A super-fast, super-cool car that uses the pent-up energy inside a mouse trap spring to propel a homemade car forward. While normally this is reserved for high school physics classes, it really is a fun and inexpensive experiment to do with kids of all ages.
All the different forms of energy can be broken down into two categories: potential and kinetic energy.
My students have nicknamed potential energy the “could” energy. The battery “could” power the flashlight. The light “could” turn on. I “could” make a sound. That ball “could” fall off the wall. That candy bar “could” give me energy.
By the time your child is in high school there are certain traits and values that your homeschooling should have entrenched in them. It could be taught by example, or by providing your child new opportunities and experiences.
It is important for your child to show respect to others to earn their respect and positively affect his own self esteem. This is a delicate process and must be handled with care. There is no quick fix to teaching your child values and imbibing good traits in his personality. By being shown respectful behavior he will understand how he must behave.
Handling responsibility is a growing skill which must start off with small ones as a child leading to more complex responsibilities later in life. Start with small responsibilities like sharpening the pencils for everyone in the classroom or even house hold chores like watering the plants. Build it up to bigger responsibilities like taking care of the younger siblings while ensuring that they do their assignments.
To teach a child not to quit when he fails the first time can be difficult if there is no persistence. Today children get everything much more easily and expect skills to come to them instantly. When that does not happen it makes them loathe the skill for showing them in a bad light. They need to be taught how to be persistent and master the same skill that once bested them. It is only by not giving up that they will be able to make their dreams a reality.
Teenagers are known to be surly and uncommunicative with those in authority. It is important for them to understand the need for good communication skills specially if they are going from being home schooled to a regular high school or college. Being good communicators is a trait that will serve them well no matter what field they finally decide to go into.
Sense of Adventure
The ability to face new experiences with a welcoming smile is a trait that can make a high school student’s life an adventure to look forward to. Some children take to new experiences fast while others are a bit more conservative and worried. Help them to develop an open attitude to new opportunities that come their way.
When a family learns together there should be a goal that helps them map out their learning dynamics. By setting clear and measurable family goals you will help your homeschooling students to gain more confidence in their abilities and a sense of satisfaction with a job well done. Here are some family goals that you can consider adopting for your homeschooling family.
Scheduled Family Fun Time
Teaching your children how to have fun together is just as important as teaching them their lessons. Ensure that there is a scheduled family fun time every day. Also add a special fun outing for the family each month. This shows your children that there is more to the world than just studying at home.
Family Discussions Each Week
No matter what age your child is, he will have some issues that may be bothering him. In this case it is good to have an open channel of communication where the child knows that his side of the story will be heard by the full family. Encourage a family discussion time over a holiday every week. Ideal day would be when both parents are available to participate in the discussion.
Taking Care of Siblings
Not only must the elder siblings look after the younger ones, but the younger ones must help the elder siblings in their tasks and chores. Teaching the children team work is an important aspect of making them grow up into well rounded personalities. Give tasks out to each child and ask their siblings to help them with the task. These could be daily chores like laying the table, cleaning up the class room, or even watering the plants. Or they could be more specific challenges that you set for the children.
Each Sibling’s One on One Time with Parents
Being together with your family is a good thing, but it is important to remember that each child in an individual. That individual needs to develop his or her own unique relationship with each parent. So devise your activities at home or out of the home in such a way that each sibling gets one on one time with each parent. Common interests can help set the bond in each relationship.
Hovercraft transport people and their stuff across ice, grass, swamp, water, and land. Also known as the Air Cushioned Vehicle (ACV), these machines use air to greatly reduce the sliding friction between the bottom of the vehicle (the skirt) and the ground. This is a great example of how lubrication works – most people think of oil as the only way to reduce sliding friction, but gases work well if done right.
There’s air surrounding us everywhere, all at the same pressure of 14.7 pounds per square inch (psi). You feel the same force on your skin whether you’re on the ceiling or the floor, under the bed or in the shower. An interesting thing happens when you change a pocket of air pressure – things start to move.
If you want to create the formal effect of a science lab for your homeschooling students you need to get some equipment that you would find in a school science lab. This will allow your homeschooling science class to get a more formal structure. Here are some such lab equipments that you can buy and keep in the science lab at your home.
Build your science lab
Clear out a table or counter top in the class room for the science lab equipment. Have a chest of drawers handy to put away the equipment when it is not in use. Make sure that the children understand the safety rules associated with using science lab equipment. They must know beyond a shadow of doubt that these things are not toys or play material. they are serious study equipment.
What to buy and stock in the science lab
Here is a list of things that you can buy and keep for your homeschool science lab. Magnifying glasses, goggles, Petri dishes, plastic bags with ziplocs, tweezers, foreceps, test tubes, beakers of different shapes and sizes, filter paper, regular flashlights, pipettes (droppers), litmus papers both red and blue, ID badges, small notepads to record experiments, pens, invisible ink pens,magnets of different sizes and shapes, circuit making wires, small screwdriver set, batteries, LED or light up toys, blacklight torch, and crazy straws. This is an indicative list and you can add or delete items as per your own personal needs.
Care for the equipment and restocking
As with any other study material or educational resource you will have to teach the children to care for their science lab equipment. Cleaning up the material that they have used in an experiment is part of teaching them how to use it correctly. They should know that while a glass test tube can be washed it would not be safe to wash wires in water. Basic restocking would also have to be done to ensure that the science lab never runs out of material to conduct experiments with. The reusable materials aside take stock of the materials that can not be used more than once. Have your child list out the material which will be used up and need to be replaced after each experiment and add that to your shopping list.
