Solar System Workup (Very Basic)

I am doing a very general geography study with Bristol this year…Working our way down from the Solar System, Earth, Continent, Country, State, City, Neighborhood, Street.  My goals for this unit are for Bristol to memorize the planets, the continents, states and capitols, and to gain map reading skills.


Solar System:

  We started off with a brief overview of space… Reading Usborne’sBig Book Of Planets and Stars and Look Inside Space.

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We also read Usborne’s Shine-A-Light Inside The Space Station as just some fun additional reading.

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I printed out this Solar System Packet.  I laminated and cut out the planets, and hung them on our wall.  (The planets are not to scale, which is currently driving my husband up the wall…HaHa, but they were glittery and they serve the purpose which I am using them for.)  We worked through the packet, and studied one planet at a time.

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I also downloaded KlabLab’s “Solar System” from iTunes to use as memory work.  I love that this song teaches a little bit about each planet, and that it’s not super annoying.  We jam this out in the car almost daily!


As we started wrapping up our Solar System Unit, Bristol was also learning to count to 100 with Usborne’s Count To 100 Book.  The very last page of this book as 100 twinkling stars which was a really nice way to transition from our Solar System Study into our Math Lessons every day.

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We also made Solar System Necklaces… I ordered these Different Sized Wooden Beads, and we hand painted them together.

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If I had been smart, we would have planned a visit to the planetarium.  However, we did do some exploring at WonderWorks.  We have been here a million times, but this time Bristol was really interested in the space section.


And that wraps up our Solar System Workup… Pretty basic.  The main goal for this was for Bristol to memorize the planetary order along with a few facts about each planet.  Next up… Studying our planet, Earth!

With A Happy Heart, Brittany ❤

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Skeletal System Workup for 4 Year Olds

Hey Friends,

We decided to start off our Anatomy and Physiology Unit by jumping into the Skeletal System.  There are TONS of really awesome ideas to cover this topic, but my only real goal for this unit was for Bristol to memorize a majority of the bones in her body.


We started out our first week just reading a few books that had information about the Skeletal System.  We learned that kids have 300 bones and adults have 206 bones!  That our skeletal system give our bodies their shape, they protect our organs, and they help us bend and move!

Usborne’s Big Book Of The Body…This book didn’t contain the proper terminology, but it did have some awesome facts and a large fold out skeleton that definitely had my daughter’s attention.

Usborne’s Look Inside Your Body

Cat In The Hat: Inside Your Outside!

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I chose this Skeletal System Packet because it contained enough information to be challenging, but still appropriate for a 4 year old to have fun with.  It also contained the proper terminology… (Instead of using “skull”, “thigh bone”, and “knee cap”… She learned “cranium”, “femur”, “patella”.)  We started with the cranium and worked our way down the skeletal system memorizing the names of the bones.  Since this packet doesn’t list every single bone, I had to add a few extras…Like when we hit the bones of the hand, I added carpals and metacarpals.

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This packet also contained a larger printable skeleton, which I laminated and hung on our wall… It was really nice to be able to use dry erase markers on the laminated skeleton to distinguish smaller bones that she may not have recognized as quickly.

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These were some of the hands on resources we used while we were studying the Skeletal System.  I only gave Bristol a few pieces to memorize at a time.  Once she had fluently memorized the pieces she had, I would give her a few more.

Janod Body Magnet Set… This is a really cool resource b/c it contains more than just the skeletal system, and it looks like an autopsy table. (Ha)

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Learning Resources Magnetic Human Body… Forget the ABC magnets!  We have a Human Skeleton on our fridge.  This set is also reversable, and contains the Circulatory and Muscular System on the opposite side.

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We definitely had to do the Magic School Bus: Journey Into The Human Body Kit…This kit came with other experiments, but we only did the two that went along with our bone study.

Experiment #1. (Pictured Below) What makes our bones stiff and strong?…In this experiment, Bristol had to soak chicken bones in test tubes of vinegar which essentially decalcified them making them rubbery and flexible.

