Friday, July 15, 2011

Adventures and Explorations in Summer of Science: Double addition!

and Explorations!

Have you ever wondered what to do with a rainy afternoon and a passel of kids?  Of course you have!  What mom hasn't?!  I combined our science and exploration 'curriculum' yesterday because our next assignment in Science wasn't possible (water experiments on a cold day are not as fun as water experiments on a warm day... sorry to all you out there 'suffering' in the heat but it just wasn't warm enough here for water activities yesterday!)

Developing critical thinking through science: Book one
When I first looked through our science curriculum I noticed a focus on observation.  I guess that makes sense with a title like "Developing Critical Thinking"!  The experiments are intended more for understanding the process than the outcome itself.  I like this because observing is a critical part in the ownership of understanding.

How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum
With this in mind we completed Exploration #9 in our "How to be an Explorer" book.  We made a miniature museum!

However, drawing the science aspect in, I gave them a focus instead of the random nature from our "Explorer" book. (As fun as that would be... I wanted to hit two birds with one stone!)  My aim was to teach them to stretch their brains to consider category and how broad or narrow a focus that can be.
We started with a discussion on observation and categorizing our observations.  We observed the similarities in seemingly different items.  We tapped our brains to consider previously unconsidered aspects of every day objects.  It was wonderful to hear their replies...
... especially when we discussed how things can be similar.

Then came the "assignment"...
... I had them pick a theme.  We had an example:  animals.  It could be mini animals (we have a ton of them!), what animals eat, pictures of animals and where they live, animal feces (we do have rabbit pellets... I know, gross, the kids thought so too!) and so on.  I explained how a museum would have a variety of these items to reflect the one theme in all its forms.

They picked:
The museum of toys.


... which mysteriously transformed into the museum of cat toys overnight!


The "Museum of Wonders" aka Legos.  That would be Brenden and we would expect no less!


Ashley's "Museum of Words" had high aspirations until she got distracted with fiddling around in photoshop on the computer.  (She didn't get to play on the computer today!)  It had a good start, though.  She was being creative and thinking outside of the obvious.  If I hadn't been in a "meeting" during the afternoon I would have helped her develop her idea even more.

I will admit, I felt like less of a failure as a homeschooling mom after this project, but I do wish I had come up alongside them a bit more directly... not given answers, just pointed in directions to find the answers as they learn how to do these things themselves!

Next week we expect upper 80 degree weather... water experiments here we come!  I hope to do our exploration of color as well :-)  God willing of course!  (James 4:13-17)

May you have many wonderful explorations this next week!

Blessings,





I don't have a linky toy, but feel free to comment and share links to your summer adventures and projects!  If I get enough suggestions, I would be glad to turn this into a linky though! 




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