Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Chemistry: Acid or Base?

J bought this Chemistry kit with some of his birthday money and he and The Mister have been working through it. So far, we're all pretty impressed. Other than typical household items, the kit has provided everything they needed, there are detailed instructions with photos, and the explanations are easy to understand.

There was a quick demonstration about how protons and electrons work in an atom before they got started.

The book came with a record sheet that The Mister copied, and a few recommended items to use, but otherwise they had the freedom to choose various items to test.

They chose vinegar, baking soda (dissolved in water), tea, lemon juice, lime juice, Sour Pez candy (dissolved in water),  TUMS (dissolved in water), Simple Green household cleaner, water

J used the strips provided with the kit to test each liquid. Surprisingly TUMS are acidic! Weird.

 He compared each test strip with the chart provided and decided which number the strip best matched.

Then he recorded the number on his chart. 

They spent some time discussing what it all meant and why it matters. For instance fresh water fish can't live in salt water and vice verse because the pH varies. Then J kept asking to taste the candy and we told him he could try any of the samples (except for the cleaner!). He actually liked the lemon juice and lime juice, as well as the candy. He decided not to taste the vinegar once he got a wiff of it. It was a nice way to round out the sensory portion of the experiment and he was able to decide that acidic liquids generally taste sour. Fun fun!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Lion Notebooking Page

J has been asking to do various notebooking pages lately and he recently asked to do one on animals. I found this page template here and told J he could pick any animal he wanted. He choose to do one on lions and we got to work.

I explained briefly the process of taxonomy and J filled in the information as we found it online. I let him choose several photos, and a map that shows where lions are generally found geographically. He cut them all out and stapled them together, then stuck them into the photo spot on the page.

National Geographic Kids has an awesome site where kids can explore various animals. We've used it many times and my boys love looking at all of the different animals. We used this site to get all of our information. J was able to watch a short video, listen to a lion, and I read the information which he was then able to narrate back to me when we filled out his page.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Crete Notebooking Pages

Our first notebooking pages were for Crete to go along with our reading in Story Of The World Volume I. I explained to J before I started reading what the plan was, and told him to try and remember things that he might want to write about. Once I was done reading we made a quick list of the things that he thought were interesting.

Then we went to the computer. J isn't very interested in drawing and he loves to use the internet, so I decided to let him search for interesting visuals to print and write about.

This particular notebooking template came from here and the second page is a piece of plain white paper.

We did a quick YouTube search for relevant Ancient Crete videos and found a couple of things that we skimmed. Nothing worth linking per say. All of the images seen on J's pages were from a Google search so I'm not sharing the links. 

Once he has a good selection of pictures he liked, I cut them out and he got down to business. I let him decide how he wanted to organize his pictures and the layout. He did a couple of title labels, otherwise I wrote while he narrated the information he wanted to include.

The mini "How A Volcano Erupts" book came from the Crayola site and can be printed here. I colored the cover why J colored the internal pages and we went over the information together. We also watched the Bill Nye episode about volcanoes which can be found here.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Learning our ABC's with Hopscotch

A super fun way to review anything is to play hopscotch. We used the first 10 letters of the alphabet to help A learn his letters. You could of course use 1-10 or 11-20 for those learning their teen numbers.

Draw your hopscotch board and fill in the squares.

Each player chooses a rock, the first player tosses their rock onto the hopscotch board and whichever square it lands on, they have to say the letter (or number, or whatever) and then skip that square as they are jumping.

For those with more advanced gross motor skills, have your child stop, bend down, and pick up their rock on the way by while staying on one foot.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Cornstarch and Water, Biggie Sized!

In Steve Spangler's book Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes there are pictures from a television appearance during which Spangler created a HUGE batch of cornstarch and water and then walked in it. J was fascinated by the idea and I promised him we would give it a try when the weather was nice enough.

Since we had a week of beautiful weather we pulled out a plastic bin and six boxes of cornstarch. I really should buy stock in cornstarch these days.

Once our mixture was ready the boys jumped right in.  So much fun!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Free Curriculum Resource: Teachers Pay Teachers

Since I started following the blogs of some very talented elementary teachers out there, I have also started utilizing Teachers Pay Teachers. The website is really easy to use, signup is free and best of all you can find tons of free items to use in all subject areas. There are also plenty of items to purchase for very good prices if you see something you just have to have.

Several of the homeschool moms I follow recently joined TPT and started offering their printables through the website.

Here are a few of the things that we have made use of, or that I'm saving up for a later date:

Bob Book Printables from This Reading Mama
Long i Dice Game Pack from This Reading Mama
Money Booklets from Jenna Bailey
Sight Words Uno from Ms. Jessica
Mouse Paint Mixing Colors from Katie Mense
Landforms and Bodies of Water Dictionary from Christina Bainbridge

You can search by price, grade, and subject, create a wishlist, or just Pin the items you want to later use.