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Experiment #2. (Pictured Below) What is a ball and socket joint? …In this experiment, we took a dive into the world of joints.  At first we explored our bodies and identified all of the parts that bend and move around!  She noticed that her fingers bend, her elbow bends, her knees, her neck, her shoulder, etc… This was actually a really neat discussion to have with Bristol b/c she is so fascinated with building machines.  She is familiar with needing different types of joints in a machine in order for all of the parts to move correctly.  This experiment showed her how beautifully the bones fit and work together to form a movable point in our own bodies.

The Usborne Books that we explored earlier in our study also had fun little facts about joints that added some visuals to our discussion.


These were the Netflix shows that we watched to accompany our Skeletal System Study:

Sid The Science Kid: “How did my dog do that?”

Cat In The Hat: “Jiggly Bones”

Magic School Bus: “Flexes It’s Muscles”

While we were watching these, we busted out our Cheetos Bag Of Bones for a snack!  This was the perfect time of year to study the Skeletal System b/c these delicious treats only come out once a year!

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Apps we used to study the skeletal system:

TinyBop: The Human Body…This TinyBop App is beautifully designed, and contains all of the Body Systems we will be studying this year.  The Skeletal System part of this app allows you to take apart and reassemble the skeleton system piece by piece!  It lets you explore moving joints, and takes you inside the composition of a bone.


Finally, we live on the coast; so naturally we took a Bag Of Bones to the beach!    This was so much fun, and totally freaked out everyone that walked by!


***UPDATE***

After we wrapped up our Skeletal System Unit, our KiwiCrate came in the mail… It just happened to be a “Body Box” which covered Human Anatomy.  One of the Skeletal System experiments was making an X-Ray with “Glow Paper” and black wall clings in the shape of bones.  Here’s how it turned out…

The KiwiCrate also came with a “Yummy Bones” experiment where we rolled out and baked dough in the shape of bones… The directions called for making like a”cheesy bread” type snack, but I thought it would be more appealing to use Cinnamon Roll dough for my picky eater.

***Picture Coming Soon***

Usborne also came out with a really cool book called This Is Not A Science Book.  It had some really cool anatomy activities which included tracing out our hands, and drawing out our carpals, metacarpals, and phalanges. It also included a Skeleton Mobile but since we already had so many skeletons hanging around the house, we decided to hold off on that activity.

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And that’s a wrap on our Skeletal System Unit…

With A Happy Heart, Brittany ❤

Summer Of STEM: Carousel Science

Our Carousel Science Unit drug on a lot longer than I had intended.  I kept trying to make it more in depth than it was.  If you have an older kid, you could easily get into electricity and mechanics of carousels.. But for my 4 year old, just learning the physics of it was enough.


We started out reading Usborne’s What’s Physics All About

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This book has been invaluable to us as we have gone through Amusement Park Science.  Easy to understand examples and wording…Even my 4 year old could grasp the concepts!

The big takeaway from this unit was that all forces act in a straight line… Except CENTRIPETAL FORCE!

We preformed the first activity in the book which required us using a scarf as a lasso and spinning it around in the air.  Our hands provided the centripetal force which pulled the scarf in towards our hands.

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When we let go of the scarf-lasso, the scarf kept moving in a straight line until gravity pulled it down…  I think an exact example of this is the scene in Mary Poppins when their horses jumped off the carousel.  They hopped off and kept moving in a straight line.

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Next, we watched this quick Centripetal Force Video.

I loved how this video mentioned that the word “centripetal” was Latin for “center-seeking.”  Bristol bursted out “Latin!  I love Latin!”  I immediately had to pause the video, and we discussed that b/c “centripetal” means “center seeking” that the force was always seeking the center (like in the lasso experiment.)  We then had a mini moment of phonics discussion as she realized all of the “c’s” that surround this topic… Centripetal, Center-seeking, Circular. 


