Botany: Rate of Photosynthesis Experiment

In the experiment, the rate of photosynthesis is explored. This is a fun experiment, because the first time a little leaf disc rises to the surface there is so much excitement. What is being observed is the rate of photosynthesis determined by how much oxygen is being produced. When enough oxygen has been produced in…

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…

Grade 5 Freehand Waldorf Geometry: Ellipse Exercise

We’ve been working on our freehand Waldorf Geometry block the last couple of weeks. Check my Geometry highlights on Instagram  for more.  We are using pushpins as string to first draw a circle from the center, and then moving the focus outward from the circle to see the changes in the circle.  It’s a cool exercise just by…

Artist of the 1800’s and 1900’s

We do not usually do artist study separate from our regular studies. With our intertwining of Charlotte Mason (CM) and Waldorf, artist study is usually incorporated into a short CM-style lessons themed to accommodate our main lesson. Since we do history chronologically, this means most of our artists have reflected what we were studying in…

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…

An Introduction to Genetics through Botany

Our Botany Block offered the perfect opportunity for an introduction to genetics with the work of Friar Gregor Mendel. Mendel is the person that bred several generations of pea plants to discover the basic understanding of genetics. In this book Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas, the story of Gregor Mendel is told and…

Industrial Revolution

We recently finished our block on the Industrial Revolution. This was such an interesting block in the time period, and innovations had a diversity of impacts on so many people – some good and some bad. I used The Industrial Revolution for Kids as a spine of sorts, reading from it on a regular basis….

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…

The Shapes of Numbers — The Curve

Earlier in our Shapes of Numbers block, we explored triangle numbers, square numbers, and primes. We looked at the different ways they related to each other by exploring their sums and differences. Next up — curves — a particular curve — the parabola. I think I only mention the word once though, at the end….

Grade 5 Physics: Electricity

Electricity…it’s electric! We spent two days on the theme of electricity within our physics block. If you are just joining me, there are several blog posts about our physics block. The plan, which has gone reasonably well so far, follows: Introduce Energy, Force, and Momentum 2 days Simple Machines 3 days Waves and Sound 2…

Grade 5 Physics: Magnets

This was the section of our physics block I was most uncertain about. I did not have a clear plan for this one. We did not spend much time in her early years exploring magnets, so my plan was to play and wing it. I did prepare however by going over the material on magnets…

Grade 5 Physics: Light

Next up for Physics – Light. There are two previous post for Grade 5 physic. If you are just joining us, we are spending the following days on each concept of our physics unit. Introduce Energy, Force, and Momentum 2 days Simple Machines 3 days Waves and Sound 2 days Light 2 days Magnets 2…

Grade 5 Physics: Waves

We are doing a three-week study on physics, as mentioned in the previous physics blog. I plan on spending a couple of days on each concept. The plan is below. There is a previous post on our introduction to energy, force, and momentum and simple machines.  Introduce Energy, Force, and Momentum 2 days Simple Machines…

Grade 5 Physics: Energy, Force, and Simple Machines

Currently we are in a physics block with my younger daughter (fifth grade.) It is an introduction, because I didn’t feel like I gave it enough attention in years past. Physics has so much one can delve into, that I had a challenging time deciding what to include and what to leave out. So far,…

Wild Bird Egg Replica Project

When we arrived on birds within our animal block, I knew I wanted to replicate Hana’s, with Pepper and Pine, egg project. Her YouTube video has been so helpful in avoiding mistakes that I’m almost sure we would have made without her wonderful guidance. We made a couple of deviations from her process. We were able…

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…

Planning our Fifth-grade Freehand Geometry Block

I’m planning my daughter’s fifth grade year for next year, and I’ve gotten distracted by her free-hand geometry unit. Why do I say distracted? Well, that is currently scheduled as the last block of the year with 10, yes I said 10, previous block in front of it. But really, who can blame me?! Waldorf…

“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…

Wax Resist Naturally Dyed Eggs

Dying eggs is just so gratifying, especially with natural dyes. When my children were young, it was overwhelming to use natural dyes and the best that I could do was a kit. As they have gotten older though, I am able to spend the time making the dyes, usually the night before. This year was…

An Inside Look into our Homeschool Math Journal

Some homeschoolers keep a common place book. Some homeschoolers keep a language arts book. We keep a Math Journal. Because I’m not teaching math from a curriculum, keeping a math journal helps us to keep track of where we have been and thus where we are going. When we are stuck on a challenge, we…

Renaissance Unit

Renaissance art is some of my favorite art. I don’t know if it’s the depth of color or the intensity of the scenes, but I find it fascinating. The artists that created them are also fascinating. This has been one of our many history units this semester. And just in case you noticed that Shakespeare…

Finding Perfect Numbers

Yesterday’s was all about Perfect number. It’s not how pretty the number is, or how well you like its form. It’s not even about if the number is your favorite. Perfect numbers have a distinct definition. A perfect number is a number whose factors (not including the number itself) add to give the number itself….

Comparing Rods for Fractional Relationships

In this activity we are comparing each rod to each of the others to see the fractional relationship. It looks overwhelming, but it’s not. The first couple of rows or columns are the most challenging and after a pattern emerges, and it becomes much easier.  Having said that, this comparison did take us three to four…

Explorers of the World History Unit

This year in history we have come to the dreaded “Age of Discovery,” which is a misnomer, because all these European explorers really “discovered” nothing at all. These places were already inhabited and well-established, sometimes with populations even greater than any in Europe at the time. A better name for this time period might be…

Homeschool Rhythms and Rituals

It’s afternoon.  We’ve just finished lunch and are clearing the table. My daughter goes to get a piece of chocolate, her daily treat after she finishes her lunch. I reach over and give her a hug and look into her eyes. “Are you ready for school?” “Sure.” “Want some tea today?” “Yes, please. Can I…

Games – Late Elementary

THIS IS A 4-PART BLOG SERIES ON GAMES. IT INCLUDES GAMES FOR PRESCHOOLERS, EARLY ELEMENTARY, LATER ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL.  THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS THAT WILL HELP YOU FIND THE GAME EASILY. These are my favorite games suitable for late elementary. I really like to have games that cover a range of…

Golden Age of Islam (Middle Ages) Resources and Activities

Ramadan Mubarak! Though we are not Muslim, we have several friends and followers that are. I am saddened that they have to celebrate their holy month in the middle of the Corona pandemic.  In honor of the month of Ramadan I’ve compiled our resources and activities for the Golden Age of Islam Unit that we…