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Sunday, December 28, 2014

How To Draw the Nativity for Kids and Beginners

We are still on Christmas break, and I love to share extra things I find during this time period. Why not draw a nativity? Below you will find a video tutorial. After you get good at it, you could make an ornament. I hope all my readers had a wonderful Christmas, we did. I am thinking if I want to have my kids make a New Years Resolution this year, and see if they can stick to it. My son, and I, are doing a 30 day plank challenge, together, and it is a challenge. Do you have your kids make a New Years Resolution? Do they stick to it?




Thursday, December 25, 2014

Kirby Farms Christmas Express Train

Merry Christmas! I hope your Christmas has been awesome, and full of blessings. On the 23rd we took a trip to the Kirby Farms Christmas Express train ride. Thank goodness the thunderstorms held off until after we had left. It was close, though. We bought our tickets online, and since they do not offer refunds, this is probably not something I would do again. The train is actually quite large, and I would say could seat at least 100 people. So, even if you had to stand in line it wouldn't be too bad. The train runs in 30 minute increments. It was nice, and warm, so the ride was very pleasant. You ride through the light display on the train. There are other activities, they cost extra, but we didn't stay for any of those. Everyone was so very tired from all the other holiday activities, and my husband was not feeling well. It is 10 dollars per person to ride the train. If you are interested, they run through New Years. All proceeds go to the running of the farm which eventually will be a learning farm for needy children. They have a website, and they are located in Bronson, FL. A super fun way to see the lights, and ride a train.





Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Annual 4H Bakeoff and Christmas Party

Last night was our annual 4H Bakeoff and Christmas Party. I think our county is the only one that does the bakeoff. The kids bake an item, or there are other categories too but most kids make a baked item. The most coveted prize is the Golden Spoon for each category. I think this is the fourth year the bakeoff has been done. DJ won a blue ribbon, and the Golden Spoon for his mint chocolate brownies, made from scratch. This is a modge podge recipe, put together by me, due to the fact I don't care for any of the ones I could find. I saved the recipe, so we could make it again. Caitlin made the kitty cake shown above.  We were somewhat unprepared to make this properly, due to a family emergency that ate up a lot of time.  She did get a blue ribbon, but still has not won a Golden Spoon.  Then the kids in the Guitar Club play Christmas songs, and then games for all the kids.  All in all a good time, and the kids love it!




Sunday, December 14, 2014

Resume Writing Lessons for Homeschoolers

On Friday, we had a monkey wrench thrown into our homeschooling life.  Due to circumstances beyond my control, I resigned my position where I was currently working prn.  So, now I have to dust up on my resume writing skills.  I decided it would be the perfect time to introduce resume writing to my 9th grader as well.  Below are two different lesson plans for resume writing.  Check them out, and give your homeschooler a chance to apply for a job.  I am going to have my son look for positions in the paper, and write a resume for the ones he thinks he can do. 

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/resume-writing

http://www.schoodoodle.com/weblog/2009/06/19/free-resume-writing-lesson-plan-for-students/

Monday, December 8, 2014

We Finally Got Our Face Art Lesson In Today

So, I decided to make our Art lessons homework assignments. It is the only way to get it done. Our next assignment in the lesson book, was drawing faces. Because, it is Christmas time, I decided we would do faces on ornaments. I did the snowman mandala, DJ did Link who is some kind of video game character, and Caitlin did Elsa from Frozen. Caitlin was really very unhappy with hers. I guess it doesn't look a lot like Elsa, but I really think she made a beautiful and feminine lady portrait. These will all be sealed, and hung on the tree. You need to look back in this blog, about three years ago, and see how far we have progressed with painting on ornaments. It is dramatic! I am not sure what the next lesson is, haven't looked that far ahead yet. This week we have an Osmosis experiment, and Caitlin found a Lava Lamp experiment she wants us to do too. Those will be on Friday, and I will share how they go. Next week, I believe we have a dissection to do. That ought to be interesting. Then, can you believe it, it is almost Christmas. Wow, and I am so not ready. I have never, ever shopped on Christmas Eve, ever! This year I might not have a choice. Ugh! This year, we decided we would try to start two new traditions. 1- On Christmas Eve, we will sit down to watch, It's A Wonderful Life. Then #2 will happen. Instead of Christmas stockings, I am going to make up Christmas Eve boxes, with small gifts like pajamas, some treats, and maybe a book, game or movie. I forgot to share our Advent Calendar again. I will get that up hopefully Wednesday. We have two of them this year, one for each child to do, oh and there is the cutest app called Elf Adventure Full. I think it was the FAOTD, but I might have just found it by luck. Check it out, it is adorable.






Friday, December 5, 2014

How To Paint A Christmas Tree and Some Homeschool Books Listed on Ebay

I love books, especially homeschool books. If you are a long time homeschooler than you probably have 8 thousand books that you are probably never going to use. I buy them because I think I will use them, or they are kindly given to me when others don't want them anymore. I accumulate them, until I have nowhere else to put them. Then I have to start decluttering. I have listed several homeschool books in my Ebay store. They are not auction format, so plenty of time to get in on them. I will be listing Magic Tree House Books, soon, hopefully tomorrow. Both my kids have read them, and loved them, but are both too old for them now.

