Sunday, August 31, 2014

Friday Co-Op Elementary Science Olympiad

Boca Buddies now has a new website:  Visit

Friday Co-Op 2014–15
Elementary Science Olympiad K–5
Corresponds to Classical Conversations Cycle 3

Competition Dates: FAU - May 2, 2015  (They now have one close to us!  No trip to Orlando on May 9th!) Register Team Prior to March 15

              (Possible Training for 2 Mentors?  Unknown location and dates.)
              12 Students.  Goal Grades 3–5.  Will use younger if needed or very willing.

              See which events children respond to the most.  Assign teams and individuals so they can
              be preparing at home also.

Semester 1:  (Meeting Every Other Week)
CC:  Weeks 1-12  Human Anatomy

Weeks 1     No Class
Week 2       A is for Anatomy:  Skeletal, Muscular
Week 3       No Class
Week 4       A is for Anatomy:  Digestive, Nervous, Sensory
Week 5       No Class
Week 6       Solid, Liquids, or Gas
Week 7       No Class
Week 8       A is for Anatomy:  Urinary, Circulatory
Week 9       No Class
Week 10     A is for Anatomy:  Endocrine, Respiratory
Week 11     No Class
Week 12     Solid, Liquids, or Gas
Break          Bridge Building
                   (Can visit the Bridge Building Competition at South Florida Fair Grounds as a family.  Usually first or 2nd Week in December.)
FYI:  Last Year's Bridge Building Information for Middle/High School:
I just wanted to put out a quick reminder that the bridges are due for certification on Dec. 10 (Tues) between 1 and 5 pm at  the South Florida Fair Grounds. For those of you that are not familiar with the location, it is just off of Southern Blvd. east of 441, in Palm Beach County. If you are headed north on 441, turn right onto Southern Blvd., and when you see the sign for the fair grounds, turn left.  It will be through one of the gates.  The actual testing takes place the next day, starting at 9 am at the same location.

Semester 2:  (Meeting Every Week)
CC:  Weeks 13–18  Chemistry
CC:  Weeks 19–24  Science Theories

Week 13     Egg Drop
Week 14     Mystery Packaging
Week 15     Estimania  (CC Science Lab Appendix for Cycle 3)
Week 16     Mystery Powders
Week 17     Mystery Powders
Week 18     Mystery Powders
Week 19     Starry, Starry Night
Week 20     Who Wants To Be A Biologist
Week 21     Rock Hound
Week 22     Rock Hound
Week 23     Energy Lab
Week 24     Fun Time

Official Events:  Teams will receive the rules manual after registering.

2015 Events.
There are some different ones!  Please refer to link.  Not text from 2014.
    • A is for Anatomy -The event will consist of questions, case studies, pictures or models that will require an understanding of the structure and function of the following systems: skeletal, muscular, digestive, respiratory, circulary, urinary, nervous, sensory, endocrine.
    • Bridge Building - This event tests students' ability to build a lengthy, strong, stable, and reproducible bridge from common materials.BUILT ONSITE.
    • Egg Drop - A team of two students will construct and bring a package to protect an egg from breaking. The egg is dropped free fall from a high spot selected by the tournament director. This is a PREBUILT EVENT.
    • Energy Lab - The objective is to build a reflecting device that most efficiently uses and focuses the energy supplied to a light bulb. This is a PREBUILT EVENT.
    • Estimania - Students will be asked to estimate the answers to approximately ten questions requiring an estimate between ten and one million. Students will be provided a sample of the item to be estimated and will be premitted to measure its mass and the total mass of the container that contains all the objects. No calculators will be permitted.
    • Mystery Packaging - At the beginning of the event, teams will be given a bag of building materials and instructions for designing and building a package that will protect a given material from a drop. BUILT ONSITE
    • Mystery Powders - A team of two contestants will be asked to identify a mixture of common white household powder.
    • Pentathlon - Five physical skills are interspersed with science questions in an obstacle course that will be run in a relay race style where each student passes the balloon to the next student. This year, the concepts will focus on those related to the water cycle and weather.
    • Rock Hound - Teams will prepare charts, identify various rocks and minerals, and describe their characteristics
    • Starry, Starry Night - A team of two students will identify constellations, planets, and other common celestial bodies in our universe.
    • Solid, Liquids, or Gas - Teams of two students will test their abilities to classify materials into one of three categories.
    • Water Rockets - Students will build and launch a 2-liter plastic bottle for maximum time aloft. This is a PREBUILT EVENT.
    • Who Wants To Be A Biologist - Teams will compete in three game show style events that will focus on various aspects of biology and life science.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Co-Op ART 2014–15

