Category Archives: education

Of Science and Candy

The Brick wanted to study “life science” this year. We talked and he chose botany, zoology and anatomy. As we are diving in (week three of our new homeschool year) we were discussing cells. I found some cut and paste plant and animal cell printables on TeachersPayTeachers. The plant was free at the time and the animal cell was two dollars. You can see them here-
I really wanted to find another hands on activity to help the Brick retain the information about what goes on inside our cells. I found model cells made from Legos and candy, so I gave him the choice. We do not have candy in our house. The boys get it on occasion, but it is a treat. Guess what the Brick chose? In all his Lego loving self, the candy won out.

We were set to do the activity on Friday after our lessons on both plant and animal cells.  This morning the Brick came to me and asked to do extra science today so he could build the model.  I know it was all about the candy, but I’ll take it!

We discussed the relative size and shape of the different organelles and cell parts. He helped choose what kids of candy we should get to represent different parts of the cell. Since he is on a gluten free diet, we had to be careful with our choices. Here is what we ended up with.

Airheads Xtreme- cut in half to separate into blue/green and red/orange for the cell wall and endoplasmic reticulum
Mike and Ike’s- he chose pink for the lysosomes and green for ribosomes
Gummy Worms – golgi body
Nerds- mitochondria
Gluten free cream filled cookie (like and Oreo)- nucleus
Brown sugar clumps-vacuole (we didn’t have any g-f items to use and he really wanted to be able to eat it)



The brick then wrote the names of all the cell parts on address labels for the printer and folded them in half around toothpicks. We laid out the cell membrane and scooped the frosting in. Next the Brick went to town dropping the candies in and labeling them. As he was assembling his cell we reviewed what function each part played in the cell. Here is the finished cell.


After just a couple bites he decided it was too sweet and he asked for a few pieces of leftover candy instead of eating the whole cell.  I had to giggle…..


Back to School

The first week of the new homeschool year; it is always a time of excitement, anticipation and anxiety. I have plans. I have lessons. I have the space. I have the motivation. I also have the resistant nature of my son.
I knew he wouldn’t jump back into the routine. I knew there would be resistance. I hoped it would go well. It is going better than I thought, but not as well as I hoped. I’ll take it for day one.
I am confident in our curriculum. We have subjects that need to be taught and subjects of interest. The materials teach in a way that my son learns. So why does he resist?
He resists because learning is hard for him. He learns in such a unique way and he knows that, even under perfect teaching/learning circumstances, it will not be easy. His Autism, Dyslexia, Auditory Processing Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, anxiety and social challenges make learning hard. This is why we homeschool. So we can take it slow, teach and re-teach, review, move around, try new strategies, do whatever it takes.
Monday was not a perfect first day. Tuesday was not a perfect second day. However, at the end of the day, if my son has learned something new and is happy, confident and ready to learn more, then it was a successful day.