Showing posts with label Science Info. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Science Info. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Homeschool: STEM/Engineering activity-Building an F.M. Radio

I wanted to share my son's newest project [building an F.M. radio] that was completed after just a few hours, with very minimal help from his dad. He earned an "A" for this project. Not only did he show great dedication to completing it start to finish (he barely stopped to eat lunch), he also did a great job soldering and checking for errors. Very proud of him. He is very anxious to start the A.M. radio....but I told he needs to pace himself. Esp. since that is our last kit, and I won't be able to order any other sets for some time. Here is our Show and Tell video. Hope you enjoy it!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Swimming Creatures Ocean Box

So as promised, I have a few pics here of the start of our ocean box.  I used about 1/3-1/2 of a [Dollar Tree] blue tablecloth, instead of paper.  It looks wavy and watery and it'll do.  I snagged a box from the local grocery store (they were more than happy to unload it on me) to create the main frame of this ocean box project. And there was no out of pocket expense. Yeah.

The bottom of the ocean was suppose to be made from various kid-made stuff but hey, we had real sand, coral and all sorts of ocean things to use-so we went for the real look.  I just took clear packing tape, stuck two pieces together and then taped it on the sides and bottom of the box. This created a lip to keep the sand from spilling out and all over.

I guess as we move through each unit of study we will add various creatures to this.  Sounds like fun and I will post as we go.  Oh and don't you know, as soon as this was all set up-we had our first residence arrive (who will not stay) to await the addition of new creatures.

LOL....oh Sponge Bob...this isn't Bikini Bottom.  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Apologia Science: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day ideas

We are excited to start working through the Apologia Swimming Creatures (student text) study.  I put our sea critter decorations up, that I found [at the local Dollar Tree Store] last summer, and have patiently waited to use.  They are obviously out of proportion but they do add some whimsical-ness to our classroom.

Product DetailsWe are using the spiral bound notebook journal that compliments the study, just like we did with the Flying Creatures.  I decided to also add an ocean depths worksheet from the Deceptively Educational Blog, which is a fun activity to do.  You just need to grab a paint chip sheet with varying shades of blue (5 blocks) for the student to glue to the page.  I found one in my mass collection of paint chips that I picked up a few years ago before we painted the boys' room, so I am not sure exactly where I got it.  Just look in the paint section of the home improvement stores for some.

We haven't started the ocean box (yet) that is part of the hands-on part of the study-but once we get that going I will add pictures for you.  Objective number one is to procure a box from the local grocery store then the blue paper (but me thinks a blue table cloth from the dollar store will work even better) first.  Hopefully, I can get that done this week.

Anyhoo-that is where we are in our science now.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Supplementing Heart of Dakota-Creation to Christ Poetry unit and Human Body unit

If you are a follower or if you just pop by to read up on the Heart of Dakota [HOD] program we have been using this year, you are probably familiar with my feelings on it by now, but I wanted to highlight a couple things we have done that has taken outside the box.

I found we (personally-as this may not be for every family so keep that in mind) needed to do something different regarding one recommend book for science; and that one area definitely needed a more in-depth investigation-the poet Robert Frost.

I have the Considering God's Creation [CGC] curricula (which I have been plucking units from for about a year and 1/2 now) that has a section on the body. After we read the book Exploring the History of Medicine (very good book!) we simply have moved into this study.  I ditched the An Illustrated Adventure in Human Anatomy book that was scheduled (I had received it via the library inter-loan prior to the Exploring History one...and it needed to be returned before we came to this section-I didn't feel it was worth trying to re-hold/check out again as I have enough human body books on our shelf that are very similar to this one) and that is why I chose not to follow that part. Plus, being we are lapbooking/notebooking sorta folk-the CGC fit the bill perfectly. So we have been working our way through this unit and are just about done.  I am very satisfied with it and find it is just the right amount of info/work for our boy.  Again-this stresses the need for the instructor to look at what does and does not fit the student or situation when using an all-encompassing type of guide such as HOD.  Just because it is listed and recommended does not mean it must be used.  Esp. when you are at the mercy of library loan books, and other circumstances that require tweaking. [image from]

As for the lack of any biographical data/study on the poet Robert Frost...well here is where I was sadly disappointed with this section.  It is very Charlotte Masony to study the person and not just their work.  So being that I am versed in scrounging up data-I found a few things to offer the boy as a backdrop into who this dude was. The one I got via the library is older-so not everyone will be able to find it.  It is Robert Frost: America's Poet by Doris Faber. I have to say it was a very nicely written book that hits all the key points a book should when following the CM method for choosing books-it was twaddle free. :)  Anyhoo-I saw the other listed book below via Amazon, but was not able to get a hold of not sure how great it is but looks to be written for children and looks lovely.  If I do get my hands on it-I will come back and update my thoughts on it.

