Friday, March 16, 2012

Week 25: Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

Molly Loves Science. For me, however, it has been tough this year to wrap my head around using a new curriculum, balancing the changing needs of two advancing students, as well as commit to a full science curriculum which also includes experiments and notebooking. In the beginning of the year it just felt like too much to take on. We did some review work in the Apologia Zoology 2 book (Swimming Creatures) mainly because Molly was just desperate to do some science, but we didn't dig in deep. However, last week the curriculum that we decided on for next year's science arrived, and I felt incredibly inspired! I went downstairs, pulled out the Zoology 3 book, which we had not yet cracked open (except for reference) and started reading it out loud. Both kids were so hungry to hear more that I read two chapters in two days and had the kids complete a notebook page to go along with it.

Today we did our first experiment (Ch. 2 of Zoology 3)! It was a test to determine if humans (vs. dogs) rely more on their sense of smell than what they see. I made two bowls of lemon jell-o, and dyed one of them red with food coloring. Both kids were convinced...I MEAN CONVINCED, that the flavor they were smelling was lemon in one bowl and strawberry or cherry in the other. Even after tasting it they were convinced. When I told them and they then smelled and tasted it, they said, "OH, Yeah!!!" but the point was proven. Humans rely more on vision than smell (of course we already knew that, but it was fun to prove it scientifically). "That was a good one, Mom!" was their commentary on the experiment.

The other highlight of the week has been our read-aloud in Tapestry of Grace, Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule. This is another book the kids have not wanted me to put down, and as a result we are ahead with the reading.

We did math and grammar and writing, as usual. Matty is soaring since his 100% score on last Friday's math test, and this has carried over into this week's work. He seems much more confident and willing to work through difficulty since then. It seems that he realizes now that he really can do this, and is willing to give it his best effort.

We neglected our memory work and reports and costume-sewing (for which I will pay dearly this weekend). But honestly, when the weather turns to 75 degrees with a perfect light breeze and bluebirds and blooming trees, it is very difficult to do anything but stay outside with our feet propped, enjoying the wonderful books we have to read! Viva la Spring!

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