Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Temperature change leads to Math and Science experiments

November is known for being a rainy month, too warm for snow, but oh that cold cold rain. It's mother nature settling in for winter and it has us scrambling to winterize the house. Something of course we should have done in October, but hey there were days we could still have the windows open, and who wants to put up heavier curtains when the sun is still shining out beautifully.
This is a great time to make Math real and understandable. The same with Sciences... all sorts of Earth Sciences are teachable and are likely to really sink in with keeping the subject close to the season.
You can do experiments on erosion – as the rain will carry away leaves and then some top soil if there isn't grass. Other things that can be done is experiments with expansion, and how a water filled bottle will need to be filled less if it is to be frozen to keep it from bursting out the top.
A little less messy is this one...soaking some Indian corn in a bit of water to see what happens.... Using a large tray with a paper towel, and ¼ to ½ an inch of water...pour water over the cob every couple of days and see what happens.
This has been a great way to use the cob of corn that fell off the door and it's been a fun experiment that the kids have gotten into with gusto. They also have wanted to do this with Maple seeds they brought in and used on artwork (Elmers Glue soaks right off) and with Acorns. Within a few days we've gotten seedlings on the Maple seeds but not the Acorns. These can be transplanted into milk cartons for a winter garden, however unless you have a greenhouse, the Indian corn is not a likely candidate for windowsill gardening.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Veteran's Day

As a homeschooler we get to go into topics pretty deeply, covering not only the history and individuals involved with an event but the geography and weather at the time.

Originally Veteran's Day marked the end of the first world war...and holds common the following days of observance in kind world wide.
  • Anzac Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Volkstrauertag
All these days are held in observance of those who served and passed in times of war and oppression. Yes, it's a heavy lesson for a first grade child, but one that can be used to impress on them how important it is to support the present soldiers serving somewhere in the name of defending the principles of our country.

In our family, last spring, my brother returned from Afghanistan. We use this day as a day to learn about the armed services, the places they deploy to, and what their jobs might be.

Observance of this day isn't limited to the heavy hard aspects of the day though. We will listen to music from the U.S. Marine Band and eat ravioli – which was served in the White House by President Wilson to 2,000 returning soldiers, having recently become a huge fad at home due to commercial canning. Ok – maybe the kids will eat it, Mom will stick with the freshly made stuff.