Monday, September 2, 2013

Owl Pellet Dissection–Apologia Zoology



We finished chapter 7 in Zoology 3 last week and for an experiment we dissected owl pellets.  Why I thought this is a good idea is beyond me, in high school biology I made a deal with my lab partner I would do all his work if he did all the dissections, it was a great dealSmile  Since Dad was home for Labor Day it seemed like a great time to dissect owl pellets. Everyone got to participate.  It was very interesting and a great learning experiment. We found so many bones such as 6 vole skulls, 2 larger and 4 small ones.  We were able to piece together a entire skeleton.

I ordered the supplies from Home Science Tools I spent less than 20.00 for a kit, gloves and extra pellets. The ordered arrived within a week.





Large owl pellet, Kiddo was not sure about touching it but once we started finding bones he had fun.


Found a large skull


We determined it was a vole by the orange teeth.



I think Kiddo did a great job assembling the skeleton from the picture.


I am glad we are done with the rodentia family and are moving on.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Just one of many many attempts at a good back to school picture. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Weekly Review–Week One - 4th Grade

weekly review graphic 2
We completed our first week back at school. It was a successful week thanks in part to a reward chart I am trying to help with attitude problem we have been having. Kiddo has developed an attitude about doing his work and saying he doesn’t like school etc. He does his work but complains about it,  has an attitude, or works at an insanely slow pace. I am trying to nip this in the bud before it becomes a real problem. The first week of the reward chart was a success so I hope it will help him to develop a better attitude and better work habit. I found a reward chart on pinterest that fit what I was looking for.  He has to do a few things everyday in order to mark that complete on the reward chart and if at the end of the week he has all the circles filled in he gets a reward. I let him help pick the reward he wanted to work for the week. He has to complete the list without be told to do so and I give him only one attitude warning a day any more and the attitude circle does not get filled in for the day. He did really well this first week, he wanted to fill in the circles on the chart so I hope it will continue. The reward chart is on my pinterest homeschool board here is a link: Homeschool Board Pinterest

Our curriculum this year is:
Math - Singapore Math 3B (for review) 
               Teaching Textbooks 4/5
               Beast Academy (he and Dad are doing this together)
History – Story of the World 4
Geography – Apologia Around the World in 180 Days.
Science – Apologia Zoology 3
Grammar – Easy Grammar 4
Spelling – Sequential Spelling 2
Vocabulary - Wordly Wise 6    
Handwriting – Handwriting Skills D
Foreign Language – French via Live Mocha
Bible – Gotta Have God Devotional for Boys
Music – Piano lessons and The Great Composers
Reading – Reading classics books this year. First one is Little    House in the Big Woods.

We are not doing all those lessons every day, we would never finish.  French and handwriting is 3 days a week.  Math he does one page on Singapore a day, 2 to 3 days a week a Teaching Textbook lesson and he and his Dad are doing Beast Academy together usually once a week. Most of the others we do in some form every day, I have not started The Great Composers book and I may not he has read the book twice and listened to the cd several times since I ordered it.

I am disappointed that Telling God’s Story 3 won’t be available until next spring.  We have really enjoyed the first two books. The devotional book I bought to use for Bible is good maybe a little simple for him but will be good to use everyday.

Apologia’s Around the World in 180 days is going to be a challenge for me to plan.  It is more of a study guide than a curriculum book. There is a great deal of planning and researching on my part. I decided we are going to study one continent a month so we can take our time and really study each one.

I have no trouble stopping to go in depth on something he is really interested in.  For example when we studied Ancient Egypt in STOW 1 we spent 6 weeks on it because he likes it so much and he is already excited to study Egypt again in geography.

This week we went to the library and got books on Africa and canine animals for geography and science. He built Africa with Lego.

We did an internet scavenger hunt for Africa’s topographical features. He colored a map of all the countries in Africa.
And we got our Geopuzzle in for next week.

We also did a fun experiment for this hot weather. A root beer float experiment on gas, liquid, and solid.  Here is the worksheet we used: Root Beer Experiment
It was a quick fun experipment and perfect for this heat!

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On to week 2. Have a good week everybody.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Kiddo's little "math office" his help for when doing math problems.  One day he will memorize his times tables, I hope. 


Monday, July 15, 2013

My New Lesson Planner


It was time for a new lesson planner this year my previous one was not quite big enough and the box I used for holding daily lessons and printables broke again.

