Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The boys wanted to learn about rocks and minerals this week. They are also looking at geology as it pertains to earthquakes, volcanoes, and plate tectonics. They made a puzzle out of the modern map of the seven continents, working together to fit the pieces into what Pangeae may have looked like. We are using a book called Geology Rocks, an hands-on activity book with lots of experiments. In this picture above, we were making sugar glass (quickly cooling melted sugar in the deep freezer) to compare with our sugar crystals (simple syrup forming larger crystals over the next few days as the water evaporates). Check out the boys' blog to see the seismograph they made. Also, Simon posted about a sewing project we completed last week. Chas' nature book cover/pouch is still in progress, as he chose to quilt his by hand instead of by machine and it's taking a bit longer. Chas likes to get things just right. We try to encourage pacing himself and not rushing, but setting goals and keeping in mind what he wants his finished product to look like. Chas is also practicing his cursive writing, working hard and enjoying the results.

Other than schooling, I have been busy with a new business, selling used books on half.com. Tim has been collecting used books for me which he finds for free on craigslist. I estimate that we have about 400 books here at a total cost of *nothing*, about half have been entered in as listings, average price I am guessing around $5 each. And we have sold (and shipped) four so far. I don't expect to get rich doing this. Mainly, I expect to use the experience to teach the boys (and Mia, eventually) about running a business, about profit, cost and revenue, etc. and the math involved with keeping track of all of that (we made an excel spreadsheet) and we are keeping some of the books for ourselves as resources for homeschooling. We made a blog with the business name - HappyJax - as a redirect to the half.com inventory page, and we have made bookmarks to include in every order that direct customers to the blog, and hence to the inventory. If I see a book come in that I think a friend or family member might be interested in, I might mail it to them as a surprise. So keep your eyes open for a book from HappyJax Books of Alexandria Va!

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