JAN
28
2016

2015 Butterfly Pavilion Field Trip

Hi everyone! We haven’t been to the Butterfly Pavilion in a few years, so the kids were excited to take a tour again this past year. This time Jason was able to come with us, and the kids are always excited when Daddy joins in on the fun! The Butterfly Pavilion is really fun, but doesn’t take that long to go through. I think we only spent about an hour and a half in there this time around. But it’s still a cool experience. And if you can call ahead to see when they’re releasing new butterflies that’s a really cool thing to see too!   They always have the most beautiful butterflies in there. While you’re not supposed to touch the butterflies, they are allowed to land on you. Apparently our Daddy was popular amongst the butterfly population.   These white and black ones were super cool! They also have an insect area and a very small aquarium with some starfish and horseshoe crabs that the kids can touch. They opted to hold Rosie the tarantula. They’re very … [Read more...]

JAN
12
2016

Total Lunar Eclipse September 2015

Hi everyone! I just realized that I posted this on my Instagram, but I forgot to put it on my blog for all of you too! This year we had the opportunity to view a Supermoon Total Lunar Eclipse which was super exciting. I know some of you weren’t able to see it from where you were due to poor weather, or your geographical location, so I thought you might like to see it! The eclipse took place on September 27, 2015 with the blood moon, or full eclipse, lasting for about 1 hour and 12 minutes. People in the eastern and central areas of the United States and Canada had some of the best views of the eclipse. This eclipse was referred to as a Blood Moon because of the red color the eclipse takes on during totality. I’m not sure you can see the reddish hue as well in the photographs, but it was certainly visible in real life! This eclipse was rare in that it was during a Supermoon, meaning that the moon was closest to the earth as it turned into a full moon. Super Full Moons are rare … [Read more...]

OCT
22
2015

LEGO Education: Weight Bearing Crane

Good morning everyone! For our LEGO Education experiment this week, we applied our knowledge of pulleys, gears, and forces to create some cool cranes. The objective for this project was to create a crane capable of lifting a specified weight, as well as performing a valuable task.   The boys created a crane that could retrieve dropped keys for their moms who apparently have troubles bending over to pick things up LOL! I almost cried.   Then the girls created a crane to rescue a boat full of passengers about to be eaten by circling sharks. Both valuable services!   Click here to see our LEGO Education Crane in action! It’s a short video, but I think it shows how the LEGO Education curriculum encourages creativity along with logical and critical thinking skills! (And as a side note, I apologize for the sideways video. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I took the videos using my iphone in the portrait mode. So it appears as though our … [Read more...]

OCT
15
2015

LEGO Education Letter Balance

Good morning everyone! Today I’m sharing one of our LEGO Education Co-op activities. The kiddos made a really cool balancing mechanism using levers, gears, and a combination of materials and components to make a machine to measure weight and balance load. They built the scale, but then were challenged to build something that could handle heavier objects as well. They needed to work out a fair system that differentiated between the weight of different objects. They started out creating a scale that could hold a letter or envelope weight.   Next they were to add additional weight to see what the maximum capacity of their scale was.   As you can see we used our LEGO tires to help increase weight. This particular one held one LEGO battery pack as well as a whole stack of tires.   Next they did an experiment to try and determine weight of objects by hand to find items that appeared to have a similar weight. Next they placed those same items on their scale to see … [Read more...]

JAN
18
2015

LEGO Education Go Carts & Sleds

We've been using the LEGO Education Simple & Motorized Mechanisms for our Co-op group for awhile now. Since we only meet once a month this kit is lasting us about 2 academic years which is nice. So far we've had a great time, and today we learned all about go carts and sleds. The lesson included changing out tires to see which ones had better traction. We also learned which ones pulled themselves up a steep hill faster. And finally we created a sled so that the carts could pull some weight. At the start of each lesson the students are broken up into teams of 2. Each person builds their section of the booklet, then they bring their finished products together to form the final model. I like that they each get to work alone for a bit, then as a team to create their projects.   Here is one of their initial carts. I didn’t get pictures, but all three carts had different tires on them. We experimented with small vs. large tires, along with smooth or thick … [Read more...]