Then we built a Centripetal Force Machine with our GoldieBlox Craftstruction Box.

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And we also put together the Lego Friends Amusement Park Space Ride

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Finally, we rode a carousel!

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These were some extra experiments that I really didn’t have time to get to. However, if we ever revisit Carousel Science I will definitely be doing these…

The Candle Carousel

Kinetic Toy Carousel


With A Happy Heart, Brittany ❤

Short Vowels Workup

Hey Friends,

Our Logic Of English Foundations B reading curriculum had a vowel review as the very first lesson, but I didn’t think it really went into enough depth.  So I decided to take it a bit further, and we spent a few weeks covering vowels.


If you know anything about me, I am ALL about learning information in song form… So here are the Vowel Songs we used for our Vowel Unit.

 Scratch Garden Vowel Song

Old MacDonald Had Some Vowels

A-E-I-O-U…And sometimes Y!


First, I introduced Vowel Owls… I had these hanging up on the whiteboard, and used them as a reference tool.  Bristol would spout out words throughout the day, and we would write them out and categorize them in Vowel Owl columns.  She had fun trying to stump me with a word that didn’t have a vowel in it.

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This S’More Vowel Activity from the Camp Kindergarten Packet was probably the most fun activity we did during this study… It takes a little work to put together, but totally worth it.

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There are some cute resources in this Teaching Vowels to Little Ones Packet, but I only printed out the Fill-In-The-Vowel Word Cards… I laminated them, and we used a dry erase marker to fill in the vowel.  If you choose not to laminate these, they come with cut and paste vowels that fit in the blank space.

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We played with these Montessori Reading Blocks… The vowels are in blue, and they are great for flipping around beginning and ending sounds for CVC words.  I ended up throwing these in my purse, and busted them out during doctor appointments and at restaurants.

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We also did LOTS of worksheets from these Short Vowel Packets.  I made daily mini packets with these by taking one worksheet from each vowel letter, and stapling them together into a mini packet that we would complete during each day.

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Finally, here are some of the apps we used specifically for vowel study.

Vowels Howl

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Learn to Read and Write Vowels

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…And that wraps up our short vowel study.

With A Happy Heart, Brittany ❤

Summer Of STEM: Roller Coasters

Hey Friends,

I apologize for taking so long to write this post… Between everyone being sick, my husband coming home from deployment, and just enjoying our Summer together, it’s been hard to sit down and write what we’ve been up to in our homeschool life.  

So let’s jump in to the second piece of our Summer Of STEM Amusement Park Science Unit: Roller Coasters!  This unit was less about experimentation, and more about learning the vocabulary. Once the vocabulary was mastered, the rest was ALL FUN!

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First, I put together her K’NEX Roller Coaster… I did this first so that when we started to discuss the vocabulary, she would have a visual.  We also labeled the roller coaster with sticker flags after discussing the vocabulary (i.e… Potentional Energy, Gravity, etc…)

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***I want to add a little note here… During the process of putting this K’NEX Roller Coaster together, I realized that the pieces were pretty advanced for her.  She loves building machines, but this was a little too much even for her.  In retrospect, I would have been better off just using her Hot Wheels Track.***


I knew she would need a lot of context and experience with the vocabulary being used.

I started out by copying and printing out several pages from What’s Physics All About (I did this b/c I like to write Bristol’s feedback directly on the pages such as the words she uses and the examples she plugs in that help her understand the material better.)  As we read along in the book, we would stop and color the corresponding vocabulary pages from this Roller Coaster Unit I found on Teacher’s Pay Teachers.

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 What’s Physics All About  also contains really awesome examples that even my 4 year old could relate to like using a shopping cart to demonstrate that a force is a push or a pull, when you apply more force that the cart will move faster, and when your cart has more mass (is heavier) that it takes more force to move it forward!  We busted out Bristol’s Toy Shopping Cart, and physically worked out all of the vocabulary as we read along.

