Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Our Solar System Co-op Activities

We spent two weeks studying sequencing, gravity and our solar system during the Orderliness unit.  During week one the kids performed several experiments with gravity, mapped the planets in order from the sun and relative to size and distance, on the big wall I keep empty in my kitchen and they made and ate spaghetti and earth balls.

We used mud as a landing pad for our marble drop, using a couple different weight marbles and dropping them from different heights.  Depth measurements were taken and charted on the backside of some Christmas wrapping paper we taped to the wall.  Many of the wrapping papers sold now have grid-lines on the inside to help cut straight lines and this makes for a nice big graph too.

After this the kids dropped a book off the front porch (second story) at the same time as a piece of paper to see which would land first.  Then they dropped that same book with the piece of paper on top of the book.  They continued with items of varying weights and then moved on to action figures which needed to land more slowly so as not to cause damage to the "person." So they came up with several parachute ideas and tested them to find the most effective.

For lunch the kids made earth balls, following a recipe from the KONOS inquisitiveness unit.  We did make one adjustment. For the core we used peas instead of walnuts.  I shredded some cheese ahead of time and made the hamburger mixture for meatballs.  The kids used the cheese to surround the peas one at a time.  Next the cheese balls were moved down the assembly line where another child wrapped it up in the meatball mixture.  All the meatballs were spread onto a baking pan and baked until cooked through.

Now some of the cheese will melt out through the meat but they are so yummy anyway.  And the kids LOVED them. :)
After lunch the team got together to start the wall-size solar system.  Each planet was scaled down so that with the sun as big as almost half the height of the wall the rest of the planets would be relatively sized.  Then they were taped onto the wall at the same relative distance they would be from the sun.  This was such a fantastic visual.  I never realized how seemingly close the first four planets were and how very far out the final planets are.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Found Photos

I think these came from my sister's phone so they're not the best photo quality but I found them on my computer and I think they have very good sentimental quality.

Christmas 2010

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mystery Dinner and Cake Auction

In January our church women's ministry hosted a mystery dinner and cake auction fundraiser.  I just wanted to share some of the photos from the event.  All of the people serving were required to dress in CRAZY outfits.  It was such a fun time, lots of people are asking for another.
I was on kitchen duty and my daughter was a waitress, a rare chance for her to wear jammy pants out of the house.
Our pastor helped his wife with the little kids.
One of our beautiful waitresses and another in the background.
Our event hostess and cake auction organizer.  We made up fun names for ourselves too.
The thing about a mystery dinner is that if you don't order silverware, you have to eat without it.  My hubby fashioned a spoon out of his baked potato foil.
These guys figured out the code for silverware early on.
Another one without silverware uses a chip to eat her meatballs.  I love the ingenuity!
The cake auction proved to be entertainment in itself.
It was supposed to be silent but I think the bidders weren't very.  LOL

Monday, February 20, 2012

Found Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest So my friend Maryellen told me about this site called Pinterest and I finally got around to checking it out.  A little confusing to me at first but now that I've used it to start organizing my "pins" I'm loving it!

It's basically just a virtual cork board.  Anything you find on the net that you want to remember or know you won't remember but you want to come back to, you can pin to your Pinterest board.  I like this so much better than previous favorites and bookmarking site because everything is in pictures so it appeals to my visual sense and then you can label things so down the line if you don't remember why you saved the link, you have the description right there.

You can also check out other pinners and repin their pins to your boards so it's a great way to find more ideas to implement in your homeschool, or for crafting or recipes or just about anything.  By following people with similar interests you can fine tune your web wanderings.  AND you can choose to follow a person or just a few of their boards.  It's pretty cool.

I wish someone had told me about this sooner.  While perusing some of my favorite blogs, I found several other  homeschool bloggers who are on Pinterest too.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Testing Friction

When we are disobedient to our authority figures we add friction to the relationship. In January we spent time learning about friction and resistance in the physical realm and how that compares to friction in our relationships with our parents, bosses and teachers.
To conduct our experiment we built a small inclined plane and divided the surface into three sections.  The first section was covered with sand paper, the middle was covered with wax paper and the third section we left bare.

The kids selected three smooth stones that slid down the board at the same speed.  Then they tested the different surfaces to see which surface had the least amount of friction by starting the stones at the top of the board and releasing them at the same time.  Missy used a yard stick to hold them all up at the top and release the stones at the same time.  Once they had a good idea of which surface provided the least resistance they brainstormed to think of a variety of ways to reduce the friction.   

The items tested were plain water, vegetable oil, bar soap and then liquid soap and then I think some combinations of these four.  It got a bit loud, the kids enjoyed the 3-2-1 countdown to release the stones each time they tested a new lubricant.

This activity can be found in KONOS Volume I - Obedience on page 123 items H & X and we also combined it with activity KK on page 126, reading a prayer and discussing total submission to God.  Other activities for the day included having the kids pretend they were parents and write a list of rules for their five children page 137 item C and making a vinegar rocket launcher.  Sorry I can't give details on that activity, I was inside while they did it outside but you can find it in Mr. Wizard's Supermarket Science on page 28.