Friday, July 30, 2010

Superman and Science

A question, if you find your child awake at 1:00 a.m. reading about space shuttles and astronauts does that count as home school reading time? This is what happened last night at our house.

Here is the background information, this week in zoology we have been reading about aerodynamics and how God designed birds to fly. This bit of learning about lift, drag and thrust lead to the making of several paper airplanes to test theories. Also, a discussion of how jet planes and space shuttle work with the same basic theory.

Last night we watched parts of Superman Returns, he loves the parts where Superman saves the day. There is a part of the movie where a space shuttle is attached to an airplane as a method of getting it into space, naturally everything goes wrong and Superman rescues all. LittleBit had hundreds of questions about Superman, the plane, the shuttle etc. Seriously, it was non stop questions. Such as how does Superman fly, he doesn’t have wings? Where does Superman hide his cape? What is the science of Superman? Why use an airplane to put a shuttle in space? What happens if the airplane goes into space? Why did Superman fall from space, shouldn’t he have floated off? How come nobody can tell Clark Kent is Superman? Endless questions!

I was up late, went to check on the supposedly sleeping child and he was in bed with three different books on space, space shuttles and astronauts reading. He said he wanted to learn more about how it all works. I am all for learning but 1:00 in the morning, not the best time!

Since we are both going to be beyond tired today, I think reading at 1:00 a.m. should count toward home school. It just proves that learning happens everywhere, at any time, and from the oddest sources.

Edited to Add: Now we are planning a small trip to Huntsville, AL to the Space Center and Sci-Quest.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Our Homeschool Room

Our Homeschool/Craft/Office
Room with bookcases, tv/monitor, printer, craft supplies

Knowledge defines all we know, imagination is all we discover and Create.
(quote on the wall in vinyl)

Close up of the clay pots. They were painted and the ABC's added in vinyl cutouts

The closet doors were removed to add shelves ceiling to floor.

United States Walllie

Other side of room with daily supplies, dry ease board, calender, etc.

Farmhouse table, I purchased from Craigslist and refinished.

NOTE: These photos are from a while ago before the room was full of books and ongoing projects. You know it was actually clean!

I love this room and how light it is, I am always happy to go the office to work. After spending a great deal of time working on the room, I discovered my son prefers and works better doing school in the living room! It drives me a little crazy because I would much prefer to keep everything in one location and have school at a table but he works better in the living room with the informal setting. We will eventually get back to doing all of our schoolwork in the school room but for now we have school all over the place, kitchen table, couch, floor, coffee table, etc. The house and life of a homeschooler, I guess.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Week 2 of 2nd Grade


Air Pressure Experiment
Penny Experiment

Lego Gladiator Fight in  Crumbling Colliseum
(The Emperor is drinking Mug Rootbeer)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Easy Science Experiment – How much water will a Penny Hold?


We did a quick experiment this morning. I found this on Twitter about how much water will a penny hold. This experiment is easy, fast, fun and requires no special equipment.

Penny Experiment – How many of drops of water can a penny hold?

Supplies Needed

1 or 2 Pennies – we used one clean penny and one dirty penny

Eye Dropper

Paper Towel

Cup of Water

Science Speculation Sheet (click for printable)


First on your science sheet have the child guess how many drops of water will the penny hold. Do they think the clean or dirty penny will hold more? Or will the head or tail of the penny hold more?

Add one drop of water at a time to the penny until it overflows.

Try both sides of the penny, clean vs. dirty, etc or any other combinations you can think of.

Write your answers down on the science page and compare the results with your hypothesis.

This was a quick fun little experiment to do.

Our Conclusion

The clean penny held more than the dirty penny. The clean penny held 38 drops of water. The dirty penny held 26 drops of water.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

1 Six year old, 821 Lego pieces, 2 instructions booklets, 7 hours
Completed all by himself

Monday, July 19, 2010

First Day of 2nd Grade!

How did that happen, I can not believe we started 2nd grade today.  They grow up so fast.

We had a great start to the new official school year. Yesterday, LittleBit and Dad built a tin can robot and this morning we got up and finished school before lunch.  This year, Leo the Lion had to come to school to.  He has been very attached to Leo of late and they do everything together.  IMG_1549_edited-1




Today we started Horizons Penmanship Grade 1.  Handwriting has been a difficult subject for us, as I have talked about before. He does not like practicing handwriting and he is not where I would like him to be.  We had been using Handwriting with Tears, this program did not work for us. Last year, I dropped it and we just went to practice pages with me working closely with him.  He did make good improvements toward the end of the year.  IMG_1553_edited-1

I like the concept of Horizons Penmanship, with the rocket based activates, and the practice Bible verses.  I know a Great Grandma who will like to receive the Bible verse pages in the mail.  He seemed to really like the rocket ship based practice pages, so I am hoping handwriting will not be such a struggle this year. 


