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With Lee in Virginia ~ An Heirloom Audio Review

With Lee in Virginia Audio Drama Review

Heirloom Audio Productions has reignited a love for G.A. Henty books in our family. We have several in our collection, but not enough, I've decided, since listening to With Lee in Virginia, an audio drama about duty, heroic courage, and honor during the Great War between the Northern and Southern States of America - the Civil War.

Botany, Seeds, Flowers, Pollination & Fruits

Sharing what we've been up to for Science this summer with Exploring Creation with Botany.


This is my second time through this book in my homeschool and it is one of my favorites of all the books in the Young Explorer series that we've been through so far (which is all but the newest one).

So far we are averaging about a week per unit (with a few weeks off for vacation and summer camps), so we need a good 6 more weeks of summer to finish if we stay on track. 

We are using the printable notebooking pages available in the Extras link mentioned in the book. 

Here's what we've been up to. . . 

Lesson 1: Intro to Botany, Taxonomy, Angiosperms, Gymnosperms, Seedless Vascular and Nonvascular Plants


Classifying shoes



Notebooking


Building a light hut


Growing seedlings


Designing a notebook cover


Notebooking for Lesson 1


Lesson 2: Seeds, Monocots & Dicots


Examining a been seed embryo




Labeling the parts of a seed



Learning about seeds


and finding unusual seed coats. 


Creating our own seeds and plants they grow into: "The Bee Plant" and "The Creeping Vinebury"


Doing experiments




Writing up lab reports a.k.a. scientific speculation sheets


Learning about monocots and dicots




Finding examples of monocots


and dicots


Witnessing the start of a strawberry, which led nicely into our next lesson

Lesson 3: Flowers


Dissecting a flower



Naming flower parts


Labeling flower parts


Labeling a flower



Creating flowers ~ the Lion Plant and the Firefly Plant - the flowers light up like fireflies :) 

Lesson 4: Pollination


Learning about pollinators 


We studied butterflies in more depth for Bo's row of Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?


Learning about seed dispersal


Learning about human seed dispersal :) 







And animal dispersal

Lesson 5: Fruits


Counting seeds for a spiritual application



Learning one seed produces many seeds, so plant those seeds!


Learning all about fruits.

We are off to a good start on Lesson 6 so I hope to catch up this week and finish leaves and start roots. Then we're off to stems, trees, and gymnosperms! 

You may have noticed that some of our learning tied in nicely with our row of The Carrot Seed. Love that! 

Hope you are having a great summer! Wish I could say I'd be back with some great back-to-school posts, but I can't. We are still very much in summer mode and will be through the month of August.

Shape Whiz ~ A SimplyFun Review

Simply Fun Review

Shape Whiz, A Game of Speed and Geometry, by SimplyFun is a fun, quick, and educational game focused on geometry skills.

The Carrot Seed {B4FI♥AR}, Ladybugs, Gardening, & Veggie Fun

~Boaz is 4 years, 6 months~

Sharing our row of The Carrot Seed which included ladybugs, gardening, & veggie fun!

Veggie Fun


MunchA! MunchHa! MuNcha!The Vegetables We EatThe Carrot Seed, and Growing Vegetable Soup (aff links) were all a part of a Veggie Fun backpack from our library. This made our Veggie Fun time so easy and enjoyable.

Color Sorting, Fruit or Veggie?, Veggie Puzzle



Fruit or Veggie?!



Carrot Seed Discussion

Live Oak Media Activity Guide was included with all this fun stuff and had some great discussion questions that really made this simple book make a little more sense to Bo.

I asked Bo who was the 1st one to tell the little boy his carrot wouldn't come up? Then the 2nd and asked whether he thought they were trying to hurt the little boys feelings. He said the mother then the father and that no they weren't. Then I asked who the 3rd person was and why he thought he said it the way he did. He thought the brother was mean. Then I asked what the little boy did after he planted the seed. He watered it and pulled the weeds. What happened next? The carrot grew! Was the carrot small? No, it was big!

I talked with Bo about the message of the story - that while it's a good idea to listen to other people, sometimes they are wrong, and if you think something is worth doing and you're willing to work at it, then you should do it! The little boy really had a lot of determination!

We talked about ways we can eat vegetables - in a soup, on a pizza, with dip. . .

What's Bo's favorite way?

with dip. Let's make later!

in a cake! Let's make now!

Carrot Cupcakes

I made these Trim Healthy Mama (S) using this sugar-free carrot cake recipe from Wonderfully Made and Dearly Loved.


Checking out the carrots in the cupcake! Are there really veggies in there? lol 

Going for the icing on top!

What he left on his plate, haha!

I thought the carrot cake was the best part. I didn't like the frosting (and ended up adding a little powdered sugar to it for the kids), but I loved the cake with whipped cream sweetened with Stevia or Sweet Blend, or this homemade Trim Healthy Mama Caramel Sauce turned frosting! Yum!


Funtastic Science Unit Studies: Beginning Plants

We used this great unit to add some fun science to our row.

