Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Intro to Science

We are currently on week 3 of our new science course: Intro to Science, from ElementalScience. All 3 kids have been enjoying it so far, though I don't think my 2-year-old really understands much other than he gets to see some neat things and roam around outside with Mommy once a week.  My 3-year-old may understand a bit more, but it's hard to tell how much "science" she's getting out of it. However, my 5-year-old (almost 6) has been repeating some of what she's learned to Daddy in the evenings, and sometimes bringing up related topics with me a week or so later. Science is definitely one subject she never complains about doing!

We did solids/liquids the first week, with an experiment to melt crayon pieces into crayon "cakes" in a muffin tin. We'd done that before about a year or so ago, but they all loved seeing it again. We also searched for and found some pine trees oozing rosin. Last week was solutions & dilutions, and we made Koolaid of varying strengths (tasted nasty to me), painted with diluted paint, and made mud with varying ratios of water to dirt (that was the outside part). This week is density, and so far we've experimented with oil floating on water, and testing an assortment of objects to see if they will float on oil, water, or molasses, or not at all. The nature walk this week will be finding more objects to test how well they float.  These first 6 weeks are one unit all about chemistry, but then we'll go into 5 more units, covering physics, geology, meteorology, botany, and zoology.

Looking ahead to week #23, which is on tornadoes, I'm hoping our nature walk doesn't get too wild that week....

We started out using the 2-day-a-week schedule, but this week, I'm trying out the 5-day-a-week schedule. It makes each session shorter and seems to be working better for us. Probably because my kids still have very short attention spans. It spreads out the experiments too, so we're not get too messy too many times in one day. So I think we will stick with that, and probably spread out our history (study of the states) a bit more too, and do less each day, but more days a week. As I gain a little more experience homeschooling, I'm beginning to modify things a bit more, and not be so particular about having a strict schedule. That seems to be a necessity with 2 preschoolers roaming around.

Next week we're taking a break from school. My husband will be on a business trip out of the country, and I'm sending the girls to Vacation Bible School. I figured that might help me cope a bit better during my week of "single" parenting. We'll see how it goes!

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