Thursday, June 13, 2013

Nature Observations June 13, 2013

Our friend's 9 year old daughter noticed this holdfast at the beach today. 

She also found the handy big red bucket floating in the ocean :) 
Looking closer at the holdfast, we found some pretty amazing things...

Brittle Stars
Lots of brittle stars :)

Can you tell what this is?
Here's a video of it. Water creatures are best observed in water.

Can you see the milky substance in this picture? 
The brittle star secreted it - not sure if it's a kind of ink or if it's a reproductive process.

Here are some jelly like things Isabella discovered. Some kind of eggs perhaps? 
Click on the picture to look closer. What is that inside them?

Here's a tiny shell. It's almost translucent.

And what on earth do you think this is?! We've been calling it "the thing" all day. What a curious little creature! And it moved so quickly almost like an inchworm; it had quite a little character to go with its fascinating form. And it's praying mantis like in that it cleans its fore-limbs and it's antennae.
Isn't it a bit too large to be considered plankton? 

Found it!!  Do make sure you read the captions on the pictures on that link for a good laugh.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Nature Observations June 6, 2013

A quick post on my observations this week. I have no idea what this plant is...

But look at the beautiful way it seeds - suspended between two wings while the holding frames move further and further apart. I've never seen a plant that seeds this way; such a beautifully imagined process and the orderliness of the line of seeds... it's all so amazing!

There's a lot going on on this plant! The beautiful yellow of the oleander aphids caught my attention. We were on the move so I didn't have time to watch.

Arica saw this on a tree stump. Some kind of mold or fungus, but I wasn't able to identify it. Here's a great site I found in the process though: California Fungi

Here's Kristine making black mustard wreaths for the little girls :)

Here's the spot the girls chose for nature journaling. They both have their little brothers with them :)

These beetles were all over the ground by the black mustard and the heliotrope.

Here's the Chinese Parsley, Heliotrope, Salt heliotrope, seaside heliotrope - Heliotropium curassavicum

There was a beautiful field of black mustard the girls found behind their nature journal spot.

Here's the boys nature journaling. They dug up the earth, put the stump in the center, carried all the mulch over and decorated the stump for the "Council of Elrond". Not sure if it was Kristine's or Jen's boys who came up with the idea but my boy came home saying they were all going to do that for recitation next time :)

Katie (a mom) saw these little guys... click on the picture for a closer look.

Here's a beautiful shot of the spider webs covering every opportune spot. With the light coming through you could see all the insects flying around.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Yet another post on the Book of Centuries

If you want to read my previous posts outlining our process of figuring out what to do for the Book of Centuries, you can read them here and here.

To see what an actual Book of Centuries looked like in the P.N.E.U. school, you can see one here. Load times are extremely slow on the Redeemer site where the article resides so you will have to be patient. It seems the book used in the article is a plain old composition book with a blank page on the left for drawings, and lined pages on the right for the century chart.

I settled on something a little nicer and more durable with thicker paper that a fine tip Sharpie would not bleed through - the Moleskine A4 Sketch Book. It was recommended to me by my friend Shannon, who was kind enough to talk to me multiple times and explain to me how exactly she made her BOC using this notebook. Most of what I'm sharing in this post is what she shared with me.


The notebook has 96 pages, 160 g/m2 and goes for about $20 on Amazon. Unfortunately, it doesn't have an option with lines on only one side so that meant I had to draw the lines in by hand. I would *not* recommend you do this unless you really are set on a book that looks just. like. this. You can find an alternate option here, or consider purchasing a thinner paper notebook with one side lined, or you could print and spiral one the way you want it via Staples or Fedex Office. If you do come across a nice notebook that has both thicker pages and is lined on only one side, please make sure to post it in the comments here, I'd really like to know - I have 3 more BOC's to make in the not too distant future!

Here's a picture of our actual notebook:


The first page is left blank for her to fill in Creation however she likes. The second page is dated 7000 - 4500 (either B.C. or B.C.E based on which notation you want to use), the reason there are 2500 years on one page is that there are not enough pages to cover the vast number of years in this notebook so the years from 7000 B.C. to 2000 B.C. are condensed into the first two pages, each with 2500 years, and each of the 100 cells on the page will represent 25 years instead of 1 year. 

The P.N.E.U. notebook began with the different ages - stone age, bronze age, etc. 

The second page is from 4499 to 2000 B.C., the third page begins the actual century pages with the years 1999 to 1900 B.C.

Many of the pages are still blank waiting for me to stencil them in as needed - it's still a work in progress. For now her entries have mainly been in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. 

To line the pages, instead of measuring every time, I made a stencil on a separate sheet of paper marking off lines to make 5 columns and 20 rows. My stencil as you see here left a little room at the top of the page for a heading and had columns 1.5 inches wide marked off across the top and bottom, and rows .5 inches high marked off across both sides. With the stencil in place on my notebook, I could mark the page, remove the stencil, and use a ruler to draw in the lines with a pencil. 

Here's what a full page looks like.

In the A.D. years, the numbers get higher as you head down the page as you see here:

The notebook on the Redeemer page I linked to earlier had a red line through the middle of the century, splitting it in half - mine is a darker pencil line for now.

Remember that in the B.C. years, the numbers head the other way - from bottom to top. Here's another page - she's chosen many familiar things to fill in - her siblings' birthdays, her grandfather's death, the year we got our cat, and the handicraft fair all made it in there. 

Here's a drawing of a book cover she liked, it's the only drawing so far. 

Last week we read about the Acropolis in Pericles and the Book of Marvels so I suggested a portion of Pheidias' frieze along the lines of something she might add to her BOC. I'm leaving it up to her what she wants to include. I'm sure it'll all develop in time as we head to museums, etc. and this cute picture will give her a smile in years to come.

I also added the BOC to her weekly schedule based on a recommendation by Higher Up and Further In so she remembers to add to it regularly.

Here's a great pictorial post on the BOC by Amy over at Fisher Academy for inspiration. Good luck and let us know what you chose for your children's BOC in the comments.