Tag Archives: science

My January Clicks

I find neat links and tools for education every now and then.  I typically do pretty extensive searches during the month.  I thought I best share them!


My favorite is the Multiplication-Skip-Counting-Ring found here.  This was such a wonderful idea!

Quiet Time Activities – This is worth replicating in a similar fashion or purchasing.  I will let you know what I do.  I am thinking that I saved shoe boxes for a very good reason other than hoarding.

Life-Sized Felt Anatomy Model (DIY)  What better way to teach?  They can stick the pieces to their bodies.

I want to use this Plush Cell Model to create pillows for learning.  This is a great project to incorporate many life skills as well as creating the models of animal and plant cells for hands-on visual learning.

Hand Kite – this is great for play.

Organizing homeschool supplies and planning:

Homeschool Workbox, Lapbook Organizing, and Planning

Winning at Planning

Etsy.com – Chair organizers.  These are fabulous.


I was browsing Wikispaces too and found this space, which included K-12 teacher resources.  I like the list of objectives and resource links.



Free stories and e-books for the beginning reader

Internet4Classrooms has standards, printables, and online stories for reading.  This is only a smidge of what is there.  It is worth the browse.

Cool Math 4 Kids

In general, an idea that evolved from searching for Dolche words and phonetic families was the “World Wall” folder.  I love that these can be portable and that they are very hands-on.  I will post our Valentine and -ack word folders soon.  I found the greatest resource from Scholastic for word families.  Look for it during the dollar-deals days too.


I hope you had fun this month and  that these resources will help you create your own trunks for learning.


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Great Scientist Study

Our first study of this type was the Great Artist Study.  Please visit this post to view the inside of the notebook.  Following the same design and plan for a study, we will study great scientists.

I chose to use Elemental Science’s Biology for the Logic Stage this year.  Science is planned for three days a week.  Two days of the week are devoted to biology while the third day is reserved for date entry, timeline additions, and the study of various scientists.  While reading the Elemental Science blog, I discovered a series devoted to great scientists – Great Scientist Series.  I happily donated my dollar and downloaded the resources that were made available by the Elemental Science author, Paige Hudson.

The series consists of four downloads: ancients, middle ages, early modern, and modern.  We are studying ancient history this year.  We are using Great Scientists of the Ancients.

I downloaded this resource.  I printed the text in black and white on my laser printer.  I printed a colored cover on cardstock.  Using a comb binder, I assembled a small booklet of less than 50 pages.

I am very pleased with the ease and simplicity of using a composition notebook, which is why our Great Artists Study uses one.  My child chose a composition notebook with a colorful pattern on the front. Together, we created a graphic for both the front of the book and the table of contents page.  I use wide, clear tape to fix the graphic to the cover of the book.  You could use clear contact paper as well.  We use a combination of glue sticks, double-sided tape, sticky dots, et cetera on the inside pages.  I do not use any thin or liquid type of glue.  This is just too messy for me!

I began researching books that correlate with the scientists and purchased several, including but not limited to What’s Your Angle Pythagoras? and Archimedes and the Door of Science.

I printed titles and pictures from sites like Wikimedia.  For example, I have clips of machines invented and a graphic of the Earth as the center of the universe.  Things that illustrate the scientist are what I sought, as well as some image of the scientist too.

I created copy-work as it is relevant, such as the Hippocratic Oath or Aristotle’s The Four Causes.

We will draw and sketch too.  My child will make sketches for Archimedes’ three forms of levers.

Use your imagination.

The photo below shows you the booklet, composition notebook, and resource packs that I created.  I do not use zippered plastic bags.  I use storage bags without the zipper.  I prefer them for separating items.  Each bag is for one scientist and contains all items needed, including books bought.  I include a list of websites and potential library references as well.  Visible to you are the resource packs for Hippocrates and Pythagoras.

These are the contents of the resource pack for the study of Pythagoras below.  Notice the small map of the world.  My child will mark the geographic location of the places traveled and lived in by the scientist being studied.

