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Thursday, November 12, 2015

volcano study

So. School.

You know, its hard to juggle the working thing and the homeschool thing some weeks.But this week, for a few days at least, I feel like we got it.

A few weeks ago little man discovered something about making a model volcano. But of course, I say, seeing as we live on the side of a volcano, we absolutely must do this.

So we collected a bottle, some newspapers, and drew up designs and watched youtube videos. Meanwhile, we were at the library on campus the other day and little man says, out of the blue mind you, "I am going to look up a bunch of facts about volcanoes and then write a lecture for everyone and then do a presentation. So can you help me find volcano books?"


I need more of this self directed study in my life man. How can this happen??? This morning, trying to prompt a similar enthusiasm I say, "hey, what do you want to work on today?" He says, "um. Nothing?"

Maybe we arent quite there yet.

But we do. Cartooning is still a passion. He now has books of character ideas and the other day we signed him up for a Roman architecture course on Coursera (college level classes taught by Yale, Harvard, etc profs! EEK. I WANT TO TAKE A CLASS!)

He's got the bug. Its growing. Its just like fanning this tiny flame. Sometimes mama's enthusiasm can just extinguish it altogether.

So, I'm learning too I guess. Learning how to learn. Yes. Anyway.


Finally one day I said, okay guys, lets build.

We started with a bottle on a rusty old cookie sheet, then covered it with random bits of cardboard all taped together. This forms the base of the volcano.

Then I mixed a handful of flour with water to form a paste. We cut strips of newspaper.  

The girls refused to do the paste part. Too messy. Instead I put on a Magic School Bus episode about chemical reactions in baking. Baking soda! Vinegar! Bubbles! That is what we are going to do! See??

In the hot Hawaiian afternoon sun it took about a day to fully dry. After that we waited a few days. Needed to go buy paint, seeing as I left all my craft goodies in a storage unit in the frozen Northland.

Finally. Painting day. We added little streams of lava down the side for effect. Little man's idea.

So, this week, finally finally. Explosion day.

We watched a video about the Mt. St. Helen's explosion and the kids wrote up presentations (Little Green drawing a picture). They gave their presentations and then EXPLOSION.

We were not disappointed.

I liked doing it over the period of a few weeks and I am thinking we will continue science this way over the year. Next is ocean study, so I am thinking find an experiment to plan and research.Write up reports along the way, watch some videos on the topic, read some books, then on the big day we do our reports and the experiment.

Okay. Anyway. You've got to celebrate the minor accomplishments in motherhood and this felt like one. Science! Engaged! Learning! Fun!

it was a hot afternoon. ha


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