Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Connecting History and Other Subjects

My public school education (in a good school, and as an honor student) was seriously lacking in nearly every way.  Sure, I learned how to take and pass a test with flying colors, but I retained so very little!  My 6-year-old son can tell you more about the history of the world than I can, and he's only had one year of instruction.....and he's retaining the information! 

Connecting math, science, and literature, to history is one of my favorite parts of homeschooling.  I came across a wonderful way to do so with chemistry today.  The American Chemical Society has four interactive features, including a timeline, of "National Historic Chemical Landmarks", or important events in chemical history.  They also have a This Week in Chemical History page.  We won't be starting chemistry officially for a couple of years, but I hope at least one of my readers can utilize this resource now.

One resource we will be using next year is Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself.  What a wonderful way to tie science to history, don't you think!?  This book is written for the nine-twelve age bracket and I will be using it with a just-turned seven-year-old.  However, he is a serious history buff and already thinks daVinci is one of the coolest guys ever.  LOL  If things seem to advanced for him to do we'll just set the book aside and use it on our next cycle through history.

I also just purchased Science And Technology In The Middle Ages by Joanne Findon.  I have high hopes for this book, I just hope it lives up to them!

And I imagine most of you have heard of Mathematicians Are People, Too: Stories from the Lives of Great Mathematicians, which is the perfect book for tieing math and history together!  There is also a second volume in what I hope will become an entire series!

Please comment and share what you use to tie history to other subjects!

Resources for Elementary Chemistry

Inquiry in Action—Investigating Matter Through Inquiry, Third Edition is a free printable resource from the American Chemical Society.  The activities in the book are also available separately on the Inquiry in Action website.  Designed for grades 3-8 it is something we will likely use when we get around to chemistry as an official subject.  (Right now chemistry is something we do for fun!)  It addresses the following topics:
● Scientific questions and their investigation
● Physical properties
● Physical change
● Dissolving solids, liquids, and gases
● Chemical change
● States of matter
● Density
Although not free, the American Chemical Society also published a couple of science books that look good for the preschool through second grade set.  I just ordered both of them (used, through Amazon, and for cheaper than the links that follow), titled

Since we're just starting to work on writing letters with my 4-year-old I thought the first title would correspond nicely.  It seems perfect for a letter-of-the-week type curriculum!  I'll let you know how we like them once we've had a chance to use them.

Chemistry Is Fun!

I had the best time introducing Nik to the wonders of chemistry this afternoon!  We started off having a ton of fun with some actvities from The Molecularium™ Project.  We built molecular oxygen, molecular hydrogen, water, carbon monoxide, hydrogen peroxide, methane, propane, butane, methanol, ethanol, glucose, fructose, vitamin C, vitamin A, sucrose, and bucky balls in the Nanolab.  What a fun and easy way to introduce atoms, elements, and molecules!

We'll be doing some of the activities from the teacher's guides available on the Educator's Resource page (scroll to the bottom to find the pdf download links) over the next few weeks. 

Nik was so excited to do this activity, and his understanding of molecules from this brief activity amazes me!  I love finding gems like this on the internet, and I hope you all use and enjoy them, too!

Color Me Physics!

A huge thank you to Doodle (of the WTM forums) for posting the link to Color Me Physics!  This is such a wonderful free resource.  I'm so excited to use it!

PhysicsQuest looks like a wonderful activity to do with middle schoolers.  Physics at Home has some great looking experiments.  I encourage you to explore the site and see what it is all about!  Very, very cool stuff!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Genesee Country Village

Last month we went on a field trip with one of the local homeschool groups to Genesee Country Village in Mumford, NY.   What a cool place!  We're going back in July for a Civil War Reenactment.  And in August they are having an event called The Life and Times of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  We won't be going to that one, but I had to mention it in case anyone within a couple of hours' drive of Mumford is a fan.  It is definitely worth the drive!

Statue Outside of the Carriage House Museum

Pioneer Barn


Drug Store

Post Office

Civil War Union Soldier (Sargeant)

At the Weaver's House

General Store

Shoemaker's Shop

Catholic Church

Toll Bridge


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Ancient Science by Jim Wiese

I think Ancient Science by Jim Wiese is such a cool science book, and makes a great companion to ancient history studies!  The only thing I'm not crazy about so far is that I don't have a handy shopping list to take with me when I go shopping.  I don't know about the rest of you, but science only gets done in this house if I have the supplies on hand well in advance of commencement of projects!

Instead of typing up my shopping list and printing it out for my own use, I thought it might be nice to put it up here so that it is accessible to everyone. 

Shopping List for Ancient Science by Jim Wiese

Friday, June 4, 2010

Preschool Printing Readiness

I have a few minutes to myself because my preschooler is off with his grandmother.  So what do I do?  I take the time to prepare his schoolwork and blog about it!  LOL

Nate will turn 5 at the end of July.  I have spent almost no time instructing him in letter formation.  I'm not even sure if he would recognize all of the letters of the alphabet yet!  He does know how to write his name, and has recently shown great interest in learning how to write the rest of the letters of the alphabet so that he can leave Daddy notes on the chalkboard.  As a result, I've spent rediculous amounts of time reading about handwriting programs on the homeschooling message boards, trying to decide which program is right for us. 

I think I've settled on Handwriting Without Tears (HWoT), but I haven't placed my order yet.  In the meantime, we're going to work on some Donna Young worksheets for printing readiness.  We'll start with Printing Readiness and move on to Printing Readiness 2 before starting HWoT.