American Art

6 Artists
Artists Game:  5x7 cards.  Print pictures.  Quiz game.

1.  Mary Cassatt
     American Impressionist— 19th Century
     Class Project:  Tempera paint print
     Great Artists Book

     Class Project:  Oil Pastels / or Chalk Pastels on Copied Picture Outline
     Printout:  Boating Party

The Child's Bath— Mary Cassatt

The Boating Party— Mary Cassatt

Child in a Straw Hat— Mary Cassatt

2.  Winslow Homer
     Realist— 19th Century

     Class Project:  Seascape.  Tempura Paint.  Large heavy drawing paper.

Breezing Up— Winslow Homer

The Fog Warning— Winslow Homer

Snap the Whip— Winslow Homer

3.  John Frederick Peto
     American Trompe–l'oeil— "Fool the Eye" — 19th Century
     Class Project:  Make a collage from scraps.  8x10 White Cardboard.
     Next week, Draw it.  Colored Pencil on Drawing Paper.  8x10 Cardboard.

Old Time Card Rack— John Frederick Peto

Take Your Choice— John Frederick Peto

4.  Edward Hopper
     Realist— 20th Century

     Class Project: Colored Pencil on Illustration paper.

Nighthawks—Edward Hopper

Early Sunday Morning— Edward Hopper

The Light House at Two Lights— Edward Hopper

Reproduction details of Early Sunday Morning

5.  Louise Nevelson
     Junk Sculpture Assemblage
     Class Project: Junk Art Sculpture- Glue.
     Next week- spray paint black.
     Bring my junk sculpture dog.

Mirror-Shadow VII— Louise Nevelson

"Art of the Sixties" print—Louise Nevelson

6.  Norman Rockwell
     Class Project: Saturday Evening Post Cover- Everyday Life.

Triple Self Portrait— Norman Rockwell

Marble Champion— Norman Rockwell

Freedom from Want—Norman Rockwell

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

College Prep Genius Boot Camp— My Two Cents

Sitting in a College Prep Genius Boot Camp class today has been an eye opening experience for me, as well as my high school freshman.  

I attended Jean Burk's seminar at our recent Homeschool Convention, and loved it.  I found myself thinking over the last few months about things she said.  When I heard she was coming here to do an actual SAT seminar, I jumped at the chance.  If only I had been given the key to success when I was taking my college entrance exams twenty years ago. Effectively, Jean Burk did a fantastic job at uncovering the secrets to the SAT, PSAT, and ACT.

Amid a ten hour presentation over two days, she carefully used various teaching styles that kept our group of almost 20 high school students engaged and excited to learn.  (I should say that towards the end of each day it was a bit long, but 5 hours of anything gets long!)

This class is definitely something that I will be having my children attend so that they will grasp the importance of preparation for this test. Just like learning to read, play an instrument, or master a sport— preparing for the SAT needs to be practiced. College Prep Genius helps you to study smart!

Back in the day, my preparation was inadequate. 

I miraculously passed the test. My grades and my extra curricular activities in the PTSA and leadership in choir and church are what saved the day. I was awarded a scholarship for my first year! Before too long, I realized how difficult it was to hold a part-time job and attend school full time. Luckily, our families low income qualified me for grants. I ended up with having $8,000 in student loans when my four year journey was complete. It wasn't too bad, as far as debt goes. I still think back on those days of having lots of stress, headaches, and missing out on some extra curricular activities that would have been exciting to participate in.