I thought I would share some Christmas art videos. I love the one below, it is in three short parts, but I can't wait to try it. Do it with your kids, and hang them up every year. We still have to do our faces art lesson. Can you tell I am trying to avoid that one? LOL! Hopefully we will get to it this week.










Saturday, November 29, 2014

Make Your Own Clay Dough Chrismtas Ornaments to Paint and Decorate

Obviously the two little girls I did this project with did not have a care in the world that it is Christmas time. They chose a heart, a dolphin and a rabbit to make into an ornament. I will post the ingredients below to make these. I want to give you a few pointers first. First off they do not come out white. Ours looked more like a sugar cookie color. So, I painted them white. Also, because I wanted them to dry faster, I put them in a toaster oven on low for two hours. They did not dry in that time, and the dough was cracking. So, I let them dry the rest of the way on the counter at room temp. It did take about two days for them to fully dry. They are very hard, but of course could break if dropped. I sanded them for the girls to see if I could smooth them out a little, and then painted them white, and added two layers of Modge Podge. Also, the beads are not a good idea, or glitter. Most of the beads did not stay in place, I had to glue them back in. If you want glitter add them after while the modge podge is still wet. It worked much better that way. Also, make them thick, not thin. You won't get as many ornaments, but they don't crack as easy, and they are way more sturdy. I have two more dolphins, a heart, and an oval that my daughter and I will be painting and depending on how they come out, offering them in my Ebay store. A fun and affordable project, no matter which way you look at it. To make the dough use 1 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup corn starch, and 3/4 cup of hot water. Mix in a pan on the stove until it starts to boil and pull away from the sides. Believe me you will know when to stop stirring and it is ready. I let it cool quite a bit before using.




Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Science Unit Studies and Free American History Ebook

I bought the Science Unit Studies book below, at a yard sale this weekend. I have read through it, and can't wait to begin using it. Some of them we have already done, either the same way, or similar way. But, there are a lot that we can use in upcoming lessons. I am not sure if my son will do too many, because he has Marine Biology labs to do, but these are perfect for Caitlin.

So far, I have not bee happy with the American History curriculum we are using. So, I am supplementing that curriculum with the book shown below and the CLEP exam study guide, for American History 1.






Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Vacation, Lets Draw A Turkey and Pilgrims

We are officially on Thanksgiving break. Normally we only take like three days for this holiday. But, this year is special. My husband and son have left for NY, this evening, and won't be back for a while. So, we are on vacation until they return. Which is OK, because I have a ton of paper work to catch up on. I have added after hour school work to DJ's day, because he needs to study to absorb all the material he needs to learn. He really does not have time to study during a typical school day, or week. His weekends will still be his to do what he wants, unless he gets behind, which should never be an issue for us. Emergencies though can clog up a schedule. I hope they have a ball, and Caitlin and I have some fun things planned too.

One of the most popular posts on this blog, is an old post about how to draw a turkey. So, I found a new one, and updated it to draw a new turkey, and cute pilgrims too. Caitlin was giving the assignment to make a turkey shaped building on her Minecraft world. She said she didn't think she could, but she did and it is splendid. Last year both kids had to make Mayflower ships on their Minecraft worlds. I am thinking a Nativity, Santa and a Snowman are in their Minecraft futures, lol. This will give me lots of time to catch up on some crafting that I have not had the time to do. I love to paint, and I didn't get any in this week. I have a baby cocoon and a baby blanket to ship out to Newborns in Need, and am challenging myself by attempting a long duster type sweater. I will let you know how that goes.






Thursday, November 13, 2014

Nutrition and Cooking as an Elective Course Sweet and Sour Chicken

As an elective course, for 9th grade, DJ is taking a very basic Nutrition class.  As part of that class, he is also learning to cook, and wash dishes.  He cooks almost every week night, and is responsible for kitchen clean up on those same nights.  He has basically learned to cook our family favorites, and most common menu items.  We had lots of extra apples, so last month for our 4H meeting he made homemade apple cider, in the slow cooker.  It was a big hit, though most kids still chose the soda over apple cider.  The adults loved it, and we had some for home too.  Then this past week, he made homemade applesauce in the slow cooker.  Super simple and delicious.  It had no sugar added which was good, but I think I like it just a little bit sweeter.  Today we decided to learn to make Sweet and Sour Chicken.  We love it when we eat out, so might as well try it.  Now, any other time I have tried to duplicate Chinese food, it is not successful, so I was kind of not optimistic.  I did not tell him that, lol.  It actually was super easy, and super delicious.  A new favorite here at our house.  The only thing we changed about the recipe was, we served with linguine noodles not rice,  no soy sauce, and accidentally used olive oil instead of regular oil.  That just made it a little less crispy, but no other effect on flavor.  We doubled the sauce, and saved some to use next week with pork.  For the recipe we used, click here.

