Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cyan’s last day on the Woods Unit Study


For the last day of Cyan’s wood study I bought her an owl pellet to dissect!  She spent about an hour and a half pulling it apart and analyzing the bones that were inside.

The sheet that came with the owl pellet kit had a question and answer part that she got to fill out.  She figured out that this particular owl only ate about one prey per day.  She also discovered that it’s prey that it ate that day was a rodent/mouse.  She found most of the larger bones and a few of the vertebrae and was able to put the skeleton together with the help of the diagram pages to see how big the rodent was.


This whole study has been amazing!  If you haven’t looked into Winter’s Promise before, I highly suggest it.  It is so well thought out and usually a lot of fun involved in the curriculum.  This science curriculum has been wonderful so far!


Some of the other resources that she used for this study:

One Small Square - Woods

Winters Promise - Animal Habitats Science Curriculum


Erika said...

Hey, Val! I was just looking thru some of your older posts to get some ideas. I am beginning to homeschool my girls (2nd and 4th grades) and I am still trying to figure out where to start. I might do unit studies because, from teaching preschool, I am most familiar with it. Did you purchase just the ebook for the Animal curriculum, or the package? I am constantly picking the brains of other homeschool families I know. I like the idea of making my own curriculum but it is a daunting task. Especially with two different levels. Thanks in advance. I hope all is well with you. :-)

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Hi Erika! Teaching two levels is a daunting task for sure, but once you get the hang of it, you will find it a lot of fun!

First off, don't try to teach two different levels in everything. Many things can be taught together... most sciences, social studies, art and even writing can be taught together. The only subjects that really need to be taught separately are math and reading. That is where the majority of the subject matter is going to vary year to year in the younger ele grades.

Second, yes, I did purchase the whole Winter's Promise Science unit study. It goes through many different biomes and I absolutely loved doing it with her! With my kids being much farther apart, I didn't do any subjects together except science. There are just too many things that need to be adjusted to have a 4 year old tag along with 5th grade stuff! ;) But with your grades I could see you using this curriculum for both of them. Here is the link to the package I bought:

Although since you are just getting started, I would go with this one: (It uses a lot of the same stuff and is what I am getting for my K kiddo this year):

I think you will love teaching the core subjects together! You will be able to have the kids work with each other to find answers to their worksheets and be able to compare coloring pages, etc.

One last thing: The curriculum you buy is ONLY a backbone to what you can do. Please, take special note of what your kids are into and go on little 'rabbit trails' with them into their interests. Some of the best learning experiences come from my children's own interest and letting them (drag) lead me along!

Most of all, don't stress! If you find yourself having a particularly hard time, take a week off and go to the zoo. Start up again next week. Don't stress about where they are, just don't stress! Children's natural ability and desire to learn is what created the most amazing people in history... not rigorous schooling. {{{hugs}}} Enjoy the ride!

Erika said...

Thanks so much! I was given Real Science 4 Kids books to share with both girls and I plan on using those along with the Handbook of Nature Study (Comstock). I am looking into WinterPromise as a good nature background. The books that come along with the package are beautiful!

I also have the Ancients level 1 of History Odyssey. Are you familiar with that? It uses SOTW. I figure I can just go along with that as it suits our needs and leave out the stuff that they are not interested in as far as the crafts. Maybe I can replace activities with trips or something like that. Besides, they like doing their own pictures and not really into the cut out and color type of stuff. I just ask them what they want to learn about. I just have to figure out how to incorporate everything in.

They both love to read (which is why History Odd., being literature based, might work). I am going to try phonics with my 2nd gr. and grammar with my 4th I think. THey will be on different reading levels for some things but that is fine.

At this point the only thing I am really unsure of is the math portion. I am not sure what to go with. I hear good things about Singapore and Math U See (not sure I want to go with manipulatives or not).

Lately, I have just been shopping around for some good wall maps and a decent pencil sharpener as ours broke in half last year lol! I appreciate and respect your advice. I've been reading your blog for a long time now and value your opinion greatly. I have a few Homeschool friends in my area that have been very generous with their time and books.
It is so nice to have such a good support system. If I had "known" all of you years ago, I might never have put my kids in ps to begin with. I am really enjoying the journey with my children so far. Thanks again! I am definitely trying not to stress and enjoy instead. I hope all is well with you and your family. You don't realize how fast kids grow until there in another baby in the house! :-)

Val in the Rose Garden said...

So true!

As far as math goes, we loved starting with Math U See and then in 4th grade we switched to Teaching Textbooks and we have used that through Algebra and will continue to do so through highschool. It has a self correcting system for the younger grades which is wonderful! Math U See is a great system as well. We just loved them! :)

Feel free to email me anytime: BlueRoseMama @