Hazy Days

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Hazy Days

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Edible Cells and more

While we’ve been in quarantine, thanks to the Whooping Cough Lurgies, we’ve had some really slooow school days.  I was too ill for most of last week to do anything with the kids, but they got on with their independent work without much prompting from me. 

But this week, we got back into the swing of things and got to some of the fun things in our first chapter of our new Apologia Exploring Creation science curriculum.

We’re doing Anatomy and Physiology for this term and the rest of next year.  Chapter 1 is all about the building blocks: cells.  I was a little intimidated by the content – the kids would be exposed to terms like ‘mitochondria’, ‘lysosomes’ and ‘endoplasmic reticulum’.  Terms that I barely remember from high school biology.  But, true to the reviews, Apologia explains these things in a wonderful narrative way.  And with a few fun reinforcing exercises, even my brain remembers them off pat now!

We played a kind of Simon Says game when we first learnt the terms.  Each term would be assigned an action.  I’d sit on the couch like a lazy lump, shouting names of cell organelles while the kids jumped around energetically, trying to remember the right action for the right organelle.  Then, tables were turned and they had fun shouting commands at mom while mom bounced around.  Thank goodness we do this in the privacy of our home, and my kids aren’t as trigger happy as I am!

This week, in consolation we made a huge poster.  Katie heard that we were going to draw it (again) and sighed, “bo-oring”.  Then she heard that we were making a HUGE poster together and she was suddenly all inspired.  Trying to keep tabs on what inspires her is quite a task!  Mostly it’s just hit and miss.  I’m glad this one was a hit!


Apologia explains each organelle’s job by comparing them to jobs of people within a city.  The cell membrane is the city walls, the mitochondria are the power houses, while the lysosomes are the policemen and the endoplasmic reticulum are both the mailmen and the garbage men.  The kids stuck with this theme as they labelled their cell.  Pencilled in next to each red circle are their notes as to the actual functions of each cell.


This week we are going to concentrate on finishing the tasks from our Junior and regular Notebooking Journals, so I don’t have pics of those yet.  But, we did do the fun Edible Cell activity at the end of our cell chapter.

We made a “cell” out of jelly and various sweets, talking about what they were and their role all while doing it. 


First we made the jelly (jello, for you Americans!) These photos are with my phone, so they’re blurry and not great, but you get the idea.




Then we filled our cytoplasm (the jelly like substance inside the cell) with the organelles.  Here are the organelles – mints for lysosomes, lollipop sucker head for the nucleus, cherry gum sweets for the E.R. and silver balls for the ribosomes, Sugus sweets for the centrioles and liquorice allsorts for the golgi bodies. 


Hard at work making their cells:




Sam’s was the only one we managed to decant from the bowl.  Here you have it – Sam’s Edible Cell!


And speaking of Sam – here he is with his second I Can Read It! book certificate from Sonlight


He is loving reading. Sue lent him the first in the All About Reading series of books. It’s part of an intensive and excellent reading programme that she uses with Caleb. It’s lovely. But we’ve already got a programme we’re happy with, so I’m not changing. But the book Sue lent him has been a wonderful confidence booster for Sam. It is filled with short CVC word sentences that he can easily read. But, it’s this thick book, just like his sisters read, and he can read it! He has been walking around the house with it tucked under his arm, reading it at every opportunity. He has even taken it in the car with him and insisted on reading it to me when he woke up this morning. Long may this love affair with reading continue!

I did read it!

My kids’ road to reading has included Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, a bit of this and that, like Progressive Phonics and Starfall, and then finally Sonlight‘s language arts programmes.  Sam’s road has been long and haphazard – pretty much as and when he or I (or we both) feel like it.  So, it’s taken us a good two and a bit terms to complete his first Sonlight reader: I Can Read It Book 1.  It consists of 8 stories spread out over 40 readings.  Ideally, it should take a term to read. Ah-hem, unless you’re using our more relaxed approach, that is.  But, finish it he did, even though we took the more scenic route.

At the back of each book in the series is a little certificate exclaiming, “I did read it!” with a place for the child’s name.  Since four kiddies have to make their way through this series, with each child so far I’ve photocopied the certificate onto blue cardboard (stock card) and added a sparkly sticker as an extra child-pleaser. Smile

And, boy, has that certificate kept Sam motivated!  When he finally finished the book, he insisted on calling Dad on the phone with his pre-“thought out” message.  When eventually he managed to get Craig on the phone, he’d practised his message so often that it all tumbled out so fast, his dad didn’t catch it, “Dad, whenyoucomehomeatsupperyouneedtogivememycertificate becauseI’vefinishedmyreaderokay?Iloveyou,byebye!”

Despite the great anticipation, despite sneaking a peek at mom printing the thing, despite having to wait an extra day thanks to a printer-fail, Sam was so super excited when he received his certificate signed by Dad at dinner, he grinned like a Cheshire cat for hours afterwards!  Too precious for words.


Great going, Sambo! Now for Book 2. Hopefully, it won’t take us another 7 months! Smile

Teach Your Child to Read


in 100 Easy Lessons. This is our method of choice to introduce reading to our kids. Well, actually, my method of choice these days is not to worry about reading until Grade 1, but Sam has begged and begged to learn, to the point of trying to teach himself.

So we began dipping into 100 Easy Lessons a few months ago. Sam is on lesson 30 and loving it. But, just like the girls, he finds the repeated reading of the little stories a bit tedious. Today we adapted it a bit and it was loads of fun. I pretended to read some of the words incorrectly and he had to spot my mistakes.

Gales of laughter ensued! “No, mommy! That doesn’t say ‘car!’ that says ‘cat’!” Just one little tweak and his enthusiasm for reading the passage over and over was renewed. What a fun morning we had!


(posted under: fun home school ideas /adaptions: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons)

Continuing the tradition

A tradition we started with Kiera two years ago, we continued today with Katie.

We decided to present our kids with their first ‘adult’ bible when they were old enough to read it themselves. Well, old enough to be able to read much of it themselves and persevere with figuring out the harder words too.  Since Easter time holds so much significance in terms of the reason we hold the bible so dear, it made sense to make this a special Easter tradition for the new reader in our home. And so a tradition was born two years ago when we presented Kiera with her first Bible.

Now that Katie is almost 7 and is reading well (she is into the fourth week of Sonlight’s Language Arts 2 programme) it was time for her first Bible to be presented at Easter.  Um, except, this Easter we got it all topsy turvy.  We couldn’t find a bible in Hermanus where we were staying and, along with other delay factors, only managed to present Katie her bible today!

But, never the less, it was still a moment of great excitement to Katie and pride of mom and dad. I hope she will remember that moment fondly forever. But, more importantly, I hope she will remember her daddy’s words in his inscription to her, “the bible is God’s power for salvation and we pray that this is true for you, and through you, to many others.



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Hazy Days