Quarter 1 Done

Friday we finished the 9th week of school and so completed our first quarter. It went by really fast. It wasn’t until yesterday that I was doing spelling with Adrian and realized we were on week 10!

In Science we learned how to use a microscope, about cells, diffusion, mitosis, meiosis, and started learning about genetics. In History we learned about Mesopotamia, Akkad, Sumer, Ur, Babylon, Hittites, Hammurabi, ancient Egypt, Kush, Aksum, Jenne-Jeno, and Assyria. We did several art projects from The Art Assignment. We’ve continued with piano and Latin. We’re all still doing taekwondo for PE.

Cameron completed 7 lessons of Math-U-See Geometry. He’s written several types of essays. He read Genesis to Job and started reading the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Fritz completed through lesson 20 of Math-U-See Epsilon (he was already partway through it before the school year began). He’s gotten really good at writing narrations. He read Tales of Ancient Egypt, Heroes, Gods, and Monsters of Greek Myths, The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles, Tales of Greek Heroes, The Tale of Troy, Aesop’s Fables, The Bronze Bow, and part of Outcast.

Adrian completed through lesson 21 of Math-U-See Gamma (he had already completed several lessons before the school year began). He’s reading very well now and is speeding through book 5 of Explode the Code. He read Trojan Horse and about a third of a children’s retelling of The Odyssey.

English: B
History: A
Geometry: B
Biology: A
Latin: A
Art/PE/Music: Pass

English: A
History: A
Math: A
Biology: A
Art/PE/Music/Latin: Pass

English: A
History: A
Math: A
Biology: A
Art/PE/Music/Latin: Pass

Speeding Through Assigned Reading

Fritz had eleven books assigned to him for the year. He’s just flying through them. We finished the seventh week of school today. He finished his fifth book. His sixth book is very short so no doubt he’ll finish it two or three school days.

Four of the last five books are a bit longer than the rest so I figure 8ish weeks for them (though, clearly, I am terrible at estimating how fast he’ll read). That still puts him finishing all eleven by Christmas. We’ll probably have him read the Percy Jackson books after that since he has really been enjoying mythology.

I just can’t believe I so incredibly underestimated his reading speed!

August and September Science Experiments

We plotted an area of ground and observed all the living things in the plot. Then we estimated how many of each of those living things we could expect to find in an area ten times bigger.

We learned the parts of our microscope and how to use it.

We made a slide using some typed words and looked at it under the microscope.

It was really cool!

We sliced off a very thin bit of cork and made it into a slide. We also looked at very thin slices of apple and apple peel using the microscope.

We made applesauce. We ate some and canned some in a water bath. Once they were processed, we labeled one to be opened in two weeks and one to be opened in two months.

Two weeks later, we opened one of the jars of applesauce and ate it. It was exactly the same as it had been the day we made it!

We made a slide using cheek cells (dyed with methylene blue) and looked at them under the microscope.

We made an animal cell using Plaster of Paris and Sculpey clay. We made the organelles, baked them, and assembled them in the plaster. We waited for the plaster to cure a few days and then coated the top in glue to represent cytoplasm.

We were really happy with how our cell turned out.

We learned how to read nutrition labels and compared brown and white rice flour. We were supposed to do this experiment with all purpose and whole wheat flour, but we had to adjust it since we can’t have wheat in our house. We tested the flours for the presence of starch using iodine.

We looked at the brown and white rice flours under the microscope. The brown rice flour (pictured) looked like rigid crystals. The white rice flour looked much fuzzier around the edges.

We filled a Ziploc baggie with water and cornstarch and placed it in a cup of water and iodine. We checked it every 10 minutes for 30 minutes and then every hour for 3 hours. The iodine diffused through the baggie, reacted with the starch, and turned the water in the baggie dark purple. We removed the baggie and added cornstarch to the iodine water. It immediately turned dark purple.

We cut a thin slice of corn and made a slide using it. We stained it with iodine (and got a positive starch test) and looked at it under the microscope.

We inspected the underside of leaves and looked for the stomata. We drew diagrams of leaves.

We cut a piece of a thick leaf and looked at it under the microscope. We could see the cells and different colors.

(We are using REAL Science Odyssey Biology 2 this year. As you can see from all these awesome experiments, we are loving it!)

Cameron’s 15

Cameron got up this morning at 4:30 to make pancakes and homemade strawberry syrup for his seminary class.

He asked for peanut butter and jelly for his birthday meal. Since he’s part of the 1/3 of our family that doesn’t have Celiac or a wheat allergy and our house is gluten-free, he got a loaf of bread and little jars of peanut butter and jelly and was sent outside to eat his lunch.

In just 15 years, he’s grown from a 6 pound 6 ounce 20 1/2″ snake baby to a 147 pound 5’11 1/4″ man boy.