Friday, February 22, 2013

Science experiment flop/failure/success?

 I wanted to report that we redid the science experiment and at first I thought it was a failure again...

But then I left it on the table while I ran out for a couple of hours and when we got home....

the balloon was inflated.  Just like the book said the results would be.

Sorry no pictures of the successful one. I took a picture but it didn't save on the camera so no proof that we succeeded.  Just a balloon filled with the yeast mixture and now a clean test tube.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Presidents Day learning

I know its the public schools vacation but we are still doing some work.  Just not everything.

On Monday Samantha learned all about Presidents day. 
She read a book about George Washington.
Learned about Honest Abe.
Did some crafts and learned a little about our money and what everything on the penny means.

It was a fun craft filled day of learning.
a little simple math thrown in.  

The timeline She made on Lincoln's life. She made one for George Washington too.

Her quiet reading time this week is to finish the chapter book on George Washington.  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

New type of Math

I have been looking into a different math program for Samantha.  I looked at Singapore Math which looks excellent BUT I think it would frustrate Samantha. It teaches math in a different way and even looking at the second grade book I think I would need to start below what she already knows so she could relearn some things differently. I wish now that I started with Singapore as it was my first choice back when I looked at curriculum in Kindergarten.

Not that I don't like what we are doing. She has learned a lot already.  

On a homeschool message board I go to often there were a few posts on this math called Life of Fred.  It was created by a math teacher. He taught first high school math then onto college math.  It teaches in a story form.  I asked questions on the board and loved the responses I was given.

If you look at the LOF website it states that it can be used as a complete curriculum not just a supplement.  On the message board I got mixed reviews of this.  One lady made a good point. She said for most its hard to let go of the method we are use to. Its hard to believe that a child could learn in a different way.  That had me thinking.  She is so right. I homeschool for many reasons but one of the biggest reasons I choose to homeschool Samantha was to adjust the learning to how she learns.  To not be public school at home.  To give her to opportunity to grow and learn.  I often tell Steve that I feel like I am not accomplishing my goal.  That some days all school is, is worksheets. One sheet after another.  While that is good for some That is not what I wanted for us. I wanted to give her plenty of hands on learning, living books and stories full of wonder and imagination.  To see the light in her eyes knowing she learned something new.

One thing I loved about my son's time in the charter school was the hands on learning.  At least in the lower elementary grades it was more about experiencing all they are learning then it was to drill it all in using worksheets.  I remember telling others how much I loved the school for the different kind of learning they provided.  Well that is what I want to provide for Samantha.  

Samantha really loves when we do the Five in a Row books.  The whole learning she gets from them. Not just worksheets but the fun of learning. She has learned a lot from this curriculum.   So I revisit what I want for her and decided I am going to give Life of Fred a try........ it didn't hurt that after doing the first 2 lessons with her she took the book into the bathroom to keep reading it.  I didn't know she did that until she came out laughing with the book in her hands.  She loves math now. She wants to keep on reading and learning.  How can I say no to this.  I will also have her complete worksheets. But her core math is going to be Life of Fred.  Thanks to my mother in law Muriel she has given us a few math workbooks for extra practice and those will go along nicely with LOF.  Thank you Muriel!!!  

I have the first book from the series and will purchase the rest in time as needed.  So what is Life of Fred... you read the lesson which is told in a story of this boy Fred.  Then you complete on a separate paper the problems.  Then turn the page and I have her correct her own work.  She is not even minding the extra writing that she has to do.  Samantha hates to write.  She tries many ways each day to get out of writing even the shortest paragraph.  With this she is even adding in stuff.  

Friday, February 1, 2013

Germs, bacteria and fun...

So we finished last month the Magic school bus kit polymers.  It was fun. She made her own bouncy ball, gack, giggly marbles, glue out of curdled milk and so much more.  Learned how its the same polymer in diapers that they use to make fake snow.

Now we have moved onto Bacteria. 

This goes along with what she was learning in health.  How to stay healthy and wash our hands properly. 
So we did this neat thing first.
I had her pretend to sneeze.  Then I sprinkled in her hands red glitter to represent her germs.
She then shook my hand to see how much of her germs spread to me.
Then she pretended the chair was a shopping cart.
I had her touch a few more things until most of the germs were spread around the house. 
I then went around touching them.
This showed her how her germs then spread to me.
Hours later here comes our little kitty Willy and he had red glitter on his head and back. LOL

Its a nice visual to show children how germs really do spread.  I should have done that again and had her wash her hands to see how much came off with just water like she tries to do or with soap.  Think we will be doing that tomorrow.

First experiment in the kit was to try to grow mold. 
in one test tube was wet bread put into the refrigerator
in the second one was wet bread kept in a warm spot. 
It didn't take long for the warm bread to start forming redish mold.
The cold one never grew anything.

We moved onto learning about yeast and what it needs to come alive.
So what do you do when your experiment bombs?
you try again.
what do you do when it bombs again?
Well I was going to retry it one more time but then I started thinking........
maybe its the yeast that isn't doing its job? 
the experiment : put yeast in test tube up to the 1/4 mark, sugar up to the 1/2 mark the fill it with warm water to the 3/4 mark. cover top with a balloon.  Wait about 1/2 hour and its supposed to make the balloon inflate a little bit.  We waited 2 hours. 
It did not happen both times.  First time Samantha did it all so I thought maybe measurements weren't accurate?
So then I did it.  Still didn't work.  SO how many times do you retry something to get the results it claims will happen?  
So I thought about it. could it be the yeast?  Maybe its old?  It came with the kit.  

So stay tuned I will try this one more time with fresh yeast. I will even take pictures..........

That is if I can figure out how to get them off my camera!  


Ok I know its been a while since I posted over a month Sorry.  I get in these funks where i post all the time. Then I stop and forget about it. Sometimes its more the accessibility of the computer.  When Nick was here all month in Dec I couldn't get on the spare computer. Nick was sleeping in Samantha's room so she was banned to the school room to sleep on the sofa in there.  Yes she felt she was banned and it was unfair.  Not that she couldn't go into her room anytime she wanted to get her stuff. The school room is where the computer is.  So it sat there all month long untouched by me.  Only Sam went on it.  When I have the time she was in there sleeping or trying to sleep.  Steve kind of hogs the other computer.  Don't deny it Steve its true.  But I love you anyway.  Plus with Nick here we spent a lot of time just talking. I rather do that then blog any day.

Then comes January and we have been so busy yet not.  I know that's a wishy washy response right.  Most of her activities ended in Dec and started back up just this week so we had many nights home.  How nice it is to be just home.  But we have been crafting and enjoying some down time.  We have had activities during the day.  But at night we have been just being a family.

Then there is the picture problem.  Bought a new camera since mine died on a trip to Santa's village. Got only 2 pictures from that trip.  The quality of my phone doesn't cut it.  I downloaded the camera's program onto Steve's computer and they just wont leave the camera. LOL I can't get them to go onto the computer.  So without pictures how can I show you all we were doing? So hopefully I will be able to figure it all out and get the pictures up soon.

So here is a big sorry from me to all who follow our journey.  Thank you again Muriel for the math practice books they have been a big help.