Projects, Science

Clown Fish

Has it been 2 months since I let my children watch their first movie? We watched Finding Nemo over a period of two days, and he now has a few moments of obsession.

He named his dump truck “Nemo” and the front loader is “Nemo’s Dad”.

Today he took it a step further because he saw that the picture on our Big Ocean book is a Clown Fish. He asked me to read him the section on clownfish a few times, and we also looked in our Animal Encyclopedia for additional information.

For a child that is hard to understand, he is REALLY good at pronouncing Anemone.

– Clown Fish live in anemones. They secret an oil that protects them from the anemone stings. They lure food into the anemone and the anemone protects them from larger predators… like that nasty shark in the movie. This is called a symbiotic relationship.

– Clown Fish can lay 400 to 1,500 eggs at one time.

Mr. 3 asked if we could get a fish tank and fill it with clown fish. We talked about how much work and responsibility would be required with that. However, I was inspired by my child’s interest to make our own clown fish!


You will need pipe cleaners, construction paper, scissors, pencil. The glue and stick are optional, depending on how your child wants to play with the fish.

1. Draw and cut out your fish. Glue to a stick if you want to.

2. Fold a bunch of pipe cleaners in half  and loop one of them around the bunch to hold it together. Bend and spread the pipe cleaners as desired.

3. Have a heart attack when your 3-year-old insists on using the kitchen shears to practice cutting.

 

Geography, History

A Mystery in South America

My 3-year-old wanted a granola bar, some nuts, and 2 waffles for breakfast. As he was picking through our container of nuts, he would ask me what kind they were. When he came across the Brazil Nut he asked me where they were from and I told him I guessed they were from Brazil.

I then looked in our Amazing World Atlas book to read about South America and Brazil. I did not find any information about nuts, but Brazil does produce over 3 Million tons of coffee every year.

The thing I found most interesting was the Nazca Desert in Peru. According to the book the Nazca lines were scraped into the desert sand 1500 years ago. Some of them are pictures of animals and plants (“biomorphs”) and some of them are just shapes and lines (“geoglyphs”). The surprising thing? These pictures are so large that you can only see them from the air. How did they get there, and what do they mean? No one truly knows, but there are some interesting theories described in an article written by the UnMuseum. According to the article, the glyphs are actually dated to 200 BC and 300AD, and these are not the only breathtaking large-scale phenomena in South America.

I don’t know about you, but aliens was definitely the thing that crossed my mind first.

Daily Lessons, Science

Busy Bees

Hello! We have been busy here, doing nothing and everything. Here are some things that I think I know, gleaned from our everyday activities:

A helicopter weighs 10,000 pounds, or approximately 4 school buses! (I overheard this on Mr. 3’s Blippi show. Although Mr. 3 told me it was 1,000, but that doesn’t seem like enough. He does not yet understand the difference for such big numbers.)

A dandelion, with its jagged leaves and yellow flowers, has no business in a strawberry bed! This caused my strawberries to be teeny tiny and very few. When my friend pointed it out, I pulled it out right away and since then the strawberries have been proliferous.

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The kids love going to the garden each morning to help me water and see what they can eat. Mr. 3 and Mr. 1 worked together today to water the apple tree which is across a small creek and takes careful aim to water. Mr. 1 may have gotten sprayed in the side of the face. Mr. 3 then pointed out the bright green leaves as meaning the “apple tree is growing SOO much!”.

Side benefit of having playdates is that your friend can teach your things about your own garden/house or anything, because everyone’s knowledge base is different.

There are 6 different breeds of Giraffe, whose noises cannot generally be heard by human ears.

A difference between a Crocodile and and Alligator is that the teeth stick out of the mouth of the Crocodile. The snout on an crocodile is longer and narrows more to a point. As my husband likes to say the Alligator mouth is “all short like”.

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I hate to jinx it, but Mr. 3 is devoting a lot of energy to being Blippi, from his favorite television show. And he’s “not a baby Blippi, a BIG Blippi”. My favorite thing about this is the fact that he is wearing underwear today and so far has kept it clean and dry. He went to the potty 3 times yesterday, and 4 the day before. I’m trying not to get too excited, but I think he’s finally ready! I will gladly look at imaginary snow chains on the imaginary garbage truck 47 times a day for this. It’s definitely worth it.

Some other things we have been working on that I may share with you later include, keeping a daily homeschool log, and my husband trying out a new work schedule in order to give me a break.

I have been reminded that parenting can be really, really, hard, but it is a beautiful thing to watch your children grow and learn.

 

 

 

Health, Science

Getting out of the House… Yes, please!

I think most mom’s have so much going on that they really and truly wish they could stay home. I have the opposite problem, a pre-schooler that does not want to leave the house.

It’s probably a combination of many factors such as the weather, hormones, not doing many fun things outside of the house and who knows what else, but I have been feeling rather blue lately. 

I like the idea of respectful parenting and treating my kids as people, but they don’t always respect me. So I tried explaining that mommy needed to get out of the house and get some exercise and sunshine, and received only “but I want to stay HOME and play with TRAINS!” no matter that I said please, and explained that we need to consider other people’s thoughts and feelings as well. 

 At any rate, in my slightly depressed state, I was left with two choices:

1. Open a bottle of wine and drown my sorrows, possibly endangering my children, or

2. Let my 3 year old throw a brief tantrum, and then strap him in the stroller and be on my way.

I chose option two, and the one year old was happy to accompany me. The dog was so excited that she nearly knocked us all down the stairs. 

We walked to the library (about a mile and a half) and by then I could tell I was feeling much better. We found some really great books and got some good exercise.

 There was another little boy that was trying to teach Mr. 3 how to use the library computer, and it was so interesting to just hang back and watch them interact. I was really disappointed when his mom got off her phone and told him to leave Mr.3 alone. I tried to explain that it was good for them, but English was not something we had in common.

The closest I got to “thank you for making me leave the house, you are so beautiful and smart, mommy” was him repeatedly saying ” I really LOVE this book! ”

I was feeling better, but I was not excited about staying home today. When I woke up,the sun was shining and it was already getting warm. It was NOT an indoor kind of day. I tried the same approach of reasoning but met with the same resistance. So I became boss instead of mom and I told that boy to get his butt downstairs and put on shoes!


We had such an amazing time at the zoo! Both boys were in and out of the stroller. We played on the jungle gym (little one dug in the mulch) saw a beautiful peacock splay his feathers. This frightened the three year old, but the one year old had no fear. Tigers, owls, bears, and the funny and graceful river otters!

We practiced our signs for the animals, and Mr. 1 learned a new sign for “swim”. We talked about the animals enjoying the weather. We saw a baby (joey) wallaby drinking milk from his mommy, and a pregnant giraffe. There was a zebra rolling in the grass near some sleeping hippos. We pet the goats and sheep in the farm petting zoo. 

After all is done, I can feel the sunshine in my heart. There was so much smiling and running and laughing (and learning) today, how could I not feel better?

And the bonus? Two tired kiddos!