Robert Frost: America's Poet by Doris Faber

Papa Is a Poet: A Story About Robert Frost by Natalie Bober

Product Details
image from

I also downloaded these free notebooking pages on Robert from 
to give him some opportunities to jot down 
some essential data and such.

I have also pulled those noted human body books from the shelf and we refer to them when needed. Again-I am using what I have to wrap up this unit and it is all good.  Just not what was originally outlined in the study.

And now for one of my favorite projects the Boy has done so far...and yes, it is a fav because he put some personality into it.  Our floating-head skeleton boy with a Barber of Seville curly mustache and a rocker dude goatee. [I say-if you do this study-dry place the pieces prior to the child gluing unlike us. Otherwise, you too will end up with a lovely floating, non-connected skull]

And that my blogger peeps is how we tweaked our HOD study to fit us and our current needs.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Archimedes project

Here is a fun project we did as a part of the BFBooks History of Science guide/curriculum.  The boy wasn't being super neat but he was also using a big, chunky charcoal pencil from our art supply so that probably didn't help.  I just taped the paper to a dowel and we stuffed it in the labeled paper towel tube. I still have to scrounge up some yarn for the carrying strap, but wanted to share with ya now.  I will get pics of the notebook up soon-once we have more stuff in it as it is pretty sparse yet, since we just started it this week.

Again-as the other post noted:  I am piggy backing this unit with the HOD study to beef up the Greek section    because it is fun :) and adds a bit of spice to it.  It is just my way, nothing against what is already in the HOD program.  I also found a neat art project to do via the Mystery of History website and will share that once we have completed it.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

HOD: Creation to Christ updates on projects

If you have been following the Heart of Dakota posts, I guess you'd appreciate an update right?  It's been a while.  Sorry about that, but here is a snippet of some of the projects.  Mind you-I failed and did not order the notebook that goes with this program, so I have had to create a lot of my own stuff.  I am still considering it but with only 16-17 weeks left, I dunno if I can now justify the expense.  I may just continue to make my own pages and call it a day.  I will let you know what I do, but for now-here are some of the poetry and history things we have done so far (we're at week 18).

As stated in earlier posts, I am not super impressed (sorry Carrie, not meant to be a slam-it is just me I guess, I like variety) with the likeness of the art projects.  I would love to see some revision with a  few more techniques taught for this area.  Since I do love art, I have been able to bring in my own flare here but for those who don't have such an artsy background-well it could prove to be too monotonous for their student (as it was with mine) but they may not know how to fix it. I suggest getting a few art books or programs and adding in projects that closely relate to the original if possible [yes, I am aware this defeats the purpose of an all-inclusive program.  Since no one curriculum is going to hit a bulls-eye every time, it goes without're gonna have to add your own personality here and there in order to keep the boredom and ho-hum away] .

Anyhoo-in the leaf one, we did splatter painting on top of the leaves (quite close to her instructions) so that is not a new one there, but the blue one has salt added over the watercolor to give it texture and a different look.  It is one of our favorites so far.  The bottom one with the tree is OK, neither of us were liking that look too much.  My son actually begged me to not make him paint so much these past few units. I agreed, so I have only required the copywork for a lot of them-hence the lack of pics to show you.  The reason I am even going down this bunny trail here is that  it totally illustrates the need for you to remain in control of your curriculum. If it doesn't fit your student or needs help-well by all means TWEAK away!  The coming months should prove to provide more opportunities to add in some projects that may not be included in this program. Once we encounter that, I will be sure to post. But for now, thought I would share that little tidbit.

History Projects

This is the salt dough project we did.  I had trouble finding a good map, so it is probably not super accurate. Oh wellers, he got the gist of it.  LOL....

I believe this has it's own page in the notebook, but obviously without it-I had to improvise. It illustrates how the tribes were divided and the student can take the cloth strips and place them into the appropriate sections, like the prophet Ahijah did, as described in the bible.  I do like a lot of her history projects so that area requires few changes (would be a lot less around here if I had just bought that darn notebook when I got the guide..but hey, money was tight and I had to get the minimum...lesson learned)....


Seen now this is where I cannot leave well enough alone.  I have loved (since I pretty much began homeschooling) the Beautiful Feet books programs (I have a much older version, I am sure it has been updated since I bought mine many moons ago).  The History of Science is no exception.  I like to have the student focus solely on this program for their science either in 5th or 6th grade...but with the HOD program...I let it slide....until now.  I knew it covered Archimedes.  I wanted to beef up what is in the program because the boy just isn't doing (too much and over his age/abilities at times) of the rest of the program so I knew I could add some stuff, yet keep it from being overwhelming.  So we're going to at least do the Archimedes lessons in the BFB program along side HOD's reg. schedule (the Archimedes and the Door of Science is a part of the HOD program as well).  I have  created his science notebook that he will keep his notes, pictures and discoveries in (as per required in the BFB program), along with the timeline and the books for this unit.  I also reserved a boat load of books from the library on ancient Greece, scientists and such too.  I will probably have him cover this 2-3 times per week.  I will see how it goes and obviously, post once I have a good handle on it.