We began Words are Wonderful an Interactive Approach to Vocabulary.  This is an test book to help increase and strengthen vocabulary.  We did Lesson 1 today, find the word or group of words with the same meaning.  The words for Lesson 1 are:IMG_1554_edited-1IMG_1557_edited-1

1. colony

2. stubby

3. webbed

4. migrate

5. burrow

6. cycle

7. waddle

8. unusual

9. migratory

10. burrow(different meaning)

I was surprised how many he knew without any assistance and once I showed him how to substitute the other choices as a replacement for the underlined word, he sailed right through with virtually no help from me. 

I purchased this book at

We explored the 2 science books we will be using this year.  Apologia’s Zoology and Astronomy.  I need to get a few supplies for the experiments listed, we will begin reading later this week. 


We also continued working in Singapore 2A, which we started a few weeks ago.  Also, we did a review from First Language Lessons and Story of the World Volume 1. 


One of the new things we are doing this year, is reading a chapter book by himself and journaling about each chapter.  He has always read a book at the end of school each day and I let him pick which book.  He usually picks anything from beginners book to reading some in the encyclopedia books he has.  This year at the end of school time, he will at least 1 chapter in a book and then comment on the chapter on a journal page.  We have always practiced narration and will continue to do so, but this adds another level and  helps prepare him for writing reports, etc. 




That is about it for Day 1 for second grade.  You can see all the curriculum we are using on the right side of the blog. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tin Can Robot



Every year on the first day of school, we do a science experiment to kick off the year. This year we built a tin can robot. LittleBit is saving up for a Lego Mindstorm and this was a fun little starter robot. All you need is the kit, a cola can, small screwdriver, and an AA battery. The robot kit can be ordered from, here is the link: Tin Can Robot

It was an easy kit to build and with just a little assistance, LittleBit was able to do most of the work himself. It took him about 1.5 hours to finish. The robot is not all that sturdy, he has fallen off a table twice and required repairing. It works great and moves well over a flat surface such as a wood table or hardwood floor. It will not move on carpet. Overall it was a good kit and I would purchase it again.

Tin Can Robot and Supplies


Unboxed Kit


Building Robot


Finished Robot


Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Simple Planner

I have been working on my planner for our upcoming school year. I use

to print all the pages I need for my planner and I put them in a 3 ring binder. I have 3 main sections, calendars, lists, and lesson plans. IMG_1438_edited-1

I start with a 12 month one page calendar, it gives me a quick look at dates. Then I print a one page per month calendar, this is where I put our activities and appointments.IMG_1440_edited-1


Next I have a Notables calendar, this is where I put awards, belts from TKD, etc. Next is a Checklist for our goals set for the year. IMG_1441_edited-1


Next is a Reading List, this is where I write down all the books he reads both school and for fun. I would never remember all the books he reads, last year there were 72. IMG_1443_edited-1

The next section is about lesson planning. First I have an Objectives page, I do one of these per quarter. It gives me an idea of where I want us to be with out being to strict about a schedule. Next is the Course Study, this is where I list all the books we are using. IMG_1444_edited-1IMG_1445_edited-1

Next is the curriculum key, yes I need a reminder what the key is for the book when I go to put it in our lesson plan. After that is the lesson plan page, I use a weekly lesson page.

IMG_1446_edited-1 IMG_1447_edited-1

The last page is a grade sheet for K –12. It gives me a place to list the curriculum we use each year and the grades.


As you can see I use a very simple planner, I did not want one difficult to use or so complicated I needed a user guide. It works for us and I can easily add more pages as we get into higher grades. All of these pages can be printed from

I should note, as far as a family planner, scheduler, etc I use google calendar and my cell phone. My cell phone has everything in it and if I lost it I would be in serious trouble. I love how you can make a calendar for each person, activity, occasion, etc., in google with color blocking . Then merge all the calendars so you can see everything in a nice, neat, color organized manner. This planner is to keep records and plan lessons.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A little Zoology - Bug Club

We had a great Bug Club today, there were plenty of bugs to be found and studied. LittleBit was super excited to catch 2 butterflies, 4 spotted beetle, and a tufted caterpillar. In class they learned about the praying mantis and the dragonfly. They were also able to see dragonfly larvae through a microscope. Hubby took the DSLR camera today with the extension tubes, so he was able to get a few good pictures while bug hunting(chasing LittleBit).
Tufted Caterpillar

Four Spotted Beetle

Praying Mantis

Checking out Dragonfly larvae

On the hunt for butterflies

Caught his first butterfly

Bug Hunting

Crescent Butterfly

White Spotted Skipper Butterfly