Middle School

Grade 5 Botany: Root Observation Lab

This has been one of most cool projects of our botany block. In this lab, we used a polymer from Miracle Grow, promoted as water crystals, as a germination and growth medium. These polymers are marketed at hydration crystals that help keep soil from getting too moist or too dry. They do this because they…

Botany (Grade 5): Celery Stalk Demonstration of the Vascular System

Matching scientific demonstrations accurately to the explanation of their concepts is important to me. Science is cool, fascinating, and amazing! But even more amazing is scientific literacy and why these demonstrations work the way that they do. It’s essential to match those concepts with clear, accurate concrete examples.  Dying the leaves of celery or carnations is…

A Time-Sequence Graph

When my son was in eighth grade, I compiled several resources to make a “How We Learn/How to Study” course in preparation for High School. It went over thinks like memory recall, reflection, interleaving, and notetaking. One aspect that we spent some time on were graphs and using them for study, understanding, and notetaking. In…

Making Mushroom Spore Prints

We love to go mushroom hunting. Our mushroom hunts are for spore prints. We do NOT eat our mushrooms. I wish I knew which ‘shrooms were edible and which were not, but alas… Goals!  Spore prints are a favorite around here. I do not know how I made it all the way through my college…

My Favorite Educational Apps

The homeschool world abounds with opinions on electronics. Some think that electronics should be limited, while others think that electronics should be embraced.  My family falls somewhere in between. We do limit our screen time at my house to encourage and promote outdoor  (and indoor) play, but I do use them for educational purposes occasionally, especially on…

“Notice and Wonder” with Cuisenaire Rods for Homeschool Math

Today for math we did one of my favorite activities, though I will admit, it is not always my children’s favorite. My daughter, now 10, build a structure with the Cuisinaire Rods, and then we did a “notice and wonder” activity. The structure that she build for today was a pyramid. I could have guessed…

My Switch to Living History Books

  “Well, this one country, they were mad at this other country, because of this dictator, you know.” This was my son’s response to my question about what he had just read in history.  We discuss what he reads after he is finished to help work it into his memory and so I can judge…

Leaf Prints for our Tree Study

Leaf prints are not difficult to do, but so gratifying when you see your creation, even for the youngest artist.  We are studying trees for our naturalist unit, and leaf prints were an easy way to get a lot of new trees on the pages of our nature journals.  It was a messy project taking…

Sumi-e for Japan

This year we have been doing a “travel buddies” geography for my youngest who is doing kindergarten, mostly because she doesn’t want to be left out of “school” and needed something like her brother. It has been so much fun.  We were approaching Japan, when I had a spark of inspiration. Scrolling through my instagram…

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Hi, I’m Della. I’m passionate about homeschooling, and I want to share it with you.

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