Archive for August, 2010

I’ve Gone and Done It

I’ve gone and done it.

I’ve bought a curriculum. Never done it before except math textbooks.

My son is super advanced in math and I wanted to be able to give him something to boost his science as well. We’re trying Supercharged Science, an online curriculum which is experiment based. Of course experiments is what he wants to do. Don’t all kids?

Her philosophy is make it fun and they will learn without knowing it. My son is all talk of acids and bases and forces and pressure. He’s super excited about it.

And here’s something fun…if I point other people to FREE science experiments that they offer, I can earn free months of the curriculum. Well, if you’ve spent any time with me, you know I’m all about free. I’ve actually put up links to some of her things before, so this is something I’ve already been doing. But now I can get credit for doing, and better for you, I can offer even more free things now that I’m an affiliate. Click on the button link below and you’ll get a science experiment guide. There is a pdf file and access to online videos. This is sold for $30. I get to offer it to you for free. Yeah! I love free stuff.

To get it you enter your email address. She will include ads for her curriculum in some of the emails, but she will regularly send out free experiments and other videos. My sons loved the “How to Fly” video she sent in one of her freebie emails. The half hour video was inside the cockpit with a pilot talking you through what he was doing. They watched it over and over. If you have experimenters at home, try this out! She really tries to make experiments accessible.

Below is my oldest son doing one of the experiments from her curriculum (available K-12). Her experiments all work because she’s actually tried them out–and does them for you on the video. She’s also always available with help through emails and comments on her site. I’ve learned that most major science curricula out there don’t even try their own experiments. That’s why so many go bust!

My son adding the red cabbage indicator.

August 25, 2010 at 11:47 pm Leave a comment

Rocks

We’ve been studying rocks here. The first week we focused on the layers of the earth and the rock cycle, all the while looking for rocks to collect.

Every day I assign my kids websites to go to about whatever we are studying. All the links in this post are found on the Links to All Things Free for Homeschoolers blog.

Rock Cycle Online Lessons:  one two three

Rock Cycle Printables: diagram worksheet

Rock Cycle Song

The last day their link for science pointed them to this post by Jimmie and they were assigned to make their own diagram of the rock cycle. On the post there is a download where you can cut out pre-made arrows and such, but we had construction paper on hand so the kids made their own based on her designs.

10-year-old daughter

8-year-old son

5-year-old son

I didn’t try and get the five year old to understand the rock cycle. But he learned several ways how rocks are made. He made three pictures to show them. He made this one about lava. He made one about heat and pressure. And he made one about weathering and erosion. I didn’t make him learn the term “weathering and erosion,” but he really understands how water cuts down and shapes rocks.

Our second we  learned more about the rocks themselves. Here is the website where we got a lot of our information.

From this website I printed out several charts including Moh’s hardness scale to use in our rock investigation.

chart of some common minerals

Then we filled out My Rock forms about the rocks we collected. There are three levels of forms. My youngest used the first level where you only have to say if it is heavy and light, describe it’s color and measure it (as well as draw a picture). My older kids did the middle level. The highest level is similar to the chart I pictured above, but blank of course for the student to fill out.

My Rock

I had them try and figure out each rock and write in their picture space the type and kind of rock. We did some research at this site to help us identify rocks.

At the Links blog you can find a lapbook based on the Magic School Bus Rocky Road book as well as one on amber. There are also links about the layers of the earth, earthquakes, etc…

August 18, 2010 at 11:29 pm 2 comments

Pop Rockets

Our youngest was the returner of the canister.

Watch a video of this experiment You have to enter your email address to see the video but they will send you lots of science experiment freebies so it’s a good list to be on.

My 8-year-old son, for his project after studying space, wanted to launch off rockets. He had been waiting, may I exaggerate and say forever, to be able to do some experiments.  I kept saying, “When we’re in America.” Now we are here and I spent $20 on science experiment equipment. That’s a lot of money to us. It’s harder to not spend money when so much is available!

We launched 20 trials and my son wrote up a little report using the scientific method.  He wrote up the question, hypothesis, materials, procedure, observations and conclusion.

If you have tried this yourself before and only gotten the rockets to fly a few feet high, try again. I’ll give you some tips to get them higher.

Materials:

Fuji film canister (ask around and see if you can find someone with one of these if you can’t use the film yourself)  It can’t be just any film canister. The lid has to fit inside the canister.

Alka-Seltzer tablets

water, vinegar, other?

Procedure:

Prepare a flat place for a launch pad. We chose near the house so we would have something to gauge height against.

Put your liquid in the film canister.

Drop in the Alka-Seltzer and immediately put on the cover and flip it over and place it on the launch pad.

Stand back.

Our results:

First we tried to decide how much Alka-Seltzer to use. My son assumed more would work better. It turned out about a 1/2 canister of water with 1/8th of one table worked best, maybe 10 feet. Try whole tablets, crushed tablets, etc. if you have a lot of tablets to work with. Remember to only change one variable at a time so you know what’s affecting it.

We also tried hot water, cold water and regular water.

Then we tried vinegar. Vinegar worked best with just a tiny bit in the canister. It didn’t seem to make too much difference how much Alka-Seltzer we put in, but it was going over the roof every time, so I had nothing to gauge its height against. That was maybe 16 feet.

So if you’ve only had moderate success with water and one tablet, do a little more experimenting and it gets more exciting.

Celebrating a successful launch

August 7, 2010 at 11:05 pm 4 comments


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