Hands-On Science Units for Middle School Kids and more...

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Hands-On Science Units for Middle School Kids

Finding hands-on science unit studies as your kids approach the older grades is not always easy to find.  So when I come across something I have been eye balling and wanting to try out, I have to let you know about it.

Hands On Science Units for Middle School Kids thumb Hands On Science Units for Middle School Kids

(I received  Life Logic Ecology Explorations in exchange for my honest opinion.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my kids.  And for sure I will tell you what is on my mind. Click here if you want a full disclosure.)

Life Logic Ecology Explorations by Eva Varga is one of those units I have been looking over to do with Tiny when we want to make a change to our schedule.  Because I feel like we haven’t really covered enough about ecology, I will be using this during the summer.  Hopefully, before we move too.

Written by a science educator and homeschool mom, Eva Varga understands that we want curriculum that is laid out and that can be used with multiple children.

Take a look at this snippet from the table of contents.  The outline gives you a heads up about what will be covered each week in case you do want to squeeze in extra teaching moments.

Life Logic TOC thumb Hands On Science Units for Middle School Kids

One of the things I like the most about Life Logic Ecology Explorations though besides the 20+ activities planned throughout the 10 week unit is that it has background information for each lesson.

Because I have been packing and decluttering just about every day, I want something that as we get closer to moving that requires little effort no preparation on my part.  Non-fiction book recommendations are given in the outline and then of course I love using living books when I can, but the truth of it is right now I have one great big huge mess and trying to locate books from now on is not going to be easy.  I have to confess a bit though because even if I did have time to read background information and find books, I still like curriculum that makes my job easier as the teacher.

Too, some homeschoolers shy away from unit studies even though they want to try one or two because they are not sure how to assign the subject areas.  So between listing subject areas and objectives for the day in Life Logic Ecology Explorations there are measured steps in place which I happen to like because they satisfy the teacher mom in us.

Life Logic 1 thumb Hands On Science Units for Middle School Kids

Too, with the unit being geared toward 4th-6th grade, I don’t have to worry too much about it being over Tiny’s head.

I am eager to try this unit because it fits my version of what I think science should be about and that is doing and not always having to read about it.

This is not the only unit Eva Varga has, look at a few of the other ones she has too.

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estuary cover Hands On Science Units for Middle School Kids entomology preview Hands On Science Units for Middle School Kids

Between a masters material list, notebooking pages that are needed and ideas for long term projects, the 103 page ebook download has plenty for me to choose from when we start.

Too though I homeschool for faith based reasons, I never shy away from secular curriculum like Life Logic Ecology Explorations because it always give me an opportunity to add my own content to it.

Whether you are new or seasoned to unit studies, I think you will love this hands-on science curriculum written by a homeschool mom for homeschool families.

Product Facts a Glance thumb Hands On Science Units for Middle School Kids

Product Name: Life Logic Ecology Explorations

Website: Eva Varga

Price: $19.90

Type of product: ebook download

Ages: Middle School or about 4th – 6th grade.

Hugs and love ya,

2012Tinasignature Hands On Science Units for Middle School Kids

          

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Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #8. 04/23/2014

Welcome! Finishing Strong  Homeschool Link Up Party

Thank you for joining us this week at Finishing Strong – the link-up that focuses on middle & high school students.

 

Finishing Strong Link Up Tinas Dynamic Homeschool Plus thumb Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #8. 04/23/2014

 

Our favorite posts from last week:

Heidi from Starts at Eight enjoyed reading Poetry Happens from unSocialized.

poetry happens 300x211 Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #8. 04/23/2014

The title definitely captured her attention. She said, “I don’t love poetry studies, because I am a black and white, tell it like is person, and all the reading between the lines of poetry tires me.”

She liked how poetry just happened at the dinner table for this family and they each seemed to know some poetry all on their own. You can also visit Magnetic Poetry, where magnetic tiles with words on them are given to you and you arrange them to make a poem!

Her other favorite post was Do More Than Just Enough from Livin’ in a Glass House.

Do more than just enough 300x179 Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #8. 04/23/2014

Heidi shared, “I really appreciate Lynda’s thoughts on not just scraping by.” Lynda says about her son, “It makes perfect sense in his young mind to use the technology provided to take short cuts.” But then she reminds us all to do more than that. Do more than just the bare minimum, get your hands dirty and participate in life.

“This is a great reminder to remember to be grounded and be where you are, striving to live each day to its fullest,” said Heidi.

Megan from Education Possible loved the Homeschool Middle School Acrostic Poem from 7 Sisters Homeschool.

middle school acrostic Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #8. 04/23/2014

She said, “It was perfect for Poetry Month. I love working with acrostics with my kids. Plus it just made me laugh!”

