Saturday, 11 December 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Lots of Science and World Religions

This past week was great. We covered a lot of physics. We had decided to focus on science this month and this week was a great start. For our science, we don't follow a particular curriculum. You can read more details in this planning post.

We use the Usborne Science Encyclopedia to read aloud more explanations and we also use the internet links. With Celeste, I use the First Encyclopedia of Science. There are links in that book as well. I preview all the links ahead of time and bookmark the ones that I think will be of interest.

This week, we learned about speed and velocity by building an all-terrain vehicle.
We learned how to calculate its speed by doing a time test. This vehicle has a battery motor and we let it go for 10 seconds and measured how far it went. Santa took a ride too...

We learned about forces and in particular the gimbal. For this experiment we made a ship's lantern. The gimbal is a mounting system that is used for compasses and lanterns on boats.

You can see the tealight staying in a stable position, in the two photos. The first one Andre is holding the ship's lantern straight, but then in the second photo he is tilting the apparatus. Besides very tiny movements, the tealight stays in place.  

Another fun experiment was the shot put device. The shot put device has an angle indicator and a power scale as well. We tried shooting the little wooden balls using different angles and drive power. This experiment helped us understand force, trajectory, angles, and gravity. It was also a lot of fun! Once we were finished testing the different angles and distances with the numbered target board, we put a mug instead and did a little target practice!

We started learning about simple machines at the end of the week and built a lever postal scale. We talked about different simple machines as well, levers, pulleys, screws, and gears. Adrienne and Andre have both covered these before, so we didn't spend too much time on defining the terms. They did write out short definitions in their notebooks.

With each topic, they spent some time on the computer, checking out the internet links suggested in the encyclopedias that I had bookmarked. Some of their favourites this week were:

Do forces experiment with a toy truck (in the box below):


This week I started reading aloud from a great book written by Mary Pope Osborne and filled with great photographs, "One World, Many Religions: The Way We Worship". We don't follow any religion at this time, but I find it important to teach my children about all the main religions present in the world, so they can be aware of them and respect them. This book does a wonderful job of introducing seven major religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism). Each chapter is a different religion and explains where and when the religion started, the traditions, sacred writings, major holidays and ways of worshipping.
Once we are finished reading this book, we might choose to read more about a particular religion or religious leader.
This week, when we read about Christianity, we also read a fascinating book about Mother Teresa written by Demi.   I was raised Catholic, and remember learning about Mother Teresa when I was in school. She was a wondeful person and made a huge difference in many people's lives. I highly recommend this biography by Demi.
This week, we also did some recycled paper decorations. If you would like to see, visit this post.
You can see many more wrap-up posts at Weird, Unsoscialized Homeschoolers.

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