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Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling

Our Earth
Category: Science
Tags: earth science plate tectonics rocks and minerals atmosphere weather geology

CPO Earth Science: Full textbook and accompanying "investigations" lab book. For middle school.
Earth Science Concepts for Middle School: CK-12 Flexbook with 14 chapters covering: earthís features, rocks and minerals, plate tectonics, water, atmosphere, weather and climate, landforms, natural resources, the solar system and beyond.
High School Earth Science: CK-12 Flexbook with 26 chapters on earth and space science, plus a glossary.

Earth Science Illustrated Guide: Contains maps, charts, graphs and diagrams, with associated explanations, illustrating key earth science and space concepts. Thereís a glossary at the end. This download has 209 pages.

Earth Science Lessons for middle school from Oregon State University. Covers plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanoes, rocks and minerals.

Earth Revealed: Series of 26 half-hour videos on geology; for high school students.


Inside the Earth Webquest: Guide to various sites to gather information and fill out a Google document on earthís layers, convection currents, drifting continents, sea floor spreading, and plate tectonics.

Geology Lab Online:†Several online activities for learning about earthquake epicenters, how geologists and archaeologists date rocks and ancient artifacts, and river processes.

Earth Science Paper Models:†Cut out and assemble 3-D models of volcanoes, landforms, fossils, planets, and other things related to earth science.

101 Earth Science Demos:Demonstrate concepts using just a few everyday items. The objective of the demo, procedure to follow, and science behind the demo is described. Five sections include geosphere, atmosphere, hydroshpere, space, and miscellaneous. This download has 106 pages.

Weather Proverbs:†Examine weather proverbs to determine their meaning, and the scientific principles they're based on.

Animations and Interactives:
Journey to the Center of the Earth:†Travel to the earthís core, with sights along the way.

Earth Guide: How is the earth different from other planets? Where does the sky become space? These and other questions are answered in a series of interesting animations.

Visual Lessons: For K - 12 on many earth sci topics.

Saving Sea Turtles
Category: Science
Tags: sea turtles facts loggerhead turtle sea turtle sea turtle pictures loggerhead

(Visit Sea Turtles Inc. for free lessons about sea turtles. Learn about the different types of turtles and how they nest. Construct a model of a sea turtle and build a marine habitat. Learn about hatchlings and how they navigate, and how stranded turtles are cared for).

While vacationing at Edisto Beach, SC, we got a chance to tag along with the Sea Turtle Patrol, a group of volunteers who work with SCís Department of Natural Resources to monitor and report turtle activity on Edisto Beach. The group helps to track and protect loggerhead turtles with the goal of increasing nesting success along the beaches. †

We set out with the group after 7 p.m. on a Friday evening to check a couple of nests on the beach off of Edisto Beach State Park. (We were staying at a campground there). The Turtle Patrolís task was to count the hatched and unhatched eggs, and to count and release any hatchlings they uncovered into the sea. The data they obtain is shared with the Sea Turtles Restoration Project which you can learn more about at

The loggerhead is one of seven kinds of sea turtles in the world, and is the state reptile for South Carolina.† In the United States, the southeastern region from North Carolina to Florida hosts the majority of the nesting.†The turtle has been listed as "threatened" on the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered†Species List since July of 1978.†Loss of nesting habitat, due to such factors as coastal development, has been the greatest threat to the turtles. Conservation efforts aim to reclaim areas for turtle nesting to increase their odds of survival.

Loggerhead Turtle Nesting†(from Edisto†Beach State Park Environmental Learning Center)

Every summer, sea turtles nest on our coasts. Individual turtles nest every two to three years, and lay an average of four nests per season. To nest, many females seek out the same area where they were hatched. This is the only time they will leave the protection of the ocean.

Come Out, Come Out

Typically, after the eggs hatch the babies wait 24 hours to emerge so they can soak up all the food in the egg yolks and be strong enough for the trek to and subsequent life in the ocean.†

​At the first nest we came to, they uncovered eight hatchlings. The second nest had six or seven.

The hatchlings face many threats. Itís estimated that only 1 out of every 5,000 eggs develops into an adult animal. If the eggs donít get eaten by raccoons or the hatchlings make it to the water without being scooped up by a shore bird, they still have to escape from fish, sharks and shrimp trawlers.†

Even light threatens the hatchlings. When they emerge at night, they rely on light reflected off the water from the sky to guide them out to sea. Sometimes car headlights, street lights, or lights on buildings near the beach cause some hatchlings to travel in the wrong direction.

​Out to Sea

After they collect the babies in buckets, they bring them out near the oceanís edge where everyone gathers around to watch them creep out to the water. Everyone clapped and cheered as the waves rushed in and pulled the hatchlings out to sea and their new life. It was a nice ending to our trip.

Highhill Homeschool

Theory of Relativity
Category: Science
Tags: theory of relativity albert einstein theory of relativity relativity time travel possible

This year marks†the 100th anniversary of the year Einstein completed the†general theory of relativity. Here are some free resources to help our kids -- and ourselves -- wrap our brains around this topic.

Einstein's Innovative Thinking:†Videos and an interactive from PBS LearningMedia explaining special and general relativity.

Adventures Through Relativity:†Head over to Supercharged Science for more video lessons.

Is Time Travel Possible?:†TedEd lesson.

Einstein's Big Idea:†NOVA docudrama illuminating Einstein's breakthroughs. Here's the accompanying study guide.

Theory of Relatvity in Action:†Article describing 8 ways we can see instances of relativity in our daily lives.


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