Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Week 29, day 2

Tuesday: Science We're back after roughly a week off. We spent Thursday through Monday in San Antonio for a homeschool convention where Ari sold his book, and a bit of a vacation. At the convention, I picked up a box of math games (actually, just placed an order, but got free shipping by doing it at the convention), some educational toys including a balance with varying sizes of hexagonal gram weights, books on Biblical character training, and a sewing instruction book with patterns for P, who has recently demanded to be taught to sew. I also stopped by the Sonlight booth to drool over the curriculum I plan to use next year (Core K, Language Arts 1, and Science K for P, with E listening in as he has ability and interest). We're going to have heaps of fun! We are already, of course. We went to the Alamo on Sunday, and it seemed like the kids got a lot out of it. It helped that I checked out 3 kids' books on the Alamo before we left for San Antonio, and read them to the kids on the way.

Today we resumed the week's worth of school where we left off. P remembered her memory work remarkably well. I decided to spend more time paying attention to E, and this helped a good deal. I had P read her reader to him specifically, which he liked, and I gave both of them a math lesson of sorts before I had P do her 5-a-day. From a session on RightStart Math at the convention I had picked up the idea of counting "the math way". Basically, English doesn't make place value transparent the way some Asian languages do, with numbers like "twelve" bearing no obvious connection to "ten plus two", so you instead teach the child to call that number "ten two", and to call 27 "two-ten seven". Even E was able to catch onto this pretty quickly, and I reviewed it with P on her 5-a-day. Once that was over, we played addition war (I let E help me add my cards) and Uno. We then set up the evaporation experiment from a week ago again, this time using 2 colours of container. I used a light metal bread pan and a navy blue silicone bread pan to hold the "dirty water" and same-sized ramekins to catch the "rain". We'll look at them tomorrow to see if there's any difference. In the afternoon, the kids played with the balance. It comes with containers that are marked in mL, so we weighed and found that 200 mL of water weighs 200 grams. I accidentally rediscovered Archimedes' principle (which I only fully grasped for the first time in sophomore geology at Caltech) when reaching into the water to retrieve a weight one of the kids had dropped in. The balance had been perfectly level, and as soon as my fingers entered the water, it dipped down on that side, even though my fingers weren't touching the bottom, because my fingers displaced a certain mass of water. I let P experiment and she found the same result. When we were done with the water, we weighed a banana, an apple, and a clementine. E then wanted to know what weighed less than a clementine, and we found that a playsilk weighed less even though it had a larger volume. This led logically to a discussion on density. Once we were done playing with the toy, the kids neatly put it away without being asked. WOW! I thanked them profusely - it was a very pleasant surprise.

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