Flying creatures- Insects

In science, we skipped forward in the book and started our studies on insects. Caitlyn has done really well with observation and interest in this. She has done much better than I thought she would!

Our coolest observation so far was when Caitlyn found a newly molted cicada. It had just come out of its husk, so it still had wet wings. This was very interesting, and great for observation because it couldn’t fly away.

We have also observed and discussed their husks, dragonflies, and a caterpillar.

Apologia Flying Creatures – Lesson 1

We started our study of Apologia’s flying creatures this year, after doing land animals and swimming creatures the last two years. The first lesson was a general overview of flight and also a look at how animals are classified.

We did this short simple experiment on air pressure. Caitlyn loved it, and she cracked up every time the water spurted.

She also built two gliders and did test flights to determine which design was more aerodynamic.

So far she’s really enjoying science!

Dolphins and Whales

Caitlyn and I have really been enjoying her science curriculum, and last week we finished up our unit on whales and dolphins. We did an illustration in our driveway showing how large different whales are. Here is Caitlyn standing by the line for her favorite whale, the Orca.

The largest whale, the blue whale, went all the way down the full length of our driveway.

Caitlyn really enjoyed this activity, and was thrilled the ran held off and it actually stayed in our driveway for a couple of days.

Dolphins and whales are marine mammals, and they are both part of family Cetacean. Dolphins are well known for their echolocation. We investigated how sounds returning to you from various materials sound different.

We also watched Dolphin Tale and Free Willy. Caitlyn really liked Dolphin Tale, and afterwards we went to the website, and watched the real Winter. I planned on reading Island of the Blue Dolphin during this time period, but I’m still waiting on it from the library.

Lanark Field Trip

Our science curriculum for this year had a suggested activity of dissecting an owl pellet.

That wasn’t really something I wanted to do on our own or here at home, so I was excited when I saw the option to do it on a field trip. Caitlyn actually responded to and participated way better than I expected her to.

We found and identified rodent remains in our owl pellet.

Caitlyn enjoyed the other parts of the field trip more, which is saying a lot since we went on a hike to identify animal homes.


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.

The rocket launch failure

To go along with Caitlyn’s Science, Apologia Astronomy, we did an alka selkzter rocket experiment. I tested it first without the “rocket” and it worked better, but we didn’t take pictures of that.

This is Caitlyn with the rocket she designed

Here is a link to the video she shot which includes her analysis of the experiment. 

Finally here is the after, it was over too quick to capture any in action pictures.

Super Moon 7-12-14

On July 12, 2014 we had our first astronomy field trip. Caitlyn was super excited before even leaving because it meant getting to stay up late for her. We couldn’t get a good view at our house due to all the trees, so we had to drive to the church parking lot to get a good view of the Super Moon. We learned that the moon wasn’t actually any more super than normally it’s rotation was just at the closest point to the Earth making it appear larger than normal.

We got a slightly better view through the binoculars than what I could capture on the camera but it was still pretty amazing.

We also did some star gazing while we were out there, and according to our star chart we were able to see Mars. I couldn’t get a good picture at all, but it was cool to see.


Successful Science Experiment

We finally had a successful science experiment that I was able to capture pictures of, it was demonstrating how a rain cloud works.

You start with a cloud

Then it gets full of rain and darkens

Then you can see the rain falling from the cloud

Caitlyn enjoyed it so much she wanted to do it all by herself

Overall the experiment got a big thumbs up!

Science Experiment Flop

I kept seeing a “simple” experiment to make a rainbow in a jar that I though Caitlyn would enjoy. I evidently did a bad job of picking liquids that wouldn’t take color so our rainbow wasn’t so colorful. Also the viscosity (weight) of our specific liquids must have been slightly off from the instructions due to brand differences or whatever because some of our liquids blended.

Here is what we started with:

Caitlyn helped measure out and pour each of the liquids

She also helped with coloring, or attempting to color the liquids. She really enjoyed not being able to color the oil and the way the color separated within it.

Unfortunately neither of us were impressed by the results:

Oh well! We still learned about viscosity so not all was lost.

A Lego kind of week

We did another in school Lego build this week to accompany our history study. Above is Mesopotamia as designed by Caitlyn. This week we focused on how Sargon took over the area, and then ruled it with a military dictatorship as the Akkadian empire.


Caitlyn took her Mesopotamia and Egyptian Pyramid builds to the FHE Lego Exhibition. She loved the stop motion videos we saw, and now she wants to make her own.


She also went to her first Lego Club meeting, and had a great time getting to know some of the other kids and free building. She also worked on public speaking to the group as a whole, and in a small group setting. She built a “house car”.

Also for history this week, Caitlyn made her own Summerian Seal. She went through the whole process of making a mold (which broke),


casting a seal, 

and stamping the seal once complete.

She wants to try again with a bigger mold and a simpler design.


At Caitlyn’s request we did a mini science experiment to test whether objects would sink or float. She truly enjoyed herself and it was a great add on!

Caitlyn completed her second math test and we continue taking history tests at the end of each week. She is doing much better with test anxiety and made As on both tests this week.

In one of my favorite moments this week I came home from work to find Caitlyn and Mimi had created a skit and decorated Caitlyn’s room. She then performed for me and it was adorable! She also read Dick and Jane to Mimi this week, fabulous!!!