Mountaineers, Sutter’s Mill, and Weird Science!

We’ve been enjoying our first week back in homeschooling. I now have a 7th grader and a 3rd grader, which is crazy to me. I am so excited about this new year of history! We scarfed down “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” reading several chapters aloud a day. Partway through, we learned about steam-powered engines that were being built around that time period, and peered at old black and white photos of some of the first railway cars and steamboats. In the background, a funny polka-inspired steamboat favorite sang “Polly Wolly Doodle all the day,” as we tried to imagine Mark Twain strolling the banks of the Mississippi, watching the steamboats unload, and gathering fodder for his books. It moved us to some creative writing too…

Today we read exciting stories of mountaineers racing away from grizzlies and then becoming guides for the onslaught of covered wagons as people started migrating west for gold, land, and adventure. Tomorrow, Sutter’s Mill will be discovered again, and we will start reading “Dear Levi,” (Yep, Amy, almost) about a young man who heads out west, writing letters home of what he sees.

For a creepy science project, though, I surprisingly had my kids screeching and running out of the room today. “Noooo, Mom, no!” they yelled. “Mom, I’m NOT going to watch,” my son insisted, slightly insolently. My daughter ran to the couch too, and covered her face with the pillow.

Well, fine. They are very lucky that the tiny lancing needle for the blood gathering was broken. I had been so excited to try this cool Science lab where you figure out your blood type with this kit! I had laid out all the cool lab pieces that came with the kit: needle lance in small green plastic safety sheath, water dropper, cute little postcard with spots for five or six little blood samples–with chemicals that looked suspiciously like the paint by water books we had when we were little.

But, alas, the needle wouldn’t work. It stayed stubbornly in its little green container, refusing to give me the little click needed to prick my finger. Sooo, after trying several times, I finally gave the “good news” to the kids. They were sheepishly thankful, but then seemed slightly regretful at the letdown, I think. 🙂

I’m going to call that lab and get a new blood testing kit…. Don’t YOU think that would be a cool science project?!

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  1. everyday beautiful on September 8, 2007 at 4:03 am

    hey jen, i am excited that you have a blog. If anyone should its you being an almost published writer and all! Anyways we will check often. I will add you to my link list! I look forward to seeing you again!

  2. e on September 8, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    JEN HAS A BLOG!!!! Hey, thanks so much for joining! I’m looking forward to reading more xanga/blogs. Your science project made me both cringe and laugh–I love hearing about your homeschool adventures 🙂 latah…

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