Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Chemistry Fun

Today we are learning about chemistry. We started out by baking bread. As we watched the yeast bubble and grow we talked about the chemical reaction that causes this. While the bread was rising we decided to see what happens when you mix baking soda with a bit of vinegar. We put the baking soda into a film canister and added a bit of vinegar. Then we ran back to a safe distance and watched. The cap shot off the film canister.

Then we decided to see if diet coke and Mentos really works. What we found is that yes, if you drop a handful of Mentos candy into a full two liter bottle of diet coke you’d better get away fast. It shot almost 10 feet in to the air. We tried adding more Mentos to the remaining coke in the bottle but it did nothing at all.

Next we thought we would make slime. What fun we had playing with slime for the afternoon. Here's an easy slime recipe.
2 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Cornstarch
Food coloring
Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add cornstarch, then food colouring while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. This makes a messy slime that goes from liquid to solid, and is great fun to play with.

Finally our bread had risen to the point that it was ready to bake. When it came out of the oven we quickly spread it with butter and had a delicious snack. Who knew chemistry could taste so good. We love learning science the unschooling way.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What Are Your Favorite Educational TV Shows?

What are your favorite educational TV shows? My son loves to watch "Mythbusters" and "How It's Made". I can’t believe how much he has learned from these two shows. He has watched shows about beekeeping and shows about making a drum. There are so many topics that they cover. I love that both of these shows are well researched and educationally sound. You can’t say that about a lot of the TV that’s out there.

My son also like to watch the shows on Animal Planet. You can go online to to explore the same animals you watch on Animal Planet. They have pictures of all kinds of animals from sharks to pets. You can also play games and test your knowledge of these animals and their habits. They even have a print magazine that you can subscribe to.

The History Channel is just what you need if you want to learn about the Civil War or The first Space Flight. Ancient History to modern history, it’s all there for you.

I love the fact that all you have to do is turn the TV dial and you can go from mindless nothingness to real history. Yes, this is a great homeschool curriculum to me.