Friday, April 13, 2012

Homeschool Happenings: Weekly Review #2

This past Sunday I sat down and outlined the rest of our school year. Now, I basically knew what we were doing and when, but I wanted exact pages written down. Such as, how many pages in Science we read each day or in our Bible curriculum. I usually just guess and stop when it feels right, but I thought…ya know, we’ve only got a few weeks left of school, so I better make sure we’re finished with our current curriculum by then.

Simply…I needed a plan! Now I have one and I am beyond giddy about it. That makes me a nerd, right?! It’s okay…I’m over it!

A few months back, I realized that fighting with my son to do his papers every. single. day. was pointless. He was never going to love them as much as I do. In fact, he was never going to even like them! So, we made a deal…we would switch off doing papers and reading from the texts. That way, he’s not overwhelmed with an hour of reading followed by an hour of pleading with him to do his papers, half an hour crying (me and him) and eventually 20 minutes of paperwork. Now we have this schedule:

Monday, Wednesday & Friday: Reading texts (Science, History, Bible)
Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday: Paperwork (Geography, Math, Writing, Spelling)

Through the end of our year in May, we have school on Saturdays because of how much we missed with the passing of my Daddy. Plus, we take off most of December and many Thursdays we take time off to spend with The Hubster (aka Da-Da) on his day off work. When our year starts over in June (we school year-round), we won’t have school on Saturdays.

This week The Hubster was able to spend some quality time with our oldest on a science experiment/project we’ve wanted to do for a while. And boy, oh boy, did they have fun?!  And they still are!!!!

This year we’ve used Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Astronomy for Science and we’ve loved every minute of it! So, this experiment was in the book for an extra assignment related to Jupiter. I’m going to relay it to you all and give some helpful tips/hints we discovered along the way.

You will need:
2 plastic soda pop or water bottles (we read that 1L are best)
1” washer (we found this not to do well & leak quite a bit. See our solution below)
Water-resistant tape (we used duct tape)

  1. Fill one bottle 2/3 full of water. (We added a few drops of green & blue food coloring so we could really see the hurricane at work.)
  2. Place the washer on top of the mouth opening. If you use this method, make sure the washer has a large enough hole to allow the water to flow easily.
  3. Place the other bottle upside-down on top of the washer.
  4. Tape the two bottles together very thoroughly. If it leaks, they suggest adding more tape & wrapping it tighter. We found that ours still leaked, but it was considerably less when we added more tape.
  5. Turn the two-bottle setup over so that the bottle with water in it is now the upside-down bottle on top.
  6. Move the bottles in a circular motion, swirling the water around in the same direction for a moment.
  7. Watch your system form a hurricane-shaped funnel down into the bottle below. You can repeat this as often as you like.
NOTE: Some people like to add glitter or even small toys in the bottles so they can watch them swirl around.

Okay, so we followed these instructions to the “t” the first time. It leaked. We added more tape and wrapped it tighter. It still leaked, only less.
This is the original washer. See how small the vortex is?
Make sure your washer has a large enough opening.
Then, The Hubster…havng the “engineer mind” that he does, started searching the internet for tips/options. And he found this! And at a store right up the street from us – WOO HOO!!!! He was nearly giddy with excitement and practically counting down the minutes until he could go get one! Silly man!

Unfortunately, our store ended up not having that exact brand and the one he found ended up costing about 4x as much. However, as my Dad always said, “You get what you pay for.” And this particular brand had TWO experiments in it! One for the hurricane and one for a fountain.

Isn't that a GREAT vortex?!
So…now we have not one, but TWO Science experiments hidden in the pantry out of sight for the Littles. They have been a GREAT source of learning, entertainment and of course, FUN!!

What did you do this week in your homeschooling journey? Feel free to share you favorite experiment, tip, idea or just a word of encouragement for others!!

(I will put up a video soon. But, the one I had, had some loud background noise...imagine that?!)


I’m linking up to these other GREAT Homeschool Weekly Reviews!
Click on the links to check them out!


Phyllis said...

We love tornado tubes,too!!

Kelli Becton-AdventurezInChildRearing said...

Oh yes! This is a fun one - we'll be doing it soon in our weather study ;)

Annette@InAllYouDo said...

I find school so much MORE fun the second time around!! Thank you ladies for stopping by!

Susan said...

We've gone through this same process before ourselves! We tried doing it with the washer and tape method, then ended up buying a tornado tube :)
Thanks for linking up with Favorite Resources!

Annette@InAllYouDo said...

Susan - it's nice to know we're not alone! Thanks for hosting!!! I'm new to your site, but its been so fun to browse around!

Sarah Avila said...

We just did this too! My kids absolutely loved it!

Here's my post if you want to check it out!