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November 6, 2016

Animals --- Rescue

The weather here has been great. It's been more like middle September instead of early November. Today we went out to the local wildlife rescue, the same rescue Web-Princess has been working at the last several Mondays. Today the rescue had an open house for the public. We walked around, had some treats, and looked at the some of the animals. Pictures from our day:

Many of these animals are the same animals that Web-Princess has been feeding and caring for... Some of them she knows by name, others not so much. Many of these animals when she's there to take care of them she actually gets into the enclosure with them. Tomorrow will be Monday, so you know where we will be.....

Happy Sunday!

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October 30, 2016

Leaf Disk Lab

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Better late than never, I guess. Followers of Catholic Christian Homeschooling Facebook Page saw a preview of this post with the statement: I would update the blog later today or tomorrow. Well, today and tomorrow came and went -- they are long gone, the post wasn't done within the promised time frame, but it's here now.

This year our science focus has been biology. The topic this past week was photosynthesis. I try to have her do hands on labs as much as possible to go with the course work -- I still need to get a decent microscope, but we have found other labs to do that don't require a microscope. One of them has been the leaf disk lab. When you google search and look on youtube there are several tutorials on this lab.  The two videos we based our lab on was the following videos:

The second video talks about adding detergent to the mixture. We did not do this! We did use spinach leafs and soaked them overnight like the first video suggested. We pulled the oxygen out of spinach leafs according to the second video (it looked easier to do) and dumped them into a contain of more solution -- we also felt this was easier to do -- seeing we didn't have a real good way to keep the syringe in an upright position.

If we were to do the lab all over again we would have done a second patch of leafs without the light. So time could be compared between having the light and NOT having the light.

Our Lab:
  • 2 Measuring Cups (2 cups and 1 cup)
  • Baking Soda
  • Water
  • Spinach Leafs (left to soak overnight)
  • Container To Soak Leafs In
  • Oral Dosing Syringe
  • Hole Puncher 
  • Light
  • A Means To Keep Time (we just used the timer on my daughters iPod touch -- but any device that has a time would work)

I went to the store and bought a package of spinach leafs. I soaked a handful of them overnight in some cold water. -- we used the rest of them for a dinner. :D

After the leafs soaked overnight we used a hole punch to punch out leaf disks. We punched out about 20 of them. We then put them in an oral dosing syringe with the solution of baking soda and water.

For the solution, we mixed 2 cups of water with a dash of baking soda. I actually own measuring spoons that say drop, dash, pinch, etc.

After the leafs and solution were mixed we followed the instructions on the second video and started to extract the air, oxygen, from the leafs; as we did this we could see them fall to the bottom of the syringe.

We then dumped them into a 1 cup measuring cup that had more of the baking soda and water solution and turned on the light! We actually did the whole process several times and after about 5-10 minutes we had at least 5 disks floating on top of the solution.  -- like I said if I could have done it again I would have done it without the light too so we could compare time with the light and without the light.

This is a pretty straightforward lab and I believe it to be good hands on experiment on how photosynthesis works. Of course, it requires talking about photosynthesis and what is going on with the leafs and why the change from floating and not floating. :D

This also lead to the discussion on how different labs are set up to test or show different things. Doing all of this reminded her how long ago when she was younger we did labs that showed mass by floating and sinking -- What a fun discussion that was too!

Oh, and the very first picture was just Web-Princess being silly and goofy. She was hamming it up some for the camera -- especially seeing she knew it was going to be posted here.  She may still ham it up for the camera, but her being a teen matters -- she changed clothes before I was allowed to even snap pictures. She didn't want her in her other clothing, her lounge at home clothing,  mind you just a tshirt, to be on the blog.  She didn't want to people to see her in this tshirt. It's just a tshirt. :D

October 9, 2016

Temples, Tombs, Hieroglyphs

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This year for history I decided to use Train Up A Child's: World History Course.  This world history course is a literature base course. Luckily for me most of the books needed can be borrowed from my library.  Currently we are studying Ancient Egypt and working our way through the book: Temples Tombs, & Hieroglyphs.

This is a bit of a slow read for us, slower then I would like, but we are making progress and working our way through it.  In the course of reading we learned a little bit about James Henry Breasted. Breasted is one of the first American Egyptian Archaeologist that made a lasting impression on Egyptology, his work is still used today.

