So, I've been doing fairly bitsy peicey science with Frodo this year... we had Dr. Joe's awesome classes in term 1 (and will have them again starting next week, for 5 weeks!) and we did a bit of a mini astronomy unit leading up to the Transit of Venus and the eclipse just before it.  But I was still on the fence about an actual *program* for us to use between all that other 'real life' science. I had found one I liked, only to find out through research that the authors' intent was to plant seeds about Intelligent Design in the minds of the youngsters using it.  I was not impressed.  It's not my business what other home schooling parents teach their kids (although being perfectly honest, I don't think teaching ID or creationism sets them up particularly well for future studies or careers that are influenced by science) but I think selling something that is glossed over to make it *look* like actual secular science, when it is in fact not, is just dirty pool.   So... I scrapped that idea and commenced to testing other programs!

We tried Mr. Q's chemistry by downloading the free chapter, and it's good, and we like it. Frodo loves the silly cartoon captions :)  But it feels a little 'worksheet' heavy to me.  It's something we may end up going back to next year though, as it IS thorough, and the company I'm going to use doesn't have a middle school program up yet!   

Pandia Press is winning out for the rest of the year.  We're using the trial (substantial free trial that it is!), until I have the money in the budget to order the full ebook, of their level 1 Life science.  I really like the brief, fun, notebook pages for the kids to print out, and like that it's pretty hands on.  Ok,  I DON'T like the extra work that makes for me lol, but I'll get over it!    The program is *technically* written for grades 1-4.. but I'm beefing it up for Frodo by choosing extra reading from the library that's a bit more advanced so he gets a little more depth.  

Last week (when I was *clearly* too busy to post... that's my story & I'm stickin' to it!) we did the 'what's alive' activities and learned about the characteristics of all living things.  Pretty basic stuff :)    This week we've learned about cells!  

Cells had two experiment/lab activities... so off we went to the lab... err, kitchen :)   One of the activities was making cell models out of jelly & fruit.  We like a lab where we get dessert as well as learning lol!  Here's Frodo showing off his 'cells', while impatiently asking if we can EAT THEM YET!!?!?! hehehe (sadly no, I made him wait till his brothers were home so they could check them out and have some with us)

 Both cells have a nice strawberry for the nucleus :)   The rectangular one is a plant cell, with it's cell wall keeping it nice and blocky...and it's many chloroplasts (aka melon balls of honeydew lol) which are what make the plant green.  The animal cell, which is all blobby & round, only gets a nucleus (although we did discuss a bit about some of the other parts as well)  and is yummy mango jelly :)  (which is jello for American readers!)
Here's an up close.  
 The other experiment involved looking up close at a cell we're all pretty familiar with, especially at breakfast time,  the good old chicken egg!   We cracked one into a bowl and used a hand magnifying glass to check out the blastodisc (basically the nucleus of a chicken egg) and than discussed which parts are actually cell parts, and which parts are there to protect the cell itself.

I'm also finding the activity based nature of it really working much better for him with his ADHD issues as well... almost no time in his seat listening to me prattle on, just getting straight to it!  We do MOST of it at the kitchen bench, so he can stand, lean, perch on one foot or whatever he needs to do.

Completing lab sheets!

A sample of the really good lab sheets that come with the program.
Frodo announced that it looked more like an avocado than an egg after he coloured it... methinks lunch was looming in his mind?? lol
After this, it's on to the human body systems... awesome.. I get to pull out my many excellent x-rays for this heh heh.

In other news, we've been booking it to get through the first 'unit' of history odyssey so that next week we can skip ahead and do the (rather huge) unit on the ancient Greeks... to coincide with the Olympics!   And Frodo has learned how to find the area of a triangle in math :P  Funny thing, the boy really enjoys math that involves formulae as opposed to computations!    We also did a spot of gardening and planted up some strawberries, capsicum and some herbs to revitalize the potted veggie 'patch' a bit :)
Grow my little pretties, grow!  (we won't discuss the horrid state of the 'garden' on the other side of that fence.. it's at a 50degree angle and impossible to maintain *sigh*  not that the real estate agents care!)

2 Responses
  1. Thank you for being the first person to link up to my Saturday Sit Down Caz! I have never heard of The Lab of Mr. Q before. I have written that down on my products to look into, so thank you. It looks like you had a very busy and full week! I also have been putting in some time in my garden this week (although my gardening this week was research for our coming Fall season). I hope that you and your family have a wonderful week!

  2. Caz Says:

    I figure sit down Saturday will MAKE me get back in the habit of my weekly wrap up! ;) We were out in the little potted veggie patch even more today! It's not much, but it makes me happy to have it! :)