Saturday, July 6, 2013

Adventures in U.S. History Week 18

We are officially halfway done with our year!  Week 18 marks the start of the second half of 2nd grade.  If we stay on track -- and we've been doing a wonderful job of that; much better than when we used Calvert! -- we'll finish the middle of October and take the rest of the year off.  This week also marked the first week of our "official" homeschooling since Miss M will be turning 7 in the fall, the age of compulsory school attendance in Missouri.  Missouri requires 1000 hours of instruction between July 1st and the following June 30th, so we just started a new school "year."

This week we learned about Eli Whitney and his invention of the cotton gin.  I purchased some cotton bolls from etsy seller Pattie's Passion so the kids would be able to see what they're like hands-on.  Our teacher's manual had recommended flattening out cotton balls and glueing construction paper "seeds" to them for this lesson, but I wanted to show them the real thing.  Pattie kindly included a few extra in my order!!

The kids loved this!  And Miss M really "got" the point too.  She kept saying to me, "Mama! Imagine how hard it would be to do this all. day. long.  With no air conditioning!  You'd get so tired!  These seeds are hard to get out! My fingers are tired already!"  (Yes, she speaks in exclamations.)  Little Guy gave it a try as well.  He didn't have as much to say about it and was content to do one or two before going back to his cars in the other room.

Cotton seeds still stuck in their cotton.
In Bible we learned about Jesus who is the Lamb of God.  Both kiddos memorized the verse in no time at all and we had lots of fun bleating and baaing around the house all week.

We had two science experiments this week!  The first was to put some milk in two small jars and let them sit for a while: one in a cool place and one in a warm place.

The milk in the warm place soured quickly, but the milk in the cool place remained sweet.  Miss M learned that bacteria causes the milk to sour and it grows more quickly in a warm environment.

The tag reads: Science "Expierement" Do Not Drink
Then we learned about cells, both animal and plant.  Each kid made a simple model of a cell with jello, grapes, and smarties in a zip lock bag.  The smarties kind of dissolved, so they weren't a great choice, but I knew the kids would have freaked out if I used dried beans in their jello!

Supplies for a simple cell model.

This was a big hit too!  Miss M loved squishing the jello around in the baggie and telling everyone what all the parts represented.  Little Guy just liked eating the jello and grapes!

It was a busy week and we were glad when the weekend arrived.  We look forward to starting afresh on Monday!

Our adventures from previous weeks:


  1. What a great way to keep track of the highlights of your school year!

    1. Thanks! I'm having fun documenting our journey and hopefully someone out there will be encouraged and/or inspired by what we do!