All three of the recipes mentioned were found on Pinterest.  I love Pinterest!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sickness In Our Homeschool and Mission US

Have you ever been completely fine, and then bam you are sicker than a dog?  This happened to me this week.  I don't typically get sick.  I suffer from Migraines, but that is just part of my normal life.  I think I actually had the Flu this week.  I have not had the Flu in probably 20 years.  We went out to dinner on Tuesday evening, and as we were leaving the restaurant I started to wheeze.  Odd, but I just blew it off.  I was able to go to Run Club on Wed morning, despite having tight breathing, I had no other symptoms.  By Thursday morning, I was completely done.  Thursday, and Friday, were completely days spent in a coma.  All I did was sleep.  Thank goodness my kids, and husband are able to function without me.  OK so the house was not clean, but I can live with that.  I isolated myself from everyone, so not to spread it.  My bedroom was the germ room, lol.  Yesterday, I felt so much better and was able to start the disinfection process.  Still congested today, but was able to do yard work, laundry, wash dishes, and so much more.  So, yes I am all better.  It is probably my fault I got sick.  Halloween weekend I had to work, and could not sleep well.  My coworkers came to work sick, I ate a lot of candy and did not sleep enough.  That is the perfect mixture for getting sick.  Eat right, sleep, and try to steer clear of those who are sick, and good hand washing, will help keep you from getting sick.  We opted to stay home from church today just to be safe.  The boys are going to NY, on vacation, in a few weeks, and they don't need to be sick and in bed for such an expensive trip.

I had been trying to find the American History game, Mission US, but I could not remember the name of it.  I had it saved to my Pinterest board, Eclectic Homeschool, and finally found it yesterday.  My son, will definitely be playing this online game, as part of his American History studies.  They will be adding a new chapter in 2015, so that is exciting news too. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

American Blackout 2013

This movie was recommended to me by a co-worker.I think everyone should watch this video.  I watched it last night, and will watch it with my kids in the near future.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Crystal Growing Kit, A Sponge Marine Biology Lab and Draw What You See

On Fridays I try to keep school somewhat light and fun. We usually do our labs, and experiments on Friday. A week ago, or so, we were at The Dollar Tree. They had these crystal growing kits, and Caitlin wanted to get one to do. So, I bought one for each kid. They were easy to set up, the kids read and followed the directions with no assistance from me. We checked them today, and they are already starting to form crystals. I will take another picture in a few days to show the progress. The picture shown below was taken yesterday right after they set them up.

DJ had a sponge lab for his Marine Biology. He had to answer the questions in his book, and then we looked at the sponge under the microscope and draw what he sees.

Caitlin found a small lizard being eaten by ants, over the Summer. It was dead, of course, so we saved it to look at under the microscope. We did that yesterday as well. There was not much left to the skeletal remains, but it was still cool to look at.

DJ had a persuasive writing assignment. He was a realtor and he had to convince buyers to buy a haunted house. Perfect for Halloween. You can read it on his blog. It is pretty funny. Caitlin actually had two writing assignments. She had a descriptive writing assignment on how her and a friend would feel walking through a haunted house. She also had to make a Math short story for a prepared answer given to her. This was actually the harder of the two, since she is used to having a word problem, and she has to find the answer. It is a great way to get her thinking in a different direction. I think I will be doing those with both kids on Friday, each week.

We had a great week, hope you all did too. I have put my Etsy store on vacation, and opened an Ebay store. In all my organizing and cleaning, I discovered I have way too much inventory and I need to start selling stuff. Ebay affords me the luxury of auction listings, plus my fixed price store items along with other specialty options that Etsy just does not offer. Check out my Ebay store, and auctions, if you like. I do not have everything listed there yet, it is a timely process.








Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Growing Pumpkins From Seeds Inside A Pumpkin

For whatever reason Caitlin's pumpkin did not last long this year. In other years, when we painted the pumpkins, they last until Spring or longer. So, rather than waste it, we decided to do an experiment. We cut off the top of the pumpkin, left all the guts inside, put dirt on top of the guts, set it in a semi sunny spot and we will see what happens. Supposedly pumpkins will grow, but we will see. We have a couple of other experiments set for Friday, that I will share after we do them. We are also squeezing in Art this week.



Monday, October 27, 2014

Magic School Bus Series Being Cancelled From Netflix End of October 2014

That is right, you read it correct. It is all over Facebook homeschool groups, that the series is being cancelled at the end of this month. My daughter watched it last year, and was basically her Science curriculum. It is a wonderful show, and you can find free worksheets for each show online for free. I hate to see it go. DJ used to love it when he was younger too. Of course he is a teen, and much too old for it now.




