Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Activities galore today!

We had another fun day filled with activities today.  I'm really trying to ease us into homeschooling and find that fun hands on lessons work best.  The boys think we're playing and having fun and I know we're learning. 



Continuing w/ our bubble unit we tried making our own bubble solution.

Found on, yep you guessed it, Pinterest!

All you need is
  • 1 cup dish soap
  •  12 cups water
  •  1 cup cornstarch 
  •  2 Tbsp baking powder
Mix all ingredients together gently trying not to cause any bubbles.

I didn't have a cup of dish soap though but I did have 1/2 a cup of dish soap so we cut the recipe in half and really it made  more than we needed for a morning.  I made the boys figure out how much of each ingredient we needed if we only needed half of each and they easily figured it out. (math!)

 It was super easy to make and once we had it all put together we headed outside.

 I wouldn't recommend using this solution inside since it does leave that chalky cornstarch residue everywhere. 

I have all different shapes and sizes of bubble blowers and today's focus of the lesson was to point out that no matter what shape you start with a bubble is always round.

 I even had the kids experiment with making their own bubble blowers using pipe cleaners or even their own hands  (Ian always gets a kick out of using his hands to blow bubbles so why not right?!), and they inevitably asked if they could use the bottles and socks from yesterday's snakes.  We tried it with and without the socks.
A huge bubble they blew




Alec's pipe cleaner is a heart
Evan blew a bubble w/ this water bottle! 

     
I think what I was most impressed with though was the the naturally scientific way they make predictions and observations. 

Before we even started Ian told me he was "pretty sure all bubbles were round no matter what shape you start with".  So he picked up a square blower and said "see the bubbles round even though I started with a square."

Alec said "the bigger bubbles seem to wobble more, I bet it's harder for them to move and keep the air inside since it's so big."

Towards the end of the morning they tried catching bubbles; Alec remembered the book we read yesterday said that you need wet hands to catch a bubble since dry ones will make them pop so he told everyone to stick their hands in the bubble tray and get all soapy before starting.  They managed to catch quite a few, Ian even managed to catch 2 or 3 together before they popped. 

They blamed the wind on the popping since it was a very windy morning.  Alec's highlight was watching this big bubble he blew float all the way to the lake and land on the water before popping; "because it landed somewhere wet!" he says. 

Another bubble bounced off the water twice before hitting a lily pad and popping.  They had so much fun!

"Look I caught one!"  Look at that smile! 
     
When they had tired of the bubbles we moved onto other subjects.

We played a game of Scrabble to work on spelling skills and while they do need help with this game I always make sure they find one word out of the letters they have before I'll help them find a word or place to play on the board.

Afterwards we read some more Shel Silverstein and I had them write their own acrostic poetry (those are the poems where you write a word vertically down the side of the page and think of a word or phrase that starts with each corresponding letter-- I think we've all done those in school many times!).  They came out pretty good too!


"evolve into adult forms"-- where does this kid get his vocabulary?!
            

For art, we made our own puff paint 
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of water 
  •  food coloring.  
I mixed the flour, salt and water together first and used a funnel to pour them into squeeze bottles and then I added the food coloring to each bottle.  We needed a few batches in order to fill up all the bottles and make many different colors.

Then we went outside and I had the kids drip/ draw onto black construction paper.  This was an idea I had found on Pinterest but I have to admit that I didn't like this one.  We had major problems with the bottles clogging constantly and then it would spurt out a big blob.  

I took it as an opportunity to teach Alec about abstract painting; just playing with shapes, color, design rather than trying to draw a picture with the paint.  I ended up washing the leftover paint down the drain and am looking for a new "recipe" to try next time. 







For math I turned the focus to money and coins and played what I've dubbed "the fat piggy game."  This is a review of coins for Ian and an introduction for Alec and Evan.  For Ian I gave him a large pile of coins and he had to add it up.  He had a little over $7.  Alec had to identify each coin, tell me the amount of each one and try adding small piles of pennies, dimes and nickles.  he added a little over a dollar.   I also had him practice trading in pennies for nickels, pennies for dimes, nickles for dimes, etc to show him how each coin is made to take the place of several smaller coins.  Evan just had to try and tell me the name and since he only knew penny that was plenty.

Once Alec added his coins I had Ian add the two totals on paper by lining up the decimal point.  We came out to $8.43 cents.  I asked him if we could divide that equally between him and his two brothers.  He finally figured out that wouldn't work and with a little scaffolding we realized he would need $9 so they could each get $3.  He counted out the coins we would need to get to 9 and then divided them into three equal piles.  The best part?  They got to keep the coins I had given them when it was all over and fatten their own piggy banks.

My kids love money and through playing games like Monopoly and Life Ian can now count out and figure out change back using large dollar amounts.  I knew if they got to increase the size of their piggy banks I'd definitely have their attention! I got so many hugs and "thank you mommy for the money!" I'm sure they'll be thrilled to play again-- just not too often or I'll run out of coins!

All in all it was a fun and low key way to cover most of the subjects.  Trying to begin homeschooling over the summer I am trying to keep it light and fun but make sure it is something we can feasibly keep up throughout the whole school year as well.

So far it seems to be working great! 

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