While we were in Milwaukee, we visited Discovery World which contains a couple of rooms full of various sorts of gears and pulleys, as well as all sorts of other simple machines that can be tested and fiddled with. It was fun to get to play around with various versions of the machines we've been studying!
Tuesday's physical science with a friend saw them comparing various contraptions they'd built using wheels and axles, as well as gears. I had my son build a catapult and they tested it in various ways, averaged shot results, etc. as we reviewed levers. We also reviewed all the terms that have been introduced thus far. We'll be wrapping up gears next time we meet and finally moving into pulley studies, followed by Rube Goldberg devices to finish off this study....
For his Wacky Science class at co-op, he came home and constructed a density column.
Only three more Friday chemistry labs to go this fall! They are going well for him, but a three hour lab is a long class. I'm glad that the lady who does these offers them in small chunks, rather than as a semester or year long classes. When they are finished, we'll finally have more time for history and lit, which have been woefully neglected thus far this fall!
On Wednesday, we traveled to an area farm at lunch time for a fun fall outing. We've been going to one or more such farms around this time of year since this child was in pre-school. This may be our last such outing, so I was very sad. We did the standard apple and pumpkin tour that they offer, including educational info on farming and picking/processing apples, making cider, etc. We toured the cider mill and took a hayride out to pick a pumpkin from the patch. They also offer a large playground area, corn maze, and petting zoo. Mostly the older boys who were there were in the "we're too old for such things" mode and didn't really play, so it was a sort of bittersweet visit for my son, I think. We came home with fried apple pies, apple cider donuts, gallons of cider, and one of the best home remedies in the world: flash pasteurized apple cider vinegar!
I have no more little children. I am old. Life is going to change very shortly. My older son hardly calls us this year since he went off to college. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that he wasn't homesick like he was his freshman year, but we'd still like to hear from him a little more (he did call me today).... I'm trying to think of ways to move into my next stage of life, but it's sort of scary.... What will I do? How will I be useful?
We caught up on home ec homework. His class if finally getting ready to cook the next few weeks and I look forward to that (as I think we get to taste)! He had assignments to complete regarding creating a monthly and two different weekly budgets for living on his own; and he had a weekly menu, as well as a monthly dinner menu to plan. It was very interesting thinking through this with him and trying to figure out how to stretch his dollar as he was working with a net income of $1000 a month and rents for even one bedroom apartments here are generally over $500 per month....
Symphony Field Trip!
Today, we attended a performance of our symphony held at the Opera House (which is in a very lovely, old historic building). We were in the third (upper) balcony and I could actually see even the back players for a change. They were doing a "Rhythms of the World" educational concert and had the movable pit filled with various African and Caribbean drums. After introducing everyone to several different sorts of rhythms in music through playing a variety of pieces, they brought in the UK drum ensemble for some rousing Carnival music and then they used the drum set-ups to play a traditional African piece and joined the symphony in playing "Oye Como Vas" - and the steel drums were fabulous on it, too! I love our fairly new symphony conductor - I hope we keep him for years to come! Their school day performance last year was terrific, too, and he did the most accessible version of Messiah last year that I've ever attended. I look forward to attending performances in which he is involved as he's always innovating with his venues and various other aspects of the performance!
Next week, we will be doing a lesson in acrylic painting with a retired school teacher who is the new art director for a Michael's craft store here. I hope that will go well - I've been looking for a good art teacher here for all the years I've been homeschooling.... We had a pretty good one once, but she moved to Colorado.... I've got some ideas lined up for working with a pottery and a stained glass place here, too, so hope to get in at least a few good art lessons this year....