Homeschool Notes & a Microscope – Week 4

We’ve been at it for four weeks. My, how times flies when you’re totally swamped. I came up for air and attended my support group’s monthly, mom’s get-together. It was a breath of fresh air!!
We had a guest speaker that teaches all kinds of Biology and by that I mean college biology, homeschool biology classes, K-6 co-op fun biology, and a few others that I probably missed. She even brought her Sonlight microscope…oooOOOooo! We got to oogle it, but not pet it. 😦 Actually, I’m sure she would have let us play around with it, but I was distracted with the snack table. Lol.

Her tips on what to look for in a microscope: my comments. fwiw, in italics

  • Three objectives (lenses) are enough. The fourth objective is used for oil immersion slides and not necessary at the high school level or even for some college level labs. I personally don’t remember what I used in high school, but I did use oil immersion in college biology and microbiology.
  • A movable stage instead of the old-fashioned clips for easier positioning of the slides. Some stages will be marked with increments so that you can write those increments down. When you use that slide again, you can go back to exactly the same spot. Some microscopes have predrilled holes for a movable stage. The stages cost about $30. HSers are notorious for making due with what we have and I’m pretty sure the scopes I’ve used had the clips.
  • The eyepieces should not move up and down, but the lower part of the microscope should move up and down. Apparently, students were poking their eyes out. lol
  • The fine tune knob should be inside the coarse tune knob for the sake of ease. If you have a child that wants to pursue science in college, then they will most likely encounter this type of setup on a scope.
  • If you child is signed up for a science class through a co-op, day school, community college, or something along those lines, and will be doing the labs with their ‘class’, then you do not need a microscope at home.
  • Do not buy the $40 scope from the toy store….it won’t hold up nor give you the features you should have for high school level science.
  • I don’t think I’m buying a microscope this year, but I think these are great no-nonsense tips to consider and I’ll have these thoughts available to me when I need them.
    ETA: Apparently, my son reads my blog more than I thought. He asked why we won’t be getting a microscope this year and was genuinely disappointed. I think I have a Christmas gift idea. 😀

    Our week at a glance:
    Bear has written 2 Three Point Expository Paragraphs, one on favorite hobbies and one on favorite Bible verses.
    Bull has written 1 Three Point Expository Paragraph First Person on Favorite Weekend Activities. 1 Examples Paragraph on Nintendo Machines and a Classification Paragraph on Guns. That’s the half of it and we are definitely suffering from the stubby pencil syndrome here!

    On a side note, I’m actually starting to make sense of the Shurley Grammar T.E. The first lesson of each chapter is ridiiiiculously looooong and I still despise those stupid jingles. Can anyone answer me, how important it is to follow those Question and Answer Flows to the letter? Both my boys skip ahead because they already know their parts of speech & their proper labels.

    History is going off in two different directions and I really haven’t found this to be an issue. Bear is studying ancient history and graphed out the lineage from Abraham to the 12 Tribes and studied a bit of Hammurabi’s Code of Law.
    Bull is learning some of the finer points of the Reformation, Martin Luther’s 3 categories of his theses, and other reformers, such as Knox and Calvin. I find it strange that a text from an independent Baptist university press barely mentions the Separatists or Anabaptists. Maybe that comes in higher level texts.

    Bear is still reading The Golden Goblet and Bull is finishing up Howard Pyle’s The Story of King Arthur and His Knights.

    The last two weeks have gone better than the first two weeks, but we are still on the upward side of the hill!

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    3 Responses to Homeschool Notes & a Microscope – Week 4

    1. Elaine says:

      Sounds like the meeting was a very informative one. I need to find a good science class for my son, we’ll be looking at the local UA extension here in the Valley for the winter/spring semester.

      The boys sound like they are doing well. Good job Sheri.

    2. tressays says:

      A 3 point expository paragraph? Your boys are doing Shurley English by chance are you? 🙂

      You got it! As much as I dislike Shurley, it does a nice job of explaining how to write a paragraph.

    3. Melanie says:

      I admire you for handling the history so well. I tried to let The Goobers go in different directions, but I can’t get my brain to switch gears fast enough. LOL

      It’s the different science courses that are going to sink my boat, but DS1 needs more science.

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