Saturday, April 23, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal #14

In my life this week…
It was a very long week. Dr. Lazy Palate was out of country this week, so it has been just me and the kids. Two tornados touched down by our house this week, and a water pipe starting leaking all over our homeschooling room. I still have to clean up the house for Easter and work on cooking some food for Easter. We did lots of Easter projects this week which was a lot of fun. Our trip to pick up a half a pig was cancelled because of Good Friday. The farmers market had a special pre-Easter market today. We got celery for $2, green onions for $2, garlic onions for free, 5 lbs of honey for $18, and two cookies for the kids. It was a lovely day with lots of sun shining. My garden is coming along. The second set of snap peas has come up along with the Swiss chard.
In our homeschool this week…
We started listening to a book on tape; we are listening to Anne of Green Gables.  I am trying to slowly work on Little BBQ’s listening attention span; so far it has not gone over too well. I am finding the story enchanting, but Little BBQ does not want to listen, so we are still on chapter 2. Little BBQ is reading to me The Giant Jelly Bean Jar by Marcie Aboff. All of the words in the book are at his reading level, but the book is long at 32 pages with lots of words per page, so it is taking him awhile to read the book to me. We also read Commotion in the Ocean and made a wall of sea creatures. Due to all the rain this week, we were unable to be outside as much as we would have liked. To compensate we did a lot of Easter crafts from egg shell art, cascarones, molded crayons, and shaving cream art. It was a lot of fun.
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
On Wednesday we went and visited one of our friends whom also homeschool. Little BBQ lost his pocket watch at their house a while back and they found it so that was an unexpected treat. It was nice to talk to another homeschooling mom who has been doing this for many years what curriculum she enjoyed and which ones she would have passed on in retrospect. I also enjoy getting her perspective on things.
My favorite thing this week was…
I think our favorite thing this week was making the cascarones. This year was the first year that Little BBQ was actually into dying eggs. In the past, he did not get into the activity too much, so this was an unexpected pleasure. We are going to dye some hard boiled eggs tonight so Dr. Lazy Palate can be there share the experience, and we will read the Easter book that we checked out at the library.
What’s working/not working for us…
I am not sure if the book on tape is working for us. I do not know if Little BBQ has the maturity yet to listen to a book on tape. I have heard of other kids his age loving books on tape, but I think Little BBQ might be far too active for this activity. I am going to give it a little more time and see how he responds.
Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…
Does your child enjoy books on tape? At what age did you child start to enjoy books on tape?
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Friday, April 22, 2011

Egg Shell Art

Crushed Egg Shell Art

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We were originally going to have 18 cascarones this year, but I dropped some of the eggs on the floor, and they shattered. Instead of crushing them further and adding them to my garden like I normally would I decided to make an art project out of the crushed eggs. Little BBQ took the egg shells and added them to egg dye. We dyed them like a normal egg. Then I let Little BBQ have a bottle of glue and the dried crushed eggs. He took my patterns from my marshmallow Easter candy and glued the egg shells to the patterns creating a fun little Easter project that we will probably do again in winter when I don't have a garden that needs extra calcium from the egg shells.

Materials (source: from our home)

Broken egg shells
Hot Water
Food coloring
Paper towels


1. For each color of egg shell, you will need 1 cup for dying the shells, 1 cup hot water, a few drops of food coloring, and 1 tsp vinegar. Mix these ingredients together and add the eggs shells.
2. Once the egg shells are the desired color, remove the egg shells and let them dry overnight on a paper towel.
3. On the next day, glue the egg shells to a piece of paper to create a work of art.

Posted on Easter Blog Hop


Mexican Easter Eggs

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As a kid we used to make cascarones for Easter and Fiesta. Everyone would meticulously save their hollowed out eggs for moths to later dye and fill with confetti. The belief is that a person who has a cascarone broken over their head will have good luck. Our family saves those little paper dots from the hole puncher to put inside the eggs making this a fun frugal project.

Little BBQ called the tissue paper that covers the hole in the egg a "hat." He told me that the eggs were faces and we were putting hats on top of the eggs. I thought it was a cute and funny story. We will definitely be doing this project again next year.