Saturday, October 25, 2014

Math U See and Core Algebra 1 Online

Some of you may have remembered that I bought Algebra 1 Math U See, with instructional video, even before we started Summer Vacation.  We watched parts of the video over the Summer.  While DJ is doing OK, he is still frustrated and not where he wants to be with Math.  The workbook is difficult.    It only has 15-20 questions per lesson, and they are long and hard.  There is not enough room to work out each problem, and not enough problems.  These are DJ's observations.  I believe I can print off more worksheets for each lesson, on their website.  But, for the price I paid for the books I don't think I should have to use my own ink to do that.  He also has not bonded with the instructor on the dvd.  I know that sounds stupid, but he does not care for the way he teaches, especially since he uses a lot of manipulatives, which is just confusing.  So, we are not giving up on Math U See.  I like it a lot.  I like the instructor, minus the manipulatives, and find the teacher textbook very helpful.  But, I myself have been using Core Algebra 1 to teach myself, and relearn topics I forgot.  Two days ago, I let DJ try it.  He does like this very much.  He likes the instructor, who is quite a bit younger than the Math U See gentleman.  He likes the online tests.  They get progressively harder, but he watches the video each time.  So after five tests he has watched the video 5 times.  So, he will do the Core Algebra 1, online lessons, then do the Math U See harder lesson after he has hopefully mastered it.

Caitlin is progressing nicely with her Saxon 54.  The only concern I have is that she needs to do more multiplication, and has not started division concepts yet.  I think I will be looking for something to supplement those for her. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Homeschool Day at the Florida Museum

Today was homeschool day at the Florida Natural History Museum in Gainesville. We got there nice and early, about 20 min ahead of the 10 oclock entry time. The line was not that large at that time. Yet, it still took almost an hour to get a ticket purchased. I was not super happy about that. I would think they could have done better than that. The exhibit itself was interesting, but in my opinion not worth 6 dollars a person. Then the various activity stations were mostly for very young children. We did get to look at shark skin under a microscope, at one station, and the kids did a fishing test that taught them using nets for fish gets you way more than you wanted, or expected. The rest of the museum, except the Butterfly Rainforest is free, but our time was limited, and we had already seen it. We were able to identify two types of shark teeth, that we had collected while fossil digging.  A Tiger Shark and Lemon Shark.  All in all I was disappointed. Not sure I would go for another Homeschool Day.






Friday, October 17, 2014

Enhancing Memory and Listening Skills Fun on Friday Draw What You Hear

This is my weekend to work the night shift.  So, I have to get in a nap today.  That means every other Friday, I get to give the kids writing, and other creative lessons.  One thing I have noticed is that their listening skills are not exactly great.  Why does that matter to me?  Well for one thing,  you can't follow oral directions well if your listening and memory skills are not up to par.  I for one can listen to a TV show, not watch it, and do something else at the same time, and still be able to tell you what happened.  That is because I have very acute hearing and listening skills.  I think it is a very useful skill, and I want them both to hone their skills. 

Today, I started with a very short story made up by myself.  I repeated it three times, and then they were required to draw what they heard me say.  They could not talk to each other, and could not ask me any questions.  They both got all details correct.  Both of them decided to color the sky blue, rather than just making it sunny.  To me this took away from the picture, but that is OK.

Here is the short story.  It was a beautiful Fall day.  The huge Oak tree only had a few leaves left on it.  It had 10 blue leaves and 5 red leaves.  Plus there were 20 acorns on the ground.

As we go on, through the months, the lesson will get harder with more details.  I also think I will have them listen to just noises, like water, birds, nature, etc and have them draw what they hear.  Also they will be required to write what I say. 

DJ is also doing a writing assignment on George Washington, and an Art lesson on perspective.  Caitlin did an Acrostic Apple poem and will be doing the perspective Art lesson as well.  Caitlin already posted hers to her blog. 

Have an awesome weekend.  Monday we will be at the museum for the Megaladon exhibit.  So, watch for pictures from that. 







Tuesday, October 14, 2014

News Junkie and Algae Experiment

I am a bit of a news junkie.  Towards the end of the school day, the news is on.  If you have been watching the news you know, Ebola, is all over the news.  Yesterday, early morning, my son got sick, and then again later in the morning.  My 10 yr old was convinced he probably had Ebola.  She pays more attention to the news than I thought.  Which gets me to my point.  If I am going to watch the news, which is usually not good news and often embellished, I better be prepared for some weird reactions and questions.  Of course my son does not have Ebola, he was fine after the second incident and we have had no contact, direct or otherwise with anyone from West Africa.  It was probably our Science experiment, because he did not follow the directions clearly.

About 10 days ago, we tried to see if there was anything living in our pool.  There wasn't, but I think things are starting to grow in their now, lol.  Anyway we have a rain collection bucket, that I water plants with.  I had not messed with it for a while, and that did have algae in it.  It also had a tiny ant head, with algae growing around it, that was really cool to look at under the microscope.  We did this on Sunday.  As I was looking I could see little critters moving around.  Our microscope is not super strong, so I couldn't tell exactly what they were, but there was a lot of them.  I told DJ to be sure and not touch his face, before he got to wash his hands, after handling the sample.  He might not have listened.  None of his friends, or us got it, but it could have just been something he ate.  But we all ate the same thing.  I have dumped the bucket and sanitized it, since to dog likes to drink out of it now and then.  From now on I will have the hand sanitizer right there to clean hands, and then wash them with soap and water when all experiments have been completed.

