A Halloween science lesson: parts of the body

6 10 2012

Let me try to summarize our educational melodrama of the past few months before I get into the science lesson we did today… So when we realized we’d be moving to Seattle for a year I decided we would homeschool BB for his kindergarten year. Everyone was more or less on board with this plan. We had good reasons: public schools here are mixed, with some being very good and some being pretty bad. Where we were looking to rent, it was pretty bad. Private school is too expensive, and hard to get into, as a latecomer. But we ended up renting in a totally different part of the city than anticipated, and our local school seemed pretty OK. (By that I mean a 5/10 on greatschools.com. Pretty average.). I was still set to homeschool. It was gonna be awesome! Exploring the museums, parks, and beautiful surroundings of the puget sound area. Learning about volcanoes and killer whales. But…as the summer came to a close, BB started asking about where he was going to kindergarten and when did it start, and it occurred to me that he was either not understanding my awesome plan or not on board with it. So I hastily enrolled him in SPS. And crossed my fingers it would be ok.

Here, they have full day K, but you have to pay for it (crazy, right?). So school started, he was excited, then less excited, then nervous, and on day 4 a sobbing mess of a child, begging me not to leave him there. Hmmmmm. I made a deal that I’d come get him at lunchtime. He was ok with that. Since then, we have dropped to half day officially, which saves us quite a bit of $$$ and seems to be a better amount of time for him to be at school. And now I have him at home in the afternoons, and while LB naps, we work on the lessons he is missing by not going full day. I purchased curricula for handwriting, math, and science, the last one being Nancy Larson Science. The reviews were great, and BB was excited about it but his enthusiasm has faded a little. We are just on lesson 5 so I don’t want to review the whole thing, but I’ll say the early lessons were too easy for him. There were 3 lessons about naming the parts of the body, easy names, like hand and head, etc. I was supposed to draw a body and highlight the parts we were naming. Neither one of us wanted a third day of this, so for kicks I printed out Frankenstein’s monster and we assembled him as we named his joints and other parts. This little monster shows joints well, because they really move, and you can pose him in different ways. Then because LB was with us (no nap today!) we all played the scripted game of Simon says. It was a LOT more fun with 2 kids!

Here is where I found the monster printable. They have a bunch and it’s a fun activity in and of itself, plus a fun way to go over shoulders, elbows, etc., since the joints are articulated using brass brads. Looks more fun than the body drawing, eh?

LB wanted me to take a picture of him doing his “work” too.


At this point, I like the science curriculum although I see it as a little too basic. As a former high school science teacher, I wanted to guard against my own tendency to speak over a 5 year old’s head. I think this will work out for us, with me adding a little more of a challenge, or adapting it to be more fun somehow. For now, this is our life; a little less crafting for me (ok, a lot less crafting, my machines are still in boxes!) and more educational, homeschoolish type crafts. My goal for October is to make a new purse, though,because my dream purse is in tatters!

Long time no see — an update

3 10 2012

Wow, it’s been a long time! You know, I follow several blogs and I’m always amazed to read things like, “Guess what, I just had a baby! Now I will only be posting 3 times a week instead of 5” or “Sorry this is a day late! We just moved cross country and I am posting from my phone.”. Well, this summer we moved cross country. It wasn’t the kind of thing that set me back a day, it was the kind of thing that turned our whole world upside down. We’ve gone from the suburbs of upstate NY to the city of Seattle, from a house with a yard to a townhouse with no yard, just a view of an alley and an adult video store. Classy! BB has started kindergarten, which has been a HUGE adjustment for us all. More on that another day! LB is going to a great little Spanish immersion preschool. He came home yesterday and told me, “Hoy es Martes!”. I was so proud! So, this is all to say that we are finally settling into a routine and hitting our stride in a new place.

Fall has been beautiful, and today I finally kind of got my act together, thanks to a great morning at MOPS, which I haven’t done before but really enjoyed, and found very encouraging. They talked about the five love languages for kids and it really reminded me that the kids both love doing crafts, which I have slacked off doing since we moved here. So today when we went walking to BB’s martial arts class, we gathered leaves, acorns and chestnuts. We made a little fall foliage collage… No directions from me beyond drawing a tree trunk and gluing stuff on. They love gluing stuff!




The kids each did their own thing! Then we made some cute little chestnut guys. The chestnuts were soft enough that I could just shove in toothpicks. We used fast grab tacky craft glue for this project.


Cute, aren’t they? Well, I’m going to try posting this before it gets too long. I just realized I could do this on my iPad (so please excuse odd punctuation, it has it’s own ideas sometimes), which is super convenient if it works. You can expect more posts if this works out!