Materials (makes 12 cascarones)

12 Eggs
Hot water
Food Coloring
White Vinegar
Paper towels or drying rack
Confetti or hole punch dots
Tissue paper


1. Poke a small hole at the top of the egg and remove the insides. Wash out the egg shell with hot water and allow the egg shell to dry over night.
2. Decide how many different colors of cascarones that you want to make. We made four different colors. For each color, you need 1 cup, 1 cup of hot water, several drops of food coloring, and 1 tsp of white vinegar. Mix all of these ingredients together for each color inside the cup.
3. Carefully dye each egg by placing the egg in the cup with the desired color. The longer you let the egg sit the color, then the darker the egg with become. Place the dyed eggs on a drying rack.
4. When the eggs are fully dry, carefully insert the confetti inside each egg.
5. Cut little tissue paper squares to cover the holes.
6. Glue the tissue paper squares over the hole of the egg.
7. Let the glue dry and break them on top of people's heads that you want to have good luck.

Posted on Easter Blog Hop

Melting Experiment: Molded Crayons

It has been a rainy week here in the Midwest which means lots of energy has been flowing through our house. We decided to make some molded crayons in spring shapes. My mom did this project with me as a kid. As a kid we did the project as an art project, but I decided to use this opportunity to teach Little BBQ about melting. Melting is simply changing a solid to a liquid by using heat. This leads to a discussion about what is solid and what is liquid? We ran around the house and found examples of both solids and liquids.

To get the pretty spring molded shapes we use a candy mold. The crayons were all broken already peeled crayons, so this was a frugal rainy day activity. We heated the broken crayons in the microwave. We sorted the crayons into different containers for each color. It took about 4 minutes to melt the crayons in the microwave. Using oven mitts Little BBQ poured the liquid crayons into the molds. The first time we melted the wax in the microwave we made the wax too hot and melted part of the mold, so you want to take crayons out of the microwave as soon as they become liquid so you can preserve your candy mold for later use. Once the crayons were dry we flipped the mold over and the crayons fell out. Little BBQ went a little nuts pouring the wax on top of the mold and over filled some of the molds, so we broke off the excess crayon after we took the crayons out of the mold. You can remelt the excess crayon again. To clean out the dishes that you melt the crayon inside, microwave the dish for about 30 seconds and wipe away the warm wax with a paper towel (I did this part).

This was a fun project that we all enjoyed. Miss Bubbles enjoys coloring with the large butterflies because they fit into her hand easily. Little BBQ thought that they were pretty. I think we will do this project again when we accumulate more broken crayons.


broken crayons with papers removed
microwave safe bowls
oven mitts
candy mold


1. Sort the broken crayons by color. Place the different colors in a different bowl.
2. Microwave the crayons until just melted, about 4 minutes on high.
3. Using oven mitts, carefully remove the melted wax from the microwave.
4. Pour the wax over the mold. You can add several different colors to the mold.
5. Allow the wax to cool.
6. Turn over the mold and pop out the new crayons. Any excess wax can be trimmed and remelted.

Shaving Cream Art

We love art in our house on long rainy days. We have done shaving cream art a few times. The first time we did shaving cream art Little BBQ went nuts mixing the colors that he ended up with a mud green colored design. We also used a whole 8 ½ x 11” sheet of paper for the art design, but I have found that I like doing this project with smaller sheets of paper because it seems more manageable to dip the paper in the shaving cream with a small piece of the paper than with a large piece of paper. This time around we did the shaving cream art with Easter cut outs that were my patterns for my Easter marshmallow candy. 
Materials from Artful Parenting
Large flat container
Shaving cream
Food Coloring
Spoon or other item to mix the colors together with
Paper, cut into any size and shape desired
Wash cloth or paper towels

1.       Fill the bottom of the container with shaving cream.
2.       Add several drops of various colored food coloring to the shaving cream. Mix the colors together using a spoon or other mixing item. Be careful not to over mix the colors.
3.       Dip one side of the sheet of paper onto the shaving cream. Press down on the paper to make sure that the entire surface of the paper is coated with colored shaving cream.
4.       Lift up the sheet of paper out of the shaving cream and lay down  the paper shaving cream side up to absorb the colors for 2 minutes.
5.       Wipe the shaving off the paper shapes.
6.       Allow the paper to fully dry and enjoy your shaving cream art.

