Wednesday, September 23, 2015

R.E.A.L. Science - Chemistry for the Grammar Stage

Hello there! I know I haven't been as great as doing weekly updates this year, but I wanted to check in and share a little about how science is going for Silas. This post has a TON of pictures. I'm sharing what we have done over the last month in science. We are having lots of fun!

This year I chose to go with R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Chemistry for the Grammar Stage. We used the biology guide back in kindergarten. I wanted to simplify science this year without missing out on all the fun hands-on experiments. We have studied animals far too much, and haven't yet touched on chemistry.

 There aren't any required books to complete these lessons. There is a book list of recommended books that go with each unit. We checked out all the ones we could find at the library, but they aren't necessary if you want to keep it simple. I do have him read one here and there if there is a lull in our day. I think it's worth checking out the additional books. Kids this age still love to "see" things explained. Each lesson has a quick one page summary of what will be covered in that unit. We started out with "What is Chemistry?"

One of the first lessons explained that everything is made of chemicals, so we had to be chemical detectives and search through the house to find chemicals in our food or products.

 We do our best to limit the amount of harmful chemicals in our food, so there weren't as many that had weird stuff in them.

He marked on his lab sheet what chemicals he could find. Most of our cleaners and personal products are for the most part (harmful) chemical free.

This is his lab sheet. I like that they are pretty simple, but give clear direction.

Our next activity was a "Telling Things Apart" experiment.

I poured all three of the above items into separate bowls without him knowing what any of them were.

Silas had to smell and look carefully at each one and mark on his lab sheet how they were different.

He also used his sense of touch to feel how they were different.

 Next we would see how those 3 items would respond to water, oil and vinegar.

First Silas added each ingredient to the glass.

His first liquid was water.

We learned which of the powders was water soluble.

Next we tried vinegar. It never fails to delight my boys what vinegar and baking powder do when combined. These pictures make me laugh :)

We tried a few more combinations of food color and water.

 We also tried oil and water. He had so much fun with this activity!

The lab sheet gave him a place to record all his observations.
Our next unit was learning the properties of an atom.

Our activity involved putting fragrant liquids in a balloon and guessing whether we would be able to smell through the balloon. Silas smelled the balloon to see what it smelled like before the experiment.

He examined them to make sure there were no holes.

We added plain water, vanilla, lemon, almond and cinnamon to each balloon.

I had to send him out of the room, so he couldn't see which was which.

He did a great job guessing which scent was in each balloon. He learned that his original hypotheses was wrong. The scent did indeed pass through the balloon.

Next we learned how atoms moved faster in hot water than in cold.

We made observations after a certain time to show how quickly the food coloring moved throughout the water.

 Some of the experiments are simple. We learned about how protons have a positive charge and electrons a negative charge. To demonstrate this Silas tried to stick a balloon on the wall. Of course it fell.

Then he rubbed it on the ground.

He tried it again and it stuck. 

He did the same thing with his hair. Mine worked better!

We also made marshmallow models of 10 of the elements. At first I didn't see the value of this, but it explained how the number of protons and electrons grow by one and match the number on the Periodic Table of Elements. For each proton there is also an electron.

We made 8 of the 9 before we ran out of marshmallows.

Next we weighed our protons. Then we added our electrons to see if they made much difference in the weight of the atom, and they didn't.

He might have snuck a few of the marshmallows, but I'm not telling :) Thanks for making through this post! That was a LOT of pictures! 

What are you using for science these days? I'd love to know :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Essential Oils for Homeschool & Giveaway

As many of you already know, I'm a natural kind of girl. Many of the homeschoolers I have come across approach health in a very unique way. We as a bunch are learners, DIYers and researchers. We want the best for our families not only educationally, but physically as well. Essential oils are a huge puzzle piece in our picture of health for our family. We use them not only as a health preventative but daily in our homeschool as well. Recently I taught a Back to School Facebook class, but I wanted to share this information with you as well. Oils have made a great addition to our homeschool!

 Essential Oils can keep our families well during Back to School season. Oils can also help our students perform at their best. These are some of my favorite recipes, a few favorite Back to School friendly products and how we use them here at Monarch Room.

 Let’s face it, there are plenty of days during the school year when we would much prefer to stay planted in bed than jump up and face the world! We all know that a good night’s rest on a regular basis is the best way to wake up refreshed. However, on the days when sleep is short and the to-do list is long, give your day a little kick-start with this Rise and Shine Spray. Inhale deeply and revel in the gift of a new day!

As a homeschool mom and there are many days when I wake up and get going but I am not filled with energy right out of the gate. I feel my feet dragging and my eyelids drooping. A quick roll of this spicy combo will help support a healthy boost to your day.

Ever have a day when your mind seems to wander endlessly and the things you wanted to accomplish seem to be a distant and unrealistic aspiration? I know I have! I have most certainly experienced days when their schoolwork takes twice as long as it should because the things around them seem far more interesting than the book in front of them. For those days when your mind is exhausted and your thoughts are scattered, this oily combo that will help support a healthy mental focus and give you and your kids focus on the work at hand. This is a must have!

 When you need a quick and easy focus booster and don’t have a roller bottle made up, try one of these oils or oil combos to awaken your focus. Simply apply to the neck, temples and bottoms of feet or open the bottle and inhale deeply.

Long days, sports practices, daily responsibilities, and piles of homework can often times lead to tired brains! When your kiddo sits down to complete his/her homework with a mind that is overwhelmed and unequipped to take in any new information, diffuse one of these oils to support healthy brain functioning.

 My oldest son is not a fan of math and daily work can oftentimes be self-defeating because of his lack of confidence. Diffusing oils in the school room or the area where your kids complete their work can create a more confidence inspiring atmosphere.

Whether it be from anxiety over a test, not enough rest the night before or school-time drama, sometimes tummies can use a little calming effect.

 Growing up can be emotionally taxing…changes, uncontrollable circumstances, learning new things, experiencing new responsibilities. I wouldn’t want to do it again! Sometimes kids just need a little dose of happy!

Kids running, yelling, rough housing, asking questions, reaching for snacks – all of these add up to a mom who wants to lose it! Diffuse 1-2 of these oils for a calming effect throughout the house. 

 Alternately, combine the following oils for a peaceful home.  

A deep and peaceful night of sleep generally equals a much better start and progression of the following day. To support peaceful rest, try one of the following recipes and end your day well.

 Alternately, try this oily rub.

Back to School is a perfect time to focus on health and wellness. Check out these Young Living products that help support healthy functioning in our body systems.

Once the school year begins, it seems particularly important to focus on wellness to help support a busy schedule and healthy family. Reach for these oils to maintain wellness amidst busy schedules and lots of social interaction. 

I hope you've been paying attention! This giveaway is for Thieves Hand Purifier. When cooties come a knockin’ you will want this little powerhouse on your side. My kids know I’m going to douse them with this stuff after leaving places. This is such a handy little bottle to keep in your bag. Love this stuff! To enter: Please tell me 3 ways you could or would like to use essential oils in your homeschool or family. Add your comment here. Best answer takes the prize! Giveaway ends 9.30.15.

Click here to learn more.

 Disclaimer - Yep, I gotta say it. So, here it goes! DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional. The information shared here is not intended to treat, cure, or diagnose any illness, nor is it meant to replace professional medical attention or advice. Suggestions are all based on the Young Living brand of oils specifically. Use and application of this information is done solely at your own risk.