Web-princess took a special interest because she learned he was born here. I learned Thursday night that his remains were actually buried here too. So Friday morning we took an impromptu trip to the cemetery to hunt down Breasted's grave marker.   -- what makes his grave marker even more unique is that it's made from a block of granite from Egypt.  I think this is the closet she'll or even I will get from touching something from Egypt.

Smiling and standing next to Breasted's headstone.

It's always nice when a bit of what you are talking about can come "alive". Sure it was just a tombstone. However, it connected us personally to this archaeologist that we are talking about and his discoveries and work.

Under this granite block from Assuan, Egypt lie the ashes of James Henry Breasted

How has your homeschooling going? Any impromptu trips? impromptu activities?

September 21, 2016

Science: Biology

This year we have been working on biology. So far it has been going well.

Our topic has been cells. Earlier this week Web-Princess decide on her own to research cells and make models.

Research is a little formal. She actually just looked up pictures and made models out of silly putty. It was interesting to see her just dive in the subject of cells and just make models just because she wanted to make models.

It actually made me feel good about homeschooling to see her use her free time to look up cell pictures and make models. Something she didn't have to do, but did because she wanted to. It also showed me that she, even though she was using images, was retaining what she was learning during the day. I know because she spent time on her own to make cell models she will remember this better and retain it.

She was looking things up and learning because she wanted to, not because she was studying it or trying to memorize it for some test. This is why I homeschool. Have your children shown you in unexpected ways they have been enjoying what they have been learning?

September 4, 2016

Labor Day: Weekly Update

All is quiet ---

Actually is has been nice. We have had a break in the heat. Thank God. The AC has been off and windows have been opened now for the 5th day in a row. Even though tomorrow like today is suppose to get up in the 80s we might be good to keep the AC off. Mainly, because we have one of those whole house/Attic fans and the nightly temps have been in the high 50s/low 60s. We turn that fan on at night and it's instant breeze throughout the whole house. In the morning we turn it off, it stays off during the day, and our home stays on the cooler side. Just when it starts to get uncomfortable, the sun has gone down and the outside temps have started to cool off so we turn it back on.  If the night time stays on the warm side like 70s it doesn't do as good of a job cooling the house the whole day -- so with the project forecast we most likely turn the AC back on on Tuesday or Wednesday. Time will tell.

Despite the pleasant weather I haven't been able to enjoy it -- totally -- I have been dealing with a nasty head congestion, cold.  This prevent Web-Princess from doing all of her work on Friday. She did most, but not all. She, even though it's high school, still needs my help time to time. Some things like Spelling Power I have to do simply with her. It can't get done otherwise.

Other things she prefers my help. For example when it comes to biology she reads her text orally to me. This is mainly because reading is still an issue for her! NOTHING like it use to be. She can read but some words still trip her up -- so reading orally to me is to help her make sure she's reading properly. It also gives her the opportunity to ask me questions right then and there if she doesn't understand something.  (We made the most process with her reading when we starting sight phonics.)

She did what she could and what wasn't done will be moved to Tuesday. I'm counting Friday as a half day of school. We are taking tomorrow off for Labor Day. At least she had some school and me being sick didn't mean no school day. When she (and Superstar) were younger mom being sick meant no school at all! -- so glad those days are behind us and she can do a lot of the the work, even if I'm down and out, by herself.

I'm still feeling nasty. The head congestion alone is enough to bug anyone -- add vomiting, ear aches, -- it's not pleasant. I still have to make all of my lesson plans for this week. I will do that tomorrow even if I'm still feeling like crud so Web-Princess will have what she needs for this coming week. Hopefully, regardless of how I feel I will be well enough to help her for those areas she needs help.

This Tuesday will start week 3 for us! (3rd week, but not 3rd full week. Our first week we only did school on Wed to Friday). I can't believe 3 weeks in already.

We have been doing:
  • English
  • Algebra
  • Biology
  • World History
  • PE/Health
I will be adding some Bible/Religion to the list. I just don't know what yet.  What I was going to use has proven to be beyond what Web-Princess can handle. So I have been looking for an alternative but haven't found anything I'm happy with. Do you have any suggestion for Bible/Religion for High School/9th grade (from a Catholic prospective of course)?

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