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Archive for July, 2010

We’ll be on our Wisconsin trip until August 1, total driving over 32 hours just there and back. I’ve loaded up my iPhone so we can listen to audiobooks in the car. Our local library has free audio downloads and we’ve gotten quite addicted to listening to audiobooks in the car on long drives. Here’s what we’ll be listening to:

  • Ramona the Pest (just in time to watch Ramona and Beezus this Friday)
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (have this timed to arrive on Netflix in Wisconsin)
  • Peter Pan (will be seeing this at a dinner theater in August)
  • Disney Fairies
  • Ella Enchanted
  • Charles and Emma (more for David and I on the ride back)
  • The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Book 2)
  • Story of the World – Ancient Times (will review what we’ve read up through today)
  • Burgess Bird Book for Children

The only movies I’ll have along are Anne of Green Gables (just listened to this audiobook on our last trip), Pocohontas, and King Tut’s Final Secret.

As for the blog, I’ve scheduled a bunch of posts to activate throughout the week, so no one will get bored staring at the same last post!

This is what happens when I left Satori alone to do her science lesson to pack for our trip.

It all started off proper enough…

But I came back to this skeleton who thinks he can dance! Satori always makes me laugh, I don’t know how she thinks of these things.

At least she did everything I told her to do though.

Satori loves to write and draw on our kitchen table. It’s expensive and I’d rather not have her on there, so I am putting up a little table in the kitchen for her to write and draw. Just yesterday I took advantage of Michael’s 40% off sale and got Derwent watercolor pencils, Kohl-i-noor woodless colored pencils, 50 Cray-pas Junior Pastels, 50 Crayola markers and some $1 Target containers to store them in. Messy stuff like actual watercolors and paints will stay downstairs in the craft room. I just thought it would be more inspiring to have windows and be near people when she wants to write and draw.

I don’t have an updated photo of all this.

When we get back from our trip, I’ll be on the lookout for building an accessible arts/drawing center and/or writing center. So far, Satori is using this little table all the time already! I think it’s a good idea. So right now I’m open to any ideas. I want everything easy to reach and tempting to use… I know there’s a word for this style, just haven’t looked into it much yet.

I mostly posted this because David and I thought her drawing of her flashlight was so cute and she didn’t leave out any details!

But I also love to periodically post updates on her informal handwriting, writing, and spelling skills. Satori just loves to write us notes and letters. I never correct anything on them, but it’s interesting to see how she progresses. In this note, her handwriting was pretty good, except for all the capital D’s in Daddy. Her writing was okay, the grammar is sound and she remembered one period for the first sentence. Misspellings include “plees” and “baterees”, but I’m impressed she got some words correct that we’ve never studied yet – in particular “light”, “read”, and “tonight”. I think the more she reads, the better she’ll get.

Satori begged to do another science lesson again today, so I figured this one would be a fun Sunday project. This is still from the second lesson “The Cell”. I prepared lemon jello and poured it into two different dishes – one round and one square. After an hour in the fridge, just enough to get them set a bit, I had Daddy re-read the lesson story while I prepared some fruit.

We held our breath when Daddy asked Satori which jello dish might be the plant cell. And she responded correctly, of course the square dish! The circular dish will be the animal cell.

We cut some green grapes in half to represent football-shaped chloroplasts and Satori slipped them into the cell membrane and into the cell.

Each cell got a big strawberry nucleus. Then we labeled the cell parts. Of course our animal cell didn’t get any chloroplasts. These are very simple cells and we could have made them a bit more intricate, but this sufficed for our 5 year old daughter. Besides it’s all the project called for anyway.

MMMm… don’t our cells look yummy?

Aren’t edible science projects great?

Right after this lesson, as I was uploading the photos to my computer, Satori rushed into my office and handed me this paper.

I love Science. (followed by a huge number)

We love our new science program R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey! The topics in Level One Life cover:

  • What is Life?
  • The Cell
  • The Human Body
  • Classifying Life
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Plant Kingdom

We just covered the human body as a unit study, so we might do some Animal Kingdom topics this summer yet. I especially think it would be great to do when we visit my parent’s Wisconsin farm, where it would be easier to find earthworms and snails.

One of Satori’s favorite activities is writing stories, notes, and letters. Usually she’ll sit at our kitchen table and use up tons of printer paper. Then we get all the pages mixed up and lost. So I had to find an inexpensive solution so we could feed her interest and keep everything more organized.

The past two times we’ve been to Lakeshore Learning I picked up a colorful set of 10 blank books. I think with their 20% off Back-to-School sale they were about $5. Then we got some other white journals with lines to write on, I’m finding out we love lines to write on, it makes it so much easier to read her writing, hehe.

Once she starts a book, she gets very engrossed and nothing can distract her. One day she made two books. She really wants a lizard pet, so one was “To Be a Lizard”. The other book was entitled “The Huge Beast”. Check out that scary monster stomping over the town!


To be a lizard, you must behave good. Some live in the wild, some have a person.

This book she started it backwards so you have to read the pages from right to left.

After they got home Sofia saw a map. What’s that? answered Hely.

I don’t know. Hely look at Quasha but she jumped up to unfold the newspaper. Inside it showed a huge beast. Sofia read it. A monster in Texas is living by a church. Hely said “Oh no! We got to save this town!”

I love her little drawings. This one is showing the backs of the three girls looking at the newspaper. The lizard book had tons of cute little lizard drawings. I took sample pictures because both of these books and a sample blank book are being sent this week to two pen pals!

We actually did this lesson last night right after our “What is Life” lesson, but my posts are so full of photos, I like to break things up a bit.

I love learning along with my daughter, and this lesson was no exception! We learned about cells, parts of a cell, and the difference between animal and plant cells. For our lab activity, we used a chicken egg. Since I’m on-off vegan, I had to get eggs from the store for this, but at least they were cage-free, organic, high Omega-3 eggs. In this picture you might even be able to see the tiny holes egg shells have to let air and water in (click image).

Satori filled out the lab worksheet on parts of the egg as we carefully examined our own egg.

The entire family learned more about the egg. David used to think the yellow-orange yolk was the baby chicken itself, which might explain why he doesn’t like to eat eggs, being we are vegetarian. But the yolk is the food for the embryo before it is hatched. We learned what all those funny little parts are that are attached to the yolk (chalaza). We saw the blastodisc inside the yolk. Satori knows a tiny bit about eggs from our quick unit study on the human body and she kept wanting to draw a sperm entering this egg. That entry point would be the blastodisc.

Anyway, the yolk and blastodisc is one entire single cell that we can see without an expensive microscope!

Satori completed her worksheet, labeled the major parts of the egg and colored it in.

Here’s more helpful resources on learning about Eggs!

Enchanted Learning – Egg and Embryo Development

Interactive Cell Model for Animal and Plant Cells

Plant and Animal Cell Worksheets