Thursday, October 10, 2013

A bit of history and a whole lot of science

      We were reminded this morning that our homeschool group's annual science fair is coming up in a few weeks.  I signed the boys up and then asked them what they wanted to do this year.  I was pretty impressed with the ideas we were able to come up with in just a few short moments.  Evan is still talking about the bubbleologist we saw at Mystic Aquarium last weekend and has decided he wants to learn and report on bubbles.  Ian was originally going to replicate our bag of blood experiment from last Halloween and learn about surface pressure and air/ water flow but ended up deciding to learn the science behind mummies.  We're going to mummify apples and read about how Egyptians mummified humans.  He already has a great snack and craft idea planned too!  Alec wasn't sure what he wanted to learn about when I started listing ideas... as soon as I said animals he jumped at the chance.  He finally decided he wanted to focus on the difference between giant pandas and red pandas.  I think he probably already knows everything there is to know about these two animals but if he wants to teach others I'm not going to stop him.  He might not be learning a lot of science topics while putting his display together but he will be focusing on writing, spelling, art and he'll learn a lot of new science topics at the fair that day so I'm not that worried. 
     With our ideas flowing I went to the library's site and requested a ton of books.  We also wrote down some titles and Dewey decimal numbers since we were going to be heading to the library later in the morning anyway.  Once on the computer the morning seemed to fly by.  We checked to see what books were due, what books we still had renewals for, and what books had come in for us to pick up. 
      Since Thursday is History and Geography day in our house I pulled out the book Knit Your Bit.  We learned a bit about World War 1 and the knitting crusade.  We learned that boys, girls, men and women all learned to knit hats, scarves, socks and sweater for men in uniforms overseas.  There were actual photos in the front and back of the book of children knitting for the cause.  There were actual photos of posters used during the time and we even learned of a song re-make about getting out your needles.  The boys learned what words like cast on, purl and stitch meant.  It was a great, yet super short, lesson in American History. 
     We then packed up the car and headed to the library.  We returned a pile of books and headed for the shelves to pick out more.  I discovered that I forgot our paper at home with all the titles and call numbers written on it so we did a quick look for books and managed to find quite a few.  Alec found many more about other various animals that he just had to get and so we once again left the library with an overflowing bag of books.
     Alec read his books in the car while the other two boys and I listened to the Mystery of the Cupboard on our way to meet up with our homeschool group at Purgatory Chasm.  We had a great turn out for this get together and the kids all had a ball playing on the playground and hiking through the Chasm.   We saw lots of "nature" things-- birch trees, leaves, spiders, chipmunks, etc.  At one point Evan asked me how many bottles of apple juice I brought and rather than tell him an exact number I told him I packed 2 for himself and 2 for his brother... he thought for just a moment and said "so you packed 4!"  I love that he added that up so fast and accurately in his head.  The boys reminded me of our last trip to the Chasm and all the cool wildlife we found in the pond.  We talked about the changes in the Chasm from season to season.  We even talked about different safety factors-- like the addition of leaves and pine needles on the rocks. 
      



      

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