I keep everything together in a plastic portfolio.

I prefer simple.  I hope you enjoy our Easy Notebook Studies!

Let me know what you add or change.  Share your resources too.  I am still looking for age appropriate reading books for my child.

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R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey

We used Earth & Space this past year.  I was very pleased with the design and information.  I am of the notion that science should be experienced as much as is possible, especially in the grammar stage.  Pandia Press’s R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey (RSO) manuals certainly do allow for a hands-on approach.  This is primarily an experiment-based science approach.

I think this is one of those programs that you could purchase in PDF form.  You will find this to be an economical way to use and reprint if necessary.  If you are like us, there always seems to be a mistake made on a lab report that will necessitate redoing it.  If you choose to purchase a hard copy, you do not need the student pages.  All of the pages are contained in the main set.  There is not a teacher’s manual per se.  Answers are provided on the lab sheets when needed.  However, you could purchase the main copy in a PDF and purchase student pages.  I would load the PDF version to a Kindle or Nook (any eReader) and place the student pages in a three-ring binder.  Truly, what you purchase depends greatly on the way that you want to see and to use the manual.  At the very least, you need to keep in mind that mistakes are inevitable.  As well, you will not be able to purchase only the student pages.

Each section or lesson, began with text.  We would read the text aloud.  I would have my child circle the new terminology.  Definitions are not explicit.  This is one drawback for me.  However, this was not an issue for my child.  Actually, the idea of using the terminology as it is applicable within the text lent itself to being better understood than simply defining the word itself.  I am sure this is not a new concept, but it is not something that I have encountered within a science program until this one.  As I note this, let me just say that I did have my child provide a verbal definition for each word that was applicable terminology for that particular section or lesson.  I felt more comfortable with this.  I do not think it was a needed adjustment, but it made me feel better.

I had a book basket at the ready.  I required independent reading.  We did not narrate or summarize science.  Again, my feeling being that a hands-on approach, that is experimentation, would accomplish the same thing as a narration or summary.  Pandia Press provides websites and book lists to help you make selections appropriate for the section or lesson.  We would explorer the sites, investigate new sites, watch videos, and check out books from the local library.  I did not always locate all of the books at the library.  I could have prepared in advance, but I am not that organized.  I would substitute as needed.  As long as I had plenty of books in the basket, I did not care if I matched the selections book by book.  I liked the further explorations through the web, books, and reading.  Do not go overboard with substitution or enhancement.  My child developed quite a lot in the way of understanding through the experience of the experiment.  The supplements only added a review or helped to satisfy the deviations from the topic, which were often the result of the material being studied.

Lastly, we would complete the diagram and/or the experiment, including filling out the lab sheet(s).  I would take photographs of the experiments when possible.  We were not the sketching or drawing sort.  I scaled down the photos, cut, and pasted to the lab sheet.   I would take photographs of my child performing the experiment.  We would place these on cardstock and include in our notebook, adding stickers or clip art.

Also, along the way, I added certain elements from lap-books or mini-books. We mounted to cardstock and included where appropriate in our binder. I just felt that certain things were better served with some other type of hands-on activity. I do not think it was necessary, but I wanted to do it nonetheless.

In the end, we ended up with a 2-inch, three-ring binder full of our experiments and experiences.

I do want to add that I changed the space, or astronomy, portion of this particular set, Earth & Space.  I added reading from Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Astronomy. We saved the space portion for the warmer months.  I added reading and we completed experiments from both.  I added these to our RSO binder too.

Pay careful attention to the suggested grade levels. While the Earth & Space was done in large by my fourth grader with little assistance, I would consider that you will need to participate and be involved to some extent, especially with younger children.

I was disappointed to find that RSO did not have a level two set.  I would suggest Classiquest or Elemental Science for the logic stage.  Both are very similar to our previous experience.

RSO Earth & Space Level 1 (R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey
Read/Explore/Absorb/ Learn, Level 1 Grades 1-4)


Filed under Science