Sunny Seashells - Review

I have to admit, life got busy over these past two weeks so working on this unit study was a bit problematic for us. So... what we did was look it over and talk about it. The lad was curious so we'll be actually studying it over the next two weeks much better. Sunny Seashells is a downloadNGo unit from Amanda Bennett Unit Studies.

At our local beach we cannot find a variety of seashells, what we find are clam shells and zebra mussels. Granted, finding zebra mussels gives us a chance to tell the lad about how introducing animals to environments where they don't belong is actually quite dangerous.

I actually have a fair number of shells to show him, and count with him, with because not only did I go to Haiti on a mission trip when I was a teen (and therefore bought some and brought them home with me), I also had someone give me a whole variety of them. They've been an excellent resource for counting, sorting, tactile exploration and what not. Shells are indeed interesting.

Amanda Bennett sets up her unit studies in such a way that they are incredibly easy to use. We often copy and paste into a word processing program to cut down on paper use, but they can simply be printed off as is. They come as a ready to use PDF file. Loaded with links to various on-line resources and if you contact them about a link not working they fix it very quickly.
Here's what you learn with this unit study.

Day 1: Seashells--What Are They?
Day 2: Seashells and History
Day 3: Types of Seashells
Day 4: The Science of Seashells
Day 5: Seashell Party!

History, geography, science and more, all packed into one study.

(I was sent a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the review team).

Science and the library

in preparation for a science class on Thursday we did some sensory experiments this morning.

first I hid a bunch of things in socks. The lad had to feel and guess through the sock at first. he got about half of them correct. And the remainder he had to feel without looking in the sock to see the object might be. He got two more listening and thinking in his head about what they might be. The rest he guessed and was surprised by.

Then we moved into the kitchen where he had to look, smell, feel and then taste to determine what was what. I paired items such as salt and sugar, sprinkles and cane sugar, protein powder and flour, cinnamon sugar and cocoa...and something brand new to him...chia seeds. He found it difficult to wear a blind fold as he just wanted to know NOW what he was getting into, but he learned how sometimes you have to use more than one sense to figure out what something is. :)

we then did some experiments with air out of a new science book we have. The lad had a hoot. :) That lad loves to build and experiment. We did experiments 1-3. water, balloons and air...what more could a five year old ask for?

our new science book:
hands on earth science activities for k-6 by marvin tolman

Going to the library this afternoon as my rabbit person hasn't called yet. Will forward the phone in case she does. We should be able to walk home in the time it takes for her to call coming from London. (that's if she calls of course).

Oh... discovered a cousin of mine is an "unschooler". She writes a blog called Jazzy Mama. have to admit, I don't quite get being an unschooler, but I sorta do. We think a bit differently but that's okay. I can't quite wrap my head around COMPLETELY being an unschooler ...but some of the concepts such as following your children's passions in learning makes sense to me. But to not deliberately teach your children something... just doesn't seem quite right somehow.. but I may be misconstruing what' unschooling' is really all about. :)

oh, as some folks know... I do review for Amanda Bennett Unit Studies...their download N Go units. They are having a summer fun promotion right now.

books we are returning to the library today are:

The lad enjoyed going through each of these non-fiction books.

Castles by RJ Unstead.

From Sand to Glass by Shannon Zemlicka

Animals in Dangerous Places by Clare Oliver

Sphynx Cats by Nancy Furstinger

Let's look at Flying Machines published by Lorenz Books

Then we have these fiction books

The boy who loved bananas by george elliot
this was just sheer fun to read and inspired lots of bunny town stories.

Stella Louella's Runaway Book by Lisa Campbell Ernst
A busy book with lots of pictures, with the query...will she catch up to it??

Bagels from Benny by Aubrey Davis
The lad's response "There's pretzel's in this book! They are yummy!"
My response: I enjoyed this book, taught a few things, caused questions to be asked.

My Think-a-ma-Jink by Dave Whamond
LOVED LOVED this book the lad did. it's a blue spruce book. Well written and fun.

And here's to you by david elliot
Surprisingly, the boy liked this book. He'd growl at the odd page here and there that he didn't like, but overall he liked it and started "reading" it with me.

