Liquid To A Gas

Today we turned liquid into a gas for our states of matter unit. I typed up a sheet for this lab using the scientific method. I had them fill out their lab worksheets and we got started. You will need a small pot, water, and heat.

1.Place a pot of water on the stove and turn the heat on high (I spared you a picture of this step).

2. Bring the pot of water to a boil.

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3. Continue to boil water until you see the steam coming from the pot.

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4. You have now turned a liquid into a gas.

I know, not the most exciting experiment, but it was a good way to see the change that took place.

The Rise Of Leaders

DSC_0008-3Today we discussed how in early civilizations, leaders arose. How to become a leader you had to know more than other people. Someone figured out there are 365 days in a year by the stars. Someone had to figure out where the peasant’s farm was after the flooding of the Nile. This is where people long ago would use the string and pegs method. Our history book gave an example of a right angle. To help the kids understand this my husband took our kids outside and presented a problem to them. They used the right angle to figure out how to make a corner. After, they completed their right angle they checked it using a square. The one they made using string was very close. After they understood what a right angle was, I had them do a small scale one on their own.

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We then discussed how someone who knew information like this would become a leader in ancient times and how leaders are smart. Leaders know what needs to be done and they know how to get it done.

Molecule Madness

For this lesson, I wanted the kids to take a closer look at molecules in the different states of matter. I started out by grabbing a clear storage container and some Fruit Loops cereal. I asked them to pack the container full. I then had them shake the packed container and observe what was happening to the cereal. Of course the cereal didn’t move around or change shapes. They concluded this was a solid shape. I had them glue Fruit Loops onto a paper I had made representing how many molecules each state had. DSC_0010-4 The next state of matter we picked was liquid. I had them remove a little over half of the Fruit Loops. I again had the kids shake the container and observe what happened to the cereal. The Fruit Loops moved around one another, but they moved slowly still. We discussed how a liquid state will take the shape whatever container it is in.. DSC_0014-2 The last state we looked at was gas. Again, I had the kids remove half of the Fruit Loops and observe what happened. The Fruit Loops moved around very quickly. They recorded their answers as we finished talking about molecules and the different states of matter. DSC_0021-2 DSC_0022-5

Matter and Balloon Fun

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Science has been one of those subjects I just don’t know how to put together. The past few years, we have been using My Father’s World, but I didn’t really care for the science. This year I wanted to create my own science plans, but I wasn’t really sure how to go about doing this. I searched many helpful homeschool blogs and finally started planning our year. We decided on chemistry  and after searching, decided on Real Science-4 Kids level 1. I started with this level because we haven’t done anything relating to chemistry before. I also found unit studies or experiments that went with what we were learning. Last week we started learning about matter, atoms, molecules, and the periodic table. One of the experiments we did, came from this unit study. It was showing a gas, solid, and liquid state using balloons.

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So the balloon just didn’t come right off, lucky for them they had a pair of scissors handy.

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Mom really shouldn’t ask them to pose for a picture with a big ball of ice and then take five minutes to take the shot. Can you tell by their expressions it was apparently very cold?

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“No mom, please don’t make us pop the water balloon.”

In the end, they loved the experiment. They asked for more balloons so they could do it all over again, except the ice one, because that one takes awhile to freeze.

Looking for new ideas check out Highhill Homeschool.

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Hunters Home and Stone Age Food

We spent the last few days talking about the stone age. How people hunted a place until the food ran out. How the homes were constructed so they could be easily packed up.  How people moved around a lot following the food. I found a few projects that went along with what we were learning. The first project we did was a hunter’s home from the book Everyday Life in the Ancient World Hands on Projects. The kids spent a good amount of time making bones, stones, and fire from clay. They dug through our supply closet to find cardboard and scrapes of leather. They scavenged the woods for sticks and rocks. They spent two days working on these homes and the end result turned out pretty cool. They both were proud of their homes and enjoyed the project.

