Bible was especially sweet this week, as we spent time focusing on Jesus as Emmanuel. We learned that Emmanuel means "God with us," and we sang "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" every morning at breakfast. It was such a blessing to kick off the Christmas season with that as our focus! And I love the fact that I didn't even plan it. God orchestrated the timing on that one! Hannah's thinking was definitely challenged this week, as she is having a hard time grasping that Jesus was fully God and fully man all at the same time. I'm just going to have to trust the Holy Spirit to explain that one more fully to her!
In U.S. History, we learned that two more states—Rhode Island and Vermont—were added to the country.
When we studied Vermont, we learned that it leads the nation in maple syrup production. Sounded like a good reason to have breakfast for dinner to me! We cooked some pancakes, and everyone in our family tasted pure maple syrup for the first time. We unanimously agreed that it was delicious! :)
We also learned about Daniel Boone and his Wilderness Road, which was a trail he marked that stretched from the East Coast to Kentucky. If my kids don't remember anything else about Daniel Boone, I think they'll always remember that he had a gun named "Tick-licker!" Actually, we all got a kick out of that one! And Hannah felt like it would have been an appropriate name for Sheba, too! :)
In Science, we learned that hot air expands and cold air contracts. We did a couple of activities to demonstrate.
First, to demonstrate that hot air expands, we made a small dent in a ping pong ball.
Then we placed the ball in a glass with hot water and put a plate over the top to trap in the heat.
In theory, the hot water should have heated up the air inside the ping pong ball, causing it to expand so much that it would push the dent right out. In theory. But in reality, this is what we got ...
So the next day, after reading the helpful tips from the wonderful moms on the My Father's World message board who have walked the path before me, we challenged the ping pong ball to a rematch. This time, we were determined not to lose! Here's what happened ...
We also used our new knowledge that hot air expands to make a quarter jump. First, we put a quarter on an empty sparkling grape juice bottle. (Can I just say that my kids love it when science calls for a bottle and they get to drink some sparkling grape juice?! It almost beats birthdays. Almost.)
Next, we put the bottle in a stock pot and filled the stock pot with hot water.
The heat from the water heated up the air inside the bottle, and when the heated air expanded, it made the quarter jump up. Now, I know it sounds really impressive, and I'm not too proud to admit that I had the camera ready so I could catch the quarter as it jumped several inches into the air. But, um, when Usborne says the quarter will "jump," they don't mean an "Air Jordan" kind of a jump. They mean a geriatric exercise class kind of a jump. Take a look ...
(If anyone knows how to rotate a video, please feel free to leave me a comment with instructions! Meanwhile, I'll try to hold the camera the right way while I'm filming. Yes, I know I used to be a technology teacher, but that honestly feels like a lifetime ago!)
And to demonstrate that cold air contracts, we put a couple inches of crushed ice in an empty soda bottle and put the lid on. We were amazed at the change that occurred in just a couple of minutes as the ice cooled down the air inside the bottle.
We also learned that heat rises, and we did an activity to demonstrate this, as well. Hannah cut a "snake" out of a piece of paper, and we held it above some boiling water to see what would happen.
Since this is our last week of school for 2010, which means a massive clean-out will most likely take place around here really soon, I want to make sure to document the results of some of our earlier science experiments.
Back in Week 11, we put a wet piece of bread in one baggie and a dry piece of bread in another. They have been setting on a shelf in my garage cabinets for 5 weeks now, so I fully expected to see mold everywhere! But surprisingly, this is what we found we got it out today:
|This is the dry piece.|
|And this is the wet piece. If you squint reeeeally hard, you can see a tiny bit of mold.|
And in Week 14, we opened a gourmet bird buffet in the backyard. Well, the squirrels ate the berry and popcorn garland, and they figured out how to open up the door on the cake and suet feeders, but they weren't able to mess with the thistle seed feeder at all! And we are happy to report that we now have a rather large goldfinch family that has decided to take up residence with us! We have had so much fun watching them, partially because they're just fun to watch, but partially because we finally had success just getting birds at our house, which, for us, is quite an accomplishment.
All in all, it was another great week!