We have made quite a few crystals during the years, and it is always like magic. This is the most recent one – a glow in the dark crystal.
2 months ago we found some moldy bread in the kitchen. Great opportunity to make it grow. Immediately we found a name for it – Bob. So Bob was put into a plastic bag and given a place to live in our kitchen, where he could develop in peace and in a non stressful environment. So we have been looking at him once in a while the past 2 months. This is what he looks like now.
Doing simple experiments with things you can find in your kitchen is cool. We like doing acid base tests with red cabbage. It is a simple harmless thing you can do with all age groups. And they can easily see that something happens. They can all take part. In this experiment, we mix red cabbage, boiling water and Sodium hydroxide. That strong base will change the colour to first green, then blue then end at yellow. Then the other glass is red cabbage, boiling water and lemon. That acid mixture will turn red.
People often ask us to tell about a typical home school day. So here we go. The main thing about home schooling, is that there is no such thing, as a typical day/week. You have the freedom to have a new plan everyday. But for us, there is a need to have a plan and the security of repetition.
Many years ago our oldest daughter asked to have a weekly schedule put up on the wall every week, so she would know what our plans were. So every week I make a new schedule and put up Sunday evening. Some things will continue to be on the schedule for a long time and others, are only one of events.
The subjects on the schedule is a mix of adult and child wishes. I have chosen that they do general subjects that keep their learning above public school level, so it would be easy academically to enter a public school, if we no longer are able to home school. But also to prepare them for high school or other later education of their choice. Then the children have chosen to have additional subjects, like Spanish, Latin and Chinese. Subjects and how often we have them can vary on our schedule. We can also have weeks where we do project work intensively.
Well, back to a typical day. Let’s start with today. Today we had a day at home. We try to ballance days out of the house and days at home. We often get to plan too much, especially trips and activities out of the house. That often leaves us exhausted and longing for a day at home to get back our energy and catch up on basic stuff. We also really like to get good food and to have time to eat. As a general rule, we try to stay at home in the daytime every second day.
We usually get up at around 7 am-8 am. Then we all do our chores, do our exercises and positive confirmations. The kids empty the dishwasher, they put away any clean dry laundry, they open the windows and air out the house to start of with a fresh oxygen filled house. In the evening I have put their books ready on the table, so they can start working when they are dressed and have done their personal hygiene. I hang up any wet laundry to dry and put on the washing machine with a new load. Then I do my exercises, while the kids do their individual schoolwork like math, Danish, English and German. I go to and from my exercises to help them when they get stuck and so goes the time until around 9 am-9:30. Then I usually get time to get dressed and get ready. I make breakfast, alone or with a kid who needs a break from school work. Then we sit down together and eat.
We usually then do our common school work. That is the rest of the subjects, mentioned above. Today we did biology, Latin and biology project.
For Latin we are currently using https://www.clc.cambridgescp.com/sites/www.cambridgescpcom/files/legacy_root_files/clc/webbooks/book1/index.html?p=1
I prepared bread in the kitchen while they worked on the Latin exercises, and then corrected them together with them.
Then the children worked on a movie for their youtube channel, while I prepared lunch together with the smallest child in the kitchen.
Then we watched their work on the computer while eating, and decided on redoing it after eating. So we shot another section of the movie, until we were happy with the result.
Then the youngest child and I made a beetroot chocolate cake in the kitchen, while the oldest child edited the movie together and worked on her musical as well. The two middle children sewed on their costumes for a dance show they are planning.
Then we were expecting two good friends to come over for a sleepover, but unfortunately they had gotten the flu, so we had to eat the cake on our own. Don’t worry friends, if you read this, we will make a new one for you.
The at 3 pm we have quiet time until 4 pm. At that time you can do what you want to do – play on the computer, watch movies, talk to your friends on the phone, read, play outside or go where your imagination takes you. I meditate and drink tea.
Today we have a quiet evening. No spare time activities or work. We all enjoy having our meals together and being able to talk and relax in the evening with a movie or game together. The kids often work on creative projects in the evening, writing, sewing, knitting or drawing. They often also just play and make lots of noise and play music and dance.
So how does a typical week look?
A general example of our weekly schedule could look like this:
The subjects at the bottom has stayed the same for a while, because it work well. We have a language a day, as the kids like languages. We have math and danish three days a week, because they got fed up with having it every day. We finish our books already in april every year anyway, so we manage to do enough work anyway, to be ahead of general curriculum. My work is on the schedule, so the kids know when I am not at home in the evening or daytime. The childrens newspaper route is also on the schedule, so we are able to make everything work out with the time we have available. Creative subjects are not on the schedule, as they are present in most things we do, and they infiltrate most other subjects. Project on thursday and friday is a new thing we are trying after the kids started a knowledge based youtube channel called : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2ECOh462jxQraolPZ53evw
At the middle of the schedule you see events that vary from week to week, like playdates, trips, hobbies, meetings and so on. The kids attend different sparetime activities outside the house like physics and chemistry, drama and ballet. They figure on the schedule on and off, when they have their seasons.
