Monday, January 18, 2010

Geology fun

We've been back to homeschooling for one marking period. It took me a lot of that time to figure out just what we were doing! I committed to earth science and astronomy this year. I'm a firm believer that science should be hands on. Despite my firm belief, I found that it wasn't always easy to gather supplies for the experiments in the book. Science was getting a little boring. So right around Christmas time I fleshed out the rest of our earth science units. Geology and weather will round out these studies. Nolan has always been very interested in rocks and gems so I thought I should try to make it fun as well as educational. I made them each a science notebook to go with our lessons (about 6 weeks for this unit). I also bought some equipment that I thought was economically priced from Home Science Tools. We now own a spring balance (for finding specific gravity), streak plates, hydrochloric acid (who doesn't love to see if rocks react??), new magnifying glasses and rocks, lots of rocks. Today's lesson utilized many of the tools for identifying rocks and minerals that we learned in the last few weeks. To practice we used the Geology Field Trip in a Bag. Totally cool. The boys worked on this science lesson for about 2 hours and were very focused. They found specific gravity, streak, hardness, color and luster of five known minerals and rocks. I found this type of schooling has helped me feel less of the winter blahs. I hope you are plugging away as well.

4 comments:

volpecircus said...

whoa, cool! i'll have to check out science in a bag as ours is severely lacking i'm afraid. don't you wish that every lesson would come prepackaged and fun in its very own bag? :)

Ellen (the cousin) said...

This is probably a really dumb question, but have you looked into/done any of the Lancaster County Parks science programs for schools and homeschool groups? I did the rocks & minerals one and it was good. They have lots of choices: http://www.co.lancaster.pa.us/parks/cwp/view.asp?a=3&Q=564742&PM=1

simplysewn said...

Ellen...yes, we've done the parks science classes in the past. For several reasons they don't work for us this year. One big reason they don't work is the same reason we pulled Nathan out of school. He really doesn't learn well in a large group. Science has been especially tough for him. So, I'm happy with my current program. I find when I create things just for my kids they 'get it' a lot better. Of course, I'm always happy to share my plans and notebooks (and supplies, when we're through).

Xia and Isa said...

Impressive Beth, you must be learning so much right along with them! I sure don't remember every learning that kind of stuff in school!!

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