Monday, November 27, 2017

Menu Plan Monday - 11/27/17

 I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day! We were hosted by my adult daughter and her husband, with son-in-law's family and friends. There was SO! MUCH! FOOD! We came home with some stuffing and some dessert, but no turkey. We're having turkey cutlets one day this week and *pretending* they are "leftovers". Here's our plan:

Saturday: Wings, French fries, cole slaw

Sunday: spaghetti and meatballs, salad, Texas Toast

Monday: Turkey cutlets, stuffing, green beans

Tuesday: Chicken Tortilla Soup, tortilla chips, salad

Wednesday: Beef and veggie skillet, rolls

Thursday: skillet barbecue chicken, noodles, brocolli

Friday:  Date Night

Monday, November 20, 2017

Menu Monday for 11/20/17

 I never got my menu posted last week. Did you miss me?

Anyway, here are this week's plans:

Sunday (11/19):
Baked ziti, salad, TX toast

Monday (11/20):
Roast chicken, broccoli, rice

Tuesday (11/21):
Grandmas chili, salad, corn bread

Wednesday (11/22):
Chicken Caesar salad, King’s Hawaiian rolls

Thursday (11/23)
Family Thanksgiving dinner at my daughter's: turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls, fresh veggie platter, pies for dessert

Friday (11/24):
Turkey cutlets, stuffing, green beans

Saturday (11/25):
Wings, fries, fresh Vegetables.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thinking Like an Engineer - A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

Review Crew

Today I get to tell you about an amazing on-line course my family has been trying out this month by Innovators Tribe.

This opportunity to look at Thinking Like an Engineer came at a perfect time for us as my high school senior is looking at engineering and trying to determine what he will major in next year in college. We received a 2-year subscription in exchange for our review.

 Thinking Like an Engineer is a video course. It is well set up. From the Course Dashboard you can access the course Overview.

Scrolling down the Overview page brings you to a link where you can download the course Syllabus. 

 I did, however, think they could (and should) improve the "Materials List".
For one thing, it would be helpful if the list was broken down by lesson. For example, here is the syllabus content for Unit 1:
Under the Challenge activity of Lesson 1 it should say: Materials: 5 sheets of copy paper; 12" masking tape; scissors. 

Also, the material list was incomplete, because the Challenge activity under Lesson 3 called for two empty 2-liter soda bottles, masking tape, fine sand, coarse sand, gravel, coffee filter, and I think cheese cloth, and alum. None of those are on the provided materials list, and I'm still in Unit 1.

So... that was the only negative thing. I didn't make a water filter because I didn't have the materials, and I felt guilty that I wasn't prepared to make a water filter... And if I'd been doing this with kids I'd not have been prepared and I would have had disgruntled students.

Okay, so taking on this product review I was planning to work on the material at least three days per week, and I figured that would be about an hour each day. Doing this (not really knowing), I thought I'd get through quite a bit of the program.

What I found in truth was that the speed a student goes through the program will vary greatly from student to student. If they are really interested in the material, to a certain extent, the slower they go through the material the more they will get out of the program.

For instance, the Challenge Project for Lesson 1 was to create the tallest paper tower you can with five sheets of paper and 12" of masking tape. I really obsessed over this assignment, and spent hours on top of hours with my sad attempt that resulted in a flimsy construction about 2' tall.
How sad is that tower? ::sigh::

Lesson 2 provided an Activity Sheet with an assignment to research various types of engineers. These Activity Sheets are assigned throughout the program and are an intrinsic part of the program. And I'm not sure what happened with the Challenge activity for Lesson 2 - I didn't do it because I overlooked it.. I've now watched the challenge video, and my mind is cranking with how to attack the challenge...

Lesson 3, Engineering Clean Drinking Water, left me wondering how sustainable it is to create a clean drinking water system for a remote Mexican village. Don't the filters eventually need to be changed? How sustainable is that? And what about the last stage of cleaning the water where chemicals are added. Can't we learn and do more more with doing that stage without chemicals, with an ultraviolet lamp? I hate that our water is full of chemicals...

Lesson 4, 14 Grand Engineering Challenges, really slowed me down (as if I wasn't already going slowly enough!).
Lesson 4 gives a link to a website where the student can further explore these 14 engineering challenges. I could have spent two weeks on this one website following all of its links!

As you go into Unit 2, you download a CAD (Computer Aided Design) program. I've done this, but I'm still at the beginning of the unit learning how to use the program. Here is what Unit 2 includes:
Unit 3 is about Engineering Roller Coasters and has a challenge to make a paper roller coaster. You saw my paper tower -- I hate to think about what my paper roller coaster might look like!
Lesson 4 is about bridges. It was split onto two pages, so that's why it looks weird below:
Unit 5 is about 3D Computer Design. This might be the topic that fits my son well!
Unit 6 is about Nano-Engineering. We looked at nano-engineering once in First Lego League, but it didn't hold my son's attention. It might have been that he wasn't ready for it - he was in 6th Grade.
There is a brief summary at the end of the program.
Signing up for this course brings you a bonus course, How to be an Innovator. I haven't done that course yet, but it's amazing to get a bonus course!