Book: Commotion in the Ocean

We have been working on studying the ocean and creatures that live in the ocean. One book that we really loved was Commotion in the Ocean. The book had pretty bright pictures and a story line that just had a nice rhythm to it when you read it out loud. The book didn’t go into any technical details but instead just made light of different characteristics of sea life. We decided to make our ocean. We made a clam, crab, dolphin, fish, and a jellyfish. This was a perfect preschool book.

Shibley Smiles

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal #13

In my life this week…
A lot of cool things happened this week. Little BBQ can finally catch a ball! It is amazing that do an adult catching a ball seems so easy, but to a child catching a ball takes a lot of coordination. Miss Bubbles was able to sit on a picnic bench without assistance and eat her entire meal.  I think that is a great accomplishment for 15 months. Miss Bubbles also went underwater by herself for the first time at the poor. She was standing on the stairs and just dunked her whole head in the water. She did not panic and came up for air when she was ready. Our first set of peas is growing; they are now about 3 inches tall. There are tons of dandelions everywhere so we have been incorporating them into our art projects of the week. Our neighbor’s tulips are starting to bloom just in time for Easter. I finished reading, The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet which was a good fast read and perfect for a middle school student interested in space. You can read my full review here.
In our homeschool this week…
We spent a lot of time outside. We looked for earthworms after a rain one day. We picked tons of dandelions. We crushed egg shells to put in our garden to add some calcium to the soil. We went to the library and got more books. We went to see a reproduction woodland Indian settlement which was a lot of fun. You can read about our adventure here.
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
We went to the park one night and had a picnic at the park. It was a lot of fun and this is where Miss Bubbles sat on the bench by herself unassisted and ate her entire dinner. We also visited the Woodland Indian settlement.
My favorite thing this week was…
We made some Easter marshmallows this week which was so much fun. My original idea was to make Peeps® but it turns out that I was not coordinated enough to make Peeps®. Instead I traced cookie cutters on a piece of paper and put the tracing under a sheet of wax paper so I could make Easter shapes. Little BBQ made the number 16 with his marshmallow goo. It was a fun project. You can read about it here.
What’s working/not working for us…
Being outside a lot is working for us. It is amazing to watch Little BBQ and Miss Bubble’s gross motor skills improve so much.
Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…
I really enjoy homeschooling; I really enjoying being the one to teach my children.
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
A photo of Little BBQ's "16" written in marshmallows with some chocolate on top.

Book Review: The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet by Neil deGrasse Tyson

The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet
The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet is a must read for a casual space geek. The book is light hearted with many cartoons and hand written letters from disgruntled elementary school students sprinkled inside. The author pokes fun of himself as one of the leaders of the downfall of Pluto as a planet. The book, The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet, does an excellent job of teaching technical science terms in a casual manner that is easy for the lay reader to understand. I would highly recommend this book for any middle or high school student interested in space history.
The last chapter of the book, The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet, is a note to educators on how to teach astronomy to young students that is well worth the read. Tyson suggests that educators teach the planets in terms of density. The inner planets of the solar system are denser than water and will sink if they are placed in a large bowl of water while the large gas planets will float and are less dense than water. Tyson says that Saturn has the approximate density of cork which will float in a bowl of water.
I think this book will make an appearance again when my children are old enough to read and understand this book. At approximately 150 pages it is a fast read with large type, so it will make a great supplementary science reading book. Plus, it is readily available at most public libraries.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Book: Flower Ball

I love books that use a lot of personification; I think it helps to stimulate a child’s imagination. The book, Flower Ball by Sigrid Laube, is a fun fantasy book about inclusion and acceptance. In the book, the vegetables and the flowers don’t get along, but no one can remember why they don’t get along. One day cauliflower decides that he wants to attend the beautiful flower ball; carrot decides to join him. The two travel together to the flower ball where the flowers stare at the party crashers. As the evening goes on the two groups realize that there really is no reason that they don’t like each other, and they decide to become friends. As our activity for this book we decided to personify dandelion since there are so many bold dandelion flowers in bloom right now. Little BBQ informed me that dandelion is a male who wears a dress, so we made a paper doll that wears and dress. He drew a face on dandelion. Little BBQ gave dandelion a hat on top of his well decorated dress.

