Thursday, September 2, 2010

So tonight at dinner we figured out that it is about 2880 hours until Christmas. All math was done on a napkin! This is quality dinner conversation with 6 children all watching intensely as I explain how you come up with a big number like that!

On to other things. I had the big AHA! moment today when I figured out a planned day of homeschooling that may be the most productive one yet! It all started out as I want to go to the creek. But I didn't know what to do there. I asked friends on fb what they thought we could do at the creek and someone mentioned an ecosystem project. So I was looking through the scope & sequence that I printed from the county school website and "ecosystem" is one of the topics covered in 6th grade science!! Bingo! We are on to something! So we will spend some time finding out about an ecosystem at home on the computer and then head to the creek to do some more exploring and learning. Then when we get home, we are going to do an ecosystem experiment!! And I found a great one online!

Science Experiment #1: How to clean up an oil spill

We all know that oil spills can damage our environment. Understanding how much damage an oil spill can do is best illustrated by replicating an oil spill in a controlled setting. The purpose of this experiment is to recreate an oil spill, and experiment with different methods to determine the most efficient method of cleaning up after a spill.

Materials needed to make the oil spill:a large cookie tray water automotive oil (dirty is best)small rocks and sand bits of wood, tufts of grass, and feathers a fan

Step 1: Line the edge of the tray with rocks and sand to create a shoreline. Tuck in bits of wood and the grass in the shoreline to represent some of the plant life that live on the coast.

Step 2: Gently add water to the tray until 2/3 full. Drop a small handful of feathers into the water.

Step 3: Gently pour a small amount of automotive oil carefully into the tray.

Step 4: Place the fan along one end of the tray, and switch to the "on" position. Leave the fan on, until the oil spill drifts to one of the shorelines, then shut off.

Step 5: Experiment with different ways of trying to clean up the oil on both the water, the shoreline, and on the organisms themselves. Things to experiment with should include sand, kitty litter, string, Dawn dish washing detergent, laundry degreasers, newspapers, basters, and rags.

Step 6: Record your findings and observations.

Now I need to get a science journal for him. Still looking for a math curriculum. I did an online placement test for Saxon math and he placed in the Pre-Algebra class. But I think I want to do the 8/7 and the Algebra 1/2 with him. I did get to see what type of math he needs to brush up on so we may not need to get the 8/7. Thinking we should do review type things until December and then start the pre-algebra in January.

See I can do this!! And it was great figuring out a variety of things to do on the same subject too!

Tomorrow we will be off to the creek!!!

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