Carnival of homeschooling is posted

it's over at No fighting, no biting this week.

Transportation - Airplanes

The lad and I will be starting to learn about transportation tomorrow. It will be our "September theme". We won't be looking only at transportation as we will take side trips into things that interest us. But tomorrow.. PLANES!

1. we'll be building a sleath bomber and a camouflage airplane that we got at The Basics Shop.

2. We'll be watching the "wright brothers on youtube".

3. We'll be learning about the different types of modern aircraft.
see this site Soaring the Skies and Types of Airplanes and how many types are there? DIY. and probably to me the most helpful site.Types of Airplanes.

Airplanes vary greatly in the size, structure, engines, and purpose.

Airship/Balloon, Glider/Sailplane, Powered airplanes, Helicopter/Rotorcraft, Autogyro/Gyroplane, Fixed Wing Bi-planes, Fixed Wing Monoplanes

I used this site to make a copywork sheet. I used these words: Land planes, Seaplanes, Amphibians, Vertical Takeoff and Landing, Short Takeoff and Landing and Space Shuttle. I wasn't sure if I should do a trace and write, or a copy and I printed off one of each and it's all good. :)

What else will we do?
4. I hope to have him do some counting.
How many planes can you find in your hot wheels collection?
5. Then have him do some sorting of them and explain why he sorted them the way he did.

6. We'll play battle because one can't build planes that can be used for battle without actually having a battle! :)

and that will be it for a first day of homeschool. Oh... we'll also do our normal.. we're back in school so let's go for a walk about. And if I can figure out how to build a rocket into the mix we'll do that do, Supercharged Science has one that looks to be fun to do.


Toads are the subject of fascination for a boy child lately.

We went to the Pinery yesterday for lunch and a bit of a walk about. At lunch we sat near a pit in the ground. It had several young toads in it. the lad caught six in total. one escaped due to my ineptitude. Two were released for being too big.

The remaining three were put into a larger bottle and carried with us on our walk.

Somehow on out trip home the bottle got on a tilt or lay flat and two of the three escaped. We recaptured one of them.

Those two discovered the "joys" of a new home. :)

hard at work setting things up

The end result.

One relatively content toad.

Tonight they were joined by one much bigger toad captured on a "toad" walk with gramma. Tomorrow morning the lad will totally reorganize the aquarium, but as long the toads are healthy it's all good. Boys are meant to play with small critters aren't they?

These tears I hate: Tears when a boy learns something in a very hard way.

Since these toads are tiny I put a little apple cider vinegar in a container to attract fruit flies. The flies came, the little toads were happy. The lad thought GREAT! I'll dip the toad in the vinegar to help bring flies right to the toad. We then all learned that toads plus apple cider vinegar equals a very quickly dead toad (so dead his tongue came out). Many tears from my soft-hearted son. Much sadness from his mommy at this hard lesson to learn...hard for all. We don't want to kill the toads...we want to learn from them and see what works to keep them healthy and happy.

Organization of my school year

the carnival of homeschooling has a theme for this week of
all about logistics: the organizing of your day, week, and year in terms of homeschooling, extracurricular activities, and everything else that you fit into your life.
The basic plan that I use with homeschooling is to so as much of it for free as I can. So we do a much on the computer as we can, or using books that I've picked up from here and there, as well as quite a bit of oral work. I assume that over time I'll to do more paperwork, but for now he's six and if I can ask him in his head what 1 + 6 is and get seven for a verbal answer it's all good. We'll be going to the library more often this year I hope, like every other week or so. I plan to use extensively a variety of links that I've listed over here as well as utilizing the work of this site.

So for the past two weeks I've been working on organizing my schooling. I only have one student so that makes it easier for me.

Monday is hubby's day off so we don't do a whole lot that day. In the mornings before we leave we'll be doing some math and then in the evening he has gymnastics.

For the rest of the week there will be some things that we do daily.
like Read for 1/2 hour, do chores, and go out for at least 1/2 hour of exercise.

Tuesday will be our science day also with some book work.

Wednesday we'll do some more math but our focus will be on Art.

Thursday we'll work on unit studies that we get from Amanda Bennett (we do reviewing for them). And it will also be our Field Trip day.

Friday we'll work on whatever we want to do as well as look at geography, history of the various topics we'll be using as a base for study.

I LOVE doing things around a base of study.
September: Transportation
October: Continents of the World
November: Canada
December: Christmas, extra Science
January: Snow, winter
February: Character Studies
March: Pioneers
April: Construction
May: Insects
June: Rocks, Archaelogy etc

Within all of this we'll do history, English, spelling, memory work, Geography and what not.

Now like anything the best laid plans can be lead astray or changed, but.. we'll work on things and see how it goes.

question of the day: how long do yellow jacket's live?

We have a yellow jacket living in our house. He buzzed us while doing the dishes.
He got away.

My lad who is somewhat concerned about getting stung asked "how long do yellow jacket's live?" I said.. I have no clue, shall we look it up?

We learned that MOST of them only live for the summer BUT the queen hibernates over the winter and she is the one who chooses where the next years colony will live.

Source: backyard Brigade and other internet sources that confirmed what Backyard said. :)

Finally... we know what it is :)

My thanks to homeschool freebie of the day for linking to this site! we were finally able to identify the caterpillars that keep dying on us!

unlike the sycamore and hickory tussock moths, this one is the pale tussock moth. and these guys eat oak, birch, lime and hop leaves.

Other sites they linked to today were BugGuide and What's that Bug.