We use a workbox type system for school, I do my lesson plans for the week and put together all printables and worksheets we will use. Then each day I fill up his work cart with all the books and printables he needs for that day.  I wanted to combine both my lesson plans and worksheets we would use into one binder instead of the binder and file box system I was using. 

I have tried to go to a digital system for a lesson planner,  I use my computer and phone for every thing else including the family calendar but for whatever reason a paper planner works best for school.

First order of business was shopping for supplies. I love school/office supplies. I bought most of the supplies for this planner from Staples and I used my scrapbook supplies to dress it up a bit. I will be using it everyday might as well make it fun to look at.

I bought a 3” Staples Better Binder in fuchsia, a set of Staples Better dividers, 2 sets of Staples Clear Binder Pockets, and Zipper Binder Pocket.  I also bought a set of Paper mate Ink joy Pens from I love the Ink Joy pens.

Staples always has the binders on sale with their back to school sales and usually runs a trade your old binder in for $2.00 off a new binder. I love the Better Binders they are very sturdy and come in all kinds of pretty colors.

I used scrapbook paper and my cricut to make a cover for the binder and divider pages inside the binder. Most of the printables I use to make my planner are from Donna Young



First when you open the binder is the zipper binder with pens and post it notes and a 3 ring hole punch.



Next is a pocket page to add in quick papers I need to do something with and then is a cover sheet I laminated, the thicker paper makes flipping the pages in the binder easier


The next section is calendars, I have a yearly calendar, our school attendance page and a month to month calendar to write down what we did each month that is homeschool related.


Next section is my list section, Here I have a reading list where I try to write down all the books he reads through the year, I usually get about half of them written down. I also have a field trip page.


Next is course work. Here I have the list of textbooks we are using this semester and a key code for them.


Next is the lesson planner this is the section I use to write out our weekly lessons. I have used both the one page and the two page planner that Donna Young has on her site. I like them both I just prefer the one page a little better.


Next section is printables,here I have a master copy of pages we use everyday or weekly such as handwriting paper, reward chart (something new I am trying this year), daily calendar journal etc.


Next is the daily lessons, here is where I put all the worksheets and printables we will be using for the whole week. I have a pocket folder for each day of the week, as I make my lesson plans I add the papers I will need for each day. Every night I fill up his workbox cart with the work for the next day. It takes me a hour or so to do lesson plans for the whole week and with all the supplies together for the week it takes me less than 2 minutes to fill up his work cart every day.


And finally the last section is grades, receipts and the very last page is my letter from our umbrella school saying I am a verified teacher just in case I ever need it.


The back of the binder is a clip board I made for notes etc. The white note paper is laminated and I can use a dry erase marker on it.


Have a great day!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Curriculum Ordered for Next Year

We are officially on break until July when we will start 4th grade. In the mean time I have been researching and reading up on what curriculum I wanted for next year. 
I have ordered our curriculum,  I have a few classic books to get that he will be reading, I would like to add to our reference library and I have a list of extras I would like to get but the big stuff is done.
 Just click on title for link.

Geography – Around the World in 180 Days
                    Uncle Josh's Outline Maps
                    Geography Coloring Book
Science - Exploring Creation with Zoology 3
Language Arts - Wordly Wise 6
                         Easy Grammar 4
                         Sequential Spelling 2
                         Handwriting Skills Level D
Math - Singapore Math 4A
           Teaching Textbooks 5
Logic - Detective Science
            Beast Academy 3B
Bible - Gotta Have God Devotions for Boys
           Telling God’s Story 3 - when it comes out
Music/Art –  Piano Lessons
                  Great Composers Book 1 & CD
                   Atelier Art
Foreign Language – Live Mocha - French

He has picked a two live classes from Currclick he wants to take, one on the History of Weapons and one on Ancient Egypt along with Lego Club and Magic Tree House book club.
I want to collect the Geo puzzles to go with geography, I have a couple and I as I can find a deal on them I want the whole set. I am looking into getting a smart globe we have a older version of one and it only half works. I think it would be good to have a better working version.  I would love to collect all of the Disney Imagineering dvds, and Drive thru History dvds. I won’t even begin to list my book wish list, I have a huge homeschool wish list on amazonSmile I am always trying to add a book here or there to our library.

I am happy we are taking a break but I can not wait to get the new curriculum in.  It is like Christmas when boxes of books arrive. 
I hope everyone is enjoying spring. I will be back to blog posting in a couple of weeks as I start lesson planning and getting ready to start our new year.