The Imaginary Garden by Andrew larsen
Enjoyed by both mom and son. Inspires our desire to do it ourselves.

Second Best by jane eagland
Enjoyed this book enough that he wants to have his own show and tell animal day.

The magic toolbox by Mie Araki
A good read, with frustration turning to satisfaction.

The Old Red Tractor by Andreas Dierssen
the lad says "I liked it".
It's a good book, well worth reading.

One more acorn by Don Freeman
The earl book mommy! the earl book! I want to read it!

Today... a good day

My mom needed a day away so I went up with the lad to watch over my dad. He's not good left alone for long periods of time since his walking isn't very good, neither is his memory. So.. we did our homeschooling there today.

First we played Skipbo. Dad played too. He won. The lad got a good chance to count his numbers and to remember what they looked like. And even got to finish a hand or two. :)

Then we had fun playing dominos. Not so much playing the game, but constructing buildings to keep the "angry birds" safe from the not nice birds who would knock on the door and pretend to be good birds. :)

We had a hot meal for lunch. Dad peeled the potatoes. :)

After lunch we did some book work. I'll have to add the books we did later. :)
and the lad made up a game for his stuffie rabbit to do involving memory work from Gilligan's island, his newly favouritiest show. :) The lad had lots of opportunities to exercise a servant's heart today and he did so willingly which pleased this mother's heart. :)

Stopped at a gardening centre on the way home and picked up some flowers. The lad really wanted to plant them and was disappointed to learn that we need to wait a couple days before planting them as they need to harden off a bit first. So we planted some other plants instead. He helped cut up potatoes and plant some tomatoes. He even ran over the potato bed to tampen them down for good growing. He'd helped me last week with planting some pea seeds and is disappointed they aren't coming up yet.

He had a great deal of fun playing with Blossom (a young rabbit who lives with a guinea pig in an outdoor cage). Sam (the guinea pig) can be a bit of a spaz so the lad never succeeded in catching him. BUT the other guinea pigs are in a much bigger cage and he had a hoot rounding them up and making them sit in their hidey-holes. Since no harm was done, I called it good exercise for all the lad is gentle in his handling of them. But encouraging critters to run and play hide and seek is a favourite pass-time.

then in for supper and some Gilligan's Island watching and off to bed. Tonight our bed-time reader took us into the world of Heidi which intrigued the lad NOT AT ALL. He was much more interested in the one-room schoolhouse story than in anything else...though Jesus feeding 5000 people using only five bread and two fish... that elicted a "wow mommy, that's a lot of people with just my supper, how did he do it?"

All in all a good homeschool day. :)

Home School Enrichment Magazine

home school enrichment magazine.

didn't have a chance to read it today. :)

Review: Chocolate Challenge

Chocolate Challenge

Today am doing our official review of the downloadngo unit study/lapbook. on CHOCOLATE! The lad's reaction when I told him what we were going to study was "YEAH!!" This study is done by Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett.

The outline of this study is as follows.
Day 1: Chocolate – What Is It?
Day 2: The Story of Chocolate
Day 3: The Types of Chocolate
Day 4: The Science of Chocolate
Day 5: Let’s Have a Chocolate Party!

We did day 1-2 here, and days 3-5 here. Our jobs and chocolatier continued for a few days. After soccer on Thursday we went to the local bulk barn store and purchased just a wee little bit of the varieties of chocolate they had available, and then stopped at the dollarama to check out what unique chocolate bars they might have. it's been fun.

For the chocolatier part of things we've been smelling, examining, cutting in half, checking out textures, and first tastes and last tastes of all sorts of chocolate. Because I like a five year old to sleep at night I'm only letting him do 5-7 samples at a time.

This has been a fun study to do. We've gone country hunting, learned about the rainforest and why ... for the sake of chocolate.. that cutting down the big trees in the rainforest is NOT a good idea. Chocolate trees need the right type of shade and sun and humidity to grow. If they don't have it, then they don't grow the pods, and no pods = no chocolate. This would be "a bad thing, Mommy. I like chocolate!" We learned some history and saw how many machines have been made to help with the art of making chocolate. The making chocolate into art was quite interesting.... that chocolate can be like playdoh! "Wow, mommy! That's playdoh I can eat right mommy?"

