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Learning About Egypt

We had so much fun and found so many cool things to learn about during our counties of the world study last year that we only ended up getting through about half of the countries that we had planned to. This year we're picked up where we left off and started with Egypt!  Basic Information Egypt is a country in north eastern Africa. It's bordered by Libya, Sudan, the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, Israel, and the Gaza Strip. Egypt is almost entirely desert, with a narrow fertile plain along the Nile River. Population:  102 million Size:  390,000 square miles Capital: Cairo Currency: the Egyptian pound National Anthem:   بلادي لك حبي وفؤادي National Animal: stepped eagle Flag:  Famous Places and Landmarks The Giza Plateau-  Located just outside of Cairo, the Giza Plateau is the site of the ancient pyramids of Khufu, the Sphinx, and the remains of an ancient industrial complex. You can learn more about the Giza Plateau with this short video from FreeSchool:  The Pyramids of Egypt

Yarn Wrapped Walking Sticks

My kids are always collecting and bringing home cool sticks that they find. I thought we would put a few to good use by decorating them and using them as walking sticks while we're hiking. They ended up turning out pretty cool, and my kids love bringing them with us on our outdoor adventures! For this activity you will need: -Some sturdy walking stick sized sticks -Yarn -Beads (make sure they're the right size to string on yarn, pony beads and large wooden beads work well) -Craft feathers Start by cleaning up your sticks a bit. Scrub off any dirt and insects. Sand down any sharp edges. Cut a piece of yarn several feet long, tie it to the top of your stick, and start wrapping. When you run out of yarn or are ready to stop wrapping, tie it again, and trim off any extra yarn. Get creative, try using several colors, make a pattern, whatever you think will look cool.  After your stick is wrapped, tie some pieces of string at the top (or wherever you want) and string on some beads or

All About Snails!

  What is a Snail? Snails, along with slugs, and whelk belong to a group of invertebrates (animals without backbones) called gastropods, and gastropods belong to a larger group called mollusks, which includes snails, slugs, clams, muscles, squids, and octopuses. Snails live through out the world. They can be found from the far northern and southern oceans to the equatorial regions. There are snails that live on land and snails that live in fresh and salt water.  Snails have a hard outer shell that is big enough for the entire snail to hide inside. They slide around on a muscle like foot and most of their organs are found inside the shell. Land snails have two sets of tentacles on their heads. The upper set has eyes at the tips. The lower set is for olfaction (smelling). Fun Facts About Snails -Snails are related to shellfish. -The world's smallest snail is .03 inches tall, small enough to fit through the eye of a needle. -Garden snails move at a top speed of about half an inch a mi

Fun with Chromatography

What is Chromatography? Chromatography is a laboratory technique used to separate the components of a mixture. Typically the mixture is moved along a stationary material like gelatin or paper by a liquid or gas carrier. The different components of the mixture are deposited back on the material at different rates, thus seperating them for analysis. It sounds complicated, but you can do some simple paper chromatography easily at home with coffee filters and markers. Basic Paper Chromatography Experiment  For this activity you will need: -A coffee filter -Scissors -Washable markers of several different colors. Black and brown markers tend to work best. Try several different brands. -A few small cups -Tape -A few pencils Marker ink is often made up of several different pigments, especially the darker colors like blacks and browns. Using a simple paper chromatography technique you can separate these pigments so that you can actually see them individually. Start by cutting the coffee filter

Learning About Geologic History- The Cenozoic Era

The Cenozoic Era began around 66 million years ago and continues to the present. It is broken into 3 periods- the  Paleogene the Neogene, and the Quaternary. The early part of the Quaternary Period, known as the Pleistocene Epoch, was our most recent ice age. If you haven't already, be sure to check out the other posts in my Learning About Geologic History Series: Learning About Fossils Learning About Geologic History- The Paleozoic Era Learning About the Mesozoic Era- The Age of the Dinosaurs Periods of the Cenozoic Era The Paleogene  The Paleogene Period is the earliest period of the Cenozoic Era. It lasted from about 66 million years ago to around 23 million years ago. The Paleogene is most notable as the period when mammals diversified. By the end of the Paleogene most of the major groups of mammals that we know today were present. Animals of the Paleogene Period include: t error birds (huge flightless birds), early horses, early rhinoceros and elephants. Learn more about the P

A Look at Our Homeschool Plans- 6th Grade and Kindergarten

  We take a pretty student led approach to learning in our household, so I always sit down with my kids before we order our curriculum and supplies each year to get their input on what topics we are going to cover. This year I'm making plans for both a 6th grader and a kindergartner, so I'm planning on putting together some unit studies that can accommodate both of them. Here's a look at what we have planned so far: Science: The last few years we've chosen one pretty broad science topic as a theme for the entire year.  Last year we did geologic history, and learned all about the fossil record, dinosaurs, the ice age and more. The year before was birds. This year the girls picked astronomy. I'm putting together my own curriculum using a bunch of different resources. We're starting with learning about our solar system, then we'll learn about stars and other things beyond our solar system, and then I'm planning a fun STEM unit about rockets.  Some of the re

Learning About Australia

Our final country we studied this year was Australia. It was an especially fun country to learn about because of it's unique wildlife and ecosystems. My kids loved learning about the Great Barrier Reef and all the amazing sea life that lives there.  We only made it through about half of the countries I had planned to get through this year because we ended up finding so many interesting things to learn about. We started with several countries in Europe and then moved on to Aisia and Australia this year. Next year we will be learning about a few countries in Africa, then we'll finish up with South and Central America. You can find the links to all the countries we've already covered here:  Learning About the Countries of the World . Basic Information   Australia is considered both an island and the smallest continent. It's located in the south Pacific Ocean. The terrain is mainly low plateau and desert, with some fertile plains in the southeast. The climate ranges from su