40,000 Years of London’s History—Made Entirely of Paper

Here’s a great short video to teach a lot of history in a short time.  National Geographic has produced this wonderful three minute video that covers some of the major events of British history.

National Geographic says:

Thousands of artifacts have been unearthed as a result of the construction of the new Crossrail transportation system in London. These paper animations will take you on a journey through the city’s history—from the Stone Age to the present day.

 

Pretty neat!

An Afternoon Visit 7 Miles Under the Sea

Most of our family went to Sioux Falls today to do our regular trek to Costco, the science museum and thrift stores.  We try to combine fun and educational things with practical trips like grocery shopping every time we can so we have memberships to the science museum and zoo to help make it easy to stop by even for an hour or two any time we head to the city.

We usually get there in the afternoons and miss the free films at the cinedome, but this time we got there early enough to catch today’s movie, which was James Cameron’s Deep Sea Challenge.

Alex, Fiona, Rhia, Toria and I went and saw the 39 minute 2-D film (I suspect it may be longer in the 3-D version in some theaters) and we loved it.  It was just wonderful.  It was educational, inspirational, beautiful, exciting…. all you could ask for, especially for kids ranging in age from 4 to 17.  Here’s the synopsis:

As a boy, filmmaker James Cameron dreamed of a journey to the deepest part of the ocean. This film is the dramatic fulfillment of that dream. It chronicles Cameron’s solo dive to the depths of the Mariana Trench—nearly seven miles beneath the ocean’s surface—piloting a submersible he designed himself. The risks were astounding. The footage is breathtaking. JAMES CAMERON’S DEEPSEA CHALLENGE 3D is a celebration of science, courage, and extraordinary human aspiration.

 

I visited the film’s site when I got home and saw that they have all sorts of lesson plans for educators.  If you get a chance to see the movie either in theaters or once it’s available at home, I highly recommend it.

In the movie, Cameron talks about how he’s been obsessed with visiting the deep sea since he was a child.  He also talks about how important it is for us to keep discovering and exploring, and how today’s children will be going on their own wonderful explorations.

Afterwards, Alex (8) really wanted to talk about how Cameron did his job (making movies) in part to pay for fulfilling his dreams (going 7 miles down to the deepest part of the ocean where nobody had ever been).  He’s really thinking about what jobs would be best for him and what dreams too.  Hopefully he can combine the two.  🙂

 

Using Cuisenaire Rods to Find the LCM

I’ve loved Cuisenaire rods since I was in Montessori preschool in California many decades ago and my mother bought a set for me to play with at home.

When I became a homeschooler, I immediately bought a wooden set for my own kids, even though I still have most of the very battered cardboard box of Cuisenaire rods that my mother bought those many years ago.  I love them, and my kids love them.

We have played with them to play with math over the years, but I always knew there were far more ways to use them to teach math (including very advanced topics) and even languages.  I’ve seen literally hundreds of lesson plans to use them for anything you can think of.

I stumbled on this you-tube video the other day, though, and am once again inspired to start using them for more heavy-duty math teaching.

So simple, so easy!

Do you use Cuisenaire rods in your homeschool?  What’s your favorite way to use them?  Besides just play.  That’s still mine.  🙂

Kill Kancer

Last January, Victoria got a chance to take part in a PSA for a new organization that’s working to educate young people about cancer.  They were taping in the Twin Cities that night and wanted to know if she could come then (we’re 3 hours away) and take part as a young cancer survivor.  She and Daryl jumped in the car and made it up there in time.  She had a fantastic experience taking part (though she told me she wished she had time to grab makeup!).  🙂

The PSA is now finished and the organization’s website is going live soon.  I think it’s an amazing work, and would say that even if my girl wasn’t in it.

She happened to have turquoise hair that month, so she’s easy to spot.  😉

I am so proud of Victoria.  For so many reasons.

Yay for all the young people who are beating cancer, and please take unusual symptoms seriously.  If your doctor blows them off and you don’t think it’s “nothing” then go see another doctor.  Three different doctors told Toria that her cancer was nothing to worry about.  Thank goodness we decided to remove it anyway, that the surgeon was able to remove it all and we ultimately ended up with a surgeon and oncologist who takes good care of her.

Cancer is a word, not a sentence. ~John Diamond