Happy Hearts Homeschool

Homeschooling at home and abroad

Learning By Teaching

One great way for kids to remember what they’re learning is to give them the opportunity to teach it to someone else. Recently my son taught his two older siblings about mummification. He used a roll of toilet paper, our dog, Zoe, and some of my costume jewelry as amulets. I’m not the best at filming, but hopefully this gives you an idea of one way to have your child teach a subject they’re studying.

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Consider Seeing This Movie

My church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has produced a wonderful movie called, Meet the Mormons. It’s out in select theaters now. Go and see it if you get the chance.

To learn more about this movie, click HERE.

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Elephant Toothpaste

I’ve seen this on other homeschooling blogs and on the Steve Spangler website. It’s a fun experiment called, Elephant Toothpaste.

Your child will need:

Food coloring

20-volume hydrogen peroxide, which you can buy from a beauty supply store.

Liquid Dawn dish soap

A dry yeast packet (Mix one-third to half of the contents with warm water in a separate small dish.)

A funnel

An empty, clean soda bottle, with the label removed.

A disposable tray to contain the mess.

Marcus explains the steps pretty well in this video so I’ll let him take it from here.

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CO2 Fire Extinguisher Experiment

Again, from the Steve Spangler website, here is a fun experiment for kids to try, with adult supervision of course.

Your child will need the following:

5 or 6 tea light candles

Baking Soda

White Vinegar

A see-through container made for pouring

Step one- Line up the candles and light them with a match or lighter. (This is where parental supervision is needed).
Step two- Pour some baking soda into the bottom of your container, enough to cover the bottom.
Step three- Pour the vinegar over the baking soda, enough to make it foam up.
Step four- Without pouring out the mixture, put out the tea lights. (Marcus demonstrates this step really well).

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Easy Density Experiment

This experiment comes from the Steve Spangler website. You can find it HERE.

You will need:

Food coloring, vegetable oil, baby oil, an ice cube and a clear drinking glass or small glass bowl.

First, add several drops of food coloring to the empty glass or bowl.

Second, fill the glass or bowl half-full with vegetable oil.

Third, top the vegetable oil with baby oil.

Last, place an ice cube in the oil. The ice cube should suspend itself between the vegetable oil and the baby oil.

Marcus wasn’t aware I was filming him at first. :)

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Book Review- Wonder

I love this book! Marcus and I read it together last year and it was a perfect read for his 5th grade year. It was heart-warming, insightful and an excellent story for a discussion on how people sometimes treat others based on their appearances.

11387515Wonder, is R.J Palacio’s debut novel. What a gifted writer! Wonder is the fictional story of a 10-year old boy named August (Auggie) who was born with a facial deformity that really stands out. Up until his 5th grade year, he has been homeschooled. For his 5th grade year, his parents decide to enroll him in a private school called Beecher Prep. This story follows Auggie through his first experience going to school, how his classmates treat him, who accepts him, who does not, and how Auggie sees himself.

My favorite part of this book is how Palacio wrote, not only from Auggie’s point of view, but also from several other character’s point of views, including his sister, his sister’s boyfriend, and two of Auggie’s classmates.

We read this book as an e-book on my Nook, but we recently purchased the hard cover which was a special edition that includes the follow up e-book entitled The Julian Chapter, which covers the point of view, for the first time, of Julian, who was a bully to Auggie in school. The Julian Chapter was excellent.

I highly recommend this book, especially as a read-aloud with children ages 8-12.

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Flower Pictures

This week we visited the Logan temple grounds where I took these pictures of the beautiful flowers growing there.DSCN2106





The Logan temple is cool because its exterior was made of dark colored limestone instead of the traditional white stone.


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Welcome Home!

Elder Madsen returned home on Thursday from his 2-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where he served in the Canada Calgary mission.

Some of our extended family met us at the airport to welcome him home.





After the airport, we drove to a Training Table restaurant for lunch.





More pictures to come. It’s so good to have my boy home. He plans to return to BYU (Brigham Young University) next January. In the meantime he is adjusting to life as a return-missionary and enjoying some quality time with his dad who has to return to Lima, Peru in a week.

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Exploring Green Canyon

I feel so blessed to live in the beautiful state of Utah and be so close to some fun canyons.

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There’s something so peaceful about the canyons here, and the weather was perfect for such an outing today.

I can’t wait to return when Autumn is in full swing.

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Not Back to School at the Zoo

We had friends visiting from Canada so Marissa took a day off from her classes and we spent the day at Utah’s Hogle Zoo.

Here are some of the highlights-

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We love these whimsical giraffe.                    Listening to a guide talk about ferrets.

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Watching the real life giraffes.

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This giant elephant made lots of noise and his trunk was a favorite perch. But, the live ones are fun to look at, too.


I thought the elephant enclosure was nice.  

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You’re never too old to pose in an eagle’s nest!

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Or play in a hollow log!

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We could watch these guys swim all day.

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                                                                                                                 The gang!

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How does he sit there for so long with his mouth wide open?    I bet he wishes he could snack on this bright fellow!

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This big guy didn’t look too happy.                  “Now, where to next?” Marcus was the map guide. 

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