Posts

Showing posts from 2017

WE QUIT SCHOOL!

Image
That's right...you heard me straight. We "quit" school.

This first half of the year has been with our noses in our curriculum, making sure that my high schooler has everything she needs to attend a four year university. Also, my youngest has been diving into language arts, reading, math...you know all the subjects we are supposed to do. I've gotten very strict with her on learning more vocabulary and grammar. Both of my girls were writing papers every week. We were in a great routine with our heads in the books.

It has become a struggle and NO FUN! In the past we have always been so hands on. I have seen my girls LOVE to learn and learn pretty deep on certain subjects because they wanted to. I used to love how they would have more and more questions and look it up. I have seen them change their minds on what they want to be when they grow up. My youngest used to dream of being a marine biologists with her love of dolphins and sea creatures. When my oldest was younger…

How We Do Current Events as an Elective and Why I Think it is Important

Image
When I sat down with my high schooler with a list of electives she could choose from to do this year, she chose current events as one of those. I thought I'd write a post on what we do for our current event subject.

Each morning we start off with Channel One News. I was so glad when I came upon this website because I remember being in school and Channel One News came on every morning and we had to watch it in class. I'm not trying to make our homeschool like "public school", but my oldest and I grab a cup of coffee and just cozy up to watch the news like many Americans do in the morning. So I was thrilled to find it. It is definitely a news source that relates to middle school and high school students, even teaching them a "news related word of the day" that they may hear in stories in the video. Sometimes there are even polls that you can vote on after the video and they could be featured in the next day video. We participated in one of the polls on our fi…

Naked Egg and Osmosis

Image
I'll be honest here, the main reason I keep a blog is so I can go back sometimes and remember what we did. This is especially the case now as we are now in the high school years. One of the universities in our area actually requires homeschoolers to list a lab and explain it, even down to the materials that we use. This is part of their application process. So this will be helpful in remembering what we did. 
Anyways, I don't have very many pictures for this lab, because well - I dropped the ball as we had family in town and forgot to take pictures. 
The first step to this lab is to get a naked egg (or two depending on how you choose to perform the experiment). If you aren't sure how to get a naked egg, you place it in vinegar for 24 hours. It's a pretty easy process. 
The things you will need for this lab are: Corn Syrup
Water
Food Coloring
Glasses
2 Naked Eggs (or 1 if you do it the way we did)


The experiment for osmosis can be seen in this video: https://www.youtube.com…

Our Edible Cell Project

Image
My oldest had fun with this. We just used what we had in the kitchen to make her edible cell project. I offered to take her to the store and by candy to do it. However, being the smart girl she is, she said, "I don't want to waste money on candy I may not even like or eat." So we just used things we had on hand.

Everytime she was writing down the organelles in her "cell key," we were also going over the functions of them.

Fridays are our project days or lab days with biology. I'm loving the time with her doing these to make sure she is understanding what she is reading throughout the week. She seems to be loving it, too. Now that she is a teenager, I am savoring these moments.



Is it an acid or a base?

Image
For this experiment, we used a red cabbage powder to determine if regular household chemicals or liquids were an acid or a base. You can make your own red cabbage powder. Click here to get instructions. You can also just do what I did and buy it offline. Red cabbage powder is the purple color indicator that scientist use to determine and measure whether something is an acid or base and it contains a natural pH indicator.








My oldest had fun doing this experiment with things around the house that she started grabbing more and more things from our cabinets to test it on. It's not every day that you hear your high schooler say, "This is cool," when it comes to science.




So we tested it on things like creamer, dish soap, vinegar, baking soda (dissolved in water), sugar (dissolved in water), lemon juice, etc. If it made the color pink or red, it was a base. If it made the color purple, it was neutral. If it made the color blue or green, then it was an acid.

It was a pretty simple…

We love Character Quality Language Arts

Image
The school year is off to a great start and I thought I would blog about it. This year for my 7th grader, we are doing Character Quality Language Arts by Donna Reish. This isn't the first time we have used pieces of her curriculum. We did samples of the program last year. This year we are using it as our full language arts curriculum for my middle schooler. My 10th grader is also using Meaningful Composition, also by Donna Reish, this year as well. I definitely recommend it and I will say, I found this curriculum while looking into Institute for Excellence in Writing. To be truthful, I didn't want to pay that much for a writing curriculum I didn't know would work. So I came across Meaningful Composition as a MUCH less expensive option and with the Checklist Challenge, it seems to be very similar to IEW.

Meaningful Composition vs. CQLA:
Character Quality Language Arts incorporates everything into one. It covers spelling, grammar, vocabulary, writing, dictation, and if you wa…

I Got It From My Mama!

Image
As we were getting settled in the car from a normal Friday afternoon park day (months ago by the way), my oldest daughter (13 at the time) asked, "Mom, can I tell you something?" She then preceded to tell me, "I was playing and then coming up to find you and I overheard someone's mom talking about me with other moms." I then preceded to ask her what she heard, who she heard it from, and so forth. At that point, I just told her that I'm sorry she heard that, we don't want to be like that, and to let it roll off her back and move on.  When kids are doing it to kids, or even when moms are doing it with moms...it can be easy to dismiss it and move on. However, when moms are talking about children...sometimes it is easier said than done for sure, especially on my end as a mother.

I bring this topic up, because today I had a an old friend message me and tell me about a very similar situation. However, I think it is a bit worse. I don't need to go into al…

Why Not Dissect a Chicken Leg?

Image
My oldest daughter has been taking Biology, but really with an Anatomy emphasis, because she is thinking of going into the medical field. As we have finished learning about the skeletal system, integumentary system,  and muscular system, we ended a unit today dissecting a chicken leg.

My youngest was intrigued too, so of course, she did it with us. 

Many animal systems have skeletal systems similar to ours. Our leg is very much like that of a chicken including the femur (thigh bone), knee (hinge joint), fibula and tibia (smaller bones of the shin), cartilage, and ligaments that are all part of our skeletal system. We pointed out all of these things in our chicken leg. 
We even went a step further and broke the largest bone to observe the bone marrow. We talked about people actually can give bone marrow for people with life threatening diseases like leukemia.   I've never been a fan of dissecting anything, it always grossed me out in high school and I ended up letting my lab partner …

FREE PRINTABLE OR SAVED FILE: HIGH SCHOOL PLANNING SHEET FOR THE COLLEGE BOUND STUDENT

Image
This is something I've definitely needed this year and I know I will need all four years. So I created an excel spreadsheet, as well as a PDF (I have an actual paper version in my high schooler's binder) to help make sure we are on track through these four years. I thought I would share what I use to help with planning out our goals for highschool. You can print one or download one yourself from my FREE PRINTABLES link.

Evaporation in Less Than a DAY!

Image
So this week, my youngest daughter has learned about the water cycle. We have used In The Hands of a Child's Water Cycle Unit.

In the unit, we have to do an evaporation experiment. We have actually done one of these before years ago when learning about clouds. You can see my post here when we did it in 2012. This time there was a BIG difference! I'm about to tell you why. It was more than just a learning experiment of evaporation, it actually ended up being a learning experiment about WHERE water is evaporating from for my youngest and oldest daughter, too.

In 2012, we lived in Tennessee. When we did our water evaporation experiment in Tennessee, it took days or maybe even weeks for all the water to disappear. It definitely took a couple of days or a few for the water to even move down the cup. Now in 2017, we live in Arizona...that's right - the DESERT! Anyone see where I am going with this? With this experiment, we filled the water to the line we marked on the cup and pu…