PhotobucketShibley Smiles


Field Trip: Indian Woodland Settlement at Prophetstown State Park

We decided as a family to take a field trip out to Prophetstown State Park to see the Indian Woodland Settlement so Little BBQ can learn about the woodland Indians lived. Briefly, the settlement was started by Tenskwautawaw and Tecumseh1. The brothers left an Ohio Shawnee settlement to start a new Native American Confederation that rejected a trade based lifestyle1. Instead they focused on communal land and the old ways of living1; Tenskwautawaw was the medicine man for the community2. Tecumseh was a warrior leader who visions of creating an Indian nation that spanned from the great lakes to Mexico; Tecumseh was a sympathetic warrior who did not believe in unnecessary torture3.  
Randomly, we learned that the closer you lived to the center of the settlement, then the more important you are within the settlement.  Little BBQ got to sit inside a replica of a sweat lodge, and he got to see the living quarters for a common woodland Indian.
Council House:
Medicine Lodge:
Typical house and meat preparing areas:
For more information please visit:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal #12

In my life this week…
It was a fun week, but I wish we had a little better weather. Wednesday was beautiful and we spent the day outside in the garden, but it was cold or rainy every other day this week. This week we built a new garden plot and planted carrots (5 types), rutabaga, peas (4 types), mixed greens, Asian greens, swiss chard, and spinach. I am anxiously waiting for my plants to grow. I finished reading, The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs.  The book was a quick read. It was all right. I did not know what I was expecting, so I went into it with an open mind. The quest was a little odd. I guess I failed to see how spiritual enlightenment could occur just by following a series of outdate rituals.    
In our homeschool this week…
We made a zither which is a musical instrument. It was a fun little project for Little BBQ. We also learned about diffusion with Chinese Tea Eggs which was a lot of fun. We took our time and smelled every ingredient before we put it into the pot. We watched as the mixture heated up and bubbles started to form. We watched the egg transform from all white to pale brown and then dark brown. Then we got a great tasting treat in the end. We also started reading You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You which breaks Aesop’s fables into two speaking voices. I take one voice and Little BBQ takes the other. Little BBQ has been struggling with lying this week. He lied to us about taking pretzels into the living room (we do not allow food outside of the kitchen) and one of Aesop’s fables is about the boy who cried wolf. Little BBQ does not seem to understand what is wrong with lying. He knows that he will get in trouble for taking the pretzels in the living room, so he just tells us that it wasn’t him. Thankfully, he isn’t trying to blame someone else or his little sister for taking the pretzels into the living room.
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
We stayed close to home this week. We enjoyed every second we could outside. Little BBQ got to play with the neighbor girl, and Miss Bubbles crashed in on our neighbor’s bon fire. It was a good week.
My favorite thing this week was…
I really enjoyed making and planting our garden, but I also really enjoyed making the Chinese tea eggs. I cannot decide which item I enjoyed more.
What’s working/not working for us…
Hands on projects are working well for us. Little BBQ enjoys doing projects, and I enjoy the bonding time that I get with him from helping him make projects.
Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…
I really enjoy homeschooling. I am in the midst of researching math curriculum. Does anyone have any recommendations? I am currently leaning towards the Singapore curriculum.
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
Here is a photo of our Chinese tea eggs which we a blast to make.

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Music: Making a Zither

This week we have been working on slowly reading The Story of the Incredible Orchestra by Bruce Koscielniak which is an amazing nonfiction book of the history of the orchestra. We read the page on early musical instruments and came across a zither. I was unfamiliar with a zither, so we went on you tube and found some videos of people playing zithers.  We really enjoyed the relaxing music that large zithers produce (found in the korean video). It is a bit rustic sounding but still really pretty. It reminds me a bit of a harp.  A small zither reminds me more of a banjo (found in the Austrian and German videos). Some of our favorite zither music is listed below:
We also decided to make a zither. Our zither only ended up with 12 strings because I wanted enough room for Little BBQ to easily strum his zither.
A shallow card board box (I used a box for canning jars)
Scissors (they need to be sharp enough to cut through the card board box)
12-40 pieces of string long enough to drape across the box

Stuff to decorate the zither (we used patches of cloth and glue)


1.       Cut two parallel sides of the card board box at the crease.
2.       Gently move the sides inward about 1 inch to make a trapezoid. Fold the back end up towards the inward folding sides. Tape the trapezoid together.
3.       Trim the back end of the box to be the same height as the sides.
4.       Tape string across the zither from one inward folded side to the other inward folded side.
5.       Trim the excess string.
6.       Decorate your zither.

