July 28, 2014

Dissecting--Life Science at Its Most Hands-on

I had this really awesome post planned, all about dissecting a cow eye and the books we read and the youtube videos we watched.  It was going to be thorough and helpful and worth reading.

Sadly, due to our move we have to use a new library system and it feels very much like I can only have the books for approximately three minutes before the books are overdue.  Also sad is that you can't renew the books once they are overdue, like our last library system, and the renewals are for one week from the day you renew.  If you renew early then you only get the books an extra day or so.  If you try to wait and renew on the day they are due, you forget and can't renew them and have to make frantic trips to the library so the fees don't get too outrageous because if you owe more than $4.00 you can no longer check out books.  What???!!!  My frustration is high.

The point is that I had to return the books to the library in haste and I failed to write down what we read.  None of the books were so good that I'm willing to search through online catalogs trying to figure out what they were.  We read them, the children liked them.  

After showing you the books we read, I was going to post the youtube cow eye dissection tutorial that we watched.  I just spent 15 minutes on youtube and couldn't find it.  There are lots of options.  Youtube knows how to do everything.  

To review, we read three books about eyes and how they work.  Then we watched a youtube tutorial on how to do a cow eye dissection.  Then we dissected a cow eye.  Sweet.

 The kids take the gloves very, very seriously.
 Eli has to have a buddy because I draw the line at giving a five year old a scalpel.
 First they cut away the excess fat.
 Eyes were cool.  Brains . . . a little boring.

 Miriam keeps pretending that she can't possibly dissect because it makes her "feel sick."  I say, "Fine" and the rest of the kids and I proceed.  Then Miriam wanders by about 50 times before giving in to her insatiable curiosity and joins us.
 Emeline loves dissecting.  She is very serious and methodical.

So far we've dissected a sheep heart, a cow brain, a cow eye, a crayfish, and a grasshopper.  After we started dissections all my children announced they were going to be scientists (except Miriam who stated, quite rightly, that private investigators have to use a lot of science so she will still be an actress and private investigator).

We watched a Bill Nye episode on hearts and another on brains on youtube.  The kids always think that is awesome.  TV for school!

Here is one of the youtube videos we watched about dissecting a heart.  I am sharing it because it was by far the most memorable dissection video of the several we watched.

We ordered all of our dissecting apparatus online at Home Science Tools.

We are wrapping up life science this next week and finishing up medieval history in August.  Then we'll be ready to jump into chemistry and the Renaissance/Early Modern time period in September when we officially start the next school year.  Any ideas are welcome.  I ordered Ellen McHenry's The Elements book as our chemistry spine since it was recommended on so many blogs.  I don't know enough about chemistry to write my own curriculum.  We'll see whether or not I can actually follow a curriculum--it has been so long since I tried!

Come September, I'll have four children officially enrolled in Frolic and Farce Homeschool.  Where is the time going?

Speaking of time flying by--I have my 20 week ultrasound on August 7th.  I'm halfway to having my 7th (and last) baby.  Remember when Miriam started kindergarten and I started this blog?? I don't remember it either!  Maybe the formaldehyde is affecting my brain.  :)

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