Thursday, 23 October 2014

Nature Photography Winners

R's photo won 2nd prize in the young people's section for flora and fauna

R and I scooped $400 between us tonight at the awards for Macarthur Nature Photography Competition.

Mums wining entry for the nature close up prize

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Sweet Peas

R has planted sweet peas in his garden. They are growing like mad. L picked a few for her flower arrangement.

Cooking Up Mexico

We have just started a unit study on Mexico which will also lead onto the Aztecs. We are using this free lapbook from Homeschoolshare.

The children have been cooking up some Mexican foods using some cook books from the library.

We used up the last of the oranges on our tree to make a delicious sweet orange and cinnamon dessert.

The children also made nachos, chicken enchiladas and beef tortillas.

 We'll be doing more on Mexico in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Extracting DNA

We have just completed our last lesson from the free OU course Understanding Experiments. This course is just about to finish but you can get lots of other free courses at FutureLearn.

This week we were extracting DNA from a kiwi and a tomato. First the fruits needed to be chopped up, mashed, and mixed with washing up liquid and salt to break down the cell membranes.

We left the mash for a while to warm. Then we strained out the "juice" which contains the DNA. We added a layer of alcohol on top of the juice. Where the DNA juice met the alcohol the DNA precipitated out of solution. We could see white strands of gooey DNA floating at the boundary between the juice and the alcohol. Its easiest to see this in the kiwi sample.

We managed to fish out some goopy DNA to look at under our microscope.

Sunday, 12 October 2014


We are just about to start a unit study on Mexico and the Aztecs. This weekend Sydney held its annual Fiesta of Latin American music, dance, sports and crafts so of course we went along. The children got to hear lots of live music, see traditional and modern dances, football and Mexican wrestling.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Jam Tarts And Cookies

This week for snacks the children baked jam tarts and cookies.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Growing Yeast

We're onto our 3rd week of our OU course Understanding Experiments. This week we are finding out what the ideal conditions are for growing yeast. Our experiment used different temperatures of water; cold, boiling and warm. One of our samples was covered to restrict the amount of oxygen available. We measured the amount of foam produced at 5 minute intervals.

Here are our graphs.