Category Archives: Learning

Cow’s Eye Dissection

WARNING: This graphic-heavy post is not for the weak-hearted.

As part of our KONOS Attentiveness unit, we dissected cow’s eyes this morning. I’ve had these in my frig for a week. I had to hide them in a brown bag in the back because it was mighty eerie having them stare at me as I reached in for milk!

From the front

From the back

We watched a video dissection on You Tube for instruction.

The first cut (those are my hands in super-thick gloves) was to make an entry point for scissors.

Next we had cut the whole eyeball in half with scissors. (I chickened out and passed along the scissors.)

Here’s a really gross cool shot of the vitreous humor squirting out!

Don’t worry–I threw away the containers. You don’t have to wonder if the corn I’m serving you was cooked in the dissection bowl.

We studied the inside of the iris, which is a muscle. We were all surprised last week to learn that it is actually the iris contracting and relaxing that makes for a bigger or smaller pupil. The pupil itself is actually just empty space leading into the inner eye.

That clear circular object in the corner is the lens. It is surprisingly hard and somewhat striated. When we dug into it it felt much like cartilage. That is what focuses the images that are projected onto your retina.

Speaking of the retina…

Isnt’ that beautiful?

Brooke and my friends’ girls worked on the eyes while my boys asked for blindfolds and took cover.

Well, who can blame them, really. I would have if I’d had a choice.

The only thing I’d do differently is cover my table with plastic before beginning. I just washed it six times and made sure to let the disinfectant soak in in-between washings

Coming up…Owl Pellet Dissection!

Playing With Food

Brian invented a new kind of skewer. I think it’s pretty ingenious. Do you think the Ritz crackers went on easily?

A Little Learning Update

This semester we’re really focusing in on learning the essentials. Brooke’s working on Spectrum Spelling; Brad’s loving Explode the Code; and Brian is preparing his Nature Journal.

Breanna loves writing on her chalk board.

We also allow plenty of time for them to pursue their creative interests. Brian is always making some sort of contraption that might come in handy if he’s stranded on a deserted island.

Brea likes to get her whole body into the mix.

There’s nothing wrong with playing with your food. Most of the time.

If you can’t get out to the zoo, just create one of your own. You can even act like a wild animal and let your zookeeper brother tranquilize you.

Cowboy Campfires are pretty fun, too, even if you only have a lamp.

Like A Kiss from God

The first time my husband kissed me, he met my lips with a gentleness which begged response. Over and again God kisses us our home schooling family tenderly, and all we have to do is respond.

Today He kissed us twice:

Next week we begin our Eyes and Seeing KONOS unit. Brad just “happened” to have an appointment with his wonderful pediatric ophthalmologist this afternoon. She was enough kind to write down words to describe his vision challenges so we can look them up.

Tonight was the first time we observed a visitor to our new birdfeeders. Six year old Brad ran for the field guide and helped identify this Downy Woodpecker. It led to reading Pale Male, the true story of a Red-Tailed Hawk in New York City, which also included an illustration of a woodpecker. Four year old Brian was quick to pull out the guide to show us that it was a Red-Bellied Woodpecker.

Oh, the sweet sweet love of Jesus that is forever teaching our hearts, whether during regular “school” hours, in a doctor’s office, or during a twilight glance out our front window.

Awesome Christmas Present!

Last year I heard about an amazing deal on the EyeClops Bionic Eye, so I took a gamble. Boy, was it worth it. It’s one of those gifts my kids have to pry out of my hands it’s so cool.

We’re studying birds in our KONOS Attentiveness unit, and today we used it on a few feathers out of Brian’s collection. I wish I knew how to photograph tv images more clearly, but you can get the idea. Look at how big the image is! You can see vcr tapes next to the tv in this picture to get an idea. These feathers weren’t more than 1/2 inch long.

Clowning Around

A few hours free time in the afternoon and the kids get into the darndest things…

Let’s just say we had a great after-dinner show.

Spreading Their Wings

Riding bikes in our court is like swimming laps in a hot tub. The kids needed some ROOM to stretch out, so we headed to a parking lot and they took OFF!

Of course we wove in our KONOS Attentiveness unit with a few challenges:

  • Stay in your corner of the lot, paying special attention to the boundaries
  • Race, being attentive to your competitors’ positions
  • Recognize each other’s feelings based on body language

Can you read Breanna’s body language?