One of the primary challenges as a homeschool parent is to hold and keep the attention of your students in the classroom. While children are usually blessed with very short attention spans you may need them to pay attention much longer than they can manage to keep their attention focused on you. So rather than yelling at them or getting upset here’s a simple way to give them focused play for a short duration and then bring them back to the task at hand. What you need to do is use sensory toys innovatively. Here’s a few ideas on how you can do so.
Any musical instrument can become a sensory sound toy. One homeschooling parent used a whistle to initiate a musical chime in which each child participated. When she found the attention of the children wandering she would blow the whistle and then the next child had to beat the toy drum with a pencil, and the other had to shake a tambourine. They had to follow the rhythm set for them by the mother who blew the whistle to it. Instant fun in the class room and focus of attention back to work when it was done.
For Fidgeting Kids
Some children fidget or wiggle in their seats after they have been in class for a certain amount of time. Handing them a fidget toy to keep their hands busy while they listen to you may work. A wiggle seat where they can learn how to balance their weight while sitting at the study desk is also a good idea. One part of the brain is busy balancing while the other can pay attention to what is being said by the parent.
The “Smell Me” Game
Another short game to give a break to your homeschool students at their study desks involves having them sniff at a bottle and guess what fragrance lies inside. A good way to prepare the bottle with fresh smells each day is to use essential oils of the kind used in creating aromatic candles. These oils are available with diffusers and can be bought in any shop which sells aromatic candles or tea lights. Be sure to change the smell often enough to keep the game interesting.
Free science class in ROCKETRY!
Blast yourself skyward with this hands-on class which will investigate the world of rocketry. Students create several different types of rockets by learning about pneumatics, chemical reactions, air pressure, flight dynamics, and rocket fin design. Class is taught by a real rocket scientist! Kids will truly expand their appreciation for the wonder of the world around us through science.
You can sign up right here: http://www.superchargedscience.com/freeteleclass.htm
When you drop a ball, it falls 16 feet the first second you release it. If you throw the ball horizontally, it will also fall 16 feet in the first second, even though it is moving horizontally… it moves both away from you and down toward the ground. Think about a bullet shot horizontally. It travels a lot faster than you can throw (about 2,000 feet each second). But it will still fall 16 feet during that first second. Gravity pulls on all objects (like the ball and the bullet) the same way, no matter how fast they go.
What’s going on? We’re utilizing the “springy-ness” in the popsicle stick to fling the ball around the room. By moving the fulcrum as far from the ball launch pad as possible (on the catapult), you get a greater distance to press down and release the projectile. (The fulcrum is the spot where a lever moves one way or the other – for example, the horizontal bar on which a seesaw “sees” and “saws”.)
As a homeschooling parent you would have faced the time when you need to explain to someone you happen to know why you homeschool your child. You need to explain just how you happen to think that the idea of homeschooling is better than regular school. It will help if you start talking like a formal educator like a teacher in school. In order to do so and sound knowledgeable you may like to bone up on some “Educationese”.
What is Educationese?
This is essentially learning to talk about education in the terms that regular teachers use. For instance telling your child a story with a moral is “narrative fiction”. While learning to stack up a set of blocks is a “math manipulative”. Teaching your child how to play Chess or another strategy based game comes under building “logic” while playing card games teach “probability”.
Where do you learn Educationese?
Most workbooks will have a couple of pages in the beginning explaining what each worksheet is expected to teach the student. Similar terms can be found online when you search for worksheets to download and use for your children. Its not just study related skills that you can use these terms for. Even regular home based activities can be covered in educationese. If you are baking a cake with your child it comes under “life skills”. If it deals with computers or programming a robot it would be “technology”. Should the family watch a movie based on a book it becomes “literature”.
How can you use it?
Nearly every activity can be made into a neat educationese term. For instance watching the news becomes “current events”, while writing a letter to grandparents will become “language skills”. Reading the food labels on tins becomes “health” as does a visit to the doctor.A visit to the park becomes a “field trip” while collecting and sticking leaves in a notebook comprises “nature study”. Describing your day in educationese terms is sure to stump your critics, so why not use this tool. It will allow you to use what you know to impress your critics.
While printing is commonly the preferred way to write many schools also teach their students how to write in cursive handwriting. Is it necessary for homeschool students to learn how to write in cursive? It is if you live in North Carolina where the state senate has passed a bill that needs all schools to teach their students cursive. Most people never really master cursive and tend to use a combination of print and cursive. So why should students in the age of the computer and internet learn to write cursive?
Arguments for Cursive
The proponents of cursive handwriting say that without the knowledge of cursive handwriting many students will not be able to read historic documents and family heirlooms such as the letters of their grand parents. They also say that merely learning to write in cursive makes you write faster as you join the letters as you go along and do not waste precious time as you would when you moved from each letter to letter in printing the alphabet.
Arguments against Cursive
A large number of hands were used in writing different historic manuscripts. Does that mean that each child must learn every different type of ancient handwriting while still in school? It just isn’t feasible. Basic cursive reading can be taught to a five or six year old child in under an hour. It is not necessary for the child to be able to write cursive to read it. Also there is no evidence to suggest that those who write in cursive handwriting are actually faster than those who print out their letters.
Should You Teach Your Child Cursive?
Research shows that the fastest, clearest writers join certain letters while writing and not all of them. They tend to make the easiest joins while they skip the rest, using print-like shapes for letters whose cursive and printed shapes disagree. So it all comes down to your opinion. If you feel your child needs to learn cursive by all means teach him, but if you feel it is not necessary, just let it be.