She also enjoyed all of the FREE Online Curriculum Options for High School from Homeschool Gameschool.

freeonline 300x260 Finishing Strong – Homeschool Link Up Party {Homeschooling Middle & High School Years} #8. 04/23/2014

“I love that we have so many options available for our teens. It’s easier than ever to help them be successful. The fact that these are all free is a huge bonus!” Megan said.

 

 

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Easy Details to Remember & Even Easier Guidelines.

      • The link up party goes live at 5:00 a.m. CST each Wednesday and stays open until the following Tuesday at 11:55 p.m.
      • Each week we will pick our favorite links as features and share them.
      • You can link up to 3 posts. Please do not link up advertising posts, or other link ups, or parties. I will remove them. Homeschool related reviews are permitted and of course all topics related to homeschooling middle to high school students.
      • Grab a button to add to your post after you link up and if you were featured, grab an “I was featured” button.
      • By linking up with us, you agree for us to share your images and give you credit of course.
      • That’s it! Glad to have you here and let’s party!
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How To Make An Easy Ink pot & Quill Pen with Berry Ink

If I do start a series called hodgepodge homeschooling it would include how to make an easy ink pot and quill pen with berry ink that Tiny did today. This is such an easy and fun hands-on activity that can go along with any topic on westward expansion, Lewis & Clark or just the life of a pioneer.

Howtomakeaneasyinkpotandquillpenandberryink thumb How To Make An Easy Ink pot & Quill Pen with Berry Ink

While I worked in the kitchen pricing my items for the moving sale this weekend, Tiny could do most of this on his own.  Plus, this easy activity went along with the Free Westward Ho History cards he is memorizing right now.

How to Make an Easy Ink pot

The first thing we did was to make an easy ink pot so that the paint could dry while we made the berry ink.

Here is the list of what we ended up needing:

  • 1 empty plastic bottle.
  • sharp craft knife.
  • 1 small piece of cardboard.
  • masking tape.
  • black acrylic paint/paintbrush.
  • one sharpie.
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3inkpot thumb How To Make An Easy Ink pot & Quill Pen with Berry Ink 4inkpot thumb How To Make An Easy Ink pot & Quill Pen with Berry Ink

Cut the top off the plastic bottle because the top is the perfect size for an ink pot.  I actually did the cutting because the knife was just too sharp to let Tiny do it by himself.

Then place the cut lid on the cardboard and trace a circle or template out of the cardboard with the sharpie.  The cardboard circle is the bottom of the ink pot.  Using the craft knife, cut the circle out.  Then start wrapping masking tape around the ink pot and taping the bottom round cardboard piece to the ink pot.  We ended up not using the cap that is for the lid.

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Then Tiny painted the ink pot with the black acrylic paint and set it aside to dry.  How easy was that?

Easy Berry Ink and Quill Pen

The next thing Tiny did was grab some ingredients he thought he would need for the berry ink and quill pen. He was pretty close.

Look at this list for making the berry ink and quill pen.

  • 1/2 to 1 cup berries.  We actually had mixed blackberries, blueberries and some raspberries that were overripe in the refrigerator.
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt depending on how much ink you make.  We used a full one teaspoon because he used a whole cup of berries.  So about 1/2 teaspoon of salt for 1/2 cup of berries is the measurement.
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoons of vinegar depending too on how much ink you make.  Again, we used a full one teaspoon because we used a full cup of berries.
  • 1 feather. A contour feather is better.  We had feathers laying around the house from some Native American head dress we had, but you could easily buy one or better yet, send your kids outside to find a couple of feathers.
  • 1 small bowl for mixing.
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First, he tried to smash the berries because I knew they needed to be strained and the pulp taken out.  It wasn’t too easy and that seemed like too much work to me.

So I pulled out the hand held lemon squeezer and it worked much better.  No need to mash, then strain because it’s all done at one time in the hand held lemon squeezer.  So we added berries, squeezed and out came the juice and we threw away the pulp.  The squeezer took a little bit more time, but I think that process helped Tiny to understand the effort the early pioneers had to put forth to produce ink.

Add the salt and vinegar and stir.  That’s it.  If it’s too thick, add a wee bit more vinegar.   Our concoction came out just right the first time.

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The feather required some kitchen shears to cut it to a point.

You probably have most of this stuff laying around your house like we did.  It was a fun way for Tiny to spend the morning learning about the early pioneers and Lewis and Clark.  He had to try his hand at writing a bit more like Lewis and Clark did.  It makes you appreciate how fond Lewis and Clark must have been of journaling because of the sheer effort it took to make ink and then to preserve their writings for generations to come.

If hodgepodge homeschooling tastes like this today, we might add it a bit more.  No complaints from Tiny or his mom on the fun we had today.

Hugs and love ya,

2012Tinasignature How To Make An Easy Ink pot & Quill Pen with Berry Ink

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Check out some other fun resources for studying about Westward Ho, Lewis & Clark and Pioneer Life

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Free Westward Ho History Cards

Westward Ho History Cards Collage1 Free Westward Ho History Cards

I have been holding back a bit because I have been feeling anxious, scared, and over the top excited all at one time because we have been getting ready for a big moving sale this weekend.