Right now that is pretty much all I have considered and am working on. I will hopefully start the artist study soon and composer. We're still working on the reading and writing so I have to keep that as his main focal point but all these things should prove to make this coming month more exciting.  Now if I can just get the gumption to post more frequently.  :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Dinosaurs study for HOD Creation to Christ study

So as a part of the Creation to Christ curriculum, dinosaurs are studied. But not as in depth [of a study] as I want-so I am adding in some goodies for the boy and we'll just mosey along at our speed covering a bit here and there from the resources and activities I have, as well as the study in the guide.

I was looking through my shelves and found most of what I was searching for.  I have to hit the stash in the basement for a couple books (including the dinosaur joke book my hubby had as a kid) but for the most part,  I will use what is shown in this picture.  I am sure I will add a few more notebooking/lapbook components as we go through the unit but this is a good start.

I was just drifting off to sleep the other nite when my brain snapped on and reminded me that I had a set of dinosaur pictures [bulletin board set] that I bought eons ago when the two older kids were very young.  I have not covered the dinos like I have had wanted to with the boy, so I am excited for this unit.  He has always enjoyed dinosaurs (those Jurassic Park movies are on his top 10 list-even tho they are gross) so this should be fun!

We have very, very limited wall space in the education room, so I had to put these puppies up on the entrance walls [which is kind of angled, hence the two pictures to show all of them].  This spot is actually good b/cuz the boy sits so he can look up at them, at any time.  I DID NOT put the evolutionist time line up-what I want to do is put up a couple note cards highlighting a few Bible verses that mention the leviathan.  The little people are to show the scale (although this is far from being accurate) of the dinosaurs to humans.


(you can get the Answers books there too)

the other books I probably got from Amazon

I have no idea where I got the dino bulletin board set-
it would have been from a teacher's store/catalog

The Adventures in Science: Dinosaurs booklet is 
probably out of print-it came in a group of activity books
 that I also bought years ago.  It has a bunch 
of activity pages and I will just pick and choose
 what we want to do.

OH YEAH!  I just remembered I have the 
Dinosaur and Things Game by Aristoplay!

I bought this when my oldest was about 4/5 yrs old!  By the looks of the box, you can tell it's been played with a lot!  :)  Even tho the boy is on the outer age limit noted on the box, we'll still play but be sure to add those question cards to make it a bit more difficult. And yes, we know this shows millions of years as the dates-we simply ignore them.  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Salt Dough Projects that really burned an impression on us

Considering God’s Creation Workbook Only
Working thru the Considering God's Creation-unit 4, we came upon this activity for the Sedimentary/Metamorphic rock lesson.  I have not done salt dough projects in a long time-so after making the dough-I had to research to see how long we needed to bake these babies [this info was sadly missing from the guide].  Well, after a small fire (a hot pad fell down outta my pile I had used to pull the parchment paper/dough off the cookie sheet to cook the underside. I didn't see it when I closed the door-luckily the hubby spotted a small flame rising from the bottom of the oven) and then forgetting about it b/cuz it takes oh, 4-5 ish hours on about 212 degrees to bake it right [yes, it is easy to forget,  and then hubby jacked up the oven to get ready for dinner]-we ended up with a decent (albeit slightly toasted looking) project.  [sheesh!]  Let's just say this is one project we won't soon forget! is a great way to illustrate the idea of what happens with sedimentary rocks and fossils.

We did shell impressions, Bud's hand print (sentimental value) and used a big plastic dino to make tracks and then used a rubbery dino to make a skeleton impression.

In case you want to try this yourself, you will need

1 cup of salt
1 cup of flour
and water to make it pliable
a cookie sheet and parchment paper if you don't want it sticking to the pan
items to make impressions

spread out to use, bake at 212-220 degrees for 4-5 hours until baked thru. Flip at least once 1/2 way thru to bake underside. I pulled the parchment paper with the goodies on it off the cookie sheet after it had baked for about 2-3 hours-it is safe to sit on the rack. Note to self: check for dropped hot pads. Cool-use for demos.  :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Have your DNA and eat it too?

Yes, well you do have DNA, and you can eat it too!  Build yourself one of these clever edible strands-this is what happened when I gave my kids the project...

The supply plate (which is one of those Mak-It plates I made many moons ago, and no, I didn't misspell that -as that is what the company is called) with the licorice, toothpicks and marshmallows.

Supplies ready to go-oh, the boy is wearing it?!

the end result (before labels-which they didn't do-only I did for a sample DNA project)

careful b/cuz those toothpicks are "picky" and when trying to shove them into the licorice, you may get I did! LOL....

