Buy Biology Quizzes and Edible Cell Certificates


A a full set of Biology quizzes can be purchased from my Etsy shop.

Now available, the Edible Cell Project – A Mad Science Experiments and seven Edible Cell certificates.  Fun!


Thank you!

A Math Conversation

I cannot teach math.  It just doesn’t come out of my mouth in such a way that the kids can understand.  So, in our home The Dad does a lot of the math with the girls.  Tonight conversation went like this…

Rebekah, “I don’t remember!”

Dad, “What do you mean?  You JUST did that same problem a minute ago!”

Rebekah,  “I had a BRAIN FART!

And then Satan said…

But when The Dad gets involved in math, it is cow.

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H. L. Hunley

I don’t know what is up with WordPress (probably my fault, but I am not going to admit it), but here is the missing post.

The H.L. Hunley was built in 1863.  Manned by eight men and is the first submarine to sink a ship, Housatonic in wartime.

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It sank during a test drive on August 19, 1863 killing five of the eight crewmen.
It was retrieve and it sank again during another test drive, on October 15, 1863 killing all eight crewmen.
On February 17, 1864, it went into battle.  The submarine attacked and sank the USS Housatonic.   Unfortunately the Hunley also sank, killing all crew members and was lost.

The wreck was located by a man named Spence in 1970 and again in 1995 by NUMA.  On August 8, 2000 the Hunley was removed from the water.

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The area where the crewmen worked is incredibly small.  The photo below is a replica that was used in a movie.  This replica is larger than the actual submarine.  Sir Husband look very comfortable, doesn’t he?

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The size is only 48″ diameter.  The tallest crewmen was 6’1″.  Can we say claustrophobic?

Hunley 021It was once believed that the torpedo was attached to a string.  Once the torpedo was embedded into the ship’s haul, the submarine would reverse pulling the string and then setting off the torpedo.  It has been recently found that this is not the case.  The torpedo was detonated by a push button.  Just 20 feet or so from the ship.

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It is unknown how the crewmen actually ended up on the bottom of the sea, but three possibilities are given during the tour.

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If you ever visit Charleston, SC, I suggest you take time to visit this museum.

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They have even reconstructed the heads of the crewmen.  Creepy and cool all at the same time.

Because I Can’t Remember… A Pinterest Challenge

I don’t write a schedule for math.  My youngest sometimes takes two or more days to comprehend a concept.  There are months days when she has RCI (Rectal Cranial Inversion  a.k.a. butthead attitude) that she can’t even answer 5+1.  So, we just plug along…

Saxon Algebra books have their testing schedule written in the Test booklet.  For example it says, “Test 3, Covers material up through:  Lesson 12,  Give after Lesson 16″.   That’s great, but I don’t look at that booklet everyday to see if a test is coming up and those numbers do not stick in my head.  How am I going to keep up with this?  I know for a fact my youngest won’t remind me there is a test coming up!

To help my brain, I am using Post-it pads.  Got the idea from Pinterest, of course.

Downloaded 3×3 post-it note template from

Just print the template first, add fun notes on the template on your computer, stick blank post-it notes in the squares, place it in your printer and then print!  That’s it.  A warning,  make sure you know the direction your printer prints.  Insert the page so the post-it note stick part goes in first.  :)

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To make it really fun, I found math jokes on the internet.  Some of the jokes I used I found here on Pinterest.  I really like this one.  LOL  Not really a joke, though.


After printing out my reminders, I just posted them right in the textbook on the lesson that needs to be done AFTER the test.  Since I sit with the daughter for each lesson, we BOTH will know she has to take a test.

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I nailed it!  At least this will help me from getting RCI.



Life in a Drop of Water

We can use a syringe and a green laser light to observe specimens in a drop of pond water.  As the laser shines through the drop of water, the light slows down and refract causing the image to look larger on the wall.  Check out Drop Magnifier to learn more on how this really works.

I was excited to show this to my class again this year.    This video was taken at home.  We don’t have a large screen, so we taped two sheets of white paper on the wall.  Tape is distracting.  We did use a large white screen at co-op.

To help keep the laser steady and hold the dropper, I had my daughter build a Lego Tower.

building stand

Our co-op has several nurses in it, so getting special science items isn’t that hard to do. :)  Sterile q-tips for the cheek cells, surgical masks, syringes, and barf bags are always welcomed.  We even had a nurse give us a bag full of test tubes that the hospital was going to throw out.  So give a nurse a hug and ask her for a syringe for this project.

This is a 60 CC syringe. It gave a pretty good size drop at the tip, which is what I wanted to make it easier to shine the laser through.

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The tower held the syringe very well, but I had to adjust the angle of the laser to get the beam just right through the drop of water.  It is kind of tricky to get the laser just right.  Students enjoyed this and they got to see life in a drop of water.

Got this idea from Hack A Day.

Pond Water Experiment


Oh the smell!   Yes, letting pond water, with food source,  sit in the garage for DAYS will make it rather ripe. LOL   This is a fun class.  It is so much fun, previous students often visit.  The girl in the striped shirt, is a student from two years ago!

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New students.  Unfortunately, their pond samples did not produce organisms.  We decided it was due to the water being treated.  They were able to observe specimens the other students brought in.

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Eyedroppers were used to collect the specimens from the pond water.  Just a drop taken near the food source will usually have a large amount of organisms.

Gathering specimens

Not a great picture below, but you can see some organisms in the eddy-biddy circle.  LOL  If you could actually see in this microscope you would see a bunch of organisms swimming around.  Looked like a lot of rice wiggling around.

Micro specimens

Yes, just a drop of water has a world of its own in it.  Below is a look through a drop of water. It shows mostly the food source and you don’t see a good image of the organisms.  Tomorrow I will explain how this was done and show you the video of the organisms swimming around.

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Enjoy your experiment!