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Day 23 – Taxonomy: A Song, a Dance, and a Video

Today we had the option to do another field trip related to the Civil War. We were also invited to go apple picking. We did neither!

Last year we were all very over-scheduled. Most of this is because we were trying to fit in a lot of extra curricular activities after school. Now that we have the whole day to do these things and have eliminated homework, we are less stressed. However, I have heard that it is very easy as homeschoolers to fill up the day with field trips, meetings, co-ops, etc., all in the name of “learning” and socialization. I have to agree.

I have found ourselves taxed at the end of some days and think to myself, “Isn’t the whole point of homeschooling to avoid all of this?” At least, it is for us. A dear friend who reads the blog mentioned to me once, “It just seems like you have made a marked effort to slow down your life.” YES. I don’t think I necessarily knew this when the year started, but yes. We have intentionally slowed down, and we love it.

The last couple of weeks have been really full of outings, and I just felt like homeschooling, you know, at home for once. So today we stayed in and made chicken broth, which doubled as cooking and chemistry class. We talked about how water evaporates, which led to a discussion of the H2O compound.

As an introduction to H2O, I showed the girls the Periodic Table. We “made” H2O out of math blocks–blue for hydrogen and green for oxygen. We talked about the difference between single elements and compounds and briefly discussed how the number of protons determines which element is which. It was nothing too heady, just a simple discussion and the girls were fascinated!

H2O Model

H2O Model

Amelie is still so determined to learn multiplication, so she has been practicing that today. I’m hoping that if Sera starts her own knitting business she will be motivated to learn a little more math.

In the words of Vanessa Williams, I’ve gone and saved the best for last: This morning Sera wanted to try to classify her mussel shells according to a book she had checked out from the library the day before. How do you begin to teach kids about taxonomy? You teach them this song, of course.

The general public may not appreciate this, but if you are among the lucky ones who had Mr. Rich Bartel as a high school biology teacher, you will love it. The vision of a lone-biology teacher dancing the conga line around the class room sticks with you for a lifetime.

Subjects covered today: Cooking, Chemistry, Taxonomy, Math, Conga

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