7 Quick Takes Science-fair edition

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I introduced Amie to yoga.  She is enjoying a kids yoga class.  I love this studio, isn't it beautiful?  I can't even remember what this move is called, I think it was the "belly train".  Sky thinks it looks like a bunch of dominoes tipped over :)

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Meg has been dreaming for most of her life to barrel race horses.  We had to sit her down once, a long time ago, and explain that this would not happen, we couldn't afford horse-riding lessons.  Well, fast forward to 17 years of age....and she made it happen.  She has been so tenacious with her desire to be around horses, to the point of calling random stables in nearby cities/counties and trying to arrange to work for lessons.  Which, she did.  And now, here we are... funny, as I went through my photos of this event for editing, I noticed that in all of the photos of Meg competing, she is grinning wildly.

you go, Meg!

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Yes, it looks like, walks like and smells like Science-Fair season!!  Meg had a big project/ Science-Fair experiment/research paper for Chemistry, and Josie had a research paper/Science-fair presentation and 3 D model of a cell.  She did her project on the red blood cell, and here is her cell model.  Can you see the oxygen stuck on the hemoglobin?? I got a kick out of that part!  :)

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In the midst of all this Mad-Science, I opened up my fridge and noticed that Meg's container of 200 blue-bottle fly pupae were hatching.  Just the sort of thing every mom expects to see on her butter shelf....blah!  I requested she go free them.


Went to a new student orientation meeting with Josie at the Performing Arts School.  I was really impressed, I think she is going to have a great year.  She picked graphic arts, animation and piano for her electives - and these classes take place during the academic portion of her day, they aren't even part of her art conservatory portion.  Very cool.


We are on the home-stretch with Farmer Boy.  I am really enjoying this book, somehow I skipped it when I read all the other Laura Ingalls Wilder books.  I'm reading it primarily for my boy, I hope he is soaking up the lessons on hard work and integrity.  As for me, Almanzo's mother makes me feel very, very lazy, I don't think that woman ever sat down! Lazy, and hungry...that book has a lot of good food mentioned.

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Our new kitchen island project is very close to being completed.  Sky completely demolished the old island, there was nothing left but a spot on the floor with missing tiles. He then built this island frame here, from scratch.  Including these drawers.  The bottom two big drawers will hold our pots, pans and lids.  The drawers are fancy/smancy and will finish closing by themselves if you don't close them all the way.  I don't even know what the term for that is...but it's really cool. My new stove-top is in place...drool....and this Saturday Sky will attempt to pour a concrete counter top on the island.  He has never done this before, but I have complete confidence, the man can do just about anything he sets his mind on.  He also has mad-concrete knowledge/skills.  I always found it amusing that he had to take a concrete class in college. Who's laughing now, Jenn, who???  Not me- I will be grateful for my  new stained-concrete counter and will never, ever call concrete "cement" again just to make Sky mad.


hope you are having an awesome week, bloggy friends! 7 Quick Takes happens every Friday at Conversion Diary. Hop on over and join up!

Science simplified for the Bridget Jones homeschool mom

Soo, homeschooling 5 kids...I am not super-organized. I'm actually very UN-organized. I keep hoping and praying this will change for me, but so far...no.

Some things have to give a bit...I've decided it's going to be Science. We are strong on Health as Science -I love Abeka Health readers, but the rest...is going to be more exploratory Science. I've realized we can hit Science hard and fast in the High School years (through outside rigorous classes with lab work). So, yeah, that's my plan, and how it's worked itself out.

This year we will be doing a mix of Science mini-unit studies, experiments (easy ones) and educational videos/readings -plus our steady diet of Health readers. (I like those, we just open and read :)

I found this experiment-driven book on Matter by Teacher Created Resources at my local Barnes & Nobles. It is for grades 2-5. It has easy experiments and worksheets to reinforce the lesson. -Be still my beating heart, I am a worksheet girl at heart!

Our first lesson demonstrated that certain kinds of matter can be recognized through the sense of touch, sight, smell, taste or hearing.

My first direction from the book was to pop up a batch of popcorn.
Even I can do that.

We then discussed/worked through our worksheet together identifying what our different senses told us about the popcorn.

Then we ate our popcorn.

Homeschool = cool school some days. :)

So readers, have you found a great Science curriculum or resource? Share in the comments, please!

Growing borax crystals-a homeschool science project

Last week, the Home crew grew crystals from borax soap. Borax soap-as in laundry detergent, just check the laundry aisle...it's a powder. This project was instigated through our Classical Conversations group, I am a tutor this year for master's class. I admit, if I didn't have to do this for the class, I most likely would not have done this cool project. I spend most of my time working to get our basic school work done, special projects get left by the wayside, unfortunately. But, I'm here to tell you...

*This one was fun! *Didn't take much preparation!

*Didn't need many ingredients! *Wasn't messy!

Each time I pull off a neat project, I am inspired to do more with my kids- I hope this inspires you to do the same!I chose to use Borax powder instead of sugar to make rock candy, because I had heard and read mixed results with the success of getting the sugar to grow. (and then I cheated and just bought rock candy!! The sugary final product to eat is the point, really now-admit it)

I found the directions by googling on the internet. Here is roughly what we did:


  • jar
  • boiling water
  • pipe cleaners cut into small pieces, we then twisted them into star shapes
  • string and a stick to tie them to
  • borax powder (3 tablespoons per cup of hot water, I used 2 cups of water in my jar)


Prepare your pipe cleaners and string first, make sure they will hang in the jar without touching the bottom, yet will hang low enough for the 2 cups of water to cover them.

Boil your water. Once boiling, measure out 2 cups and pour into jar. Parent needs to do this.

Next, stir in borax 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring to dissolve. This part is fun for the kids.
After the borax is all in, put in your stars and then set the jar somewhere where it will not be disturbed. Check daily to see crystal growth.

I made lab sheets on Word, typing in the name of the project on the top, with the directions to draw what they observed.

I made a second comprehension sheet that listed the experiment, the hypothesis, and our procedure. Then, I typed in a short paragraph describing what occurred and why- the Science behind the project, leaving blanks for key-word like "crystal", "dissolve" "salt" "cube-shaped", "molecule", "saturation" and the kids filled these in as we discussed the why.





try it!

Life-sized dinosaurs, big shovel needed

Or, field trip to the science museum...

Tuesday we went to the science museum with my friend gracefulmom, and her two girls. (yes, you've been blogged...and I think you are always full of grace with your girls!)

#1 Important thing I learned that day: plan to arrive after 1pm, because then the million kids there on school field-trips have been lined up and magically whisked away. We arrived before noon, and the noise, crowds and confusion had me ruing the day I thought this trip sounded like a good idea. Once they left, the place was magically empty and quiet. (and yes, I did just use "rue" -we've been reading Shakespeare, can you tell??)

#2 Important thing I learned: the interesting sculpture you are leaning against in the outdoor, life-size dinosaur exhibit is a life-size dinosaur p** p** replica.

#3 Don't share that factoid with your kids 7 and under

IMHO the new dinosaur exhibit was the best thing about the center, it was really well thought out.

All in all, a really was a nice day for the visit, we will try to go back next month...after 1