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Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling

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Plants, Flowers and Trees
Category: Science
Tags: parts of plants parts of flowers identifying trees

Free resources to supplement your study of plants, flowers, and trees, including interactives, free readers, and virtual forests and trips.†

Start with The Science of Soil†which offers free lesson plans and interactives on the properties of soil. There are also hands-on activities, like measuring basic soil chemistry in your backyard, and videos on how different produce is grown.

To study plant processes, check out this interactive doc on photosynthesis and cellular respiration:†

The Great Plant Escape -†Presents information in six "case files" so that kids can solve the mysteries of plant life. Covers: parts of plants, life cycle of plants, soil, seeds, and plant reproduction. Each case file has several hands-on activities or experiments that can be done.

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Photosynthesis:†An interactive that † † explains the process.

Photonsynthesis Videos:†From NeoK12; also has links to quiz games and puzzles ††

Life of a Tree: Interactive†

Flower Parts:†An interactive describing the parts of a flower and how flowers reproduce. Here's†another†one†that mentions pollination.† †† † † † † † † † † ††

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Microorganisms:†Text and interactives that teach about fungi and algae

Free BrainPop Movies -†These cover: how flowering plants produce seeds; photosynthesis and respiration; gymnosperms and angiosperms

Take a walk in the forest and ID trees using†this dichotomous key.

Focus on Food
Category: Misc.
Tags: food food science farm to table agriculture growing corn types of sandwiches

Farm to Fork: Even if your kids understand that the food we eat does not originate at the supermarket, you may still want to check out the Tesco Eat Happy Project. It focuses on teaching kids about where food comes from, how itís made, and how to prepare it in nutritious and delicious ways. The site provides access to such free resources as:

  • virtual field trips: Each focuses on a particular food, like salmon, or tea. These are live trips that can be accessed through Google+ Hangouts. (Two upcoming trips scheduled this month will feature peppers and tomatoes). You can also view archived videos, and download associated information sheets (eg. life cycle of a salmon; history of tea infographic).
  • lesson plans and activities: You can look for ones that go with a particular field trip, or search by age, subject, or food group.
  • yummy recipes: There are a wide variety of ideas here that can be filtered by age and food group.

Cornucopia: Learn about the domestication of maize, and its development into a food and fuel at WeedToWonder.org. Thereís comprehensive information here, including how new varieties of corn were produced, and the rise of corn genetics, leading to further transformation of this and other key plants. Text is presented in easily navigated chapters, with associated videos and interactives. In addition, there are a couple of labs you can do, one involving the study of inherited traits, the other, an investigation of genotype and phenotype, both using corn.

Explore Food: The Science of Cooking features information, activities, webcasts and interactives on a variety of food topics, including how different candies are made; breads of the world; journey through an organic egg farm; fascinating pickle facts; spice map, and more.

Design a Glog about Sandwiches: For this project, from FamilyConsumersicences.com, choose a type of sandwich to research, and present such facts as the history of a particular sandwich, food groups it represents, recipe, etc. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will find the free downloads for this project, including project instructions, a nice powerpoint describing types of sandwiches, and a fill-in-the-blank note sheet to go with the PowerPoint.

Free Books About Food

Feeding a Growing Population: This online science module from Concord Consortium features data analysis activities exploring how we use our land and soil, climate and crop growth, improving soil quality, and improving agricultural methods.

(Click pic for full infographic on food idioms).



Solar Eclipse 2017
Category: Science
Tags: solar eclipse sun

Gear up for the big event, and learn more about the sun, with these free resources:

What You'll See:†Type in your zip code to see what your eclipse experience will be. Do some comparisons to locations of friends and family.

Learn about solar eclipses and the characteristics of the sun†with these PBS LearningMedia resources.

Difference between a lunar and solar eclipse.

NASA Eclipse Kit and Activity Guide.

Free Lessons:†Here's one from Kids Discover, and another from Mystery Science.

Here's a list of solar eclipse activities, and additional resources.

View an eclipse infographic:

Free Science Reader:

DIY Sun Science:†Free app with 13†hands-on activities for doing your own sun explorations.

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