The second experiment we did, was to watch a seed grow.  You need six seeds.  We used Magnolia seeds, because they are all over the back yard.  You soak them over night, then gently remove the out covering of the seed.  It should be slimy and slide right off.  This was really cool under the microscope.  We couldn't get our seed to slice open, no matter how much we tried, so we skipped seeing the inside.  Next you put about 6 tsp of dirt in a ziplock bag and push the seed down into the dirt.  Seal the bag, most of the way, leave a small area for evaporation to occur.  Place it in a sunny spot, and then check it in a few days.  You should be able to see the seed starting the growing process.  I think this would work better in a tight fitting case, like a clear CD case, but we will see how it goes.  These are easy, fun, and educational experiments that anyone can do. 

Even though my son was not feeling well, he made it through the whole school day, Monday, slowly but still, and is all better today.  This week is a normal school week, and then next week we have some fun, educational things going on.  More on those later this week.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Strange and Unusual School Week

I am so glad homeschooling is flexible. Monday through Wednesday, was completely normal school days. Then Thursday happened, lol. Thursday and Friday could definitely be classified as unschooling, with no textbook work at all. Today, I am back on track with doing all the things I normally do.

Yesterday, Caitlin and I did get to do some pumpkin decorating. We do not carve our pumpkins anymore. They literally last until Summer if we do not cut them. This year we bought smaller pumpkins so we could put them on the dining room table. I had some extra blue spray paint, from my tire garden, so we spray painted them blue. Much easier than using acrylics and a brush. Caitlin chose to put cute stickers on hers. I have to show her how to Modge Podge them, so the stay on better. I used an old doilie to create the design on mine. I have never tried this before. Keep your can moving, and spray lightly. Otherwise you get a lot of paint but no design. I got better at it as I went. I might get one more pumpkin and try it again, lol. We did find some Magnolia seeds, and got them soaking in water, for one of Caitlin's Science experiments. That is all we accomplished for school, on Thursday and Friday. A friend of ours lent us the game Rummy Roots. We were supposed to try it yesterday, that did not happen. We will play it Monday, and if we like it, I will buy it.

How was your homeschool week?



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Liberty Kids Complete Series on DVD Only 5 Dollars

I bought this DVD about a month ago, for 5 dollars, and it is still only 5 dollars. Caitlin is studying the American Revolution this year, for school. Liberty Kids is perfect in adjunct with her other History lessons. It is animated, and can be enjoyed by all ages. I enjoy it, and learn things I either forgot or never learned. Check it out, and get one before the price goes back up. BTW I have no idea when the price will go back up.



Sunday, October 5, 2014

Draw What You See Microscope Fun

When I bought the Apologia Marine Biology books, I didn't realize they had slides for the labs. I bought a dissection kit, and a microscope. The microscope came with some slides, but not Diatoms or Unicellular organisms. So, I had to improvise for this weeks lab. First we took some water from our pool, that has had no chemicals put in it since the beginning of September. There is no algae in the pool, so we found no organisms. We will try that again, when the algae starts to grow. So, I found a website that shared images of unicellular organisms under a microscope and had DJ draw them. We also put a broccoli slice under the microscope. The kids kind of saw the both things. I saw more lighter striations than them, but you get the idea. The edge of the broccoli, where I had cut it with scissors was glittery looking and beautiful. Neither of the kids drew that. So, I has to remind them to draw exactly what you see, all the details. This week, the kids did not get in their perspective Art lesson. I have done it twice, and will share all of them when the kids finish theirs. DJ is learning the flute and will start guitar lessons soon. So, those are taking up his Art time.

We had a very good week of lessons, and fun. I am ready for the new week to start.





Friday, September 26, 2014

Grid Art, Snake Skin Under Microscope, and Our Week In Review

The drawing assignment for this week was a grid drawing. I just couldn't get into it. Those lines drive me crazy. Caitlin did hers, you can see it below. DJ has one printed and ready, just has to draw it out. Next week should be perspective, which is always hard. If you have been following this blog, you know that on Sept 1st I posted the Earth Kids project for this month. Tonight is the results night. If you go back in the blog to the first, you will see we were all gung ho. Put all kinds of stuff in our glass containers with colored marbles. It was so pretty. I actually wanted to see if root vegetables, like onions and carrots, would grow in the water with no dirt. I use them as compost and they do grow in the dirt without even being planted. But no, after a few days all they did was rot and stink up the water bad. So we added clean water, that did not help. It was quite gross. So, last Friday, we emptied out the jars, cleaned them, added fresh water and plants that we pulled out by the roots. One of them, in the tall skinny jar, is actually a potato. If you look real close you can see a small potato starting to grow in the roots. They have stayed beautiful for the week, and just needed some new water due to evaporation. I am going to leave these and see what they end up doing. There are some flowers in there too, both wild flowers, and a rose piece we pulled out. As you can see by looking at the jar, this experiment also shows condensation, and it also covered photosynthesis.  You can't see the tiny bubbles but they are there.

Today, we finally got to dig out our new microscope and use it. Again, if you follow along, the kids had found a snake skin at the springs, and brought it home. Today we put it under the microscope. The assignment was to look at it and draw what you see. There are two different shots, they look a little different due to the magnification of each. The third magnification no one could actually see anything or get it to focus.





Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Osmosis Experiment Results

I forgot to take pictures of the experiment, but at first it didn't work real well.  I knew I had Iodine just could not find it.  So, we put plain water in two ziploc bags, and then put them in a jar of water.  I had Blue Kote, which I thought had Iodine in it, so we put that in the water of one jar.  Nothing happened, at all.  We waited three days and nothing.  So, I found the Iodine in the First Aid Kit in the car, and it was non colored Iodine, ugh.  We thought we would try it anyways.  So, I left the Blue Kote in the water and added a bit of the Iodine to it.  That worked!  We checked it the next day and the water in the bag was a pretty lavender color.  Diffusion was very easy to see and demonstrate.  We need to study Osmosis just a bit more, I think, to be sure both kids understand it.

I changed DJ's schedule just a bit.  I was reviewing the AP American History, and it is more in depth than I realized.  So, now he will be doing 60 min of History, instead of 30, and 30 minutes of Nutrition, instead of 60. 


Happy Homeschooling!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Homeschool Art Lesson 3 Drawing Hands

Our third drawing lesson, was to draw hands. Hands are hard to draw, and as you can see none of us were brave enough to try a cupped or closed hand. As you can also see, all three of us decided to draw our hands holding nature. Mine is the one holding the tangle doodle snake. Why did I choose a snake? Because, I love to do the doodle tangle art, and I dislike snakes, but mine is beautiful. The kids picked a butterfly and baby Sea Turtle. I am not sure which lesson we will do this week, but I better decide soon, lol. Tomorrow is Monday. I think in between the drawing lessons, I might add in some remakes of the Masters pieces. The kids do no have to paint in their designs, I do mine, but I do like them to color in with colored pencils. My paintings are for sale in my Etsy store, and you can find the store banner on the right hand side of this blog.





Thursday, September 18, 2014

Diffusion and Osmosis Science Lab Experiment

This is my weekend to work, starting tomorrow night.  The kids and I decided when I have to work, and nap, they will do independent work while I am asleep.  In the morning we will set up the Osmosis and Diffusion lab for DJ's Marine Biology.  Caitlin will also participate and discuss results.  The one in the textbook, I did not have all the supplies, so I am going with this one.  DJ records all his findings in his notebook.  Then we will check our Earth Kids project for this month, and I think it needs some adjustments.  Caitlin will read a chapter of Black Beauty, and do a writing assignment on her blog.  I think I am going to have her write about how her day would be if she got to work on a horse farm for a day.  DJ will also be doing a writing assignment on his blog, about his Summer Vacation.  I have located some essay topics for 9th grade, and he will be having them assigned through the year.  He will also be finishing his hand drawing Art project, so I can share them all here on the blog.

On this past Wednesday, we started our third year of our Run/Walk Club.  We had to cut it down to only one day a week this year, but it also serves as a nature walk, and socialization with friends.

It has been a good and complete first full week of school.  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fanning Springs, Underwater Pictures, and 4H Project Books

Today, was my Father in Law's last day with us, before he goes back to NY. We decided to take him to Fanning Springs, and as you can see on a Monday we had the place to ourselves. Unfortunately it started to thunder pretty quickly after we arrived, and we only got about an hour to enjoy the springs before we had to leave. DJ and Caitlin did get to use the underwater camera we got for them. I can not wait to see how those pictures come out. I haven't used a disposable camera in at least 20 years, or had to have one developed. Grandpa Ed said his goodbyes about 4. Now we have to get ready for the first 4H meeting of the year. Tonight is election night. DJ will most likely be Vice President by the end of the day. He has decided he wants to take guitar lessons with 4H, this year, but no shooting sports. He loves the shooting sports, but it is not a convenient day or time. I am still waiting to hear about the Marine Ecology and when those classes will be held. Both of them have picked their project books. DJ will be starting with Life in the Sea, and Caitlin with The World Around Us 4H Wildlife Book 1. Because we are outside so much, I decided on books that will just come naturally to how we learn and spend our time. If you are a fan of the Charlotte Mason style of learning, 4H and their project books might be perfect for you.



Saturday, September 13, 2014

Blue Springs in High Springs

We had a change of plans today. We were going to take Grandpa Ed to Blue Springs on Monday. But, the weather was not looking good for Monday, and the Santa Fe River is beginning to flood. So, we took him to Blue Springs today. It is funny. Every time Grandpa Ed visits from NY, the springs are flooded. This time we beat the flooding. The Santa Fe was flooding parts of the springs. We could not get to Naked Springs, or Lil Blue Springs, but the main Big Blue Springs was still clear, blue and beautiful. We had a wonderful time, and Grandpa Ed finally got to get into the springs. Tomorrow we chill, use the pool, and watch some football.




Friday, September 12, 2014

Last Visit To Saint Augustine Beach For This Summer

My Father in Law, made it safely from NY last evening. We went out to eat to O Sole Mio, in Newberry, which was delicious as usual. It was late, so he only visited for a bit. Today, we took him to Saint Augustine Beach. He loves the ocean, and it was a beautiful day. It was exactly high tide when we got there, so the waves were high, and rough. The guys had a blast getting beat up in the waves, while Caitlin and I enjoyed to more calm waters at the edge. We found some more cool shells, and went to dinner at Outback Steak House after. Everyone is tired, and ready for bed.

