Saturday, October 3, 2015

How does bile help digest fat in the body?

In our homeschool this week, D,8 looked at more of the human body and we did this easy experiment to show how bile works to break down fat for digestion.
easy bile digestion experiment
This post may contain affiliate links.

In a nutshell, bile is a chemical produced by your liver. It's stored in your gallbladder and it  breaks down the fat molecules so they can't bind together during digestion. They're then swept through and processed/excreted with everything else.

Here's his experiment page:

And here's how he did the experiment. Please note that the food coloring is there specifically to help you see the fat moving within the liquid, with the dish soap acting as the bile in this example.

Don't miss these great posts by my co-hosts!

Glow in the Dark Lava Lamp from The Science Kiddo

Friday, October 2, 2015

Week of Sept 28-Oct 2, 2015

Happy Friday! Can you believe it's already October? Neither can I. We've still got glorious sunshine and hot summer temperatures here, which means we're still getting a ton of produce from our garden:

Your eyes aren't deceiving you, our strawberry plants have bloomed a second time this year.
Not too shabby for October in Northern Ontario, eh? [pats self smugly on back for all-Canadian reference] We're not complaining!

It has been so warm that the kids are still swimming in the lake, albeit with wet suits. Amazing.

In other news from around the homestead, we got the goat shed painted.

The goats are very pleased with this new development and inspect regularly. We are, too, because having them further down the property will mean that we aren't being awoken by Cletus's honks, snorts and "Hey ladies" noises every morning. I always picture him as one of the guys in that old SNL "What is Love?" skit, the one with the dance music and the head bobbing.

Homeschool updates for the week:

We went on a field trip with our local (read: the entire island) homeschool group to the Chocolate Works Factory in Kagawong on Wednesday, the only cold day of the entire month. It was a real hardship going into a warm room full of chocolate, let me tell you.

After the tour, which was super interesting and culminated in free samples, hot chocolate and coffee (these ladies are so nice!), we went for a hike down the forest trail to Bridal Veil Falls (you've probably seen our visits when it's frozen solid). The first thing that you see when you go in from the beach end is this incredible carved salmon in a huge stone, made by talented local artist Michael Belmore:

We were all oohing and aahing. Anyway, we got about 30 feet past that and who should we stumble across but Michael himself, working on a new carving! He was incredibly gracious and when he saw how interested everyone was, he interrupted his work to give the kids a mini-lecture on how he makes them and about how long they take, as well as telling us where we could find his next carving along the trail. It was an unexpected but very much appreciated field trip bonus!

When we got to the falls, the salmon who'd made it upstream already were all swimming around, so we looked at them for a while and then the kids went back to stick swordfights, climbing behind and around the falls, and hunting crayfish in the pools of water on the shore.

The kids were fascinated by the crayfish already feeding on a dead salmon! See the second one on the right, and the third climbing up at the base of the tail on the left?

All in all, a most excellent day and it was really nice to see our friends.

On our bookshelves this week:

I have a bunch of Enid Blyton's adventure stories from when I was a kid, and I scored a bunch more at a vintage store this summer, so D,8 has been working his way enthusiastically through them. This week, it was Five on a Treasure Island and Five On Finniston Farm.

K,23 has been enjoying Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities. This author has several equally entertaining books, and this just happens to be the first of the three we bought. If learning about exploding shrubs, a leaf that triggered a war and many similar pieces of information appeals to you, this is a must-read and I am eagerly awaiting my turn with it.

I've been reading a book (only one - very rare for me but I keep dozing off!) recommended by our library assistant this summer, called Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children.
It's like Harry Potter for adults, kind of, and it's all based around bizarre and occasionally mildly disturbing vintage black and white photos that he hunted down or borrowed the use of. Really, really good! There are 3 books in the series so far and I've already requested a hold on the next one. (Note to my father in law: I think you'll really like this one.)

Some school stuff we got done:
D looked at poems and had to write a couple of short lines of poetry himself.

"Red, juicy, sweet. Good pies a healthy treat!" (It certainly beats my own first 3rd grade poem of "I have a little turkey, he is a little jerky" which I have never lived down.)

He also had to look at a picture of a bridge and write what it made him think of:

"A wonderfule (sic) bridge over the beautiful water well. The beautiful water well will be drunk from". Ok, not so much on the grammar but I liked the creativity and imagination!

He's had a few online chess lessons and is eager to start playing his dad and siblings (not me-I consistently forget what the pieces do!). He aced his first biology test covering various muscles, cartilage, skin and a few other things I can't remember right this minute. He also did a fun experiment about bile's purpose in digestion, which I'll share in tomorrow's STEM Saturday post.

He is really, and occasionally overdramatically, missing the Waldorf method of schooling that we went with last year, as am I, but since budget does not allow (Note to any Waldorf curriculum providers: want to sponsor us?!) we'll just be using Earthschooling's monthly Waldorf enrichment packages at D's request so we can still get some extracurricular goodness in. More on these later.

