Science! Reflections, K Week 16

We have finally finished the Moving Beyond The Page curriculum!!!!  Now, we need to go through all our projects and reminisce, make a “Secret Chocolate Cake” to celebrate with, and move onto the Global Village School curriculum.

I was so excited that we finished, that even though I am more than seriously contemplating unschooling, I sat down with what I had written up for my unit studies for the new curriculum and worked on the unfinished parts, like pulling the activities into a weekly plan – which I don’t stick to, but helps me group them by day somehow.  I did quite a few of them too.

But then Thursday, we went to the Science Center in Ithaca; our childcare provider is an Old Order Mennonite who does not drive a car, and so we sometimes take her and some of the kids she watches places in exchange for services.  It’s fun.  She had requested to go to the Science Center, so we did.  I had never been there before, and it was fun.  Of all that is there, I have to say that the most intriguing thing was this sand table right at the entrance which uses topographical mapping technology that scans the sand as you move it.  But it gets better!  If you hold your hand over your sand, it rains on it!  Yes!  This blue light appears on the sand that looks like water, and fills in the landscape to match the way it might run down hills and fill in valleys or lakes.  It was awesome and I want to go back just to play with that!

We also played an invisible harp, built a fort, played in water, sent balls through tubes that wound around the room, turned a crank about 400 times trying to reach a million cranks so that a glass would fall down and shatter, saw some interesting scaly creatures, and used a hula hoop to draw a big bubble up around us.  I love science – so it was my kind of place.  It was also awesome to have someone else there who kept an eye on Paul while I discussed things with Elizabeth and for whom I could keep an eye on her little guy so she could build the fort with one of the other children.

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Not scaly, but still CREEPY! And particularly interesting to Elizabeth.

But the fun didn’t stop when we were done.  Traditionally, I have always splurged a little when we go to museums or zoos and gotten the kids something from the gift shop because they are always educational toys and usually well-made, and though finances are tight right now, I went ahead and did it.  I found solar paper for us to play with, and Elizabeth choose a set of test tubes and beakers for beginning scientists, while we found a DIY fire truck for Paul.  Paul had to wait to open his box til after his nap, but once he was down, Elizabeth ripped her’s open and pulled it all out.  It came with 10 experiment cards, and, interestingly, we had done all but 3 of the experiments in the past – and she’s only 5!  So, she set to doing a number of them again, and trying two which she had never done before (the last one requires an ingredient that I don’t have on hand).

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Test tube set, filled with mixed colors, and oil and water, respectively. The money was used to explore displacement, and we tried to shine one up with some lemon juice, in a tube of course!

As she was doing one of them, I thought to myself, ‘Hmmm, that’s exactly what I had listed as something to do in such and such unit when I was working on those plans yesterday.’  As I was working on the plans, I kept thinking that maybe we could follow them as we have been doing with MBTP, I have enjoyed putting new things before her that I never had before.  Unfortunately though, I have found some of the math and science activities to probably be too easy for her, even that I put in my plans, and she obviously should not be held back.  So, what to do?  Hmmm, I guess, just keep playing it by ear; I’ve got my plans written up, anyway, if we need some inspiration, but life obviously takes us in interesting routes, and they should not be dissuaded, don’t you think?

But I like finding those interesting paths too, planning out the curriculum was a game for me.  And I did add some interesting modifications to the MBTP curriculum.  For example, our last book involved a cave, and the link that the guide had was derelict, so I found something else:  these really interesting videos for kids about caves that made us both go, “Let’s go to a cave sometime!”  NYS actually does tout a cave that is a tourist attraction, and I’m thinking that if we are less poor next summer that we ought to go!

What else did we do?

  • We went to a local playground since it was about 50 degrees out – in November!
  • Played Superhero Memory
  • Learned about the three species of zebras
  • Elizabeth made colored yogurt pops all by herself 🙂

Paul did lots of things with either Elizabeth or I, such as:

  • Conversed a lot
  • Got a lesson in dog training (with Elizabeth) at our neighbors
  • Mixed food coloring in water to see what happens
  • Every time I put Paul to bed, we count his blankets and name their colors – he’s good!

Lastly, Chepe moved back up this week, as well.  If you are thinking that he moved back to my house you are dead wrong!  No way!  But, I think it will be really good (for the kids, for me, so so), as he watched them Thursday while I went to teach my Zumba® class.  But most importantly, Elizabeth spent this morning with him at the farm while he worked, and Paul just seemed like he could not have been able to stand having him leave again this time after he arrived; he asks about him over and over and was very worried when he went down for a nap the day Chepe arrived that his daddy was not going to be here when he got up.  Boys need their dads (even if I have choice words to say about this one), and I am glad that he will be a part of their lives.  BUT…he comes over everyday…which isn’t really going to work for me so much…because he seems to think that my house is hang-out place and that I want to chat while the kids are busy…and I don’t.  So, some sort of routine needs to be established.  But, overall, I view it all as a good thing.

Share your thoughts if you wish. It could involve what you read today, what you tended to today, and what you made today.  🙂

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