Saturday, January 31, 2015

Rowan's Schoolin'

This post is all about Little Ol' Ro'. At 2 years & some months, he does what he can to keep up with his 7 year old brother and then some.  Here is a solar system Rowan made all on his own from books, a clock, balls, and even a model planet!
Most of what he knows about planets, he learned from Fynn.  Here is one of Fynn's scale models of the solar system:
Here is a painting Rowan made of the planets; this was before he started making me do everything!
Rowan and I had fun painting a lot of different things that day.  His planet painting was inspired by this drawing by Fynn, which is also the reference for most of Rowan's planet projects:
"Everything I need to know about planets I learned from my big brother!"

Another of Rowan's favorite things to do these days is to make planets out of playdough.  They have to "talk" (I help him with smiley faces) and don't forget "The Galaxy"!
For some reason, they can't be balls; they have to be squished flat? :)
The black one is "The Galaxy".

Next we have some house-keeping activities; Rowan is such a domestic little laddie! One day I was ironing, and just as I suspected he asked if he could iron too.  To my surprise he waited patiently for the iron to cool down, then picked out some of his own clothes and brought them to the table to be ironed. When he was finished, he folded them up and took them to his room! So sweet!
One night for dinner we had rice and Rowan looked down at his chair and the floor and said something to the effect of "Oh no, look at all that rice! Don't worry, I'll get it," and then grabbed the broom and started sweeping it up (spreading the rice all around, of course). I get such a big kick out of this, because Fynn HATES to clean. Getting anything cleaned up at all is always a huge fight with him.  But Rowan has been known to push his chair up to the sink, begin washing dishes, and then wash his hands and face in the process. CRAZY!

Lately it's all about Cars (the movie) and those loveable characters have practically become part of our family.
In these pictures, Rowan is building different Cars characters from stacks of Legos.

He's been having me draw these chalk cars for him...
And the alphabet too.

Happy learning!

Thursday, January 29, 2015


Well, we've pretty much learned all we can about the Macrocosm (not quite, but you know what I mean!) so now it's time to start learning about the Microcosm! We've been mentioning cells every once in a while, but today was the first day we decided to get tiny and dive in.  We started with a basic animal cell. I drew this picture in reference to a diagram on the Enchanted Learning website so we would have a cell to refer to. is a great website for homeschooling ~ whenever I'm looking for something, I usually find it there!
Well, I've discovered that the way to my kids' brains is through food (especially sweets) so what better way to begin than making an edible cell model for a snack?  I saw some really great-looking recipes for Jello cell models online, and that was my plan, but I didn't have any Jello at home and really really didn't want to drag the kids to the store. I was thinking there must be something in the kitchen I could use ~oh yes. Bagels for the base of the cell. We just happened to have purple frosting leftover from Cat-in-the-Hat day for the cytoplasm.  The nucleus is a huge grape, the blue licorice pieces are the E.R. and the golgi apparatus. The raisins are vacuoles, the gumdrops are lysosomes, the jelly beans are mitochondria, the pillow candy is the chloroplast, and the sprinkles are ribosomes. Not bad!

After our snack, I took a hula hoop, a table cloth, and a huge ball into the living room and began building a giant cell model from toys. The kids were instantly at my heels at their own free will, helping me build it. Fynn began asking me the names of the organelles, trying to remember them.
Among other things, we had scarves for the E.R. and golgi apparatus, and a really cool orange ball that looks just like a chloroplast!
Two different sized sets of balls are the vacuoles and lysosomes, legos are mitochondria, and marbles are the ribosomes.  The hula hoop is the cell membrane and the table cloth is the cytoplasm, and of course the huge purple ball is the nucleus!

We watched a Bill Nye the Science guy episode on cells, and Fynn went outside and drew a cell model with chalk!
He also drew himself and Rowan and me and filled us up with marble cells!

These were his own ideas :)!

 We have been eating hard-boiled eggs for lunch lately, and we were surprised to find out that an egg is considered a cell! (Food again)

 Who knows what we'll discover about cells next?
Happy learning!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sunny Day Playin'

Most of the ground is still covered in snow, and temperatures are generally pretty chilly, but there was some sun shining on our back patio this morning, which thankfully had been shoveled earlier and was quite dry. The sun was warming up the air so the kids & I headed out for a few minutes of fresh air.  The warmth gave us almost that free summer feeling; as you will see, Fynn went barefooted!
We busted out a tub of "chocolate dirt" that we had made earlier in Fall, and Rowan and I drove Lightning McQueen, Mack The Truck, and Red The Firetruck around in it. We also used the cars to make tracks in the snow.

Chocolate Dirt is a really fun sensory toy. It's mostly baking soda  and some cocoa powder, enough vegetable oil to give it a moist sand texture, and a sprinkle of glitter. It smells good, feels good and tastes terrible! We've had that same tub sitting outside with the lid since early fall and it's still good. As long as water doesn't get in it it should last even longer.
We also colored with chalk for the first time since Summer! Rowan and I drew a solar system together, and Fynn drew one of his own.  Fynn also made a model of Horsetooth Rock (a natural landmark here in Fort Collins) out of chocolate dirt.

These are planets he drew in the dirt.
The snow had been hardened by melting and freezing and Fynn was thrilled to walk on top of the snow instead of sinking into it.  However, the kids both wanted it to be more moldable so they could make snow planets. I told them I had a recipe for play snow and would they like to try it? "Oh yeah!" they said. So I got a salad tub from the kitchen and some baking soda, tea tree shampoo, peppermint oil and glitter and we mixed it all together.
Rowan and I tried to make a few planets, but the next thing they wanted to do was mix it with the chocolate dirt.  So they mixed and mixed, added snow and water, making "Hot Wash" and Hot Chocolate.
An orange kitty also came to visit us for the morning, but I failed to get a pic of him.