Carnival of homeschooling is posted

you can find it here.

there are some good reads over there. :)

Catapult and Paper Airplanes

Today on Supercharged Science we learned about catapults. Learning about making a fulcrum. We had fun putting a ping pong ball into the air. :)

We wanted to experiment with making different types of catapults and changing the basic style, but we found that pretty much a no go since we ran out of elastics.

We also made paper airplanes.

We've made paper airplanes before...but this time they actually WORKED! It was a hoot. We had fun seeing if we could crash them into our van and into each other. We enjoyed watching the wind lift them. We had fun when they would crash into our flowers and get stuck.

We also spent a great deal of time playing with Lego. Overall a good day.

question of the day: how many birds can't fly?

Why do you ask?
Blu, in the video Rio, says that there are 40 birds that can't fly.

I looked it up and found the there are NINE birds that can't fly.
Being challenged by my son, I looked into this further and discovered the Blu is sorta correct. :) gives us this.

Answer: NOTE: 6 are extinct. removing those ones, I counted 35 but two of them are NEARLY flightless. So there you have the question of the day answered.


Podicipediformes (Grebes)
Junin Flightless Grebe
Titicaca Flightless Grebe

Pelicaniformes (Pelicans, Cormorants, et al)
Flightless Cormorant

Sphenisciformes (Penguins)

Anseriformes (Waterfowl)
Magellanic Flightless Steamer Duck
Falkland Flightless Steamer Duck
White-headed Flightless Steamer Duck
Auckland Island Teal
Campbell Island Teal

Gruiformes (Cranes, Rails)
Woodford's Rail (probably flightless)
New Caledonian Rail
Lord Howe Woodhen
Calayan Rail
New Britain Rail
Guam Rail
Roviana Rail ("flightless, or nearly so" [Taylor 1998])
Snoring Rail
Inaccessible Island Rail
Henderson Island Crake
Invisible Rail
New Guinea Flightless Rail
Samoan Wood Rail
Makira Wood Rail
Gough Island Moorhen
Tasmanian Native-hen

Psittaciformes (Parrots)
Broad-billed Parrot (extinct)

Columbiformes (Pigeons, Doves)
Dodo (extinct)
Rodrigues Solitaire (extinct)
Viti Levu Giant Pigeon (extinct)

Caprimulgiformes (Nightjars)
New Zealand Owlet-nightjar (extinct)

Passeriformes (Perching Birds)
Stephens Island Wren (extinct)

Galliformes (Wildfowl)
Domestic turkey

Woot Woot! he was independent!

My six year was DYING to do an experiment.

I had no protracted time to help him.

I found the site the experiment was on and said here it is.

He did it!

He was VERY happy to have learned how to turn a motor on. And then he went on to learn how to make a dimmer switch. :)

Pretty cool huh? :)


We joined the E-science camp from Supercharged Science for the summer.

We haven't done a whole lot with it since it takes a bit of time. BUT this week and next we plan to do some things with it. make it worth our while.

We've gotten good ideas for a number of experiments though and I need to find the time to jot down the information for the ones we want to do before our time runs out!

anyways, today we did Electricity. We did a number of experiments using two batteries, alligator clips, a buzzer, led lights and what not. I tried to make a propellor for the small motor we have but that didn't work out so well.

The lad had a HOOT.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him teach his dad some of the things he learned today. They both seemed to enjoy their time together. I really wish I had the foresight to get my camera out. But it was fun listening to him teach, and watching his excitement.

Aurora does these videos that go step by step what the children are to do in each experiment. She encourages them to be safe. And she encourages them to have fun while learning what they need to learn. and it's OKAY to experiment and not have it all work out. :)

He learned to complete a circuit, to test for conductivity (one test was very complicated with a transformer), to make a buzzer work, to learn about open switches and what not. Lots of to learn, very sequential learning.

Is he ready 'mentally' for some of what he does? but is he experimenting? yes. Is he learning the language? Yes. Is he learning to be safe and to follow instructions? definitely. He is learning the science and experimentation is a good thing? for sure! :)

Octopus camouflage

this is simply too cool.

The lad's end comment "so camoflage is just fooling what's looking at you?"


The lad has a thing for caterpillars lately. :)

we've found three SYCAMORE TUSSOCK MOTH. They died on us. We need to figure out what they eat so they don't die next time.

they apparently eat the leaves of sycamore trees. interesting. But we put leaves in with them from where we found them. I guess I need to learn how to identify a sycamore tree. :)

we've also had these for a short time. HICKORY TUSSOCK MOTH. They escaped though. :)

Found the caterpillars at this site.

Monarch butterflies

this is Chris.

he is a monarch butterfly.

we found his egg while camping.

He seems like a nice 'lad' (not that I know if he is a lad or not, but the lad we have is enjoying watching him grow).

We've successfully hatched out into adult stage a white Moth in the past, so we're hoping to be successful with Chris the monarch as well.

This site is helpful in teaching more about monarchs.

We're finding it an interesting experience. We lost one monarch egg to ants, we lost another when we changed out the leaves (they didn't transition well), so we're hopeful that this time will be more successful. Time will indeed tell.

That lad is VERY much into capturing caterpillars lately and seeing if we can get them to change into moths and butterflies lately.

His latest capture was a fuzzy red caterpillar that poops/pees and runs VERY fast when you attempt to catch him. It's was quite the achievement for the lad to catch him. We've never had another caterpillar do that so it was quite the learning experience.

Some caterpillars we've learned don't handle capture well so we don't catch them. Some will just up and die. Others within a day or two will pupate. Others just wander and seem to do well in captivity. It's been educational to say the least.