Skip to main content

Finding Joy and Wonder in Biology

October was hard.  Sickness slowed us down, way down.  At times my only goal was to get math done.  Now that we are back on track, we have some catching up to do but not at the expense of joy and wonder.  

We are using Apologia Biology for Grace’s studies.  It covers each of the Kingdoms as a unit beginning with Kingdom Monera, or bacteria.  While she was interested, she was not enthralled.   Imagine my joy when I realized that overnight our yard had sprouted mushrooms!  One of the beauties of home education is that you do not have to go in order.  The way Apologia is structured allows the student to skip modules and connect their reading to real life understanding.  Grace however, is orderly and linear.  She felt strange skipping ahead to module 4 but I assured her it would be worth it.  
She began reading about fungi and we began making our first ever spore print from the mushrooms in our yard.  Spore prints are ridiculously easy.  Remove stem, place mushroom gill side down on a piece of paper and cover with a glass bowl or cup and let sit overnight.  When the mushroom is removed, the spores leave behind a copy of the mushroom, almost like a natural photocopy.




I realized that for each mushroom we should use light and dark paper and I would use a heavier weight paper than copier paper next time.  I used my Krylon spray as a fixative to hold the spores permanently and it dried clear and seems to have worked.  




One other change we made was with the Apologia Biology Notebook.  It is a wonderful resource but it leaves no room for creativity, none.  I told Grace to skip a question and use the space for a drawing of a mushroom diagram using one of my favorite resources, Julia Rothman’s Natural Anatomy and I used a piece a cardstock to block out half a page to free up room to put her mushroom spore print in her journal, adhering it with packing tape.  I love the effort that Apologia requires but it must be coupled with joy and wonder.  Always.


Comments

  1. Keilee does this all the time. Instead of doing cells for the 102nd time she skips to what she loves. I love the way the prints turned out. They are frame worthy!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was flipping though the textbook and I think we are going to go completely out of order and do a chapter she is very interested in, followed by a more technical one, to keep her engaged. Overall, I am very happy with the textbook and although she is a slow reader, she is remembering so much.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Due to high levels of span, comment moderation is turned on for the time being. Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment. I will return it shortly!

Popular posts from this blog

Defending Homeschooling

Yesterday I was called to defend my homeschooling to someone who did not know me well and does not understand the concept of homeschooling well.  Some of the questions that were asked included:


How do I grade?How do I know they are on track?How do I teach what I do not know?How do I have patience?How will they go to college?
These are fairly typical questions and I should have been able to answer them with ease and confidence but I sensed judgment and it shook me a bit.  After all these years, I thought I was beyond being shaken up by questions, especially when asked respectfully.  To be fair, the questioner has a very traditional outlook on education and has two children younger than mine, who already know which Ivy League schools they wish to attend.

So how did I respond?


































Grades - we don't grade.  I have gone back and forth over 
the years about grading but I wrote a post a few days ago that sums up my thinking on grades.  It took Grace a year and a half to make it thought algebra an…

Art Journaling: Quotes

If you saw our group’s art journal pages on display, I wonder if you would be able to guess how old the artists are.






Their work is mature beyond their years.  





I wonder why this is...Is it talent?  It is interest?  Is it passion?  
I don’t know.  What I do know is that magic happens when they are together...  


...and that I love every single minute of it.  


Shelling in Coastal Connecticut, Rhode Island

It is a wise father that knows his own child. - William Shakespeare


Our family has always embraced each other’s interests.  We almost take them on as our own.  I have attended two weather conferences with Grace.  I have run a baking camp for Lilah.  It is truly wonderful when we discover an interest that we all share. For us, this interest is shelling.  
You can’t shell as home.  After a long and at times difficult week, Greg and I decided to skip our normal Saturday routine of food shopping, running errands and having a nice family dinner at home, in favor of exploring beaches in Connecticut and Rhode Island.  We threw food into a cooler, grabbed water bottles, our microscope, shelling bags (mesh laundry bags), and headed north.
Our first stop was Rocky Neck State Park.  We have mixed feelings about this beach.  We love the soft white sand and the glacier formations to climb on and the contrast of colors created by the water, the sand and the rock, but we disliked the Amtrack trains that…