Shabby Blog Wheels on the Bus

Friday, August 26, 2011

Edible Cells!

Our first big activity in Apologia's anatomy & physiology course was creating an edible cell!

After reading all week about the makeup of our body's cells (mitochondria, lysosomes, nucleolus), it was time to cement the idea into our brains with a hands-on culinary creation.

The ingredients were yellow jell-o and a conglomeration of candy and sprinkles:

Each type of candy represented part of a cell's makeup. The kids inserted the candy pieces into the gelatin, already set up and "solid" in bowls -- a messy, but fun, job!

The outcome resembled that of a washed-up jellyfish -- eew! But the kids will remember what centrioles, nuclei, and endoplasmic reticulums are for a long time, I guarantee it!

(Where were the directions to this project when I was laboring through biological psychology? That's what I want to know.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Not Back to School Blog Hop: Week 4: Day in the Life

Week four, the last week, of Heart of the Matter Online's Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop, is "Day-in-the-Life-Week."

We do start school about the same time every day, but we don't have set time slots per subject. We DO get the hardest subjects done first (math and phonics) and end the day with electives.

Thought I'd share a few snapshots from our first week to give you an idea of our "typical day" this school year!

Hanging out for a while on Math-U-See's Decimal Street...

When one of the kids is done with a subject and can't move on yet because I'm helping the other, we don that time "free time." Here's Miss Artsy doing what she does best -- arts and crafts -- during her free time.

Science experiments are some of their favorites. Here they are preparing to "mummify" an apple.

Miss Artsy's favorite class so far is Spanish. This week we learned about the history of the Mexican flag.

I'm looking forward to when we can get out of these 90-degree temps and enjoy some cool fall mornings. That's when we'll implement 30 minutes recess breaks for exploring outside!

Check out the other typical days over at HOTM!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

It's Time for Student Photos!

Welcome to week #3 of Heart of the Matter Online's "Not Back to School Blog Hop:" Student Photo Week!

I have two stellar students -- our two children -- let me introduce them to you!

Mr. Tinker (on the right, above) is our firstborn. He will turn 7 in September.

~ Loves anything "technical." He takes old electronics apart...for fun. His favorite toy is Snap Circuits.
~ Has the most adorable freckles. (Maybe I'm biased.)
~ Has the most tender heart of any little boy I know. He has always loved to hug and snuggle.
~ He radiates JOY. His enthusiasm is contagious!
~ His favorite subjects are math and science....although he is really excited about starting history this year.
~ He just learned how to ride his bike without training wheels last spring.
~ He also enjoys swimming, playing Wii with his Dad, and making music.

Miss Artsy (on the left, above) is our little girl. She just turned 5.

~ Is independent and headstrong, two traits she got from me.
~ Loves, loves (and I mean LOVES) all things related to animals. She has more stuffed animal pals than any other toy in her room. When she grows up she wants to be "an animal dentist."
~ Has the most contagious giggle.
~ Is super artistic (hence her name) and loves to draw. She's never more than a few feet away from a stack of paper and colored pencils. (Oh, and stickers. What little girl doesn't love stickers?)
~ She just lost her first two teeth! We were shocked that they fell out so early...but apparently it's normal.
~ She is excited about spelling and reading, to aid her in creating more self-published books (which she makes almost daily).

I am super blessed to be their mom, and even more blessed to be able to also be their teacher. I can't wait to see what fun this school year holds!

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Not" Back to School Blog Hop: Week 2: School Room Week

Heart of the Matter Online's "Not" Back to School Blog Hop's 2nd week is "School Room Week!"

Just like last year, we are utilizing our split level's convenient "lower den" as our school space. It is big enough for learning space and hanging out space, letting it still have its identity as a "den."

Ready to take a little tour?
Let's go!

The kids each have a desk, though neither are assigned; they love them both and rotate between the antique-ish Jenny Lind desk and the more modern desk I recently scored off Craig's List.
My husband made and installed this wooden hook bar on this wall for our calendar, 100 chart, and sentence charts. I stack them all for storage when we're not using them.

The cubby shelf in the corner has items organized according to subjects: Art & music at the top, phonics and reading next, science/history/geography third, and math on the bottom. The totes and baskets hold all of our manipulatives, flash cards, electronic games, and tools (like the microscope).

The other corner is "my corner." The cart holds all of my planning books and lesson planners, pens, hole punches, motivation stickers, etc. The other drawers hold our colored construction paper, manila drawing paper, and writing paper. Our iPod docking radio has been an incredible asset -- we use it both for music and audible podcasts and stories.
Another photo of the workspace. (What would we ever do without our electric pencil sharpener?!) I cleaned out all of these drawers over the summer and they are now 95% empty. What a nice problem to have!
The love seat and entertainment center is where we cuddle together to read aloud or watch DVDs. (Mr. Demy from Math-U-See and, this year, La Clase Divertida lessons! We also watch Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVDs for extra topic exploration....the same ones I remember watching at the library with my class as a kid.)

What isn't pictured is the newly organized "craft cabinets" in the laundry room, closed off just to the right of the entertainment center. I condensed my cleaning products and laundry what-nots and made use of every spare box and tote I could find all over the house. Whenever art projects call or creative inspiration hits, we're now ready.

(Because of the carpet in the school area, most messy art is done outside on the patio or at the dining room table. I don't like cleaning THAT much!)

Thanks for dropping by and seeing our school room!
Take a look at all of the others for more inspiration....there's plenty out there to drool over and give you great ideas!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

"Not" Back to School Blog Hop: Curriculum Week


Though I'm a little bit behind, I wanted to share our current year's curriculum as a part of Heart of the Matter Online's "Not" Back to School Blog Hop.

We did math and phonics separately last year and everything else together. Since that seemed to work so well, we're following suit this year!

Mr. Tinker (our almost-7-year-old) will be in the 1st grade. 
Here's his curriculum line-up:

Math-U-See Beta (He completed Alpha last year and loved it.)


Miss Artsy will be in kindergarten this year. Her work includes:
Math-U-See Alpha (She completed Primer last year.)

Explode The Code Book 2 (We may venture on to ETC Online as the year progresses.)

The remaining subjects will be completed together:

My Father's World First Grade (Memory verses and Bible stories; Mr. Tinker will also complete the handwriting and reading portions.)

(also purchased the Jr. Notebook Journals to accompany the text)

We will be following MFW 1st Grade's art book recommendations and schedule. (Drawing with Children, the Come Look with Me series. We will also utilize Draw, Write, Now on occasion. (We LOVE this series!) In free time, we'll let Miss Artsy draw as much as she'd like. Here's one of her favorite sketchbooks right now:)

We'll be beginning a very laid-back Spanish this year, via La Clase Divertida.

Winter Promise's Hideaways in History

It's a bigger load than last year, but I think we can handle it. We are all excited and ready! 
(I'm most excited about history. I need to make sure I don't get history-heavy!)

Thanks for dropping by!
Best of luck to the rest of you in the new school year!


Thanks for dropping by!

After much thought and consideration, I've decided to make our private (family-viewed only) homeschooling blog public.

Welcome to Electric City Academy!

We've been homeschooling informally since our youngest was 2 (nearly five years ago) and "formally" for two years.

This current 2011-2012 year, our oldest (soon-to-be 7-year-old) will be in first grade and our youngest (newly-5-year-old) will be in kindergarten.

We are super excited about beginning a new year.

Feel free to join us on our learning adventures!