You can find the directions here: PDF file for Have Your DNA and Eat it too

DNA and RNA page from this mighty helpful site: Awesome Science Teacher Resources.

That site has lots of goodies to download for your science notebook too! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Science for homeschooling

I never was much into the scientific world. Maybe that teacher I had way back in 4th or 5th grade, killed any interest I had (this was the guy who wrote on the board what you were to do and that was about it. Upon entering the room-silently-you would sit down, open your books, and do the reading and questions. Painfully, you would wait for the bell to ring...all the while he sat in the back of the room reading a newspaper or magazine). Science was a four letter word to me-DUMB!

Enter homeschooling my own. "Hmmm, interesting?" "Not bad." "Never knew that." "Uh, that is cool." rolled off my tongue with ease.

I look forward to science now. I know more than I ever knew in school. My kids like it too. Now that speaks volumes, doesn't it?

For elementary we used the Montessori plan on Botany and Life Science. I made the "works" (a Montessori term) to go with what we were studying. For example: we covered the parts of the flower. So I used their sheets for that, copied them and made enough so the student could label them correctly, or put parts together. We took apart a flower to see the real thing. We drew a flower and labeled it. We read books about flowers (hmm, sounds very CM to me) and so forth. We did this same thing when we covered mammals, reptiles, birds, humans, and so on. I was fortunate enough to have a friend who was a teacher at a Montessori school. I ordered the TE thru her. But I am sure you can come up with something similar. I did this for the very early elementary ages up to about 3rd grade. Not that you cannot do it with older children, but the TE I have covered only those levels.

We read on things that interested us and did mini projects for it. I never really did a program. Ok, yes-I tried Bob Jones and went thru it...but if felt so textbooky to me. My kids did not retain what we covered either-so I didn't continue with it. That was 10-14 years ago...they may have changed their program a bit...I dunno. I just knew for us, that is wasn't a good fit.

I never really did a ton of science in the elementary...or so I thought. We just would study what we liked or happened upon (say a particular bird, and so we researched it).

I then found some books that were engaging and had lots of real life meaning. If you can find them, use them to supplement what you are doing. I don't think they cover enough to be considered a full curriculum. They are all by the same author: Bob Friedhoffer. I do not know if they are still available new, you will have to do some research. He has several titles and the ones I own are: Physics lab in the Home, Science Lab in a Supermarket, and Physics Lab in a Hardware Store. My son really enjoyed doing the experiments. It was engaging and not too heavy. We had a new baby in the house when I found these, so they were perfect for that season in our lives.

I also had my 6th -7h graders do Beautiful Feet Books History of Science. That really gave them a good grasp of how the field of science came to be. After all, someone had to think upon this stuff and call it something. Since BFB is very CMish, it fit our family to a T.

When I came across Apologia (not long after he wrote the first book), I was in science heaven! Yes! So we have done Apologia right thru high school. I have not been disappointed. My kids could do a lot of it on their own, and the experiments are engaging and interesting. I also found that there is a Yahoo Group for Apologia. There are alternative tests on it, and I find my 3rd child does much better with them than the originals. You can join them at

I was also very pleased with Jeannie Fulbright's books she wrote for Apologia. I have used the Exploring Creation through Astronomy, so far. I like how very CM it is. My youngest is fast approaching the ability to use them and I look forward to buying and trying out a few more. For those of you who liked the Montessori ideas-this would be a great alternative...almost exactly what I described above.

For my first grader this year: I am doing SL K. I am following their science 1. I have not done any of their sciences before, even though I own a few Cores (in high school-I do the Apologia, I am talking Lower/Upper El). I will have to get back to you on how well we like it. I am waiting to do the Apologia ones with him when he has better reading/writing skills, and my friend is done using it for her boys.

The only other suggestions I can think of is to have a huge reference shelf. You will need this for you Nature Study too. I find mine at garage sales, dollar stores and even in Grandma's closet/bookshelves! Keep a science notebook where they can pop in their observations, notes, narrations and so forth on their science activities. I do not grade elementary science (or any other subject for that matter-just math tests) so I will not squelch or overshadow the learning experience. Keep the elementary sciences simple, more hands on and read, read, read on your subjects.

If I think of anything else note worthy-I will add on....


I was thinking, maybe I didn't say what SL meant in my previous posts. SL stands for Sonlight.
Hope that helps anyone who may be unsure!

Have a great day!
PS: I hope to get some other posts going soon...


Monday, March 23, 2009

For those more visual homeschooling mommas

I thought I would post the covers of the Beautiful Feet Books, and Sonlight guides mentioned in the history posts. Sometimes, it just helps to "see" the stuff. My plan is to remember to add those little gems, along with the info, in the posts that describe them. That is my plan anyhoo-