These units contain LOTS of on-line links. Which is great! and I love how responsive they are when things don't work well. I imagine it is difficult to find links that will consistently work. And this is one thing I would like to change about these units...that the answers to some questions could be actually put into the unit for those times when links don't work and one really doesn't know the answer to the question or problem posed. Testing to see if links work world-wide is also something that would be nice to see done (though I suppose that's the job of us reviewers right?) :) But 99% of the time, all links work and well.

The videos are interesting and embedded to help control the amount of ads that can be seen by watchful eyes. It was good to be able to experiment with chocolate.. I even got up the nerve to make chocolate pretzels...thoroughly enjoyed by all the people attending our HOPE days today. We had hoped to make fudge but I think that will need to wait for another day...perhaps this coming week sometime. :)

The lad really enjoyed this study, he had fun making a map of Brazil. using a puzzle map book that we just picked up.
We made chocolate Chip cookies, and chocolate pretzels, and eyed some chocolate cake. Chocolate milk of course had to be enjoyed...after's what the Mayans and Aztecs drank.

Chocolate Continued.....

Chocolate Challenge

Today we continued our study of the DownloadNGo unit study/lapbook on CHOCOLATE! The lad's reaction when I told him what we were going to study was "YEAH!!" This study is done by Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett.

The outline of this study is as follows.
Day 1: Chocolate – What Is It?
Day 2: The Story of Chocolate
Day 3: The Types of Chocolate
Day 4: The Science of Chocolate
Day 5: Let’s Have a Chocolate Party!

Today we took large chunks from days 3-5. We can't get it all done today since we need to get Chocolate for our chocolate party. But we've got good plans.

We learned about the process for making chocolate, we had fun visiting our neighbours and calling family to fill in our Chocolate graph, found countries on our globe and world map, and learned a bit about fractions and using a ruler.

The chocolate car above inspired a "WOW!!! Mommy! I want to sit in it!"

a good study

i want to look at these sites more:

Notebooking is having an anniversary

Top 25 homeschool blogs some of them look intriguing.

Corn and oil have some science stuff here.

Track and Field


Today was track and field day for our homeschool group.

The lad had a great deal of fun. I am hopeful that one day the lad will learn that when I say he'll enjoy something because it has lots of running around and jumping and what not that he'll believe me first before whining and complaining about it.

But once that aspect of our day was over, the lad enjoyed himself. So did I. It was nice to spend the day with like-minded people and children. :)

Obstacle Course

The lad ran hard, jumped hard, played hard. He was a strong encourager of others. "go Micah go!" He asked good questions when he learned that one of his teammates suffers from bad asthma. For the most part he listened well. And he tried to do events even if they were hard.
They tried the high jump. Humour was provided to us. :)
The highest they got was five cms beyond the height of the mat.

No day would be complete without some running.
This was the start to the 100 m dash. They also had a 50 m one.

ball free throw

The day was for the part good weather wise. The ground was rather quite wet. There was an area of water saturation that led to the lad going through a complete clothing change.

I thought it funny, every chance these five year olds got
they started to make sand castles. :)

At lunch time the children had fun with the parts to the obstacle course.


Chocolate Challenge

Today we start our study of the DownloadNGo unit study/lapbook on CHOCOLATE! The lad's reaction when I told him what we were going to study was "YEAH!!" This study is done by Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett.

The outline of this study is as follows.
Day 1: Chocolate – What Is It?
Day 2: The Story of Chocolate
Day 3: The Types of Chocolate
Day 4: The Science of Chocolate
Day 5: Let’s Have a Chocolate Party!

I'm not sure if we are going to do this study by days as it is laid out of if I'll just pick and pull pieces out or what. Time will tell. Now to prepare a lesson. :)

we did day one and two, not in it's entirety.

we needed to use additional links because not all the links were working.

We practiced words like longitude, latitude and the equator. And all the parts of the rainforest.

We did some geography (made a map of the amazon rain forest), history (learned the history of chocolate), art (drawing and telling a story), social studies (studying the Mayan, aztecs, and zolatecs) and science (made tollhouse cookies).