Prehistory, week 3 (11/2 – 15/2/13)

And back to updating from last term with out prehistory studies.

This week we were very busy learning about the Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian and Carboniferous periods, wow that is a lot!  We learned about the first fish, early ocean life, the first trees and the first land animals; especially amphibians and insects.  Highlights of the week were discovering the size of some of the early insects (they were really HUGE), the girls figuring out how jawless fish must have ate and then racing around the house pretending to be jawless fish sucking up their food lol, and making models of the Carboniferous Period with a friend.

We did 4 timeline lapbook pages this week (although I can only find pics of 3). This timeline is really starting to take shape nicely.

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For our hands on activities this week we made Cooksonia plants (well attempted to at any rate lol) and life size giant dragonflies.

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And finally for our weekly craft session we made Carboniferous Period models, all three girls had a blast doing this.

Under construction:


The finished products, they are very proud of their achievements:


And finally, our baby desperately wanted to join in the activity day too, just too darn cute!


I love homeschooling!


Edible cell models

We have literally just finished making edible cell models for science. The kidlet is in the background asking repeatedly when she can eat them (after dinner, now stop asking!) and I have managed to get away for a minute of peace and quiet, ah the bliss!

So today’s science looked like this: read about the basic features and differences between a plant cell and an animal cell; plant cells are rectangular and are typically green from the chloroplasts while animal cells are round. Then we made a model of each type of cell using fruit and jelly. The animal cell is in a round dish with a single strawberry for the nucleus and the plant cell is in a rectangular dish with a strawberry nucleus and many grape chloroplasts. Very basic but I think she has mastered the content of this lesson so yay and I bet the girls will enjoy eating this experiment later, yum.


Story of the World, week 2

We have had a short school week this week due to a day off on Monday to visit Movie World and then ANZAC day on Thursday, subsequently our history for this week has not been as thorough as normal however we still had a great week.  This week we covered chapter 1 of Story of the World and learned about nomads and the first farmers.  Here are my plans for this week (we only got through half the listed books): SOTW week 2

The girls had a great time. First they did the student pages from the Activity Guide while listening to the chapter, then we did some additional reading and book work.  In the afternoon we had our weekly activity session with a friend in which we made “prehistoric game bags”. After the sewing activity the girls all put on their cavegirl costumes (from our prehistory studies) along with their new game bags and we all headed down to the local playground to build (half) a shelter, apparently “fishing” in the pond was more exciting than shelter construction after 15 minutes so it never got finished, lucky they did not have to sleep in it!

Sewing their game bags:

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My little nomads all dressed up and wearing their new bags.


Building the shelter

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And finally “fishing” in the pond

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Homeschooling is such fun!

Personal timelines

What started out as a simple idea somehow turned into an entire mini-unit study, oh well, on the plus side we had fun and the girls have timelines of themselves they can keep.  My 4yo especially treasures hers and I am thinking I may need to cover it for protection as she reads and admires it multiple times a day. The 6yo is only half way through hers (so no end result pics yet), guess there are some disadvantages to being older lol.


So here are their prized timelines (obviously I did the one for my 15 month old although she did her own drawing).

Our baby:

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The 4yo

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And last but not least, the 6yo



This started out as an accompaniment to out week 1 studies using Story of the World as an introduction to the concept of a timeline however it evolved into so much more in the end but I am so glad it did, the girls are just thrilled with the results. This project worked great as an introduction to timelines but would be fun as a stand alone project or as part of a learning about me unit.  If anyone wants to make their own timeline I have included a printable here: personal timeline unit  Enjoy!

Story of the World – week 1

After years of researching, planning and admiring plenty of blogs on the topic we have finally begun our journey through world history, starting with ancient times. I cannot tell you who is more excited, myself or the kids, but lets just say we are all very eager to get stuck in to this fascinating topic.

We are using Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer as our spine along with the accompanying Activity Guide and will also be frequently referring to The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History and The Kingfisher Atlas of World History (this is really a gorgeous book).

This week in addition to our reading we completed an archaeological dig in the garden, made up the first history pocket “What is History?” using {this} book and the girls each made a pictorial timeline of their lives, post and printable to follow: find them HERE.

Working on their history pockets:

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This has been a really fun week and a great introduction to history and archaeology. You can download my plan for this week here: Introduction

Junior archaeologists

What is the best thing about homeschooling?

While I definitely do not have the answer, having the chance to become a junior archaeologist in your own back garden for the afternoon must be a serious contender right? Well I would like to think so at any rate.

So here is how to do it.

First find an old plate, smash it and bury the pieces in a plastic tub (or straight in the ground if you desire). Keep smashing and burying until each kid has their own archaeological site to explore.

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Then let your very excited kidlets lose to dig up the pieces.


Don’t forget to warn them about sharp edges (and then promptly ensure you cut yourself on one just to prove your point).

After all the pieces are found it is time to start trying to reassemble the plate.  Note it is helpful to count the number of pieces you bury so you actually know when they are all found, if only I had remembered that when it came time to smash plate #2, sigh. Glue the pieces back together if possible (ie if you did not get too carried away with the plate smashing, there was no gluing plate #2 together again oops).


And finally, stand back and admire your hard work!


These activities were done as part of the first week of our Ancient history study using Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer. This week we have read the introduction and learned about the definition of history and archaeology.