September 4, 2012

First Day Back

We had a marvelously relaxing summer and today was our first day back. Garrett hopped on the bus and headed off to second grade at the local public school and Casia started her first day of seventh grade back in the house. 

Garrett and Casia with our dog, Moo.

The kids pose for their annual 'First Day of School' photo. 
Garrett, ready for 2nd grade.

Casia, starting 7th grade.

It's our third year homeschooling, so I was feeling pretty confident starting out this year. But still, getting back into the swing of things after only a minimum amount of work accomplished over the summer, you never know how things will go. Overall, I was happy with how smoothly today went. We had a schedule and we almost stuck to it!

I wanted to make sure the year started on a good note, so I included a science lab to make it fun. Casia and I waited until Garrett was home from school because he loves science and didn't want to miss it. Casia is studying waves this week, and I found some great resources online. I found this idea in a video on the National Stem Centre on how to make a wave and decided to recreate it. It was really easy, required only a few supplies and the kids were able to do most of it themselves. They really had a blast with it.

The first thing we did was gather all the supplies. I used cool, blue Hawaiian-looking duct tape, roughly 20 wooden kabobs, a couple of clamps and some Swedish fish. I also needed scissors, a ruler and two hand towels, but I didn't realize until after I'd taken the photo below.

I used the towels to protect the backs of the chairs as I clamped the piece of duct tape.

Once it had enough tension, the kids placed the kabobs three inches apart. I then helped them put a second piece of duct tape on the top to keep the kabobs in place.

They finished it off by putting a Swedish fish on each end of all the kabobs.

Then the kids took turns lifting up an end and starting a wave. Casia went first.

Then Garrett....

We played with the wave for a while. After which, I asked the kids several questions about the wave including:
  • How does the wave move?
  • How do the fish move?
  • How do you change the amplitude?
  • How do you change the frequency? 
  • How do you change the speed?
In the end, they got to eat all the gummy fish and had a lot of fun!

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