Archives for December 2012

Motivate Teens to Clean

Motivate Teens to Clean
The Christmas season has passed and the influx of items pouring into my house has exploded in every room. With New Years here and that sense of renewal it stirred up my need to motivate teens to clean their room.

Now different things motivate teens to clean, the teens in my house are currently in need of funds for certain electronics. Knowing this I decided to offer a $1 per pound of trash or stuff that was removed from their rooms. [Read more…]

Christian Kids Explore Chemistry with Christmas Presents

Christian Kids Explore Chemistry

Presents sitting under a Christmas tree drove me crazy every year. My mom would always say, “don’t shake it, you might break it.” With Christmas right around the corner and the kids’ anticipation building, this science experiment was a perfect fit.

A quick trip to the Dollar Store and I was able to purchase 6 boxes, a bag of bows, and 6 items to fit in each box. I chose items that my kids would think would be fun like dinosaur erasers, Nerds, a mini-flashlight, Band-Aids, and a Spiderman washcloth. In one box I put a dollar inside of it. I numbered the boxes on the bottom with a small sticker.

After my kids went to bed I set the boxes on the kitchen table, which lead to an excited breakfast conversation on what was in the boxes.

Observations are the basis for writing a hypothesis. I explained to my children how chemists use their senses to observe, then how these observations lead to guesses or hypotheses. Since we are studying the Periodic Table in  Christian Kids Explore Chemistry we talked about how early chemists observed different elements.

  • They wrote 1 to 6 on their sheet of paper.
  • I had them weigh each box and measure one of the boxes.
  • Then I had them write what they thought was in each box. I did give them one hint; I purchased all the gifts from the Dollar Store.
  • We discussed which box was the heaviest, lightest or weighed the same.

Then I had each child pick 2 boxes they would like to receive as a gift based on what they thought was in the box. We discussed what each child thought was in each box and then they opened them.
Christian Kids Explore Chemistry

The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band Movie

The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band Movie

We just finished lesson 9 in All American History Jr Volume 2. The lessons plans suggested we watch The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band.

I had never heard of this movie but am so glad we rented it from Netflix. Especially after this past presidential election, it provided a humorous look at politics.

The setting of the movie is 1888 and Grover Cleveland is running against Benjamin Harrison for president.

Here are some tips to use when watching it.

Play I Spy Musical Instruments
In the opening act the family is rehearsing, try to identify the instruments that each member is playing.
These are the instruments we identified:
drum, cymbals, piccolo, tuba, trumpet, recorder, trombone, banjo, flute, and shakers. If some of these instruments are new to your student try researching them before watching the movie.

Government Review
Make sure your students understand the Electoral College and popular vote. This will help to understand how Cleveland received the popular vote but lost in the Electoral College.

In many of the songs the family sings about a lot of historical events: Valley Forge, Lincoln and the Civil War, Patrick Henry’s famous speech, Nathan Hale, and Paul Revere. It was a great review of what we have learned in American history up to this point.

Only 38 states were in the Union when the election happened. Identify those states. These states were NOT states yet: Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.

Locate the Black Hills of South Dakota on a map. This is the area that Joe Carder wanted Republicans to move to.

Do you know what soft shoe tapping is? The father does a nice skit of soft shoe tapping. Maybe you would like to try a dance skit of your own.

Discussion Questions
1) Does music really cross all boundaries? The father explains that even through he is a Republican he feels he can sing a song about electing a Democrat.

2) Should a Republican sing at the Democratic Convention?

3) Would you move your family to a new area for political reasons?

4) Do you think a president should win the popular vote and the Electoral College to become president?

*Warning a feisty brawl breaks out when Harrison is elected by the Electoral College after losing the popular vote. There are men drinking beer at the party.

I added this post as a PDF The-One-and-Only

If you stop by 7sistershomeschool they have a post on making White Christmas into a fun study. I have never seen it so on the list it goes.

Duct Tape Crafts, DIY Ornaments

Duct Tape Crafts, DIY Ornaments
Our inspiration for the duct tape crafts ornaments started with a field trip to the Delaware Center of Contemporary Arts. For the next few weeks they are hosting an exhibit by Joe Girandola. He has created the world’s greatest architectural wonders out of duct tape! Yes, duct tape. It was amazing to view up close how he layered, cut, and crumpled duct tape in his works.

Duct Tape CraftsDuct Tape Crafts

We decided to take glass ornaments and create our own duct tape crafts scenery. I chose to do some trees with stars in the sky and my daughter chose to do some flowers.

We are thinking about trying our own scenery on canvas next week.

Duct Tape Crafts: Supplies Needed

  • glass ornaments
  • duct tape
  • scissors

Tip: use one of the rolls of duct tape as a base to hold the ornament while you are working. We enjoyed cutting fringe into the edge of our duct tape for a nice layered look. If scenery seems to be challenging geometric shapes would work.

Duct Tape Crafts

Do you have any favorite duct tape crafts? Share in the comments.