SEP
29
2013

LEGO Education Simple Machines Giveaway

Hi readers! I’m so excited about today’s giveaway! As many of you know we’ve been absolutely loving the LEGO Education products lately. And my kiddos are super excited that we’ve added them into our curriculum this year. We’re going to be doing a co-op with the  LEGO Education Simple & Motorized Mechanisms Base Set this year, but I’ll have more to share on that later. Today I have the pleasure of reviewing the LEGO Education WeDo Construction Set and Software for you. This stuff is so cool, I had no idea! Literally. I had no idea until my friends 12 year old showed me how to use it. And yes, I felt old. But then I realized how cool this product is!   As I mentioned, we received the LEGO Education WeDo Construction Set, Activity Pack, and Software set. We downloaded the Farris Wheel instructions from their online resources, then built the project using the WeDo 9580 + 9585 sets combined. Once our project was complete, we installed the LEGO Education WeDo … [Read more...]

JUN
25
2013

Summer Boredom Buster: Science & Math

Welcome to another semi-educational summer boredom buster! Today we’re experimenting with mystery potions and color mixing! I will start off by saying that I highly recommend you do the science lab color mixing activity O U T S I D E. Outside. Do it outside. Are you outside? Okay, we can begin… Supplies: Plastic measuring containers, bowls etc Safety glasses, you know for effect and all. Water Food Coloring Optional: Eye droppers, measuring spoons A few willing scientists I found this Liquid Measuring Kit from Lakeshore Learning, but you can really use any variety of containers you have on hand.   If you’d like your children to follow some recipes, try out my color mixing cards to measure and mix new colors! Otherwise it’s also fun to let your students just mix to their little hearts content. As long as they’re outside.   Directions: Mix containers with different color water. Set up the containers on a table outside, and let kids have … [Read more...]

MAY
01
2013

Homeschool Science Curriculum Forum

    Hi readers! Welcome to today’s homeschool curriculum forum on science! As most of you know, I am currently using Abeka science in our homeschool. I have to say that this has been a wonderful addition to our homeschool this year. Not only does it require very little planning on my part, but it does include some hands on activities as well. Since this program has a variety of resources included, I thought it might be helpful if I told you which things I purchase when doing Abeka Science. One thing I don’t love about Abeka are all of the little booklets that you have to purchase. It would be nice if they came all together to make life easier. But for the science I always purchase the teacher’s manual or “curriculum” as they are often called. The student work text, the student workbooks, and the answer keys if I am teaching an upper grade. I also purchase the tests and quizzes and answer keys to those as well. I do not always choose to purchase the … [Read more...]

APR
03
2013

Flower Dyeing Science Experiment

Hi everyone! So a few months ago we did a fun science experiment using food coloring and daisies to show how plants absorb water up through their stems.   Normally, plants have roots which absorb water from the soil. The water travels through the roots and up the stem and into the leaves. The leaves gather sunlight, then use the sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water to make food for the plant in a process called photosynthesis. Cut flowers don’t have roots, but the water still moves up the stems and into the leaves giving a nice visual to how the process works. After our last experiment the kids wanted to try it again, but this time we thought we’d try to die one flower two different colors. I have to say this one was a bit trickier!   What you will need: White Daisies or Carnations (However many you’d like to use, we did four) Glass Mason Jars Food Coloring or liquid watercolors Cutting board & Exacto Knife Time to experiment with our flowers! So first we … [Read more...]

APR
02
2013

Animal Classification Unit

Hi everyone! Today I wanted to share a fun animal classification unit I created. Although my Expedition Earth and Road Trip USA curricula include quite extensive animal units, I needed something that included a little more detail on the classification of animals along with something hands-on for my younger students.     --> Click here to download the Animal Classification Unit <-- (Having trouble downloading this form? Right click on the link and select “save link as” then click “ok” to save it to your computer.)   Instructions for use: You can use this animal classification unit however best fits your needs. It is a great supplement to a curriculum teaching students about animal classes. It can also be used on it’s own as a small unit on animal classification. Here are a couple ways you can use this document to create a fun hands-on learning project for your students. The study includes fun information for mammals, amphibians, reptiles, … [Read more...]