A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Our Week Learning About the Human Body

Last week, I alluded to the fact that we were working on studying the human body.  We ended up having a lot of fun with it.

First, we traced everybody onto big brown craft paper.

I used a pencil to trace them, and then we went over the pencil lines with Sharpies, evening things up a bit, and making it easier to see the lines.

As we learned about our various organs and systems, we would color, cut out, and paste them onto our bodies.

I found that I'm much more aware of what can go wrong with the human body because of my involvement in the world of China special needs adoptions.  In fact, several times, I pulled up Facebook and showed my kids a picture of a child I knew with a condition relating to the organ or system that we were learning about.  I was pretty matter of fact about it, stating that "sometimes, something goes wrong, and someone's __________ is a little different."  When we got to bones, I asked the kids, "Do we know anybody whose bones are a little different?"  They all blinked at each other and shook their heads.  I got a laugh out of that, blessed by the fact that their limb differences are such a normal part of life, they don't really think about it much.  In fact, when I was reading aloud, I ammended, "You have 206 bones..." to "Jack has 206 bones."  Hannah asked, "How many do you have?"  (I think she thought maybe there was a difference between boys and girls?)  I told her 206.  Then she asked, "How many do I have?"  I explained that I don't really know, but we did some counting and made some guesses, based on the bits she doesn't have.  It was a good conversation.

The kids also read through the pile of books about our bodies, one each day during quiet time.  They would each share something they learned from their book the next day.

The patterns for the organs come from the book My Body.  We also talked about nutrition, and used some of the resources from Choose My Plate, including a set of food flash cards that we separated into piles by food groups.  We talked about "sometimes foods" and "anytime foods," as well.

I used the My Body book when my big kids were little, so I'm a little nostalgic to be ending my homeschooling days with it, too.

Of course, we did more than just study about the body this week.

Jack and Hannah are DONE with their spelling books!  Hallelujah!  Katie still has a few lessons left in hers, but we're plodding along.

Last weekend, Eli and I were part of a group that planted 13 trees with Sacramento Tree Foundation!

Bubba and I were paired up with a guy and his little girl (who is in the hole we dug, lol) and the 4 of us got 2 trees in.  Then I hauled wheelbarrows full of mulch for a while, and Eli got to help stake and tie the new trees.

I took this picture to send to Annaliese (who is currently in New Zealand) so she can see the girls are still wearing the Australia shirts she got them last year when she was there.

A panda dress for Hannah.  I think I'm going to have enough fabric to squeak one out for Katie, too.

Unfortunately, while I was coverstitching the neckline, one of the needles broke and flew into my eye.  I'm okay, but it didn't feel good.

Remember Multicultural Children's Book Day?  I read a lot of the reviews, and there was one that even had a cool art project to go along with the book.  I put the book on my Amazon wish list, thinking I'd get it "someday."

So I was so excited to walk into the library last week and spot THE BOOK!  After we got it home, I did a search, found the blog post with the art project, and we made it this week.  We used Kwik Stix for the flower stems and fingerprints for the flowers.

Miss Katie did hers later, and she used Kwik Sticks for the flowers instead of fingerprints.

Hey look!  We finished another book!  I love this time of year, it feels so good to be wrapping things up.  We're all done with Charlotte's Web from Memoria Press.  We actually reviewed the Third Grade Literature set (4 books) last year.  The study guides are really challenging!  I would recommend ordering at least one grade level down.

I have an Instant Pot.  And it's a marvelous creation.  But I'm not very adventurous, nor do I like cooking very much, so it mostly gets used for about 3 dishes.  I like to brown some sausage in it and then add beans, which have been soaking overnight, plus a little onion, garlic, and cumin, and set it to "beans" to cook.  Comes out marvelous, especially with some fresh cilantro sprinkled on top.

I taught Josiah how to make it, and he does so about once every 2 weeks because it's one of his favorites.  With so much exposure to dried beans being reconstituted, he was inspired to start a couple bean seedlings in a plastic bag in the back yard (with a damp paper towel).  The sprouting bean above has now been planted in a little pot, and we're looking forward to seeing what happens next.

This was a little bit of a crazy week for us, since we had not one, but two field trips, but we still managed to "do school" on the other days, and even played a game.

Since these guys are done with spelling, I thought a word game would keep that part of the brain active.  We used our letter tiles to play score-less Scrabble.

Another book finished!  I think I picked this one up in the $1 spot at Target.  It was kind of funny, the first few days I had her working in it, she kept saying, "Oh, Colorado like the Colorado in my puzzle."  Um, yes, Katie, all of these states are like the one in your USA puzzle, lol.  So she's had good exposure to the names and shapes of our states this year.

After our 2 field trips, we were home all day Friday, so we were able to finish up our body project.

I was able to teach the girls about their uterus, ovaries, and Fallopian tubes while Jack was off reading one of the Redwall books, his current obsession.  We had a great discussion of menstruation and how many eggs we have and other fascinating related topics.  Brianna came home from school, took one look at the white board, and said, "You taught about periods today."  I'm not sure how much Katie absorbed, but I think Hannah has a fair enough grasp on the basics that she won't freak out when hers starts.  (Hopefully not for a couple years, but I have no way of knowing how old her birth mama was when she started, so better to prepare on the early side.)  She asked intelligent questions.

Yeah, I know.  Jack's way too large for the bones in the book.  If I had been thinking, I could have photocopied them greater than 100% to enlarge them a bit.  Oh well.  I'm sure he still learned things.  

We're about to embark on the last week of school!  Actually, Brianna has only 3 days left, and Eli 4.  I really want to get through the rest of Katie's spelling book, so we'll work on that until it's done, but for the most part we should be done on Friday.

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  1. You are really an outstanding teacher. I know that you are looking for the opportunity to reach out into your community when all of your young ones are in school. I wonder if you've thought about teaching/tutoring disadvantaged kids. Your lessons are just fabulous, and you have such a gift for doing hands on activities.

    (I'm glad your eye is okay--what a scary thing to have happen!!)

    1. Aw, thank you! Actually, when we planted trees last weekend, I was chatting with the lady that runs the little community center there. They really need people to come help out in their after school/homework help program. Unfortunately, I'm looking for things I can do while the kids are IN school, because AFTER school, I want to be with my kids. :/

      I'm hoping to get opportunities to help out at the school, too. God knows my strengths and weaknesses. I'm sure He'll give me something to do.

  2. Ouch! Glad your eye is OK! Looks like a great human body unit.

    1. :) It was a quick and fun "science" to end our year with. As I start to pull things out of the school room for the homeschool book sale in July, I am a little sad at all the things I *didn't* get to do with my younger students, but I'm telling myself I am passing them on to families who will use and enjoy them.

  3. what a fun way to learn about the body! very scary about the needle flying into your eye! glad you're okay

    1. As I clean out all the cool stuff we've accumulate in the school room, I realize I'm really going to miss teaching my kids. At least I got to use the My Body book 3 times over the course of 19 years, lol.