Monday, November 21, 2011

Molecules, Math Olympics, and Africa

Last week we were back to normal since my sister's family left.

We had fun in science.  We learned about how molecules are atoms put together.  We had gummy bears be different kinds of atoms and toothpicks stick them together to make molecules.

We also talked about the difference between physical change and chemical change.  We ripped paper (physical) and burnt it (chemical) and a few more examples.  We also talked about the difference between mixtures and compounds. We made cake batter (mixture) and baked it (compound.)

We also got iron fillings and put it in sand and then sulphur. It was easy to see that it wasn't a compound because you can separate the elements using a magnet.

We then took sand and sulphur and melted them together making iron sulphide (a compound) really worked! but the process had stinky moments.  I had to go begging the high school chemistry teacher for the iron and sulphur.  I went into his supply room and began to covet all the science goodies.  I asked him if normal people could buy this sort of thing and he said "of course not, are you crazy!"

I had really wanted to show how you could separate a water molecule with electrolysis, but the experiment fail miserably....yet again something I will get a kit for next time around.

For history we switched gears and learned about ancient Africa.  No particular event, city, or public figure, just ancient african culture as a whole.  We read lots of books like "a story a story" and "why mosquitoes buzz in people's ears" and talked about oral bards.  We made little finger puppets and masks to help tell oral bard stories.

The kids had lots of fun with the puppet supplies....

This week, the homeschool section of the school district put on a "math olympics."  I was quite impressed with the amount of stations and how well they were catering to families.  There is a lady here that really is the back bone to all these type of events everyone lovingly calls "Granny Wendy."  She was one of the first people in Cardston to homeschool, and she's amazing.

Maxwell is actually liking math and lately has asked for extra worksheets to do, which he does in his "office" with his abacus.  What ever house we have moved to, Maxwell always seems to find a cosy place to call his office.  It's usually behind a sofa.  I sure love him.

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