Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

Ideas for Chapter 11 General Science - Rabbit Trails


Because my daughter is in the 7th grade this year, she is doing Apologia's Exploring Creation with General Science. I've used this program with all of my other children. My struggling readers used the text along with the available DVD. The older kids successfully finished the program and went on to Physical Science and other high school science programs in the Apologia Family. I guess I would count us as successful. Two of my children were able to CLEP out of science requirements for college. Noah's school gave him six credits for Biology alone. 

The General Science course is a smorgasbord of scientific topics. The text opens with the history of science and then quickly goes over scientific theory and what makes a good science experiment. Quickly after that, it covers archeology, geology, paleontology, and simple machines. None of this is covered in any great depth, but just enough to hit the highlights of each topic and perhaps whet the student's appetite for more. 

This is where I think my role as a teacher comes in. I don't want to just regurgitate the book back to the students. I try to find something interesting that we can dive into a little more with each chapter, and I try to find interesting rabbit trails for us to explore a little bit.

See past posts here, here , herehere and here 

Chapter 11 of Apologia's General Science packs a lot into Chapter 11. It covers the skeletal, muscular and integumentary systems. I explained to my students that paramedics, nurses, technicians and doctors could read entire textbooks on each one of these systems alone! But at this time in their scientific careers, they are getting a general introduction and a small glimpse of human anatomy and physiology.

I used some books with great pictures to help:

As part of our study of the skeletal system, I spent the best part of Tuesday morning deboning chicken thighs. I didn't quite have enough for each student, so I had to debone some chicken legs as well - let me just say, that even with my expensive Cutco knives, this was a difficult task. However, deboning thighs was a lot easier than deboning legs!

Each of my students got one bone to study. Interestingly, we could still see periosteum and articular cartilage well on these bones. Some of my students loved touching them and examining them. Others wouldn't pick them up on a bet! But all of them took them home in a glass jar full of vinegar. They are suppsoed to observe them every day to note how flexible they become as the calcium is leached from them into the vinegar.
The last half of the class we viewed the following videos.

This one was particularly interesting to me since I am currently limping around with mild osteoarthritis.

We saw pictures of the spine so this video was our disease of the day!

And for my one student who loves science because he likes history (?) I included this!