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The second project we decided to try was food from that time period. Items you would have gathered and eaten. This project was also out of the Everyday Life in the Ancient World Hands on Projects book. We chose blueberries, blackberries, nuts, and honey for our gathered food. We simmered the mixture and let it cool. This is what the kids thought about the food we would have gathered back then.

So excited to try this mixture.

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Okay, he probably would have starved if he had to eat this.DSC_0012-3

Spitting soon followed but I decided to spare you the pictures of that event. DSC_0019

Alexis learned not to take a big bite from her brother. Needless to say, the kids did not enjoy the hunter’s food, but still enjoyed the project.

For more ideas check out All Things Beautiful.

History and Geography Button

Caveman and Woman

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Today we traveled back in time where a cave would have been your home, a time where you had to hunt and scavenge for food, where a lizard scurrying across the ground made your stomach grumble.

Today we talked about the first nomads and the caveman. We started off reading part of chapter one from Story of the World about the first nomads. I also handed out a printout I made up using real cave paintings for the kids to look at and add to their history binder. I did want to wait though for a discussion until we were in our very own cave.

Okay, so it was only our bathroom with the lights off but you get the picture. I knew I wanted to do our own cave paintings, and I had found many variations of this activity. In the end I decided the bathroom would allow us to paint in the dark. We cut apart a brown grocery bag and hung each piece on the wall. I had three different metallic paint colors that matched the colors in the pictures we had seen. I put the paint on a paper plate, grabbed a flashlight, and headed to the cave. I didn’t make it very far before I heard the sweet voice of my daughter. “Um, mom we aren’t using a flashlight for fire are we?”  I knew this was going in a direction that was going to take some serious brainstorming, so I blew out a breath and calmly set my stuff down. Now, let me start off by telling you what was really going on in my house. The children were gathered jumping around my living room grunting like cavemen poking me with pencils sticks while I gathered materials for us to do a fun and exciting cave painting. So as you can imagine, I was ready to get on with the painting portion of the day, but I let kids take the lead. What they came up with amazed me. After much debate and a veto from mom about starting a fire in the bathroom, they downloaded a free app on the kindle. It was a fireplace app and even had a crackling sound you could turn on. So, with the fire problem solved, I gathered up the materials once again and headed in the cave. Want to know what I realized? I was all alone. I head back out of the cave to find the kids rummaging around our supply closet. I quietly observed what they were doing. Both lost in conversation, until they pulled out two large scrapes of leather, then dancing up and down at their find. They looked at me, all smiles, held up the leather and told me they were just like the kids in the story with their own leather square to lay on. Well, in their cases, to sit on. We made our way into the cave, got the fire started, and got busy painting. As we all gathered around the bathroom floor, we discussed what life would have been like back then, always moving around worrying about food.

Even though this project took twice as long as I had planned, the time spent snuggling around the fake fire was worth all the trouble.

Reading Fun

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I have been working hard to find a way to make reading fun. See, I have this problem, Alexis hates to read. She would rather do anything else but read. Don’t get me wrong, she will read things from a video game to a magazine, anything as long as she thinks it fun. I don’t dare hand her a chapter book because she will just die reading this said book (her words not mine). Colton on the other hand can often be found snuggled up reading the latest Stink book or Diary of a wimpy Kid. I really did want to find a way to make reading fun for her, so what was a mama to do? Head over to Pinterest of course! I know you’re thinking I’m addicted to Pinterest but in my defense they really do have many wonderful ideas all in one convenient place. So while pinning away I came across the first book I wanted to read as a family. It is Escape from the Forbidden Planet by Julie Anne Grasso. There is a Sticky Date and Chocolate Cake with Caramel Cardamom Sauce mentioned throughout the book and I just happened to have found the recipe for the cake here. I plan on making this cake to enjoy while we read through the book but first I wanted to get this new idea introduced to the kids. I started by explaining how we would be setting aside some time during school hours just for reading. We will be taking turns reading a chapter out loud to each other. I also plan on having the kids do a fun book report at the end of the book along with a fun project or two. I really hope these ideas will help make reading more enjoyable for Alexis. Please feel free to leave me a comment with any ideas of your own. I would love to hear from you.