Monday, November 3, 2014

Homeschooling with Candy, Candy, Candy

 My boys only trick- or- treat for one hour.  They like the experience of going door to door asking for candy in the traditional trick- or- treating manner but we have a lot of family that we visit too so we usually cut our trick- or- treating short and start visiting relatives' houses.

The relatives are great and often hand out a variety of snack so my boys get things like granola bars, fruit roll ups, chips, apples, raisins, small toys, and yet we still end up with a ton of candy.  More candy than I would ever let them eat!  So we turned to homeschooling with our Halloween candy.

So before I even got out of bed this morning I knew we'd be doing all sorts of fun candy math and candy science.  They willingly sacrifice candies for us to experiment on and they have a say on which candies we use and which tests we run.  It's so much fun!

This is just Alec's pile!

I found a three page Halloween candy math unit at Ben and Me and we used it to guide our math unit today.

 I had to change a few of the brands listed on the graph to represent some of the candies I knew my boys had gotten but other than that we just filled in the three page print out (and had a few snacks along the way).  We got some great practice in for the older boys with adding, subtracting, and reducing fractions.  Ian was getting confused so I pulled out our fraction tiles for him to refer to.  Then Evan wanted them so he could play with the tiles for a bit.  The older boys also took their first math minute working on dividing by 7.  I can't believe we only have 7's and 12's left and at that Ian got 13 of the 16 problems correct today.  I don't think it's going to be much longer before we get to go out to our victory dinner. 

Ian using the tiles to help him reduce fractions

Sorting candies

Evan sorts his candies
For science we first had to work on our science fair projects.
Ian mounted all of his labels onto colored paper.  He's going to arrange the various VCR components on a table and put each label next to each part.  Once he had them all mounted he also made a sample of his candy circuit that he planned to do for his snack/ hands on activity.  While we was busy working, Alec was finding some facts that were the same for both river otters and sea otters and Evan and I read two more books about sea turtles.  We read Look Out For Turtles and Gail Gibbon's book Sea Turtles today.  Look Out for Turtles talked all about the various kinds of turtles both on land and at sea while Gail Gibbon's book taught us more about the different species of sea turtles.

Once we had put in sufficient time on the science fair projects we got down to work on some candy science.  

I told the boys to pick some candy and run some experiments on them.  I told them they could try to dissolve them in various substances, that they could try melting or heating them in the microwave, they could run tests to see if they were acidic by adding a bit of baking soda to some water along with the candies in question.  But I didn't give them a whole lot of direction or instruction.  I wanted to see what they would do.

They were so involved that my entire kitchen table was soon filled with plastic cups.  They dissolved Jolly Rancher lollipops vs. Dum Dum pops and found that even though Jolly Ranchers are larger they dissolve faster.  We also noticed that all the coloring settles to the bottom of the cups.  We noticed the long "m' floating in various cups of liquid as Alec was trying different concoctions to dissolve M&M's in.  We learned that Tootsie rolls are not acidic but Sour Patch Kids are.  Ian and Evan tried microwaving a Dum Dum, a Tootsie roll and a Snickers Bar.  They told me that the Tootsie roll felt like warm, soft wax kind of like from the renaissance faire.  They noticed that the outside of the snickers bar stayed mostly intact while the gooey stuffing foamed and leaked out; nothing happened to the peanuts inside.  They left everything set up on the table for a while and checked on it every now and then throughout the day.   It was fantastic!

Ian's candy circuit

It's a crazy science laboratory

Tootsie rolls vs. Sour Patch Kids acidity test

Melting snickers, Tootsie rolls and Dum Dum lollipops

Checking on their experiments

Evan and I read I Am Going! by Mo Willems and practiced his sight words by playing a memory game with some printed cards we had.  Alec and Ian chose some books from their baskets to read.   We also read the rest of the chapter in Harry Potter and left off where Hagrid returns.

sight word memory game
Reading I Am Going!
 After lunch we were going to tackle some spelling but Ian was begging to go outside.  It's been very cold, rainy, and just raw out around here lately and it was a beautiful day here today.  I agreed and he went out to play in the sand.  The younger two boys started a Harry Potter game and found their way outside too.  They were making up their own spells and running all around the house.   The three boys tried playing Wiffle ball by themselves but soon they were fighting and crying so they broke up the game. Ian went to ride his scooter and the other two boys came inside.

 They were getting bored since I had nothing else planned for the day and they all decided to sit down on the couch and watch an episode of The Magic School Bus.  They learned about air pressure watching the Goes On Air episode and then they watched a second episode about wetlands.  They watched The Magic School Bus Gets Swamped and we compared it to local wetlands that we've investigated in the past.

Linking Up With:

Tots and Me


  1. A full day! I ordered the stamps lol. I enjoy your posts!

  2. Awesome! Thanks and enjoy your kit when it comes in.