Thursday, August 27, 2009

What's Next?

What's next? What's next? What are we doing today?
It doesn't matter if you homeschool or go to school that is the question of the day. I've tried schedule boards and admired workboxes but those things just weren't for me. So this year I am trying laying out all of the days work in row across the floor and them placing it in the storage basket once completed. So far so good. It has eliminated the questions and allows G some choice of order.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Earth Science: Volcanoes

Our second hands- on activity in our Earth Science unit was volcanoes.
We read several books and watched some great videos (see list at the end).
We create one of each of the types of volcanoes out of homemade dough (not real successful) and made them erupted with vinegar & baking soda.

Earth Science: Starting Over

Global Connections
If you have followed my posts, you know that I piece together my own science curriculum following the Well Trained Mind outline. I was a classroom teacher and have loads of resources and ideas plus I have just not found the spine that speaks to me... until now. While reading through my Blogline feeds the other day, Crunchy Mama from Diosa Dotada Endeavor casually mentioned Mr. Q's Classic Chemistry. Mr. Q? I've never heard of Mr. Q. So a Google we must go. WOW ! Mr. Q is a mild- mannered middleschool science teacher who has written e-textbooks for the 6-12 year set. Each book includes 36 weeks of lessons broken down into 3 days. Day 1- Reading, Vocabulary & Worksheets, Days 2 & 3 EXPERIMENTS!! He will GIVE you the Life Science Book to review, while the other titles (Earth Science, Chemistry, Physics) are $50. I have to say the price tag for PDF made me stop a day and think but I decided it was well worth it. For one, I was having a diffucult time finding the resources at the library that make this topic flow the way I wish. Two, I want to make sure we incorporate lost of hands on activities, something I have not been good at. Mr. Q gives me both! As I mentioned, the texts are written for G's age and each week includes 2 days of experiements. Also the e-books are not skimpy, the Parent Guide for Earth Science is over 400 pages and the Student Text is over 300!!

Having only done two sections so far in my own lessons I don't feel like we will be losing any time. I will post our volcanoes from last week next. Thanks Crunchy Mama for directing me to a new source and thanks Mr. Q for writing your books!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Earth Science

We are starting self-written narrations this year.

This year for science, the Well Trained Mind says we should study Earth Science & Astronomy. So we will be studying Earth Science for 18 weeks this Fall and Astronomy for 18 weeks this Winter. We are starting with the layers of the Earth and moving into Earthquakes & Volcanoes... boy stuff. Lets break it up and blow it up!!! MWAHAHAHAHA

Though I have a whole 50 gallon tub in the basement FULL of Astronomy resources from when I taught school, Earth things... not so much. The first thing in planning, I made a list of all of the topics I wanted to cover so I had a road map. Then I scoured the library for age appropriate ideas. I've not had the luck I had anticipated but I am resourceful and bright so I am making things fit.
The Earth Layers as an Egg from Krista West's Activity book.

Here are a few of the resources and activities I have found useful so far....

NASA : Case of the Shaky Quake
Changes in the Earth - Krista West
Geology Rocks- 50 Hands on Activities
Start Science: Earth & Space
The Reasons for Seasons- Gail Gibbons