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This is not the same as a garage sale for me because it is almost like I feel violated because so much of our junk furniture is going to be on display.  I think I must be weird because I am so motivated to sell it because it means we get closer to listing our house for sale and closer to moving.  On the other hand though, it feels kind of awkward and personal when you sell down to the very things that you normally keep in a move.  I didn’t know I would feel this way.  Maybe it’s the exciting reality that we are closer to our lifestyle change when you see real personal things go.

Moving overseas means, for us anyway, that we won’t be keeping much.

In the meantime, I am not sure what I will be calling what we do this month as far as school.  I have a new term called hodgepodge homeschooling because that is what it may end up being this month depending on how fast we sell our big furniture items and get the house up for sale.

So I will be doing a bit of this and that in our homeschooling and having Tiny visit some of my older units at Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool that he needs to review.

Free Westward Ho History Cards

One of them that Tiny needs to revisit because he was very young when we studied it the first and second time is my Westward Ho unit.

Westward Ho History Cards Collage thumb Free Westward Ho History Cards

Too, I made some Westward Ho history cards to add to it because this allows him to study and memorize the important facts and highlights of that time period on his own in case my time is tied up the rest of this month.

This way he can cut them out, hang on an O ring and study on his own.  I plan to make some more history cards as we go along and probably create some for my other units too.  Actually, this will be a nice change for our school because Tiny can review what I have and I can add some new updates to my previous unit studies.

Keeping school easy will be my focus the rest of this month as we take a big step to our move.

Download Westward Ho History Cards Here

I’m so excited about this weekend and kind of having mixed feelings when you see so much of your personal things going.  I am keeping my vision clear though of South America and the fun we will have when we get there.

Enjoy the history cards.

Hugs and love ya,

2012Tinasignature Free Westward Ho History Cards

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Hip Homeschool Hop | The Mommy Club | Anything Goes | Hearts for Home Blog Hop | From House to Home |

Of course I have to share some fun resources that make learning about this time period come alive!

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Curriculum Planner – 2 Pages Per Month At A Glance Academic Calendar. New Beginnings Color

Another choice for the 2 page per month at a glance academic calendar for the 2014-2015 school year is ready!  You ask for this color scheme called New Beginnings and I heard ya.  It has five color shades in the notes section before it repeats.  I just wanted to be sure you had a second color choice for this coming school year.  I love this one too.  It is oh so soothing.  I am having a hard time deciding between this one and the Rainbow Notions Calendar. I think I may put them both in my planner.

2 Page Month At A Glance Academic Calendars New Beginnings Collage thumb Curriculum Planner   2 Pages Per Month At A Glance Academic Calendar. New Beginnings Color

2 Page Month At A Glance Academic Calendar

Like the Rainbow Notion Calendar, I added a few more boxes to help track points in our homeschool day and an extra place for notes too.  It too is very colorful.  I’m super excited to share it with you.

Guess what? You can get it for only $.99 cents.  Instant Download.

2 Page Month At A Glance Academic Calendars New Beginnings Collage Thumbnail Curriculum Planner   2 Pages Per Month At A Glance Academic Calendar. New Beginnings Color
2014-2015 Academic School Year Around Calendar. New Beginnings Color Scheme
2 Pages per month academic calendar in color. Beginning July, 2014 so you can plan early and ending June, 2015 so you can school year around. New Beginnings Color scheme calendar. 24 page .pdf. Click on thumbnail to see a large picture. Beautiful and bright.
Price: $0.99

Or, if you like the Rainbow Notions Calendar or both.You decide.

2 Page Month At A Glance Academic Calendars1 Curriculum Planner   2 Pages Per Month At A Glance Academic Calendar. New Beginnings Color

2014 2015 2 page per month Academic Rainbow Notions 1 Curriculum Planner   2 Pages Per Month At A Glance Academic Calendar. New Beginnings Color
2014-2015 Academic School Year Around Calendar.
2 Pages per month academic calendar in color. Beginning July, 2014 so you can plan early and ending June, 2015 so you can school year around. Rainbow Notions calendar. 24 page .pdf. Click on thumbnail to see a large picture. Rainbow colors. Beautiful and bright.
Price: $0.99

Because I am not sure if my email readers will get the fancy store button, I am also linking this post to my blog.  If you do not get the button on the email feed, come to this blog post by clicking here and you can get it in my store too.

Hope you luv it!

Hugs and love ya,

2012Tinasignature Curriculum Planner   2 Pages Per Month At A Glance Academic Calendar. New Beginnings Color

Linking up @ these fabulous places

Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop | Hip Homeschool Hop | One Project At A Time |The Mommy Club |

          
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