I got over that and realized that they didn’t even notice or care about me, that’s when the fun began!

korean-restaurant

We got Korean pancakes, which were filled with glorious sweet brown sugar and peanut filling. After that, me and my third cousin once removed went browsing the clothes stores while the responsible adults left us to fend for ourselves. We noticed a certain hat, maybe it’s popular in that country to have sun visors that are super long. Our time of browsing was cut short as the rest of the group were trying to find us for the past five minutes. Oops.

korean-food

We went to a restaurant next, and it was so hot in there I almost melted, but that’s not the point. All the stuff we ordered were put in separate little bowls and put all together to look pretty. There were a lot of different foods. Mostly spicy foods. I have a feeling Koreans are best friends with fiery spices. My favorite foods were the ones drowned in teriyaki sauce. These were the beef and chicken dishes. We also put a bunch of the sauce in our rice, and we had no regrets.

car-photo

Overall, it was an interesting experience to get out of the culture I’m so stuck in, and see the way people on the other side of the world live. And really, Korean culture is not so different from ours. They have styles and brands and good food, just like we do, but they have their own way of expressing it.

PS. My daughter Rachel wrote this blog post.

Teen Homeschoolers Shoot Math Books

Monday, July 1st, 2019

teen-homeschoolers-shoot-math-books

My teen homeschoolers had fun shooting their math books yesterday at the shooting range, culminating in exploding the math books to smithereens. My oldest son said the following quotes before being the first to shoot his math book:

  • “Pre-calculus took away one year of my life.”
  • “Pre-calculus is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”
  • “Pre-calculus ruined my life.”

Even though the aforementioned teen got A’s on his pre-calculus, it took him an inordinate amount of time to finish his math each day, cutting into his free time. “Today is payback,” I said, looking in his direction. He grinned as he saw his math book fly up into the air while being shot.

how-to-help-my-child-with-math-at-home

I do need to say that I have been pleased with the homeschooling math books that we’ve used, just in case you figure out what brand of book was exploded by my family. It’s a course that my kids did on the computer, with explanations for higher math that I would never have been able to teach myself, seeing as how I never took pre-calculus in school. My husband thought it would be a good idea to teach our kids to think, hence they were required to go all the way through pre-calculus before they graduated high school.

how-to-improve-in-math

Obviously my oldest son didn’t appreciate being taught to think in this way, hence his glee at seeing the utter destruction and annihilation of his math book, along with his brothers’ and sister’s math books, which were also demolished.

This was the destruction after the shooting and before the explosions:

shot-math-books

Teen Homeschoolers Shoot Math Books (Video)

In this short 1-minute video, you will see the shooting and exploding of math books. We also show the book carnarge: first of the shooting, then of the explosions. Enjoy.

A good time was had by all. For those who have never heard of tennerite, it’s an explosive target that combines oxidizers and a fuel (aluminum powder) that are combined together and mixed right before setting up the target. The two components are stored separately until you are ready to use it. This is what we used for the explosions.

Here is a close-up photo of the utterly demolished homeschool math books after being shot and exploded.

math-destruction

Hope you enjoyed joining us for the demolition of our math books!

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