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!


Prehistory week 2: fossils and the Precambrian and Cambrian Eras

This week was as fun and action packed as the last.  We spent the first half of the week learning what fossils are and how they are formed. Then we proceeded to make our own “imprint fossils” using air dry clay and shells the girls collected themselves from the beach over the weekend. They had a blast and were very proud of their efforts.

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The girls also greatly enjoyed some online games about dinosaur fossils HERE and HERE.

The second half of this week was spent studying the Precambrian and Cambrian eras.  We learned about the first cells, simple organisms, and did some wonderful crafts with a friend for our first weekly history craft day.

Precambrian critters, who knew they were so adorable!

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And little trilobites, just too cute!



Inspiration for these activities came from these two amazing blogs:

Teaching Stars

Satori Smiles

We have also been working hard on a term long project (started last week) which once completed will form a visual timeline of prehistory.  The inspiration (and headings) came from HERE however this is mostly our own creation.  We are doing one lapbook (one side of a manilla folder only) per prehistoric period, 13 sections in all.

Here are the first 3 installments in this epic project:



This is going to look amazing all together!

What a great week we have had, I just love homeschooling!

Prehistory week 1: what is prehistory and the beginning of the earth

We began our school year with a bang this year, learning about the big bang!  This first week of school we learned about when and how the earth was formed and what it was like on earth in the beginning.

First we explored what a timeline is then made our own timeline of prehistory to scale.



Note the huge long timeline and humans appear only in the last millimeter! This was an immensely successful activity and really impressed upon us all the immense expanse of time covered by prehistory and how long it has taken for life as we know it to evolve.  I am hoping to repeat this activity after all our other prehistory studies are concluded.

The next few days were spent learning about the big bang followed by what the earth was like in the beginning.  We learned about continent drift, fold mountain formation, how the earth was hot and dry with many volcanoes and briefly touched on evolution.

Continent drift:


One large (and not terribly accurate) supercontinent or Pangaea.


The Pangaea breaks apart and the continents drift away from each other due to changes in the Earth’s crust. See HERE for a way more accurate (but far less fun) animation demonstrating this.

Then onto fold mountains:


Fold mountains are formed as a result of the compression of two tectonic plates (or 2 cute kidlets)


Our “mountain” showing folds in the layers.

And finally volcanoes! What kid does not love making a volcano!


They were a bit very skeptical at first that this activity would be worth doing but I think I convinced them in the end that it would be fun judging by their faces.

What a great first week, homeschooling is such fun!

Term 1

I am starting this blog after our first term of homeschooling for the year is completed. I am hoping to update here over the next few months with pictures and descriptions of our activities over the first term.

This was an immensely successful term in which we explored prehistory starting from the beginning of the earth and ending with the first humans.  We will be picking up where we left off next term when we begin ancient history.