The outline for Thinking Like an Innovator immediately follows the outline for Thinking Like an Engineer.

The provided information indicates that the course includes about 30 hours of work and can be counted as 1/4 high school credit.
I went through what I got through of Thinking Like an Engineer at the rate of about one lesson per week, not a lesson a day as I had envisioned. Most of the time I spent "on the program" was actually not on the program website but on connected links or on challenge activities. I loved it! If your student goes as slowly as I did and studies thoroughly it might merit more credit than is recommended.

While I have been using this program my son has been very busy with his dual-enrollment college courses and his other high school coursework and activities (including scholarship applications!). I expect I will continue to work through the program and share morsels with him until he finds time to begin working on it himself. Since he doesn't need the partial credit, he will probably just blast his way through the video portions and read what interests him of the links. I think this is such a valuable program for him to help introduce him to branches of engineering and to help him determine if there is a particular direction he wants to go.

Other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed this course or Thinking Like an Architect. To read additional reviews please click the link below.
Thinking Like an Architect or Engineer {Innovators Tribe Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Thin Stix Creativity Pack - A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

Review Crew

We love the Thin Stix and I was excited when I learned we would receive Thin Stix Creativity Pack from The Pencil Grip, Inc. to review!

The package arrived quickly, and we were not disappointed!

Look at all those great colors! The 24-pack comes with the 12 colors in the Kwik Stix 12-pack

and also includes 6 metalic colors

and 6 neon colors!

When separated in these photos, it seems easy to tell which colors are which, but when in use the colors get rearranged, and it becomes a little difficult to tell which are which. 

As we used the Thin Stix it became an adventure, finishing each picture and tipping it to see the metalic colors shimmer, or seeing the neon colors pop out against the original colors!

We did some abstract, some nature...

My son found it relaxing to attempt a mountain scene with mountains reflecting in the lake. 

These Thin Stix are great fun, and a great way to do no-mess kids' art! For mom they can be a refreshing break, either to let the kids do a no-mess art project, or for mom to sit down and do art with the kids. 

Thin Stix are tempera paint in a stick, and they dry in 90-seconds! They are non-toxic, so safe for your littles who long to be part of your home school activities. They can be used on paper, cardboard, wood... use your imagination! They can be used for pictures, which is what we did, or for borders, or even picture frame embellishment! There are so many possibilities! I love this set so much more than only having a Thin Stix 6-Pack of Classic Colors!

I do miss being able to read a label stating the color... I thought one was brown, only to end up with a purple tree trunk... And these fun paint sticks are not as precise as painting with a paint brush, so they can challenge the patience of a perfectionist child. It was a growing opportunity in our home as we enjoyed using the Thin Stix while learning their capabilities and their limitations. We are really enjoying them! 

Thin Stix are available at BJ membership stores, but you might be able to get a free set. Some of the Review Crew are going to do a Thin Stix giveaway! To have a chance at a free Thin Stix Creativity Pack you'll need to click the button below, go to other reviews, and find folks who are conduction giveaways. You can enter separately in each different blog's giveaway, so you can have a lot of opportunities to win, so give it a try!

You can find Kwik Stix on social media:

Twitter: @thepencilgrip

Thin Stix Creativity Pack {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, November 6, 2017

Menu Monday for 11/6/17

 I am in absolute overload mode right now. No time to menu plan; no time to shop. I don't know how I will get through this week.

Saturday morning was the burial of my best friend's mom (as in the burial of my 2nd mom), whom I had known since I was in 4th grade (50 years). After the burial we went to a birthday party I'd been invited to months ago for the 1-year-old of a sweet lady I'm now working to be mom to, the way "Ma Derrick" above was a mom to me. When we left the party it was late, and we picked up subs for dinner on the way home.

Sunday after church we drove out of state to spend the day with my daughter and son-in-law. Our time ended with a steak dinner, a blessing we'd planned in advance to bless my SIL for his November birthday.

Monday morning was drive my hubby to work so I'd have the car, drive 40 miles to a physical therapy appointment, drive home for lunch, briefly catch up on computer, drive to podiatrist for appointment, drive to pick hubby up at work, go home and make hamburgers for dinner, go to Boy Scout troop meeting to discuss two merit badges with a Scout. My son picked up the ground beef so I could make dinner.

Tuesday's schedule includes a dental cleaning. I have a review due that I need to write, and need to serve something for dinner, maybe rotisserie chicken. I will not have car most of the day, so chicken shopping after dentist appointment.

Wednesday I drive hubby to work so I can have car. I babysit at MOPs 9:15 - 11:30, go home, have lunch, then my son gets inducted into community college honor society - Phi Beta Kappa - at 3:00. And I need to serve dinner. Don't know what. I have another review due Thursday by 3:00 that I need to write up.

Thursday my son has the car. I'll write my last review of 2017. I can't shop without a car. Hubby has a 3:00 appointment, so I can't have his car. Physical Therapy wants to see me again if they can fit me into their schedule, and if I can get there with our crazy shared-car schedule. And I need to serve dinner again without food and without time or car to shop.

Friday I'll have the car and can shop, I guess, for the days that have already gone by, right? ::sigh:: I predict some pizza and dinners from fast food places this week. What can I say? One of those crazy weeks...