Monthly Archives: April 2014



In between creating lapbooks for Blood & Guts, making slideshows for Middle Ages history, getting art projects done for the end-of-the-year Art Show, and running a face and body painting business, many, little big, and wonderful things happen.  In this case, it’s prom.

Four of my girls are graduating, and I’ve known them/taught them since they were in the 5th grade, when my family joined the co-op.  It’s a bittersweet year for me, to say the least, and my daughter’s one of them.  I have six more years with my son, and then that’s it.

Prom is just one of the numerous milestones for them this year…

Here's the group that went together.  They looked like movie stars!

Here’s the group that went together. They looked like movie stars!


These are my four girls that are graduating this year.  They've grown into such lovely young women.  That's mine on the left.

These are my four girls that are graduating this year. They’ve grown into such lovely young women. That’s mine on the left.


Annika decided to go the comfy-route and wear converses.  I'm sure her feet thanked her the next day!

Annika decided to go the comfy-route and wear converses. I’m sure her feet thanked her the next day!



Blood and Guts – Lapbook, Lesson 10


Here we go with Lesson 10!  Lesson 10 is about the brain’s different parts.  Hey, what does a vegan zombie eat?  GrrRRraaAaAaaiIIiiiiNNnnnnssss!  Ha!


This coincides with Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology.  You should really check out the other sections we’ve done.  It’s ridiculous…  And we love it.


For this lesson, I made up the following lapbook foldables and cards:

L10 Activity – Neuron Connection (connect all the dots with different colors to show how complex our neuron connections are)

L10 Experiment – Brain Reaction Experiment

L10 Experiment – Hand Eye Coordination

L10 Experiment – Short-Term Memory (let the kids see a bunch of items on a table, and then throw a cover over it to see how much they can remember)

L10 Lapbook – Brain Diagram (color and label the different sections of the brain)

L10 Lapbook – Brain Functions (cut out and glue the different brain functions to the diagram above)

L10 Lapbook – Brain Hemispheres (color the hemispheres differently, and then write what each side controls)

L10 Lapbook – Cerebrospinal Fluid

L10 Lapbook – Gray Matter

L10 Lapbook – Hemispheres

L10 Lapbook – Nerve Map (draw the nerve map from the book)

L10 Lapbook – Reflex Arc Diagram  (draw the reflex arc diagram from the book, and use the finger from Scholastic:  Easy Make & Learn Projects:  The Human Body)

L10 Lapbook – Reflex Arc

L10 Lapbook – Spinal Cord

L10 Lapbook – The Brainstem Controls

L10 Lapbook – Tracts

L10 Lapbook – White Matter


And the pictures:




Lapbook:  Lesson 1 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 2 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 3 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 4 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 4B can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 6 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lessons 7 and 8 can be found here.

Lapbook:  Lesson 9 can be found here.



Art – Space Odyssey


My high school kids got a chance to do something they’ve been wanting to do for a very long time:  spray paint art!  If you’re wondering why, let me break it down for you.  High schoolers + spray paint = love.


We were able to get all of them done in one class period, which was a bonus – for us, and for the school, because the fumes were horrendous, and although we did it outside, the smell made its way into the school.  We had to leave our windows open for the day, which wasn’t a bad thing, since the weather’s back to being nice again.


The color choices I had for the kids were yellow, orange, red, turquoise, purple, pink, dark blue, and lime green.  There was also two cans of black, a white, and a clear.  You have to get glossy, or it won’t work.  You’ll also need newspaper (to cover the work space and the drying area), cans of different sizes, blue painter’s tape (to hold down the paper while you spray), old magazines, posterboard that has a glossy side, and nitrile gloves.


First, they had to decide where their three planets were going to be.  Then, they had to pick out which three colors they wanted each planet to be, and lay down the lightest color first, followed by the medium color, and then the darkest.  Next, some of them took a page from a magazine and slightly crumpled it and pressed or twisted it into the wet paint, creating beautiful swirls or marks of color.  Once that was done, they shaded the planet by making a “C” on the lower side of where their planet would go.

When they finished that part, they laid out their cans to use as masks, and then sprayed their “mountainous range,” using two or three colors (lightest down first!), and sprayed the entire paper black.  Then, they pooled some white on their fingers and flicked it on the paper to make stars and removed the cans.  Finally, while the paint was still wet, they used crumpled magazine pages to remove the black on the mountains.  If the paint started to dry out, they used clear to reactivate it.  That’s it!


And here are all the finished pieces:

Art – Giant Candy Bags


Yes, the projects seem to keep getting bigger.  I can’t help it!

This one took quite a while because: (A) This is my Wednesday class, and we only meet for 45 minutes, once a week.  Just try to get things done in that amount of time! (B) We had a LOT of snow days this year! and (C) They took mad pride in their work and wanted to do a good job.  No complaints from me…

We didn’t have large, white bulletin board paper (remember – we homeschool, so whatever supplies we need, we have to buy out of pocket), and since I try to keep the costs to a minimum, I opted for yellow, of which we had plenty.  Each student got a nice, big sheet.

To give them some options, I went out and purchased candy boxes from Walmart.  They were cheaper than the large bags, and the images could be seen very clearly on them.  They each got to pick they candy box they wanted, and then they sketched the design on the paper.  My Wednesday class is from 5th-high school, so the ages and abilities range drastically.

sketching out the design

sketching out the design


Once they were finished drawing it, they added all the white parts in acrylic.

Schooled in Love:  Giant Candy Bags

Now it was time for the color!  This was also done in acrylic.

Once they were done painting it, the students cut another piece of bulletin board paper, glued them together along the seams of three sides to make a pocket, stuffed it with newspaper, and then finished gluing the final side together.  The point I emphasized to them was to not make tight newspaper balls, but rather big, fluffy ones.  We weren’t adding weight – just volume.

Here they are!


History – SOTW, Vol. 2: Chapter 36

Can't we all just get along?

Can’t we all just get along?

In Chapter 36, we’re introduced to Reformation and Counter Reformation.  This really hit home with us at our co-op, since we’re a Catholic-based group, and we LOVE our Protestants.  They could have used a group like ours back then to show them how to get along.


On to the slide show:

CH36 Reformation and Counter Reformation


History – SOTW, Vol. 2: Chapter 35

Recognize these four names?

Recognize these four names?

In Chapter 35, we’re introduced to the Renaissance era.  I threw in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle reference, because it was quite fitting.  This chapter also talks about the Gutenberg Printing Press.


Here’s the slide show:

CH35 A New Way of Thinking


Blood and Guts – Brain Hats


Every time we do something cool and fun like this in class, I think why didn’t I have this kind of learning when I was growing up?!  And then I come back to reality… and do something cool with the kids!  This time, we made brain hats!

Now, Scholastic:  Easy Make & Learn Projects:  The Human Body has a nice printable brain hat, that’s perfectly fine to use, and if you’ve purchased the book, and you’re intent on using ALL the parts to it, by all means, go ahead and make the hat.

BUT, if you’re like me, and see something even COOLER and FREE, then why not use it?  Ellen J. McHenry made this AWESOME brain hemisphere hat, and it’s what we used in our class.  I hope you get to take a look at all the rest of her wonderful free downloads as well.  Don’t just stop at the brain hat!

We did discover this tip in class, and you might want to follow it when you make yours:  The hat will shrink depending on how far you glue one hemisphere inside the other.  If your student has a larger head, they will want to glue the two halves JUST along the edge.  Any further in, and the hat will shrink significantly.