We enjoy homeschooling. (Most days.) One of the more difficult aspects of homeschooling for me would be completing all of the “hands on” projects. When we do the actual lessons and bookwork, all of my materials are readily available. When we do science projects or art projects, things are not so ready or available. I often do not have things such as red felt, a package of feathers, sequins, or gold braid ready to use. I also do not have the supplies needed for many science projects. Usually. On our first day of school, however, we did have the materials needed to do a few science projects that Lauren’s fourth grade book discussed. The first one was a project in which you watch a plant grow. I like plants. They are quiet, neat, and require little care. The second project was how to make”trap” for insects so you could observe them. This one didn’t appeal to me too much for some reason. The third one was a project we were supposed to do in third grade science, but did not do because I didn’t have frog eggs or tadpoles available. Well, we have a neighbor who has a pool. A frog from somewhere found this pool and thought it a good place to lay eggs. The eggs hatched into tadpoles. So…you guessed it. We now have many little tadpoles swimming around in a jar. We are awaiting their transformation into frogs. (This project is really low on my list people. But, never let it be said that this homeschooling Mom doesn’t allow her children to explore God’s wonderful creation. No siree. Not me!)
I thought you might enjoy looking at the hard work Lauren has put into her recent scientific endeavors.

Watching the seeds grow was not only a good science project, but was a good Scriptural project as well. We discussed how Jesus said in John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. (KJV) We were able to see the actual seed covering (seed coat) fall off and die, just as the Bible said. We then saw how the seed brought forth so much more after it died than if it had remained in tact as a seed. This was a great way to discuss that, as Christians, our lives should be given to serve the Lord. We need to “die” to self, and follow Christ and His will. We can see so much more fruit doing this, than by living for pleasure or money. It was a good lesson for all of us! :]

First, we poked holes in the bottom of Styrofoam cups. We then placed pebbles into the cups to prevent the soil from falling out. The holes allowed excess water to drain out. Next came the seeds. We used pinto beans and lima beans because, that’s what I had! Lauren wanted to do marigolds, but we never got the seeds. :[

Adding the seeds…the fun part!

We then watered the little cuties.

We then labeled the cups “pinto” or “lima” so we would know which was which. (Are we smart or what?) ;]
Next, we placed a sandwich bag around each cup with a twistie tie. This stayed on until the seeds sprouted. We removed the bag and checked the soil everyday and added water as needed.
Lastly, we placed them on the window sill to get plenty of light! :]

Our next project was the insect trap. Lauren buried a glass, level with the soil, under a bush.

Dad helped too. :]

Then Lauren propped a lid up over the jar using rocks. This kept the jar from getting full of water, but left a space for insects to slide in at.

Lauren had so much fun getting dirty! Here’s the finished product! The only insect we caught wasn’t an insect at all…it was a spider! :[ We were a little disappointed about that.The plants are growing nicely! This was taken August 21st. We planted them on August 11. They sprouted only a few days later. We labeled them in order that they sprouted, just out of curiosity.Here are the tadpoles. Yuck. I counted over 40. We have since skimmed it down to fifteen, and it will probably be skimmed down even more in the days to come. (Don’t tell Lauren.) We change the water every three days or so and feed them pieces of lettuce. They nibble away on it and when it’s gone we give them more. All of this in the name of education.Here’s our only surviving plant. It is doing nicely. The others didn’t make it. We needed to transplant them, and since we didn’t, they died. This one, however is still doing well. I took these photos today.I thought it was interesting the way this one is entwining itself around my mini-blind!Here’s one more taste of summer photo for you. I love the way Leslie’s glancing over at her big sister!I leave you with this photo of Lauren’s homemade car. See what I would miss if I didn’t homeschool??

4 thoughts on “Hands-On Homeschooling

  1. Mother says:

    What fun you are having, and how much you both (plus siblings) are learning! I would have loved to do these things when I was Lauren's age. As it was, I loved school, but in retrospect I see my education was very dull.

    Great job!


  2. What a productive home school you have! How fun!


  3. Anonymous says:

    Nice science projects.


    Is your homemade car a Chevrolet??

    David Allen

    I love the photos!



  4. Kristy... says:

    Oh how FUN….
    I am in my first year homeschooling, I am unsure if my currc has any crafts or projects in it…. I hope so.. but, I would be unprepared if they did! 😛

    I want tadpoles… but… then again I dont!


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