Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Experiment #1: Absorbant Properties of Various Soil Substrates by Gwenyth Allison

We wanted to know how much water can diferent kinds of soils hould.   My hypothesis was that the sand was going to loose and silt woud win.

To set up the experiment you need scissors, 2 pens, 3 dixie cups, a paper towel, a big measuring cup, a little measuring cup (1/4 cup), water, sand, dirt, and silt.  Use one of the pens and one dixie cup and the paper towel.  Then put the cup on a paper towel and, with a pen, draw a circle on the paper towel around the cup.  Do that three times.  Then with the other pen, poke three holes in the bottom of each dixie cup.  Then, with the scissors, cut out the three circles you made on the paper towel.  Put one circle in each paper cup.
Cutting paper towel
Choose one of the soils (sand, silt, or dirt), and put 1/4 cup into one of the dixie cups.  Put a different kind of soil (1/4 cup) in another dixie cup.  Then put 1/4 cup of the last soil-type in the last cup.

Then put 1/4 cup of water in each dixie cup.  Make sure you have the same amount of soil in each dixie cup and the same amount of water in each cup.  With three bowls, put a dixie cup in each of the bowls.  Then wait for about a minute.  Soon water will start coming out of the bottom of  the dixie cup.  Then carefully, without squeezing, pick up the dixie cup and shake it a little so you know it is done.  If its not done, put it back in and try another cup.

When they're all done, go back into the kitchen and get a teaspoon and pour one of the bowls of water into the teaspoon.  Write down how many teaspoons of water came out.  Do the same for all three.

My hypothesis was that the silt was going to soak up the most water, and the sand was going to soak up the least.  We measured how much water came out.


We discovered that silt soaked up the most water, but the other part of my hypothesis was wrong.  Sand did not soak up more water than dirt.  So half of my hypothesis was right!

Try this experiment at home and see what your hypothesis is!  If it is right, hooray for you!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Painful Thing By: Gwenyth Allison

I remember when I got hurt really bad .  One day I was outside with Dad and Addie.  Then they went inside and I got mad.  I pushed my hand through glass and cut my wrist.  I remember it because it was the scariest thing.     
I'll tell you my  feelings and my lesson.  I felt sad because it was a sad thing that happened.  I felt worried because I thought I was going to get in trouble.  Now I feel foolish because I did that.   I learned not to get too mad.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In which we purchase a curriculum, and embark on a new adventure.

Thus begins our year of homeschool.  This afternoon I clicked the "add to cart" button a few times, and, finally, the "confirm purchase" button on the Moving Beyond the Page website.  They've developed a literature-based curriculum that incorporates language arts, science, and social studies (and, in A's case, math).  Instead of textbooks, they use age-appropriate books (for A, books like "If You Give a Pig a Pancake" and "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse", in G's case, "Little House in the Big Woods" and "The BFG") to guide exploration and learning.  Though I was sorely tempted to buy the "complete package," our dwindling finances and the huge sticker price dictated that I order the online curriculum only, and check the books out from the library (don't worry, I made sure the library HAS the books!).  I am really excited to start this with the Gals.  We're also going to do the Right Start math program, which also has me bouncing off the walls with excitement--the focus is to teach math intuitively, instead of by rote.

A has been asking all day "when can we start school?  when do we get to do school?"  It makes me feel so hopeful for the success of our little endeavor.  I feel pretty confident that this is the right place for us to be this year, but it is good to have the kids (and the dad!) back me up.

My plan for this blog is that it will provide a place for me to journal about our homeschool experiences, as well as give the Gals somewhere to post their "assignments."  I'm also hoping to periodically post science-y videos, music & poetry podcasts, and other stuff we come up with.  We're just gonna have FUN!

SO, strap on your thinking caps, folks!  Get ready for a wild ride!