Saturday, January 31, 2015

Saturday School

We had a bit of extra schooling this weekend.

Luckily, the boys did not mind at all and eagerly participated.  I offered to do a fun science experiment with the boys.  We've been talking for a few days about making rainbow icicles.  It sounded easy enough and they look so pretty.  We were excited and with temperatures hovering around freezing this week it seemed like a good time to attempt it.



Alec and Evan helped me set up the container, measure the yarn, decided on the starting color and then we headed outside.  The wind was whipping off the water and blowing our yarn all around.

We soon realized we had no way to suspend the container off the deck railing like we had planned and so we decided to head back in and reevaluate our plan.  We changed containers, added a string to hang it from and set it off the hooks underneath our deck.  The string was still blowing all around and the hole in our second container was so large the water was just pouring through.

We were getting discouraged (and, in fact, Evan quit) but Alec and I were pretty determined to get this to work.  We tried filling a plastic bag with colored water and poking a tiny pinprick hole in it; we got outside and realized the bag of water was to big to fit inside the neck of our bottle.

My hands were so cold and wet they were starting to freeze to the hook.

 At this point we had some very pretty frozen string but not much else.  Still determined to give it a go we headed back inside and made up a hanger for the first container.  We went back outside, tied the tail end of our string to a block of wood and tossed it into the snow under our hook; this kept the string from blowing around.  We had a nice small hole, a hanging plastic container; I really thought we were all set and had it right this time.... but we were wrong again.

It was time to leave for basketball so I told Alec we had to give up for today but we'd try again another day.  It's frustrating when science experiments don't go the way you plan but I can't deny we learned a lot-- all the way NOT to make rainbow icicles.  

Sometimes you've just got to be happy with all the unplanned lessons that crop up; even if they do make you feel like a failure.


At least the string turned blue this time; getting
closer...  
 Ian came down and showed me what he had been busy building while I was outside trying to get our science experiment to work.  He had watched Gold Rush again this morning and was inspired to make his own gold dredge like Tony Beets' dredge.  He did an amazing job.

He showed me how he had to redesign the screen deck a few times and improvise with other parts to make it long enough.  If nothing else we all learned to keep trying and redesigning our original ideas!  He explained how it would work, what he'd add to the Lego pieces to make it better if he could design Lego's and the similarities and differences between his dredge and Tony's.

I think it's amazing that he can build just about anything he can think of using Lego pieces.  It's very creative and he has so much patience to be able to build, re- build, fix, and tinker with them.

From the side

From the front 

Ian's basketball team played hard and lost by two points.  They're definitely getting more competitive as the season continues and I've seen improvements in most all of the player's skills and certainly in their ability to work as a team.   While I don't see Ian loving the game as much as year's past I know he's had fun becoming a part of the team and learning to work cooperatively.  

 As soon as Ian's game ended we zipped right home so he could change and the boys could grab a quick snack before heading out to a birthday party.  All three boys were invited to a bowling party.

We've become quite close with this family since they've started homeschooling and all three kids were eager to get there.  They had a ball bowling and even though the machine keeps score for them automatically they still apply all sorts of math concepts to the game.  

They play with the speed and trajectory of the ball, the placement of their feet and body, they compare scores, figure out how many more pins they need to catch up, they subtract the remaining pins to see how many they knocked down, and even keep track of how many turns they have left.

Of course, to them, they're just playing and having fun.


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