Behind the Scenes

Last week in place of a wrap up of the whole week I posted a nice picture story about visiting the vernal pools.  What about engineers’ week?  Did we do it?  What cool things did we create and build?

Laser Etched Jars

We went to the Fab Lab and came home with a couple of custom laser etched jars (they are clear jars, I just added colored paper for the photo).  It took us a couple of hours and we had some frustration, but it was cool to see the laser etcher do its thing.

Robots - Engineers' Week

The boys did spend time building with their EV3 and NXT,  but the programming didn’t get done.  We were missing the NXT software AND the cord for the NXT.  (UNLABELED cords – a major source of frustration for me.)  The EV3 owner got a bit overwhelmed and didn’t want to program anything.  With dad’s help over the weekend we were able to locate a cord and the software.  Yeah!


The chocolate factory tour?  Oh the chocolate factory tour.  We went on Thursday and someone’s stomach got upset before the tour started and we had to leave without even setting foot in the gift shop.  We tried again Friday, but it wasn’t a production day.  We went again this Thursday after zoo class and finally had a chance to watch the chocolate being processed.  We couldn’t see as much as we would have liked, but it was still fun to buy chocolate after seeing the processing.

Bridges?  Nothing yet.  Between the robot building and the failed factory tour trips we ran out of time.  If I get a little more research done we might have a chance to work them into another trip we are making downtown.

Circle Art

Circle Art? I thought it was fun.  I spent an hour or so relaxing and coloring in the circles with oil pastels.  The boys?  They haven’t colored theirs yet.  I think markers would be much easier than oil pastels.  We also used two different cup sizes for making the circles and I thought that added some interest.

Standing in an icy puddle along the Spring Peeper trail

The pictures you saw from the vernal pool outing didn’t show that it took us 3 tries to get to the trail with rubber boots, nets, and a SD card for the camera.

All of this is not to complain, just to let you know that behind the blog things don’t always go perfectly.  Sometimes our log doesn’t show as many “school” hours as I would like. Sometimes despite great plans, it’s tough to get it all together.  Sometimes I have a week where I think maybe their time would have been more productive at school.  Then I’m reminded of the #1 lesson I brought home from the business world: “It’s all about relationships.”  This homeschool thing – it isn’t just about providing a great educational experience – it’s about conversations, real world problem solving,  learning to handle mistakes and frustrations and most importantly building strong relationships.

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14 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes

  1. I so enjoy reading about your homeschool and life in general. Oh A chocolate tour, yes please! I love the circle art. It’s on my Pinterest board to do this spring. Enjoy your weekend!

  2. Sounds like a lot of fun things……….your boys are blessed that you are doing so many fun activities for them……’s great to homeschool! 🙂 Thank you for posting. Gentle Joy

  3. Ah, we’ve done the multiple tour attempts before. Hope everyone is feeling better now! I have a hard time getting most of my boys to do anything art. I am a bit nervous of bringing paint into our home for much of the same reason. I love the etched glass, that is very cool!

    • Each of them has their own favorite medium / genre to work in and it’s difficult to get them to branch out. They were very happy with their etched glass though.

  4. As a mom with boys I really do enjoy your blog and some of the cool ways you introduce subjects to your sons. I’m visiting from Weird Unsocialized Homschoolers Weekly

    • Can’t wait to see what you do with the arduino. We keep wanting to figure out something to do with an arduino or Raspberry Pi but haven’t really figured out what we want to do.

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