Tomorrow we will hang at the house, swim in the pool, and Dairy Queen for ice cream. Oh yeah!




Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Four Science Experiments on Tuesday


The Marine Biology textbook has several experiments, in each chapter.  This is the lab component of the curriculum and is required in the state of Florida.  Caitlin also had two experiments from her T4L Science lessons.  Since I can not share the actual copies from the book, I will try to find examples similar to what we did, so you can do them in your Science lessons.  The first video is a cloud video, and has nothing to do with experiments.  If your child is learning about Weather, it is a nice video.


I could not find a video for the Marine Biology experiments. So, I will give you a basics of what we did. Experiment 1: The Expansion of Solid Water. You need a bottle of water, a marker, and a freezer. Fill the water bottle about 3/4 of the way full. Mark the spot where the water is with the marker. Put the bottle in the freezer. Make your hypothesis of what you think will happen. Record your findings after the water has frozen.

Experiment 2: Removing the Salt from Salt Water. We have actually done this one before, but it is part of the requirements, so we did it again. You need a pot with one cup of water in it. Turn on the stove and heat the water, but do not boil. Add two tbsp of salt to the water and stir until dissolved. Pour the water into a pie plate or other container. Set outside, usually takes a week or more depending on temperature. Make your hypothesis of what will happen. Record your findings after. Try this in the Winter months also, to see the difference in the results.

I decided I will go back to keeping a daily log, rather than trying to keep up with it on the blog. I would rather keep the blog for fun, and interesting things to share. My Father in Law is coming, so we will not be back to lessons until next Tuesday.










Sunday, September 7, 2014

Homeschool Art Week 2

I am a little late on sharing last week's Art assignment, but better late than never. The assignment last week was to use your creativity and create an animal that has never existed. I did a pink peacock, and an orange and yellow peacock that kind of looks like a turkey, lol. I painted mine in. The kids used colored pencils to color theirs in. DJ did a Blue Bear, that I love, and then he drew out one of the monsters from his video game. Awesome! Caitlin did a rainbow tiger, which would be amazing if it was a real tiger. This week we are doing hands. Hands, are hard! Stay tuned to see how we do.





Thursday, September 4, 2014

Swimming for PE

Yesterday we went to the springs, for PE swimming and fun staring at snakes.  Yes, there were several water snakes sunning themselves, and the kids were quite fascinated with them. 

Today, was a full school day.  I am having a hard time getting in all the experiments.  So, I might have to pick and choose, rather than doing them all. 

Tomorrow is my day to work night shift.  So, it will be chore days before I lie down for a nap, and while I am napping the kids will have some school assignments that they can do on their own.  That way we don't lose a whole day of school, because I have to sleep.


All in all it has been a good first half week of school.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Grow Plants From Tops and Watch Roots Grow Earth Kids Project

Our Earth Kids project for September 2014 is live on our Facebook page. Join in if you want. The original idea for this was with succulents, but I decided to make it a true experiment by using various plants. Some I already knew would grow from the tops of veggies, like carrots, onions, lettuce, cabbage, etc. Some we are seeing if they will, and we even put in a flower cutting from our garden to see if it will take root. Plus how much dirt does a plant need. These plants have none, just water. This also accomplishes the experiment for photosynthesis with the bubbles produced on the items submerged in water. I was surprised to see that the potato peel and carrot tops immediately sunk to the bottom. The onion top and lemon top, both stayed floating at the top. We also added a piece of celery, one piece from the top of the stalk, and one from the bottom. Caitlin put a Phlox stem in hers to see if it will root, and DJ put in a piece of Rose stem. This project should show kids how roots grow, and they will see it, and how some veggies you just plant once and they will regrow again. A very cool and fun experiment. Plus as you can see it is quite colorful and pretty. This project will end in three weeks, for evaluation purposes. We will just let them keep growing if they are growing. They were placed out where they would get lots of sun, but no rainfall.


We have a lot of experiments to do this year. So, if your kids are hands on learners, check back often. Caitlin had another Science one today, and DJ too.






2014/2015 Daily Homeschool Schedule

Below you will see what our daily schedule will look like.  I do re-evaluate often, so it could change.  Wednesdays, starting in two weeks, will be our Run Club day in the mornings.  So, I am not quite sure how that day will look.  But, most likely will be a rotating thing with Math being a priority.  DJ has been working his way through the AP American History course, all Summer.  So, I am comfortable with 30 min classes for him and that class.  He did 9th grade Language Arts last year, but will be doing some Reading and Writing this year.