In College Prep Genius, she encourages the kids through a “Funny Money” activity to see how many of them would love to earn $500/hr, or $80,000. She suggests that it would be a better return to spend 1-2 hours a week as a freshman, 2-4 hours a week practicing in your sophomore year, and the summer before your junior year, spend 6-10 hours a week preparing for your exams. Think of this as your part time job. Why didn't I think of that!

Adequate preparation could have equaled not having to compete for a stinky minimum wage job and it for sure would have meant fewer migraines.  Adequate preparation could have equaled a full-ride scholarship plus extras!

Uncovering SAT secrets at the Boot Camp Class. 

Many times I would hear the students all laugh, or sigh with an ah-ha moment. Some outstanding ah-ha moments were... 1. Never guess on a question. It will be held against you. 2. Fill in the bubble sheet a block of questions at a time. Doing it one question at a time is simply not fast enough. 3. In math, when going to test an answer, start at C first. And, never test more than two numbers. They assume you will start with A, and therefor you will be wasting your time going one by one.

Jean suggests to spend about 5 hours to learn her acronyms thoroughly so that you can fly through the Critical Reasoning, Math and Essay portions of the exam. Her class was done in an exceptional way, in that she teaches the information, she helps you understand it, and then the students apply what they learn by answering sample questions.

Applying what you learn is the most beneficial part of this class. The students love getting the right answers and looking around the room at the other answers held up on laminated flip charts. Uncovering tools of success happens flawlessly as she shares a ton of useful information!

Preparation, practice, and more practice. 

Who knew that the suggested number of taking the SAT / PSAT would be 25 times, at 3 hours a test! She shared an example of a student who didn't start seeing the patterns until the 15th time that they took the test. Then it was a miracle! Can you imagine how disappointing it would have been if they gave up on the 14th time.

She also suggests spending 2 hours correcting wrong answers for each test. These can be done with old test booklets, or SAT prep books that you purchase online. That's not just a suggestion. That's how you do it. You also need to take the test for real often. High school counselors can also issue up to 4 waivers a year for juniors and seniors that can help cover costs. Homeschool students can also use these. They just need to speak to their local high school counselor.

Whereas this may sound like all you need to do is take tests and prepare for tests and skip real learning, that is not the case. She recommends that if you focus daily on logic and reasoning, reading excellent books with exceptional vocabulary, and getting your consistent community service in there. It comes down to preparation, on the test sheet and in your normal life. Be well rounded, but be ready!

Take away from this class...
      1. This class is a must for kids to have a fighting chance on the SAT or PSAT.
      2. Preparation and practice = purchasing a College Board brand SAT prep book, and using it to prepare for the test. Think of it as a part-time job.
      3. Find a class to attend. You can find one in your area, or host one if you don't see one. If you host, your own high school aged kids can attend for free.
      4. Watch the DVD. This is a lot of info. Watch the DVD again and again to get the tips down. You can also purchase the DVD without attending the class- but you'd miss out on the synergy of the class members.
      5. Becoming a National Merit Scholar is possible for regular kids too. Meeting the paperwork deadlines is half the battle, and learning that this test is a logic test. It's within your grasp.
      6. Start your freshman year if you can. Pass it on!

I also found this helpful...
      1. It's OK for a parent to stay for the class. I particularly found the first 1 1/2 hours helpful for a parent to be aware of.
      2. She starts right on time. Arrive 10 min. early.
      3. Bring a lunch. Lunch time for us was 20-25 min. I'm sure it's not always that way, but we had a lot of questions during our session. She had 5 minute breaks dispersed throughout the day.
      4. Hosting a class is easier for us homeschool moms to figure out. We do this all the time. Churches work out well. Our class had about 18 kids, and about 4 parents who stayed the morning of the first day. 2 parents stayed for the entire program. They asked for a $10 donation for the church on top of the fee. The room was set up in a U shape with 5 folding tables to write on.  You need 12 students to host a class.