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 Scientriffic: Roller Coaster Science also had some cute illustrations for all of the vocabulary we used… I used this book as an occasional resource, but we really didn’t spend a lot of time in there.  (This book also contains a paper roller coaster that you can put together.  Since we had the K’NEX Roller Coaster though, I didn’t want to mess with putting the paper one together.)

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Towards the end of our vocabulary discussions, we started reading The Thrills and Chills of Amusement Parks Chapter 1 and A Crash Course in Forces and Motion with Max Axiom, Super Scientist (Graphic Science).

Bristol also did some sticker work in her Usborne’s First Fairground Sticker Book.

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We also put together our own roller coaster using a cut in half pool noodle and a marble.  Using the activity pages from the Roller Coaster Unit packet, Bristol drew up her blueprints.  She decided she wanted 2 hills in her roller coaster and no loops.

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These are some of the additional media resources that we used throughout our study…

We watched this cute little video… Sir Issac Newton Discovers Gravity, and we are continuing to listen to and memorize “Newton’s Laws” by KlabLab.

Sid The Science Kid:

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“Ignatz’s Inertia” …(Inertia)

“Sid’s Super Kick” …(Force)

“Sid Engineers a Solution” …(Engineering)

Magic School Bus:

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“Plays Ball” …(Forces)

“Under Construction” …(Structures)

“Gains Weight” …(Gravity)


One of the last resources we used was the Amusement Park Physics website where you build your own Roller Coaster.

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What I really enjoyed about this activity, was that Bristol initially just picked the pictures she liked with no thought at all about the science she had just learned!  HaHa!  She quickly discovered after multiple failed attempts that she would need to apply everything she learned in this unit to make a successful roller coaster.  …All of her failed attempts though allowed for lots of dialogue about what went wrong and what she could do differently in her next try.  …An Engineer’s Scientific Method!


Finally, Bristol got to ride a Roller Coaster with her Aunt Amy!

…And that wraps up our Roller Coaster Unit.


With A Happy Heart, Brittany ❤

Summer Of STEM: Bumper Cars

Hello Friends,

This is the first piece of our Amusement Park Science Unit that I plan on diving into with my 4 year old this Summer.  I’m letting her choose the rides that we study, and her first choice was the BUMPER CARS.

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As a daily journaling type activity, we have been working on pages from My Crazy Inventions Sketchbook (pictured below).


We started out reading Thrills and Chills of Amusement Parks (pictured below), and I quickly discovered that our Bumper Car Science was going to focus on Newton’s Laws.

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I found this incredible Newton’s Laws for Preschool Resource (pictured below) that I printed out and we discussed together… We even tried a couple of super quick and easy experiments of our own based on the book.

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We read Issac Newton and the Laws Of Motion (pictured below)… This one was a little advanced for Bristol, but she really enjoys graphic novels (Thanks to her Dad).  So she followed along with the pictures while I changed up some of the wording to help her comprehend the material a little better.

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I also downloaded “Newton’s Laws” by KlabLab from iTunes, and I am using it as her memory work for this Bumper Car unit.

The worksheets pictured below I printed from Education.com… Newton’s First LawNewton’s Second LawNewton’s Third Law.

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And I REALLY liked these Doodle Notes that came in the Newton’s Three Laws Game Resource Packet.

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After we got a grip on Newton’s Laws, we opened up our Amusement Park Science Kit which had a neat little experiment with plastic discs, foam padding, and balloons. …We spent HOURS playing with this.  We bumped our discs into walls, into each other’s discs, and all around the house looking for REACTIONS all while singing “For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction!”


She also did some simple and fun sticker work in her Usborne Fairgrounds Sticker Book (pictured below.)

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Next, we used the magnets from our Learning Resources Magnet Lab, taped them to little matchbox cars, and used the top of a container box to make our own mini bumper car rink. …There was an added degree of STEM focus in this activity b/c she had to build up the platform for the container lid to sit on… Which required some thought on Bristol’s part. What materials would she use?  How high did it need to be in order for the magnetic wands and our hands to fit underneath? …I let her figure all of that out on her own.