M,14 is chugging along and mostly only checks in when she's done, or when she has something to show me. She made it through another two dozen SAT prep words and got 100% on the quizzes. She's always had a good vocabulary but this is really expanding her ability to express herself clearly and we're seeing the new words sprinkled into everyday conversation (with a twinkle in her eye).

She read a chapter every day from Tom Sawyer and made notes for her upcoming paper.  On a couple of those days, though, she read them in bed and the warm blankets and helpful affectionate dogs had a somewhat soporific effect, leading to an extended school day!

A poem she wrote this week made me laugh. She gave me permission to share it:

"As I look at the sun
I wish I was done
for the world is bright and gay.

Yes I wish I was done
out there in the sun,
whiling my time away.

As I sit at my desk
it's not a hard guess
that I'd rather lie in the grass

I could find a sweet nook
and read a good book
but I'm here at my desk, alas."

Smart-aleck girl. :)

In her financial math class, she had her older brother join in because it was a group exercise. In the first week, she had to choose from one of three apartments, fill out a lease agreement and begin entering her debits and credits in her fake checkbook register.

This week, they had a list of furniture that they might need and had to guess the price for each and then compare. It was a real eye-opener for them to look online at what those items might really cost, because we mostly buy vintage or antique pieces and they hadn't had a lot of exposure to new furniture costs. I think they both experienced some major sticker shock! ("Seriously, people spend a thousand dollars on a couch?!" "Forget the bed if it's that expensive. I'll just sleep on the couch in a sleeping bag.")

In her animal science class, she covered classifications for fish. She also continued to record daily observations of other animal related things around the homestead. She lets me read these and I am seeing new things through her eyes. I had never noticed that the baby chicks occasionally follow the wrong Barred Rock hen and get slightly lost!

All in all, it has been a really good week, something to hold me over on a bad week which I'm sure will come! How was your week?

Linking up to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and a few other great link parties.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Waldorf inspired: Easy beeswax preserved fall leaves

I have been seeing these preserved beeswax fall leaves all over Pinterest for a few years now, but we've never given it a try ourselves before today! It was such an easy fall craft for kids and the end results are gorgeous. This morning, when we got up, we saw that the very first of our leaves had changed color overnight, so it seemed like the perfect day for it.

I keep a thrift-store purchased Crockpot specifically for melting beeswax, because it's really difficult to get out when cleaning and I am lazy. I can recommend it; it was one of the best $2 I have spent in years!

Anyway, it couldn't be easier. You melt your beeswax on low for about 15 minutes - we did this on the deck- while you hunt for leaves.
It helps if can sweet-talk your dad into acting as your assistant.

Don't forget to stop and admire the Wooly Bear caterpillar on the "road" (Jeff Foxworthy: "You might be a redneck if directions to your house include 'turn off the paved road'.... ")

Of course, this involves a short break to show it to your brother/look it up in your bug book/find a jar and some clover. I mean, you can't just leave it there, right?

Once enough of the beeswax is melted enough to dip, you hold it by the stem with a clothespin and dip it in so the leaf is lying flat in the wax. (We tried the hands-only method and D kept accidentally dipping his baby finger in the hot wax, so we added the clothespin for extra safety.)

Once it's completely covered with a light coating of the wax, flip it over and repeat. Then clip your leaf with the clothespin onto something to dry it. We used some parcel twine and a free corner of the deck for this.

Leave them for a few minutes to cool completely. In D's case, stretching out in the summer-heat sunshine killed the waiting time.

Why yes, that is a workbench behind him. I've been sanding and repainting our front door in my "spare time".

Now admire your handiwork! We've moved our line of leaves indoors and it's hanging as a bunting in front of some windows. When the sun shines on them, the house smells incredible.
beeswax preserved fall leaves
Linking up at Natural Beach Living and a bunch of other great places - see "Places we love to link up at" for more!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Why are bones hollow?

For this week's STEM Saturday I thought I'd share an experiment that D, 8 had to do as part of his Biology class this week. This was a quick and easy experiment for kids to show why bones are hollow instead of solid. You can see all my co-hosts' STEM activities at the end of this post.

why are bones hollow

D rolled 2 pieces of paper and taped them. The first was hollow and about an inch in diameter; the second was rolled as tightly as he could so that it had no hollow area inside. These represented hollow bone and solid bones, respectively.

He placed a paper plate on the top of the hollow "bone", and began piling apples on. He got 10 apples balanced on top before it finally collapsed.
why are bones hollow experiment
why are bones hollow experiment

D then repeated the experiment with the solid "bone". It collapsed when he put the first apple on it!

why are bones hollow experiment
I just noticed that this photo's kind of blurry. Sorry about that.

This was linked from the biology class that D is taking through the free curriculum All In One Homeschool, and I thought it was a great illustration of the increased strength of hollow bones.

Some books D read this week to go along with his human body studies:

Make sure to check out my co-hosts' STEM posts too!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...