Zoology – Bears

If you ask Caitlyn about school, right now, she will tell you that science is her favorite. She is loving our Zoology Land Animals study. Currently she is learning about bears. We did an activity practicing what to do if you encountered different types of bears, but no punching each other in the nose!

When she studied polar bears, she did a project to demonstrate what makes them white. Polar bears actually have black skin, and hollow fur that traps light and heat to help keep them warm. She used black playdoh and straws to recreate this effect and looked at it with a flashlight.

Caitlyn is also thrilled that this science study means more reasons to go to the zoo. Last week we went and tried to pay particular attention to the bears, but they were all sleeping!

So, her favorite animal ended up being the adorable, awkward, baby giraffe.

Homeschool on the go

Caitlyn and I agreed that this wasn’t a conducive environment for learning, so I packed up most of our stuff and hit the road. The first morning we went to the library and then my mom sweetly offered up her house. The second day, I just headed straight for mom’s. Caitlyn did a pretty good job of handling the different environment, but it was hard for her to not abandon me and go hang out with Mimi. One bonus was Marley was a much better student than Leia. Caitlyn also ended up doing school in fabulous princess garb.

After two days of school at Mimi’s and a finished roof, we rewarded ourselves with a day of “socialization”. Caitlyn got to meet and make two new friends, do an art project, and lots of creative play.


Kitchen Projects and Experiments

This month Caitlyn has had several cooking or kitchen experiment projects. She loves helping me and learning more, so she has really enjoyed these.

First, for history we made parkin which is a traditional English cake.

Soaking the oats was step one

She had to measure and mix liquids and dry ingredients. This is her mixing the other liquids into the soaked oats.

A piece of the finished cake. Caitlyn tried it, but she wasn’t a fan.

For science, she got to make jello pretty independently. She enjoyed the cooking part, but unfortunately the experiment was a flop.

 She used one package of lemon jello and put half of the finished liquid into containers. Then she added red food coloring into the remainder and put it into containers. Our test subjects were to guess the flavor of the jello based on appearance, and then guess again after tasting. The experiment indicated that in people sight is the strongest sense, and people would typically hold onto the decision that they were certain flavors based on the color. Caitlyn had three people guess the flavors. Two of them followed the typical pattern and guessed that they were lemon and strawberry based on sight. However, no one guessed correctly or as expected after tasting.


Her final project was the most successful, and I took no pictures! She made cornbread to go along with our history unit on the pilgrims. Caitlyn loves cornbread, but has never cooked it before so she was really excited to do this. She was even more excited to devour it.

Scottish Dog Lover

Over the last two weeks we did two fantastic projects that are probably my all time favorites so far.  In history we studied Mary Queen of Scots, so we made a Scottish tartan.  Tartans at that time represented the family colors, but weren’t worn as kilts until later. I let Caitlyn choose colors that would best represent her, and I didn’t stop her from wearing it as a kilt. She worked diligently and hard on this project, but she did get some mommy assistance.

Tartan cut, lines traced, and first set of lines painted

Working on step 2 of painting

Caitlyn in her tartan

Between projects we continued all of our regular school lessons. She has been doing really well with her spelling. She is enjoying the white board lessons, which I didn’t get a good picture of her doing. Once again she hates writing, but if I ask her to write her answers in shaving cream as opposed to with a pencil I get this fantastic smile. To me this is the beauty of homeschooling; instead of muddling through a lesson and hating every minute of it we were able to change things up a little and she LOVED learning.

In zoology we are currently studying the family canidae. This lesson began with dogs, and we paused on it this week to expand our studies a little more beyond the Apologia text. Caitlyn read two non-fiction books we checked out from the library, and we also read some cute doggy fiction books this week. Her favorites were the ones about Charlie the Ranch Dog by Ree Drummond. She completed her first animal report, with some help from mommy to show what was expected since this was the first one. Of course, she choose to do it on a Labrador Retriever and use Leia as her picture.

This art project Caitlyn completed on her own with a little prompting and looking at a sample finished project. She is progressing so much with working on her own and not being afraid of making a mistake.