Tag Archives: Science

Something you really SHOULD read …

This is not mine, sadly, but it it something that everyone should read.  If you are thinking about homeschooling, read this.  If you know someone that home schools, you should read this.  If you are interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) you should read this.

25 Modern science, math and technology leaders who were homeschooled

http://www.examiner.com/article/25-modern-science-math-and-technology-leaders-who-were-homeschooled

It goes without saying that many of our world’s most famous scientists were home educated back when homeschooling was more common. These include great scientists such as Alexander Graham Bell, Ernst Mach, Pierre Curie, Mary Blackwell, Clara Barton, Joseph Priestley and Thomas Edison (who only lasted three months in conventional school and was home educated by his mother from then on).

However, many of our greatest modern science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) contributors have also emerged from the homeschool community. Many 20th century and 21st century STEM leaders were homeschooled for at least a significant part of their childhoods.

 

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Nature Club

Today was the monthly Nature Club at Brenton Arboretum.  We saw many families we knew there and the kids had a great time tearing apart an old log and exploring.  Our next day at the Arboretum will be Play Date.  After the guided hike the kids all played on the nature-scape playground.

 

 

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April 2012 pictures

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fall exploring 10.13

 

This afternoon, a perfect fall afternoon, the boys and I took a walk in our fields.  There is a small creek, dry for most of the year, the boys like because they can get in it and build dams and so on, and Big Brother wanted to go check on it.  Since it vas a most postcard like fall afternoon, 70ish and sunny, I agreed though I knew it would be dry and over grown like last time he begged to go.  Thus an unofficial nature walk / science lesson in observation vas called and off we tromped across the fields.

The boys mostly tromp and pretend to be animal rescuers and dinosaur hunters.  They did however comment on the difference in the feel of the tall grass (more crunchy) and the weeds (dry and breaking).

 

 

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A Slimely Quest

 

In search of the perfect slimy recipe; a quest.   When asked about what he wants to learn this year, the boy doesn’t sayREADINGand make his momma happy; he is honest and says “SCEINCE and POTIONS”.  I have convinced him if he doesn’t learn to read he can not read SCIENCE.  

I went in search of good, EASY for MOMMA, fun science that would still teach the boys something.  I decided the most important things, in science lab, for the boys to learn is observation and following directions and safety and good listening and careful behavior.  These are the habit and skills that they will need as they progress in school and in scince.  So I decided to do a Slime Survey.

You remember Survey classes from school; one class on one topic.  A little from here, a little from there; compare and contrast.  If you search Slime on the Net and find tons of sites, tons of recipes.  I have looked at them till my eyes melt, trying to look for differences and the reasons for the differences. 

I chose many ‘slime’ and other ‘slime like’ experiments / recipes to work our way though; the ‘goal’ being to try many, see the ones that work vs don’t and to compare them (at least to a limited level in discussion).  I thought repeating, in different ways, the same thing; would lead to better observations for Big Brother.    

Here is the list I am working from right now:

 

Started with http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howtos/ht/slime.htm — Daddy home too — and tried this one first NOT HAPPY – it did not even remotely “slime” it remain like watery white school glue.  BOO.

So today, our first official home educating science day, we tried:  http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/slime-665589/ — same ingredients, but I do trust Family Fun Magazine and the instructions were different; even easier.

I set everything up before I let the boys join me in the kitchen.  I still do not trust Big Brother’s measuring – that is going to take a lot of work; nor can I rely on either of the boys to be patient and allow me to read and measure carefully.  So I had all the parts set up for them before they arrived.

 

 

The boys did OK at “not doing until asked to” – and the slime successfully became a slike – like – substance, so they were totally HAPPY.  They took their slime and went out the door.  I later found them playing in the dog’s stock tank with it, and it had become much more rubbery. 

Success. 

(left over liquid)

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Prairie Learning

 

Our family puts an emphasis on nature and the out of doors and the connection to God that can be found in His Creation, and also the call to good stewardship that we are all under.   Additionally big open, outdoor spaces are GREAT for active enthusiastic exploring little boys like we are blessed with.  So nice when purpose and application mesh so well.

