Monday, August 2, 2010

where have i BEEN?

or did anyone notice?......

yeah, so, 6 months. 6 months we had no personal internet service at home. in that time, my husband and i built and concreted and steel rodded (and any other structurally sound additive you can think of) our already awesome relationship. it was so good for us on so many levels. but that would be a different blog, for a different time (i once promised no "emotional fluff" on this blog, and i think that personal diatribes on family philosophy and dynamics count as "fluff" --- not that there is anything wrong with that, in any sort, i just wanted to only do a nifty tricks and recipe blog and not too much personal life....junk).

let's just jump right back in, shall we?

two easy homeschool projects:

1. when studying julius or augustus caesar (or anything in ancient rome) , my curriculum suggested sewing a toga with a purple trim. to save time and energy, i went out to the back yard and picked some vines and made "laurel crowns". two minutes and some clear packing tape later:

*lesson learned long ago..."you don't always have to follow the project in the book, especially when kids really don't care either way, and as long as they can make or wear or play with SOMETHING!"

2. when studying the human body, try making these easy brain models. my curriculum suggested cutting a tennis ball in half and hot gluing items onto it (have you ever TRIED cutting a tennis ball....?). i had some styrofoam balls, which are much easier to cut, some quick drying gray paint, some yarn of two different colors, and some paper clips. voile! model brains.

step 1. cut styrofoam ball in half
step 2. coat top off each half with gray paint (or just one half if using for one child)
step 3. while the paint dries, cut 3, 12 inch strands of yarn to braid into one piece for each child (this will become the brain stem). i chose an off white yarn.
step 4. tie strands together at the top with a knot and braid the strands together. knot the end.
step 5. once paint is dry, pull one knotted end of the "brain stem" through one of the loops in the paper clip and shove the paperclip into the bottom of your brain along one edge, far enough to where the loop will hold the "stem" in place against the styrofoam. you might want to put it in at an angle so that the top part of the paper clip doesn't poke through the top of the ball.
step 6. cut one extreamly long piece of pale greenish yarn (about 1 yard long) for each brain.
step 7. on a paper plate, pour white school glue out in a large puddle and have the child soak the long strand of yarn from top to bottom.
step 8. have the child swirl the yarn all around the top of the ball. these will be the wrinkles on the brain. press the yarn firmly and let dry.

this project holds up really well over time, for when you need to review the different parts of the brain several weeks or months later.

posts to look forward to:
my curriculum picks for 2010-2011
yummy recipes
and a week long view of our daily homeschool routine

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