We kicked off the formal part of our homeschooling journey last year with a unit study on the solar system. It seemed to work for us to do a deep dive into a topic, with lots of hands-on activities and links to language arts and math. I loved reading the poetry we found, the paintings we created, and the Greek and Roman mythology we followed up every planet with. And the factoids and science behind the planets and the solar system as well, of course.
This year we're starting off the year with a deep dive into the human body, with any and all links to others in the animal world happily accepted. After chatting about all the different body parts - bones, muscles, organs, skin... - we took some time to trace each other. These life-size representations of the children are now hanging on our walls, and greet any and all visitors who make their way through our front door. As I was snapping pictures of my new paper greeters, I stood back and realized that they each, in their own unique way, look a bit like aliens. So alien greeters they are.
In all seriousness though, our intent is to learn about a new body system each week, culminating at the end of the week with drawing, cutting and pasting the system onto the tracings now gracing our walls. Our first look is into the digestive system. We've taken a first look at the organs within that system and read a really accessible book - What Happens to a Hamburger? - describing what happens during the digestive process. We found a length of rope and measured off the length of the digestive system if it was laid out flat on the ground as opposed to twisted and bunched together in the abdominal cavity of a person. We talked about how long food hangs out in each part of the digestive system. Fun, quick, hands-on, and great for all ages! And plenty of factoids too!