Saturday, October 8, 2011


Nico actually asked me this year to include health in our curriculum. We completed Harcourt 3rd grade health two years ago. It was one of his favorite subjects. I didn't want to do the same style book and workbook so searched out something new and exciting. WinterPromise pulled through again. They have Human Body and Forensics, grades 4-6. Again, WinterPromise is a literature based program with lots of hands on activities. Our first unit was on cells, which Nico found really interesting even though it was just a touch on the basics. Next we started into the respiratory system. When I was homeschooling Brian I had bought a couple of specimens to dissect with him. I think Brian only did one before he quit. Although it wasn't written in WinterPromises curriculum I decided to add it myself. I ordered a sheep pluck (includes sheep heart, lungs, and trachea) from Home Science Tools...a small fee of $13.00.

I used to teach dissecting classes at Florissant Valley Community college. They were Saturday classes for kids. Nico would attend the classes with me....he was only 4, but loved it. By the time I quit teaching them, he was walking around helping the kids with me.

Nico has stressed a desire to be a veterinarian. (I had dreams of being a vet myself. I had the school all set up, then decided to stay home. I now work as a chemist, but my true love is biology). We started chemistry early too with Nico. We are one our second year of that. Their brains are such sponges at these young ages. Nico couldn't wait to dive into class today.

Mike was home so he lowered the pressure on the air compressor and stuck the end down the trachea and watched the lungs inflate. It was so cool. Then one of the lungs pop, causing a split in the lung. That lung, of course, no longer worked properly. He was able to see that one lung is indeed smaller than the other and why (because the heart takes up part of that space).

Nico on his initial inspection.

I got  a kick out of Luca. Immediately he said, "It stinks!" but he still wanted to see what was going on.

Making the cuts.

I have a great dissecting microscope (and a great slide scope), but the dissecting one is great to look at the larger specimens up close. Luca really wanted to see. I loved the way he held his nose.

Getting a look at the inside of the heart.
Nico does have worksheets he completes after dissecting. He remembers so much more by actually seeing and touching things. To actually see the aveoli in the lungs and the blood vessels and arteries running through the heart. He is able to identify parts most kids his age will never see until high school or college.

I just can't stress enough the joy I have in homeschooling my children. Even if children aren't exposed to this in school, the materials are readily available for anyone to order and do at home themselves. Nico, as I write this, is dissecting some more on the heart and lungs with his friend.


  1. Please come teach science at my house!

  2. Great hands on learning. I'm not sure I'll be able to handle dissecting. I guess I'll have to make my husband do it.

  3. That looks wonderful! I always slack off on inspire me! i agree with MissMOE! Please come teach science at my house! I don't think I can do the dissection and the "gross" stuff. Maybe I can convince my hubby to take over!