The weekend is also included, as we often go on educational trips together as a family in the weekend or visit friends and family.
Next week will be the winter holiday. Originally, when starting out home schooling, we did not separate school and spare time, but we have found that we have a need to do this. So we now have the same holidays as schools. The difference is just that we do not do the usual subjects, but mostly do trips and project work. This winter holiday we will work intensively on costumes, painting the barrel and go pick branches for our fastelavn celebrations. We are so looking forward!
My oldest daughter found these very motivating videos on youtube. How great to have youtube while home schooling. So many great people out there! She can sing a great part of it now. Learning can always be fun. You just have to be a little creative.
Great to dance to and think about. We look up the things we don’t understand and learn about new areas.
We like fire. All sorts of fire. As long as it is real old fashioned fire. We attended scouts for 5 years with the kids, in reflection, I think just to sit at a bonfire and stare into the flames. We love starring into a bonfire and feeling the warmth. No thoughts in our brains. It is relaxing. Meditative. It is so lovely simple and primitive. Still so fascinating and magic. A chemical reaction and pure energy.
When we suddenly realized that we could just make a bonfire in our garden, we stopped being scouts and continued the fire love in our garden. The smell is also wonderful. When you have made any kind of food over the fire or just sat next to a bonfire you smell wonderfully of bonfire. For many days. Your clothes keep the smell for weeks.
We have done a lot of cooking experiments over fire and other things too, but lets try to focus on the food things for now. Our favorite is pancakes and fried bacon.
Today we held a gathering for Home Schoolers in the celebration of Christmas. We had a market for the kids to sell their home made crafts and our oldest daughter had been given the job of selling and frying pancakes over the large bonfire. We held the event at a Nature Cottage owned by the borough. They have 2 large bonfire places.
Then my husband had been reading about how soldiers can make a Dakota Fire Pitt, which is a bonfire buried in the ground. The effectiveness of this fire is that you dig 2 holes next to each other and make an air canal between the two to make a ventilation duct. That reduces the smoke and visibility from afar of the bonfire. You can then get heat and cook food without being found by the enemy.
So today was the day and he made one. It turned out really fine and worked.
My Husband is against having real candles on our Christmas tree. I always had real candles on our Christmas tree when I was a child, so I have been complaining about my loss of atmosphere at Christmas, by having to live with artificial lights on our tree.
So he needed arguments, to defend his opinion. So as usual, he watched a million youtube movies and read a million articles about the subject.
And of course he came to the decision, that we had to try out the fire threat ourselves. We had to do an experiment. So this year we would not go to a workshop and make things out of the tree trunk, but set fire to it, and see how quickly it would burn. Real quickly, was the answer. With 5 m high flames.
Find a balloon that fits a bottle. Fill the balloon with baking soda. Fill the bottle with 3/4 vinegar.
The vinegar will react to the baking soda, by producing carbon dioxide. It is a chemical reaction between the two, like when baking a bread.
For a few years we have wanted to go to The Medical Museion. They have actual body parts in formaldehyde, you can see close up.
Biology and Chemistry is a great interest of our children, and they had so many questions to the guide.
We had pre-ordered a children friendly tour of the exhibition “The Body Collected”.
They have a large collection of bones affected by different illnesses.
We try to show our children all aspects of life, so that they do not grow up with tabus, shame or go around wondering about things, that they do not dare to ask us. They have become very good judges of what they are uncomfortable with and say:”I do not want to see that” and just go on. It is healthy to learn to question “that is just how it is” when the doctor orders you antibiotica or other situations in life, where you do not think you have a choice.
After the tour, we went around in the museum on our own. The cellar had a very exiting exhibition “Min the Gut” where you could read about the importance of the stomachs bacteria flora and the research done during the past few hundred years.
There also was a Pill Machine where you could answer a line of emotional and dietary questions, to go to a machine where it would give you the right amount of medicine and guidelines to treat your ailments. It was a way to show you the combination of medical and holistic treatment.
On the other floor, just by the entrance, there was a game, where you could play roulette, gambling with your age. You could get good or bad body parts and we had a lot of fun. I managed to turn 101 years old, so I won.
If you have some old speakers lying around, a good way to say goodbye to them, is making a Corn Starch Monster on them.
Maizena (corn flour) or Potato Starch works well. Mix it with water until it becomes a liquid base.
Then pour the mixture on the speaker and start it on a low frequency, around 20 Hz. The Starch will then start dancing.
The water and cornstarch mixture is a non-Newtonian fluid, and this means it behaves very oddly. You can pick it up, and if you keep moving it about so it’s under stress, it stays solid. But as soon as you let it rest, it goes back into a liquid.