We have taken the boys to Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge before; and this month we took a day trip there again.  There is an interactive center (The Prairie Learning Center ) that has many hands on activities for the boys.  There are miles of trail, but this year the day proved too hot so our family took a short one and called it good.  We keep hoping to get to try one of the longer prairie trails, but the size and skill of the boys and the weather have so far conspired to keep us from trying it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The boys got to physical explore many Buffalo items; then see, right in front of the car, a live buffalo lumbering across the road in the protected enclosure.  Our family did not see any elk, sadly. 

Big Brother spotted this guy first!!

 

 

  So we march on, with the goal in mind of raising good stewards of the land, boys that will be men at ease face to face with animals and not merely looking at them on a computer (or as Daddy would poke me, in a book) able to care for themselves, their families and God’s creation. 

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starting a worm farm

 

Boys and worms is there any love more true or predictable?

The boys love worms and worms are very useful we drown many of them in efforts to catch fish, we watch them, we put them in the compost, and in the garden.

I decided, in the name of science, to make the boy a worm farm.  Ok to make a worm farm with the boys, but let’s be realistic, Momma is making the worm farm.

Aware I could make a worm farm in a big Rubbermaid tubbie bedded with newspaper I set of to search the Net for a bit more specific directions.

 

Interesting worm trivia: Earth worms have no lungs or gills. They breathe through their skin. Eggs are laid in a cuff-like structure called the clitellum. Each earth worm segment or annulus except the first and last has four pairs of tiny bristles called setae. Earthworms range in size from 1 millimeter to 3 meters long!

 

 

The basics.  (also a great science site for other ideas and activities, we’ll be returning here).

 

 Many sites (like http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/portal/default.aspx?tabid=2101) suggest NOT using night crawlers, but we are going to.  Nevertheless, it seems to me that just as many sites suggest using them, since you can buy them with ease at any bait shop.  I bought some today at our local bait shop, as I have before to add to the compost pile. 

I chose to follow the directions and advice on www.planetkids.bizHERE:

At planetkids.biz we focus on making the complex issues understandable.
Here you can find a range of clear, colourful, humorous and accurate resources to help everyone understand the major environmental challenges we face.

 

I have not read the entire site, but I do like the clear and easy style in which the projects are presented.  The directions are to / for the children, but are not dumbed down to the point they are silly.  I found them great. 

Worms brought home after our trip to the post office I discussed the plan with the boys.

We took an older tubbie that still had a top, but a top that was warped and did not fit great.  Daddy pitched in by drilling holes in the lid and around the top of the tubbie itself.  Air movement is important.

The boys and I shredded newspaper for the bedding.  Shredding newspaper is a great fine motor skill practice (shhh).  It builds strength and control.  I was, frankly, amazed how much trouble the boys both had with actually gripping paper in thumbs and first fingers and tearing it, not just pulling at it.  I admit Momma shredded most of it; but Big Brother sat with me a long time and worked hard.

After the paper we filled two small pails with dirt from the garden and poured that in.  Momma got the job of hosing the mix until “moistened so it is as wet as a wrung out sponge”.   Both boys really really really desired THAT job!! But the point is not a swimming pool for worms.  After that we dumped in the worms!!

At the point the worms got added, more bedding was needed but I chose to go on and add the worms while the boys were still interested; adding additional bedding later.

Supposedly “The worms will reproduce about every 60 days” – That remains to be seen.   They are in the basement, where it is cool enough, they have damp newspaper and some dirt and some egg shells.  Now to wait…

 The lucky pioneers.  The startes!!!

 Little Brother poking at the starters.

 Add dirt…

  and the pioneers get tossed in to their fate…

 The happy little farm…

For families that do not live on 33 acres, do not have need for a full farm, nor space for it; or for parents that really can’t get into making and maintaining a full farm: http://www.ehow.com/how_4865624_make-worm-farm-kids.html is a great idea on how to do a small short term farm for observation with out the full commitment.  Might be a good options for a family in an apartment ort small house in the ‘burbs. http://quazen.com/kids-and-teens/entertainment/how-to-make-a-worm-farm-in-a-plastic-bottle/ is the same idea, but I think the first link does a better job of explaining it.   I am thinking of doing this, too, because they boys would be able to see the worms more, and see the tunnels and so on – more of an observation opportunity.

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