Thursday, October 21, 2010

Moo Cows, Owl Puke, and Report Cards

You know its fall around here...the "Harvest Spice" candle is constantly burning,  I'm cooking like we live in Alaska at about 40 below (aka...lots of soups, gumbos, and stews with cornbread).

These guys are always trying to figure out just what in the world we are doing over here.

And its science project time.  I whipped up a little detour from our Apologia Exploring Flying Creatures of the Fifth day, and we have been studying birds of prey for the last 2 weeks.  They are extremely interesting critters, and there is plenty to learn about them.  My lesson plans are here if you are interested in going on a little detour yourself, in honor of Halloween {creepy birds} and all.

We enjoyed learning about hawks, eagles, and those nasty vultures, but NOTHING even came close to our study of owls that has lasted waaaaayyy longer than it should have.  I just can't help it.  I am officially obsessed with owls.  They are amazing.  Again I say...take the detour people!

As the creme de la creme we dissected owl puke today!  Technically and officially they are called owl "pellets" but in reality they are the dried up regurgitation of all bones, fur, and animal parts that the old wise one couldn't digest.  They can be dissected to see what owls eat and see how amazingly perfect God created them for His purposes on this earth.  Evolution???  Seriously???


The owl puke dissection took place this afternoon after a weird week of nothing really going as planned with Kami's birthday, a little birthday trip to the mall, and a weird little bug that has had us all feeling yuck.  But we were not letting this go by.  And I'm so glad we didn't just clip it {believe me it wouldn't have been hard for me to do with how this week has gone}. 

First you measure the pellet {aka dried puke ball} to give you an idea of what the owl may have eaten.

Then you break the pellet apart to see what you are working with and let the fun begin...

And waaa laaaa Mr. Owl had himself a vole and a few mice for supper last night!!

A+ for everyone!!!

Speaking of A+'s we are getting our 1st 9 weeks report cards tomorrow.  I know that this is a touchy subject, and I am not even sure how I feel about report cards, grades, tests, etc.  I love the hands on learning, the living books, and all of that, but at the same time I love a red pen!  I'm so torn!!  And with super cute report cards like these that come with the Well Planned Day planner {side that planner} how can you resist!  

And finally, my biggest accomplishment this first 9 weeks of homeschooling has definitely been the mastery of the workbox system, which I have completely butchered to the point of I don't even think it can really be called a workbox system anymore.  But, it works for us beautifully!!  Here is what we are doing...

I used Edie's idea at Life In Grace to make this daily schedule that I give the girls every morning.  I actually print them out for the week and tack them to their bulletin boards on Sunday evening, so that they are there and I don't have to worry with it throughout the week.  The only downfall to doing it this way is I do find myself changing things up as the week rolls along and I have to reprint.  I still like having it all up there though. 

Everything they are doing is in a corresponding folder in their "to do" tray, so they just take out the next folder and get to work.  I also stuff these for the week on Sunday and let them know what to do on their schedule.  If its something that we will do together, they will see that on the schedule and meet me on the couch.  If its something that they will do with me, they will get their folder out and wait for me.  It works so great and really makes things take so much less time.  Its amazing I tell ya!! 

I will have our 9 weeks wrap up here in the next few days.  I love our world geography tour and we have had a blast in science.  The 3 R's aren't so shabby either.  Its been a great first nine weeks!!!

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