Shibley Smiles

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Diffusion Experiment: Chinese Tea Eggs

Diffusion Experiment
Diffusion is when molecules travel from an area of high concentration to low concentration. Diffusion can be difficult for a child to visualize, but with Chinese tea eggs diffusion is easily visualized. For a recipe for Chinese Tea Eggs see my cooking blog here. The tea solution is a dark brown color while the egg is white. When diffusion occurs through the cracks of the egg, the egg turns brown. The tea solution is the area of high concentration while the white egg is an area of low concentration. The shell protects parts of the egg from diffusion leaving the egg white if no diffusion occurs (usually occurring if you let the egg simmer for less than an hour) or a little diffusion may occur causing the egg to turn light brown. Using this simple experiment you can allow your child to see diffusion. Plus, Chinese tea eggs taste good. You can experiment with different simmering times to see more and more diffusion occur as time goes on. We let our eggs simmer for 2 hours and the eggs got a little brown under the egg shell while the cracks got very brown.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal - 11

In my life this week...

Well it was not a great week for us. On Tuesday, we tried to go to the local art museum only to find out that it is closed this week because they are changing out exhibits. Then, Little BBQ got the stomach flu, and then I got the stomach flu. It has not been a fun week.

In our homeschool this week...

We did not get a lot of schooling done this week due to all the illness. Since Little BBQ is young, I am the one driving the schooling forward, so if I am not healthy, then little to no schooling gets done.

Places we're going and people we're seeing...

We tried to go to the art museum this week, but it did not happen. We will attempt this field trip next week or the week after.

My favorite thing this week was...

My favorite thing this week was the Hawaiian kabobs that we had on the grill. We had sirloin steak, pineapple, bell pepper, onion, and potatoes on the kabobs. They were really tasty, and I love being able to cook outside on the grill. I look forward to more grilling weather this summer.

What's working/not working for us...

I have found that reading a new book to Little BBQ first, then having him reading it back to me works really well. When I read out loud to him, I read above his reading level, so it can be challenging for him to read back to me, but so far he is doing well with it.

As a follow up from last week, we have also made a new rule in our house that Little BBQ can only play wii on weekends and that is working really for us. He has stopped asking to play wii all the time making my day a lot easier.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...

I finished reading The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. I enjoyed reading the book, and I have lots of thoughts on the book that can be seen on my blog post about the book since it is really long.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...

I did some writing again for the Associated Press. I wrote:
1.       the best cooking blogs that are you are not reading (really you should check out these awesome blogs)
3.       five ways to throw an ecofriendly birthday party on a budget

And a photo of a pretty building in our town:

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Also posted on the Weekly Wrap Up.

Book Review: The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise

I have heard lots of references to the book, The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise, but I was not exactly sure what the program entailed, so I checked out the book from the library. As it turns out The Well Trained Mind is a suggested course of study for homeschooling students who want a classical education focusing on reading and writing. In fact, the program is super writing intensive with a lot of Latin sprinkled in and a dash of science and math. History is incorporated into all the reading and writing.
The program segregates education into three blocks. The first stage is the grammar stage where student learn facts; lots of facts. The grammar stage covers 1st-4th grade. The second stage is the logic stage where students learn cause and effect and begin to discover why things occur. The logic stage covers grades 5th-8th grade. The last stage is the rhetoric stage where students learn to combine the knowledge gathered in the first two phases of education to purse their chosen disciplines. In the high school years is where a student can specialize in various topics.
History is uniquely broken up within the three blocks of education. In the first year of a block, a student studies ancient history covering 5000 B.C.-A.D. 400. The second year within a block student study medieval history through early Renaissance history 400-1600. In the third year of a block, a student studies late Renaissance history to early modern history from 1850-present. This means that a student will study the same period in history three times.
Likewise science is broken up within the three blocks of education as well. In the first year of a block, a student studies biology. In the second year of a block a student studies earth science and astronomy except in high school when only astronomy is covered. The third year in a block is spent studying chemistry. The last year in a block is spent studying physics and in high school physics and computers is studied. The logic behind studying science in this order is that the rapid growth of these respective fields corresponds to the blocks in history noted above. 
Up until this point the program seems feasible. However, The Well Trained Mind is a big book that covers a lot of information. There are curriculum reviews and recommendations, schedules, lists of important people, and teaching methods.  When you first read the book, the program will seem overwhelming because the authors cover education from the preschool years through high school which is a lot of education to cover in one book.
I found the schedules in The Well Trained Mind very tedious because I like numbers and visuals and the schedules were tediously written out with detailed directions. I can quickly understand a program better when I see what percentage of my time will be spent on each subject.  I also wanted to see the schedules lined up in charts so I can quickly see the progression of education through time.  Below I have made pie charts for each grade level for the amount of time spent on a subject. I hope these charts can help another overwhelmed parent visualize the program quickly. The schedules often contain a range of time that a subject should be covered, but to make my charts consistent I always used the maximum amount of time used in the ranges.

