February 4, 2014

Bean Seed in a CD Case

Last post about our plant unit.  We planted lima bean seeds in clear cd cases so we could watch the roots grow.  No, this was not an original idea of mine.  I found the idea at: http://www.2busybrunettes.com/2012/03/08/its-time-to-spill-the-beans/.  We started out really dedicated to the idea and planted and watered with care.

Then we had some sprouting and root growing action.

See--it was going really well!
And then we got busy with our next unit and I forgot about the beans for a few days (they were pretty hidden behind the blinds where we put them to get adequate sunlight).  Sadly, due to neglect, the plants never got bigger than the picture posted above.  Besides the lack of watering, the cd cases were all knocked off the window ledge periodically resulting in loss of important soil.

What we learned:

1) this works beautifully and you should all try it if you are studying plants;

2) put the cd cases somewhere secure so they won't fall and lose soil;

3) water them regularly (I'm just full of unexpected insights today, aren't I?);

4) even if they die much learning takes place.

February 3, 2014

Let's Go a'Viking!: Unit Overview

My good friend told me that she was super excited to see my Viking unit.  She shouldn't have been.  Since my kids have been obsessed with Vikings and all things Thor (no, they haven't seen any of the movies) for ages, I cut this part of Medieval history pretty short.

Day One:

Day Two:

Day Three (this works out to a short day for us because of Miriam's sewing class):
  • Read The Vikings by Robert Nicholson and Claire Watts

Day Four

Day Five

I laugh at myself for my obsession with having my children play Timeline, but I always had (have) such a weak grasp of the historical timeline that I want my childrne to have a better chance of seeing the big picture so they can fill in the gaps later, rather than only having a lot of specific knowledge and no big picture.  

February 1, 2014


 As part of our plant unit we made terrariums.  My hubby found all the containers/tins at local thrift shops.  We went and gathered oolitic sand ourselves to put in the bottom of the terrariums.  The decorative rocks were all collected by us and polished in our tumbler during our rock unit.  I loved how both units were utilized in the terrarium making.
 Miriam's terrarium for her room.

Cowen's terrarium for his room.

 Some of the smaller tin terrariums we made.  Sadly, these terrariums have experienced some sad deaths.  It makes no sense to me that the terrariums that are downstairs in the kids' rooms with no direct sunlight are thriving while the terrariums that sit on my kitchen table drenched in sunlight for half of the day are not doing as well.

I do not have a green thumb.

The rubbery looking plants are doing better than the non-rubbery looking plants.  We found all our plants in the succulent section of the nursery.  I hoped succulent = indestructible but, sadly, that was not the case.

Overall, though, we loved this project.  When we have a larger home the kids and I want to make one really large terrarium.  There are tons of cute terrarium accessories at the nursery we went to (JJ's Nursery in Layton, UT for those of you who live in my neck of the woods).  There were little toadstools and lanterns, and tables, and fairies, and gnomes, and animals.  There were whole scenes you could create by including things like bridges and gazebos.

The cutest thing ever was the little Christmas terrarium they had.  It had reindeer and Santa and little Christmas lights, and the cutest little birdhouses covered in snow.  Loved it!!  Seasonal terrariums!  That's the kind of decorating I might be able to manage.  :)