Finally, I took Bristol to actually ride bumper cars and bumper boats, and although I did try to get her to focus on the “actions and reactions” of bumping into the walls and into each other, she was simply having too much fun to really pay attention to the science of it.


And that’s it for Bumper Cars… I tried to make this as simple and fun as I possibly could.  Teaching physics to a preschooler is actually a lot easier and way more fun than you think it would be!  …Next up… ROLLER COASTERS!

With A Happy Heart, Brittany ❤

2016 End Of School Year Update

Hello Friends!

Our 2015-2016 Classical Conversations School Year has come to an end…  This was my very first year as a Homeschool Mom, and to say that “I have learned a lot…” would be an understatement!  HaHa.

There are a few things that I wanted to quickly share as I move forward: 


Classical Conversations:  There are things I like about Classical Conversations, but lots of things that I do not.  We joined our local CC Community Group, and I felt immense pressure to “drill” this information into my daughter so that she would be able to participate every week in Community.  The problem with that was that she is 4…  There were some subjects that she simply needed more time on.  There were other times that she would be really interested in something, but I didn’t really have time to spend fueling that excitement b/c I was trying to move forward in the curriculum so we could keep up in our Community Group.  …I realized by our second semester that this was not going to work for us continuing forward in our homeschool journey.  I don’t want to to follow someone else’s curriculum especially when I don’t agree with all of the material, and I don’t want to crush my daughter’s excitement for learning by “boring” her with the “Canadian Provinces of 1867.”

With all of that being said, I do agree with the methodology of CC… Auditory Learning and Memorization.  Bristol was able to retain A LOT of information… Way more than I ever thought she was capable of.  For this, I am grateful for my year in CC, but I plan on applying that style to more appropriate material as we move into next year.


What you can expect from us this Summer… 

Summer Of Stem:  My daughter has a heavy interest in “Building Machines.”  This Summer I plan on fueling that fire and desire by focusing on Simple Machines in Amusement Parks.  I will be sharing our materials and resources in a post coming soon, but I do not plan on writing or following any set curriculum.  I am going to follow HER lead, and share as we go.


What you can expect from us this upcoming school year…

2016-2017 School Year:

Reading:   I am going to continue with Logic Of English accompanied with the Alphabet Curriculum Notebook.  I will also be pulling lessons from The Reading Lesson and Teach Your to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

Math:  I have been considering switching to Saxon Math… We have been using Math-U-See Primer which I had to stop right at Lesson 9 to teach Teen Placement Value.

Science:  I have decided to spend an entire year on Anatomy and Physiology.  I don’t have a set curriculum for this… My plan is to write it out as I go focusing on one body system at a time.

Foreign Language:  I will still be spending some time with Latin especially since we will be studying Anatomy, but I don’t have any set curriculum for it.  I do plan on using this Latin Anatomy Glossary to aid in tying Latin words and definitions into our Anatomy study.

Bristol also LOVES Spanish… (Thanks Dora!)  I really did not do a great job of teaching her Spanish last year, and I still don’t have an exact plan for this upcoming year.  I have been considering a literacy based study where I choose different Spanish children’s books, read them, and come up with activities to accompany them where we can use key words and phrases from the book.

History and Geography:  I am sticking to Story Of The World in this subject area because it is easy to build on.  The chapters are short enough for her to comprehend without losing interest, and the Activity Book has a ton of additional resources and age appropriate activities.

The one thing I will be keeping from Classical Conversations is the Timeline Song which can be found on the Cycle 1 Audio CD.

Bible:  Currently we are following our church’s curriculum which can be found on ParentStuf.org …However, I have been considering purchasing Buck Denver asks What’s In The Bible as our main curriculum.


I truly appreciate all of the support and input from everyone who follows me on my blog and on Instagram. …I look forward to another exciting year of homeschooling with a happy heart!  🙂 ❤