What part of the plant are vegetables and fruits from?

I helped Bo figure these out: carrots - roots, lettuce - leaves, peas - seeds, yellow pepper - fruit, broccoli -flowers

Make a veggie platter with dip and have Bo guess what parts the veggies are from. Super fun!


And I made dip as promised ~ California Dill Dip! This is a really yummy dip recipe that my sister gave me. It has good stuff in it like creamy sour cream, buttermilk, Beau Monde seasoning, dill, garlic, salt & pepper.

Seeds/Plants

The unit study and our row tied in nicely with our Botany studies with Malachi and Eliana. We examined the seed coats of various seeds, soaked a bean seed in warm water to see the baby plant (embryo) inside, and looked at it with a magnifying glass:




The Reason For a Flower was from the Botany book list and a wonderful tie in! We went on a hunt for some unusual seeds!


Coconuts have an interesting seed coat.

Acorn seeds for our Oak Tree Study later this summer. 


We also read The Tiny Seed, by Eric Carl.


Then went on a scavenger hunt for seeds - fruit we eat, at the store, in the back yard.

Seed Snack - Make Peanut Butter at Lucky's Market.


Bo picked Honey Roasted Peanut Butter after sampling that one and the chocolate chip peanut butter one. We bought a 1/2 pound container and I made him a honey roasted peanut butter and honey sandwich at home - which he loved. 

Gardening & Roots


My favorites of all these were From Seed to Plant and Tops and Bottoms ~ a very cute book about the parts of plants we eat. 



The bear is too lazy to plant his garden and rabbit needs food for his family so the rabbit offers to plant the garden in exchange for half the food, letting the bear choose which half he wants - the tops or the bottoms. Bear doesn't know what he is getting himself into year after year when he gets the less desirable half and learns a lesson not to be lazy. 


More learning about roots. 


We examined roots and planted bean seeds to watch the roots grow.



These been seeds were left over from Malachi and Eliana's Botany seed experiment (will update what we have been doing for Botany next).

(Beans growing in a plastic CD case for a 10 pack of CDs)


Bo learned that seeds need water, warmth, and air to germinate, and plants need water, sunlight and nutrients from the soil to grow.


I'm thankful we've had a rainy summer, cuz these poor things don't get watered enough. And I'm thinking I should make a batch of sweet smelling All Natural Garden Spray to help them out.

Activity: Plant carrot seeds



Bo was so excited to plant his seeds that he ripped open the bag and seeds spilled everywhere. We got the Short & Sweet to plant in a raised bed out back. 


It was suggested to us that we sprinkle the seeds on the soil and cover them with a piece of burlap, then water the burlap and keep it moist until they sprout.


I actually found myself wondering if I should warn him that they might not come up! There is a big shade tree in the back yard and I wondered if there would be enough sun. But there was and the burlap worked wonderfully. It kept the seeds moist and safe from run off and birds and our carrot seedlings survived while on vacation for 8 days.


Now to thin them (not sure how he will feel about that!)

Grow a potato indoors? Plants can grow from things other than seeds, so I started a sweet potato in our kitchen window for Bo to watch grow.


It's looking good so far!

So many other wonderful experiences with roots that tied in so naturally that I can't possibly share them all.

Ladybugs & Food Chains


Both wonderful books - All of Lovejoy's books are fun... 


I was especially interested in how to make your backyard critter friendly. 

and Secrets of the Garden was a fantastic tie in to learn about ladybugs and food chains.


And that ladybugs are beneficial insects in the garden.

Lifecycle of a ladybug


The first thing the kids said when they saw the Ladybug Life Cycle larva was that they see these creepy looking bugs all the time and try to kill them. Oops! They are right - now that I know what they are, I see them everywhere. Even found eggs in the window screens - and we have had ladybugs to enjoy all summer so far!

The figures are fun to use with a book on the life cycle of a lady bug.


We really didn't need to do the Ladybug Land, but I ordered it before I knew we had our own ladybug land in our back yard. 




They were so tiny when they arrived (I shipped them 2nd day air) that I doubted there were actually five in there. We were so surprised to see more than five go through their lifecycle. 

I set up a little ladybug corner for the kids to watch and enjoy them. 


I got several books from the library, but bought the Gail Gibbons book. Wish I would have started a collection of her books years ago!






Ladybug Land and Ladybug Lifecycle Stages from Insect Lore

My Ladybug Journal Bagbook

(From Nature Study Printables for Toddlers and Preschoolers ~ love these!)









I really didn't want it to end. After I read each book, I wanted to read it again. I also wanted to do some Carrot Experiments and Grow Carrot Tops from Carrots but oh my heavens all good things must come to an end!

And so must this post! 

The Carrot Seed is a Before Five in a Row selection. There are a lot of Fun Things to do with B4FIAR, but the most important thing is to cultivate a love for learning. ♥


Please visit for inspiration and to see real-life homeschoolers share their Five in a Row journey! 

Thank you for taking the time to share, link up, and 
visit to inspire and be inspired.