I have decided to attempt to write a weekly (or bi-weekly) post sharing what we are learning and discovering. Keeping our kids home to educate them is such a huge part of our lives that I feel the need to share it here. I feel that by sharing these posts I will not only be sharing what we learn but how we learn.
So here it is, my first weekly homeschool post. This week in our home learning our topics of discovery included weather, ancient history, art through imagination, and Classical music. It seems that our focus was primarily on discovering and learning dealt with the weather. We created tools that helped us measure temperature, rain, and wind.
Our first science experiment of the week was making a homemade thermometer. You will need a clean plastic bottle, a clear straw, water, rubbing alcohol, food color, and modeling clay.
- Fill the plastic bottle 1/4 way with warm water.
- Add rubbing alcohol to the bottle until 1/2 full.
- Add a few drops of red food color.
- Place straw into bottle where it is almost to the bottom of the bottle but not touching the bottom. Secure the straw with modeling clay covering the opening of the bottle (not the straw).
Allow the liquid mixture to adjust to room temperature and then take it to various places in your home then outdoors. The liquid will rise in the straw in warmer temperatures the same way that a traditional thermometer reacts. We all thought that this was pretty cool!
All three kids learn together, therefore I try to involve crafts that involve our topics of learning. This craft was super easy. I cut out the pieces to make two flowers and a butterfly from foam sheets then handed them over to the kids so they could glue them together. Once the kids glued their creations together I glued the thermometers onto them. I picked up a few cheap thermometers from the hardware store, I thought they were cool because they had suction cups to attach to the back of them. Once the kids glued their creations together I glued the thermometers onto them. I cut holes out in the back of their creations so that I could attach the suction cups, this allowed me to hang them on a window.
This is another cute and fun craft that relates to temperature. This was a bit messy and that made it even more fun for the kids! I was inspired to make this craft over at Morning Sun Rae.
You will need two sun’s with the center cut out, two cut out wax paper circles that will fit in the center of the sun, and crayon shavings (we used red, orange, and yellow).
- Have your child sprinkle some of the crayon shavings on one of the wax paper circles then place the remaining circle on top.
- Place this inside an old pillowcase then placed a heated iron on it for about 5-10 seconds, depending on the look your child desires. The longer you leave the heat on it the more it becomes one color.
- Allow this to cool then tape the wax paper creation inside of the sunshine so that it appears in the hole.
Hang it in a sunny place and enjoy! The suns looked great next to our thermometer crafts!
Making a homemade rain gauge:
We discussed the water cycle (again) and have enjoyed keeping track of all of the rain this week with our homemade rain gauge. It has been a very rainy week in Florida so our timing was pretty perfect for this experiement!
Cut the top off of a plastic bottle. I covered the top edge with tape because it was a tad sharp for the little fingers handling it.
- Place rocks in the bottom of the bottle to keep it from tipping over.
- Fill the bottle with water to a certain point and mark that line. Then started from that line mark more lines, I marked mine at 1/2 inch increments up the bottle. Flip the top of the water bottle (that you cut off earlier) over and place it on the bottle so the water can flow in and leaves can stay out.
- Place your bottle outdoors and wait for the rain to come.
Everyday we would look at the sky and the weather radar and predict how much rain we would get that day. We tracked our predictions and the actual amount of rain that fell. Alex really enjoyed this project!
Making a homemade anemometer:
We ended up having to make three of these. It was one of those days when all three kids simply did not want to work together and share the project. If you are making only one anemometer you will need 4 small disposable cups, a sturdy paper plate, tape, foil or a marker, phillips head screwdriver, and an empty spool of thread.
- Make on of your cups distinctively different. We taped foil around it, you could color it with a crayon or marker as well.
- Make a hole in the center of your plate with your screwdriver then turn the plate around on the screwdriver to make sure it moves smoothly. I added a spool of thread onto the screwdriver to make it more stable.
- Tape your 4 cups, facing in the same direction, on the paper plate.
- Place your screwdriver through the hole with the cups facing up.
- Hold your anemometer in the wind, and measure the speed of the wind by counting how many times the different cup comes back to you in a set amount of time.
We made predictions by observing the weather outside then used our homemade anemometer to see how accurate our predictions were. We recordered all of this and placed the lab sheet into our science notebook.
This week we also learned:
History: We moved on from the Ancient Crete to the Mycenaeans then the Babylonians and the Hiltites. Alex completed a bunch of mapwork for his history notebook and he really enjoyed reading about Odysseus and the Cyclops.
Music: We listened to Domenico Scarlatti. We focused on two of his pieces while the kids mellowed out and colored a picture of the composer.
Art: We discussed imagination and how artists use imagination to create their artwork. My children enjoyed using their imagination to create their individual pieces of art. This was their first time using watercolor crayons and they loved it!
We expanded on the concept of using imagination to create art while looking at a painting by Marc Chagall. The piece is titled ‘The Birthday’ which is fitting since Ava turns 5 this week. Ava enjoyed the many different angles in this painting.
Math: Alex is beginning to understand multiplication and Ava addition. Audrey has learned to count to 20 by playing endless games of hide and seek!
Reading: Reading in ongoing in our home. Ava has started to read the beginner Bob Books while Alex continues working on phonics and reading Star Wars themed books. He has also started to read The Magic Tree House series which I know he will love due to his fascination with history.
Family Book: We finished The Mouse And The Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary. The kids watched the movie on Netflix the night that we finished the book. Alex was excited to point out all of the differences and decided he liked the book much better (the book is always better, right?!).
So that is about it for our week of home learning. Do you homeschool? What did you work on this week?
To read more about our homeschool adventures please click here.