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Weekly Links

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Homeschooling With the End in Sight
Developing a Family Bible and Devotional Time that Works for You
Project Simplify: drawers & shelves
7 Tips For A Healthy Marriage
Time to Organize the Linen & Laundry Areas
Women in Church Combat: A Cautionary Tale
The Revolution that Paul Started
Are Lil Wayne, Zombies and Minecraft Raising Your Children?
Cardboard Tube Growing Game (Instructions in Spanish and in English)
Making Music with Kids
Get Out: Go Bird Watching
Fifth Grade: Greek Myths

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The Magic School Bus Young Scientists Club – Bacteria and Fungi Kit Experiment 1

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When we received our Magic School Bus Young Scientists Club Kit both of the plastic petri dishes were broken. There was no way to use them so I decided glass petri dishes might be a better idea. I found some on Amazon here: American Educational Flint Glass Culture Petri Dish, 107mm Diameter, 20mm Height (Bundle of 5) which are a good price and with my Amazon Prime account I get free 2-day shipping. I also called the Magic School Bus Scientists Club customer service and they even sent out replacement plastic dishes for us, which we will save in case we ever need them.

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On Sunday we got started with our experiments. Experiment 1 was simply preparing the agar to go in the petri dishes. I got together all the needed items for this part. Our kit came with the needed agar and bouillon so all I needed was a pot, my 2 petri dishes and a spoon to mix it. I added one cup of water to the pot, though the instructions had a misprint saying 8 cups (200ml). Obviously that was very incorrect!

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This is what the agar looks like mixed with the water before it started boiling. As my 6 year old said it, “It looks like dirt.” It kind of looks like muddy water.

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This is the agar after being boiled for a bit. As you can see it looks more clear and more gelatinous. The info says it won’t turn totally clear but it needs to be more translucent and thicker like wet jello. The yellow stuff above the spoon is where I poured the chicken bouillon into the pot. It was yellow and needed to be mixed it until it dissolved.

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This is the mix after everything has been mixed in and dissolved. It became a lot thicker and looked a lot more like jello. I let it simmer for a couple minutes just to make sure everything was fully dissolved.

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Lastly I poured the agar mix into the 2 petri dishes. This is what it looked like. We then put the lids on the dishes and set them to cool down before continuing with the next experiments. This concludes experiment 1! πŸ™‚ Pretty simple start. These 2 petri dishes will be the main component to our next few experiments. Once they’ve started growing their bacteria and fungi I will the results share another post.

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Kids Chapter Books We Love

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My daughter went from learning how to read last January to reading chapter books by the fall. I was surprised how quickly she picked it up and how interested in reading she became. I wanted reading to be important so I made sure reading was involved with her daily school work. She started off reading smaller chapter books or reading one over a period of a couple days. Now she will read 1-3 chapter books a day! I try to get her to pace herself but she really does love reading. πŸ™‚ For this reason we keep lots of books on hand and I’m going to share some of our favorites with you!

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Cam Jansen books by David A. Adler are great mystery chapter books especially for girls. Cam is a little girl with a photographic memory that she often uses to help solve crimes and mysteries. She is usually with her best friend Eric. A lot of the Cam Jansen books got an updated cover but we don’t really care which ones we have. These are books we are trying to have all of.

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Pony Pals books by Jeanne Betancourt are great chapter books for kids who love ponies and horses! These books revolve around 3 best friends who all have ponies. They have adventures together and kids who read these books will learn a lot about both ponies and horses. These books are thicker chapter books which provides more reading.

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I love most of the kids books by Ron Roy. We have books from Calender Mysteries and Capital Mysteries as well but we have almost all of the A to Z mysteries series. These books have 3 main characters: Josh, Dink and Ruth Rose. They go pretty much everywhere together and they solve a lot of mysteries. These books have one for each letter of the alphabet which makes them fun. There are also several super specials as well and those even have clues in the pictures for kids to solve.

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My daughter likes books with female characters and I like books with healthy depictions of females. Thea Stilton books are full of a variety of female mice all with differing personalities with positive qualities. These books are a spinoff to the Geronimo Stilton books and they are set around his sister Thea Stilton and her group of friends. What I love about these books is not only the group of strong girls, but in each book they travel somewhere exciting and they fill the books with info on the place. Kids get to learn about the place the mice are in while they have an exciting adventure – you can’t beat that! I love when educational stuff gets slipped in something fun. πŸ™‚

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In our house Scooby Doo is well-known and very loved. I grew up watching Scooby Doo and I felt it was tame enough to pass on to my kiddo. The chapter books are great to have if your kids like mysteries. There are several different kinds of chapter books but the ones we like are the Scooby Doo Mysteries and the Scooby Doo and You books. In the Scooby Doo and You books kids get all the info and clues, and then they have to guess who the bad guy is. The Scooby Doo Mysteries are written just like regular books. These books are mostly written by James Gelsey but some of them do have different authors.

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I grew up on Nancy Drew. I think I’ve loved Nancy Drew since I was old enough to read her books. I own every single one of the original books and I often re-read them. When my daughter first started reading smaller chapter books I discovered Nancy Drew Notebooks. These books are set when Nancy was a child, and involve her solving smaller mysteries with her friends Bess and George who are also kids in these books. These are great to start kids off on Nancy Drew and they have fun mysteries involving puppies, ice cream, haunted restaurants, etc. – All of which are things most kids enjoy. And of course, I love that it’s full of strong female characters! These books are written under the pseudo-name Carylon Keene same as the other Nancy Drew books.

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The Three Cousins Mysteries are thinner chapter books written about 3 cousins who solve mysteries together. These books have a Christian theme to them which is unique and kind of nice to have. These books were written a while ago so the styles in them definitely look like the 90’s, but most younger kids probably won’t care about that. The cousins are two boys and a girl so these are good for kids of both genders. These are written by Elspeth Campbell Murphy.

I will add another post with more books later! We have a lot of books I haven’t gone through yet. We find most of our books used at thrift stores which saves us a lot of money. And I read my daughter’s books first to make sure they are appropriate for her. Some parents may not do that, but I feel it’s important to know what your kids are reading and getting exposed to. So not only are these books kid approved but they are parent approved too! πŸ™‚

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Weekly Links

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9 Cool Storage Solutions for Arts & Crafts Clutter

46 Ways to Serve Fruits & Veggies at Snacktime {Eat Well, Spend Less}

18 Reasons Why Doctors and Lawyers Homeschool Their Children

Banishing Spiritual Loneliness

Don’t Have Time to Bake Cookies? Make Cookie Bars

Stock-up on Fresh Spring Produce {and what to do with the extra}

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs by Farmhouse 38 ( I know it’s after Easter but you can dye eggs any time, kids love it!)

Homeschooling as an introvert: the blessings & challenges

The extroverted mom homeschools: a survival guide

On the introverted mom homeschooling extroverted children

Big Theology for Little Kids

Spring Cleaning Your Pantry: Eat Well, Spend Less

Spring harvest: what we’re making with our maple syrup

5 Practices of Natural Mothering

Eat Well and Spend Less with Spring Produce

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