Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Eclectic Homeschooling

Homeschooling is a wonderful adventure. There is such freedom awaiting you. You are free to choose what curriculum you will use. You are free to school at whatever time of day you choose. You are free to homeschool at any location you choose, whether that is carschooling, roadschoooling, or traditional schooling at home.

There are several types of schooling form which to choose. Some are traditional, unschooling, Charlotte Mason, unit studies, eclectic, classical, and so on. Many families choose eclectic homeschooling.

Eclectic homeschooling means you will pick and choose things that fit your children’s learning styles and interests. Sometimes, what works one year or semester, will not work the next. Sometimes, what works for one child will not fit the needs of your other kids.

In conclusion, eclectic homeschooling is simply providing an individualized education plan for each of your children.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Science of Snow

"How full of the creative genius is the air in which these are generated! I should hardly admire more if real stars fell and lodged on my coat."
--Henry David Thoreau, 1856

What would winter be like without beautiful, unique snowflakes? I love snowflakes because they are so delicate and each one is very different. Snowflakes begin life as an ice crystal about the size of a speck of dust. As they fall toward the ground, they link up with other crystals, forming beautiful snowflakes. The most basic form of a snow crystal is a hexagonal prism. As they grow, branches sprout from the corners to make shapes that are more complex.

Try designing your own snow art or making paper snowflakes in your elementary homeschool science classes. See how many different styles you can make.

Snow Art

White, Red, Dark Blue, and Black construction paper
4 plastic containers
Pickling salt
Epsom salts
White granulated sugar

Put 1/2 cup of water into each of the 4 containers.
Add 2 tablespoons of each of the following to each of the containers. (Alum, pickling salt, white granulated sugar, Epsom salts.)

Dip a Q-Tip in one of the containers and draw a picture on the black construction paper. Using another Q-Tip, dip it in a different container and draw on the red construction paper, and then continue to the white and dark blue. Use a different Q-Tip for each container.

Let your projects dry completely. Use a magnifying glass to view the crystals and geodes made by the salts, sugar, and alum.