Thursday, September 15, 2005

Homeschool Highlights


I drove the kids to their first art class at a local nature center. There were ten kids in the class with an age range from 6-12 years old. (Sophie turns 6 in the middle of the session.) When I signed up for the class, the woman I spoke to asked if I just wanted to try out the class with Sophie to see if she could handle it. But Sophie was certainly in her element during the 1 1/2 hr. class. She enjoyed two of her favorite activities: drawing and watching the older girls. The woman also asked if Sophie would be bothered by the fact that the teacher is a large, loud and boisterous man. I immediately thought of Uncle Rich and assured her that Sophie would not be intimidated at all!

The teacher, Dave Sullivan, proved to be very engaging. He stood at a white board and talked the kids through cartooning a frog, a shark, and an owl. While drawing, he asked the kids questions about the animals and told them all sorts of interesting facts about the animals' structures, habits and habitats. For instance, when drawing the owl, he also drew a cartoon picture of what Evan would look like if he had ears like an owl. Evan's cartoon head had one ear at the top of the head, and one towards the chin! Sullivan explained that, because the owl's ears are positioned this way, it can hear stereophonically. And when drawing a Great White Shark, he enlisted a student's help
to hold up a measuring tape to the length of an average Great White. The childrens' eyes got very large.

I didn't get to see my kids' artwork, because they put it away quickly at the end of class. They will have an art show at the end of the ten weeks.


After the Bible lesson, I decided to do the most interesting activity of our day: the chemistry experiment from Real Science 4 Kids! We tested different food items to see whether they contained starch or not. I sprayed laundry starch on a coffee filter, and when it had dried, Evan put a drop of tinctured iodine on it for the control. Since, the starch turned black like it was supposed to, we knew the iodine wasn't too old to work. Evan wrote out his own hypothesis (Potatoes contain starch, but celery does not) and I wrote down Matthew's. The kids put iodine drops on potato, celery, bread, banana, apple, onion, lemon and pasta. They recorded the item and whether it turned black or stayed brown where the iodine stained it. They finished by writing their conclusions about their hypothesis. The apple confused me, because some areas stayed brown and others turned black. We'll have to figure out why. If you know, you could leave a comment...

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