DJ Grade 9

9-10  Marine Biology
10-1030  Foreign Language Japanese
1030- 1100 Music- Reading Music and Ocarina   will be adding guitar eventually
1100-1130  Reading and or Writing  The Hunger Games book one
1130-1230 Lunch
1230-130 Algebra 1
130-200  AP American History
200-300  Nutrition and Cooking

Caitlin Grade 5

9-10  Science T4L
10-11 Language Arts T4L plus Reading and Writing with me
11-1130  Evan Moor American Revolution and Geography with me
1130-1230  Lunch
1230-130  Math Grade 56 Saxon with me
130-2  Art
2-230  Make up work, free time or other lessons chosen by me

Both kids will also be doing our Earth Kids Club, which for now is completely online.  If you want to join in, the first project has been posted.  They will be done monthly. You can find it by going to Facebook and doing a search for Tri County Earths Kids Club.  Anyone can join, it is free, and I try to make all activities so any age group can join in. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Apple Jars and A Change In Plans Again

How many times have I changed the date for the start of our new school year? Good grief, it is different again. If you follow along, we have been doing Math and History, one day a week, or two over the Summer. We were officially going to start full time on Sept 15th because my FIL is coming from NY. However, I did not realize he would still be here on the 15th and that is the day my husband planned on taking him to Blue Springs. So, now Tues and Thurs of this week, we will be doing full lessons, and two days next week full lessons. Then on the 16th we will be doing 5 days a week full lessons. Whew I confuse myself sometimes. That is the beauty of homeschooling though, the flexibility it allows you to have.

I will be posting our daily activities on this blog, and my son will be keeping track of his hours on his blog. I will have to help him at first. Last week Caitlin and I, using spray paint, painted these jars, hot glued a stick to the top and voila apple jars for our Fall table. I have the Fall decorations out, but have not yet had time to rearrange and get them all out. This week, hopefully, we will get to that.





Thursday, August 28, 2014

Snake Skin At the Springs!

If you follow this blog, then you know for the past several weeks we have been visiting our local springs with friends. We have one more day, next Wed, and then one more trip to Blue Springs the week after that. Yesterday, we went to Fanning Springs. I did not bring the camera, and left the phone in the car. We already have tons of pics of Fanning. It was quiet there, hardly anyone there. The kids immediately went up to the observation deck, and then they were going to jump off the dock. While up on the observation deck, one of them stepped on something. Yep you guessed it, a snake skin! I don't know when it shed the skin, but it had to be pretty recent. It has been breezy here, the past few days, and one can safely assume it would have just blown off the deck. It is very light. Of course DJ had to keep a piece of it. He was sure it was a rattlesnake skin. I was not so sure. After some research you can see from the two images, DJ's with the blue background, and the other image, and it appears it is a rat snake skin. Rat snakes are nice snakes, and help keep the environment clean. I still couldn't help looking around for the snake that lost his skin. I just ordered a new microscope, should be here today, and we will be looking at the skin under that. Awesome!




Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Easing Back Into A New Homeschool Year With Art Class

We don't actually star our new homeschool year until, September 15th. But, I wanted to start to ease the kids back into some lessons. We have not done any for about two weeks now, not even a day or two like we were doing. So, I decided tonight we would start our new Art classes. The first lesson was on shading. The lesson lets you choose what to draw, after sharing examples of items with shading. DJ actually free handed a Buck for his project. How impressive! I did fruit, nuts, and leaves all at the base of a tree for a Fall Harvest piece. Caitlin went with cone shape trees. She actually did color it in and added a deer to hers, but somehow it did not get a final picture. We will do one lesson each week. I thought it was going to be Tues evenings, but apparently my hubby does not want it at that time. So, probably Monday evening, during my painting time.

I will be signing Caitlin up for Time4Learning on the 1st, so she can start at least one class a day, of her choice. DJ will continue with his American History. Caitlin also has started reading Black Beauty, one of the books I was going to have her read anyways. She will do a book report and Art project when done, on her blog. She is not used to full book reports, so this will be a learning experience, and I might have to help her at first. Both kids will be doing a blog post on their Summer Vacations within the next week.




Thursday, August 21, 2014

Blue Springs Park in High Springs Florida

Yesterday, my kids, and some of our homeschool friends took a trip to Blue Springs Park. Blue Springs, is in Gilchrist County, and about 20 min from our home. It lies on the Santa Fe River, just up the road from Poe Springs that we visited last week. There is another Blue Springs in Levy County, but it is not nearly as beautiful as this one. There are actually three springs in this one park. Big Blue Springs, Little Blue Springs, and Naked Springs. They are all able to be swam in, but we steered clear of Lil Blue Springs. It looked icky. This is now my new favorite place to visit. Unfortunately it is not super affordable, like the state parks, but still a nice treat. We will be taking my fil here in just a few weeks. The kids just absolutely loved it. For the first hour we were the only ones there. Public school is back in session, that explains that, lol. Gilchrist County is actually home to 60 springs, some unnamed, and some only accessible by canoe or boat. It is amazing because Gilchrist County is the youngest county in FL, and the smallest. Below are some links to read up on the springs, and where they are located. I learned something new. I always wondered why most of the springs have such clear, and often blue waters. The limestone that forms them acts as a filter for the water as it comes into the spring. It is an amazing, and beautiful natural wonder to see. We decided next week we would go to Fanning Springs, for one last spring trip before we start back to homeschool lessons for the year.

http://www.floridasprings.org/

http://gilchristcounty.com/map/index.html








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