My charts lack the detail that the book offers, so if you are curious to learn about the program and curriculum recommendations, then please read the book.
After reading the book The Well Trained Mind and looking at my charts, I am apprehensive to follow this program exactly. Many people criticize the program because it does not focus on the creative spirit of a child, however, my criticism of the program stems from the fact that math and science seem to take a back burner in this course of study. According to Fox Business, the top ten jobs of the future are going to be genetic counselor, organic farmer, medical records administrator, mobile application developer, robotics technician, stimulation engineer, social media manager, stem cell researcher, and sustainability officer. Looking at these jobs all of them have a heavy focus on math, science, or technology (even organic farmers need to have a good running knowledge of science in order to implement new technologies in the field.) Under The Well Trained Mind schedules your student will be focusing a lot on reading, writing, and Latin. While reading and writing are excellent foundations to learn science in the early years, more focus needs to be placed on skills that are going to be needed in the future.
As a homeschooling parent, your job is to prepare your child for the real world and provide them with skills that are necessary to thrive in the structure of our current society. Some student may have no interest in science and math, so they are going to have a natural propensity towards the humanities and this is fine since we need excellent writes to communicate stories of our times or social workers who can work towards ensuring that all children grow up in a safe home. Under these circumstances The Well Trained Mind schedules are excellent. However, if you child has a gift or natural interest in science and math, then you are doing your child a disservice by choosing to place math and science on the back burner. In my humble opinion, I would scale back the study of Latin and add more science. In particular I would combine astronomy and chemistry into 10th grade and spend more time on those subjects. Then I would move physics to 11th grade. For a student who is particularly gifted in science I would add a second year of biology to 11th grade or for student with more average interested in science I would add a second biology course to 12th grade. For a student with a lot of interest in science I would add either a second study of chemistry or physics in 12th grade. Biology is probably the most rapidly changing field in science right now. The reality is that we are only beginning to understand the living world around us. Of the top ten jobs listed above four require a strong biology background: genetic counselor, organic farmer, stem cell researcher, and sustainability officer.  Biology is easier to understand once a student has a good fundamental understanding of chemistry. This is why I suggest adding a second year of biology to high school after chemistry has been fully studied at the high school level. List below are my recommendations for a revised science schedule and an accelerated revised science schedule.
Revised Science Schedule
9th grade: biology
10th grade: astronomy and chemistry
11th grade: physics
12th grade: biology
Accelerated Revised Schedule
9th grade: biology
10th grade: astronomy and chemistry
11th grade: physics and biology
12th grade: chemistry or physics
The second dose of biology, chemistry, or physics should prepare a homeschooling student to take the AP (advanced placement) exam. Taking an AP exam will show prospective colleges that your child is capable and ready for college level work. Likewise, I have adjusted the amount of time spent on science within the schedule charts below.
A second change that I would make to the curriculum is to add a systems thinking class in 9th grade and again cut down on the Latin. Our world is not a simple cause and effect relationship; instead our world is complex full of intertwined relationships that all affect one another. In order to prepare our children for a complex environment, I think a class in systems thinking would be beneficial since the student already has an excellent understanding of logic. Systems thinking will allow students to understand science in history in a whole new way. Systems thinking is the next step after logic and will prepare a child who wants to purse any career path. Listed below are my updated schedule charts.

I think if you are considering a classical education for your child, then you need to read The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. The book is thought provoking, meticulous, and detailed. It lays out a solid education for student who wants to pursue the humanities. For a student who wants to pursue a career in science or medicine, then I think an alternative schedule should be followed, but The Well Trained Mind provides a solid foundation for anyone to begin planning their homeschooling education.
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